Kickstart and Live! Herschell Gordon Lewis Edition


In order to combat our videogame-themed sister site’s needlessly negative name for their Kickstarter-centric series, we here at Flixist proudly present Kickstart and Live!, a maybe-but-not-necessarily-weekly series which is intended to tell you guys about cool looking projects that are totally worth your money.

With each installment, we will be featuring five different films picked from the five different categories on the Kickstarter website. That being said, we won’t necessarily have one of each at any given time. But five seems like a good number nonetheless.

There’s some seriously cool stuff on the film section of Kickstarter beyond what we’ve got here, so I recommend you check out the rest of the site. Keep track of how much you spend though, because that cash will go fast

Out of Print New Beverly Cinema

[Project Kickstarter Page]

WHAT IT IS: A documentary about the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles created by a six-year employee. It will also chronicle some of the difficulties facing revival theaters in general in recent years.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: The New Beverly Cinema is one of the longest running revival theaters in Los Angeles. They specialize in double features and show everything on 35mm prints. Not only that, but they’re letting some members of our LA team cohost a screening there next month, so they’re pretty cool.

Beyond that, the debate about 35mm vs. digital is a messy one (and one we’ve recently weighed in on), and it’s one that a documentary film would be uniquely suited to portray. It’s not entirely clear how deeply Out of Print will go into that versus simply doing a blow-by-blow history of the New Beverly, but it definitely sounds like a cool project nonetheless.

Lost Films of H.G. Lewis

[Project Kickstarter Page]

WHAT IT IS: A high-definition digital restoration/preservation of three of director Herschell Gordon Lewis’s presumed-lost sexploitation films (Linda & Abilene, 1969; Ecstasies of Women, 1969; and Black Love, 1971) made from the original camera negatives. If the group gets more money than they ask for, their next step will be to create new prints of the films for physical preservation.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: H. G. Lewis is an incredibly important figure in cinema history. You probably don’t know his name (and shame on you), but he created Blood Feast, the first gore-centric movie, which changed movies forever. None of the three films being restored have been shown in theaters in over forty years nor have any of them seen any kind of home media release. In fact, Wikipedia (wrongly) says that the films simply don’t exist anymore. 

Helping to save those films would be awesome enough, but if this is successful, the group will branch out and attempt to do the same thing to other lost/forgotten films, which would be really cool.

The Canyons Paul Schrader Bret Easton Ellis

[Project Kickstarter Page]

WHAT IT IS: Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis making a movie together.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Because it’s interesting. Seeing widely recognizable names on a Kickstarter page is not something that happens everyday, so it’s worth stopping and looking at when they do. If I had to guess, this could be the type of project that gets the film industry buzzing about Kickstarter in the way the game industry has been recently, especially if it fails. I’d kind of like to see that, actually. Have Freddie Wong and co. hit their mark and then destroy it and (relatively) big named people like Paul Schrader crash and burn.

I don’t know if I think that will happen, especially because all of them probably have enough cash to make up whatever the final difference, but wouldn’t it be interesting? It totally would be. And yeah, this isn’t a recommendation in the same way the others are. It’s just something to watch. 

Welcome to Year Zero

[Project Kickstarter Page]

 WHAT IT IS: An animated feature film zombie-infested noir follow-up to the short film Year Zero, which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: It looks interesting. There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly new or innovative about the storyline (whatever it is, the trailer didn’t give much), but it has a really interesting art style. It looks kind of like a motion comic, actually, which is cool. I don’t go out of my way to see every 2D animated film out there, but I can’t think of any animated films that look quite like it. 

I don’t think it will be the greatest zombie-themed movie since sliced bread, but it’ll be better than I Am Legend at least.

[Project Kickstarter Page]

 WHAT IT IS: A Calvin and Hobbes inspired short film about a college freshman named James and his schizophrenic delusion Alden.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: I can’t tell if this is actually just a short film or intended to become a series, but it’s under the “Short Film” section of Kickstarter, so I am writing this under that pretense, even though I think it’s supposed to eventually become a series. Either way, it looks awesome. The concept alone is enough to sell me on the whole thing, but the two videos on the Kickstarter page (one a trailer, the other an explanation of the project) definitely look funny.

It seems to me like the project is going to be released on Youtube or Vimeo or something for the whole world to see, so even if you don’t contribute it’s definitely something to keep your eye on. But you should contribute, because the guys who are running the whole thing seem really cool.