Face Off: Wizard of Wonderland (Recap and Review)

Face Off: Wizard of Wonderland (Recap and Review)

Episode 6 of season 7 Face Off: Wizard of Wonderland, aka Oz Meets Wonderland begins with the ten makeup specialists left after “Doc” O’Connell was sent home last week in the Animal Attraction challenge. Also during the last episode Damien got his first win of the series which made the show a bittersweet experience.

Face Off: Wizard of Wonderland (Recap and Review)

Face Off: Wizard of Wonderland (Recap and Review)

Episode 6 of season 7 Face Off: Wizard of Wonderland, aka Oz Meets Wonderland begins with the ten makeup specialists left after “Doc” O’Connell was sent home last week in the Animal Attraction challenge. Also during the last episode Damien got his first win of the series which made the show a bittersweet experience.

Miley Cyrus Little Person Booty Slapping and Crying

Miley Cyrus Little Person Booty Slapping and Crying

While Miley Cyrus has been getting wildly effusive praise for her talents after the success ofWrecking Ball she stepped up on the iHeartRadio stage in Las Vegas Saturday to perform. The singer had enough little people on stage that it looked like a Wizard of Oz reunion. All that was missing was the Lollypop Guild.

The Taking (2013): Overpowering Imagery

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Written and Directed by the team of Cezil Reed and Lydelle Jackson aka BAPartists, The Taking is a dark frantic journey into the depths of evil and fear. This is the team’s first foray into the feature film world and it is a great start. Shot in 2012 it will have it’s world premiere officially announced at next weeks A Night of Horror Intl Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.

Main Cast:

Alana Jackler …Jade

Frank Bliss…Marilyn’s Killer

John Halas…Carl Young

Lynnette Gaza…The Grandmother

Olivia Szego…Marilyn

The Plot:

A man and a woman motivated by revenge want to murder the people who have hurt them. In their separate searches for deadly revenge they wind up in a forest inhabited by a strange family who want to sacrifice them to their God.

The Message:

In a somewhat “biblical” tone, the very act of thinking about murdering someone instantly puts you (and your soul) in jeopardy.

The Twist:

Looking into the light is not a good thing.

The Verdict:

This film looks stunning. Shot on the digital Canon EOS 5D MarkII, the film has the look and feel of a big budget feature. The imagery is spectacular and the combination of sound and light keep you off-balance.

The style of the film felt like a cross between Shin’ya Tsukamoto films (Bullet Ballet, Haze, Tetsuo) and Sam Raimi‘s Evil Dead. While the film does’t have the roughness of Raimi’s first feature it does have the frenetic pacing and almost overblown torture of the lead male character.

Carl (John Halas) in a spot of bother.
Carl (John Halas) Photo courtesy of the film’s website.

Actor John Halas made me think of a young Bruce Campbell minus the schlock. He really threw himself into the role of Carl and he made me believe that he really was going through all those difficulties. Alma Jackler as Jade also turned in a sturdy performance as the grief-stricken mother of  murdered daughter Marilyn.

The special effects looked great. I have never seen more convincing looking blood in a feature film. Very realistic and the wound prosthetics and make-up looked brilliant as well.

As first features go, Reed and Jackson have pulled out all the stops to bring us a feature that will immerse you in a visual cacophony that can leave you reeling. This incredible imagery combined with the overpowering sound of “the God” and it’s minion will leave you feeling like you’ve been through the world’s worst LSD trip. Very powerful stuff.

Jade (Alana Jackler) Photo courtesy of the films website.
Jade (Alana Jackler) Photo courtesy of the film’s website.

It’s a very watchable film, although a bit hard to follow at times due to sensory overload, but I could not stop watching it until the end credits rolled.

I’d give this film a full 4 stars out of 5 just for the brilliant originality of the plot and the stunning imagery and sound. I am looking forward to this daring duo’s next feature.

The Official Website:

For more information on the film check out the website at thetakingmovie.com

Cezil Reed
Cezil Reed
Lydelle Jackson
Lydelle Jackson

Of Flying Monkeys and Ruby Slippers

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Wizard of Oz (1939) (Photo credit: twm1340)

When I was about five or six, my parents let me stay up to watch the yearly Thanksgiving transmission of The Wizard of Oz. I was transfixed.  Of course in those days my folks could not afford a colour television, so I had to wait a few years to see the glorious technicolor  world of Oz. But even with the whole film in black and white, it changed me forever.

The story of Dorothy and Toto fleeing the safety and comfort of Auntie Em’s farm in an attempt to save Toto from the horrible Miss Gulch and certain death; the tornado, the travelling fortune teller, Oz and it’s ersatz wizard and the very real good  and bad witch kept me coming back year after year.

I still enjoy watching the 1939 film. Who doesn’t? The film has become an icon of our society. Is their anyone who can’t recite entire reams of dialogue from the film?

The Wizard of Oz has enchanted and terrified children for years. I for one was scarred for life after my first viewing. Why? Because of the damn flying monkeys. Even looking at the flying monkey scenes now, I get a little “creeped out” by them. This is despite the fact that the FX for the monkeys has not aged well at all.

Winged monkeys!
Winged monkeys! (Photo credit: momboleum)

But when I saw those flying monkeys when I was little? I was convinced that they were real. Very real. And I just knew they would come and visit me at night.  I can honestly say those monkeys scared the hell out of me for years. Of course now the flying monkey idea has been used in lots of other films. It is still an effective idea, but it has lost a little of it’s initial magic.

Now on to the ruby slippers. Even in black and white you could see that these special shoes glittered with magical qualities. That they were second-hand shoes still warm from the dead Wicked Witch of the East‘s foot when Dorothy got them, took nothing away from their glamour. And of course the idea that these shoes could transport you home? To a child, whose worst fear is losing his mother or father, the idea that a pair of shoes could reunite you with your family, was reassuring and wonderful.

English: The original Ruby slippers used in Th...

You just clicked your heels together three times and said, “There’s no place like home.” Okay you had to say it quite a lot before the shoes ‘kicked’ in, but they worked nonetheless. This is another bit of the film that has become an iconic image in our society.

I remember when I was in basic training at  Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. There was a lad who was very homesick. He had never left his home or his parents for an extended amount of time before. Every night his eyes would start to tear and he’d sniffle a bit. One night our Technical Instructor (TI for short) caught our homesick boy sniffling.

Kindly the TI got the boy to stand up and tell him why he was crying. Manfully struggling to hold back a flood of tears the young Airman explained how homesick he was. The TI was a picture of solicitude. ” I can help you son,” he said. “I can get you home to see your family.”

The Airman’s eyes widened. “Really” “Sure,” the TI said, “Just stand up straight, click your heels together three times and repeat after me, There’s no place like home.”

The homesick Airman actually did click his heels together twice before he figured out the joke.