Reviews and Articles:
Scene Magazine 8/20/08
Just like The Rocky Horror
Picture Show, Brian Lawlor's Aquarius Rising encourages audience
members to interact with the onscreen actors. At tonight's premiere on
the patio of the Sam & Tommy's nightspot in Lake County, viewers
will drink a shot every time a character drops the f-bomb. "That's how
I approached the bar owners," says Lawlor, who runs Laugh at the Law
Productions. "They said, 'If it's got a drinking game, we want you to
be a part of it.' I said, 'Hell, yeah!'"
The 75-minute horror flick
is about a small-town sheriff who recruits a cult investigator to help
solve a series of ritualistic murders in a remote area that looks an
awful lot like Lake County's LeRoy Township. As the story unfolds,
viewers will undoubtedly get plastered. "I've never actually counted
how many f-words there are," says Lawlor, who plans to take the movie
on tour to any Northeast Ohio bar that's willing to show it. "But if
you're going to play with shots, I guarantee you're not walking out of
the bar." The screen lights up at 9 tonight at Sam & Tommy's, 1808
N. Ridge Rd. in Concord Township. Admission is free. Call 440.354.8717
or visit www.laugh-at-the-law.com for more information. - Glaser
Interview from Terror Tube!!!!!
Surfing Myspace, on the look out for the next Tila Tequila naturally, and I came across an interesting movie titled: WELCOME TO CRETINVILLE: LEGEND OF THE MELONHEADS. Obviously a title like that is going to draw in intellectual horror connoisseurs like flies, so we had to pester the filmmakers and get some more information for the upstanding readers of our website.
Actually if you want to know more about Melonheads you should check out their websites at
“Do you dare face the legend of the Melonheads? Ohio’s most notorious saga comes alive in the newest installment of the Dark Ritual Series; Welcome to Cretinville: Legend of the Melonheads. Humiliation drives 9 cheerleaders to test their courage and reclaim their dominance as they set out to prove the legend false and spend a weekend alone in Melonhead country; a mixture of beautiful women, alcohol, drugs and death. Carnage awaits those who dare to face the inhuman fury lurking in the woods. Learn the story of Dr. Crow, the sadistic, insane man who took pleasure in mentally and physically abusing the sick children placed in his care. Who are the Melonheads? Are they just a myth or a horrifying deformity preying on innocent people? Many have witnessed the eyes peering from the shadows, many have fallen victim to the attacks.”
I dared to send some questions to writer, director, and he knows what he likes and he doesn’t like bad ass muthafucka BRIAN C. LAWLOR who was gracious enough to respond with answers.
TT: Whose bright idea was it to make this story and are melonheads real?
“It was my idea, I am the writer and director for this flick. Melonheads have never been proven not to be real, the legend has persisted for 50 years – I just can’t believe I am the first to do a movie on the legend.”
TT: If you were going to compare the “vibe” of this movie with another, what would you say?
The ‘vibe’ of this movie could be compared to the T&A of a Friday 13th movie, mixed with the theme style of Sleep Away Camp and the gritty feel of TCM. Any true horror fan will like this flick, it is by no means a re-make or re-imagining. The theme is typical slasher, but the story is killer. Actually, everyone should like this movie, it is well rounded with fun, comedy, drama and exploitation.
TT: Can you fill us in on the curse that has plagued the filming?
“Well, we are doing a mini-doc for the special features, but basically what could go wrong did go wrong, at least nobody has died….yet.”
TT: What is the Dark Ritual series all about?
“Wow, ya’ll did your homework. The Dark Ritual Series was a concept I came up with to link (however loosely) certain films together. It is a marketing campaign more or less; but it also let’s our fans know that a film is related some how to another.”
TT: Will this movie be gory?
“We are currently trying to find a sf/x guy that will commit (we’ve gone thru 5). We have been approach by one of the best special effects guys from Hollywood, and if our full financing comes thru we will most likely go with him. So to answer your question….Maybe!”
TT: 9 cheerleaders, will there be nine sets of boobs exposed or is there some degree of modesty?
“Some modesty….BUT there WILL BE BOOBS!!!!! We will meet the required boob quota set forth by the Lawlor Doctrine of 2006.”
TT: How do you go about distributing the movie once it is completed?
“If you have any good ideas, let us know. We are planning on hitting select festivals and movie markets, screeners and of course – directly from our website.”
TT: Anything you would like to say about your cast?
“Well, hot chicks…..nothing else matters. Actually, we have a great cast. The supporting roles were cast perfectly. Dr. Crow is something to see.”
TT: Seen any good movies lately?
“No! Wait, I saw Indiana Jones. That was the first movie I saw in theaters this year. Is there any good horror movies coming out? Well, besides PG-13 re-makes???”
TT: Being involved with Indie Filmmaking, is it the dream to hit the big time Hollywood style?
“Duh! Any low budget indie filmmaker who tells you they don’t want to at least try the huge budget Hollywood style is either delusional or lying. Make your good indie flick, get the huge budget and outrageous pay day, then make the movies you want!!! That is the plan/dream.”
TT: What are some of the best tool and essentials you think Indie filmmakers should utilize?
“Rich relatives. Honestly, I have found that the people with money have no talent and the ones with talent have no money. Several big time “Hollywood-Indie” Directors say “Lack of money makes you more creative”. Well, they have 1 million plus budgets. They never had to postpone filming because they couldn’t afford the corn syrup to make the blood. Get enough budget to get things done!”
- Wes Laurie
Newest Review for Aquarius Rising!
Well, thanks to sickness, I finally got the chance to watch the movie...three times!!
"Aquarius Rising", the first film from Laugh-at-the-Law Productions and writer/director Brian C. Lawlor, is the perfect example of all that's good in micro-budget filmmaking. With a nice blend of story, music, and creativity, the viewer is treated to a movie experience that is definitely heads above what many no-budget filmmakers are trying to pass off on unsuspecting customers.
The story concerns an investigator and occult expert (Lawlor), who is coaxed out of a self-imposed retirement to solve a series of ritualistic murders in a small town. Lawlor is good as the lead character and the capable cast all give excellent supporting performances that keep the story moving in a deliberate and barebones manner. No unnecessary padding scenes here!
The dialogue is heavy with occult expressions and symbolism and religious what-not, if that is what you are into. This reviewer is not that attuned to occult specifics, so I'll just have to take the writer's word for it. It all sounds very authentic and well-researched, and thus, believable, that the viewer will comfortably let himself take what is said and "go for the ride" without question.
This film seems so meticulously crafted with editing, music, pacing and cool graphics, that one is simply astonished upon listening to the "Drunken Commentary" that is included on some versions of the DVD, to learn that the project was shot entirely with consumer grade video equipment and edited with programs that came with basic software packages. Amazing!!
Although "Aquarius Rising" is not yet available at your local rental outlet, it is certainly much more satisfying than most of the films that can be found on those shelves. Laugh-at-the-Law is doing it right!!!
TwistedSpine.com Films and Movie Feature Writer for Artists Review Today Magazine
Free Times: July 2007
Kirtland's Favorite Beasties Capture The Imaginations Of Local Filmmakers
The Milan Melon Festival, south of Sandusky, won't happen until Labor Day. But 2007 is already shaping up to be filled with melon-drama.
More accurately, melonhead drama. The longstanding country folk legend centers on Wisner Road in Kirtland and states that a generation or two ago, a doctor named Crow, or Crowe, experimented on bunches of hydrocephalic children, turning them into mutants. These swollen-skulled "melonheads" either violently rebelled and escaped or were deliberately abandoned by the mad doctor. Now feral, they roam the woods and lonely motorways around the Chagrin River, watching for victims.
Today at least two and possibly as many as five grassroots filmmaking outfits are out to make lemonade out of melonheads. Currently active in production: Cretinville: Legend of the Melonheads, from Lake County-based Laugh-at-the-Law Productions and Shock Star Studios, in which a bunch of cheerleaders embark on a fateful camping trip that enters the melonheads' domain. It's written and directed by Brian C. Lawlor, with an onscreen role by another local horror filmmaker, Rich Yarber (The Deep Dark Woods and its sequel) as the sinister Dr. Crow.
"Our cast is awesome - I'm not being biased," said Lawlor. "We have accomplished local actors, models-turned-actresses, "ShockStar Girls,' cameos from a few local celebs - I cannot tell who for legal reasons - and another killer soundtrack!"
As with Laugh-at-the-Law's earlier devil-worship flick Aquarius Rising, regional bands contribute, notably Day of the Rope, Dave's Planet, Nimbus and Brother. A big local premiere is planned upon completion, and principle photography is expected to wrap in September.
"Mixed with hot babes, sex, nudity, girl-on-girl, humor, dark humor, and some truly disturbing scenes and gruesome kill scenes, this should be a very creepy movie to watch," said Lawlor. "Again we will also be touching on several of the local legends, mixed with a storyline that is true to the legends and updated to today's genre. We feel our fans locally, who know the legend and have been on melonhead hunts, deserve something special!"
More information is at laugh-at-the-law.com.
"As far as the other melonhead projects, I will wish them luck," Lawlor adds. "That is all I have to say about that."
And indeed, determined to cultivate a rival crop of melonheads is Cuyahoga County-based J&A Films, headed by Josh Stone and Alfred Griffin. Owners of the prestigious Web site melonheadsthemovie.com, they are currently seeking investors for a film shoot to ideally begin in September, when the weather cools down.
"It's hard to work with puppets when it's so hot outside," says Griffin, who envisions elaborate prosthetics and animatronics to bring the melonheads to life. The script will offer two different versions of the melonhead origin story, examining whether Dr. Crow was good or evil in his intentions. "It's a little like an Evil Dead movie. It's humorous and gory and scary all at once."
The creature concept drawings can be perused online. Also online, via farrisreelfilms.com, you can find "Melonhead Meltdown," a stop-motion short from Painesville native Michael Farris.
Made as Farris' senior cinematography thesis at the North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking, it bids to be the seed for a grander melonheads project.
"I'm trying to get the feature off the ground," said Farris. "A small production company in LA really liked the short I made and sees its potential as a feature. I'm having a hard time with the story at the moment. The legend has many variations. Nothing is concrete or cohesive. I know my interpretation could disappoint hardcore melonhead enthusiasts. I was always afraid of someone beating me to it."
Griffin, for one, is glad to see so much melon-cholia going around and looks forward to seeing all the homegrown cinematic variations on the melonheads theme.
"It can be campy and funny and it can be super-horror-y and gory. Hopefully every one of them will be different."
- Charles Cassady Jr.
Cleveland Scene: April 4, 2007 Issue
1/10/2007: Happy NewYear!
Here is a review by respected Director William Alexander ( Travelin’ Light Productions) of our test screener for Aquarius Rising. The movie is still in draft form, but it was screened New Years Eve @ Trivfest 2006!
“Aquarius Rising is a new digital movie by up-and-coming Laugh at the Law Productions and director Brian C. Lawlor. Billed as an "occult thriller," the movie takes place in the present day and involves several ritual murders. A local sheriff (played by Chris Woodin) enlists the aid of a former private detective (played by Brian Lawlor) to help solve the bloody and baffling case.
From the believable situation (as billed, 'based on possible events') and the quirky characters, to the screaming rock soundtrack and cool effects, Aquarius Rising is a fun, creepy ride with some good twists in the plot. Want to know more? You gotta see it.
Sword-fu, knife-fu, bimbo-fu, bat-fu, three quarts of blood, one decapitation, one melting demon, one severed penis, one self-sacrifice, two bare breasts.
Bill-Bob says check it out.”