In Loving Memory – Sept/Oct Blog

The finalists were announced today for the ABCS of Death part 2 short film competition and my film was not chosen. Which is fine and was expected. A big reason we didn’t get as many views/likes as I had hoped was because I didn’t promote as much as I should have. Also the night before we shot M is for Mass I was making a prop/cutting it. I was cutting down and I used to much pressure and the blade came down on my left index finger, above the knuckle. I was doing this late at night at about 11pm and the cut was deep enough that I had to go to the ER with my girlfriend. I got stitches, which by the way did hurt, and when we left it was around 2-2:30am. The shoot on Saturday was at 3pm but I need to do errands before hand so that sucked.

Then that same night our cat Marilyn wasn’t feeling well and he peed the bed; since June 2013 he was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Then on my way to the location to shoot it starts to rain, hard. Out of all the days in September, in Summer it fucking rains. Thankfully we were shooting inside, but it was still an annoyance. The shoot went really well though.

In between I had gotten an official email saying my short film The Can-Cannibals had been accepted to a film festival, so I promoted it and planned on attending the festival, but then I get a second email saying it wasn’t accepted. Luckily mutual friends was helping to organize the festival and found out that the person in charge thought my film would be selected so she prematurely sent out an official email before the schedule was official. If it wasn’t for my friends co-organizing the festival then would I had never received an email informing me it wasn’t being shown? Would I have showed up like a fucking idiot and sat there just waiting for my film to pop up on the screen? The woman sent me an apology, again after my friends intervened. They even did their best to make up for the embarrassment and confusion by having it screen before the festival started, but I never found out if it was part of the official selection or not.

So I edited M is for Mass, put it up on youtube/abcs of death entry page and since then we were taking care of our cat Marilyn. He eventually passed on 10/20 and it brought extreme sadness into our lives, still does. My girlfriend wrote a loving memorial for him and you can read it at her blog: http://www.missmuffcake.com/2013/11/memories-and-love-for-best-kitty-ever.html

217237_10150166439271378_566101377_7250558_2084102_nMy girlfriend had Marilyn for 16 years and out of those 16 years I was in his life for 7 and a half. He was an awesome cat, he had one of the most defined personalities in a cat I’ve ever seen. He loved weird foods like avocado, spaghetti noodles, vegan mac and cheese, and much more. When we would come home, I would open the door and he’d hop down from his perch, or where ever he was and greet us at the door, like a dog. He didn’t just treat us like we were the ones that provided food, he truly loved us and especially Kendy (my girlfriend). He was a fighter, he hung in there to be with us for as long as he could. His will was strong, his medical conditions were holding him back and I know if he could he’d still be here right now. I want to write more but there’s so much to write but it hurts to write. He was king of the castle. We miss him. We have his ashes. And my girlfriend made an altar for him on Dias De Los Muertos. We love him.

But once he passed I did not give a shit about some online competition. I couldn’t promote my own film. But with one last effort I wrote an email to our local newspaper asking if they can simply promote not only my film but two other Modesto film marker’s who had entered into this worldwide competition. I even sent them messages/tweets on twitter, but got absolute nothing in return. They did not respond to my email, and they couldn’t even take the time to press the “re-tweet” button on twitter. Fucking bullshit. Where I live, Modesto, they do not give a shit about film let alone indie film. Art in this town is geared toward children and the elderly, and for whatever fucking reason they choose to ignore the 18-35 year old demographic. But even when we do have younger business owners/artists they want the community to support them but they don’t support the community back. I had a local cafe tell me he didn’t want to put up a flyer because his independent business was, “all about the coffee.” His establishment still exists in some form but he’s no longer the owner.

With all that shit, my love for film making has not dissipated, it is not gone! I have already entered Mass into another online competition and I am looking into film festivals. My short was made to be self-contained in a 3 minute format so I’m keeping it the same. I only added two things: One was an extra slightly longer shot of the actor Colton bleeding from his head and the other thing I added was credits. So it’s still the same movie. But I’m probably taking it off youtube while I enter festivals. It will come back online eventually. Though I went on about negatives, it’s because film/art is so important to me and I’m very passionate about it. And I get passionate when art is mishandled, ignored or abused; in one way or another.

I’m also working on a new script. This blog has gone on too long, so I’ll save details about the new script for later.

Sadness and anger was my September and October, but we’re living and I can keep going on.

Take care,
Matt

Two Can-Cannibals Bay Area Screenings in Oct!

Great news! The Can-Cannibals Grindhouse Trailers will be screened twice in October!

First it will be shown at the East Bay Indie Scream Festival on Thursday Oct. 17 in Oakland, CA at The New Parish. 579 18th Street (at San Pablo), Oakland, CA

Hosted by Jamie DeWolf (Tourette’s without Regrets) & Sidney Sin (Kiss Kill Consume). There’s a costume contest and there will also be burlesque performances recreating classic scenes from your favorite horror flicks! Variety Show includes Lola Martinet, Lady Satan, Meeks Baker, Ophelia Coeur de Noir, Patricia Misery, Balla Fiya, Hunny Bunnah, Szandora LaVey & Prisoners of Love!

Judges: Victor Miller Screenwriter of Friday the 13th, Wednesday Mourning of Oddities San Francisco, Kelly Vance East Bay Express Movie Reviewer, Jim “Kingfish” Sweeny Executive Producer of the Hubba Hubba Review, Kahlil Karn & Kate Freyer of the Oakland Underground Film festival.

Scream Fest is brought to you by the East Bay Express, in collaboration with the Oakland Underground Film Festival, Tourettes Without Regrets & Loakal.

Whole event is only $10!

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/411000399005002/?ref=2&ref_dashboard_filter=calendar

Second screening is the 7th Annual BCM Horror Film Festival in Berkeley, CA on Saturday, Oct 26 at Berkeley Community Media 2239 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA.

This festival also has a costume contest. It also has raffle prizes which are donated from local businesses, theaters and restaurants encouraging localism and helping to spotlight the richness of culture in Berkeley! Admission is only $10 bucks!

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/600428750007774/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar

I’m really grateful for all the festivals that have screened The Can-Cannibals, I’m amazed how we shot it over a year ago and ever since it’s been screened all over California. I absolutely love the East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, etc) and I’m really happy how much play it’s gotten in there. I hope to attend both festivals, really excited about both of them.

Carnage Asada Film Festival Screening

Poster I made for the film festival.

This past Saturday was the Carnage Asada film festival where 8 horror/grindhouse films by local CA film makers were screened. My faux trailer The Can-Cannibals screened along with my brother’s feature length Cinco De Mayo in our home town Modesto, CA at the State Theater. The organizers of the festival are also Modesto film makers, and they screened their grindhouse feature length, Oscar’s Theme 2, at the end of the show. Sadly (to my knowledge) a program was never made for the festival so I can’t share the other short films info or links. This was the first time they organized a film festival, so there was some mistakes and missteps along the way but it ended up being a real fun evening. I’m hoping it will happen again.

It was really fun to have it shown at our only independent movie theater in Modesto and one of the few, if only, indie theaters in the county. The audience was really receptive and would cheer at some of the deaths, which is awesome, that’s what we want. Personally with all the festivals my project has played, audience participate is actually rare. Which is too bad, because it can make it real fun and much more enjoyable. With my project, people just need to let loose and not take it so seriously.

I forgot to take photos but here are a few from other people, lol.

from The State Theater’s facebook https://www.facebook.com/thestatetheatre

My brother and his girlfriend Angie, the writing and directing duo of A & P Productions https://www.facebook.com/aandpproductions

 

Cast of Cinco De Mayo

 

A Nightmare To Remember – Film Festival Screening

ANTR-Poster-2013

This Saturday The Can-Cannibals Double Feature (Grindhouse Trailers) will be screen at the 2013 A Nightmare To Remember International Horror Film Festival in San Francisco, CA. It’s an independent film festival ran by Miss Misery a local horror tv host. I hope to attend the event to support my film and the festival. If I do I’ll post pictures.

Date: June 15 at 7:00pm
Location: The Opera Plaza 601 Van Ness Ave San Francisco, CA 94102

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/190941684388089/

Official website: http://www.anightmaretoremember.com

Also on June 22nd is the auditions for my next horror project, “Trap, Neuter, Kill!”
Check out the auditions here: http://www.alwayswrongfilm.com/2013/05/27/trap-neuter-kill-auditions/

2013 Horror Hotel: International Festival Screening and Live Can-Cannibal Footage

Great news! The faux grindhouse trailers The Can-Cannibals Double Feature has been selection to screen at the 2013 Horror Hotel: International Festival and Convention and has won 2nd place in the best trailer category. http://www.horrorhotel.net/page7.php

It will be screen on Saturday, May 18th in Hudson, Ohio.
https://www.facebook.com/events/523892277653028/?ref=ts&fref=ts

I also uploaded live raw footage from The Can-Cannibals 5th Year Anniversary Show at the Oakland Metro Operahouse on Feb. 09, 2013. Also there’s a couple of brief interviews with two of the Cannibals. I was shooting by myself so the camera is shaky, sorry!

Part 1.

Part 2.

Brutal As Hell Review of The Can-Cannibals Double Feature

Here’s another review of The Can-Cannibals Double Feature; that was just posted! The review was written by Keri O’Shea for the website Brutal As Hell. We not only get a new review/perspective on the faux trailer (obviously), but we can a female perspective as well, which is awesome.

In the review, she mentions a term that’s being used to describe modern exploitation movies (Machete, Father’s Day, Dead Hooker in a Trunk, etc) that have been coming out that were influenced by the 70s/80s grindhouse films. The term is “rewindhouse.” I’ve never heard of it until this review, so to the reviewer’s disdain I just might start using the term, lol. I’m not entirely committed to it though. Anyways not only check out the review but the whole website too.

Excerpt from the review:

“But, what you do get is a sense of fun from proceedings and of a cast enjoying the experience of filming. Hell, I’d have been happy to see the girls (a real-life burlesque troupe) going even more over-the-top in their performances than they did, and I was happy that they got some good old-fashioned lo-fi gore in there. A grindhouse trailer ain’t complete without some blood and guts. Of the two ‘trailers’, I think Rebelle’s Revenge is the superior one for me: one big reason for this is that Courtney Cipriani as Rebelle brings the right sort of sneering attractiveness to her role. She looks the part and talks the talk, and we get the best lines of the film in this half of the reel. ” – Keri O’Shea (Brutal As Hell).

Read the whole review: http://www.brutalashell.com/2012/11/horror-in-short-the-can-cannibals-double-feature/

Also for any other short filmmakers, Brutal As Hell is looking for short films to review and here’s the article link: http://www.brutalashell.com/2012/10/short-film-makers-brutal-as-hell-wants-you-2/comment-page-1/#comment-75185

Daily Grindhouse Interview and Promote Horror

Man I’m horrible at keeping a blog, lol. Here’s some self-promotion but it comes from other websites! First my short film was featured and had a nice/short review on Daily Grindhouse. I also had the honor of being interview for the site also. I’ll be honest and this is the first time I’ve every been interviewed regarding one of my films. Also this project (The Can-Cannibals Double Feature) is the first project that has given me the opportunity to be covered by other websites too. It’s real exciting. So anyways, it was a great interview with Daily Grindhouse and even if you know me/worked with me I think you should read my interview because there’s some real insight into the way I work and what’s coming up next. I’m not saying I give brilliant answers that all should read, but it’s worth a read 🙂

From the review:

“Those familiar with the fake trailers in Tarantino/Rodriguez’s GRINDHOUSE will know what to expect here, and director Ragsdale has done a quality job replicating the look, feel and soundtrack of classic exploitation. It’s all quite intentionally silly – and features some of the least convincing fake intestines I’ve ever seen – but it’s nasty, bloody fun and doesn’t overstay its welcome. The acting from the Can-Cannibal gals is inconsistent (to say the least), but fans of 70s female gang films like Jack Hill’s SWITCHBLADE SISTERS will find plenty to love here.” – Doug (Daily Grindhouse)

Feature/Review: http://dailygrindhouse.com/thewire/no-budget-nightmares-short-film-round-up-the-end-2012-the-can-cannibals-double-feature-2012-and-a-certain-kind-of-monster-2012/

Interview: http://dailygrindhouse.com/thewire/no-budget-nightmares-interview-with-the-can-cannibals-double-feature-director-matthew-ragsdale/

Lastly, there’s a great promo on PromoteHorror.com. The website promotes pretty much everything horror related, like films, books, kickstarters, etc. It’s a great write-up and I’m really appreciative of the detail put into it, which I didn’t supply to the writer.

My promo: http://www.promotehorror.com/2012/11/watch-can-cannibals-double-feature-today.html

Rmar Production Update and ITSA Film Festival 2012

Just a quick update on my new project “Rmar,” which is a music video for Gabber Nullification Project. This is my second video for the band. If you read my earlier blog post in September I posted an open call audition for Rmar. I had to cut some characters out which was fine because I cut some extra roles and one character that was only added for one gag in the video. But sadly one person dropped out and I had to cut a major character from the video. I don’t mind, that shit happens, but it could have been handled better on the actor’s part. But now looking at the footage I think the video will work better without these characters. I always have the tendency to shoot too much footage, which can ruin the flow of the scenes and I just have to cut out good material because of time.

We shot the video in two days and it was great. The weather was great, we shot locally and had very few props or costumes. I and some actors were late on both shoots, but that was the only problem we ran into. I loved working with actors from previous projects but I was also able to cast some new faces. Because of my regular work schedule, it will take quite a bit of time to edit this thing together. So to my actors: please be patient with me 🙂

On Saturday (November 3rd) was the screening of The Can-Cannibals in Sonora, CA at the 2012 ITSA Film Festival. My girlfriend and I attended the festival but before we arrived we went to Murphys, CA and ate vegan beet burger sliders on a house made challah bun with house made chips on the side at Mineral. It was really fucking good! Anyone in the area seriously has to go try them, even if you’re not vegan you will love them.

We attended the horror segment of ITSA Film Festival called Reel Scary. The Can-Cannibals kicked off the event by screening first. The festival was real fun. This was our second time attending; the first time was for the Attack of the Killer UFOs music video. This time I got to speak for a little bit to the crowd about the project. And got to talk to a couple of cool people about film. Hopefully we stay in contact because it’s really important for our local film community to stay connected.

Here are a couple of short films that I really enjoyed:

He Dies At The End. Written & Directed by Damian Mc Carthy.

Dark Times by Peter Horn & Jared Marshall

More updates coming soon!

Horrible Imaginings Art Gallery Screening

Very cool news! The Can-Cannibals (Grindhouse Trailers) will be screen at the Horrible Imaginings Art Gallery in San Diego, CA! The art reception starts Wednesday, October 24th at 7pm. Location: 10th Avenue Theatre 3rd Floor – 930 10th Ave San Diego, CA and will run for 2.5 weeks.

Just to make it clear, my film was not an official selection of the festival, but it’s still really cool to be given the opportunity to have my work shown in an art gallery, along with other cool films and to be exposed to a new audience.

The art show is in conjunction with the the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival; it will showcase dark or macabre artwork from a variety of artists working in a variety of mediums.

A number of shorts and one feature film will run on a loop in the Gallery side room.
Short Films:
This Little Light by Jeff Cohlman
The Transmission by Brian Lonano
Killing Candi by Julie Ufema
Sacha the Bear by Francois Morisset
Thy Kill be Done by Greg Hanson and Casey Regan
The Can-Cannibals by Matthew Ragsdale
Feature Film:
Video Diary of a Lost Girl by Lindsay Denniberg

VIDEO DIARY OF A LOST GIRL Trailer from Lindsay Denniberg on Vimeo.

Art Show Schedule: http://www.hifilmfest.com/newspost/art-gallery-opening-reception-october-24th/

Film Festival Schedule: http://www.hifilmfest.com/films-and-showtimes/

2012 ITSA Film Festival and Fright Bites Film Festival Screenings

More great news! The Can-Cannibals (Grindhouse Trailers) was accepted to ITSA Film Festival (in Sonora, CA) and Fright Bites Film Festival (in Elgin, Illinois). Fright Bites is part of Monster Mash Up and presented by Horror Society.

First up is the Fright Bites Film Festival: The Can-Cannibals will screen on Friday, October 26th at 7:40pm at 166 Symphony Way, Elgin, Illinois 60120.

Festival schedule: http://www.elginmonstermashup.com/movies/fright-bites/selections/

Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/336924056394388/

Then The Can-Cannibals will screen at ITSA Film Festival as part of their REEL SCARY Segment on Saturday, November 3. It will actually kick off the segment when it screens first at 8:30pm at the Sonora Opera Hall 250 S. Washington St., Sonora, California 95370.

Festival schedule: http://itsafilmfestival.com/2012-schedule-of-events/

Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/427849377241191/

I’ll be in attendance (with my girlfriend) at the ITSA Film Festival on Saturday. It was fun last year and I’m sure with the added horror segment it will be a lot of fun this year.