Sunday, October 11, 2015

Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku..... - Day #11 - SHOCKING SUNDAY SURPRISE (Scare Two)

Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...

... to 'Day Eleven' of "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" and to the second in my "Shocking Sunday Surprise" series of posts for 2015 where, each week, I'll been sharing something random that is somehow connected to Hallowe'en & can be used with the Roku streaming player !!

Last week I mentioned that these particular offerings would vary from week-to-week to ensure there would be a variety of Hallowe'en / Horror-themed goodies to help get you into the "spirit" of things. If you missed my first post in this series... the general idea is that, unlike other "themed" days featured in this blogathon, you will never know quite what to expect as your "Shocking Sunday Surprise" each week, and that will remain the case EVERY SUNDAY right the way through October. Anyway... for my next spooktacular treat in this mini-series of posts, I've decided to up the ante from sharing just one movie to providing details of an entire HALLOWE'EN / HORROR-RELATED CHANNEL which will put even more on-screen scares into your Roku player(s) while you gear up for Hallowe'en 2015!!

Unlike "The Changeling" movie, which formed the basis of my "Shocking Sunday Surprise" last time around... this week I'm giving special mention to an INDIE HORROR CHANNEL for which I was hoping to include an LIVE STREAM on this blog (over the course of my month-long blogathon) but, unfortunately, we didn't manage to implement it this time - sorry - but, there's always next year! :-)

Meanwhile, although it's possible you might have (previously) overlooked this particular Roku app in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store, perhaps (wrongly) believing it was in some way connected to that seminal 'Hardcore Punk' band from Hermosa Beach (California) - which would nevertheless have made for a pretty interesting, if somewhat niche, Roku channel too - in actual fact "BlackFlag TV", being the channel to which I'm referring, is a 24/7 LIVE FORMAT streaming television network that broadcasts "Midnight Movies" all day long, and you'll find further details for it outlined below:-

BLACK FLAG TV..........................................COST: £2.49 (MONTHLY) [Roku Guide Review]

So, at this point... I expect you're wondering why, with numerous FREE-TO-ADD not to mention FREE-TO-VIEW channels showing horror films, would you part with your hard-earned cash for this one?! Well, as 'Nicolas Archambault' from the "FanTasia International Film Festival" once wrote of 'S.V. Bell' - the man who was behind the development of the "BlackFlag TV" Roku channel - during a stage in his career when he turned his hand to film-making:-

S.V. Bell, Quebec champion of the horror film in all it's forms, a director who (rather than complain about lack of funds) takes action and each year offers an eccentric gem made with minimal means. His passion and resourcefulness more than make up for the low production costs and he always ends up with something far more entertaining than many big-budget films. Bell doesn't reinvent the wheel, but he knows the conventions of the horror film and he applies them with a competence that is equalled by his love of the genre.

That approach to his films is the same one 'S.V. Bell' adopted when coming up with the idea for this Roku channel and the fact that it's all done "on a shoestring", despite the costs associated with providing enough bandwidth to stream the channel, is why any & all true fans of horror should give their support (financial or otherwise) to keep this thing going for the greater good of the genre !!

Starting out in the 80's as a comic book artist, then turning his hand to CGI animation in the 90's and film-making (as mentioned above) in the 00's, before returning to comic book art in the current decade, 'S.V. Bell' is, as he put it himself, "running in circles" and in the marathon of horror that is his life, he needs our support, just as the runners do in the 'London Marathon', to keep going & achieve his goals.

Okay, you get it... it's gonna cost money... so, what exactly are you getting for your dough?! Well, you will get to see many truly amazing independent films, all of which have been produced by film-makers who are driven by a passion for the genre. This includes everything from independent short & feature films, series & documentaries, to vintage public domain films. Most of the content falls (unsurprisingly) under the umbrella of horror, thrillers, science-fiction, fantasy, space, action and martial arts PLUS some truly edgy, bizarre stuff that simply defies categorisation. There's no pay-per-view (PPV), no video-on-demand (VOD) and no downloadable movies, although you can always buy DVD's and subscribe to comic books as an additional means of lending your support (see links below). Instead, what you get is something akin to plain old-fashioned late night television and, whilst this may sound like a concept from the Stone Age in this age of "everything online" and "on-demand", sometimes it's nice to have more of a "curated" viewing experience where you can just sit back & enjoy what's on !!

Speaking of which... there are FULL LISTINGS for what is being shown on "BlackFlag TV", in a 'Google Calendar' friendly format, available on the "Official" BlackFlag TV website, FOUND HERE. Although, if you do pay the monthly fee, it's probably easier to just 'SUBSCRIBE' to the newsletter which takes the form of a weekly email including all scheduling information plus news of any updates to the "BlackFlag TV" channel. Should you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can also easily 'UNSUBSCRIBE' at any time. The choice, as they say, is entirely yours to make !! One thing you may notice, from viewing the schedule, is that every movie screened on "BlackFlag TV" is shown several times per week (in different time slots) and this is done to provide you with ample opportunities to watch them at a time which suits you best. I'm sure we can all remember a time when we were grateful for a "repeat" on television of something we (unfortunately) missed for one reason or another and these multiple screenings will (hopefully) help you to avoid any such disappointment with "BlackFlag TV" !!

Of course, in this age of "internet everywhere", you could always watch "BlackFlag TV" online whenever you are away from your large screen TV and your Roku player simply by accessing the "Official" BlackFlag TV website (see link above) from your mobile device. How is this possible?! Well... thanks to the generosity of 'S.V. Bell', in addition to the paid subscription Roku channel, there is also a FREE-TO-VIEW LIVE STREAM of the 24/7 programming for "BlackFlag TV" on the web. Yes, I kid you not, to be absolutely clear... you can watch "BlackFlag TV" online for absolutely no charge whatsoever, should you wish to do so. That said... let's not forget the aforementioned bandwidth charges and, if you want to go on getting FREE ONLINE ACCESS for this channel (or any access at all, come to that!) then PLEASE SUPPORT THIS CHANNEL by purchasing a monthly subscription on your Roku (even if it's only once in a while) and/or buying DVD's, subscribing to the comics, etc. For, in all seriousness, every contribution helps and they are all "much, much appreciated" !!

Meanwhile, to round-off this second "Shocking Sunday Surprise" for 2015, on 'Day Eleven' of the ever-popular 'Countdown To Halloween', I thought I'd best provide you with a link to the "Official" Twitter Feed: @SVBell for the main man, behind the channel, in case you have any comments or suggestions you'd like to 'tweet' about regarding "BlackFlag TV". Then again, if you prefer, there's always the "Official" BlackFlag Pictures Facebook Page: BlackFlag Pictures (Facebook) which can also be used to connect with 'S.V. Bell' on a social level. FYI: 'BlackFlag Pictures' is the film studio & distribution company that owns "BlackFlag TV". Essentially, the TV broadcast side of the business began as a logical continuation of the film production & distribution effort of "BlackFlag Pictures". Now that I've clarified the business side of things, I ought to mention there's also a community forum, FOUND HERE, for fans of "BlackFlag TV" and/or horror (in general) which is worth joining if you wish to contribute an opinion, join in on a discussion, or perhaps start a thread of your own. Still, no matter which option you choose to get social with 'S.V. Bell', I'm sure he'll be very happy to hear from you and will welcome any thoughts you may have on improving the channel !!

Anyway, that's about all for today... but remember to visit us again in 24-hours for 'Day Twelve' and more Hallowe'en-themed content, in "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku", when I will reveal the next Hallowe'en / Horror-related classic to feature in "Macabre Movie Monday", as we continue our "Countdown To Hallowe'en" 2015...

Fangs (as always) for reading !!

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