I cannot express how truly saddened I am to learn of the passing of Wes Craven. For several of my formative years, he might as well have been my babysitter. A Freddy poster hung over my bed and inspired me to learn about monster makeup.
The Serpent and the Rainbow increased my interest in science, voodoo, surrealism, and lots of other subjects which remain a passion for me today. And to this day, his A Nightmare on Elm Steet remains my favorite representation of dream logic on film. May his work haunt many more generations.
— Ben Rock
With the tragic passing of Wes Craven, literally everyone in the industry has been reeling and expressing love for the man and his work. Several people have been writing in to Dread Central to ask if it would be cool to post their thoughts. So this Farewell to Wes feature will be their opportunity to share their feelings and their thoughts with you, the horror community.
Some will be long, some will be short, but all are important and will be featured with love and caring. It’s our honor to be able to do this for the man who gave us so very much.
XLrator Media announced the U.S. release of the action-thriller Camino starring Zoë Bell (Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Death Proof) and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Open Windows, VHS Viral) in a rare acting role.
“Set in 1985, war photographer Avery Taggert (Zoë Bell) has built a solid career with her stark and honest imagery, all the while remaining emotionally distant from her subjects. When she embeds in the jungles of Colombia with a squad of missionaries led by a beloved and charismatic Spaniard known as “El Guero” (Nacho Vigalondo), she finds herself in the middle of a conflict as violent as any she’s photographed. One night, she happens upon El Guero committing a heinous atrocity, capturing the vile act on film, an image with the potential to discredit and destroy El Guero. Knowing this brilliant psychopath will employ every tactic at his disposal to destroy that photograph – and the photographer who took it – Avery flees into the harsh jungle with nothing but the camera hanging around her neck to escape from missionaries twisted into violent guerrillas by the madman intent on destroying all enemies.”
Fully financed and produced by Bleiberg Entertainment, the film will be released in early 2016 on XLrator’s “TURBO” action label.
Camino was directed by Josh C. Waller, who previously collaborated with Bell on Raze, written by Daniel Noah (Max Rose, McCanick), and produced by Waller, Noah, and Ehud Bleiberg (The Iceman).
Nicholas Donnermeyer and Barry Gordon executive produce along with Bell and Vigalondo. Bleiberg Entertainment and Red Granite International subsidiary Blue Box International are handling international sales at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Brides of Dracula,” a hot gothic soap drama from playwright, screenwriter and comic book writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and top TV producer Greg Berlanti, has landed at NBC with a pilot production commitment.
Written by Aguirre-Sacasa, “Brides” is described as a sexy reimagining of Dracula as a family drama with a trio of strong, diverse female leads, a show about empowered women and the things they do to maintain wealth, prestige, legacy — and their non-traditional family.
The new series supposed that Van Helsing didn’t kill the three brides of Dracula, and asks, “What if they survived for centuries and are now living in New York City?
Known in popular culture as the Brides of Dracula, the three characters, originally introduced in Bram Stoker’s classic novel, are portrayed as beautiful and powerful female vampire “sisters” who reside with Count Dracula in his castle in Transylvania where they use their charm to seduce and bewitch men before preying on them. They manage to entrance Van Helsing too before he shakes off their spell and kills them. The characters are a staple in the Dracula mythology and have appeared in most Dracula screen adaptations, headlining the 1960 British movie The Brides Of Dracula.
Prepare to have a Deathgasm!
The hilarious, action-filled, blood-soaked ode to heavy metal horror that’s blown away festival audiences worldwide hits U.S. cinemas on October 2, 2015 from Dark Sky Films.
In the film, “New kid in town Brodie and bad-boy Zakk quickly bond over their mutual admiration of heavy metal. But when these two metal thrashing losers unwittingly summon malevolent forces, their dreams of stardom may just have to be put on hold.”
Check out a new full-length trailer that’s so fucking metal you may not be able to handle it. Seriously.
Jason Lei Howden’s beloved horror-comedy has struck an epic chord around the world, playing to sold-out film festival audiences and taking home numerous awards for its irreverent, loving take on heavy metal horror culture.
A hidden horror gem a lot of genre fans miss out on is Anthony Hickox’s gem Waxwork, which also has a sequel.
The 1988 film starring Zach Galligan, Deborah Foreman and Jennifer Bassey, begins when a wax museum owner uses his horror exhibits to unleash evil on the world.
In an interview with Nerd Report, Lost After Dark director Ian Kessner and screenwriter Bo Ransdell reveal that they’re currently developing a remake of the film.
“Right now we’re working on a couple of other horror projects. One of them is a reboot of the ‘80s classic Waxwork,” said Kessner.
“I would love to see Waxwork get some legs under it,” adds Ransdell, who eludes to the fact that this is very early in the development stage. Although, he reveals they do in face have the support of the original film’s director. “I think we’ve got a real fun take on that and actually have the blessing of Anthony Hickox who wrote and directed the original so we’re not just doing fan fiction. We can see a path to this getting made potentially and I would love to see that happen for sure.”
When asked if a new Waxwork have anything to do with Madame Tussauds, Ransdell explained: “Not directly but all wax figures are weird and creepy. I don’t necessarily care where they arise from. They’re just all unsettling to me.”
“It’s got a Something Wicked This Way Comes vibe where the waxwork appears in town overnight,” Kessner adds. “It’s really fun. It’s also an opportunity for us to play in a whole bunch of horror genres, kind of an anthology where the characters keep falling into these different vignettes or the different worlds where they tackle different horror tropes, and they tackle the best parts of it, the climax. So it’s really fun for us if we get to make it because we get to explore all these different genres within the horror, sort of like Cabin in the Woods.”
Lost After Dark are the filmmakers new 80’s inspired slasher available through Anchor Bay.
Capcom announced a new collection earlier today that will bring together the recently re-released Resident Evil remake with the upcoming Resident Evil 0 remaster. When it arrives next year, the Resident Evil Origins Collection will give fans of the series as well as newcomers the chance to own a physical copy of both games, so you can have something you can actually hold and embrace, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The Resident Evil Origins Collection will release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on January 19 (US) / January 22 (EU). Resident Evil 0 HD is slated to hit those same platforms, as well as the PS3 and Xbox 360, in early 2016.
BoulderLight Pictures, the company behind the Contracted franchise and the upcoming Dementia for IFC Films, announced today that they have formed a partnership with Hong Kong-based financiers Making Film Limited on a three-picture slate of films that Making Film will fully finance.
This joint venture will be a new international genre label dubbed ‘Making Horror,’ and will focus on horror and thriller films, primarily in the seven-figure budget range. Making Film is the production company of powerhouse Hong Kong director Pang Ho-Cheung, who will serve as Executive Producer on each film. The company will serve as investor and collaborator on each title.
The first project on tap for the label will be the thriller Dismissed, written by Brian McAuley, and produced by J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules of BoulderLight Pictures, who are teaming up with Sev Ohanian (Fruitville STation).
The film will shoot this month in Los Angeles with a high-profile cast soon to be announced. It marks the feature directorial debut of Benjamin Arfmann, who previously directed the acclaimed SXSW short “Random Stop.”
Sunday evening, after learning of Wes Craven’s passing, the first thing I knew I needed to do was check in with my dear friend, Matt Cunningham, someone who had a special bond with Mr. Craven. As I checked in with him, I learned that he had started writing an email to Wes, even though he knew he’d never see it. I thought it was only appropriate to give Matt an outlet to say goodbye to his friend and to give Craven fans a peek at the man that he knew. Thank you for giving us this glimpse into the master of horror, Matt.
I was thirteen years old when I first saw A Nightmare on Elm Street. I was terrified. The only other film at the time that twisted me into knots was Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It wasn’t long after seeing Elm Street that I came down with a 103 fever and started hearing the screeching of metal claws outside my window. I woke up, ran to the patio door and carefully peeked out. I knew if I saw Freddy I was going to lose my mind. I told my mom that I heard something outside. I may have said “Someone is moving the furniture.” I didn’t want to say I thought it was Freddy because she would tell me I need to stop watching scary movies. Just like Tina’s mother did in the film. Irony.
But my fear became obsession and I couldn’t get enough of Freddy. My walls were plastered with posters. My shelves had dolls and bubblegum containers with Krueger’s image (which I still have today). He was my monster and I had to know everything about him. Who was the mad genius behind this film? How did they make it? And that was my introduction to Wes Craven.
From that point I was hooked. Anything Wes was doing, I was in. There are a few films that changed my life and made me want to be a filmmaker. Elm Street was one of them. That’s exactly what I told Mr. Craven the first time I met him. He could have said he heard that all the time – which I’m sure he did – but he didn’t, he just listened and said he was thankful. I’ve met several of my filmmaking heroes and inspirations on my journey, but none of them, not a one, were as amazing as Wes.
That first conversation started as an interview for my column in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. From there we continued to talk over email. Eventually it led to a friendly breakfast, and then another breakfast and another and so on. We talked about movies and life and it wasn’t just about a fanboy sitting in front of his hero grilling him about Freddy (believe me, I wanted to at times) but it was about two people sitting and sharing a meal. That was the amazing thing about him, he was kind, generous with his time, and had a great sense of humor.
I’ll never forget the day he wanted to go to Norm’s for breakfast because he loved to people watch there. It was good people watching, he was right about that. I ordered a pancake platter and he got the steak and eggs. Then he told me he was sick. He was battling cancer. I was speechless. I wanted to scream, cry, and be angry at everything in that moment. But I know he didn’t want me to feel sorry for him and I wasn’t going to. Instead I said, “You got this.” He did his treatments and he was doing better. We didn’t talk about it much. Breakfast time was for conversations about other things. He quietly shared with me so many projects he had in the works and the projects that never came to fruition. Even he had rejections. But he was excited about People Under the Stairs going to series and so many other things coming up. He talked about not directing anymore and I said he couldn’t do that, for selfish reasons of course. I think we all would agree with that.
One of my favorite memories was sitting with him at a screening of Children of Men, a movie he loved, and it was the first time I had ever seen it. I think he loved that he was able to share this movie with my virgin eyes. As the lights dimmed we shared a tub of popcorn and laughed and gasped at the astounding moments in the movie. I was in awe. Sitting with a master filmmaker giving me commentary while watching another master filmmaker is… well, there are no words. There are times in your life when you have to step back and ask your thirteen year old self “Can you really believe what you are doing right now?!” Not in a million years would I ever think it was possible.
It’s amazing where life takes you. Because of Wes I wanted to make monster movies and I’ve been lucky enough to make a couple and now I’m more determined to reach higher and do better – because I know he would. He was a master of his craft, he reinvented horror and himself on several occasions. He was a great human and a great filmmaker – highly underrated if you ask me.
On Sunday I lost a friend and a hero. Iya lost a husband and his children and grandkids lost their patriarch. We all lost an inspiration and a giant in this business. My first reaction was to email him and tell him how I felt. I know he would never get to read it but it’s all I wanted to do, hoping it wasn’t true. I wanted him to know what he meant to me. Since I won’t get that chance, I hope you’ll allow me to share some of it here.
I will forever cherish the time you spent with me. The breakfasts and the films. I’ll never forget the time you wanted to scare me while we watched The Conjuring in the theater and then later laughed about it. I will never be able to thank you enough for the support you gave me when my first book was coming out. You were a great cheerleader and so generous when you didn’t have to be. It was an extremely great honor to be in your company. I will miss picking out a place to have breakfast and I will miss your stories. Most of all I will miss you being there, as a person, just talking.
For all of your fans out there, I want them to know you were the real deal.
I’m raising this cup of coffee and sitting in this booth alone in your honor. What you gave me is priceless.
Goodbye, my inspiration, my friend,
If you thought the 80s were dead — think again!
On September 1st, Anchor Bay Entertainment goes full 80s retro with Lost After Dark, a loving but harrowing homage that takes audiences back to the decade when slashers ruled the silver screen.
We now have an exclusive clip from the directing debut of writer/director Ian Kessner, which is said to feature visceral, old-school prosthetic “kills,” and pop songs pulsing to an electronic beat.
“Spring Ball, 1984. Adrienne (Kendra Timmins, Midnight Sun, “Wingin’ It”), a straight-A student, joins her quarterback crush Sean (Justin Kelly, Maps To The Stars, Big Muddy) and some friends in sneaking out of their high school dance for some unsupervised mayhem. The teens’ party plans hit a snag when they run out of gas on a deserted road. They head out on foot and discover a rundown farmhouse where they hope to find help. Instead they find themselves at the mercy of Junior Joad (Mark Wiebe, Sweet Karma), a cannibal killer from an urban legend. After the brutal murder of one of their friends, the group’s quest for help becomes one of survival. Will anyone survive the night?”
Produced by Goldrush Entertainment’s Eric Gozlan and co-written by Bo Ransdell, Lost After Dark features Robert Patrick (Terminator 2, From Dusk ‘Til Dawn), Eve Harlow (“The 100″), Stephan James (Selma), Jesse Camacho (Kick-Ass 2), Elise Gatien (Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days), Alexander Calvert (Lost Boys: The Tribe), Lanie McAuley (Scarecrow), and David Lipper (Black Widower), as well as fun cameos from Sarah Fisher (“Degrassi: The Next Generation”) and Rick Rosenthal (Director of Halloween II & Halloween: Resurrection).
With a diverse and fascinating list of films under his belt, Wes Craven offered us some truly fascinating characters, both heroes and villains. From Krug in Last House on the Left to Sidney in the Scream films, Craven always made sure to flesh out both sides of the playing field, wanting to make sure we had the full story to really appreciate the horror about to unfold.
For many people, the villains are the true star of a film and Wes Craven sure brought us several supernovas! So let’s honor them today by seeing which Wes Craven slasher you’d be!
I got “Pluto (The Hills Have Eyes)”, which reads:
You were born in the wilderness, born into a wild and scary world, where you must hunt for your life.
You don’t care who stands in your way, because you know that you are not alone.
Papa Jupiter and mama will always join you, and rip the guts of whoever tries to hurt you.
Take the quiz below and let us know your results in the comments!
Let Me In and Carrie‘s Chloe Moretz battles the impending alien apocalypse in Sony’s The 5th Wave, an adaptation of the bestselling novel that’s the first book in a planned trilogy by Rick Yancey.
In theaters January 15, 2016, “The thriller centers on 16-year-old Cassie (Moretz), who’s on the run after fave waves of increasingly deadly attacks that have left most of Earth decimated. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal fifth wave, she meets a young man who may become her final hope.”
The footage is pretty intense stuff, showing how the aliens slowly destroy our planet before bring on the “fifth wave” of their attack. It’s sort of like a not-so-fun Independence Day mixing various genres from sci-fi to horror.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed‘s J. Blakeson is directing from a screenplay by Susannah Grant.
Updated with the approved and official international trailer.
RLJ Entertainment gave Bloody Disgusting the exclusive first look at the images for the Halloween-themed thriller Pay the Ghost, which will be released in theaters, iTunes and VOD on September 23, 2015.
Written by Dan Kay and directed by Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex), Pay the Ghost stars Academy Award Winner Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas, Rage) and Sarah Wayne Callies (AMC’s “The Walking Dead”).
“One year after his young son disappeared during a Halloween carnival, Mike Lawford (Nicolas Cage) is haunted by eerie images and terrifying messages he can’t explain. Together with his estranged wife (Sarah Wayne Callies), he will stop at nothing to unravel the mystery and find their son—and, in doing so, he unearths a legend that refuses to remain buried in the past.“
The below Pay the Ghost images give us some great shots of Cage and his son, as well as a tease of some supernatural happenings.
Photos courtesy of Sharone Meir
We’ve teamed up with dark retrowave artist Confrontational to exclusive premiere “Shadowdancing”, the opening track on the upcoming album A Dance Of Shadows, which comes out October 1st.
The song is a total throwback to the electronic-inspired scores of the 70’s. It pulsates and crackles with infectious energy, creating the perfect backdrop to a giallo slasher nightmare that stains the walls with bright red blood. Make sure to give it a listen below!
A Dance Of Shadows can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.
Confrontational mainman Massimo Usai explains the track and album:
The new LP has been conceived, compiled and thought of as, quite literally, a motion picture. A noir reflection on the dynamics of life – day after night, darkness and light – as a never ending sequence of events in which, much like dancing shadows, we’re all immersed.
The opening track, “Shadowdancing”, was also the track at the very beginning of the writing process and informed the subsequent direction. It’s a fitting introduction to a collection of songs that further explore the reasoning behind my first EP, Done With You, picking up exactly where it left off and setting the mood for the rest of the story I’m telling.
During the recordings I’ve been heavily influenced by the works of George Romero, William Friedkin, Michael Mann and – obviously – John Carpenter, so this time around I’ve decided to confront my passion for cinema and let it dictate the pacing of these compositions.
I feel especially blessed for the amazing collaborations that took place – Cody Carpenter’s dream-like lead synth on “To Live And Die On The Air”, Monte Pittman’s soaring lead guitars on “Like A Curse”, and a track on the album that features Darren Travis (vocalist / guitarist of the seminal thrash metal band SADUS) – and I’m looking forward to sharing the new material with everyone.
October 31st, LYON (France) – SYNTHZILLA FEST (with Perturbator, Dan Terminus, Carpenter Brut, and Thomas Barrandon)
The artwork and promo picture were created by Branca Studio.
A Dance In Shadows track list:
2. FLAT / LINE
3. LIKE A CURSE (Feat. Monte Pittman)
4. ONE LAST KISS
5. SCRIPT (Feat. Darren Travis)
7. TO LIVE AND DIE ON THE AIR (Feat. Cody Carpenter)
8. YOU’LL BE MINE
9. MOTIONLESS (Bonus Track)
Netherland painter Hieronymus Bosch, who was born in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) in 1450, is renowned in the art world for his work, especially his nightmarish, horrific, and fantastical depictions of Hell. His piece “The Garden of Earthly Delights” is the inspiration for many other works, including Metallica‘s “Until It Sleeps”.
In 2016, the Noordbrabrants museum in Den Bosch will be hosting the largest gallery of Bosch’s work ever, featuring 20 paintings and 19 drawings. This gallery will occur on the 500th anniversary of Bosch’s passing. More about the event can be found here.
Below are some examples of his work.
In 1981, Wes Craven began writing the script for one of the most well known horror movies ever released: A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was a movie that Craven had great difficulty making as nearly every single studio he brought the script to turned it down for one reason or another. Hell, apparently Walt Disney Pictures was interested but only if Craven toned it down so they could show it to children and pre-teens. Craven thankfully declined.
Eventually, it was New Line Cinema that took a chance on the film, producing it with a budget of $1.8 million, a number that it made back in the first week of the film’s release. The first film went on to gross nearly $26 million in the US box office, saving the struggling studio. The series has since grossed over $450 million in worldwide box office and is one of the most iconic horror franchises to ever be released, earning New Line Cinema the nickname “The House That Freddy Built”.
The passing of Wes Craven was obviously a very large blow for the horror community and New Line is feeling that pain as strongly as any of us.
In an official statement sent to Bloody-Disgusting, the studio writes:
In 1984, Wes Craven brought “A Nightmare on Elm Street” to New Line, and in so doing, altered the course of the studio’s history. We are eternally grateful to our friend and partner, and are proud to be “The House That Freddy Built”.
The second half of “Hannibal” season 3 focused on the Red Dragon storyline that was originally created by Thomas Harris in a book of the same name. In that novel, there’s a pivotal scene where Special Agent Will Graham reaches out to Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the man that he captured and imprisoned, for help with the case.
This scene has been committed to celluloid on three separate occasions. The first was in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, the second in Brett Ratner’s Red Dragon, and finally in Bryan Fuller’s “Hannibal”. Each of these scenes heavily utilized Harris’ lines, although each director gave the scene their own feel.
To show just how similar yet different these three representations are, video editor Matthew Morettini spliced them together in an uninterrupted sequence to show how seamlessly they could interact with one another. It’s fascinating to see the subtle differences that are present. The cells that hold Dr. Lecter each have their own ambience, the lighting used changes dramatically, and the cinematography tells different stories with each sequence.
I’ve focussed on the scene where FBI profiler Will Graham visits the cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter ostensibly to ask for advice on a serial murder case but really to “recover the mindset” of a killer so he can catch this new one.
Most of the dialogue from the three adaptations come directly from the source novel so it was possible to seamlessly recreate the scene using the three productions.
I think it is a very interesting way to compare and contrast the different methods used by the filmmakers. Also, other than filmed works of Shakespeare, I can’t think of another pop culture creation that has been interpreted so faithfully three separate times.
Check out the video below.
Academy Award Winning Creature and Character Effects Designer Tom Woodruff Jr makes his highly-anticipated directorial debut with Fire City: End of Days, hitting DVD and Digital October 6th from Uncork’d Entertainment.
“Set in a world where demons live among us, this exhilarating vitrine of effects and action sees a hard-boiled demon named Vine confronted with the ultimate choice between the salvation of his own kind and the life of an innocent human girl.”
Tobias Jelinek (Hocus Pocus), Danielle Chuchran (SAGA : Curse of the Shadow), Glee’s Harry Shum Jr, and Kristin Minter (TVs “E.R.”) star.
Fire City, written by Brian Lubocki and Michael Hayes and inspired by Woodruff’s short film, “Fire City: King of Miseries,” was successfully financed by way of a Kickstarter campaign in 2013.
The Highland Film Group handled sales for the film.
UK artist Scott Woolston celebrated the 40th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws with this stunning poster that’s like nails on a chalkboard.
“The Blues are deep, the textures are crisp and you can hear the scraping of Quint’s finger nails!” he says.
“The head, the tail, the whole damn thing” is available as landscape and portrait Giclée Art Prints.
Both are released in runs of 40 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Jaws.
If you like this art, check out more on his Behanced page that has sweet posters for Jurassic World, among others.
All prints come with a Certification of Authenticity signed and numbered.
Image courtesy of Scott Woolston.
UPDATE: We published this piece back in June when Hannibal’s third season premiered, but since there have now been 13 more episodes full of grotesquerie, we thought we would update the list in memoriam of this fantastic show! RIP Hannibal.
It’s no secret that NBC’s Hannibal is one of the most visually stunning series on television. It’s also one of the best. Our very own Zac Thompson said that Season 3 “firmly re-establishes Hannibal as the best horror show on television.” While it can sometimes be difficult to believe that Hannibal gets away with so much on network television, horror fans should be thankful that we have it at all. With the Season 3 already underway, we thought it might be fun to take a look back at the previous two seasons’ most horrific moments. Check them out below!
The first Baskin trailer was already nightmarish, now we have an international version that delivers more haunting images from the depths of hell.
Can Evrenol directs the film that’s set to World Premiere at the Midnight Madness portion of TIFF.
Baskin, based on the short of the same name, sends a squad of unsuspecting cops through a trapdoor to Hell when they stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building.
The 40th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10 to 20, 2015. Check out the full Midnight Madness lineup that includes some of the hottest indie horrors of the year!