When Art Bell’s Dark Matter radio show for Sirius XM went off the air abruptly, I, like many fans, was left heartbroken. It was great to have the man himself – the king of paranormal radio – back, but shit happens. The bad news? Art was gone. Today’s incredibly good news? He’s back and off the corporate leash for good!
From the Art Bell website:
After extensive analysis and elongated negotiations with several suitors, we have decided that we can go ahead on the planned launch of “Midnight in the Desert” in late July, using a business model that will allow us to manage the entire operation on our own.
As was hinted by Art via his Facebook feed, we thought about it, compared the numbers and decided we could pay for bandwidth, pay the commercial licensing fees, pay our own overhead and still be financially viable, assuming the following conditions:
1. We have a considerable number of fans subscribe to a membership service that allows you to access the archived shows anytime via the website for a reasonable $5 /month.
2. We can sell advertising to be played during the breaks during the show. Not a lot, but enough to help pay for the music licensing during the LIVE FREE stream.
3. We can successfully curb pirated posts of our content to the Internet.
We’ll be operating under a certain specific licensing model that will allow us to ramp up from a “small webcaster” status into a large broadcaster in the future. It is imperative that we earn enough through subscribers and ads sales to pay the bandwidth costs and music licensing fees. We believe that we can ramp up successfully using the current models in place at this time.
However, this happens to be the year (2015) that music industry participants are negotiating the next 5 years (2016-2020) rates for music licensing on the Internet. It is a wide open arena, and some license models may not survive. But we believe that we can operate under the current 2015 model for 6 months, and eventually fit into a 2016 model that is still cost effective.
We hope to recoup all of our investments within the first 6 months, so we can better endure the cost increases that will inevitably happen in 2016. If the fans support us with memberships and the advertisers are satisfied, we should be good for a long while.
Keep watching here for the launch date announcement and further updates.
When we started our first ever March Maniac Madness tournament, we brought some of horror’s biggest heavyweights in to partake in a FAN CHOSEN battle. You played. They fought. You chose your winner…
Hellraiser‘s main Cenobite, Pinhead, tore the competition apart and has taken his rightful place as the first entrant into Dread Central’s March Maniac Madness Hall of Fame.
To mark the occasion, we reached out to the actor who brought this most feared and beloved character to life, Doug Bradley, to let him know that the fans have spoken and neither Alien, Predator, Jason, nor Freddy could top the terror Pinhead brings.
“Mwahahahaha! Smackdown from Hell!! He tore your horror icons apart!!!” says Bradley. “I know that The Nameless One took this challenge very seriously, sparring for hours with Chatterer, adhering to a strict diet (closely monitored by Butterball) and with an extensive massage from The Female at the end of each training session. But really: The Prince of Pain up against a guy with a sleep attitude and an outsized fork for a hand? Never going to be a serious contest, was it?”
“Applause for Uncle Creepy for coming up with such a cool idea and, as always, my thanks and appreciation for the loyalty of the fans.”
No, applause to YOU, Doug, and thank you for all the wonderful memories you’ve created for us all and above all… CONGRATULATIONS!
To leave your personal thanks for Mr. Bradley, please comment in the comments section below. March Maniac Madness will return. That’s a promise.
The post March Maniac Madness – Hellraiser’s Pinhead Rules! Doug Bradley Speaks! appeared first on Dread Central.
The 10th season of “Supernatural” has been somewhat disappointing to this longtime fan of the show, but here’s hoping a visit from regular guest star Felicia Day can inject a bit of energy into the proceedings. Here’s an inside look at tomorrow night’s Episode 10.18, “Book of the Damned,” in which executive producer Jeremy Carver teases that Dean might finally have a way out of damnation!
“Supernatural” Episode 10.18 – “Book of the Damned” (airs 4/15/15)
FELICIA DAY RETURNS AS CHARLIE — Charlie (guest star Felicia Day) calls Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) to tell them she found the Book of the Dead, which could help remove the Mark of Cain. The Winchesters race to her after she tells them she’s been shot by a man named Jacob Styne (guest star Jeff Branson), who says the book belongs to his family and he won’t rest until he gets it back.
Meanwhile, Castiel (Misha Collins) and Metatron (guest star Curtis Armstrong) take a road trip to find Castiel’s grace, but they hit a couple of bumps along the way. PJ Pesce directed this episode written by Robbie Thompson.
The post Take a Peek Inside Supernatural Episode 10.18 – Book of the Damned appeared first on Dread Central.
I just recently revisited Walter Murch’s 1985 Return to Oz, a film I have always loved since I was a wee lad.
Much like The Neverending Story, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, Return to Oz isn’t dated at all, and is just as fantastic as I remember it being. In fact, I got obsessed all over again and started seeking out fresh information about it and learned that it was quite a troubled production. In fact, there was a fan-made documentary (since removed from the Web completely) that detailed all of the problem that started with a ballooning budget.
Starring Fairuza Balk as Dorothy, I learned that Return to Oz was a legitimate sequel to Wizard of Oz, and even more faithful to L. Frank Baum’s books. There’s a plethora of interesting fact if you scour the Web.
In it, Dorothy is saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, and is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.
Thanks to Reddit user Scottland83 we have the following collection of rare behind-the-scenes images from the puppet-centric movie that was part of Jim Henson’s filmography.
Well this was a table-setting episode if I ever saw one. Not that that was a bad thing, there was just a lot of setup for the rest of the season that the bombastic season premiere didn’t provide. While it may not have been the most exciting episode Salem has ever done, it definitely created plenty of anticipation for future episodes.
Let’s get the bad (read: boring) out of the way first: John Alden. He’s still just kind of there, only now he’s a killing machine. It was a smart move for the series to bring him back to Salem so early in the season, but we’ll have to wait and see how long it takes for Mary to learn of his presence. The quicker the better, says everyone. We did get to see him slit Petras’ throat, though (that’s the guy who likes to pull out his own eyeballs to show other people visions), so that was cool. Unfortunately he is still the weak link of Salem.
The opening of the episode picks up right where last week’s premiere ended: with the townsfolk discovering the bodies of the elder witches hung (by their own intestines) in the town square. It was a bold move to have them burn Mercy and her “army” up right at the beginning, but it was as thrill to watch. The CGI of all of the witches burning was pretty good for WGN standards as well. It is a little perplexing why none of the witches in the crag woke up and ran when they were getting doused with oil (especially since Mercy was shown to already be awake), but it was a brutal way to start the episode.
Clearly, Mercy couldn’t have been permanently killed, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when she was revealed to have survived the burning. What was surprising was her decision to return home to her father in the final scene. Honestly, I don’t remember much of her father from the first season (back when she was “possessed”), but this might give Mercy some more depth to see her relationship with her father. It’s an interesting idea but we will have to see how it plays out in the coming weeks. As usual with Salem, the makeup department was on point with her charred flesh.
Mary had quite a lot on her plate this week. It gave Janet Montgomery the opportunity to show a lot of range, but also kind of blurred her motivations. After Tituba tells her she must kill Isaac to prevent him from blabbing about her participation in the Grand Rite, she shows sympathy for Isaac at the 11th hour and spares his life. It was an interesting decision for Mary, but her character is still a bit of a question mark. Sometimes she seems like she’s all in for this whole Satan worshiping thing, then other times she shows moments of compassion that seem completely out of character. That’s what makes a good anti-heroine though, and Mary is one of the better ones we’ve been offered in recent memory.
Anne actually had something to do this week, and it seems like she will be directly involved with Coutness Marburg! First, Anne teleports herself (intentionally?) to Boston to see Cotton. Not five minutes later, Marburg shows up to interrogate Anne inside her soul. It was a pretty nifty set piece, with Marburg’s various teleportations mid-conversation were interesting to watch. We learn that Marburg is incredibly old (and was also Hecate, the Greek goddess of witchcraft, ghosts & magic) and that she is very interested in Mary, since she performed the Grand Rite. Lawless was confined to just two scenes this week (which is one more than she got last week), but she made the most of them.
While not exactly an exciting episode of Salem, “Blood Kiss” set the stage for what could prove to be some interesting future episodes. I’m still a little unsure why Cotton is still a part of the show, but color me intrigued!
- “For once, cease your shrieking, harpy.” I’m not sure why, but the word “harpy” is such a funny insult, but I like it. I might start using it more. Also, Tituba is totally a harpy.
- George Sibley is still alive! And he is being taken care of by Mary’s son. Gotta say, that needle going under George’s toenail was hard to watch. Mary’s son is quite the little deviant!
- Hawthornes intimidates Anne by calling her an orphan. He also doesn’t want the corpses of the pox-ridden to be thrown into the crags. Fascinating.
- There’s a “bring out your dead” scene! Did anyone not see this and immediately have Monty Python and the Holy Grail flashbacks?
- I can only assume Lucy Lawless speaking to Anne telepathically about how she “smelled a witch” was an homage to a similar scene between Danny and Halloran in The Shining.
- The Countess referring to Increase Mather as a “pestiferous, pus-headed killer” was the highlight of the episode for me. Seriously, this show has some spectacular insults.
- Apparently male witches like to make out with their mothers, as that happened twice in this episode (one instance involving a 6-year-old child). Gross.
This past weekend, the 2nd annual Fear FestEvil, which was created by Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, was held in San Jose, CA. The event featured live performances from acts such as Meshuggah, High On Fire, Orchid, Blues Pills, Agnostic Front, as well as featuring guest appearance from several metal legends and horror-related icons, including Asada Messiah, Corey Taylor, Slash, John 5, Sara Karloff, Bela Lugosi Jr., Ron Chaney, Charlie Benante, and Bill Moseley.
Below is a gallery from the event, with photos from live performances, guest signings, and more.
Filmmaker Onur Tukel made an impressive debut on the horror scene with last year’s Summer of Blood, and this year he returns to horror with Applesauce. Ahead of its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival we’ve gotten our hands on the first clip, featuring Trick ‘r Treat‘s Dylan Baker. Dig it!
Applesauce also stars Tukel himself as well as Trieste Kelly Dunn, Max Casella, and Jennifer Prediger.
After he confesses the worst thing he’s ever done to a radio talk show host, Ron Welz’s past starts catching up to him, and someone starts sending him body parts. Who is tormenting him? There are eight million people in New York City, and everyone’s a suspect.
It’s no secret that the 80s were a prime decade for horror fans, which is why so many filmmakers of today are so eager to evoke the spirit of that bygone era. Horror-comedy Demon Hole looks to do just that, and we’ve got all the details for ya today.
Screen Daily reports that UK sales outfit SC Films has boarded international sales rights to the completed film, written and directed by Josh Crook. It’s set to screen at Cannes.
Demon Hole charts the fallout after a fracking crew drills a hole on sacred Native American land unleashing an ancient demon, which then terrorizes six teens serving community service in a remote forest.
Cast includes Samantha Scaffidi, Austin Ramsey, Paris Campbell, Summer Bills and Adrian Denzel.
“The current crop of horror movies has gotten too severe and grim,” says Cook. “While scary, they’re also depressing. Taking influence from John Hughes as much as it does John Carpenter and Wes Craven, Demon Hole brings the vibe of the 1980s back and invites the audience to enjoy the ride.”
On tap right now we have the teaser trailer, an expanded version just for Dread Central readers, and the poster for the upcoming flick Circle courtesy of Votiv Films and Taggart Productions. If you’re a fan who likes his/her horror served up with a hot side of weird, then this one is for you!
Written and directed by Aaron Hann and Mario Miscione, Circle stars Saw V and “Dexter’s” Julie Benz, The Collection‘s Michael Nardelli, and Autumn Federici.
In a massive, mysterious chamber, fifty strangers awaken to find themselves trapped with no memory of how they got there. Organized in an inward-facing circle and unable to move, they quickly learn that every two minutes one of them must die… executed by a strange device in the center of the room. At first the attacks seem random, but soon the strangers realize that they, as a group, have the power to decide who will be the next to be killed. A vote. A chance to control the machine. But how can they choose who deserves to die? And what happens when there is only one person left?
The post Circle – New Poster and Trailer Prove Everything Gets You Killed appeared first on Dread Central.
Filming has officially wrapped on Rob Zombie’s Halloween horror flick 31, and while we wait for a trailer, Zombie has been teasing the action with still images. We’ve got another one on tap for you today, so read on to check it out.
The image comes courtesy of Rob Zombie’s Facebook page, and introduces us to Lucky Leo. The character is played by Tracey Walter, known for his roles in Silence of the Lambs and the I Spit On Your Grave remake. Evil is his religion, according to his favorite coffee mug.
The cast includes Meg Foster as Venus Virgo; Judy Geeson as Sister Dragon; Jeff Daniel Phillips as Roscoe; Jane Carr as Sister Serpent; Richard Brake as Doom-Head; Ginger Lynn as Cherry Bomb, Doom-Head’s very special friend; Malcolm McDowell as Father Murder, the owner of Murder World; David Ury as Schizo-Head; Daniel Roebuck as Pastor Victor; Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Panda Thomas, the manager of a traveling roadshow known as “The Venus Lux Happy Time Fun Show”; Pancho Moler as Sick-Head; Tracy Walter as Lucky Leo; E.G. Daily as Sex-Head; and Torsten Voges as Death-Head as well as Sheri Moon Zombie, Lew Temple, Bari Suzuki, and Devin Sidell.
31 follows five carnival workers who are kidnapped the night before Halloween and held hostage in a large secret compound known as Murder World. Once there, they have 12 hours to survive a terrifying game called 31 in which “The Heads” – murderous maniacs dressed as clowns – are released to hunt them down and kill them.
I’m of the firm belief that the Addams Family are the most loving, caring, and connected family that has ever graced the silver screen. They are wildly devoted to each other, show an interest in what the others are doing, and spend tons of quality time together. In all honesty, there’s quite a bit to be jealous when watching them.
Many times I found myself wishing that I could be a part of that family. Yeah, they might be kooky, ooky, and sometimes a little bit spooky, but I think I could live with that.
This week’s quiz gives you the chance to see who you’d be if you were a part of the Addams Family! Simply take the quiz below and then make sure to leave a comment letting us know who you got!
I got Morticia, which stated:
Low-voiced, incisive and subtle, smiles are rare…ruined beauty … contemptuous and original and with fierce family loyalty … even in disposition, muted, witty, sometimes deadly … given to low-keyed rhapsodies about her garden of deadly nightshade, henbane and dwarf’s hair.
The Stanley Film Festival is quickly becoming one of the most bankable events for quality horror films out there, and right now we have the trailer premiere for one of the films making its premiere there, Sun Choke.
The Ben Cresciman-directed psychological thriller screens Saturday, May 2nd, in Estes Park, CO.
Sun Choke – USA/2015 – World Premiere (Director: Ben Cresciman, Featuring Sarah Hagan, Barbara Crampton, Sara Malakul Lane)
Janie’s just trying to get well. As she recovers from a violent psychotic break, she’s subjected each day to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed, and enforced, by her lifelong nanny and caretaker. But when she develops an obsession with a stranger, Janie’s buried demons begin to surface.
The post Stanley Film Festival 2015: Sun Choke Trailer Premiere appeared first on Dread Central.
Almost one year ago, the world lost one of its most creative and visionary minds when Swiss surreal artist H.R. Giger passed away. Giger was known in the horror community for his incredible artwork and his work on films such as Alien and Species. His presence was also felt strongly in the music community with his artwork used by bands such as Triptykon, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Korn, whose vocalist Jonathan Davis commissioned a one-of-a-kind mic stand sculpted by Giger, and Debbie Harry (for whom a never-before-seen documentary will premiere).
On May 22nd and 23rd, the Museum of Art & Design in New York City will be holding the “H.R. Giger Film Festival”, which will showcase rare and in some cases, never before screened anywhere, documentaries and short films. This event is part of the MAD cinema series, as well as a chapter in the ongoing HR Giger Film Festival.
Some more information, direct from the press release:
Marking the one-year anniversary of his passing, the Museum of Arts and Design presents The Unseen Cinema of HR Giger. Partnering with the HR Giger Museum and the HR Giger Documentary Film Festival, this weekend-long event presents rare and never before seen films made by and about HR Giger.
Opening up Giger’s personal archive for the first time, these films reveal the behind-the-scenes practice of this singular artist. The Unseen Cinema of HR Giger gives a rare glimpse into the personality, process, and vision of his indelible impact.
The first evening of screenings will be introduced by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein.
I was contacted by the festival’s curator, Zev Deans, who also dropped this amazing piece of information:
The real gem is a 45 minute arthouse sci-fi called “Swissmade”, made in 1969, that features Giger’s first use of prosthetic costume in a film. It has only been screened twice, only in Switzerland. This festival will be its American debut.
There will be three programs during this event:
“The Collaborations of H.R. Giger” – More information
“Inside H.R. Giger’s Sanctuaries” – More information
“Behind the Scenes of H.R. Giger’s Studio” – More information
While there was definitely a problem with MTV forgetting that it was supposed to be, y’know, a music television station, there were some amazing shows on that network. And one of the gems was Celebrity Deathmatch, the ultraviolent, hyper gory stop-motion battle show. Eight years ago, that show was cancelled after six seasons (which themselves were broken up over nine years). But now that’s about to change as MTV2 has ordered a pilot for a new season!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, creator Eric Fogel will return to the show with Chris McCarthy and Paul Ricci as executive producers. THR also states that the new version, “…will again feature animated no-holds-barred fantasy fights between infamous figures from entertainment and pop culture and will be reimagined for a social media world and hourly Twitter wars.”
Below is a clip showing the Men In Black vs. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson battling it out.
Now tell me, who’s excited for this? Because I know I am!
Just a few days ago, I was walking past my local theater and saw that they were showing It Follows (review), the indie horror film that has received near universal critical acclaim. Even as a writer for this site, I’ve managed to avoid any spoilers, trailers, or reviews for the film once I heard that it was something special and deserved to be seen. So I walked into the theater to see when the next showing would be and, fortuitously enough, I stumbled in exactly one minute before it was set to start. I bought a ticket, plopped my ass down in a rickety theater seat, and sat back for a film that received an insane amount of hype. And you know what? I loved it.
Goddamn, It Follows is fucking great. It’s legitimately scary, expertly crafted, and is extremely entertaining throughout. The acting is very believable and the story leaves enough to the imagination to make things haunting for hours after the credits roll. And perhaps the best part was that I never felt safe watching the film. At no point did I feel like the characters were in a safe, secure place, which made the tension all the more thick and the paranoia all the more real.
But one of the main standouts is the killer soundtrack courtesy of Disasterpeace (aka Rich Vreeland). It blew me away with its minimalist electronic horrorsynth vibes and even on its own possesses the power to unsettle me greatly, causing me to look over my shoulder and be wary of the dark.
I reached out to Disasterpeace and was fortunate enough to get in touch regarding an interview. You can check out our exclusive chat below!
BD: First of all, how’d you get attached to the film?
I scored a game called FEZ a few years ago. David loved the music and reached out to me via e-mail. Our initial discussions were straight-forward. We talked logistics and expressed our interest in working together. David touched base right before he started filming and then we fell out of touch for a year. When he came back to me, prepared to start scoring, I had a lot of work underway and did not have much time. I turned him down at first, but he could tell that I wanted to work on the film. After much discussion, I gave in to his persistence. I’m glad I did! We at first talked about exploring an aesthetic with guitars and other acoustic instruments. Over time, we realized that synths had the versatility we needed.
BD: Your music has been compared almost relentlessly and endlessly to John Carpenter. At what point does it stop being a compliment and become more a situation of, “Can’t my work stand on its own?”
Oh, I don’t really think about it too much. The reality is that we used John Carpenter as a reference for a few of the cues, so it makes sense. Outside of that though, my familiarity with his music is somewhat limited.
BD: Not to downplay the last question at all but as I listen to the music, I also very much heard other acts, such as Vangelis and Tangerine Dream, as potential influencers. Rather then ask if these influenced your music for the film, I’m much more curious as to what artists and bands actually drove you to pursue music.
As a teenager, my musical world revolved around guitar. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, King Crimson and Yes really got me into writing music.
BD: There’s been a strong resurgence as of late for the whole “retrosynth” and “horrorsynth” musical style. What do you think has made it so appealing over the past few years?
Well, I do think the barrier to entry for making synth music is diminishing all the time. But for me, creating a synth-centered horror score just made a lot of sense, given my background and the limited amount of time we had. I’m always listening to new music but I never think deliberately about trends.
BD: What I found incredibly appealing about ‘It Follows’ was that it never pandered to the audience. It never had scenes that injected humor simply to alleviate the mood. The film maintained a constant and consistent sense of dread and terror, which was only amplified by your score. Did you feel that the lack of variety in mood restricted you and what you could offer or did it have the opposite effect?
I think there is subtle humor throughout the film, even in some of the darker segments. But I would imagine that the sense of the dread and terror is a bit minimized on me, because I helped create those feelings. I tend to focus on the characters, which I think is where most of the humor in the film comes from. Yara is an oddball and Paul is a bit desperate and I found them both entertaining. The pervy neighbor also deserves a mention.
BD: The film takes place in the Detroit area, which can go from beautiful suburbs to decaying landscapes. It’s also, in many places, basically a ghost town, with entire neighborhoods abandoned. Many times, when listening to the score, it sounded like the plaintive howls of ghosts, begging to be heard, as though the music was the voice of these ghost towns, the cry of the forgotten. Did Detroit itself influence the music?
Detroit certainly has a unique feeling to it, and I think that comes across in many of the film’s shots. For this film I worked in a fairly intuitive, unspoken way. Many things influenced my decisions, but it was all based on feelings and senses. I never set out to deliberately do something that was “Detroit”, but to me the film just oozes that locale, and things that ooze out of the screen will certainly seep into my work.
BD: The film has seen some absolutely unbelievable critical acclaim and that word of mouth has led to a fantastic response at the box office. Did you anticipate that the film would resound so strongly with the horror audience?
I had no idea to be honest. We were hoping for the best and I think things have truly exceeded our wildest expectations. This is my first feature film and I’ve never been much of a horror fan so this whole experience has been quite surprising for me.
BD: Speaking of the film’s success, your score is considered one of the highlights of the film. What does this kind of recognition mean to you?
It means a lot! People have told me that the music moves them, frightens them … To hear of such visceral reaction from listeners is pretty satisfying.
BD: Many composers leap at the chance to compose for a horror film, saying that it gives them a creative freedom that they rarely achieve in other genres. What do you think of this idea?
I totally agree! Scoring horror is a ton of fun. I had no idea what I was doing, to be perfectly honest. I just went with my gut feelings on things. I tried to make the cues as brazen and wild as I could.
BD: The notion of a shapeshifting entity that follows a person everywhere they go, regardless of how long it takes to get there, was really terrifying for me. If you found yourself in the same position as Jay, what kinds of shapes do you think would haunt you?
I’m sure for me it would be something a bit bigger, a bit uglier than the entities in the film. I try not to think about it too much though! Haha.
Infographics are a hot commodity because they mean instant hits, which means everyone is making them. And while some are graphically cool, the research is flawed or rushed, making it basically something pretty to look at and go “I like that too!”
Well, not MorbidMalignant – no, no, no.
He went back and revisited all five seasons of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” to create this absolutely bonkers infographic detailing, well, everything.
“Back in December after The Walking Dead’s mid-season finale, I decided to begin rewatching the series from the beginning and I wanted to take notes on a few things. So, I did.. and I kept track and continued updating my notes up until the Season 5 finale and after that was over, I updated them one last time.
After that, I made a series of infrographs covering just about anything you could ever think of from characters with the most human kills to characters with the most walker kills.. individual graphs for most of the main characters in the series, who gets the most kills in each season and if you can believe it, even more.”
Check them all out below! What do you guys think?!
In the ongoing battle to spoil entertainment before it’s even close to being released, someone has taken scans of DC Comics’ upcoming free comic book day title, Divergence, spoiling the identity of the new Batman. This new Batman will exist in the post convergence universe, and have a story that takes place after the current arc “Endgame.” Bleeding Cool posted a wealth of details regarding the leak, and excitement now seems to be at an all time high.
So if you don’t want to know who takes over the mantle of Batman, stop reading now. SPOILERS AHEAD.
So first let’s talk about what is immediately noticeable about this new build. There’s one red, and one blue light on the back of this robot suit thing. It’s holding a smoking gun, something we know Batman isn’t a big fan of.
The new Batman is none other than Detective James Gordon. In the issue he’s sporting a shaved mohawk, no mustache, and spouts negative criticism about the idea right away. Saying “I’d like to go on record as saying this is the dumbest idea in the history of Gotham City.” Which of course isn’t correct. This is a great idea, and fantastic way to contribute an undying legacy to the Batman storyline that’s sure to sell trades and be talked about for a long time to come.
There were clear signs that this Batman was a more police focused unit from the start, but it didn’t really come together until the revelation that Jim Gordon is in this suit. Just what this means for Bruce Wayne remains to be seen, but it can’t be good.
This idea is bonkers, but it just might work. Snyder has had a certain affinity for Gordon since he took over the series in the New 52. He’s a very different type of man than Bruce Wayne, and how this will manifest itself in his time as Batman will make for good if not great storytelling.
I became a huge fan of Onur Tukel after seeing his hilarious micro-indie vampire flick, Summer of Blood (review).
He’s back again with a new horror film, Applesauce, which will have its World Premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival.
We have the first clip from the film, featuring Tukel and Trick ‘r Treat‘s Dylan Baker, which shows his comedic roots blossoming once again. We never get to hear his horrifying story, although it plays an intricate part to the film’s plot.
“After he confesses the worst thing he’s ever done to a radio talk show host, Ron Welz’s past starts catching up to him and someone starts sending him body parts. Who is tormenting him? There are eight million people in New York City, and everyone’s a suspect.”
Teases the clip’s description: “Take dark comedy, mix it with noir, add a dash of horror and stir in some melodrama, and you have the recipe for one of the most original and unusual movies of the year.”
Trieste Kelly Dunn, Max Casella, and Jennifer Prediger also star.
The highly anticipated Mortal Kombat X arrives today from WB Games and Netherrealm Studios and in the weeks leading up to release DC Comics has published a prequel comic. The prequel is something filled with the guts and glory you know and love from the video games, but has a little more backstory to spare. Bloody-Disgusting recently sat down with comic series writer, Shawn Kittelsen to discuss what it’s like entering into Mortal Kombat.
The first kollection of Kittlesen’s story hits today April 14th as “Mortal Kombat X: Blood Ties.”
Bloody-Disgusting: What’s it like to play in the many realms of “Mortal Kombat?” Were you restricted in any way from telling the story you wanted to tell? What was the most interesting thing you learned about the many realms in your research for writing this book?
Shawn Kittelsen: It’s a lot of fun to play in the Mortal Kombat sandbox! The only restriction I had was to stay compatible with the MK9 and MKX, and I would consider that more of a guideline than a restriction. Blank pages are intimidating, so any kind of boundaries or waypoints are comforting. I could treat the games as a springboard to launch into some really cool stories, like Kotal Kahn’s origin or Cassie Cage looking for thrills at an underground MMA match.
I did a ton of research, and I guess what’s most interesting to me is that so much of the information was a refresher. I’ve played all the games through the years, but I hadn’t really thought about Deadly Alliance or Deception in a long, long time. So coming back to that now was like showing up at a Mortal Kombat reunion and seeing all these old friends who’d been relegated to some shadowy corner of my memory. Characters like Mavado. I used to LOVE Mavado.
Bloody-Disgusting: Previous to the last Mortal Kombat game story was almost irrelevant and now the increasingly complex dynamic of the characters drives the bulk of the story, which rivalry do you find the most interesting, and which of the new characters was your favorite to explore?
SK: Favorites to explore, I’m really torn between Kotal, Cassie, and Takeda. They’re all realized enough in my mind to carry their own solo series. But the rivalry that most interests me, in the comics at least, is between Kotal Kahn and Sonya Blade. He’s the Emperor of Outworld and she’s commanding Earthrealm’s defense for Special Forces. They’ve just been through this horrible Netherrealm War that nearly wiped out Earthrealm, and it’s supposed to be a period of renewed peace, but a lot like Europe between the Great War and World War II, there’s tension everywhere. Kotal has to defend his throne and Sonya is deeply insecure about Earthrealm’s safety, and since the two of them are connected to every other character in the story, their personal issues have far-reaching impact.
Another rivalry that I’ve really enjoyed developing is between Hanzo Hasashi and Raiden. Hanzo’s been traumatized by enough tragedy and lies to fill a Russian novel. Raiden is supposed to protect Earthrealm, but more often than not, he screws that up at the cost of human lives, especially after MK9. And because Hanzo’s seen so much death and sorrow already, he has very little tolerance for Raiden’s missteps. Every scene with them is charged with Hanzo’s resentment and Raiden desperate need for redemption.
Bloody-Disgusting: Most of the comic seems concerned with redeeming Scorpion for his past mistakes, what was it like to explore this character, and what ultimately makes him worth redemption?
SK: Exploring his character is a big responsibility. Here’s this iconic character who’s been around for decades, and this is the first time we get to pull back the curtain and find out if there’s a conscience behind his white eyes. And I think if you asked Hanzo himself what makes him worthy of redemption, he’d tell you he’s NOT worthy. There is no redemption for the things he’s done. And in spite of that, he gets up every morning and tries to do some good in the world. He’s not looking for someone to absolve him of his sins or forgive him because that would be selfish, it’s another form of pity and he’s spent enough time pitying himself. He knows he’s made mistakes but he’s not going to let himself be defined by those past failures anymore. That’s a powerful and empowering message: Seeking forgiveness is less important than just doing the right thing.
Bloody-Disgusting: The book utilizes the talents of many artists, how did you reference your fights scenes and what was the most brutal death you envisioned on the page, and how did the artist make it better?
SK: Whenever there’s an especially action-packed panel, my descriptions switch to ALL CAPS SO YOU KNOW I MEAN BUSINESS. We’ve got some epic brutality coming up in the chapters yet to come, but the first emotionally and viscerally brutal death was Takeda’s first kill at the end of Chapter 3. Dexter Soy put so much detail and nuance into that page, and the horror that you see on Takeda’s face at what he’s been forced to do feels 100% authentic. All of our artists have gone all out to deliver on the brutality factor, adding in those giblets that Mortal Kombat is known for, and colorist Veronica Gandini has gotten used to me asking, “Could we add a little more blood?” to those scenes. It’s what fans expect. They want MK to be bloody disgusting, pun intended.
Bloody-Disgusting: Kotal Kahn really takes a spotlight in these early issues, what was it like to carve out a new piece of the Mortal Kombat mythology on your own? And how did you embody the sheer vulnerability of Kotal’s character?
SK: Setting the stage for Kotal Kahn’s debut in MKX Story Mode was a huge honor. The comics have the advantage of allowing us to focus on the characters and their emotions in a way that there’s just not enough time for in the game, but the groundwork was all there in the earliest concept art and scripts that I got from NetherRealm Studios. They created this barbarian who drinks the blood of his conquered enemies but at the same time lives by a strict code of honor. That code is why Kotal didn’t overthrow Mileena in some macho power play; he overthrew her out of genuine concern for the safety and well being of Outworld and its citizens. And his vulnerability comes from that concern. Unlike Shao Kahn, who happily spent lives like a billionaire spends dollars, Kotal cares about people. It’s not what you expect from a character that looks so outwardly savage. Once I reached that understanding of him, he jumped to the top of the list as one of my all-time favorite MK characters.
Bloody-Disgusting: What is the blood magic that drives most of the story? And will we find out more about it once the game hits?
SK: The blood magik — I like to spell it with the K for impakt — is an element that’s specific to the books, but as readers find out in Chapters 11 and 12, the reason that blood magik is important is driven by in-game events, specifically the Netherrealm War and the revenge of Shinnok. As the comics continue, you’ll find out more about how the blood magik works and see its use culminate in a spectacularly bloody finale. The fallout from that will have a lasting effect on our main characters and set them on the path that leads directly into the events of the game, with sudden twists and shocking turns and stunning surprises along the way.
We scored a really bizarre exclusive clip from The Resurrection of a Bastard, which is now on VOD through Syndicado.
The pic is said to be a richly complex, beautifully executed character piece adapted from his own graphic novel by first time writer-director Guido van Driel.
“Ronnie is a bastard. And not just any bastard. Ronnie is an exceptional bastard. The hardest of the hard men, a gleefully heartless collector of debts and dispenser of violence whose world comes crashing down around him when a taste of his own violence splashes back upon himself. The near-death experience leaves Ronnie questioning the meaning and value of his life up until that point. But not so much that he doesn’t want revenge on the person who left him near-dead.”
The Resurrection of a Bastard stars Yorick van Wageningen.