Inspired by Michael Crichton’s 1973 feature film, HBO’s “Westworld,” a drama is billed as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin, is back on track for a fall premiere, although no date is set.
Ed Harris stars as ‘The Man in Black’ – described as the distillation of pure villainy into one man – who stars alongside Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Kyle Bornheimer and more. The Box‘s James Marsden plays Teddy Flood, a mysterious new arrival to a small frontier town. Teddy quickly proves both his charm — and his talent with a revolver — while his pursuit of a local beauty launches him on a dark odyssey (source: EW).
In the below promo you get a taste of the modern adaptation, which has a serious Matrix vibe to it. And while there’s quite a bit of sci-fi imagery, it also looks pretty violent. I’m loving this concept fully realized as the original film feels both dated and “small,” considering how far our technology has come in 40 years.
It hails from The Dark Knight and Interstellar co-writer Jonathan Nolan.
“People who come into this place are looking for—and this is the irony of it—the authentic experience,” Nolan explained to EW last year, before the delayed production. “They’re looking for not the virtual version, but the real version, the tactile version. Interestingly we’ve arrived at what [the original film] created—fully immersible virtual worlds. Look at Grand Theft Auto or any of these wholly imagined open-world video games. They are beautiful. They’re perfectly immersive and brilliant and filled with narrative turns … “What happens in Westworld stays in Westworld.” It’s a place where you can be whoever the f–k you want to be and there are no consequences. No rules, no limitations.”
Saban Films has acquired North American rights to writer-director Zack Whedon’s feature helming debut, Come and Find Me, says THR.
The film stars “The Path” and “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul, as well as Annabelle Wallis (X-Men: First Class, The Mummy).
“The thriller follows David (Paul), who must track down the whereabouts of his mysterious girlfriend (Wallis) after he realizes she’s not who she was pretending to be.”
The deal comes on the heels of Saban Films picking up the gender-reassignment thriller Tomboy: A Revenger’s Tale earlier this week, as well as Stephen King’s Cell, Rob Zombie’s 31 and even Backtrack, starring Adrien Brody and Sam Neill.
Automatik’s Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (Midnight Special), Motion Picture Capital’s Leon Clarance (“Sense8”) and Oddfellows Entertainment’s Chris Ferguson (Afflicted) produced Come and Find Me. Laure Vaysse and Jo Monk executive produced.
”The most unfettered imagination belongs to young people, and they don’t walk through life; they fly” – Rod Serling
In 1963, “The Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling was interviewed by Australian radio presenter Binny Lum. The interview goes over a great many topics, including the now infamous show, which Lum admits to never having seen (and Serling takes it in very stylish stride).
Serling also talks about Japanese “Kamikaze” cab drivers, how science fiction predicts the future, and his own writing routine, which involved writing for at least three to four hours every day of the week.
The video is just over five minutes and it’s charmingly and delightfully illustrated, so I definitely recommend giving this a watch. Additionally, there’s a wonderful write up on the Blank on Blank page, which is where this series was created.
Gates Motel Looks like something I should backspace over, but no, it’s an actual thing. Grounded in the very obvious reference in its title, the game will require players to survive a night in this Psycho-inspired locale, collecting items in an effort to reach a phone and call the police.
Judging by the pre-Alpha footage, it appears that the progression will take players through the motel and up to the scarily-reproduced version of the “Gates” house. Gameplay appears to be a little rudimentary, but it’s early yet, and the inclusion of the word “puzzles” can be a red herring. Puzzles these days can be as simple or as complex as the developer sees fit, and I’ve played about as many “wander around this spooky environment and collect things” as I can stomach.
Here’s the basic premise (from the Steam page):
The game puts players in a motel off the main road, where they will play as a woman who has to confront two kinds of nightmares: The owner of the establishment as well as her own, deep, dark fears. Your job is to avoid the same fate previous tenants had to suffer while making your way to the telephone to notify local authorities and be rescued.
A video of the pre-Alpha footage can fill in some of the details for you:
The black-and-white art style is a nice touch and a bold one, as well. It hearkens back to the Hitchcockian aesthetic of the inspirational material. I especially dig the main menu screen, but a menu screen does not a game make. The early question, the one right out of the gate, is: what of what we see right now will be intact in the final, released version?
Odds are, the name, at the very least, will have to change…unless the developers really dig lawsuits and whatnot. What intrigues me more is what fundamental aspects of Gates Motel will go through an overhaul. Sure, the title’s difference from the movie is the equivalent of a faulty keyboard press, but there are also plenty of cosmetic similarities that render the game a giant question mark. Can they get away with a virtually identical reproduction of the motel / house from Psycho?
And then, if all of that is changed, then what is interesting about it? The mechanics are a mystery, as of this writing. It appears to be a collectibles-based survival game, where progression is based on what you pick up through searching. However, if we come to the game for the mouthfeel of a Hitchcockian experience, and it changes, then what is going to be the appeal?
Gates Motel is on track for a fourth quarter release on PC from Patagonia Art, whose previous release is entitled Pixel Survivors. No word on VR support just yet. It’s in a pre-Alpha state right now, so it’s unplayable at present moment, but it is up for voting over on Steam Greenlight. If that’s something you’d like to see on Steam, then go check it out.
The first officially released shot from the set of Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant has been released. The photo shows a production monitor that reveals an image from the shoot of Katherine Waterston laying against the wall of a hallway, a weapon of some sort resting against her leg, wires exposed and hanging from the ceiling and a fire in the distance. Clearly, something has gone awry in the events leading up to this moment.
Michael Fassbender is returning as Prometheus‘ android David, with Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice, Jobs, The Babysitters) leading a new crew that includes Demian Bichir and the hilarious Danny McBride (“Eastbound and Down”), as well as Alex England (Gods of Egypt), Billy Crudup, Amy Seimetz (A Horrible Way to Die, “The Killing”), Jussie Smollett (“Empire”), Carmen Ejogo, and Callie Hernandez (Machete Kills).
Alien: Covenant is currently shooting in New Zealand. It is scheduled for theaters on August 4th, 2017.
This year marks the 20th year of the almighty Fantasia International Film Festival, the grandaddy of North American genre festivals. The first wave of films and special guests has just been announced and it’s clear for their big 2-0, Fantasia isn’t fucking around.
The entire lineup of 130 feature films will be announced in full in the coming weeks, but this afternoon the madmen up in Montreal released the first slate of their lineup, which includes world premieres from Steven Shainberg (Secretary), Mateo Gil (Vanilla Sky), and a new one penned by one of my personal favorite filmmakers working today, Adrián García Bogliano (Late Phases, Scherzo Diabolico – a film I hope all of you have watched by now, for the love of all that is holy).
Oh, and attached all casual like to the top of the press release is word that Guillermo Del Toro and Takashi Miike will be in attendance. Del Toro will be accepting the prestigious Cheval Noir award while Miike will be bestowed the goddamn Lifetime Achievement Award. Two absolute genre titans at one festival. This is tremendous.
A CHEVAL NOIR FOR GUILLERMO DEL TORO
The 20th edition of the Fantasia Film Festival will be presenting leading genre filmmaker Guillermo del Toro with its prestigious Cheval Noir Award, which del Toro will accept in person in his first-ever Montreal appearance. Del Toro, best known for such fantasy and horror classics as PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE, CRONOS, CRIMSON PEAK, and the HELLBOY movies, will also deliver a Master Class at Fantasia. In addition, del Toro will host the Canadian premiere of Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet’s CREATURE DESIGNERS: THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX, a fascinating documentary on the history of movie monstermakers, in which he is featured prominently in.
A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR TAKASHI MIIKE
The Fantasia International Film Festival is proud to be presenting Director Takashi Miike, one of the most groundbreaking filmmakers of his generation, a Lifetime Achievement Award. No other filmmaker has left a mark on Fantasia’s first 20 years as he has. Since our screening of FUDOH: THE NEW GENERATION in 1997, which was the first time Miike’s unique vision was shown in North America, no fewer than 29 of his films were showcased at the festival, including such modern classics as AUDITION, ICHI THE KILLER, and VISITOR Q. Miike’s work also opened Fantasia three times with YATTERMAN and North American premieres of the Cannes selections FOR LOVE’S SAKE and SHIELD OF STRAW. In addition to receiving his award, Takashi Miike will be hosting the North American Premiere of TERRA FORMARS, a sci-fi extravaganza where a team of misfits must fight humanoid cockroaches to colonize Mars, and AS THE GODS WILL, a surreal deathgame where Japanese traditional objects turn playground amusement into modern video-game blood baths.
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF STEVEN SHAINBERG’S RUPTURE
Steven Shainberg, celebrated iconoclastic filmmaker behind SECRETARY and FUR: AN IMAGINARY PORTRAIT OF DIANE ARBUS has returned to the director’s chair with his first full-on genre work, which we are thrilled to be unveiling to the world. RUPTURE is a provocative and startling sci-fi/horror/thriller about a single mother struggling to escape from a mysterious organization that have abducted her, starring Noomi Rapace, Peter Stormare, and Michael Chiklis. Produced by Andrew Lazar, Christina Weiss Lurie, Steven Shainberg of Tango Pictures, and Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi of AMBI.
KIYOSHI KUROSAWA’S CREEPY BERLINALE SMASH COMES TO CANADA
After forays into auteur cinema like the magnificent TOKYO SONATA (Un certain regard Jury Prize at Cannes 2008), J-horror pioneer Kiyoshi Kurosawa, whose classics CURE and SÉANCE were adored at Fantasia in their day, makes a triumphant return to the horror thriller genre with the Berlin Film Festival selected Hitchcockian horror thriller CREEPY, which will be screened in Canadian Premiere. Kurosawa brings terror to a quiet neighborhood where an ex detective and his wife have to deal with their deranged new neighbor spectacularly brought to the screen by the excellent Teruyuki Kagawa.
GET READY TO SCREAM AS FANTASIA TURNS THE LIGHTS OUT
Fantasia will be presenting a Special Screening of David F. Sandberg’s hotly anticipated horror film LIGHTS OUT, in which a woman is haunted by a creature that only appears when the lights go out. Teresa Palmer, Maria Bello, Billy Burke, and Alicia Vela-Bailey star.
IT’S ALIVE!? NO, IT’S REALIVE (World Premiere)
The provocative new film (formerly PROJECT LAZARUS) from acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Mateo Gil (screenwriter of THE SEA INSIDE, VANILLA SKY, director of NOBODY KNOWS ANYBODY, BLACKTHORN) presents a modern spin on FRANKENSTEIN, where the emphasis rests on the emotional and psychological ramifications of reanimating the dead. Tom Hughes stars as a man awakened from cryogenic sleep 60 years into the future who must adjust to a life that left all his loved ones behind.
ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM: GRADUATION
One year after hosting the International Premiere of the long awaited manga adaptation ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM, a Fantasia 2015 fan favourite, the festival will have the pleasure of screening the North American Premiere of ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM: GRADUATION, the conclusion of Director Eiichiro Hasumi’s diptych. All the students from class 3-E are back to eliminate Koro Sensei before he destroys the planet, but unexpected revelations about his past will change the game and bring a whole new threat over the beloved characters of this ultimate crowd pleaser.
A SPECTRAL WHITE COFFIN FROM ARGENTINA
Argentinean horror steps into a bold, new dimension in Daniel de la Vega’s grisly supernatural shocker WHITE COFFIN (World Premiere), scripted by brilliant filmmaking siblings Adrian and Ramiro Garcia Bogliano. Fantasia is thrilled to be opening WHITE COFFIN’s diabolical lid for the world to discover its horrific secrets, where child kidnapping, afterdeath resurrection and occult ritualism are intertwined for an unspeakable purpose.
A VERY RED CHRISTMAS FROM AUSTRALIA
Christmas day becomes a hellish homecoming in Craig Anderson’s RED CHRISTMAS (International Premiere), an unusual Australian horror/comedy gorefest starring beloved genre vet Dee Wallace (HILLS HAVE EYES, THE HOWLING, E.T.) that’s at once an over-the-top rollercoaster of a slasher film and a confrontational sociopolitical hand grenade.
YEON SANG-HO IS BACK WITH SEOUL STATION
The Korean capital’s central subway station becomes a maze of terror in Yeon Sang-ho’s SEOUL STATION (Canadian Premiere), an electrifying, socially incisive and ultimately heart-wrenching animated zombie chiller from the acclaimed director behind THE KING OF PIGS (Satoshi Kon Award at Fantasia 2012), THE FAKE, and the Cannes 2016 sensation TRAIN TO BUSAN.
AN INVISIBLE MAN UNLIKE ANY THE SCREEN HAS SEEN BEFORE
A man who abandoned his family now risks everything to find his missing daughter, including exposing the secret that he is becoming invisible in THE UNSEEN (World Premiere), an unconventional and compelling dark horror drama from Canada. The feature debut from Vancouver special make-up effects maestro Geoff Redknap, whose work was seen in DEADPOOL, ELYSIUM, WATCHMEN, and CABIN IN THE WOODS, to name a few, THE UNSEEN stars Aden Young, Julia Sarah Stone, and Camille Sullivan.
Fantasia is proud to be unveiling the first Canadian showing of the astonishing Spanish feature PSYCHONAUTS, from BIRDBOY creators Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero. A fraught, even frightening animated surrealistic fairy-tale blessed with beautiful handcrafted artwork that’s bound to leave viewers more than a hint haunted. Winner: Best Animated Feature, Stuttgart Film Festival 2016, Official Selection: Annecy 2016, Holland Animation Film Festival 2016.Additional First Wave Highlights Include
USA – Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman
The murder of her family leads a real-estate reporter into a nightmarish mystery in this ghoulishly original film that haunts the netherworld between blood-soaked supernatural horror and hardboiled neo-Noir. Darren Lynn Bousman, the man behind REPO: THE GENETIC OPERA, SAW II-IV, and THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL, has returned. Official Selection: Los Angeles International Film Festival 2016. International Premiere
THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK
USA – Dir: Joel Potrykus
Sean has dropped out of life, set up shop in a small trailer in the woods, and decided to pursue the forbidden art of alchemy. An irreverent, abrasive, and horror-infused take on modern-day alienation that plays like a punk-rock EC Comics tale, from the acclaimed director of COYOTE, APE, and BUZZARD. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Nashville Film Festival 2016, BAMCinemaFest 2016.
USA – Dir: Zachary Shedd
A film editor must battle his own demons when an on-set eruption of violence leads to a deeper, darker conspiracy. A beautifully brooding neo-Noir, more calculated and compelling with every twist and turn. Official selection: Seattle International Film Festival 2016. International Premiere.
France – Dir: Benjamin Rocher
A police squad’s rough and unconventional methods are challenged just as a rash of robberies put Paris on edge. Jean Reno stars in this explosive, captivating, and highly entertaining action film. North American Premiere.
Quebec – Dir: Pat Tremblay
All is well in the land of the mad, in the latest surrealist opus from Pat Tremblay (HELLACIOUS ACRES), twisted titan of the Quebec underground. One thing is certain — rational thought has left the building and hasn’t left a number where it can be reached. Official Selection: Revelation Perth International Film Festival 2016. North American Premiere.
THE BACCHUS LADY
South Korea – Dir: E J-yong
Senior citizen So-Young takes in a mixed-race kid while tending to her many clients. A thoroughly compassionate and revealing look at the lives of aging prostitutes in South Korea – with a murderous twist! Official Selection: Berlinale 2016 (Panorama). Canadian Premiere.
BAD BLOOD: THE MOVIE
USA – Dir: Tim Reis
What’s the deal with all those frogs in the gas station’s makeshift basement laboratory? This old-fashioned creature feature is a goopy new lab sample of the growing Atlanta, GA horror scene featuring hand-crafted make-up effects designed and created by James Sizemore. WINNER: Audience Award, Best Feature, Chattanooga Film Festival 2016. International Premiere.
Turkey – Dir: Mehmet Kurtuluş, Ayşe Ünal
Forget FRITZ THE CAT, this is GARFIELD-goes-BAD LIEUTENANT! Guaranteed fun for cat lovers, fans of international animation, and hopeless degenerates. Which one are you? Official Selection: Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival 2016. North American Premiere
China – Dir: Yue Song
The new master of the Iron Kick clan sets out in search of a lost friend, earns a job protecting a rich man’s daughter, and clashes with a criminal gang in one of the most exciting and auspicious martial arts films in years! Canadian Premiere
CHIHAYAFURU PART 1 & PART 2
Japan – Dir: Nori Koizumi
Chihaya is driven like few shojo heroines are: she wants to become the world champion of karuta, the traditional, competitive card-playing game mixing ancient poetry, extreme hand speed, and almost violent card tossing. Adapted from the acclaimed manga, this perfect blend of coming of age tale and exhilarating sports drama will make you laugh, cheer and probably shed a tear. North American Premiere.
THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Germany – Dir: Stephan Rick
A psychedelic mushroom trip turns a successful lawyer into a wanted man in this tense and violent thriller starring Moritz Bleibtreu and Jürgen Prochnow. Official Selection: Zurich Film Festival 2015, Hamburg Film Festival 2015. North American Premiere.
USA/Poland – Dir: Claire Carré
Since the apocalypse, humanity has been deprived of its memory. Two strangers wake up together. Are they somehow connected? A thoughtful science fiction tale from a promising new voice in independent cinema. Official Selection: Oldenburg Film Festival 2015, Slamdance 2016. Winner: Narrative Feature Jury Award, New Orleans Film Festival 2015. Canadian Premiere.
THE GREASY STRANGLER
USA – Dir: Jim Hosking
The feature debut of absurdist advertising genius / acclaimed short filmmaker Jim Hosking is the grossest father-son comedy you’ll ever see and the weirdest serial killer film on the planet, propelled by an in-your-face drive to baffle, nauseate, and antagonize with its bizarre brand of humor. Produced by a superteam that includes Elijah Wood, Josh C. Waller, Ben Wheatley, Tim League, and Ant Timpson. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, SXSW 2016. Canadian Premiere.
Thailand – Dir: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
Workaholic Yoon has a more serious medical condition than stress-induced rashes. He’s starting to show the symptoms of serious heartache. Paging pretty Dr. Imm! A pitch-perfect rom-com from a rising Thai star director. WINNER: Thailand National Film Association Awards (Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing). Official Selection: Osaka International Film Festival, Udine Far East Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE
New Zealand – Dir: Taika Waititi
A troublesome teen and a cranky old man get tangled up in a wild manhunt through the New Zealand bush in this intelligent, hilarious, and original adventure that is the biggest homegrown kiwi hit of all time. From the co-director of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Tribeca Film Festival 2016, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE
USA – Dir: Ti West
A drifter comes to mining town Denton, home to criminals, bullies, and hustlers and all hell begins to break loose in this witty, tense, and grisly Western from maverick horror maestro Ti West starring Ethan Hawke, Karen Gillan, and John Travolta. Official Selection: SXSW 2016 International Premiere.
Canada – Dir: Felipe Rodriguez
Stripped bare and confined in an Arizona basement, a group of undocumented Mexicans are beaten and brutalized in an attempt to extort money from their families. A brutal powerhouse laced with a claustrophobic tension. Official Selection: Manchester Film Festival 2016, Newport Beach Film Festival 2016. Winner of the Chairmen’s Award at the 2015 San Diego Film Festival. Canadian Premiere.
USA – Dirs: Michael Borowiec, Sam Marine
The latest gem to emerge from the loose U.S. wave of personal indie genre visions of recent years that includes such singular works as THEY LOOK LIKE PEOPLE, BELLFLOWER, and RESOLUTION, MAN UNDERGROUND is a very special and uncomfortable film. A sometimes funny, sometimes frightening work of intense paranoid drama with chilling elements of sci-fi and an incredible lead performance from FLAKED’s George Basil. Official Selection: Cinequest 2016. International Premiere.
India – Dir: Shakti Soundar Rajan
Karthik’s orderly life is upended when his beloved sister disappears — and a strange virus transforms everyone around him into bloodthirsty ghouls! There’s no time to sing and dance in the first Tamil zombie chiller!
Canada – Dir: Matt Johnson
In 1967, four undercover CIA agents were sent to NASA posing as a documentary film crew. What they discovered led to one of the biggest conspiracies in American history. An astonishing new creation from the brilliant team behind THE DIRTIES. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Hot Docs 2016. Quebec Premiere.
USA – Dir: John Carchietta
Picture-perfect teens Annie and Jules are in love, and have made a plan. A cautionary tale of sorts about mad teenage love, growing up on the Internet, and the kind of poor decisions that characterize life lived to its fullest… or shortest. Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Independent Film Festival of Boston 2016. International Premiere.
THEY CALL ME JEEG
Italy – Dir: Gabriele Mainetti
Can a small-time crook who unexpectedly gains incredible, unnatural powers turn his life around and become a crusader for good? A smart, slick, stylish, and very Italian take on the superhero action adventure, loaded with colorful characters and clever ideas. Winner of the Silver Scream Award at the Imagine International Film Festival, Amsterdam. Canadian Premiere.
USA – Dir: Richard Bates Jr.
Owen and Isabel are hatefully in love, and soon to be parents. Can a road trip to visit mysterious distant family save their relationship, or are they opening a rotting Pandora’s box of secrets, lies, and murder? An acerbic, hilarious horror-comedy from the director of EXCISION and SUBURBAN GOTHIC, starring Adrian Grenier, Angela Trimbur, and Annalynne McCord. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Chicago Critics Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere.
UNDER THE SHADOW
Iran/U.K./Jordan – Dir: Babak Anvari
Amidst the horrors of the Iran-Iraq war, a terrifying djinn may be stalking a mother and daughter’s missile-struck apartment. A bold new leap in Persian-language cinema, UNDER THE SHADOW repurposes the conventions of genre storytelling into frightening new form, delivering an emotionally pulverizing experience in fear that also functions as gripping sociopolitical commentary. Official Selection: Sundance 2016, Seattle International Film Festival 2016. Quebec Premiere.
WE ARE THE FLESH
Mexico – Dir: Emiliano Rocha Minter
A brother and sister fall into the clutches of an uncanny entity whose dark rituals demand that they break every imaginable taboo. Courageous viewers, prepare for a journey deep into the heart of darkness that counts Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alfonso Cuarón and Carlos Reygadas among its enthusiastic supporters. Official Selection: International Film Festival Rotterdam 2016. North American Premiere.
WE GO ON
USA – Dirs: Andy Mitton, Jesse Holland
Miles is prepared to pay $30,000 for proof of any sort that life may go on after we die. For better or for worse, he’s going to get an answer. Engrossingly intelligent and character-driven, full of stunning curves and surprises, and utterly frightening, WE GO ON is one of the most gripping paranormal explorations that cinema has seen in years. An absolute triumph of resourceful independent filmmaking. Winner: Audience Award, Best Feature, Dead by Dawn Horror Film Festival 2016. Official Selection: Cleveland International Film Festival 2016. Canadian Premiere
WOMEN WHO KILL
USA – Dir: Ingrid Jungermann
Commitment phobic Morgan (director Ingrid Jungermann) and her ex-girlfriend Jean (Ann Carr), locally famous true crime podcasters, suspect Morgan’s new love interest (A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT’s Sheila Vand) is a murderer. A smart, introspective black comedy that won a richly deserved award for Best Screenplay in a US Narrative Feature at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. International Premiere
A second Wave of titles will be revealed in June, with the festival’s full lineup of screenings and events being announced on July 5th.
The Fantasia International Film Festival takes place in Montreal July 14 – August 2, 2016, once again returning to the mammoth Concordia Hall Cinema as its main base.
AT&T’s Audience Network has handed out a 10-episode straight-to-series order for David E. Kelley’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “Mr. Mercedes,” writes THR.
Brendan Gleeson (pictured below; Edge of Tomorrow, Troy, Gangs of New York) and Anton Yelchin (Green Room, Fright Night, Terminator Salvation) have been tapped to star in the drama produced by Sonar Entertainment. Mr. Mercedes will premiere in 2018 on both DirecTV and AT&T Uverse.
“Mr. Mercedes” centers on a demented killer who taunts a retired police detective with a series of lurid letters and emails, forcing the ex-cop to undertake a private, and potentially felonious, crusade to bring the killer to justice before he can strike again. Gleeson will play Detective Bill Hodges, a retired cop who is driven out of retirement after an old nemesis reappears, while Yelchin will portray Brady Hartsfield, a mentally deranged ice cream truck driver and IT worker for Cyber Patrol (aka Geek Squad) who is secretly the Mercedes Killer.
The book was published by in June 2014 and shot to the top of the New York Times best-seller list before going on to win the Edgar Award for best novel. It is the first of a trilogy from King, with the second novel, “Finders Keepers,” published in June 2015. The third, “End of Watch,” due June 7.
Kelley (“Boston Legal,” “Ally McBeal,” “The Practice:) and Jack Bender (“Lost,” “Under the Dome”) will executive produce the series, with the former set to write the first episode and serve as showrunner.
The folks at the newly formed Rocket Lolly Games are eager to make a dance game out of the cult classic horror musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show, so eager, they’ve built a studio around that very goal. This is music to my ears, for if there was ever a licensed property that had the rhythmic chops to work as a dance game, it’d absolutely belong to Frankenfurter & Co.
I’m clearly not the only one who feels a shiver of anticipation for this, as they’ve already raised nearly $30k on Kickstarter, with about a week left to raise the remaining ~$5,700 they’re asking for. That’s not a lot of money, even for a mobile game, but it’s also only a small part of it. The studio received nearly £200,000 from investors earlier this month, reports The Herald.
Rocky Horror Show: Touch Me hits tablets and mobile in 2017.
So, here’s what’s happening with this story. In late April, Japan saw the release of a live action adaptation of their sci-fi/horror manga Terra Formars (Formars = For Mars). Directed by Takashi Miike (Audition, 13 Assassins, Ichi the Killer, Lesson of the Evil, Gozu), the story follows a group of scientists who coat Mars with a special algae that is meant to purify the atmosphere and make life on the red planet possible. 500 years after the experiment takes place, a team goes out to see if the plan worked and, surprise surprise, all communications are lost. Therefore, a second team is sent to investigate what happened.
Well, it turns out that some cockroaches that were also sent to the planet (they would feed on the algae and spread it through defecation) have evolved into something much more dangerous than the creepy crawlies that we have. In fact, they’re absolute badasses who are intent on killing every human that lands in their newly lush and verdant world.
To give the film a little push, a viral video was created where “scientists” created a gigantic sticky trap to catch these cockroaches. And to make sure it works, they had a scientist, a sprinter, and a sumo wrestler each try to get across. You can see the results for yourself below!
Jackson Stewart made his feature directorial debut with Beyond the Gates, a throwback paranormal movie in the spirit of horror classics such as Phantasm, The Beyond, and Poltergeist.
It’s set to World Premiere at the LA Film Festival, and thus we now have a teaser that comes straight from the VCR!
Barbara Crampton (You’re Next), Graham Skipper (Almost Human), Chase Williamson (The Guest), and Brea Grant (Halloween 2) star in the film that also features Matt Mercer (Contracted), Justin Welborn (FX’s “Justified”, The Signal, V/H/S/ Viral), Henry LeBlanc (“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”), Jesse Merlin (FDR: American Badass), David Bruckner (co-director of V/H/S, The Signal), and Pierson Ryan (“Red Team Go”) round out the cast.
“In Beyond the Gates, two estranged brothers reunite seven months after their father’s disappearance to liquidate his anemic video store. While there, they unearth an old VCR board game that acts as an inter-dimensional hub to a nightmare world where their Father’s soul is trapped and can only be saved by playing the game. The film is an adventure horror that pays loving tribute to the VHS format, video stores, and board games of the era.”
Stewart co-wrote the screenplay with Stephen Scarlata (Jodorowsky’s Dune). Destroy All Entertainment’s Amanda Mortimer will produce alongside Barbara Crampton and Lodger Films partners Georg Kallert and Rob Schroeder. Gabriela Revilla Lugo will executive produce.
GRINDHOUSE RELEASING BRINGS LUCIO FULCI’S CAT IN THE BRAIN TO THEATERS & BLU-RAY!
The Most VIOLENT Movie Ever Made – Starring Godfather Of Gore Lucio Fulci!
Earlier this year Grindhouse Releasing released what is arguably the best Blu-ray of the year in Pieces. On July 12th they’ll be following that up with a release of Lucio Fulci’s Cat in the Brain! That’s one hell of a follow up! Much like Pieces, Cat in the Brain will also be available in two versions – standard release and a special collector’s edition release. The collector’s release will be limited to 3,000 copies that will include a glow-in-the-dark slipcover and an original portrait of Fulci created for this release.
If you want that collector’s release you MUST pre-order from DiabolikDVD. These editions are expected to go fast and Diabolik customers will receive first priority. If you want to best guarantee you get the special release then Diabolik is the way to go. It’s possible you can get the collector’s edition from Amazon or similar retailers but it will in no way be guaranteed.
As an added bonus DiabolikDVD will be offering a special bundle that includes the Blu-ray and the official Lucio Fulci bobblehead from Cult Collectibles. There will only be 500 of these available and the bobbleheads will be numbered. Please visit DiabolikDVD for more info on that special bundle.
In addition to this new Blu-ray release, the film will be playing in theaters all across the country. Below the Blu-ray features you will see a full list of cities with planned screenings. If the movie is playing in a city near you I highly recommend checking it out.
CAT IN THE BRAIN is a psychological masterpiece in the tradition of such cinematic classics as PSYCHO, STRAIT-JACKET, ERASERHEAD and Fellini’s 8 1/2. Acclaimed Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci, director of ZOMBIE and THE BEYOND, stars in this blood-soaked epic as a director being driven insane by his own movies. Fulci is thrust into an ultra-violent nightmare of death and depravity where murder and madness consume his sanity in a vortex of violence.
CAT IN THE BRAIN Blu-ray specs:
– Hi-definition digital restoration of the original UNCENSORED DIRECTOR’S CUT
– Presented with English and original Italian language soundtracks
– In-depth interviews with director Lucio Fulci and cult superstar Brett Halsey (REVENGE OF THE CREATURE, RETURN OF THE FLY, THE GODFATHER 3)
– New interviews with composer Fabio Frizzi, screenwriter Antonio Tentori, cinematographer Sandro Grossi and poster artist Enzo Sciotti
– Lucio Fulci’s heroic appearance at the 1996 NYC Fangoria Weekend of Horrors
– Original Italian theatrical trailer & gallery of stills and poster art
– Liner notes by Antonella Fulci, David J. Schow, Eli Roth and Martin Beine
– BONUS CD – the original soundtrack by Fabio Frizzi!
– Chilling GLOW-IN-THE-DARK slip cover – limited to first 3000 copies
– Mini portrait of Lucio Fulci – suitable for framing – limited to first 3000 copies
– PLUS OTHER SURPRISES!
CAT IN THE BRAIN screening dates:
6/2/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, Omaha, NE
6/3/2016 – Chalmette Movies, Chalmette, LA
6/3/2016 – Moolah Theatre, St Louis, MO
6/4/2016 – Moolah Theatre, St. Louis, MO
6/5/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar, Austin, TX
6/10/2016 – Hollywood Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
6/11/2016 – Hollywood Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
6/15/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, Richardson TX
6/17/2016 – Coolidge Corner Theatre, Boston, MA
6/18/2016 – Coolidge Corner Theatre, Boston, MA
6/19/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse Mission, San Francisco, CA
6/20/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes, San Antonio, TX
6/21/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, Dallas, TX
6/22/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, Ashburn, VA
6/25/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park, Houston, TX
6/25/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, Lubbock, TX
6/25/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, El Paso, TX
6/27/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, Kansas City, MO
6/27/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse Laredo, TX
6/27/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, New Braunfels, TX
6/27/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse Park North, San Antonio, TX
6/28/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, Winchester, VA
6/29/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, Yonkers, NY
7/1/2016 – Frida Cinema, Santa Ana, CA
7/1/2016 – Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH
7/2/2016 – Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH
7/3/2016 – Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH
7/4/2016 – Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH
7/5/2016 – Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH
7/6/2016 – Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH
7/7/2016 – Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH
7/8/2016 – Grand Illusion Cinema, Seattle, WA
7/13/2016 – Film Scene, Iowa City, IA
7/15/2016 – Circle Cinema, Tulsa, OK
7/16/2016 – Circle Cinema, Tulsa, OK
7/22/2016 – Capitol Theatre, Cleveland, OH
7/26/2016 – Capitol Theatre, Cleveland, OH
7/29/2016 – Music Box Theatre, Chicago, IL
7/30/2016 – Music Box Theatre, Chicago, IL
7/30/2016 – Metrograph, New York City, NY
7/31/2016 – PhilaMOCA, Philadelphia, PA
7/31/2016 – Metrograph, New York City, NY
8/1/2016 – PhilaMOCA, Philadelphia, PA
8/5/2016 – Hollywood Theater, Portland, OR
8/6/2016 – Hollywood Theater, Portland, OR
8/12/2016 – Cinefamily, Los Angeles, CA
8/31/2016 – Alamo Drafthouse, Littleton, CO
Focus Home Interactive has offered up a fresh batch of screens from developer Dontnod’s upcoming horror RPG Vampyr, in which the game’s protagonist, Dr. Jonathan Reid, goes against the Hippocratic Oath so he can suck neck with an unsuspecting stranger. There’s an interesting duality at play here, between Reid’s responsibilities as a doctor living in a city that’s being torn apart by the Spanish Flu and the overwhelming thirst for the blood of those he swore to protect, caused by his recent admission into the vampiric ranks.
Vampyr isn’t an open-world in the traditional sense, but it’s also not completely linear. Think Mass Effect, complete with relationship juggling and a pseudo-open-world divided into smaller, interconnected hub worlds.
The game is coming from the same team that brought us the acclaimed episodic drama Life is Strange, so you can bet the focus will again return to the cast of characters and the dynamic relationships that form between them. Vampyr releases next year for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
According to Polygon, the game will get its first trailer at E3 next month.
Nicole Kidman’s production company Blossom Films has announced that it has optioned the rights to the off-Broadway play Cuddles, which was created by Joseph Wilde, who will adapt the story.
According to Deadline, “The vampire thriller examines the strange and disturbing forms love can take and asks how you live with a monster that is your own flesh and blood.”
Imagine a world without sunlight where Harry Potter, Bilbo Baggins and the cast of Dante’s Inferno are real; where princes with adjectives instead of names seduce beautiful princesses; where there’s just one living, breathing human being to cuddle. Welcome to Eve’s world.
Eve is a 13-year-old vampire. She has never left her room and everything she knows about the world comes from her sister Tabby and her storybook characters. Eve does everything a good little vampire girl should, including drinking her human sister’s blood. But one day, Tabby tires of opening her veins and, in a breath, Eve’s whole world changes. [Source]
Kidman states, “Joe’s voice is so beautifully subversive. He’s exactly the kind of young writer Blossom is looking to support.“
Alexandre Aja’s supernatural thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax has been acquired for U.K. distribution rights by Soda Pictures, although no release date was issued, according to Variety.
‘The 9th Life of Louis Drax’ begins on Louis Drax’s 9th birthday, when he miraculously survives a near fatal fall. His doctor Allan Pascal (Jamie Dornan) finds himself tangled between his professional responsibility and his growing affections for the boy’s mother (Sarah Gadon), a fragile young beauty. When Louis’ father (Aaron Paul) comes under suspicion, Pascal realizes other mysterious forces may be at work. With echoes of ‘The Sixth Sense’ and ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘The 9th Life of Louis Drax’ is a supernatural thriller filled with unexpected twists and turns.
Gadon tells Empire, “It reminded me of films like ‘Vertigo’ or ‘Bunny Lake Is Missing’.”
Oliver Platt, Molly Parker, Barbara Hershey, and Aiden Longworth, who plays Louis Drax, also star in the film.
Below is a French set report video that, alas, doesn’t have English subtitles.
With just over two weeks until The Conjuring 2 hits theaters on June 10th, Warner Bros. has released a short featurette that showcases some of the actual recordings the Warrens captured during their investigations in Enfield.
Although the clip isn’t that long nor are the recordings terribly exciting, it’s still rather cool to hear fragments of what Ed and Lorraine Warren were a part of. And while I said that the recordings presented weren’t terribly exciting, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a strong air of eerie hostility about them…
In the sequel to the smash hit, “Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) travel to 1977 England to help single mom Peggy Hodgson and her four children, particularly daughter Janet (played by Madison Wolfe).”
In theaters June 10, 2016, The Conjuring 2 is said to open with The Amityville Horror case. After, the sequel will tell of the infamous “Enfield Poltergeist,” which took place at a council house in Brimsdown village, borough of Enfield, England during the late 1970s.
Rounding out the cast are Frances O’Connor (“The Missing”) as the single mom, with newcomers Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley and Benjamin Haigh as her children; Maria Doyle Kennedy (“Orphan Black”); Simon Delaney (“Roy”); Franka Potente (“The Bridge”); and Simon McBurney (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation).
In addition to directing the film, Wan wrote the screenplay with Carey and Chad Hayes, and David Leslie Johnson.
Universal’s classic monsters are about to return in a big way. The studio is currently planning remakes of many of its iconic horror films like The Mummy, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man and The Creature From the Black Lagoon, all of which will take place in the same universe. Clearly they’re hoping to emulate the success of Marvel, but to be fair, Universal was doing the whole cinematic universe thing long before it was cool. From the 1930s into the early 1950s, they were pumping out monster sequel after monster sequel leading into crossover events like Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man and House of Dracula. Looking back, the series as a whole is quite messy, but that only makes it more fun for hardcore fans to discuss, and stories from behind the scenes are utterly fascinating. Here are 15 fun facts about the original Universal Monsters franchise.
15. The writer of The Mummy was present for the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb
Most fans know that The Mummy (1932) was inspired by the real life opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb, but not in the sense that the screenwriter read about it in a book and went from there. No, the movie was written by a former journalist who, a decade earlier, covered the event himself.
Before landing a gig in Hollywood, The Mummy writer John Lloyd Balderston was a foreign correspondent for New York World, and he wrote extensively about the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. Originally, Universal’s film was going to follow a 300-year-old magician living in San Francisco, but when Balderston joined the project, he moved the story to Egypt, renamed the main character Imhotep, and focused in on the Scroll of Thoth.
Balderston also worked on Frankenstein, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, and Dracula’s Daughter, so he’s easily one of the most significant creative minds of the Universal Monsters series. Considering how influential all the aforementioned movies were, who knows if the horror genre itself would be the same had Balderston not taken that reporting job at New York World.
14. The Mummy’s eyes were blacked out frame by frame in The Mummy’s Hand
The antagonist in The Mummy’s Hand has a unique look to him, as evidenced in closeups where his eyes are totally black. It’s simple and effective, giving the character an otherworldly touch. This would be easy enough to accomplish today, but keep in mind that this was 1940, so the special effect was no cinch. During every single closeup of Kharis in The Mummy’s Hand, his eyes and mouth had to be manually blackened frame-by-frame. To put that in perspective, a 10 second shot in a movie generally contains 240 individual frames. That’s an extraordinary amount of additional work just to make the villain ever-so-slightly creepier.
13. Wallace Ford’s character inexplicably changes names
Back in the 1940s, before the advent of the Internet and home video, filmmakers didn’t care as much about continuity as they do now. After all, who was going to remember minor details about a 60-minute movie they saw years earlier and never again? This was especially the case in the Universal Monsters franchise, as names of characters and locations change all the time for no reason. For instance, Wallace Ford plays a man named Babe Jenson in The Mummy’s Hand, but in the sequel, The Mummy’s Tomb, he is now referred to as Babe Hanson. No explanation is given. Maybe he got remarried to someone who coincidentally had an extremely similar last name?
There’s another example in Son of Frankenstein: the character of Ygor suddenly becomes Igor in this sequel. You can only really tell the difference by looking at the credits, so it was probably just a typo, and in the next film, his name goes back to Ygor again. How about Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man? The town is called Vasaria, but in House of Frankenstein, which takes place in the same continuity, it’s now Visaria instead. In 2016, this sounds totally ridiculous; imagine going to see Avatar 2 and the name of the planet is now Pandoria. But in the 1940s, you would need the most exceptional memory on the planet to pick up on these trivial mistakes.
12. Applying makeup took basically the entire day
For just about every one of the Universal monster movies, applying the makeup took an insanely long amount time. Starting off with The Mummy, transforming Boris Karloff into the creature was an eight hour process. Makeup artist Jack Pierce would begin working on Karloff at 11:00 AM and finish at 7:00 PM, with shooting then lasting from 7:00 PM until 2:00 AM. Then, after filming, it took another two hours to get the makeup off. Karloff has called this “the most trying ordeal I [had] ever endured,” although luckily for him, he at least doesn’t wear the iconic bandages for the majority of The Mummy.
In Frankenstein, the makeup application took four hours, half the time as in The Mummy, but in this case it had to be done every single day. This costume weighed nearly 50 pounds, and the movie was filmed during the summer, so we can only imagine what was going through Karloff’s head at the end of a 14-hour day. For The Wolf Man, putting on the makeup took six hours, and another three were required to get it off at the conclusion of shooting. Imagine sitting in a chair for six straight hours having rubber prosthetics and yak hairs slowly applied to your face. Not exactly glamorous, and Lon Chaney Jr. and Jack Pierce reportedly hated each other by the time production ended.
11. Most of the Mummy movies take place in the future
Every Mummy movie takes place a few years after the previous one, though rarely is it stated what year we’re in specifically. That’s probably because when you actually add up all the time skips, the sequels go hilariously far into the future considering that they all have such an antiquated look. The original Mummy opens in 1921 before jumping ahead 10 years to 1931. The Mummy’s Hand skips another decade, unfolding during May of 1940. In The Mummy’s Tomb, it’s said that 30 years have passed, so we’re now all the way in 1970. Despite that, the characters continuously reference World War II as an ongoing event, as if the screenwriters just forgot what time period they were supposed to be in. Or did they think World War II would stretch into the 1970s?
And it keeps going! The Mummy’s Ghost is set two years later, in 1972. That’s not so bad, but just when we thought the massive time jumps may come to an end, The Mummy’s Curse takes place 25 years in the future. That means we are now in the year 1997, yet the entire film looks like it’s set in the 1800s, and the fact that it is now close to the turn of the century has absolutely no impact on the way director Leslie Goodwins approaches the story. Just look at the picture above from The Mummy’s Curse and try to imagine it occurring during the same year that Titanic was released in theaters, Bill Clinton began his second term, and everyone was playing Nintendo 64.
10. A line in Frankenstein was missing for years
During the famous “It’s alive” scene in Frankenstein, the doctor goes on to say, “In the name of God, now I know what it feels like to be God!” That line is on all the current home video releases, but the audio was missing for a period of time. It was present during the 1931 premiere, but when Universal rereleased the film in the late 1930s, the censors decided this dialogue was sacrilegious and needed to be removed. In the new version, Dr. Frankenstein can still be seen mouthing the words, but his lines are drowned out by thunder. Well, that’s one way to deal with the issue.
On the earliest video releases, the line was kind of restored, but it’s very hard to hear because, believe it or not, nobody had a good recording of the original audio. It was only years later when a clean version was found on a Vitaphone disc that the dialogue was inserted back in perfectly, and now it’s not even noticeable that anything was changed. Thanks, Vitaphone!
9. The Bride of Frankenstein was inspired by swan behavior
Even though she’s such an iconic character and is considered to be an official member of the Universal Monsters lineup, The Bride of Frankenstein sure doesn’t do much. She literally only has five minutes of screentime before she dies and never returns in any sequel. Has any other character made such an impression in five minutes? The Bride mostly jerks her head about and hisses, and as it turns out, actress Elsa Lanchester based this on the swans she would observe at Regent’s Park in London. “They’re really very nasty creatures,” she once said. And just so the audio would sound even stranger, her hissing sounds were run backwards in post-production.
8. Boris Karloff didn’t want Frankenstein’s Monster to speak in the sequel
After being mute throughout the first Frankenstein, the monster learns to speak in the sequel, Bride of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff really hated that idea, arguing that it ruins the charm of the character. He explained, “Speech! Stupid! My argument was that if the monster had any impact or charm, it was because he was inarticulate – this great, lumbering, inarticulate creature.” Another side-effect of this development was that the monster’s cheeks now appear less hollow. That’s because during speaking scenes Karloff had to keep his dental plate in, whereas he took it out during production of the original. Karloff would ultimately get his way, though, as in the very next movie, the monster goes back to being mute.
7. James Whale didn’t want to make a Frankenstein sequel
Speaking of Bride of Frankenstein objections, director James Whale objected to the entire concept of making a Frankenstein sequel, saying that he had “squeezed the idea try.” He had a point, to be fair, but Universal was thinking about a follow-up as early as 1931, which explains the last-minute decision to have Henry survive the movie.
The studio really wanted Whale on board for part two, especially after his next film, The Invisible Man, was a huge hit. Whale still wasn’t into the idea, but he finally agreed to sign on in late 1934. The studio was apparently confident he’d come around; they were putting out press releases about the sequel, then titled The Return of Frankenstein, as early as 1933.
When Whale came aboard, there were already several versions of the script that had been completed. He was not a fan of them, reportedly saying of the existing screenplay, “It stinks to heaven.” It wasn’t until Whale hired John L. Balderston, who worked on an early draft of the first movie, that Frankenstein having a mate was delved into, as this is mentioned briefly in the original novel.
6. The Invisible Man effect was accomplished using black velvet
The special effects in The Invisible Man can be taken for granted today considering anyone can pull them off using Final Cut and an iPhone. But imagine how hard it was in 1933, not too long after motion pictures were invented, to make an actor’s skin seem to be invisible. How do you make that happen with such primitive technology? Visual effects artists John Fulton himself was unsure it could be done, saying in an interview that the script “bristled with difficult special process scenes, and I wondered if, even with our modern process techniques, we could possibly make all the amazing scenes called for.”
Fulton came up with a novel solution. First, the scene was shot with all the other actors, who just had to pretend the Invisible Man was there. Then, the filmmakers had Claude Rains wear a black velvet suit and act on a completely black velvet set, combining that with a matte painting. If you want to get technical with it, Fulton explained, “From this negative we made a print and a dupe negative, which we intensified to serve as mattes for optical printing. Then with an ordinary printer we proceeded to make our composite: first we printed from the positive of the background and normal action, using the intensified negative matte to mask off the area where our invisible man’s clothing was to move. Then we printed again, using the positive matte to shield the area already printed and thus printing in the moving clothes from our ‘trick’ negative.”
That is a lot of work, huh? Though some of the Universal movies are rather dated, The Invisible Man still looks shockingly good for a film made over 80 years ago, and that’s all thanks to the magnificent work of the brilliant John Fulton.
5. Frankenstein’s Monster originally had dialogue in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man
In the script for Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster had dialogue all throughout, but every single line was cut from the finished product. This was clearly done at the last minute, as there are several scenes where you can still see Bela Lugosi’s mouth moving without any words coming out. What happened? Apparently, test screening audiences all burst out laughing when they heard Lugosi speaking as the monster with a Hungarian accent. They couldn’t take it seriously, which is odd considering Lugosi already spoke as the monster in the previous film, Ghost of Frankenstein. In that case he was performing as Ygor trapped inside the monster’s body, though.
The original Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man script also recapped for audiences why the monster is behaving so strangely and outstretching his arms (he went blind in Ghost of Frankenstein), but this was part of the dialogue that was removed, leaving a lot of viewers confused. Wouldn’t it be better to have them laugh at an accent than to have them not know what the heck is going on in the story? Evidently Universal didn’t think so.
4. Son of Dracula is the first time anyone turns into a bat
What was the first movie in the Universal Monsters franchise to depict someone turning into a bat? Obviously Dracula with Bela Lugosi, right? Nope. It wasn’t until 13 years after the release of the original that this iconic image was put to screen. In Dracula, Bela Lugosi’s character does indeed turn into a bat at one point in the film, but the transformation does not take place in front of the camera. It finally happens in Son of Dracula, the third film in the series. The effect was pulled off once again by John Fulton, the man who came up with the crazy black velvet trick on The Invisible Man. The bat transformation would soon become a staple of every vampire movie, despite the fact that it is completely absent from the first two Dracula installments.
3. There are four Frankenstein Monsters in House of Dracula
House of Dracula is one of Universal’s greatest crossover movies, featuring Dracula, the Wolf Man and the Frankenstein Monster. But it doesn’t just include one Frankenstein Monster; there are actually four of them in the film. The main actor playing the monster is Glenn Strange, but there’s also brief footage of Lon Chaney Jr’s monster from The Ghost of Frankenstein. Then there’s Boris Karloff as the monster in a scene where footage is lifted from The Bride of Frankenstein. Finally, the finale features clips from The Ghost of Frankenstein in which the monster is played by Lon Chaney Jr. and his stunt double, Eddie Parker. To summarize, between Strange, Chaney Jr., Karloff and Parker, the are nearly enough Frankenstein Monsters in this movie alone to make up an Avengers-style team.
2. The guy playing the Creature from the Black Lagoon could barely see anything
Being covered in pounds of makeup during filming was a pain, but wearing monster suits presented their own challenges. On Creature from The Black Lagoon, Ricou Browning had to wear a massive creature costume that overheated instantly and made it so that he could not sit down for the entire 14-hour work day. In addition how uncomfortable the suit was, it was virtually impossible to see in it. Browning once said that he had an incredibly hard time making out his surroundings during the entire production.
He explained, “I didn’t wear any goggles or [a] facemask and the eye of the suit sat about an inch from my eye…it’s kind of like looking through a keyhole with blurred vision, so it was difficult seeing.”
In fact, that lead to some dangerous mistakes on set. During the cave sequence, Browning accidentally knocked Julie Adams’ head into the artificial rocks. Going back and watching that scene, then, it’s not as scary if we view it as an overworked, tired actor struggling to navigate through a fake cave set while a terrified actress prays her co-star doesn’t severely injure her in the process.
1. Universal nearly stopped making monster movies a few years in
The original Universal Monsters series goes into the 1950s, but it almost ended much earlier than that. After 1936, the studio dropped monster films from its production lineup completely, and that could have been the end of it. But one theater in Los Angeles can be credited for bringing Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man and the rest of the gang out of retirement.
In 1938, the owner of the Regina Theatre in Beverly Hills was struggling to stay in business, and so he made a deal to show a triple feature of Dracula, Frankenstein and Son of Kong. The intention was to have this feature run for only four days, but it was an unexpected hit, with lines around the block for days. The Motion Picture Daily reported at the time, “Beverly Hills traffic stopped around the house the first night. The police helped keep the customers in line…The grosses had the Regina cashier dizzy.” Soon enough, the four-day event was extended indefinitely.
Other theaters began getting in on the madness, and Universal realized that there was an enormous demand for these monsters to return to the big screen. Instantly, they put additional sequels into production, and Son of Frankenstein was released in January of 1939. Yeah, they didn’t wait very long. It’s unclear if Universal would have ever resumed production on monster movies otherwise, so 1940s horror was dramatically shaped by one random theater owner attempting to make a quick buck.
I hate gardening with a passion. I’m of the firm belief that I’ll either let nature take its course OR if something annoys me enough then I’ll simply rip out the root, salt the earth, lay down a bunch of rocks, and be done with the whole thing. I know, it’s very Biblical but that’s just the kind of person I am.
I will say however that if I possessed a green thumb, I’d want to bring my love of horror into the garden. And what better way to do that then by having creepy lawn gnomes scattered throughout? And thanks to the folk over at Revenant FX, I can do exactly that.
From gnomes themed after iconic slashers like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street to standard zombie gnomes, they’ve got adorably terrifying critters that will make sure every neighbor avoids you like the plague…or become your best friend. Either way, winner winner, chicken dinner!
If you want to terrify your garden, you can snag your own gnomes right here.
C. Courtney Joyner’s H.P. Lovecraft-inspired Lurking Fear is coming to blu-ray on June 15th via Full Moon Features. It is the first time it appears remastered on the format and is digitally restored from the original 35mm camera negative.
The town of Leffert’s Corners has been plagued by unearthly beings for decades, and now there is only a few people left, including the local priest and a woman traumatised by the death of her sister. But when John Martense turns up to claim his illicit family fortune, with bad guys in pursuit, the last stand had become a lot more complicated….
What everyone is not aware of are the humanoid creatures lurking underneath the holy grounds!
Lurking Fear stars John Finch, Blade Adams, Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser), Jeffrey Combs (Re-animator), and Vincent Schiavelli (Lord of Illusions).!<--more-->
A new German poster for the upcoming shark survival horror film The Shallows has been released and can be seen below. The tagline “Kein normaler tag am strand” translates to “Not a normal day at the beach“, which is one hell of an understatement!
In the taut thriller The Shallows, penned by Tony Jaswinski, Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing alone on a secluded beach when she is attacked by a great white shark and stranded just a short distance from shore. Though she is only 200 yards from her survival, getting there proves the ultimate contest of wills, requiring all of Nancy’s ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.
It was directed by Orphan and House of Wax‘s Jaume Collet-Serra.
The Shallows comes out June 29th.
Yesterday, we posted a few photos from Luke Scott’s upcoming sci-fi thriller Morgan, which was produced by his father Ridley Scott (Prometheus, Blade Runner). Today, a teaser trailer has been released and it’s gotten me incredibly excited for this movie!
The trailer makes use of empty hallway shots, many of which are eerily reminiscent of the hallways in the Nostromo in Alien. There is also this deeply unsettling offkey lullaby that hovers over the cold, stark visuals and everything adds to a sense of dread and terror. I know that most trailers these days give away pretty much everything but this does the exact opposite. It tells me just enough to make me want to know more and nothing else. I’m 100% hooked.
“A corporate troubleshooter (Kate Mara) is sent to a remote, top-secret location, where she is to investigate and evaluate a terrifying accident. She learns the event was triggered by a seemingly innocent “human,” who presents a mystery of both infinite promise and incalculable danger.”
Luke Scott tells EW, “What ‘Morgan’ really alludes to is human beings becoming, in a sense, the creator. Not in a traditional religious sense, but an idea that we have the capabilities to become our own creator. And what I suspect could happen — we’ve seen it in all these movies, whether it’s Frankenstein or Metropolis — it’s the creation of a being that is greater than the creator.”
Morgan stars Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, and Paul Giamatti. Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, and Mark Huffam will all be acting as producers.