Things have been super busy as we enter “spooky season”, but for the next couple months, we are going to try to spotlight at least one indie film every week that you can Watch Online for Free! Today we are taking a look at a horror/sci-fi/comedy.
Mandao Returns is from director/writer Scott Dunn and stars Jenny Lorenzo, Jim O’Doherty, Sean Liang, Alexandre Chen, Gina Gomez Dunn, and Alexandre Chen.
Official Description: Jay Mandao astral projects back in time to save the life of a B-movie star. However, as Jay and his friends mess with time, they fall down a rabbit hole of conspiracies, murder, and an insidious Hollywood cult. (Source: Scott Dunn)
Mandao Returns is available to watch online at no cost on Tubi TV, and you can check out the trailer for the independent film here.
Let us know what indie horror flicks we should spotlight in the comments or message us on Twitter!
What is your book, A Season To Avenge, about? Fans of Harry Bosh, Death Wish, The Equalizer or Dirty Harry will love this book! It is an intense and emotional crime fiction thriller about a retired detective turned vigilante who will stop at nothing to hunt down the killer of his best friend’s son.
Jack Wilson is a retired detective in California with extensive experience as an investigator. He has a perfect life until his best friend’s son is murdered while inadvertently interrupting a home burglary. The police investigate the case, but find no obvious leads and the case subsequently stalls. Jack is compelled to start looking into the case and is immediately warned by the lead homicide investigator stop or face criminal charges. Jack now has to decide if he is willing to forfeit the ethical and legal principles he has followed his entire career and risk the likely consequences.
The search leads him to a career criminal and his protégé who are on a vicious drug fueled crime spree that is spiraling out of control. Working alone, Jack must not only try to outmaneuver the lead detective whose intuition tells her Jack is running a parallel investigation, but also attempt to catch the killer. Through the use of unfamiliar and unconventional methods, Jack undertakes a relentless journey attempting to find and bring the killer to his own version of justice.
What inspired A Season To Avenge? The story came to me years ago and once I started writing, the book wrote itself. The content of my writing draws directly from my imagination, coupled with experiences during my 35-year law enforcement career. I spent the majority of that time as a detective and as a detective supervisor. Mark Twain once said, “Write what you know.” I happen to take that quote literally, and this is a world I know extremely well. My book is entertaining and engaging. It’s infused with incredible detail that bring the reader into the fascinating world of crime, policing, and the criminal justice system in a unique way.
Tell us a little about you. Who is Russ J. Taylor? I grew up in Southern California and enjoy the beaches, mountains, and the extraordinary climate. I write books simply out of pure enjoyment and I do not benefit financially in any way. I donate 100% of the proceeds from all of my books to the Los Angeles Mission, an organization I have supported for decades. This wonderful charity provides help, hope, and opportunity to men, women, and children in need.
How can we read A Season To Avenge? My novel is currently on sale in an e-book/Kindle format for only 0.99 cents It’s available on Amazon. My second novel, Return To Avenge, will be available on Amazon in just a few days, on September 1, 2021. While it’s the second book in the series, it’s a standalone book.
In the past we have spotlighted the indie horror flick Char Man from producer/director Kipp Tribble. Recently, we got the chance to exchange messages about the new horror film he produced and co-wrote titled The Stay.
Who? Myself and Scott Hamm wrote and produced the film, with Scott making his directorial debut. Charles Huddleston was our other producer as well as our cinematographer. Scott and I both also star in the film, alongside Nija Okoro, Rob Mayes, and Michele Martin. We also had a fantastic crew and would like to put a spotlight on Robert Felsted, Jr., Ezequiel Garcia Lopez, Ryan Bounphasaysol, and Jaclyn Lopez. They were rockstars during production and we couldn’t have done this without them. In the end, we were happy to receive several offers for distribution, and ultimately assigned North American rights to Gravitas Ventures. Distribution for the rest of the world is being handled by Cardinal XD.
What? Here is the short synopsis… When Hayden (Scott Hamm) realizes his marriage to Misha (Michele Martin) is slowly falling apart, he organizes a secluded couples’ weekend with best friend, Chris (Rob Mayes), and his wife, Nora (Nija Okoro). Though it starts off as a relaxing getaway, they soon encounter an odd caretaker named Bo-Lee (Kipp Tribble) on the property. The vacationing group become increasingly suspicious of Bo-Lee and his possible sinister motives, all while a dangerous secret begins to surface.
Where? About 90% of the film takes place at a secluded Airbnb style rental. It is surrounded by hiking trails and open property, all tended to by the caretaker, Bo-Lee. In reality, we actually filmed at three different locations. The main house was in Aqua Dulce, California, a bit north of Los Angeles, and that had the house, barn, trailer, and horses you see in the movie. The hiking scenes were filmed on a different property not too far from that location. And the scenes set at Hayden’s house and Chris’ garage/backyard, were both filmed at Scott’s mom’s house a few miles south of Los Angeles.
When? We filmed the movie in early 2020… as in the first day of filming was on January 2nd! There was a very tight window for when everyone would be available, so we braved the cold temperatures and went to work, finishing up near the end of the second week of January. Thankfully we got the film in the can and into post production before the world shut down in March of 2020, but the pandemic did delay our post process a bit. The film was released for rent or purchase in North America on March 16, 2021, and just became available on Amazon Prime on June 18th. Our international release is coming soon.
Why? The original idea for the story started because Scott had rented an Airbnb, and thought the process was so easy that you could just rent a property and pretty much do anything in it without prying eyes. Scott and I had worked on a couple of films previously and were looking to do another one together, particularly in the thriller genre. So he came to me with this idea and an outline of characters that are like people most of us know or have in our lives. They were relatable and so were some of the issues they were dealing with… whether it be relationship trouble, unsuccessful attempts at becoming parents, general insecurities, jealousy, or even dealing with an inappropriate weirdo. We set about building a script based on those initial ideas, while leaning into the thriller aspects.
How? People can find The Stay for rent through most cable VOD services, as well as streaming services such as Prime, FandangoNow, Vudu, iTunes/AppleTV, GooglePlay, YouTube Movies, Hoopla, Microsoft Xbox, Vimeo, and more. It is also available on DVD through online stores such as Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Best Buy, etc.
What is the first book in “The Revengist” series, Drug Wars Part 1: Lethal Dosage, about? Lethal Dosage is about detective Frank Malone, River City’s toughest and most violently over the top cop as he battles the most dangerous drug ever let loose on the streets. He takes on the mob with a series of partners until he gets face to face with the source of the poison. Tongue in cheek and full of insane action, Lethal Dosage is one part Dirty Harry and one part The Naked Gun but with a Canadian twist.
What inspired The Revengist? I was a big fan of a trash fiction website (Glorious Trash) that looks at the 70’s and 80’s men’s action/adventure book series like The Executioner, The Butcher, The Assassin, The Penetrator (!), etc. and from there started to pick up the more insane sounding ones at used book stores. Luckily they’re usually cheap and a gold mine of wtf moments. You had writers working with brutal deadlines and little oversight sneaking in some of the most bizarre moments; like one where the author had his character go off on a rant about a certain model Ford for having a faulty carburetor, or another having his character visit the Olive Garden and complain about the food. While lots of those books are garbage, you get some real gems and the schlocky nature fits my sensibilities perfectly. I’d been working on a screenplay about a younger Frank Malone from my movie The Killing Death and decided to switch it too a book series instead. It would be way cheaper that way. So The Revengist is basically an insane 80’s action movie full of one-liners and ludicrous moments like a team-up with a Robot Mountie, fusing ninjas, a gun armed Russian assassin, killer babies, you name it. Pierre Trudeau even makes a cameo! The series is set in 1981 with lots of era topical humor and a Cannon movie vibe.
The series is set in the same universe as my movies and films, so there’s some connections for anyone that’s dived into the whole thing, but you aren’t required to have any more knowledge if you just wanted to enjoy this pulpy thriller. If you always wanted to know what a hyper violent Naked Gun would be like, The Revengist is your answer.
We learned a bit about you, I. D. Russell, in our first book spotlight (Indie Book Spotlight: Heart of Stone), but please tell us a little bit more… I’m busy. I make movies, I write books, I put out YouTube content, I read, I practice martial arts, I’m a Dad, I’m a gamer, and I have way too much knowledge about retro pro-wrestling. I’ve always got something on the go and have loads more books and movies in the pipe. Stay tuned for some wild stuff! I grew up in the 80’s so I love that era of action movies, horror movies, comedies, etc. Everything I’m working on is mixing in bits of what I came up with, like The Monster Squad, Police Academy, Transformers, Night of the Creeps, The Naked Gun, kung fu movies, video games, and schlocky pulp books, etc. At some point, I hope people start to notice.
How can we read The Revengist Book 1: Drug Wars Part 1: Lethal Dosage? You can find the entire Revengist series on Amazon and my website:
Next week sees the return of the world of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead in the new weekly series Skybound X. And I’m not even talking about the lead story in the series being “Rick Grimes 2000” (pictured above left), which is a sci-fi based re-imagining of the fan favorite zombie killer (as introduced in TWD #75). What I’m talking about is the first comic appearance of Clementine from Telltale’s The Walking Dead video game. She will be introduced in a stand alone story in Skybound X before spinning off into her own ongoing titled Clementine, that will be written and drawn by Tillie Walden. I’m excited that we can return to the world established in The Walking Dead, and while I love Kirkman, I’m also excited to see someone new playing in his sandbox. Check out these awesome variant covers featuring Clementine (I’ll be picking up the cover on the right):
SKYBOUND X #1 Official Description: Celebrate a sensational 10 years of Skybound with a cavalcade of your favorite creators and all-new stories of your favorite series past, present, and future! Each issue of this oversized, weekly series will kick off with a new chapter of a serialized THE WALKING DEAD story – RICK GRIMES 2000 – by ROBERT KIRKMAN & RYAN OTTLEY!
In addition, we’ll be debuting all-new series and characters every issue, starting with the first appearance of the most requested WALKING DEAD character of all-time: Clementine, star of the bestselling Telltale’s The Walking Dead video game series! Did we mention new ULTRAMEGA and MANIFEST DESTINY stories?! If you want to know what to expect in Skybound’s next 10 years, it all starts here! Writer: Robert Kirkman | Artist: Ryan Ottley
The first issue of Skybound X hits stores on July 7th!
What is your book, The Curse of Odin, about? It’s a steampunk adventure, set in an alternative version of Victorian London, and revolves around a teenage pickpocket named Blink, an inventist (not inventor) named Thaddeus Q Abernathy, and a 2,000 year old woman by the name of Lady Talány. An anarchist called Legren plans to attack the city as part of a nefarious plot. Blink, while attempting to steal from Abernathy one night, but gets caught up in the hunt for the terrorist, and in doing so, uncovers a secret world of myth and monster hidden beneath the London of man and machine.
What inspired this story? Honestly, there’s a few things. I’m a massive fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories and read them once a year. There’s something appealing about anti-heroes like Holmes and the chaotic good they represent, so without a doubt, those stories were a big inspiration for me. I’m a history nerd at heart, and while I love sci-fi and fantasy, stories of Britain from yesteryear were hugely important to me. They allowed me to create a world which was driven by mechanical devices, but still had the feeling of a recognizable historical time-period (even if it’s an alternative one).
Tell us a little about you. Who is Jo Kutya? I don’t know what to say. I’m a gardener, film-buff and history lover, a bit of a world traveller, and an objectively terrible cook!
How can we read The Curse of Odin? It’s available on Kindle and paperback from Amazon, along with other absolutely fantastic titles from the other authors in the Shadow Spark Publishing roster.
The past two weeks, the independent film and TV distributor Indie Rights Movies have opened the floodgates of their expansive movie catalog on YouTube. And many more movies of all genres are scheduled to premiere on the platform over the next two months. Included in the mix of movies released have been more than 20 documentaries (click here for a playlist of docs). We’re spotlighting three that stand out in the crowd…
The Town That Loved Bigfoot Official Description: This down-home documentary chronicles the struggles of a sleepy town in Alabama as it’s sparked back to life by embracing local lore and learning to love Bigfoot. (YouTube) Watch Online
Halloween In A Box Official Description: Hear the story behind beloved Halloween costume manufacturer Ben Cooper Inc. Learn about the Star Wars license, the Batman license and the potential Spiderman cover-up! (YouTube) Watch Online
I Want To Believe Official Description: A thrilling study of the UFO phenomenon and the people who dedicate their lives to it. (YouTube) Watch Online