Tag Archives: Three Marm Brewing

Demons (2017): things are not what they seem

 

Andrew Divoff has been a busy man. He recently starred in Michael Kehoe’s film The Hatred, and is in the process of launching his own brewery. Last Friday, his newest film, Demons (directed by Miles Doleac) was released in theaters and VOD. I can say without reservation that I thoroughly enjoyed Demons.

The plot bears some similarity to The Last Exorcism, insofar that a fanatical father requests that a skeptical minister exorcize his daughter, who may or may not be demon-possessed. Divoff portrays the afflicted girl’s father, and he is a scene-stealer in that role. It would be too simplistic to merely label his character, Jasper Grant, as another “bad guy.” Jasper does some awful things to his children, but with good intentions, because he is entirely sincere in his religious beliefs. This element could have come off as campy or otherwise derailed the film, but Divoff handles it beautifully. The character’s love for his children shines through enough that you can’t hate Jasper, even though his religious beliefs are destructive.

Andrew Divoff as Jasper Grant

Demons runs counter to horror film tropes in its depiction of women, particularly the character Lara (Kristina Emerson). Introduced in the present-day timeline as a friend of Jasper’s surviving daughter Kayleigh, Lara initially seems like the sort of character who is written out early. That is, she spends a lot of time naked, has purple hair, and has a lot of unconventional ideas about spirituality and social norms. In fact, she is a psychologically healthy character whose spiritual views and lifestyle serve as a counterbalance to Jasper’s shame-based religious attitudes.

There is also a twist ending that I flat-out did not expect, but if fully in keeping with the fact that many characters are not what they seem. This is certainly true of Father Colin (portrayed by writer-director Miles Doleac), who is skeptical that a demon possession is actually taking place. Father Colin also goes against expectations by leaving the priesthood to marry the afflicted girl’s sister, Kayleigh (Lindsay Anne Williams).

Check out the trailer for Demons below and watch it today on Amazon Video.

The Hatred (2017): “In death we are free”

The Hatred, (directed by Michael G. Kehoe and starring Andrew Divoff, David Naughton, Amanda Wyss, Sarah Davenport, Gabrielle Bourne, Bailey Corman, Alisha Wainwright, Nina Siemaszko, Shae Smolik, and Darby Walker) was released on DVD/Blu yesterday. I’m very excited about the upcoming podcast interview with Michael Kehoe, and Andrew Divoff’s upcoming announcement of his new business venture, Three Marm Brewing. In the meantime, I’ll share my thoughts about the film itself.

Without  revealing major spoilers, the first part of the film takes place in 1968, in which former Nazi soldier Samuel Sears (Andrew Divoff) has assimilated into American society as a reclusive farmer. He receives an amulet in the mail from one of his Nazi associates, and the amulet prompts a series of violent events at the farmhouse. In the present day, a group of young women on a weekend retreat at the old farmhouse encounter the amulet’s evil influence along with the ghosts of Sears’ family.

The trailer looked massively creepy, but the scenes involving the four young women in the present-day scenes made me a bit worried that the film itself would involve a bunch of shallow, bubble-headed bimboes being terrorized in typical slasher film fashion. Fortunately, I was very wrong about this point. The young women are actually intelligent and inquisitive. One of the funniest moments that counters audience expectations is when the blonde Samantha (Bailey Corman, the niece of Roger Corman) not only recognizes a gruesome artifact as an 11th century Viking death mask, but also exclaims, “I’m in heaven!” Later, Samantha is revealed to be a scholar and serious history buff. Once the malevolent supernatural activity really kicks off, the young women react by researching the history and properties of the amulet rather than becoming hysterical.

Andrew Divoff as the Nazi Samuel Sears

The film’s performances are solid. Darby Walker is great as Sears’ daughter, Alice, who meets an unpleasant end early in the film. Andrew Divoff is phenomenal as the ex-Nazi Samuel Sears. He’s as menacing as you would expect, based on Andrew’s other bad-guy roles, but he also shows some sensitivity and emotional vulnerability in some of the scenes, adding complexity to his overbearing, authoritarian patriarch character. There  are also some unanswered questions about this character and his relationship to the local Sheriff. It seems like the Sheriff has some skeletons in his own closet, and Sears leverages this knowledge to prevent the Sheriff from conducting any serious investigation into Alice’s disappearance, or from outing Sears as a former Nazi. 

Don’t go into this movie expecting a T&A slasher film, or even blood and gore. (Though there is a flashback sequence that makes me wonder if Sears disemboweled and taxidermied Alice.) Instead, it’s a character-centric ghost story with an emphasis on atmosphere and spookiness. Pick up your copy of The Hatred on Blu-ray today! Also, those of you in Southern California can meet  director Michael Kehoe, FX designer Gary Tunnicliffe, and cast members Andrew Divoff, Sarah Davenport,  Amanda Wyss, Gabrielle Bourne, Musetta Vander, and Nina Siemaszko at Dark Delicacies on September 16, 2017.

 

Djinn’s Hellabrew at the 7th Annual Lake Arrowhead Brewfest

Andrew Divoff returned with his Djinn’s Hellabrew to the Lake Arrowhead Brewfest earlier this August. This batch of Hellabrew amped up the heat factor with the habernero pepper notes at the forefront, but still refreshing enough to win over those with an aversion to spiciness. This was the last collaboration between Andrew and Wicks Brewing Co. to produce the Hellabrew, due to Wicks entering a contract to produce another client’s beer for large-scale distribution.

Andrew Divoff and Ryan Wicks of Wicks Brewing Co.

Andrew Divoff and Ryan Wicks of Wicks Brewing Co.

As with last year, it was a special experience for me to assist Andrew at the Brewfest. Andrew is one of the nicest people I know, and he has a genuine care for his community.

Andrew and I before the start of Brewfest chaos.

This year was special, because Andrew raised money at the pour and on his website for a new scholarship benefitting two Rim High School students who wish to pursue a career in the arts. By the end of the Brewfest, Andrew raised more than double his  original fundraising goal, which will allow each student to receive $1,000. As a pleasant surprise, Andrew was recognized by California state senator Mike Morrell for his work benefitting the surrounding mountain communities.

Andrew with Senator Mike Morrell

For updates about the Djinn’s Hellabrew and upcoming pours, visit his Three Marm Brewing page on Facebook.

Beer Review: Djinn’s Hellabrew

The Djinn’s Hellabrew is a unique beer developed by film actor Andrew Divoff, and named for his malevolent character in the first two Wishmaster movies.

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I first met Andrew at a charity event last year. What an all-around great guy! Andrew is a genuinely kind person who likes to “pay it forward” by fundraising for a variety of good causes. It was a delight to volunteer his second pour of his Hellabrew at the 6th Annual Lake Arrowhead Brewfest. Proceeds benefitted Operation Provider.

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I was fortunate enough to experience both the original Djinn’s Hellabrew (poured at Rock and Shock 2014 near Boston) and the new, modified recipe. While I found the original Hellabrew quite enjoyable, the heat from the habanero peppers could be too intense for some beer enthusiasts. The new beer (served on August 8, 2015) dialed back the heat somewhat, allowing more subtle flavors to come forward. The result is an unique Belgian strong golden ale with a mildly spicy aroma, Persian lime flavor, and a habanero finish that warms the throat, yet dissipates quickly enough to remain refreshing. This pleasantly complex ale can also be served as a “bloody beer” with the addition of a spicy Bloody Mary mix.

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The Hellabrew was a huge success with those in attendance, with many people coming back for multiple refills and stating that it was their favorite beer at the festival. Word of mouth generated so much interest that the kegs were tapped out an hour before the end of the Brewfest. Fingers crossed that this awesome beer gets widespread distribution soon. For information about future distribution of the Djinn’s Hellabrew and future pours, contact Three Marm Brewing, or contact Andrew at his Facebook page.