Erica Summers’ Mister White – The Review

I finally had the opportunity to see my daughter’s hard work on the big screen (and of course the hard work of many, many others). This is as unbiased a review as I can manage. Here my daughter is applying makeup to a cast member while her loving husband looks on.

moiramisterwhiteMister White (2013) – Not Rated (but generally ‘R’ material for violence and language) – DVDs available for sale here.

Mister White

“When a motley group of college freshmen choose bizarre Tyler Rooney as the new target for their juvenile pranks, Tyler calls upon hoodoo-cursed Mister White to exact a violent and bloody revenge.”

First off, I cannot believe that this movie was made for a mere $5,000. Admittedly it helps when one person is not just the writer and director but also producer, editor, cinematographer, sound mixer, and special effects artist. Erica Summers manages to do all of that and still avoid many of the pitfalls of microbudgeting. The opening titles, like the rest of the movie, show a mastery of pacing. The music and sound effects were sparingly used and very effective.

Mister White takes a hoary horror trope – a group of attractive twenty-somethings make a terrible mistake and are hunted down for it – and puts a fresh spin on it. Erica firmly and deftly incorporates the currently trendy topic of bullying throughout the film and one particular peer pressure scene was rather difficult to watch, due to its authenticity.

Plotting is intricate with many fascinating reveals along the way. Erica did a fantastic job of knowing exactly when to reveal the titular Mister White. We get a sense of his presence early on as Tyler talks to himself but we don’t get our first good look until we reach the asylum and even then he is kept in the background. Mister White continues to be teased in dribs and drabs, lurking around corners and in the distance until the killing starts.

Acting is generally good if a little uneven. The leads are in good hands. Andy Salgado’s tiny frame, delicate features, and odd mannerisms mark his Tyler Rooney for bullying almost immediately. The beautiful Amber Watson shows a good bit of range as our confused, sensitive protagonist who seems prone to making bad but believable choices, Summer Mills.The other young people have no favors done to them by having to play vile, vapid characters but acquit themselves well. One of the young gentleman appears to have been hired for his very serious six-pack.

Carl Summers and the prosthetics make for quite a menacing Mister White. I love knowing how some of the shots were done from my one day on set. Still my favorite performance has to be that of John Salamone, seen in flashbacks as the evil Benjamin White. He was really scary without any of the prosthetics. The death scenes are carefully managed, with some seriously good special effects.

I really enjoyed Mister White and thought it was a quite well done low-budget movie. Honestly, I was blown away by how much Erica was able to accomplish on that budget. My only nitpick was that I didn’t feel that there was enough done with the chess motif featured in the film and some of the posters. It felt like there was perhaps a scene cut somewhere and it seemed to undercut the strength of a later scene.

Look for Mister White at a horror festival near you or better still support Erica and my daughter by purchasing a copy of the DVD here. Honestly I’ll stop shilling now though I intend to review Erica’s earlier film, Loverboy sometime next week.

 

 

Marion Theater – Ocala, Florida

On my trip to Florida for my daughter’s movie premiere, I got to visit the Marion theater in historic downtown Ocala. I’m sorry that I couldn’t come down earlier. For the premiere of World War Z, they had an awesome zombie block party. They did zombie makeup starting at 4 and then had a zombie walk followed by a zombie block party from 6-7:30. They then had a triple feature for just $15 – World War Z, Zombieland, and Dawn of the Dead (1978). Now that’s my kind of theater.

Marion Theater

The Marion Theater still has one of the old-time theater facades, which is gorgeous. Every Tuesday is customer appreciation day – buy a ticket, get FREE popcorn and a drink. Their summer kids program is $2 but includes drink, popcorn, and the movie. Normal ticket prices are a reasonable $6-$8.

Marion TheaterThe red carpet premiere of Mister White went wonderfully. The film was quite enjoyable (I’m hoping to have a review up tomorrow) and mixing with the cast and crew afterwards was a blast. DVDs and Blu-Rays of Erica Summers’ Mister White are available here. The Marion Theater personnel were helpful and professional, especially one young lady who hung out with us until the last of us left at about 11 o’clock.

Mister White Theatrical Premiere and My Daughter

Mister WhiteSunday June 23rd was the theatrical premiere for Erica Summers’ Mister White. I flew down to Florida to walk beside my daughter on the red carpet. Moira was the makeup artist for Mister White (among other jobs) and appears briefly as a student (my son-in-law Brian has a split-second cameo as a bystander). The director was even gracious enough to allow me to help the day I visited the set, thus giving me an imdb credit.

Moira - Mister WhiteMister White Red CarpetThe premiere was a wonderful success and I believe Erica filled all 300+ seats of the main Marion Theater. Erica introduced the film and thanked everyone. She called three people onstage to thank personally for their over and above the call of duty assistance. One of those was my wonderful daughter. She even (unnecessarily but incredibly graciously) thanked me and gave me one of the three latex Mister White heads used in the film. I’m not posting a picture of it as the Mister White reveal is a highlight of the film. Suffice to say that it now has a place of honor in my movie room.

Erica

After the movie, DVDs, posters, props, and Blu-Rays were sold in the lobby with cast and crew onhand for autographs. For those of you who missed out, the DVD can be purchased online. A couple hours after the film, cast and crew began saying their goodbyes and drifting off. The final remaining people (Brian, Moira, Erica, Carl (Erica’s husband), Jessica (another makeup artist), Ray, Sarsaparilla, and I) departed for a late night Denny’s run.

All in all an absolutely magical night. Kudos to everyone involved, including the extremely helpful young lady from Marion Theater whose name I didn’t catch.

Mister White and I Get an imdb Credit!

The movie I am most anticipating this summer is not the new Iron Man, the new Star Trek, or even Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim (though I am looking forward to those blockbusters). The film I am most looking forward to is writer/director Erica Summers’ Mister White.

Here my fabulous daughter Moira is plying her trade as a make-up artist on set. Thanks to her enthusiasm and Erica’s generosity (or possibly the other way around), I got to parlay a one-day set visit into an actual imdb credit. They let me help with substitute sound cues and apply slime.

Mister White is premiering sometime this summer (more news as it comes in :)) and Erica has submitted it to many festivals thanks to a successful kickstarter campaign.

On the Set of Mister White & Erica Summers

Pardon a moment while I digress from my streaming opinions.

Last weekend, while my wife and mother-in-law were busy at Disney World, I was blessed to spend all day Saturday with my youngest daughter at work. Why is that a blessing? Because she is a makeup artist and she has spent the past few months working on a low-budget horror movie!

Thanks to my blogging and my ever-supportive wife, I have gotten to attend film premieres and meet actors, directors, stuntmen, and critics but I have never actually been on a movie set.

I spent a marvelous eight hours or so chatting with the wonderful cast & crew between takes. The director, Erica Summers (the link is to her imdb profile), even let me help with some of the sound markers and special effects. I’m not sure that I was actually helpful but it was very sweet of Erica to let me pitch in.

Mister White does not have an imdb page yet (principal photography doesn’t end until mid-September) but Erica’s last two movies, Loverboy and Rag Doll, are listed. I even got a DVD of Loverboy to watch and a Mister White crew hat.

I would love to include a photo of Mister White as the monster is very scary but they are (naturally) keeping that under wraps. I cannot wait for this to premiere next year!