Friday, July 8, 2022

Death Count (2022) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod


Above Image: Poster for 'Death Count' (C) 2022 All rights reserved, image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized.

Greetings valued Dan's Movie report readers. Across my desk today comes a brand new horror film called 'Death Count'. The movie is in the tradition of the 'Saw' franchise in that several people are locked in a cell, and have to perform various tests and tasks to survive. The twist here is each person is locked in their own cell and have a collar attached to them and an explosive implanted at the base of their neck.

Costas Mandylor plays Warden, the one in charge of the game of torture. He provides each of the contestants with a tool box full of weapons for them to do self harm, thus gaining cyber likes, people are watching the game and evaluating each of the contestants. The rules are harsh, the warden makes all of them and if they are not followed heads explode, literally.

'Death Count' is ultra bloody, excruciatingly violent, and more of a gore fest than horror. Of course the audience will cringe at several scenes including, minor spoiler, one where a lady has to pry off her own fingernail. Kind of like a gruesome car wreck, it is hard to look at, yet compelling and hard to look away.

Though the movie is really violent and several people meet their demise, I feel that we learned very little of the characters, except their basic profession, and other minor traits. When one of the characters dies, I just am not really emotionally invested, that said, 'Death Count' does what it sets out to do and that is show people's fear and has creative ways to torture.

Acting is surprisingly decent for a horror film, no one goes all over the top, thus ruining the scares. Actress Sarah French seems to get the bulk of the screen time, she is enticing and talented. I actually felt sorry for her and her situation,she does an amazing job of selling the terror, anger, and confusion she has at various parts of the film. Actress Devanny Pinn though with a smaller role has a particularly crazy scene, she sells the scream queen role, and seems to revel in being scared and sexy at the same time.

Michael Madsen as Detective Casey and Costas as Warden are given the bare minimum fodder for acting, with Costas being shrouded in a half face covering. Once again I am assuming that the idea of the Warden character is a faceless man who is there just to torment the contestants and it does not really matter much who he is or his situation.

Behind the scenes 'Death Count' delivers a well filmed effort, the scenes are clear and even the dimly lit ones are easy to make out and see. Sound is clear, all of the actors emote their lines and sounds clearly having impact when they are in pain or worse. The setting is a basic prison, with little in the way of additional scenery save for a video camera in each room. Drab, and foreboding is the key to 'Death Count' and I am sure it is done on purpose.

'Death Count' movies at a brisk pace, no wasted time. The 81 minute film directed by Michael Su, is just entertaining enough to warrant a recommendation, Violent and reprehensible, 'Death Count' should keep hard core gore horror fans entertained, and casual horror fans engagingly interested. The film comes out July 19th on various streaming platforms, and rates a 6.5 out of 10.

'Death Count' trailer:

IMDB Page:

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Rubikon (2022) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Termplegod

Above Image (C) 2022 IFC= All rights reserved, image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized

Anyone who knows me realizes how much I enjoy watching two genres of films besides action, Science Fiction and Horror. Well, seems like the new film on now available from IFC on as a pay extra on Amazon Prime, among other streaming outlets, makes an attempt at delivering, sadly though, 'Rubikon', tries to be intelligent, but kind of ends up as a boring, rather drab discussion on a sad future where the world is run by corporations and many millions have apparently died by some unknown fog. 

Director Magdalena Lauritsch who is also one of the films writers, tries to cram elements of story into 'Rubikon', my issue is there is just not many plot developments, and when they happen, the audience is thrust right back into the mundane story. The entire film is basically three people stuck on a space station. Eventually they try to make it back to Earth. The attempt is unsuccessful, to be honest, I would have liked to see them actually make it back to Earth to view the consequences of Human action. The science behind the toxic fog, and this weird living algae mass, that is sustaining them on the space station is never fully explained. I am assuming it has contaminated the world as it is stated that rich people live in a dome that allows for consistent fresh air and food, again not entirely explained.

 I actually had to finish the movie over a few sittings, actually the acting is rather good, yet, just not enough going on to warrant a recommendation. Actress Julia Franz Richter worked very hard on the physical and emotional aspects of her character, and she had a lot of dialogue and actions. The other two leads Mark Ivanir as Dimitri and George Blagden as Gavin essentially make up the entire main cast, and the interplay between the three leads to various situations and confrontations. I really wanted to like this film, the premise is quite interesting, I just do not think the film makers had the proper budget nor script consultant to allow for a more entertaining film. I will have to say 'Rubikon' is a pass from me, and rates a tepid 4 out of 10

Monday, July 4, 2022

Actress Asha Annais Interview © 2022 Dan's Movie Report - Danny Templegod EXCLUSIVE!!!


Above Photo: (C) 2022 Infraction Media EXCLUSIVE all rights reserved!

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, today I chat with rising star Asha Annais, she has a wide variety of experience in the film and martial arts world, and shares her knowledge and desire to rise up in the business. Her most recent feature is 'Honorable Sins', which is currently for sale or rent @ Asha is quite an engaging and talented young lady. Asha is amazing and is ready to unleash her diverse talents, enough of my babbling, on to the interview.

Chat about your childhood, who are some of your influences in acting and action? Chat about your first acting gig in the short film 'Evolution'

First influences were DC / Marvel characters such as Iron, Zatana and Wonder Woman. My first acting role was before 'Evolution' and I did an advert for a Sound Conference and an Engineering company. I just enjoyed experiencing being in a different reality pretending to be another person.

Growing into your teen years Asha, were there events or situations in life that made you ultimately decide to pursue acting and martial arts, any negative experiences or positive?

I grew up doing martial arts, when I saw 'Boyka Undisputed' it was one of my favorite films and I decided I wanted to try to expand my martial arts. I started doing my own stunts in the movies I have been involved with. I have been kicked, bruised and punched on set. I always try to ensure that the martial artists are very experienced and above all are able to fully control their fight action.


Above Photo: (C) 2022 Infraction Media EXCLUSIVE all rights reserved! 

Chat about the film 'Future Shift' did that film really cement your desire to act and work in film full time?

I think Replecan was the turning point. The script was great, the cast were amazing. At the time I was 15 years old when I was filming that. I was living in an adult world of film and I found it an amazing experience. I have always admired British actors and I am fortunate to be able to work on a new project in the next few months whilst here in the UK.

I noticed you do stunts on 'Replecan' and 'Honorable Sins', have you ever thought about pushing to be a Stunt Performer for Hollywood big budget films, or do you like working independently?

I do not want to pursue stunts, but if the opportunity arose and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse then of course I would be excited to do it. Acting is my first love, along with martial arts so any opportunities to further my career I will jump at. I love Indie movies and have built my career working in Indies, however I think many actors like myself hope for larger budgets and more recognition.

Same question with regards to make-up artist, I noticed you were the Make-Up Artist for those films as well, ever thought about doing that for Hollywood, films?

If the opportunity arose I would for sure love to do that. Every role takes a lot of effort so I find myself focusing on the roles I want to do the most. 


Above Photo: (C) 2022 Infraction Media EXCLUSIVE all rights reserved!  

I am curious how working in Canada compares to the USA or U.K. It seems like the Canadian Government is more supportive of independent filmmakers.

The Canadian government is generous for tax credits, however small Indie films with a diverse cast such as ours are often overlooked. Our biggest supporters are in the US and the UK. Working in the US is fantastic, there is an amazing energy that emanates from everyone. The UK is buzzing with filmmakers and it has a great atmosphere.

Do you feel that there is still a long way to go for women as directors or producers, question also for Suza... I ask this because it seems after the whole Harvey Weinstien situation, ladies are finally rising up.

Asha: I think it is difficult to comment on, I don’t know too much about the numbers of how many women are getting to direct but it looks as though there are becoming more women directors.

Suza: It appears that there might be more women producers than directors (don’t have the figures at all) I think there are now persons identifying as women also in the category of what was the traditional category of ‘women filmmakers ‘so the actual numbers of women could have gone up or down I don’t have an answer. The real numbers are hidden. Women Of Color Action Directors are pretty slim on the ground. There is no one is running around looking for them at all.

What are some of the goals you have in the future five years from now

My 5 year goals is to be in bigger projects, and also to star in a marvel movie one day.

Moving on to Martial Arts, lets chat about some of your training in action?

I started around 4 doing TKO and then took an interest in boxing. At one point I wanted to be a boxer but had a few knee injuries and decided against that. I have always admired martial artists and I always tried to learn moves I saw on screen.

Do you feel as a martial artist that training has changed in the past 10 years?

I am not really sure, my training has changed as I now learn as much screen fight action as traditional boxing and TKD. They are two completely different techniques with different qualities for each.

Who are some of your martial artist influences?

My biggest influences are Jackie Chan, Scott Adkins (Undisputed), Van Helsing is my favorite movie which is packed with action. I also love Cynthia Rothrock and Don the Dragon Wilson, who are amazing people and great role models.

I am am curious if your watch UFC or MMA events, have you ever thought to compete, I see they had MMA competitions on UFC Tuff Enough.

Yes I have seen WWE live and loved it. There was a time I seriously considered pursuing WWE but due to my knee injury I had to rethink. I love MMA but have never wanted to compete in it.

Wrapping up the interview chat about some advice you would give your younger self if you could go back 10 years, things to look out for, bad or good.

I would say try new things, go for the audition and don’t be shy. Even though you might doubt yourself there might be a film role that is ideal for you and you don’t know unless you go after that.

Above Video (C) 2022 Infraction Media Shout of from Asha to Dan's Movie Report!!

What advice do you have for young actors and martial artists growing up, and do you have a motto to live by?

Go to as many different martial art classes as possible. It will give you a better grounding. I don’t have a motto but I believe that if you want to be an actor try to act along with the characters you are watching. It helps you generate the emotion required for the scene.

For further information please connect with Asha on her official pages: Instagram IMDB


Honorable Sins Trailer: Showreel

Saturday, July 2, 2022

5th and Alameda (2011) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Across my desk today comes a film that actually was filmed a decade ago, but I actually knew very little about. Thanks to lead actress and Executive Producer Saye Yabandeh, I was given the opportunity to view this very powerful and thought provoking film. Although this film apparently is available to watch on Plex, I feel that the film is important enough to review and actually should enjoy a second resurgence in 2022 in light of the recent events.


---Image at Left: (C) 2011 Leo Entertainment, all rights reserved image used for promotional purposes only image not monetized.

Lead actress Sayé Yabandeh portrays a woman in crises, yet her situation gets far worse when she is (Minor Spoiler) raped and then eventually shot, these events happen early in the film but what 

happens next is a master class in character study on the possibilities of turning on your attacker or turning them in. The 122 minute film seems to run a trifle long, yet it weaves and intricate tale of what ifs. '5th and Alameda' was the address where she was shot and the robbery took place, yet her life and the back drop of a culture of the middle east that is severely limiting towards women, make for a purposeful and erudite production that will stay with the audience far after the final credits role.

Sayé Yabandeh's Sara is an empathetic character full of conflicting emotions. Throughout '5th & Alameda' we see her with shards of memory from the rape and shooting, but she never quite remembers everything, the physical and emotional pain stay with her throughout the film. Her acting is on point here, ranging from scared and demure to raging and fighting back, I really liked the change and her eventually standing up for herself. I hope in 2022, women stand up for themselves in November, and for the foreseeable future or more rights will probably be taken away, but that is not my place to comment, I am obviously not a women.

As an American citizen, I have no ideas the horrors someone like Sayé Yabandeh has faced being born in Iran, especially as a creative thoughtful person. Being a female producer is hard enough and '5th and Alameda' is a monumental achievement in important programming. Actor Corey Sevier as Derek and Mario Van Peebles as Trevor, are both well cast and have the emotional investment to handle a film such as this. Director Richard Friedman and writer Corey Druskin weave a solid tale and never allow the audience or the actors to stray far from the dire and sorrowful subject matter, '5th and Alameda' is not a happy film, yet maybe it will change people's mind about the creativity of Iranian artists.

Sara eventually turns on her attacker and the plot thickens so to say, and I will not spoil it. Saye the actress seems strong and self assured, so I am believing she could turn the tables on her attacker if need be! The attacker gives her the choice and she makes it, trust me watch the movie as it unfolds to see the results!

I enjoyed the various settings and camera work as well from '5th and Alameda' time was taken obviously to frame the shots, to have the actors either look angry, scared, remorseful, relieved,... Actually nearly every human emotion is on display in this film, much time was taken to learn about the characters thoughts and motivations even with the story being told through at times a series of flashbacks. This can be explained as only partial memory of the event from Saye's character is occurring.

Overall, because I watch many indie and foreign films, I am used to this, I rate the film a very strong 8.5 out of 10, a must watch for fans of foreign and indie thought provoking films. I am assuming the target audience is not 100million dollar USA summer block busters, with little plot, thus my rating is based on the scope and scale of an indie production. Respect to all involved, hopefully later in 2022 I can interview Saye and get her thoughts on this film and her humanitarian work.


For further information: Please go to the official Leo Entertainment Website @

IMDB for the film:  for humanitarian and children's aid projects.



Friday, July 1, 2022

The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus (2022) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report- Danny Templegod


Above Image: The Prey Legend of Karnoctus official poster: All Rights reserved to the original owners, image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized.

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Across my desk today comes a thriller in the vein of Predator but has the claustrophobic fear of the original Alien film. Synopsis: Synopsis: In the Afghanistan desert, a group of mercenaries out for treasure complete their greatest heist. Seeking refuge from the hunting Taliban in a nearby cave, they are soon joined by retreating US soldiers, and both groups are trapped within by a rocket explosion at the cave’s entrance. The newly joined parties need to work together to find an escape through the labyrinth but soon realize they’re being tracked by a deadly beast that local legend calls Karnoctus; and they have become… the prey.

The film has a killer opening scene, then pans to a firefight. I kind of hoped the pace of the film would stay rapid, Actually 'The Prey' just ends up as a cat and mouse game between the soldiers and a monster in very dim light. Here is the issue I had, we see the monster far too early in my opinion to establish fear, more like gore scenes, if that is your thing. The soldiers have hallucinations as well, although I am not entirely sure how and why they came from and not everyone has them.

Incidentally the acting itself is decent enough, no one is just phoning it in, and the actors seem to show genuine fear when the monster is near. Since they are in a cave lighting is not the best, and that is to be expected, when we see the views from the vision of the monster it is more like a visual representation of heat, which separates it from the view the soldiers have. Costuming is sandy, distressed military, so that base is covered, again, nothing to detract. Respectable behind the camera work, given the limited budget.

Musically though I am not a fan of rap music which is prevalent, I thought that the music and sounds used when the monster was approaching set the tone. I probably should not even comment on the music in the film, but I feel that if you do like rap, you will like it more. OK, enough about that, the dialogue though is quite clear and easy to understand, the actors project their voice fine, and if ADR was used it is barely noticeable.

The soldiers move through the cave as the original opening was caved in by an explosion. The middle hour of the film is kind of slow, but the last 15 minutes are full of action, Almost makes up for the slow parts, actually would have been cool not to see the monster until the end, but I guess the filmmakers wanted to establish that the monster, which looks like a big-foot, is actually chasing the soldiers.

Just be warned, although Danny Trejo is in the film it is nothing more than a very small opening cameo. That said, if anyone in my reading audience likes low budget monster films, 'The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus' is not that bad, campy and they tried their best. Directors Cire Hensman and Matthew Hensman do their best with the limited budget, and they even tease that a second film is coming, so perhaps with a higher budget things will take off. Overall, though I wanted to like 'The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus', the film is average though, perhaps a rating of 5.5 out of 10. I did like the ending trailer showing some behind the scenes, including some story-boarding, so obviously with a bigger budget, they are ready for a part two, I will state that I am looking forward to what the Hensmans come up with next!


IMDB Link:

Film is available beginning July 7th on various digital platforms, including iTunes, Prime Video, Vudu, and Google Play. The action-adventure monster movie is now available nationwide on all major Cable, Satellite and Telco platforms, including Comcast, Charter, DirecTV, Cox, Verizon Fios, Dish, Sling and AT&T U-verse.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Hot Seat (2022) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod


Above Image: Poster for 'Hot Seat' (C) 2022 LIONSGATE All rights reserved, image not monetized

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, across my desk comes a new thriller from LIONSGATE entitled 'Hot Seat'. The title explains the movie as a computer hacker is trapped in his office chair with a bomb under his seat. He has to hack into a secure vault area for a deranged madman who is basically just a voice over a loudspeaker, growling instructions and threatening his family.

'Hot Seat' is a taught cyber thriller, never wavering much from the central plot of a hacker and his manipulator going through the various tasks that he is supposed to perform. Slight of hand and a mis direction play a big part in this film, but to be honest, I had a suspicion what was going on, yet it was well disguised. No spoilers, but the ending is quite entertaining. Unlike the Sandra Bullock mess 'The Net', this film has teeth, and actions have real consequences!

Veteran actor Mel Gibson plays an aging bomb tech named Wallace Reed, although not very agile, has his mental prowess in tact. His partner is is young, always challenging him, yet has respect for him. Although 30 years passed his Lethal Weapon days, Mel is always quite engaging to watch on screen, sardonic, sarcastic and seemingly always ready for action.

Actress Shannen Doherty plays a chief of police named Pam Connelly. Actually it is very cool to see her acting, as going through cancer treatments and health challenges is so hard. She did what she could in a limited, non action role.

The other acting is decent, yet I did not care much for actress Katy Katzman as Ava, actually I do not think it is her fault. The writers made her like the dumb blonde, which is really unbelievable considering she works in the management of a building with security clearance. In my opinion her character is superfluous to the main story even though she is kind of inserted into the room with the chair bomb. She does help somewhat, so all is not lost, but I kind of wish the writers just made her with above average intellect, rather than a stereo type..

Going back to the story, complaints aside, did grab my attention especially the final 30 minutes. Simple story, basic office backdrop, nothing too far out of the ordinary, but an astute eye will kind of see what is going on. The film hits a breakneck pace with a twist, especially when the action finally moves outside the office, again no spoilers.

The behind the scenes aspects of the film are solid, well lit, decent tense music, creative camera angles make this a slightly above average thriller. Worthy of a streaming watch, 'Hot Seat' drops on various platforms on July 1st. I am on the fence about rating, the ending bumps it up to a 7 out of 10 though.


For further information please visit the official LIONSGATE site for the film @

'Hot Seat' comes to DVD and Blu-Ray August 9th 2022

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Green Ghost and the Masters of The Stone (2021) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod


Above Image: Official Poster (C) 2022 Gravitas Ventures All Rights Reserved, image not monetized

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. Across my desk today comes 'Green Ghost and the Masters of the Stone'. Thanks to Marko Zaror, I heard about this film. 'Green Ghost' as I will call it for the remainder of my review has a quite interesting plot: In a Texas border town, car salesman Charlie Clark, plays 'Charlie Clark'  and he moonlights as masked Lucha libre wrestler 'Green Ghost' When assailants arrive seeking an otherworldly emerald, Charlie discovers that he has super powers that he must harness to save humanity. (Source: IMDB)

In the wake of the copious amount of superhero movies and TV shows over the past few years 'Green Ghost' takes aim at the indie market and a humorous vibe. Make no mistake 'Green Ghost' is a low budget film, but has some quite entertaining action and humor. Danny Trejo plays a drunken master named 'Master Gin' hahaha! Nice to see a superhero film not taking itself seriously. Although much of the action and dialogue is lighthearted, the movie has copious amounts of action, fights and intrigue.

Marko plays a legendary master named Drake, constantly training and envisioning the power he possesses. He has a quest to squire the Emerald. On the light side is Charlie we see a training montage in which a Spanish Language cover of 'Eye of the Tiger' is played.

Marko's Drake character of course has some evil Hench people! The talented Arnold Chon, who serves as the film's stunt coordinator plays Kwan Tak. He is ultra fast and diabolical hell bent on serving Drake. Talented and stunning Michelle C. Lee plays Song Shijin, in addition to her cat like martial arts prowess she has supreme mental abilities, ahh just like in real life! Nice to see villains who have real skill not just dumb henchmen or women!

The amazing Danny Trejo. He has a fun quote “The power is like alcohol, 'drink it angry you fight' 'drink it happy, you make love' hah! Everything he is in has an instant watch fun factor, as he puts heart into his roles whatever the size and scope. Trejo's drunk character works well here, “Machete I don't need no stinkin Machete” he says about 2/3 into the movie!

Andy Cheng who is quite an accomplished stunt artist and fight coordinator, plays Master Hung, he has a great fight with Marko. Speaking of Marko, he also serves as the film's fight coordinator along with Arnold Chon. Make no mistake about 'Green Ghost' this is a top notch fighting flick.

Of course the quest turns into a massive multiple attacker fight near the end here, and it is spectacular. They do cut back and forth between the action of the three main fights but enough time is spent on each one to have the impact necessary to see and feel the action.

Literally the final 20 minutes of 'Green ghost' is one massive action fight sequence, including regular fighting and super powers. The fights are precise and the action is rapid and punches and kicks never seem to be weak. The action is well lit, and well filmed, no shaky camera, a few slow-motion scenes are for added dramatic effect, but never seems to get in the way of the action. My favorite fight outside of the massive final fight with three vs Marko's Drake character is the fight between Michelle Lee and Sophie Pernas hey the girls really get down and brutal!

Special effects and other behind the scenes aspects of 'Green Ghost' are on par with high quality indie films. Fun flick all the way around. Director Michael D. Olmos son of Edward James Olmos does an excellent job of wrangling the talented martial arts oriented cast, getting them acting and action focused.

Overall I really enjoyed 'Green Ghost', the film rates a strong 8 out of 10, quite entertaining way to spend 81 fast moving minutes! Well worth a rent or purchase to support indie film!

The film is available on AMAZON Prime now as a rent or own!

Official Trailer from Gravitas Ventures:


Official Website:

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Scarlett Cross: Agents of D.E.A.T.H. (2022) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod


Above Image: 'Scarlett Cross: Agents Of D.E.A.T.H. banner (C) 2022 Pentagram Pictures Production

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, FINALLY 'Scarlett Cross: Agents of D.E.A.T.H. Is on the cusp of releasing through 'Troma Now'!! Troma Now is a service available on the website and as apps in Apple, Amazon Prime, Google Play Store, and Roku. The service costs $4.99 per month with the first 30 days free. is the main website and it can be watched anywhere  by the month or $50 dollars per year, saving 10 dollars after the first free month.

'Scarlett Cross' opens rather salaciously with a truly bizarre, literally titillating, yet oddly engaging fight sequence, not for the children. In fact this movie if rated would probably be an NC:17, lots of violence and copious opening nudity. Notwithstanding is the creativeness of Writer/Director Dean Meadows in combining a horror, action, and thriller film all in 90 minutes. Actually Scarlett Cross is broken down into four distinct parts yet by the end they merge together at some point.

Focusing on chapter 2, 'Asylum 13' which opens with actress Tayah Kansik as Joanna Smyth, the bodyguard! We see three men chasing one man in the Forrest and the action flails out from there. Kansik gets the intensity and acting down, along with extreme action. She has a sequence with a daytime Ninja, yeah they do exist haha! I liked that the choreography on her fight was clear and easy to see in broad daylight, and the moves were fluid and entertaining. More action and fights ensue when she takes the professor back to the safe house, again no spoilers!

Actress Kat Clatworthy as Jennifer Stone has a short but fun fight with actress Hannah Farmer as Sakura Nagasawa. Sword play and blood, what is not to like haha! Seriously though the indie movie moves along at a decent pace, never a dull moment.

The sheer variety of kills in 'Scarlett Cross' make it one for slasher fans as well. For example there is a particularly brutal scene with a nun in a church, no spoilers, but let us just say things are not as they seem. Other parts of the film have sword kills, gun kills and even some other surprises! Dean Williams as stunt coordinator worked with the actors to make the majority of the action seamless.

Dean Meadows in addition to writing and directing 'Scarlett Cross' pulls quadruple duty as Cinematographer and Editor for the film! Often a first feature length film sees the director handle multiple roles, here is hoping by dipping his feet in all aspects of 'Scarlett Cross', that Meadows' career will ascend to higher levels beyond 2022.

The technical aspects of the film are solid, some minor audio issues with regards to ADR, but overall a solid effort. The camera work by Kevin McDonagh captures the essence of action in 'Scarlett Cross'. The musical score is appropriate for the story and never obtrusive, always enhancing the action and laying the foundation for the drama, in 'Scarlett Cross'. Lighting on the film made it very easy to see the action as the subjects were well lit for their fight sequences. Given the tight budget, 'Scarlett Cross; was pretty entertaining.

Overall, this is an ultra low budget film, virtually made for a Troma type audience. Perhaps it means that regular action viewers or thriller viewers may find some of the subject matter a bit off-putting. For me however, I quite liked what Dean Meadows and his crew were going for here and rate 'Scarlett Cross: Agents of D.E.A.T.H. A solid 8 out of 10. 

Troma App in various stores:


Google Play:



Watch for interviews with Dean Meadows and Actress Tayah Kansik later in 2022, on your home for exclusive content, Dan's Movie Report!



Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Jessica Medina Interview © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod


Above Photo: Credit Jessica Medina

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. I felt the need to delve deeper into the amazing 'White Elephant' film, Today I am chatting with the multi-talented Jessica Medina. Jessica worked on 'White Elephant' as Olga Kurylenko's stunt double and had the opportunity to work on the upcoming 'Black Adam' film. Jessica chats about working on 'White Elephant' teases 'Black Adam', and chats about her directorial debut short film 'La Oasis' (The Oasis). Unwind, grab some tea, time for Jessica to drop some action knowledge!


Danny Templegod: Since this is a hot new film on AMC+ chat about working as Olga Kurylenko's double on 'White Elephant'.

Jessica Medina: Doubling Olga on 'White Elephant' was Such amazing experience. I was so grateful and  thankful the Luke Lafountaine trust me and called me to double Olga Kurylenko.

She was awesome and always ready to do her action. I was there to help with everything when she need it. I was ready to step in to do a dangerous stunt if the situation called for it.


DT: I know she can do the majority of her own stunts, but did you and Luke go through the stunt sequences prior?

JM: In some instances we didn’t have time to rehearse, we walked through the stunt step-by-step on set several times and worked out the timing, We discussed what was going to happen and the stunt sequence. Luke and I took her (Olga) Step by step throughout the actual sequence and I stayed by her side for anything she may need during the stunt Pad Props etc... 



DT: Without spoiling too much, describe one of the sequences and set up you did for the stunts in 'White Elephant'.

JM: I had to step in and double her near the final sequence. During the Olga shoot out at the character's house I have to step in in to double her when her car gets shot up. The police vehicle car was rigged with several large pyrotechnics to blow out the windows. An explosion also blew out one of the tires and as well multiple Zircs.

DT: Please let my audience know about the term 'Zircs'.

JM: Zircs are the special effects sparks that are shot out of a paintball gun. This makes it look like bullet hits on metal. 


Above Image (C) 2021 Jessica Medina All rights reserved, image not monetized.

DT: Thank you for that informative clarification. I noticed you worked in Ben Ramsey's 'Interface' a cool short film! Chat about working on that project, Ben is a creative guy with some solid sci-fi concepts.

JM: Working for Ben Ramzey it’s always been an amazing experience just working with somebody so creative and talented we can create magic. He is a mentor and a personal friend and he is just awesome. 


Above photo: (C) 2022 Bridgette Bentley and Jessica Medina 

DT: I am always interested in short films, chat about your short 'La Oasis' the concept, plot and ideas you had for the film.

JM: My short film 'The Oasis' was such an amazing experience just bring in my ideas to reality and show my views and just jumping into the directors chair  was an amazing experience.  the story about two sisters that they lost their parents and they took over a business hotel and everything went down south .and the story they have a visitor the creates mayhem.

DT: I realize 'Black Adam' is not out, but chat about working with The Rock and his work ethic, seems to be a honest, positive guy,.

JM: Working on 'Black Adam' and working with The Rock was one of the pinch me moments in my career as a stunt performer. I always admire The Rock and love his movies, he’s just an amazing person and has an incredible work ethic. It was inspiring just to see that. I am very thankful for my involvement and Black Adam. I am so thankful for Tommy Harper and Chris Brewster for believing in me and calling me to do that amazing job .

DT: You are very active in stunts and acting, chat about if you have a desire to transition more to acting or do you enjoy the thrill of a kick ass stunt?

JM: I love and I’m very proud on my stunt career. I am seriously transitioning to focus on my acting career, bringing my decade of action experience in. With the addition of over a decade of acting training to build  my repertoire on interesting and diverse characters. I am determined to establish myself as a leading lady of action.


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Official IMDB:

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Stunt Coordinator Luke LaFontaine chats 'White Elephant' © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod



Above Image: (C) 2022 AMC+ All Rights Reserved, image used for promotional purposes only, not monetized.


Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers. It is time to unleash a brand new interview with the man behind the action of the spectacular new film on AMC+ 'White Elephant' Luke LaFontaine is a man of distinction, crafting intricate action sequences, allowing for the actors and stunt personal he works with to reach beyond their limits. Luke is a hard working honest guy, willing to let you know exactly where he stands. In this 2022 'White Elephant' interview Luke stops by to chat about working with director Jesse V. Johnson, Olga Kurylenko, and Michael Rooker. Enough of my babbling on, time for the textual ass kicking from Luke!

Danny Templegod: Luke my first question is the pre-production for setting up the action on 'White Elephant' chat about some of the work you were able to do with the stunt people prior to shooting, did you have an extended prep time due to the budget?

Luke Lafontaine: I didn't have a lot of extended prep time, even w the larger budget. I had about a week to get everything done, I prevised all the fights and and meeting with Jesse and Michael rooker. My LA stunt peeps really helped w Previs and Atlanta stunt performers went extra mile on location.

DT: I have massive respect for Olga Kurylenko as an actress and in action, she always gives 110% and, she has had a solid amount of action training, chat about working with her, and some of the new action tips you imparted on her for 'White Elephant'.

LL: Olga is fantastic , she gives 200% Olga told me she doesn't retain her training in her mind because its too much, so she lets it go after every movie. So I had to take her back thru firearms and fights, she hadn't done CQB knife fights, so that was new. Tip I imparted to her was to Breath during fights. She would hold her breath which was a lot harder. Olga is Amazing , her dedication,and attention to detail are incredible as well as her memorizing Choreo!! I loved working w her.

DT: Curious how long of a time prior to shooting the film you had to work with her as she was a central character.

LL: We actually had very little time to train, she was held up because of travel restrictions and US visa so we had 2 hours morning of shooting to go thru all firearms work, and a few 20 min sessions during week. I took her thru knife combat in an hour and ran her knife fight for about 20 mins before we had to shoot! Shes amazing at learning and performing fight choreo!!

DT: This is important to me, chat about the seriousness of having a proper armorer on set, one that is knowledgeable of the weapons used.

LL: It is of paramount importance to have an experienced professional Armorer on set!! Always! Firearms and guns that have been modified for blanks are always to be given full attention to safety, Zero exceptions!

DMR: Were there any stunts or action that was kind of left on the cutting room floor for runtime, curious, as I know action films often shoot for a possible extended cut down the road?

LL: There were a couple of action pieces that had to be trimmed. Vadhirs fight at Russians had to be trimmed in edit in order to cut between Michael action upstairs. There was also short Aikijutsu grapple w big baddie and Michael that had to be excised for time.

DT: Chat about the mixture of old-school and new-school guns and weaponry in 'White Elephant'.

LL: We mixed old school firearms and new. Jesse likes interesting guns in his films. Using old and new gives personality and different sounds and muzzle flashes.

DT: I hate spoilers, but chat a bit about the final house scene, how long did you have to set that up and shoot it?

LL: We shot interior of house raid on one day and exterior of gun battle the next day. It was a lot of action to get thru with 15 stunt guys, Olga, her double and Michael.

DT: Must have been a week of work crammed into those two days! I really enjoyed the motel scene with Olga as well, first of all it was well lit, second of all, I am sure Jesse chatted with you about action beats and specifics, but I am curious to get your perspective on working on this complicated sequence, looked like Olga did most of her own action here.

LL: Jesse laid out how he wanted the action, we has briefly discussed a 2 level fight but it wound up being motel with no 2nd floor. Blocked the action to feel real and hectic, with Olga taking on shooters from all directions. Olga did 90% of her action w Her stunt double Jessica Medina doing a long run and gun and the dive into mustang. 


Above: Jessica Medina and Luke (C) 2022 Jessica Medina

DT: Perhaps share a couple of amusing or crazy stories on set with an action sequence, that either had to be re-shot or worked out even better than planned.

LL: The action in final house battle got a little crazy w Michael ad libbing fight moves when rubber gun was knocked out of his hand. Thank goodness Michael is such a pro and nice guy and didn't hurt any of the stunt guys!!

DT: Chat about working with the amazing Michael Rooker, what are some of the action concepts you discussed with Jesse for him in the film.

LL: Michael Rooker is an incredible actor and physical performer. Most people don't know he’s a full instructor in Aikijutsu and kyoku shinkai karate. Hes been studying for decades! Very strong dangerous guy if he wants to be,as well as a loyal friend and defender. Love him to death, and I am humbled to have gotten to work with him so closely. 


Above Image: Esteban Cueto and Luke (C) 2022 Jessica Medina

DMR: I really liked Rooker's character in 'White Elephant and him as an actor, moving on... I know your specialty is bladed weapons, chat about the knife action towards the end of 'White Elephant', military and covertly used, old school technique, I am assuming.

LL: Knife fights all came from real techniques. Both Olga and Michael had small knife engagements. Fights had to be short and brutal, because that's what real knife fights are.  


Above Image: Jesse V. Johnson and Luke (C) 2022 Jessica Medina

DT: Good point about the knife fighting, rarely in real life are they long. Chat about crafting the action with Jesse in 'White Elephant' what I really enjoyed was the action was NOT nonstop, and when it came it had impact and meaning. I am assuming this is by design, from your perspective, chat about the importance giving the audience time to breathe between the action.

LL: Jesse wrote the 'White Elephant' script a while ago and in his developing story. It was a honor and life shifting story. A dramatic thriller about an aging warrior and choices he had to make to sleep at night and keep his honor. The action had to convey the weight and risk. No popcorn, filler nonsense action. The pacing is different but all the intensity is still there.

DT: I agree, 'White Elephant' has no time for a shoehorned in love story. Wrapping up, I know it has been a long time since we chatted, curious if any films or TV shows you have watched for action made you stand up and take notice, saying ok, that is cool, I thought I read you likes 'The Northman'.


Above Image: Vadhir Derbez, Luke and double Jason Triplett on set of "White Elephant' (C) 2022 Jessica Medina

LL: Yes , there have been some movies ive taken notice of , I love the action In NORTHMAN and the action design in TOPGUN: Maverick was really impressive!

DT: Finally chat about advice to stunt people just starting out in the business, when you work with the director to hire a stunt team what are some of the qualities you look for?

LL: Up and comers, Stay safe and HUMBLE!! It’s not about you. The honor code of the un-named stunt performer making movie stars look good should endure. Why would you want to steal your movie stars thunder by posting yourself on Facebook and Instagram??? Try to uphold a code: safe, loyal, humble, Tough!!  


Luke LaFontaine Official IMDB:


Photography Credit:  Jessica Medina


Saturday, June 4, 2022

White Elephant (2022) Movie Review © 2022 Dan's Movie Report – Danny Templegod     Image and video (C) 2022 IGN all rights reserved, image not monetized, used for promotional purposes only Film is exclusively on AMC + in North America, all rights reserved

Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, it is hard to believe that nearly 18 years ago in Vengeance Magazine, I reviewed Jesse V. Johnson's 'Pit Fighter', wow! What can I say, Jesse always strives for entertaining action films, yet with a dialogue rising far above the norm. Jesse always told me he strives to work with the best possible people in all genres of films, not just acting or behind the camera talent, but the type of people he works with is just as important. For Jesse, movies allow him to be creative, in 'White Elephant', Jesse is the director and worked as one of the writers along with Erik Martinez and additional dialogue by Katharine Lee McEwan At times when multiple writers are listed for a film, it can spell trouble, but in 'White Elephant' the story is enhanced by each writer working together as a cohesive, collaborative team. Jesse has once again leveled up!

I really do not like reviews that spoil plots, so I will get the basic plot culled from AMC+ website “A ruthless crime boss orders an ex-Marine turned mob enforcer to eliminate two witnesses. “

I will say that in one of his final roles, and his first released role since announcing retirement, Bruce Willis gives a solid performance, as the ruthless crime boss, he tries his best, given the circumstances. For me as a film fan, anytime he and John Malkovich are in films, they add an air of celluloid, well now digital, royalty.

'White Elephant' is an action crime drama, yes, but there is a copious amount of dialogue, which normally I do not like, but with Jesse's films in general, the dialogue is important to forwarding the story. Michael Rooker really shines here as Gabriel, a complex and conflicted character, I enjoyed the way he adjust to the variety of emotions that his Gabriel has to have during the film.

What more can be said about the fantastic Olga Kurylenko, usually relegated to antagonist characters in her films, Olga shines Vanessa, a detective with a military background and a tortured past. Olga is given much to work with in 'White Elephant', and I really look forward to her next outing with Jesse V. Johnson directing 'Boudica'. Ms Kurylenko is a really fantastic actress, check out 'The Water Divener' and 'The Room' to watch her in non action roles, very talented and nuanced.

One of the aspects I really liked about 'White Elephant' was that when the action happened it was memorable, rather than non-stop crazy action, the film had impact, allowing for a slow build for the first 30-40 minutes, yes there is an opening action sequence, but the action felt integrated into the story rather than driving the story.

Speaking of action, once again Jesse V. Johnson's stunt coordinator Luke LaFontaine wrangles a bunch of action sequences together, securing the set, allowing for excellent action and the utmost safety for the crew. Luke is a pro and is a wiz at hand to hand combat and weapons . In light of recent events, I cannot stress the importance of the armorer in a film such as 'White Elephant' there are so many guns and weapons used, I am sure that between Luke and armorer Taye Olsen the actors and stunt people were well versed on how to properly use and hold them. Director Jesse states that two other armorers were brought in for the MG42.

There is kind of a twist near the final 1/3 of the film, which is quite interesting, no spoilers! The final gun battle is rather epic, allowing a mixture of high tech and old fashion merged into one.

Dialogue in Jesse's films pays homage to the filmmakers he respects, ha in one scene an assassin can be seen putting on sunglasses and saying 'terminate this bitch' haha! Jesse, is never one to shy away from adding humor into what can be a serious toned film. He also showcases Olga Kurylenko in a dichotomous role, sometimes a bad ass, sometimes vulnerable. By allowing her character to be vulnerable, 'White Elephant' adds a sympathetic human element. Honestly I thought she was going to be this gung ho, bad ass detective all the way through, yet, she is not!

Minor gripe is that Olga's detective partner who witnesses the initial crime, (minor spoiler) is easily killed, That said, much of the department was a bit crooked, but the veteran probably would have taken some precaution. Sadly she had to have this motivation, as she figures out quickly that she is next. An extra 10 minutes added to the 92 minute film might have allowed for a fleshing out of his character.

Everything else is polished, musical scoring builds tension, yet is never obtrusive. I loved the fact that the entire film was well lit and action was easy to see, even at night, some far away shots were used which I am sure were for the stunt doubles, yet never did I feel I was not a part of the action. Action star and martial artist Lee Charles had the opportunity to work very closely with Olga for 'The Courier',thus allowing her to learn detailed hand to hand and action movements. 'White Elephant' gives Olga a chance to use some of those skills, yet expounds upon this by adding a variety of weaponry. Speaking of weaponry, a mix of old and new, added for an entertaining final sequence!

Overall, 'White Elephant' rates a very strong 8.5 out of 10, a strong showing for AMC+, according to various websites the listed budget is 15 million, regardless, this is obviously Jesse V. Johnson's biggest film to date, and as always I am excited to see what is next. According to Screen Daily ' Jesse V. Johnson and Olga will team up again for another epic movie, sword and sandals style!


Head on over to IGN for the exclusive trailer and poster! for the link to subscribe to AMC+