It looks like the long-rumored Gears of War movie is officially moving forward! The film was officially announced during a livestream for the upcoming Gears of War 4, with Rod Fergusson, studio head of The Coalition telling Variety, “As a way to support the franchise the next logical step was to make the movie. We’d done comics and novels in the past but the opportunity to work with Universal to bring the movie to life was perfect.”
Fergusson also commented on what kind of story the film will tell, explaining, “I think you have to let the movies be the movies. They’re two different mediums, and two different audiences in some cases, and I think some video game movies in the past have failed because they tried to make a movie for gamers. If you have this great IP with a deep backstory and lots of lore that you can make interesting stories out of it’s great, but if you just go after the gaming audience then it isn’t going to be a successful movie.”
Universal is behind the game-to-film adaptation, which will be produced by Scott Stuber (Ted) and Dylan Clark (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).
No further details have been released.
With under two weeks until it kicks off, the Telluride Horror Show has released its second wave of films! Running from October 14-16th, the festival has revealed it will be showcasing the world premiere of #Screamers, the Colorado premieres of Sadako vs. Kayako and The Windmill, and will also be presenting several additional short horror films!
Not content with just showing people a bunch of films, the festival has also put together several events to keep people entertained, such as an Ice Cream Social, a bonfire with horror author Joe R. Lansdale reading creepy campfire tales, a pig roast, and a horror trivia night co-hosted by Brad McHargue and yours truly! Head on down for the full second wave announcement!
Three-day passes have been sold out but individual tickets will be available at the venues should seating be available. More information can be found here.Feature Length Films BEYOND THE WALLS
France | 2016 | 142 min | Director: Hervé Hadmar
Lisa’s fate takes a dramatic turn when she inherits a mysterious uninhabited old house left to her in the will of its deceased owner. Lisa moves into the house with no inkling of the mysteries that await her.
UK | 2016 | 95 min | Director: Andy Edwards
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Three best friends – Alex, Az and Jim – head to Ibiza for their first lad’s holiday. Unfortunately, tagging along is Alex’s unimpressed ex-girlfriend Ellie. Arriving on the island, the lads dump Ellie with Alex’s sister Liz, and her friend Zara, and head to San Antonio to start their week of sun, sea and debauchery. Soon they end up in a club, run by local gangster Karl, where the attractions aren’t all alive – they’re zombies! Due to Jim’s drunken antics the zombies escape, and soon all hell breaks loose and no one on the party island is safe.
UK | 2015 | 99 min | Director: Steven Gomez
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
When an elite army unit is helicoptered to a remote, off-the-grid island facility, a simple training exercise quickly descends into a terrifying battle to the death as the marines discover the island is overrun by an enemy that transcends the human concept of evil.
Japan | 2016 | 98 min | Director: Koji Shiraishi
After viewing a legendary cursed videotape, Natsumi discovers she has only two days before she will be killed by the demonic entity known as Sadako. The only way to break the curse: Pitting the demon Sadako against Kayako, an accursed spirit possessing a haunted house where everyone who enters disappears.
USA | 2016 | 88 min | Director: Dean Ronalds
When an internet company decides to investigate a series of ‘Screamer’ videos, they are confronted with havoc and hell they could never expect.
Netherlands | 2016 | 85 min | Director: Nick Jongerius
Followed by a Q&A with director Nick Jongerius
A group of unsuspecting tourists awaken a mysterious evil while on a trip through the Dutch countryside.
USA | 2016 | 6 min | Director: Michael Peer
IN PERSON: Michael Peer
A personal fitness trainer has an unhealthy relationship with dolls.
France | 2015 | 11 min | Director: Thomas Vernay
The wind blows, noises of armor resound. A knight escorts a young woman athwart plains. The thunder begins to scold, clouds invade the landscape. The knight, worried, stares at the castle on the horizon. The end is close.
USA | 2015 | 2 min | Director: Thomas Humphreys I hope you like wetting your bed forever.I WANT YOU INSIDE ME
USA | 2016 | 13 min | Director: Alice Shindelar
An introverted teenager loses her virginity and her boyfriend in one fell orgasm; a sensitive portrait of adolescence that builds to one helluva FX gag that’s both funny and frightening.
USA | 2016 | 10 min | Directors: Alex Kavutskiy & Ariel Gardner
IN PERSON: Alex Kavutskiy & Ariel Gardner
A man opens a door to a robot that boasts exceptional ability and intelligence, but the man has only one thing on his mind: Practiced vulgarity that escalates to a darkly hysterical extreme.
USA | 2015 | 58 min | Directors: Alex Kavutskiy & Ariel Gardner
IN PERSON: Alex Kavutskiy & Ariel Gardner
A man decides to kill his baby. Chaos ensues.
USA | 2016 | 8 min | Director: Anthony Ngo
PHANTOM SWAY 48 HOUR FILM CONTEST WINNER
Orenda is a horror short that tells the story of a babysitter who makes the frightening discovery that her latest job is anything but typical. This film won the Phantom Sway 48 Hour Film Contest in 2016.
USA | 2016 | 3 min | Director: Chris Barron
IN PERSON: Chris Barron
Sometimes you have a reason to be afraid.
USA | 2016 | 14 min | Director: Kyle Morgan
A woman is forced to confront the horrors of the deep forest that haunt her every night.
France | 2015 | 13 min | Director: Gabriel Harel
Yùl, 13 years old, goes with his big brother Dino to conclude a deal with Mike, a thug escorted by his Argentinian mastiff. When things go wrong, a mysterious snake appears.
Friday | Oct. 14 | 3:00PM – 4:30PM
Sheridan Opera House
(Open to 3-Day pass holders)
Free ice cream!
Friday | Oct. 14 | 6:30PM – 7:30PM
Elks Park: Across from the courthouse
(Open to public)
Bonfire and author reading!
Saturday | Oct. 15 | 2:30PM – 3:30PM
Sheridan Opera House
(Open to public)
Select works by Lansdale available for purchase courtesy of Between the Covers bookstore.
Saturday | Oct. 15 | 5:00PM – 7:00PM
Oak: Located at base of gondola
(Open to 3-Day pass holders)
Free pig, cash bar.
Sunday | Oct. 16 | 5:00PM – 7:30PM
Oak: Located at base of gondola
(Open to 3-Day pass holders)
Join us for the first annual Horror Movie Trivia Night! Presented by Bloody Disgusting, join hosts Jonathan Barkan and Brad McHargue as they take you through ten rounds of horror trivia madness and mayhem. Win prizes! Drink beer! Get angry at your friends for missing that one question they totally swore they knew! No more than six players to a team.
Sunday | Oct. 16 | 10:00PM – ???
Last Dollar Saloon
(Open to 3-Day pass holders)
If you’re still standing, join us for one last get-together!
Twenty years ago, Simply Vinyl put out a vinyl release of the soundtrack to David Lynch’s 1997 Lost Highway. Featuring music from Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails, Angelo Badalamenti, Rammstein, Marilyn Manson, and more, it was a wildly popular release, one that got it a Gold certification in the US and even peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200. That record became a very rare find and in recent years copies could fetch prices of several hundreds of dollars.
Those days are about to come to an end as Music On Vinyl is putting out a reissue, which has a release date of November 4th, 2016. It features all the same songs and looks like the original packaging. Basically, this is a straight-up reissue without any frills. You know what was so you know what will be.
“After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.”
Lost Highway stars Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazaar Getty, Robert Blake, and Henry Rollins.
You can pre-order your copy right here.
1. David Bowie – I’m Deranged (Edit)
2. Trent Reznor – Videodrones;Questions
3. Nine Inch Nails – The Perfect Drug
4. Angelo Badalamenti- Red Bats With Teeth
5. Angelo Badalamenti – Haunting & Heartbreaking
6 The Smashing Pumpkins – Eye
1. Angelo Badalamenti – Dub Driving
2. Barry Adamson – Mr. Eddy’s Theme 1
3. Lou Reed – This Magic Moment
4. Barry Adamson – Mr. Eddy’s Theme 2
5. Angelo Badalamenti – Fred & Renee Make Love
6. Marilyn Manson – Apple of Sodom
1. Antonio Carlos Jobim – Insensatez
2. Barry Adamson – Something Wicked This Way Comes (Edit)
3. Marilyn Manson – I Put A Spell On You
4. Angelo Badalamenti – Fats Revisited
5. Angelo Badalamenti – Fred’s World
6. Rammstein – Rammstein (Edit)
1. Barry Adamson – Hollywood Sunset
2. Rammstein – Heirate Mich(Edit)
3. Angelo Badalamenti – Police
4. Trent Reznor – Driver Down
5. David Bowie – I’m Deranged (Reprise)
Today marks the 64th birthday of English author/director/artist Clive Barker, a man who probably doesn’t need any introduction to the horror community. But just in case, he’s the man who created perhaps the most evil and dangerous puzzle box in Hellraiser, who mixed noir and horror in the criminally under-appreciated Lord of Illusions, who shaped my early nightmares with “The Thief of Always“, whose game Undying is still to this day one of the most eerie interactive experiences I’ve ever gone through.
You see, Barker is not a traditional horror creator. Rather, he has this wonderful fascination with magic, mysticism, the supernatural, and all things related, finding a way to blend them all into grand, almost epic tales. His stories don’t put only our world in a state of peril, they risk other worlds as well. No plane of existence is safe from Barker’s pen or brush, from “The Kingdom of The Cuckoo” in “Weaveworld” to Mr. Hood’s time warping realm in “The Thief of Always” to Pandemonium, the capital city of Hell, in “The Scarlet Gospels”. It is because of Barker’s seemingly limitless imagination that his works feel vast and limitless, the possibilities of where his stories might go endless and, therefore, always exciting and unpredictable.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, my first encounter with Clive Barker was with his children’s book “The Thief of Always”, which I saved up my lunch money to buy a copy of. A few years later, I got my hands on his game Undying, which only further sealed the deal of my interest in his works. As the years passed, I found myself watching his films, reading more of his novels and venturing into his short stories, and ogling his artwork. His oddities were as fascinating to me as many find the works of David Lynch, David Cronenberg, and Tim Burton. He found ways to marry beauty and horror in unique approaches, which is why he is one of the most recognized horror authors and ranks up there with King, Koontz, and similar contemporary names.
Although he hasn’t gotten behind the camera too many times, Barker’s three studio films that he did direct are each classics in their own right. Obviously we all know Hellraiser and the impact the ensuing franchise has had. Doug Bradley’s performance as Pinhead is so iconic that fans can’t imagine him played by anyone else. Nightbreed has become a cult sensation, one that perfectly exemplifies the imagination and scope that I spoke of earlier. It also turns horror conventions on its head, making the monsters the heroes and humans the villains. However, there is always that shade of gray in the middle, where nothing is falls under simple categorizations. And in Lord of Illusions, Barker took the world of illusionists and magicians and wove a haunting story behind their mystery. Scott Bakula’s portrayal of Harry D’Amour is one of my favorites in the horror genre and Daniel von Bargen brought charisma and foreboding, demonic strength to Nix.
With 16 novels, dozens of short stories, wonderful collections of art and a few video game titles under his belt, Barker is a horror auteur who paves the way with his works. We wish him a very happy birthday and are always excited to see what comes next from him!
A new first look at the third season of WGNA’s “Salem” has been released and it includes behind-the-scenes footage and cast commentary, including some from Marilyn Manson. An extended sneak peek will be held this Friday at the New York Comic Con.
The third season of “Salem” dawns with the triumph of the witches’ plan to remake the New World by bringing the devil to earth and making Salem his capital. But the devil is a liar, and instead of a New World free from murderous Puritan hypocrisy, his own plan will bring nothing but death and slavery with the ultimate aim of leading humanity to destroy itself. And there’s only one person on earth who can beat the devil — the very witch that birthed him, his mother, Mary Sibley. The only problem is she’s dead. Or is she?
“Salem” stars Janet Montgomery (“Human Target,” “Made in Jersey”) as Mary Sibley, Shane West (“Nikita,” “ER”) as Captain John Alden, Seth Gabel (“Arrow,” “Fringe”) as Cotton Mather, Ashley Madekwe (“Revenge”) as Tituba, Tamzin Merchant (“Jane Eyre”) as Anne Hale, Elise Eberle (“The Astronaut Farmer”) as Mercy Lewis, Iddo Goldberg (“Mob City”) as Isaac Walton, Joe Doyle (“Raw”) as Baron Sebastian Marburg, Oliver Bell (“The Saint”) as Mary’s son and renowned recording-artist Marilyn Manson guest stars as Thomas Dinley.
New this season is Samuel Roukin (“TURN: Washington’s Spies”) as The Sentinel.
Created and written by Brannon Braga and Adam Simon, “Salem” is executive produced by Braga, Simon, Kelly Souders, Brian Peterson and The Firm’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios.
Season 3 of “Salem” premieres Wednesday, November 2nd at 9pm ET.
Very sad news as it’s been reported by BBC that Rod Temperton, a British songwriter who is perhaps best known for composing Michael Jackson’s iconic song “Thriller”, has passed away at age 66 “…a brief aggressive battle with cancer,” according to Jon Platt of Warner/Chappell music publishing.
Temperton began playing music from an early age and gained some notoriety when joined the funk/disco band Heatwave. He then went on to become a songwriter, which led to him working with artists like Quincey Jones, Herbie Hancock, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, and many more.
We send our condolences to his friends, family, and all the artists he worked with who are still around to mourn his loss.
Last week, Korn released a stream of their new single “A Different World”, which features guest vocals from Slipknot’s Corey Taylor. Today, the band has released a video for the track and it’s obviously inspired heavily by Tool’s “Sober” video, utilizing the same kind of unsettling and disturbing stop-motion animation. You can watch it below, courtesy of IMDb.
“A Different World” appears on the band’s upcoming album The Serenity of Suffering, which comes out October 21st via Roadrunner Records. Pre-orders are available here.
A24’s The Monster (read my review) will be available exclusively on DIRECTV on October 6th, and will be in theaters and On Demand on November 11th, Bloody Disgusting confirmed.
Originally titled There Are Monsters, the film was directed by Bryan Bertino, who was the writer, producer, and director of The Strangers, as well as the criminally underrated Mockingbird.
Starring Zoe Kazan (In Your Eyes, Fracture), Ella Ballentine (The Captive), Scott Speedman (Underworld), and Aaron Douglas (“Battlestar Galactica”), The Monster focuses on a mother and daughter who are trapped and tormented by a ruthless creature.
A24 has been kicking ass having been behind The Witch, Green Room, Swiss Army Man and the forthcoming The Blackcoat’s Daughter.
“Acclaimed horror filmmaker Bryan Bertino (THE STRANGERS) directs this suspenseful and scary new film, in which a divorced mother (Zoe Kazan) and her headstrong daughter must make an emergency late night road trip to see the girl’s father. As they drive through deserted country roads on a stormy night, they suddenly have a startling collision that leaves them shaken but not seriously hurt. Their car, however, is dead, and as they try in vain to get help, they come to realize they are not alone on these desolate backroads – a terrifying evil is lurking in the surrounding woods, intent on never letting them leave…
A chilling and tension-filled experience, THE MONSTER pits two ferociously strong women against one of the scariest and most shocking monsters you’ll ever see. It will be a battle no one will forget. ”
Nine years ago Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes had tapped Transformers and Jennifer’s Body star Megan Fox to star in a Groundhog Day-esque horror pic about a girl who must relive the same day over and over again until she figures out who is trying to kill her and why.
Now, Blumhouse is allegedly behind Half to Death, which is said to be scheduled to begin shooting this November in Georgia.
A quick look around Google revealed that Christopher Landon is supposedly directing from a script he co-penned with Scott Lobdell. Landon, who penned Dusturbia and several Paranormal Activity sequels, also directed Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and Paramount’s Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. He seems like a go-to choice for the production house.
In regards to Megan Fox, she is no longer listed attached to the project, as it’s been almost a decade since it’s been in development. But that long road comes to an end next month, according to the aforementioned link. Hopefully we’ll hear something official soon to go along with some casting. It sounds like a really cool concept….
The Tremors franchise has shown remarkable staying power. Since the first film’s release in 1990, the franchise has seen four sequels and a 13-episode TV series see the light of day. Supposedly, Amazon has another TV series on the way, this time featuring original star Kevin Bacon. Tremors and Tremors 2: Aftershocks get most of the praise from fans but Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, which celebrated its 15th anniversary earlier this week, deserves some respect as well. It may embrace the comedic elements of the franchise more so than its predecessors, but its heart is in the right place and provides some solid entertainment for a direct-to-video creature feature.
The Tremors franchise actually has a special place in my heart. Since I wasn’t old enough to watch R-rated movies, I would roam Blockbuster and look for as many PG-13 horror movies that I could. I eventually stumbled across the first Tremors film and it quickly became one of those movies that I rented at least once a month. Tremors 2 eventually joined it and I double-featured them constantly (Critters was the other big PG-13 horror franchise to get frequent air time in my house). Nostalgia plays a big part in my liking for Tremors 3.
Tremors 3 follows fan favorite Michael Gross’s Burt Gummer back to Perfection, Nevada, the setting of the first film. Since the events of the first film, the town has now become a tourist attraction thanks to “Desert” Jack Sawyer (Shawn Christian), who has created mock-Graboid attack tours for gullible visitors. Though Graboids have been absent from Perfection for over a decade, Burt’s return brings them back. It isn’t long before they begin to evolve again, this time into something even deadlier than Graboids or Shriekers (Except not really; the Ass Blasters are just plain goofy).
Something that has always been admirable about the Tremors franchise has been its regard for continuity. Tremors 3 is even better about that then Tremors 2, seeing several cast members from the first film return. On top of franchise staple Burt Gummer, you’ve got the return of Mindy Sterngood (Ariana Richards, aka Lex from Jurassic Park), Nancy Sterngood (Charlotte Stewart), Miguel (the late Tony Genaro) and even Melvin Plug (Robert Jayne). Screenwriter John Whelpley even introduces Jodi Chang (Susan Chuang), the niece of the first film’s Walter Chang (Victor Wong, who passed away shortly before the film’s release). The actors are game for all of the ridiculousness that is thrown their way, which helps elevate the film above its mediocre script and somewhat limited budget.
Your affinity for Tremors 3 hinges on how much humor you like in your Tremors and how amusing you find the newest Graboid evolution, the Ass Blaster, to be. After all, this creature’s defining characteristic is that it flies after shooting a flame-filled fart out of its butt. Yes, you read that right. Tremors has a comedic element to it, but it mixes in a significant dose of horror to keep it from getting too silly. Even Tremors 2 has some truly frightening moments (the severed arms holding the car window always gave me the willies). Tremors 3 completely eschews the horror elements of the first two films and goes straight for camp. It’s a pure comedy, with the movie emphasizing meta humor even more than the first two (“It’s called a Graboid,” Jack corrects a tourist when he asks to have his picture taken with a “tremor”).
There are some pretty decent set pieces in Tremors 3, the best of which sees Burt hide inside a metal barrel only to be swallowed by a Graboid. Jack proceeds to use a chainsaw to cut Burt out of the Graboid’s stomach. It’s a great bit of gross-out humor, especially for a PG-rated film (and yes, Tremors 3 is rated PG). The climactic battle in the junkyard goes on for a little too long but still contains plenty of amusing moments. Another thing Tremors 3 has going for it is its one-liners. We’re not talking Shakesperean dialogue here, but there’s something inherently funny about Jodi yelling “Ha! Ass Blaster! Blast your own damn ass!” when she kills an Ass Blaster.
It’s not all great in Tremors 3 though. There is some horrendous CGI (close-up shots of the creatures feature practical effects but wide shots and action shots see the aforementioned computer-generated effects) and stilted dialogue mixed in with some questionable acting, but it could be said that that’s part of the movie’s charm. Tremors 3 had a reported budget of $6 million though (pretty high for a DTV release) so it’s disappointing to see the film introduce CGI to the franchise when it probably had the money to get a bit more creative with its practical effects. The pacing of the movie isn’t as tight as that of its predecessors either. It runs about 20 minutes too long (104 minutes) and it takes over an hour for the Ass Blasters to make their first appearance (the Shriekers from Tremors 2 barely factor into the film).
Tremors 3 isn’t high art, but it is a lot of fun and everyone involved has their heart in the right place. You have to admire the commitment and affection everyone seems to have for the film. After 15 years, it’s about time Tremors 3 was shown some damn respect.
A trailer for the comic-to-film adaptation of Officer Downe has been released and it’s a doozy! Full of violence, strange villains, and big guns, this looks like it’s either going to be helluva good time or a helluva WASTE of time. Obviously, I’m hoping for the former!
Adapted from the 2010 graphic novel by Chris Burnham and Joe Casey, “Officer Down takes you into a hyper-real Los Angeles for the story of a savage LA policeman who is repeatedly resurrected and returned to active duty via dark science technology. When a rookie officer named Gable is recruited as back up, he discovers there’s much more to the titular super-cop than a mindless law enforcement drone warring against a twisted rouges gallery of over-the-top super-villains.”
Directed by Slipknot’s M. Shawn Crahan and starring Kim Coates, Alison Lohman, Tyler Ross, Lauren Luna Velez, Meadow Williams, and Sam Witwer, the pulp-esque Officer Downe will hit VOD platforms on November 18th through Magnolia’s Magnet Releasing.
The first still from Mathieu Turi’s Hostile has been released (see above) and it shows Brittany Ashworth sitting on the hood of a large car, one that has obviously seen better days. The movie is currently in production, although it will finish shooting in the coming days.
After a worldwide epidemic, most of the planet’s population is killed. Only a few thousand have survived and are struggling to find food and shelter. But they’re not alone: They have to hide from strange creatures that go hunting at night.
Juliette, a young woman whose life has taught her to handle things on her own, is the only one in her group to have the guts to go anywhere near cities to find food. But on her way back to the camp one afternoon, she loses control as she’s driving. She wakes up upside down, stuck in her car with a broken leg, in the middle of the desert, and it’s nighttime.
Directed by Turi and produced by Xavier Gens (The Divide, Frontier(s)), Hostile stars Brittany Ashworth, Grégory Fitoussi, and Javier Botet, who we’ve written about previously.
A clip from the upcoming zombie horror/thriller It Stains the Sands Red has come out of Sitges, where it will be making its world premiere, and can be seen below. It shows Molly (Brittany Allen) facing off against a lone zombie who is chasing her in the desert. As she tries to defend herself, the zombie only gets closer and closer.
This clip calls to mind Night of the Living Dead because it reminds me of the opening scene where the cemetery zombie is chasing Barbara, only this time Molly doesn’t turn and run, at least not anywhere in this clip.
Directed by The Vicious Brothers (Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz), “‘It Stains the Sands Red’ begins following a zombie apocalypse, when Molly finds herself lost in the desert with one of the rabid living dead hot on her trail. Although at first she finds it hard to give him the slip, the situation gets even more complicated when the girl realizes that, unlike her, her pursuer has no physical need to stop and rest.“
Family drama and horror are a surprisingly effective combination, despite sounding like antagonistic concepts. From classics like Poltergeist to more recent examples like The Conjuring, there’s nothing that brings a family together like a good old-fashioned horror story. Caradog W. James’ Don’t Knock Twice is the latest in this long line of dramatic scary movies, though it offers a few unique twists along the way.
Don’t Knock Twice stars Katie Sackhoff as Jess, an artist looking to reunite with her estranged daughter Chloe, played by Lucy Boynton, nine years after having been forced to place her into foster care. However, Chloe has been marked by a sinister force thought by many to be just an urban legend, which, alongside her mother’s troubled past, threatens to destroy their chance of becoming a family again.
Plot-wise, the film feels slightly derivative, with many aspects having been borrowed from similar horror movies like Mama, specifically the themes of motherhood and the portrayal of the antagonist. Despite this, Don’t Knock Twice does have a few surprises in store for patient viewers, not to mention some legitimately scary moments featuring a certain child-stealing witch.
Although I certainly appreciate the connections to Russian folklore, the supernatural mystery is easily the weakest part of the movie. Sackhoff and Boynton’s performances, on the other hand, are what really make the experience worthwhile, as their mother-daughter relationship adds another level of drama to the film. You’ll find yourself rooting for these characters as they face this seemingly unbeatable entity, while also caring when one of them makes a mistake.
Beyond the characters, Caradog also has a good eye for visual storytelling, and his direction certainly elevates some of the more generic parts of the film. While visual flair is obviously no substitute for a good script, the presentation here almost makes up for the story’s lack of creativity. It would have been great to see a better version of the antagonist, though, as tall, slender figures crawling down from the darkest corners of the screen have sadly become commonplace in mainstream horror.
Even with its unsurprising narrative and creature design, Don’t Knock Twice is definitely worth the price of admission. The characters are extremely well developed, their interactions are believable, and there’s something instinctually compelling about seeing how far a mother is willing to go in order to protect her child. It might not be the most original family-oriented horror movie ever made, but Don’t Knock Twice is still a charming and well-crafted thriller.
Don’t Knock Twice premiered at the UK-based Raindance Film Festival!
I feel like I’m watching the news report on a wildfire that’s out of control and it’s spreading across the country, only the fire in this case are morons dressing like clowns.
By now you’ve read about the numerous cases of clown sightings from California all the way to North/South Carolina. It’s a meme gone wild, or gone real if you will. In a living bit straight out of The Strangers, boys/girls/teens/men/women/who knows are dressing as clowns and stalking random people in various towns. There appears to be no motive other than to join the terrifying flash mob that’s only fun for whomever is under the mask.
It’s become so prevalent that there’s even a mythology growing in my own hometown, the ‘burbs of Chicago. Here, kids believe that the clowns aren’t just sightings, but an actual cult murdering people and that “many people have died.” This is just touching on why this is turning dangerous – and it will be funny to a lot of people, at least until someone gets hurt.
Today I learned that the clowns have come out to play here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, this time allegedly harboring weapons outside of a school.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
The creepy clown phenomenon that has recently swept the nation hit Lake County Tuesday as police departments in Round Lake, North Chicago and Waukegan reported clown threats made on social media, and in person at one Waukegan school during lunch recess prompting that school to briefly be put on lockdown.
Waukegan police reported that children at Greenwood Elementary School at 1919 North Avenue came in from recess just before 2 p.m. and reported seeing three clowns at the edge of the property taunting them, Comdr. Joe Florip said.
Students reported that one had a knife, one held a briefcase and the third appeared to have a nn in his pocket, but it was not clear whether the weapons were real.
“The school was briefly locked down,” he said.
“The children also reported that the clowns threatened to return Friday to kill them,” before they left in a black sports utility vehicle, Florip added.
“This incident is being taken seriously,” he said. The gender and race of the suspects is unknown.
Waukegan police plan to provide extra watches during patrol shifts at all area schools for the time being.
Nick Alajakas, spokesman for Waukegan Community Unit School District 60, posted on the school’s and district’s website that students reported seeing “three people dressed as clowns, carrying weapons at a home near the school during recess. Waukegan police were called to the school to investigate the incident, and provide increased patrols during dismissal.
“We will continue to work with police as they investigate this reported sighting,” he wrote, noting that Waukegan schools have recently been mentioned in clown-related social media messages.
“Please know we, along with Waukegan police, have been made aware of these messages,” the post said.
“It’s all part of this national thing going on with creepy killer clowns,” Alajakas said, referring to recent news reports from around the country. There is a website called Clown Sightings USA where people post their clown sightings and creepy pictures.
“But we always take threats, whether clown-related or not, very seriously,” he said.
In Round Lake, the Police Department posted on its Facebook page a notice that it was aware of the school reporting clown-related threats on social media and it also referenced a story listing clown sightings by state.
“As we enter October, please be aware that communities all over our area are seeing a resurgence in the number of messages received regarding concerns about ‘clowns,’ specifically individuals dressing up like clowns and walking around in an attempt to draw attention or scare individuals,” the post said.
“This has been a frequent national news item over the years with reports of clowns showing up and behaving in a manner that can be described as ‘creepy.’ We believe these behaviors are intended as a joke to scare individuals,” it read.
“The Round Lake Police Department and School District 116 have learned of social media postings … that indicate the clown may visit the Round Lake High School campus. While we believe this posting is part of a prank, we do thoroughly investigate all potential safety concerns,” the statement said.
In North Chicago, Police Chief Richard Wilson said the school district also notified his department of social media postings mentioning clowns and threats to the school.
“We will have extra patrols out at the schools. Better safe than sorry,” he said.
While this is the first time this tornado has touched down near my home, there have been several arrests over the past few weeks, while Stephen King, who penned the terrifying coming-of-age clown story, “It”, felt obligated to respond to the growing trend.
Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria–most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 3, 2016
It’s a stronger stance for King, as Time explains, who first spoke out about the clown hype early last month, telling his hometown newspaper, The Bangor Daily News, that “the clown furor will pass, as these things do.”
“But it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying,” King said at the time.
I think what’s truly frightening is that there’s no apparent motive, yet, and that there are people out there without enough free time and negative energy in their lives to make the effort to bring this into fruition. Shit, it’s October, which means it’s beyond simple to go and fetch a clown costume and his the streets within minutes…
Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2004 novel Let the Right One In was adapted into a film in 2008 and was then remade for US audiences in 2010 as Let Me In. Now, in 2016, there is a TV version coming from TNT that’s being developed by Jeff Davis, the creator of “Teen Wolf” and “Criminal Minds”.
It’s been announced that “Doctor Who” and “Happy Valley” director Euros Lyn has been locked to directed the pilot of the show, according to Deadline.
““Let The Right One In” is an eerie drama about a young boy, long tormented by his classmates, who finds solace in a friendship with a charismatic female vampire who appears to be near his age. The vampire settles into the boy’s small Vermont town with her mysterious caretaker, just as a series of bizarre murders begins attracting the attention of law enforcement.”
Davis penned the pilot and will serve as an executive producer with Marty Adelstein (“Aquarius,” “Prison Break,” “Teen Wolf”) and Becky Clements (“Aquarius,” “Last Man Standing”) of Tomorrow Studios, plus Simon Oakes (“Women in Black,” “Let Me In”) of Hammer Films, Carl Molinder who produced the original screenplay and Alex Brunner (“Dark Places”). Turner’s in-house studio, Studio T, will co-produce with Tomorrow Studios.
Those of you who have seen Comedy Central’s hilarious “Key & Peele” know that the duo are huge horror fans. So, when it was announced that Jordan Peele would be directing a genre film, it wasn’t all that surprising. In fact, seeing the commentary they made on the genre (their Gremlins 2 skit is out of this world) made me believe he could kill it as a horror director.
Now, Universal Pictures has unveiled the first trailer for Get Out, which begins when a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate and becomes ensnared in a more sinister reason for the invitation.
In theaters February 24, 2017, the trailer is astoundingly timely, and looks to carry heavy social commentary (something I believe is integral in quality horror). It’s also absolutely bonkers, reminding me of John Carpenter’s underrated classic, In the Mouth of Madness. The hypnotizing angle is pretty dope, too, giving the trailer an Evil Dead moment teased in the above image. Also, I’m really hoping that the editing in the trailer is also the same in the film – it’s jarring, disorienting and sorta scary. Seriously, this movie looks amazing.
Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, Girls), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy (Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods).
At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.
The film also stars Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men series), Milton “Lil Rel” Howery (The Carmichael Show), Betty Gabriel (The Purge: Election Year), Marcus Henderson (Pete’s Dragon) and Keith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton).
[Interview] Don Coscarelli and David Hartman on the ‘Phantasm’ Legacy, Loving Explosions, and Losing the Tall Man
It happens all too often. A brand new entry in a beloved franchise is announced, the press release hits the web, and it turns out that the studio heads have placed the future of a popular horror series in the hands of a filmmaker who’s never seen a single entry. Luckily, when it came time for renowned filmmaker Don Coscarelli to pass on the torch to an upcoming director for a new Phantasm installment, he wisely chose a man who has been a fan since the beginning: David Hartman.
“I got Fangoria Issue #2 when I was seven years old and it had these two pictures inside, the Tall Man’s finger inside the box with the yellow blood, and Michael Baldwin floating in this red background, and it just blew me away” recalls Hartman. “I had to show it to friends because it scared me, and I wanted to share. I didn’t want to be the only one that was scared. I can honestly say that was one of the most guiding moments that even turned me into a fan of horror”.
The last entry and a long awaited finale to the franchise, David Hartman’s Phantasm: Ravager finds new ground by delving deeper into the Tall Man’s world, while still finding footing in the familiar by harking back to all the familiar Phantasm elements. The muscle car, the deadly flying spheres, Reggie’s tendency towards romancing whatever lady he comes into contact with – it’s all here, and for head honcho Coscarelli, it’s been an exhilarating ride. Looking back over the past thirty years however, the original creator of the series has realized that it wasn’t necessarily he who pumped life into the films, but rather the magnificent actors he hired, whom he only guided to greatness.
“I think I’ve found the mythic and heroic qualities in each of these actors” reflects Coscarelli. “I’d like to take credit for that. I was just thinking about the very first time I met Reggie Bannister, and I put him into my very first movie, and I’m a teenager, by the way, I was like nineteen and we’d heard about this guy in college, over in Long Beach, California, and he was this musician-actor and he was really cool. So, I went out to a beer bar where he was performing and he got me in the bar and I watched him play music. He had this unique personality which is the Reggie in the movies, but what’s cool about him though is that he kept surprising me. He was in this movie, Jim, the World’s Greatest he played this quirky character, but then I brought him my second film Kenny & Company and he was great in that, this little kids movie. But then, when it came time for the third movie, Phantasm, I figured he would make this great sidekick and loyal friend and brother, but really, I can’t take credit for his performance, but it’s like I kind of steer these people. Like, I had this idea in the script in Phantasm I where he would jump out and finally take this moment where he says ‘I know what we’ll do! We’ll take that tall dude out and lay him out flat and drive a stake right through his goddamn heart!’ And there’s this moment where you go, ‘Holy shit! This old ice cream man is an actor star!’ but I don’t have any of that in the first Phantasm (laughs). You know, in the end, he tries to save the day but it doesn’t work. So, cut to Phantasm II, and then it’s like, okay, Reggie goes with them on this road trip and now he’s a little bit more of action star, and we give him that gun, and then by Phantasm III he’s this complete antihero action hero dude, and yet in each one Reggie rises to the occasion. So, I had something to do with it, but it was more me seeing what these actors had in them. Bill Thornbury, the older brother, I see he had qualities as a musician, and that he’s a good natured person, and then Michael Baldwin had this steely resolve which evolved and flourished as the movies go on. In a way I was kind of guiding it, but a lot of it had to do with their inner core, just who those people really are in real life”.
Aside from the more well known trademarks of the Phantasm universe, one of the most important through lines in the series is the use of balls-to-the-wall, outrageous practical effects. Considering the relatively limited budget and other obvious restrictions that Coscarelli and company had to face with the original 1979 film, what they managed to pull off in the final product is a feat, to say the least. However, as accomplished as their product turned out to be, Coscarelli can’t deny that he is overjoyed to trek back to the movie that made him the man he is today, and give it a brand new beautiful finishing touch in the updated version Phantasm Remastered.
“I love practical effects, but the fact is that in the first Phantasm, there was no possibility of visual effects because they had not been invented yet” points out Coscarelli. “The only way we could do these things was, you know, paper clips and tape, so I’m just there trying to find some ingenious way of making spheres fly. But now, one of the greatest joys of my life was him doing this restoration. Thank you J.J. Abrams for Godfathering it. We were finally able to go through and remove every piece of fishing line in Phantasm, and it looks great”.
When it comes to Phantasm: Ravager, the fifth installment in the franchise headed by Hartman, he chose to combine the legacy of the past with the improvements of the future, by combining the infamous practical effects with the more advanced visuals made available in today’s world.
“The trailers show a lot of the cool digital moments, digital spheres doing this and that, and I know a lot of people were like ‘Oh, it’s all digital’. It’s not, it really isn’t. It’s a mixture of digital and practical it’s just with practical we’re doing a lot of cool blood stuff, and you can’t put that in the trailer!” laughs Hartman. “We’ve worked very closely with Gigi Bannister, who is our special effects coordinator, in working with the spheres, we worked very well together just to creatively figure out when to use digital and when not, and we got to do some really cool things. You see spheres in daylight, chasing a car, I mean how cool is that?”
Still, at the end of the day, as Don lovingly points out, you just can’t beat a good old fashioned explosion.
“It seems like the explosions cure all ills” coos Coscarelli. “There’s something about those explosions, I just love them. I was watching the [Phantasm] remastered the other night, and I had forgotten about you know we uh just blew the hell out of that first hearse in this massive fireball, and this roaring inferno on it. I just love these gasoline fireballs you know it’s a thing from the ‘70s, and maybe you’re not seeing them as much anymore because people are using more digital type stuff, but there’s a funny story from the first movie. The great special effects guy from the time, Roger George, I didn’t know his history, but the day he showed up I was a little taken aback because he had been in a fire explosion so the side of his face was kind of scarred and I thought wow, this is gonna be interesting! So he’s coming out of his truck and he has this box and I said, ‘What’s that?’ and he said ‘This is a neck flame bomb I had it left over from my last movie, I’m just gonna put it on the front seat of the hearse and see what happens’. (laughs) So he did it, and wow! It was awesome!”
From massive fireballs to flying spheres, to four barreled shot guns, there’s definitely a lot to love and cherish from the Phantasm franchise. However, arguably the most important component of the wild universe that Coscarelli wonderfully built is the character of the Tall Man, played by none other than the legendary Angus Scrimm. Sadly, the man who depicted one of the most memorable villains of all time passed away last January, but Coscarelli and Hartman will never forget what it was like to work with the man himself, or the inconceivably important role that he played in the success of the series.
“I’ll tell you about the first time I showed him the finished Phantasm: Ravager” Hartman says with a hint of fond reflection in his eyes. “So, I had Don’s approval, but I needed Angus’ approval. So, I picked him up at his house to go to a screening room to watch it, and Angus is like, ‘David, who’s going to drive me home after the movie?’ I was like, ‘Well, Angus, if you like the movie, I’ll drive you home. If you don’t like the movie, Don’s driving you home’. And the whole movie I’m waiting, I’m watching Angus, just the Tall Man, sitting there, stoic, and I’m like ‘Ah man, I can’t read this guy!’ and I don’t know if he’s liking it or not. When the movie ends, he comes up to me and says, ‘David’ and I’m just shaking and I say, ‘Yes?’ and he says, ‘You will be driving me home’. I mean that was one of my happiest, greatest moments, just getting his approval. Watching some of these scenes now, though, is very difficult for me, and I’m sure for Don. Don has known this guy for decades, I’ve only had a short time with him and he’s impacted my life. Being able to watch those scenes and some of the dialogue Don and I wrote for him, and the mortality he’s dealing with in the film, is, to me, is a very poignant and very emotional moment to watch in the movie, and I hope so for the fans as well”.
As for the man who arguably knew him best, director and friend Don Coscarelli, the one thing that keeps entering his mind is how sad it is that Scrimm couldn’t be at Fantastic Fest with the rest of the team, basking in the glory of all of their years of hard work, and ushering in the latest entry in the treasured franchise.
“He loved to work, he loved to play the Tall Man, and the saddest part is, he just loved to meet the Phantasm fans, and he would’ve just loved to be here for this” says Coscarelli with a mixture of pride and sorrow. “These last two days, he should’ve been here, it’s just a crying shame that he isn’t”.
Phantasm: Ravager hits theaters everywhere on October 7th, 2016.
In October of 2005, UK electronic group Depeche Mode released their 11th studio album in the form of Playing the Angel. Featuring 12 brand new tracks and coming four years after their previous release Exciter, Playing the Angel was the #1 album in several countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden, peaking at #7 in the United States.
I love Depeche Mode and while I knew of many of their songs before I listened to this album, Playing the Angel was my gateway into their discography. Furthermore, I have absolutely no qualms or hesitations in saying that it lands high up on my personal Top 10 Albums of All Time list. So, for no reason other than the fact that I love this album, let’s dive headfirst into Playing the Angel.
The first track I heard from the album was the single “Suffer Well”, which hooked me through its infectious beat and strangely disjointed synths. Dave Gahan swoons and careens his vocals, hypnotizing and entrancing with every syllable. From there, I somehow stumbled across a stream of “Macro”, which I have to admit made me feel uneasy and almost afraid. It was this track that made me realize Playing the Angel was a different kind of beast, something I wasn’t used to hearing from Depeche Mode. So, in the spirit of it being 2005, I went and bought the CD. Being able to hear the album from beginning to end is what ensured that this album would remain a favorite of mine.
From start to end, the album has no filler tracks. It’s one of those albums that you put in, hit ‘Play’, and let it play from beginning to end. For me, it’s a journey of beautiful tones, unsettling melodies, and flat out excellent music. It’s one amazing song after another, from the shocking, almost abrasive opening of “A Pain That I’m Used To” to the pulsating “Precious”, the ethereal instrumental “Introspectre” to the haunting “The Darkest Star”, which, side note, was featured in the Alan Wake DLC “The Writer”.
Speaking of creepy games, one of the things I notice every time I listen to Playing the Angel is how much “horror” is in each track. There are these subtle tones and sounds in the background of every song that creates an air of unease, permeating the track from within. It takes multiple listens to begin peeling back these layers and exposing the darkness contained inside but the trek is a magnificent one. There are few albums where I feel that I hear something new every time I pop it on but Playing the Angel is certainly one of those.
The album is known by many for seeing the band utilize a more organic, analog sound, which I can agree with. There is a depth and texture to the music that feels warm and safe. Many electronic albums have a very harsh air about them, making them difficult to listen to for long periods at a time. I don’t feel this is present at all with Playing the Angel. Rather, once I put it on, I find that I have issues shutting it off. I put the album on repeat and let it go, sometimes for hours at a time.
Depeche Mode have a long and storied career. When this album came out, it was nearly 25 years since the release of their first album Speak & Spell and a dozen years after their wildly successful Songs of Faith & Devotion. For many bands with that amount of time behind them, it’s easy for fans to question if anything new is going to actually be interesting or if it will be rote and predictable.
For me, I say that Depeche Mode released an album that will become the dark horse of their career, one that people will look back upon and recognize its genius. Until that day, I’ll sit back and enjoy it in my own way, darkly and fully.
Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece of psychological terror The Shining will be coming to limited theaters in a few weeks for two days, allowing people to see the 1980 Stephen King adaptation on the big screen. The film will screen on Sunday, October 23rd and Wednesday, October 26th, both days at 2pm and at 7pm local time. To find screenings in your area, just head over here to find ticket information.
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.
All screenings will include exclusive commentary by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz.