Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Get your name or company on a feature film!

Be apart of horror film history! Darkside Films is selling credits to anyone who would like their name in lights. Whether your a filmmaker, a fan, run a festival or just an average joe with a few extra bucks. We would love to take this oppertunity and pitch our feature film to you.

"Sever" is a psychological horror film unlike anything you've seen in recent memory and it will surely stay in the recesses of your mind long after it's viewed. We have a PDF file that you may download and read that gives you the low down on the film, cast, synopsis etc. Just click on this address: and you'll be taken there.

You can also visit our main website to watch our promo trailer and visit our myspace page at: where you'll find we have a fast growing fan base and where you can see who is in the film and there is another trailer there as well. We plan on shooting this Summer on Martha's Vineyard Ma.

The film is written, edited, produced and directed by filmmaker D.W. Kann (IMDB PAGE: who's new film "Prison of the Psychotic Damned" will be out June 16th on dvd. Once "Sever" is completed we intend to submit it to film festivals and to bring it to conventions around the US to build an already steady fan base. We hope that if you are a supportor that you visit us when we're in town. After the film festival circuit the film will be sold into distribution.

What we're offering is a single amount of $125 which includes your name or logo of your choice after the cast/crew credits on the end of film under the title "Contributors." You will also be able to have your name or logo on the website under "Contributor Links" FOREVER. As the film grows so will the steady stream of visits to the website and eventually to your website. We will be updating the with photos, behind the scene videos and news on showings etc. If you have any questions what so ever please email us at

Please note that this amount is purely a donation and all rights are reserved to Darkside Films LLC under the copyright laws of the United States. The exchange of money is for services rendered above ONLY and no person/persons or companies will receive any monies made from "Sever" profits or distribution. Upon donating we will email you a PDF certificate of authenticity so you can keep it for your records.


Thank you again and we hope you'll help us out.

- Darkside Films

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"Prison of the Psychotic Damned" is finally coming out JUNE 16th!

Yes it's true, a movie I worked on back in 2005 is finally seeing the light of day for good, bad or indifferent. I also included the artwork from both the official York Entertainment DVD release and what I did a year ago as my own poster design. It was a photograph taken on set from the last night of shooting and I didn't do anything to it. It reminded me of the old Italian Bava or Fulci posters of the 70's. I really love this image and I thought it worked perfectly for the film. I even blew it up to full poster size for my office, damn sweet.

Then I got word that the film was finally coming out and was sent the link where I could find the "new" DVD artwork. Um..yeah, not certain what they are trying to go for. I assume it's the whole "urban horror" thing. But frankly it doesn't really say anything about the movie and I hope when it's released people will look past the box art.

This seems to be a running pet peeve of mine. My first film "Ancient Evil 2: Guardian of the Underworld" (aka "Anubis: Guardian of the Underworld") had a cover which was actually worse, here are the examples below. My friend Keith Rainville (from "Parts Unknown") was kind enough to design the original poster which kicks a hellova lot of ass, I wanted it to feel almost epic. I'm a long time fan of Drew Struzan and loved how each movie poster he did looked like it would be the coolest adventure.

Chocolate Jesus + Torture Porn = Censorship (An Amend)

I sent my editorial post to several online film websites and a few entertainment magazines. So far I have only received one
response and it was pretty negative late last night. It was from a well known online film reviewer/screenwriter and he said that I had "missed the point" and that "Courtney Solomon (After Dark Films Executive) just made things harder for you as a horror filmmaker, and your defense of him is wrong-headed because you insist on pretending it's a free-speech issue. It's not."

After getting this response I was first taken aback at, but then read it several more times and decided to dig deeper. I had only read the one editorial from "The First Post" which in turn had prompted me to write my recent beef about this whole MPAA/After Dark Films fiasco over the billboards etc. In retrospect, I should have sifted through a variety of sources before I wrote this editorial and I didn't. But unlike some current politicians, I will stand up and say, "I made a mistake."

Saying that, I stayed up to the early morning hours reading the MPAA newly posted rules and regulations. I read this reviewer's own editorial about all of this. I read the Variety article, the Hollywood Reporter articles, various blogs and comments from film fans. I even read everyday joe's to try and understand where I misstep in my editorial.

This is what I discovered.

The MPAA is saying that After Dark had submitted material for promotional use and then turned around and decided to use
unauthorized promo material and had the billboards made anyway, basically thumbing their nose up at the system.

After Dark Executive Courtney Solomon says that his company had "no idea" that the wrong promotional material had gone to the printers and that they were shocked when they started to get emails and phone calls from disgruntled parents, etc.

Give me a break...

You're telling me that After Dark didn't know that the wrong print material went to the printer until it was too late? Now granted I don't own my own studio, but I do have a production company and I have worked in the industry long enough to know that this type of thing virtually never really happens. There are so many people involved for it to get to the final phase that it had to have been checked by someone. It's career suicide to think that After Dark just did it to screw with the MPAA. They knew the consequences, but hey, it is Hollywood and anything can happen.

Now let's say for argument's sake, let's say the MPAA did ok this artwork and when the billboards hit town all hell broke loose. Once Joe public started bitching, the MPAA steps back going, "Woah, we fucked up." And instead of coming clean saying that they had made a mistake authorizing this artwork, they went after the little fish, and took a big 'ol fat bite out of them to cover their own ass.

Now I have no idea what happened and frankly I don't care who did what or who didn't do what. I was trying to make a point in my editorial about the lunacy we find ourselves in bitching about the wrong things. If you want to penalize a company for a mistake, fine and if they actually pulled a bullshit move like that then please smack the shit out of them.

These posters below are in your theaters and on your billboards and they are equally as offensive so stop complaining.

I'm a horror filmmaker and I don't want tighter restrictions believe me, it's hard enough getting a film made let alone going through the ratings system. Hell the posters you find on this page and my websites are equally offensive. As I said in my previous post, we just have to guide our anger towards the bigger picture.

Chocolate Jesus + Torture Porn = Censorship

by D.W. Kann

Why is it, I wonder, that the media can plaster a gruesome child rape and murder across the six o’clock nightly news but a production company can’t get away with a billboard depicting torture scenes from a new film entitled “Captivity?” No pun intended, but God forbid artist Cosimo Cavallaro depicts a nude Jesus made out of milk chocolate during Holy Week. He is offending Christians’ delicate sensibilities. Why is it that artists are persecuted for their craft while the rest of us become desensitized to the real atrocities of the world?

I read about the MPAA penalizing After Dark Films over their billboards in an article about “Torture Porn” printed in the online magazine The First Post in March 2007. The billboards were causing outrage among parents as they were driving their kids from school to soccer practice, probably while listening to the current death toll in Iraq over the radio. The MPAA pushed the rating review for “Captivity” one month, in essence deriding their May 18th release date for the film.

What the hell is going on?

We live in a world of instant gratification brought on by the internet. If you wanted to see the horrific decapitation of poor Daniel Pearl, you could find it in mere minutes. The same goes for the hanging of Saddam Hussein. For months on end, we sat in front of our televisions and listened about the prisoner abuse and torture that went on in Abu Ghraib. We were riveted by a cannibalistic serial killer, not to mention a pro-football player on trial for slaying his wife.

As a society, we have been tragically desensitized to the atrocities that take place on a daily basis. We don’t think twice about having the nightly news on while our two year old daughter sits a few feet from the television playing with her dolls. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, we must protest, picket, demonstrate, or moan and groan at the slightest provocation at the sight of a woman’s public hair in a film. It must be lost on the editing room floor or else! Why do we scream bloody murder (again, no pun intended) over a particularly gruesome killing scene that was born in some filmmaker’s imagination? It’s nothing but a concoction. A fantasy.

I am a parent as well as a filmmaker, lest you think I’m one or the other. Or worse, some fanatic who puts a paper bag over his daughter’s head whenever the television is on. Sometimes I wish I could. I plan on sheltering her from the wickedness of the world as long as humanly possible. However, I will never not take accountability for raising my child. It is my decision what she sees and does not see and no one else’s. I take responsibility unlike so many other parents who rely on outside sources to tell them what is suitable.

I have worked in the film industry for 18 years. I do not choose to make films about pink puppies frolicking among the daffodils or butterflies flitting over rainbows. No, my films certainly depict man’s darker side. Horror films have been around since the dawn of film. As long as they are here, so will be the desire to censor them. Such films as Cannibal Holocaust, Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, and Last House on Dead End Street were made on micro-budgets. These types of films are still being made today in the straight-to-video market. They aren’t so much as causing a peep. It is only because the major studios have stumbled upon an easy cash cow with the genre, resulting in the outcry of the public. The current watered-down versions of the films of yesteryear leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

Maybe it’s the sad reality that the more exposure a multi-million dollar production gets, the more people will bitch about it. After all, that’s what advertising gets you, I guess. What’s sadder still, is that filmmakers are actually conforming to the masses and the end product does nothing but suffer as a result. It’s a cruel irony.

So the next time you see a billboard that makes your blood boil, maybe you should simply explain to your child that it’s an ad for a movie, a fictitious movie and one that he or she will not be seeing. Take a minute to digest what’s going on in the world and realize that it's a hell of a lot scarier than any billboard or movie will ever be.

Lost a cast member from "Sever"

I got word today that actress Demona Bast (Prison of the Pyschotic Damned) has decided to quit the film industry. It was a mass email and I don't know why, no prior email was sent and I was bombarded with other friends queries as to where she might have disappeared to. She's a sweet woman and was a wonderful actress to work with on "Prison." I only hope that whereever she is, she's alright.

As of tonight her myspace page and all her contact information has disappeared. I hope to hear that you're alright my dear, take care of yourself.

- DW