Yesterday I asked indie filmmakers on Twitter to share their movies that are currently available to watch on Tubi TV for free! As I hoped for, we got a really diverse mix of independent films that really showcases that there is something available for everyone. Here are 5 indie flicks that you can watch tonight…
The Inevitable Death of the Crab Director: Ahcitz Azcona Starring: Costanza Andrade, Ahcitz Azcona, Ricardo Niño, Jesus Hernandez, and Yuriria Munguia. Description: An anonymous death threat to entrepreneur Carlos against his family in Mexico leads to the discovery of a high-level political corruption racket. (Source: Tubi) Click here to watch on Tubi TV
Wheat Soup Directors: Gerald Saul & Brian Stockton Starring: Shaf Hussein, Sandi Happy, Gord Wilson, Leonard Cyrman, Mike Benny, and Bob Campbell. Description: In a post-apocalyptic future, a wheat farmer embarks upon a journey and encounters a variety of unusual characters, while traveling across the land. (Source: Tubi) Click here to watch on Tubi TV
Noah’s Shark Director: Mark Polonia Starring: Jeff Kirkendall, Tim Hatch, Jamie Morgan, Samantha Coolidge, and Ryan Dalton. Description: A televangelist and his team set out to find the fabled Noah’s Ark, but discover it is guarded by an ancient curse and a deadly great white shark. (Source: Tubi) Click here to watch on Tubi TV
The Mix Director: Chris Mollica & Greg Townsend Starring: Chris Mollica, Brian Silliman, and Cyrina Fiallo. Description: Would you kidnap a man for stealing your cookies? Sal, the hapless owner of a home grown cookie company places his hopes for financial and personal success in the hands of the enigmatic Joshua Vandersteem. After the deal goes bad, Sal is forced into desperate action. Relationships are tested, feelings are hurt and ultimately blood is drawn. Can Sal redeem his misdeeds or will this be the way the cookie crumbles? (Source: Tubi) Click here to watch on Tubi TV
My Best Friend’s Famous Directors: Kevin Ignatius Starring: Nick Psinakis, Mindy Sterling, Ryan O’Neal, Anne Akhila, and Darryl Gudmundson. Description: An insecure New Yorker moves to Los Angeles and grapples with jealousy when his less-talented best friend becomes a star on a hit television show. (Source: Tubi) Click here to watch on Tubi TV
What recent indies have you watched on Tubi TV? What is your favorite platform to watch indies on?
There are so many horror flicks available on Tubi TV that it can be overwhelming. We’re going to take a look at 3 of the indie horror flicks that are available to watch right now from your computer or living room!
Pungo – A Witch’s Tale Director: Philip J. Cook Starring: Mark Hyde, Matthew Sharpe, Cathryn Benson, Conor Marsh, Morgan Flanagan. Description: A burned-out ex-Navy SEAL and an emotionally damaged firefighter work together as handymen in rural Virginia. Things turn surreal when a renovation job becomes a journey to another world to rescue their client from a witch bent on revenge. (Source: Philip J Cook) Click here to watch on Tubi TV
The Killing Death Director: Ian Russell Starring: Jeremy Dangerfield, Tyhr Trubiak, Neil Reimer, Stephen Washen, Veronica Ternopolski, Darren Felbel, Caley Gibson, David Annandale, Jay Van Deventer, Christine Leong. Description: Chicago Phil travels through his past relations butchering them in horrific ways. Frank, a veteran cop leads Jimmy through his first case trying to piece together the seemingly unrelated crimes. The two paths converge in hilarious fashion through inept bungling on both sides. (Source: Zellco Entertainment) Click here to watch on Tubi TV
They Live Inside Us Director: Michael Ballif Starring: James Morris, Hailey Nebeker, Stevie Dutson, Emily Broschinsky, Jack Beck, Thomas Morris, Shelby Thomas, Emily Ashby, Jake Watters Description: Follows the story of Jake, a man consumed with writer’s block after the recent loss of his wife. In hope of finding inspiration for his next project, he takes his daughter Dani to spend Halloween night in the notoriously haunted Booth House- a legendary place, shrouded in mystery, which has laid vacant for years. Jake soon discovers there is something sinister lurking inside, and that he is now being consumed by his own horror story. (Source: Gravitas Ventures) Click here to watch on Tubi TV
What horror movies have you been watching on Tubi TV?Share your recommendations/links in the comments and with us on Twitter!
This past weekend Zellco Entertainment, the film production/distribution company behind Dark Forest, Cybernetic Showdown, and The Killing Death, released three new short movies onto the platform Gumroad. Check them out and help #SupportIndieFilm!
Violets are Blue Official Description: Daniel moves into a Seniors’ residence because he is lonely. There he meets Violet and they fall in love. However, Violet’s daughter-in-law does not approve of her starting a new relationship and does everything in her power to keep them apart. A compelling short film with incredibly realistic performances from the two leads. Watch Online
Conversations after Church Official Description: Six Christians face a dark night of the soul that leads them to question everything they believe. A short spirituality/faith based documentary. Watch Online
Intel Official Description: Allison, a young woman, would like to switch to the more exciting trade of intelligence officer. A short spy thriller. Watch Online
Cybernetic Showdown from Ian Russell is a micro budget comedy/sci-fi flick about a world overrun by mutants, and the one man that stands in-between them and the last city. The movie stars Tyhr Trubiak, Stephen Washen, and Veronica Ternopolski.
Zellco Entertainment presents the found footage horror flick Blood Mountain. Directed by Jason Wan Lim, the movie features three mountain bikers on a trip through the mountains when one disappears and they discover they are in the sites of a group of hunters. The movie stars Stafford Perry, Joe Perry, Joshua Murdoch, Genevieve Carre, Jason Schneider, and Meredith Bailey.
You can watch Blood Mountain on Amazon Video (free with a Prime membership) or purchase/rent it on Gumroad.
Last month we learned more about Ian Russell’s debut independent film The Killing Death, a micro budget horror comedy. This month we chatted with him about his b sci-fi flick Cybernetic Showdown!
When “mutants invade the last city left on earth. Only one man stands in their way, but he’s running out of bullets.”
When? Cybernetic Showdown was shot in 2007 over nine days at a cost of about $1000 (Canadian). The movie was in post-production hell for 12 years before finally being finished and released in October of 2019. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic future Winnipeg under attack from flesh-eating mutants.
The movie was made the summer following my previous feature, The Killing Death, using much of the same cast but with a bigger scope and ambition. This ambition, combined with a whole bunch of factors kept the movie on various hard drives for so long that I sometimes wondered if it would ever come out. It took Zellco’s interest in The Killing Death to provide the final kick in the pants to complete the movie and get it out there. But before you think that it was just laziness or distraction that delayed Cybernetic Showdown, I’ll present to you the photo of my flame damaged iMac as backup.
Cybernetic Showdown was supposed to have Sega CD FMV game quality visual effects, so much of what was filmed was deliberately done with a “add it in post” mentality. We didn’t bother with a lot of fake blood, we put green screen everywhere, and used some shoddy props, all in the thought that it would look great when finished later. The only problem was that we had no understanding of how long those kind of effects would take. An actor volunteered to do some of the work, but quickly came up against the reality of the monumental task before him. He had a life and a job and could only do so much. So I found help. Things were plugging along fine until the great computer fire that (I thought) wiped out everything done up to that point.
Needless to say I was pretty dejected. I didn’t want to have to re-edit the movie, let alone re-do the few effects that I’d done, but luckily the hard drive was able to be salvaged and work could continue. But time marches on and these things take time. A bit of work would get done but then a major life change would get in the way. Moving out, having a kid, buying a house, changing jobs (multiple times), having another kid, getting married, etc. I couldn’t very well come down on volunteers when this was mostly my fault. So, as YouTube tutorials grew and visual effects work became more intuitive, I learned what I needed to do and started filling in the blanks myself. But the reality is that I never would have been able to get this thing done without local whizkid Ryan Hill, who was paid in expensive vodka and deserved way more.
The movie played in a local theatre to a big audience that shockingly seemed to enjoy it! So, now you can watch it on Amazon Prime and hopefully soon on DVD!
What? Cybernetic Showdown was a mishmash of inspirations, from the obvious (The Omega Man, Rocket Robin Hood, kung fu movies) to the less so (Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter). This was really my attempt at making a goofy 80’s action movie spoof a few years before 80’s nostalgia really kicked in. Some of what we did, like using the Nintendo Power Glove as a substitute for a robotic hand, having a video game themed animation sequence, would be used in other movies while this one was lost in the ether. I’d like to think that we were ahead of the curve, but the reality is that this movie is so tiny that most people would have never seen it had it actually come out when it was supposed to.
Taking what I’d learned from making The Killing Death, I figured I’d expand my vision for a follow up and threw everything I could into this one, all while keeping the cheapness factor foremost in my mind. That meant places I could use for free but looked like they might exist in a post-apocalyptic world.
The story is really meant to be a comedic version of the tough guy action hero trope, so much so that Jimmy is supposed to be knowingly portraying himself as that trope for what he believes is the benefit of the survivors and rookie cops. He’s a bit of a buffoon, but still competent. Every now and again, the armor comes down to show the person behind the eye patch, but not so much that the character isn’t still silly. I don’t know if that meta aspect of the story comes across or if people just look at this as a goofy parody, but as long as they’re laughing, I can’t complain.
Where? The movie is supposed to take place in a post-apocalyptic Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It’s meant to be funny that the only city left on earth is Winnipeg, but we’re so isolated sometimes that it can feel like we already are. The film was shot in Winnipeg and the surrounding area, including an abandoned quarry, the ruins of a monastery, a dilapidated barn south of town, a local bar, an office, an artists studio, and a shockingly unsafe roof in the downtown.
This time I wanted to be more professional, so I secured a few permits, but that created new complications as it meant that we had much more pressure to get everything we needed on that specific day. It also meant that if something didn’t turn out, I had to roll with it. I’d like to think that considering the budget and what I had access to, I made the best of it, but a movie like this really needs a stronger setting established, and we just couldn’t do large scale crowd scenes or set dressing. You make do with what you have and hope the concept gets across anyway.
Who? I [Ian Russell] wrote, directed, edited, produced, stunt choreographed, acted in, location scouted, etc., Cybernetic Showdown. Pick a job and I probably did it. This time around I wanted more of a “real” crew, and tried to keep people on specific jobs where possible, but things pop up that toss monkey wrenches into the best laid plans. I usually set up the camera and (when we used them) the lights, but a few others helped out as well. One interesting challenge came the day that nobody from the crew showed up! Whatever actor wasn’t on screen had to either hold the camera or the boom (or both!) That was a bit of a disaster, but we made it through. The scene was supposed to be much grander and more action filled but I didn’t have the manpower and had to drastically scale it down. What made it worse was that it was the opening of the movie! So much for the first impression.
Despite my intentions, when you’re relying on volunteers working for food, you have to accept that you’re going to get amateurs and people just looking to learn. Heck, we were learning too, so the whole project was much more laid back and lax than a “real” movie. Of course nothing turned out like I’d imagined. Some of it was actually better (the video game fight scene) but the whole thing was an incredible crash course and I learned so much from my mistakes that I hope I can correct on the next movie.
The visual effects were a hodgepodge of work from many different people. Tyhr Trubiak (the movie’s lead) did some, Ryan Hill did a lot, and I did a few as well. The ease of doing this stuff now versus in 2007 is night and day. There are so many more places to go for help today and the visual effects website Productioncrate was a life saver. I honestly don’t think the movie would have turned out half as well as it did had we been able to finish it in 2007, so maybe the delay was a boon in disguise.
The cast of this one once again rose above the material. The lead was played by Tyhr Trubiak who was just incredible. He was game for anything, from super detailed fight choreography that left him drenched in sweat (and maybe a few pounds lighter) to climbing sheer quarry walls, kissing scenes, getting splashed with water, endless Yop drinks, to even pounding back a Pepsi (which he hates). He was the face of the movie and without him, it falls apart. The rest of the cast were brought back from The Killing Death with Jeremy Dangerfield playing The Frank Computer, Darren Felbel playing the Keeper of the Lore, and Veronica Ternopolski playing the love interest. I loved working with so many great actors and great people and it made the whole thing more of a lark than a serious enterprise.
If you look closely, you’ll see me more than a few times in the movie. That’s because I was needed as a stunt performer. I’m a black belt in Hapkido (although I wasn’t then) and I used some fellow students to take break falls and try to give the fight scenes a bit more of a kick. Some turned out better than others and that was because I was still figuring out how to shoot and stage them as I went. In the years since, I’ve also taken up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so I’m pretty sure the next time I do something like this, I could really bring a few cool new tricks to the table!
Why? Cybernetic Showdown was made because we wanted to make another movie after making The Killing Death! I learned so much on that project and made so many mistakes that I (naively) thought I could do much better the second time. I tried to avoid all that went wrong in the first movie with the second. In theory, that was sound, but in practice, it just meant that we made all new mistakes.
I had the camera and equipment already, I knew actors, and could get locations cheap, so why not make a movie? At the time, I saw no reason why I couldn’t be constantly pumping out features with that same group. I had more scripts written and ready to go and was all set to be my own little production unit of no-budget schlock. But then the delays happened and I told myself that I wasn’t going to start something new without finishing the previous project. If I’m being honest, that was just a way to avoid doing more. I thought that I wasn’t going to be like my hero Orson Welles and just leave an endless string of unfinished projects, I was going to be the guy who finishes what he starts, but instead I let that idea take over and didn’t make another feature in all the years that Cybernetic Showdown sat on the shelf. All those scripts are still sitting in my drawer and now that I have completed the long unfinished albatross, I hope to get back on track making more movies.
Unfortunately COVID hit and everything is on hold for now.
Cybernetic Showdown was supposed to be another step in my filmmaking journey. A bigger scope, a grander vision. It was supposed to be another learning opportunity for everyone involved. If things had gone the right way, it would have been a stepping stone to bigger and better things much faster. As it is, it’s a fun, if flawed bit of goofiness that I hope people enjoy without taking too seriously. There will be a novelization coming out in the future that is going to fix a lot of what went wrong, so stay tuned for that! Frank and Jimmy have lots more adventures in my books, so if you like the style of humor you see on screen, you may like those as well.
How? I was about to film another feature before the COVID-pocalype, but that’s been put on hold until the restrictions lighten up a little here. In the twelve years that Cybernetic Showdown sat on the shelf, I was keeping busy publishing books, making YouTube videos, and writing new screenplays. Everything I’ve been doing all connects, so The Killing Deathand Cybernetic Showdown are a part of the same universe, using the same characters. Frank and Jimmy have loads more adventures on the page and will soon (if everything goes well) have even more on the screen.
Later in the week we will have a full spotlight for Cybernetic Showdown, a micro budget B-Sci-Fi movie that lovingly goofs on 80s action movies, so now is a good time to check out the movie’s teaser trailer!
The movie is available for purchase or rental on Amazon & Gumroad.