Earlier this year Arrow Video released Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Vol. 1, a Blu-ray/DVD combo set featuring three films. The set was fantastic (read my review) and because we knew it was volume 1 we knew there was still more yet to come. In early March they announced Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Vol. 2 for a June 14th release date. Arrow has now released the official artwork and the pre-order links.
The artwork, which, you can see below comes courtesy of Graham Humphreys and it looks fantastic. It’s much inline with what Arrow typically has for artwork and goes nicely with the first volume.
Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan, inaugurated a star system in the late 1950s, finding talent and contracting them to a series of wild genre pictures. This collection celebrates these “Diamond Guys” with three classic films from directors Buichi Saito (Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril), Ko Nakahira (Crazed Fruit), and Haruyasu Noguchi, who is a new discovery for the West.
TOKYO MIGHTY GUY
In Saito’s Tokyo Mighty Guy, mega star Akira Kobayashi stars as Jiro in the rambunctious tale of a chef who opens a restaurant in the busy Ginza district. His culinary skills and dashing good looks bring in the women as well as unwanted trouble, while an explosive political scandal builds around his girlfriend’s business…
Next, Jo Shishido (Massacre Gun, Retaliation), one of the most popular Diamond Guys in the West, stars in Danger Pays, a crime caper from Ko Nakahira about counterfeiting. When one billion yen goes AWOL, “Joe the Ace” (Shishido) spies an opportunity to get rich quick, but things soon go wrong as it turns out he isn’t the only one who’ll stop at nothing to get his hands on the missing cash…
Finally, Shishido stars once again in Noguchi’s screwball classic Murder Unincorporated. When the mysterious “Joe of Spades” executes one of the bosses of a powerful syndicate, his colleagues, fearing for their own lives, call on the services of assassin agency Murder Unincorporated to take care of the problem. This unique entry showcases some of the most peculiar killing tactics to ever hit Japanese cinema! Presented on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time in the West, these thrilling genre films feature some of Nikkatsu’s leading talent at the top of their game.
•Limited Edition Blu-ray collection (3000 copies)
•High Definition digital transfers of all three films in this collection, from original film elements by Nikkatsu Corporation
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
•Original uncompressed mono audio
•Newly translated English subtitles
•Specially recorded video discussions with Japanese cinema expert Jasper Sharp on Diamond Guys Jo Shishido and Akira Kobayashi
•Original trailers for all three films
•Extensive promotional image galleries for all films
•Reversible sleeve featuring brand new artwork by Graham Humphreys
•Booklet featuring new writing on all the films and director profiles by Stuart Galbraith IV, Tom Mes and Mark Schilling
Horror icons most known for playing baddies have the tables turned on them in Smothered from director John Schneider. Smothered is out now via a number of VOD services (iTunes, DirectTV, Comcast, Amazon Video, Google Play, Warner, Vudu, YouTube) and DVD from Indican Pictures.
Smothered boasts the largest collection of horror icons on one screen ever and it’s great to see them together. When a bunch of horror icons are at a crappy horror convention, they get offered a bunch of money to scare a bunch of fans at the local park. Easy money for a weekend gig, right? Wrong. When they get there, they meet the woman who runs it, as well as her incredibly well-endowed daughter, Dee Dee, but little do they know that they are not just the stars of the weekend, but the intended victims! Watch as your favorite horror icons fight for their lives…
After five years of anticipation, Takashi Shimizu’s J-horror on a plane, Flight 7500, is finally set to take off!
Bloody Disgusting now has an exclusive clip for Lionsgate Home Entertainment release set for DVD (plus Digital) and Digital HD on April 12th.
“On a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo, a plane is shaken by severe weather. When the turbulence subsides, a passenger suddenly dies – and a supernatural force is unleashed, overtaking the passengers as they desperately fight to figure out what it is and how to stop it.”
From the director of The Grudge and the producer of The Ring, Flight 7500 stars Leslie Bibb, Jamie Chung, Jerry Ferrara, Ryan Kwanten, Johnathon Schaech, Amy Smart and Scout Taylor-Compton.
Extras include a look behind the scenes at the making of the film (the “Inside Flight 7500” featurette).
Arrow Video has a number of releases coming out later this year that I am eagerly looking forward to with Death Walks Twice: Two Films By Luciano Ercoli leading the way as most anticipated. This limited edition boxset contains two films by Luciano Ercoli – Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight. With the April 5th release date just around the corner, Arrow has kindly provided Bloody Disgusting with an exclusive clip from Death Walks on High Heels!
Emerging at the peak of the giallo boom of the early ’70s, Luciano Ercoli’s Death Walks films are two superlative examples of the genre linked by their shared casting of the stunning Nieves Navarro (billed under her adopted stage name of Susan Scott) as the lead woman in peril.
Offering up all the glamour, perversity and narrative twists and turns that are typical of the giallo genre at its best, Luciano Ercoli’s Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight anticipate the super-stylized trappings of Brian De Palma’s early psycho thrillers (most notably, Dressed to Kill).
Death Walks on High Heels (1971)
Exotic dancer Nicole (Navarro), the daughter of a murdered jewel thief, finds herself terrorised by a black-clad assailant determined on procuring her father’s stolen gems. Fleeing Paris and her knife-wielding pursuer, Nicole arrives in London only to discover that death stalks her at every corner.
Death Walks at Midnight (1972)
Navarro stars as Valentina – a model who, in the midst of a drug-fuelled photoshoot, witnesses a brutal murder in the apartment opposite hers. But when it becomes clear that the savage slaying she describes relates to a crime that took place six months earlier, the police are at a loss – forcing Valentina to solve the mystery alone.
•Limited Edition boxed-set (3000 copies) containing Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight
•Brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives
•High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
•Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays)
•Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
•Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
•Limited Edition 60-page booklet containing new writing from authors Danny Shipka (Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France), Troy Howarth (So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films) and writer Leonard Jacobs,
•Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas
•Introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
•Newly-edited archive interview with director Luciano Ercoli and actress Nieves Navarro
•Master of Giallo – brand new interview in which Gastaldi discusses Death Walks on High Heels and offers up his thoughts as to what constitutes a good giallo
•An interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani
•Original Italian trailer
•Original English trailer
•Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
•Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas
•Introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
•Extended TV version of the feature [105 mins]
•Crime Does Pay – brand new interview in which Gastaldi discusses Death Walks at Midnight and a career script-writing crime films
•Desperately Seeking Susan – a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the distinctive giallo collaborations between director Luciano Ercoli and star Nieves Navarro
•Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
Having just been released on Steam, check out the launch trailer for the creepy as hell looking haunted house game Obscuritas.
The first-person horror title has you navigating an ancient country house in an attempt to solve its deep dark secrets. And honestly, that house looks so damn spooky that I don’t even think that I would step foot inside during the day, let alone in the dead of night.
When Sarah inherits her great-uncle’s old country home, she has no idea about the dark secret she has stumbled upon and into what obscure world it will take her to. Help Sarah solve the mystery and escape the malicious clutches of the old mansion. Fear is a constant companion on your journey. No matter the dark shadows lurking behind every corner, creeping beasts or demons from another dimension: You have to face your greatest fears to defeat the darkness.
Creeping shadows, huge spiders or terrifying monsters that are coming for you: Experience your personal nightmare through the game’s “fear recognition mechanic”.
While fighting your way through this nightmare you’ll have to solve various riddles to get to the root of this evil and defeat it.
Face your Fears in 3 different chapters with a total of 29 sequences.
Experience thrilling graphics set in an atmospheric environment which will turn your blood cold.
The post Spooky Launch Trailer For Haunted House Game Obscuritas appeared first on Dread Central.
One of Wes Craven’s final films, The Girl in the Photograph is now on VOD and in limited theaters. In light of the release, a new clip is shared that sets up one of the film’s kill scenes.
Colleen’s life isn’t going anywhere. The small town natural beauty is bored with her dead end job at a grocery store and is ready to distance herself from her abusive boyfriend. In the midst of her turmoil, a pair of deranged serial killers begins leaving her photos of their mutilated victims. Her chance to escape comes in the form of Peter Hemmings (Penn), a hipster celebrity photographer who has traveled back to his hometown of Spearfish, South Dakota with a pack of models, intent on copying the killers’ intense and unapologetic artistry and use it for an important ad campaign. When he learns Colleen is their muse, Peter resolves to make her his own and use her as the centerpiece of a photo campaign in Los Angeles. But before Colleen can leave her old life behind, she must contend with the desires of her murderous stalkers who have chosen her last night in town to execute their most provocative work to date.
Kal Penn stars with Claudia Lee, Kenny Wormald, Toby Hemingway, Luke Baines, Miranda Rae Mayo, Katharine Isabelle, and Mitch Pileggi.
If you want to read another review, Kalyn has weighed in with her thoughts.
Directed by Giulio De Santi, Neil Meschino
Distributed by Necrostorm
“Body melts, alien mutations, tons of action and geysers of gore await you. The 80’s are back!” exclaims The Mildew from Planet Xonader’s synopsis. Goddamn right they (almost) are!
Throwbacks, homages, and celebrations of magical bygone eras have been the order of the day for a long, long time, many examples unfortunately using such labels to disguise poor planning, ropey acting, lazy FX, and a complete lack of originality. Whilst some of our dearly beloved 80’s trash may very well have been a mish-mash of coarse, economical trials and tribulations, they all shared one significant ingredient: love, ladies and gentleman – pure, potent, and powerful, permeating every frame and warming the coldest of hearts.
By jingo, finances may well have been tight, but (much like the fake blood) enthusiasm sloshed around in abundance!
Necrostorm, the Italian-American visceral visionaries responsible for titles such as Hotel Inferno and Adam Chaplin, have boldly revamped Neil Meschino’s 2012 film Mold!, breathing fresh life into a creature feature that boasts several of the components needed to make this more than an idle, uninspired nod to the good old days.
It’s 1984, the Reagan administration is in full swing, and researchers at the top secret Bentan Labs are celebrating the completion of their latest weapons project: an all-consuming mildew capable of rapid growth – ideal for obliterating stores of enemy rations. But when a political bigwig is accidentally infected, the fungus’ spores are released across the entire complex, and as the infected begin to mutate, survivors must join forces with a mysterious soldier – the aptly named Toxic – to combat the parasitic green god-awfulness before it’s too late.
Flooded with carefully-placed garish light, The Mildew from Planet Xonader looks every inch the classic schlock it’s trying so hard to emulate. Unlike many weaker attempts at tribute, however, it doesn’t stop there; its pounding synth score resonates and transports us perfectly where it knows we want to be – where? Back to a time of punch-the-air practical FX, OTT characters, and shite moustaches, that’s where!
It’s impossible to pay homage to a rather shoddy cinematic sub-genre you love so dearly without purposely making your film look a tad thrown-together, but there are precise ways of creating crudeness, and no corners are cut here where those methods are concerned. Mildew’s ludicrous characters are played admirably in the midst of the mayhem, and the FX set pieces are pretty damn fantastic: pulsating, melting flesh; oozing eyeballs; and glove-puppet mutant mice are a constant and never get boring. Plus, there are two scenes in particular that honestly blew me away: an early hand-washing sequence that was genuinely nauseating and some head-splitting editing that made me shout “FUCK YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!” at my TV.
Of course, some elements don’t quite work as seamlessly. For example, the pleasurable score is virtually continuous, laid over 99% of the visuals and lessening the impact of both. Also, the scenes in between the set pieces meander and can seem dialogue-heavy… although, when we’re being blessed with lines such as “If I can survive a knife fight with a Cambodian jaguar, then this little cigar ain’t got a chance,” should I really be overly critical?!
Necrostorm’s Collector’s Edition includes a graphic novel, posters, postcards, outtakes, featurettes, and the soundtrack and trailer; but it was unavailable for us to review.
Dig out your Deadly Spawn t-shirt, crack open a can of Hubba Bubba, and party with The Mildew from Planet Xonader like it’s 1984!
In the spirit of the season, UK production studio Mycho has released the short film SlAyPRIL Fools Day online for free for a limited period. You can watch it right here, right now – no foolin’!
SlAyPRIL Fools Day is a mock trailer for a fake horror franchise, filled with cheesy puns, one-liners, and some in-jokes for fans of cult films that have had many a sequel over the years. It is a tongue-in-cheek love letter to our favorite franchises, with films taking place “In the Hood” and, of course, with the obligatory “In Space” sequel.
It was produced by Anna McCarthy and MJ Dixon, directed by Dixon, and will be featured in the grindhouse anthology Grindsploitation along with many other short films from indie directors around the world. It stars Georgie Smibert, Paris Rivers, William Marshall, Lewis Cooper, Anna McCarthy, Moray Binfield, Bam Goodall, Jason Impey, Michael Lovett, and Richard Fysh as “The Prankster,” the world’s first time-traveling slasher villain.
Check out the film below, and tell your friends! It’s available today, the 1st of April, ONLY!
The Souls series has always done its own thing. From Software thinks exclusively outside the box, eschewing the hand-holdy nature of modern video game design and the way they’re marketed to bring us games that are strange and innovative, punishing and deeply rewarding. The trailers have been particularly memorable for their striking visuals and a brief look at some of the harrowing boss encounters we’ll soon conquer — after a couple dozen tries — because we don’t know any better.
We’re hooked. Addicts looking for that sweet satisfaction that only a new Souls can provide.
This animated trailer for Dark Souls III has the ingredients we’d expect from a Souls trailer, only they’ve been prepared by director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel), because why not?
Season 2 of “Fear the Walking Dead” is set to kick off in just a few more days, but in case you’re a little foggy on what went down in Season 1, AMC has just released a refresher video to get you back up-to-speed.
The second season of “Fear the Walking Dead” debuts on April 10th, just one week after this weekend’s super-sized “The Walking Dead” Season 6 finale.
Set in Los Angeles, “Fear the Walking Dead” Season 2 focuses on new characters and storylines. The cast includes Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Lorenzo James Henrie, Ruben Blades, Mercedes Mason, Daniel Zovatto, Dougray Scott, and Colman Domingo.
“Fear the Walking Dead” Episode 2.01 – “Monster” (4/10/16)
Our families flee a burning Los Angeles on Strand’s yacht. Strand (Colman Domingo) remains mysterious. Our group encounters danger at sea.
The post Catch Up on Fear the Walking Dead Season 1; More Details on Episode 2.01 – Monster appeared first on Dread Central.
When you think about the “legacy” of a certain very famous house in Amityville, New York, you have to take the good with the bad. Which side of the fence will The Amityville Legacy fall on? We’ll find out later this year when it hits VOD and DVD/Blu-ray, but in the meantime, here’s the first trailer and a half-dozen images from the film, which offer up a few clues.
Written and directed by Dustin Ferguson and Mike Johnson and produced by 42nd Street Films and Sinister Studios, The Amityville Legacy follows a cursed antique toy monkey from the original DeFeo home as it wrecks havoc and possesses a father after being gifted during an annual family reunion.
It stars Julia Farrell, Mark Popejoy, Schuylar Craig, Jennii Caroline, Jade LaFont, and Colby Coash.
For more info “like” The Amityville Legacy on Facebook.
The post The Amityville Legacy Leaves Behind an Official Trailer and Image Gallery appeared first on Dread Central.
I was totally unaware when I sent a message to Karen Ingenthron Lewis on Facebook (after she accepted my friend request) with questions about her role in the bizarro Frederic Hobbs western/horror film Godmonster of Indian Flats that I was also messaging the widow of iconic vampire character actor Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis, who passed away in 2006. Prior to this realization I was fixated on learning more about the film that brought the world a gigantic, mutant sheep terrorizing a western town (appropriately stuck in the 1800s).
Upon connecting the dots, however, I realized that this article (which is not about a mutant sheep; sorry, you’ll have to go elsewhere for that one), about the New Zealand children’s vampire movie My Grandpa is a Vampire (known also as Grampire as well as Moonrise), quickly took on a deeper, more significant purpose.
(Note: The author will be referring to the film by its original distribution title of Grampire throughout the remainder of the article and interview.)
That production [Grampire] is a highlight of my life. My memoir, called, funnily enough, I Married a Munster, My Life with “Grandpa” Al Lewis, is now in print. A large section is dedicated to the time Al and I spent together in New Zealand. -Karen Lewis, 2016
There was a brief period during my youth when I began getting really interested in horror films but wasn’t quite brave enough to take the plunge. As a result, I began seeking out films that were – at their heart – for young adults but that possessed some horror elements: Little Monsters; The Witches; Gremlins 2: The New Batch (the first Gremlins film came out before my time); and, of course, Grampire. I have a vivid memory of seeing the VHS box in the local video store and being both intrigued and a little scared of the bright purple and white moon on the front with Al Lewis’ grinning face on it. I’m assuming because it wasn’t rated R, my parents took a chance and rented it for a family movie night.
Lonny (played by the late Justin Gocke) journeys from sunny California to New Zealand in order to pay his Aunt Leah and Grandfather Vernon (played by Lewis) a visit. While getting reacquainted with each other, Lonny and his Kiwi pal (played by Milan Borich) begin to suspect that grandpa’s odd behavior (keeping curtains drawn, sleeping during the day, his aversion to garlic, etc.) may be signs that he’s actually a bloodsucker! Sadly, and before finding any real proof to confirm their suspicions, granddaddy bites the dust – leaving a wake of bereaved family members in his wake.
Immediately following the funeral, however, their suspicions are confirmed as Grandpa rises from his coffin, pleased to see his grandson and full of promises that he’s not dangerous or at all like other dead risers. All is well until Aunt Leah’s boyfriend gets wind of their vampiric relative and sets out – stake in hand – to catch and do away with our the beloved grampire.
What happens next, you ask!? You’ll have to track down a copy and see for yourself. (The film has yet to receive the DVD or Blu-ray treatment, so you’ll have to look for a copy on VHS). Overall, Lewis looks and sounds comfortable in his familiar role of the vampire, cackling and flying about in a way that is actually somewhat spooky and even a little demented at times. There are some really interesting scenes, like the one where the two boys and grandpa are hiding out in some caves near a beach. While out flying around, these three musketeers even make a pit stop at a McDonald’s so Grandpa can sip a pint of cow’s blood. Delicious!
Themes of death and losing loved ones aside, Grampire toys with the viewer’s senses in intriguing, confusing, and even nostalgic ways. It’s intriguing due to some really effective and atmospheric cinematography (there’s lots of lush blue lighting, for example). It’s also, at times, confusing almost exclusively because of the oddly placed funeral scene where we see a woman performing erotic acts on her food directed at our two lead boys during grandpa’s funeral. And I find it nostalgic because director David Blyth is effective at conjuring memories of some classic 1980s monster movie fare, like Fright Night and The Lost Boys — other attempts at diluting the vampire and making him more accessible to children.
Upon revisiting Grampire, I began to wonder whether Lewis loathed assuming the image that had brought him fame three decades earlier. “Unlike Al’s best friend, Fred Gwynne, who was tired of being typecast as a horror show character,” Karen Lewis told me in an email, “Al continued to be grateful for and enjoy the celebrity his fans had given him. He loved to interact with people and kept on entertaining them as Grandpa Munster.” Clearly, I had assumed wrong!
She continued to explain how Lewis’ role in Grampire had a greater significance for him than maybe even his co-stars realized. “When he was cast in My Grandpa is a Vampire, he felt as if everything he’d done as an actor had gone full circle and he was totally committed to the part.” Admittedly I felt infinitely better learning that Lewis had not only accepted this role with pleasure but that it, for him, signified a kind of exclamation mark on what was an unforgettable career.
Recently New Zealand director David Blyth was generous enough to talk with me about everything from the origins of Grampire to his time with Al Lewis, his darker cinematic side as director of such horror films as Death Warmed Up and Red Blooded American Girl, and finally, his thoughts on what it actually means for a film to look and feel “Kiwi.”
John Campopiano: Before jumping right into vampires, I want to briefly ask you about a horror film you made in 1984 called Death Warmed Up. Fans of 1980s cult horror may remember this one (thanks, in part, to the fantastic VHS cover featuring a scalpel-wielding skeleton). How did that project come about?
David Blyth: I met screenwriter Michael Heath (writer of the 1982 horror film Next of Kin) at a party hosted by Vincent Ward (director of What Dreams May Come, which featured Robin Williams). Michael revealed to me the outline of a story involving cryogenics and the science of bringing dead bodies back to life — both of which had fascinated me, in a science fiction sort of way. From that outline the script for Death Warmed Up emerged!
JC: How did the idea for Grampire originally come about?
DB: Michael Heath years earlier had written a children’s radio play called Moonrise, which completely subverted the vampire genre, and this really appealed to me. The feature script grew from that source. After making movies with adult censor restrictions, I decided to attempt a more family orientated movie — a vampire genre story with a twist. The original script had more entertaining special effects sequences, which unfortunately were never shot, as in the end an investor did not deliver and we proceeded with shooting a lower budget version of the film than was written.
JC: This film has been known by a few different titles, yes?
DB: The film started out being called Moonrise. The local distributor in New Zealand decided that a name change was in order and came up with the title Grampire. It changed again when the distributor in the US decided to go with the title My Grandpa is a Vampire. We were not party to the decision to change the name in the US. We weren’t really consulted in New Zealand either. To this day the New Zealand Film Commission uses both titles (Moonrise/Grampire) in correspondence with us.
JC: Did you always have Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis in mind to play the role of Vernon Cooger?
DB: Yes, we were always interested in Al Lewis. “The Munsters” television series had always been a personal favourite and we had heard stories from travelers visiting New York that Al was often seen at a restaurant he owned in town. So we knew he was alive and decided to track him down. Al jumped at the opportunity to come to New Zealand!
JC: What are some of your most vivid memories from working with Al?
DB: Al was a fascinating man, telling stories of his vaudeville days going far back to the 1940s and 1950s. One of his favourite things to say to me regarding the entertainment industry was, “It’s not show business; it’s business show!”
Everywhere Al went, he engaged with people. He loved to entertain! On set he was very easy to work with and he brought a generosity of spirit that swept the cast and crew up into a magical world. He was happy to play a mischievous vampire who hated blood as it was a continuation of his own “outside the box” (almost vaudeville-like) depiction of a vampire character. Al embraced life. He came to New Zealand with his long nails especially grown for the movie!
The big issue on set was not bloodsucking at all — but sugar! Al, Pat Evison (New Zealand actress who played Aunt Leah), and Noel Appleby (also a Kiwi, starring here as Ernie) were all elderly and had to watch their sugar intake (on doctors orders). None of them were immune to breaking this rule on set. Likewise for Milan Borich and Justin Gocke, who were both barely into their teens. We had to watch them around the chocolate cake as the sugar sent them wild!!
JC: Several critics have commented over the years that Grampire feels quintessentially “Kiwi.” What does this characterization mean to you?
DB: Grampire is New Zealand Gothic, utilising Auckland’s wild west coast with its black sand beaches and larger-than-life characters and locations. This backdrop gives the film its unique Kiwi charm. Despite its low budget the film had some very high production values. Two of Grampire’s crew (from the design and costume departments) went on to have successful careers that included Academy Award wins in both of those fields!
JC: In 2014 Justin Gocke (the actor who portrayed “Lonny” in the film) died at the young age of 36. When did you learn of his death and what was your reaction?
DB: I did not know that Justin Gocke had died ‘til our recent correspondence. I was really shocked to hear the sad news. Justin was a professional actor even at such a young age. He had a maturity about him that amazed me at the time. RIP, Justin Gocke.
JC: Just a couple of years prior to Grampire, you directed the Canadian horror/fantasy film Red Blooded American Girl, starring Kim Coates and Christopher Plummer. Was it merely coincidence that your next project would again involve vampiric characters, or was this subject matter of interest to you back in those days?
DB: In terms of vampire films I was particularly fond of Tony Scott’s The Hunger (1983) and Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark (1987). When the opportunity came along to work with Allan Moyle (writer and director of the 1990 film Pump up the Volume) on the script of Red Blooded American Girl with its vampire/AIDS twist, as a director I was hooked. I’m still passionate about the horror/thriller genre, as evidenced by my recent features, Wound (2010) and Ghost Bride (2013). I’m currently working on several horror orientated scripts.
The post Interview with the Grampire: David Blyth Talks Working with Al Lewis and More appeared first on Dread Central.
Fantastic news here at Dread Central for one of the best movies this writer has caught thus far in 2016.
Scare Campaign, the latest venture from the tormented minds behind 100 Bloody Acres, Australian brothers Colin and Cameron Cairnes, has secured a stream of international deals ensuring it reaches the wide audience it deserves.
As reported by if.com.au, whilst the film gets a home release through Madman Entertainment on the Cairnes’ home turf this July, international deals have now been secured in the UK (Metrodome), Latin America, the Middle East, Turkey, Greece and Indonesia.
In response to the news, the film’s producer Julie Ryan said, “We are thrilled that the fantastic traction Scare Campaign has gained through positive media reviews, sold out screenings and social media, has translated into an international appetite for the film.”
In a recent interview Dread Central conducted with the writing/directing siblings they openly explained their inspirations behind the flick:
“After 100 Bloody Acres we wanted to do another project with our producer, Julie Ryan, and she was keen to do another horror film, although this time we thought we’d go more straight horror instead of horror/comedy. I think the idea came from us just trolling the internet, looking for ideas and inspiration, and finding these YouTube clips about reality TV programs (prank shows) where people are put into these scary situations, and we thought, “What if the victim were to turn and got their revenge on the TV crew?” So the idea spun from that, and we started looking around for some locations to shoot. Victoria, Australia, has a number of old abandoned lunatic asylums with wonderful architecture and all sorts of nooks and crannies to shoot in. These locations come reasonably cheap, so it’s great for low-budget horror moviemaking, and we’re talking to you from one of those asylums right now.”
But, ahead of all the aforementioned releases, Scare Campaign will be screening as one of the 14 films competing in the official section of Bilbao’s Fantasy Film Festival, FANT, this May. Although Colin Cairnes is unable to attend due to work commitments, Cameron jumped at the chance to be able to hop on over to the fest, commenting, “Spain is home to a large and very passionate horror film scene, and I can’t wait to experience that first hand. Added to which, I hear the Basque Country tapas are to die for.”
Whilst official international release dates are yet to be confirmed, we’ll let you know all the details as and when they roll out. And surely we’ll be reporting on a US deal some time very soon.
Scare Campaign stars Olivia DeJonge (The Visit), Meegan Warner, Ian Meadows, and Josh Quong Tart and we’ll leave you with the latest trailer for the movie…
Popular prank TV show “Scare Campaign” has been entertaining audiences for the last five years with its mix of old school scares and hidden camera fun. But as we enter a new age of online TV, the producers find themselves up against a new hard-edged web series which makes their show look decidedly quaint. It’s time to up the ante, but will the team go too far this time, and are they about to prank the wrong guy?
The post Australian Shocker Scare Campaign Secures a Plethora of International Deals appeared first on Dread Central.
Despite the gaming industry’s long-standing penchant for emulating blockbuster movies and TV series, as video games now offer so much extra bang for the buck, roles are beginning to reverse and it’s filmmakers who are taking heed of the benefits go-to gaming mechanics have to offer when it comes to creating the ultimate immersive cinematic experience.
Ilya Naishuller’s soon-to-be-released POV actioner Hardcore Henry is being touted as THE best action film ever made, but a week before that comes out, director John Suits (The Scribbler) gets HIS gaming geek on as he also tackles the first-person perspective in Pandemic.
To celebrate the film’s release (April 1), we caught up with Suits as he explains how, in his eyes, POV and found footage are two very distinct concepts and just how tough it was to recreate a first-person shooter style movie given the fact there wasn’t a particularly tried and tested formula for shooting a film of this ilk.
DC: Can you tell us how Dustin T. Benson’s script reached your hands and what convinced you that his POV perspective wasn’t going to play out as just another found footage style gimmick?
Suits: It was actually on the 2012 Blood List and was called Viral at the time. We were prowling for our next project and I saw this logline that sounded pretty crazy, but then I read the script and it was incredible. We worked a long time with Dustin developing it and I think what is a lot of fun about it is that it didn’t feel like a gimmicky POV film at all; it actually felt like a story with good characters and art, and that was what we really tried to focus on.
DC: From a director’s point of view, what was the biggest challenge in terms of shooting a breed of film that has rarely been tackled before?
Suits: That was definitely the hardest thing. We had to do a lot of research to find things that had been shot in this kind of first-person perspective. There were things like Maniac with Elijah Wood and Into the Void and movies like that that we looked at. Rather than a found footage movie, I consider it more as a POV first-person movie.
An issue I have with found footage is that you have to spend the whole movie kind of justifying why we’re seeing what we’re seeing, but with this first-person perspective you’re on the journey, you’re on the road. In Pandemic it’s not shaky cam either; it’s more trying to emulate what the eye would see and that involved us really exploring how to use camera rigs in a way where, when the character is running, it’s not all crazy and shaky but rather it has more of a bounce to it, more like how you would see everything if you were running. We put A LOT of work into that with photographer Mark Putnam, and we also worked with Radiant Images, who work with all different kinds of rigs and cameras, so we spent countless days there trying to figure out different variations and what worked for each situation. It was a big undertaking but it was a lot of fun trying to unlock the formula.
DC: How many sleepless nights did you spend playing Call of Duty et al, as the film embraces video game aesthetics and narratives in a big way?
Suits: Through my younger years I loved video games and I love that genre. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I have kids now [laughs] so my video game days are behind me but I did play some beforehand but it was hard to find time. I have friends who played things like Modern Warfare or Left 4 Dead, and I also went on YouTube to watch those kinds of games to get the look and feel of how it feels to be in that space. We also looked at different kinds of weapons and I asked our stunt guy, “What are fun ways to kill people?” We had a full bunch of meetings just about that.
DC: And how did the cast adapt to the challenge of shooting POV style?
Suits: The way that we did it was we had a male and a female camera operator who would put on the camera suits of whichever character they were going to play. The actors really enjoyed it too, though. They were a really cool group of actors that were really into it. I went into it really nervous, wondering how we would be able to coordinate the actors when we had camera operators working inside their suits, but they were all super professional. They also spent the time to go over each and every movement for every scene with the camera operators to help them mimic their movements in the film.
All of that aside, I think they were phenomenal actors and I think with Rachel (Nichols), you really get invested in her character because she brings us all on this whole journey. I don’t want to give anything away to readers but she really has to play a lot of different things and the way she was able to accomplish that was remarkable.
DC: Let’s talk special effects. It looks to be roughly a 50/50 split between CGI and practical.
Suits: Yeah, there are a lot of visual effects for sure and we had a great team of guys doing that. Doing visual effects in the first-person perspective was tricky. It’s obviously easier when you have a locked down shot so it was essential to have a person on set to guide us through how we were going to do it. And then there was the job of turning Los Angeles into this post-apocalyptic wasteland, all the street design and stuff like that. Our production designer, Yong Ok Lee, would do all the work with our team and he would take us down to LA and turn it into a post-apocalyptic landscape in like two hours. But then we had to add fires and deteriorate things afterwards so that’s where the video effects team was crucial. They really ploughed through it because there were so many complicated shots because of all the camera moves involved and they really crushed it.
DC: Editing Pandemic must have been one hell of a challenge, particularly in the action scenes with hordes of virus carriers in the frame.
Suits: Absolutely! Nicholas Larrabure was our editor and it was very hard because a lot of the scenes involved trying to make the editing feel seamless. Obviously, another thing we had to work really hard on was how to tell a story in first-person because there are scenes where we cut around different perspectives and then there are others where you just stay with one character. So having to choose when to do that was tough. And then we had to figure out exactly how to cut because, again, there’s not really a tried and tested formula for this kind of film.
In the action scenes you mention you’ve got the cameras looking to the left and right and you’ve got to add all the CGI stuff there, or you’ve got an actor whose head is getting smashed in so it was a very tedious process where there’d be something that feels like one long shot where it’s often a bunch of different takes stitched together to really enhance it and bring out the best elements of it. So the editing was definitely extremely crucial, and at the same time we couldn’t really follow habitual editing rules because those rules don’t really correspond to a first-person style film. It was definitely a big challenge.
DC: Aside from Pandemic is there anything you are able to reveal about upcoming projects? I know you have a few things planned with your co-producer, Gabriel Cowen.
Suits: Yeah. Gabriel and I have a production company called New Artists Alliance and we just finished our 20th feature. We also went to film school together and went on to work on movies together. Our next movie is actually directed by Gabriel, and it’s called When the Lights Go Out. It’s a very cool end of days type of realm. And then we have a bunch of other films coming soon such as Fear, Inc., which will be screening at Tribeca in April, and also Jekyll Island.
Pandemic’s vicious virus is all set to spread like the plague this April 1st, and we’ll leave you with the trailer, which we hope persuades you to give it a whirl…
The post Helmer John Suits Talks POV Apocalyptic Action-Thriller Pandemic appeared first on Dread Central.
I sincerely hope that I never have to ask anyone if they were a fan of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. And now you can actually experience a bit of one of the most classic and iconic horror movies of all time for yourself.
No, I don’t mean that you’ll get to be hung on a meat hook or sliced to pieces with a chainsaw, I’m talking about the iconic Last Chance Gas Station from the film, which, as we learn from Facebook, is being converted into landmark location for horror fans, complete with a restaurant, store and music venue. It will even contain four cabins so you can stay overnight.
Sounds like horror fans will finally have their own Mecca which they can make pilgrimages too. Screw Disneyland, I know where I want to go on vacation!
The post The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s Last Chance Gas Station to Become a Tourist Resort appeared first on Dread Central.
Word of an upcoming horror movie that we haven’t heard about yet landed in our inbox today, and it sounds like a new spin on the supernatural/demonic entity sub-genre. Check out the terrifying theatrical trailer, official poster artwork, and a still from The Offering, heading to select U.S. theaters and VOD nationwide on May 6th from Momentum Pictures.
The film stars Matthew Settle (“Gossip Girl”) and Elizabeth Rice (“Mad Men”). It was directed by Kelvin Tong.
When successful reporter Jamie (Elizabeth Rice) finds out that her sister has died mysteriously, she travels to Singapore to uncover the truth. There, she discovers multiple deaths linked to her sister and must join forces with her sister’s husband (Matthew Settle) in order to defeat a demonic entity that is using new technology to complete an ancient mission.
Robert Kirkman’s “Outcast,” directed by Adam Wingard (who did V/H/S and V/H/S/2 with Bloody Disgusting, as well as A Horrible Way to Die, The Guest and You’re Next), will premiere on Cinemax June 3rd, 2016, with the cabler already announcing a second season.
Kirkman is the guy behind all five seasons of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” as well as the new spinoff series “Fear the Walking Dead”, so there is a great deal of hype and anticipation for this show.
A new trailer teaser was sent our way and it’s jam-packed with Exorcist-like imagery that’s even weirder than this clip that released last year.
” ‘Outcast’ follows Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life. Now, with the help of the Reverend Anderson, a preacher with personal demons of his own, Kyle embarks on a journey to find answers and regain the normal life he lost. But what Kyle discovers could change his fate — and the fate of the world — forever.”
Patrick Fugit (“Gone Girl”) stars as Barnes, a man searching for answers, and for redemption, who sequesters himself from those he loves for fear of causing greater hurt. Philip Glenister (“Life on Mars”) stars as Reverend Anderson, a West Virginia evangelist who believes he is a soldier in God’s holy war against the forces of evil on Earth. An inveterate drinker and gambler, he doesn’t believe God intends people to sweat the small stuff. Gabriel Bateman (“Stalker”) stars as Joshua Austin, an eight-year-old who lives across town from Kyle. To his family’s dismay, he appears to be in the clutches of demonic possession, but there’s something very different about this possession and its connection to Kyle Barnes.
Not only is Greg McLean bringing us a new “Wolf Creek” miniseries in May, but on Friday, May 13, 2016 he will be reuniting with Rogue star Radha Mitchell on The Darkness, the latest from BH Tilt.
The trailer for Greg McLean’s supernatural horror, also starring Kevin Bacon (“The Following,” Stir of Echoes), displays the journey of a family that returns home from vacation at the Grand Canyon and innocently bring home a supernatural force that preys off their own fears and vulnerabilities, threatening to destroy them from within, while consuming their lives with terrifying consequences.
David Mazouz, Lucy Fry, Matt Walsh and Jennifer Morrison also star.
Check out an exclusive clip above that’s brief and to the point – there are going to be some scares!
For hundreds of years now, scientists at the Weyland-Yutani Corporation have been monitoring the behavior of an alien life-form so powerful that its potential for military application appears limitless. Although all attempts to harness the beast’s abilities have ended in appalling bloodshed, the acquisition of the Xenomorph remains a priority.
“Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report” grants fans of the popular franchise access to detailed files on the alien in hopes that they will be able to help capture and subjugate one of these fascinating yet deadly creatures.
This in-universe book is the perfect companion piece to Alien Day, utilizing specially commissioned illustrations and thirty-five years of Alien movie concept art and film stills to create a deeply engrossing reading experience that explores the nature of the Xenomorph in unparalleled detail.
“Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report” contains extensive information on the characters, locations, vehicles, and weapons from the movies, along with an in-depth breakdown of the Xenomorph’s life cycle, to give readers the most comprehensive look at one of movie history’s greatest monsters.
Covering all aspects of this highly praised franchise’s thirty-five-year history, “Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report” is the ultimate resource for fans.
Shout Factory! is forcing the medicine down our throats with the release of Dementia, starring Gene Jones (The Sacrament) and Kristina Klebe (Proxy, Halloween).
Described as a cross between Misery and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, the film also stars some of horror’s hottest indie actors that include Peter Cilella (Resolution) Richard Riehle (Texas Chainsaw 3D) Marc Senter (Red, White & Blue), Graham Skipper (Almost Human) as well as Molly McQueen (Carjacked) Tony Denison (The Closer) and introducing newcomer Hassie Harrison.
On Blu-ray May 17th, “Diagnosed with dementia, war veteran George Lockhart (Jones) must deal with his estranged family. Son Jerry (Cilella) and granddaughter Shelby (Harrison) force him to hire a live-in nurse (Klebe). Only to find she harbors a sinister secret.“
Director Mike Testin, and Producers by J.D. Lifshitz and Raphael Margules are the filmmakers behind the horror hit film Contracted. Executive Producers are Jonathan Yunger and Jeffrey Greenstein. The screenwriter is Meredith Berg.