War Has Begun in this New TV Spot for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dread Central - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 14:30

We've seen tensions rise and attempts being made to avoid it, but in this latest TV spot for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the inevitable happens: War has begun, and nothing will be the same for either the apes or man.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matthew Reeves, stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smith-Mcphee, Enrique Muriciano, and Kirk Acevedo.

Look for the film in theatres on July 11th.

Synopsis
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

For more visit the official Dawn of the Planet of the Apes website, "like" Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on Facebook, and follow Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on Twitter (#DawnOfApes).




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Categories: Horror News

A New Pink Floyd Album Has Apparently Been Confirmed!

bloody disgusting - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 13:50

Word is spreading fast that a new Pink Floyd album is not only confirmed but will be released this October! Entitled The Endless River, the album will be the first new Floyd album since 1994′s The Division Bell. No other information has yet been released.

This news is coming about from a couple of sources. First, David Gilmour’s wife tweeted the statement, “Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called “The Endless River”. Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright’s swansong and very beautiful.” Then, a backup singer by the name of Durga McBroom-Hudson posted a studio photo of background vocals being done for the album. You can see both posts below.

Alright, it’s been twenty years since we’ve had a new Floyd album. Are you excited or apprehensive? Let me know below!

Btw Pink Floyd album out in October is called "The Endless River". Based on 1994 sessions is Rick Wright's swansong and very beautiful.

— Polly Samson (@PollySamson) July 5, 2014

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Categories: Horror News

Cemetery Dance's Limited Edition 'Detours' Collection Going Fast; See Some Artwork and Pre-Order Here!

Dread Central - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 13:37

Cemetery Dance just announced Detours, featuring some of the biggest names ever collected in one book (like King, Koontz, Barker, Blatty, and Straub), so of course it's selling fast. Don't be disappointed; read on for ordering info and to see some of the amazing art it contains.

Every now and then your favorite author takes a detour while writing a new novel: a chapter gets chopped, a connected short story is dreamed up, an essay about the book's origins is composed, or an oddity is created on a day off.

Collected here together for the first time are such Detours. Join these bestselling authors as they share the other works they wrote while they were writing the books you already know and love.

Detours is edited by Brian James Freeman with cover artwork by Tomislav Tikulin. Visit Cemetery Dance's online store to pre-order your copy. At this time the publication date hasn't been revealed, but expect to see the collection sometime in 2015.

Featured authors: Stephen King, Clive Barker, William Peter Blatty, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, Kelley Armstrong, Michael Koryta, David Morrell, Michael Marshall/Michael Marshall Smith, Chet Williamson, Poppy Z. Brite, Stewart O'Nan, and Owen King.

Artwork by: Mark Edward Geyer, Donn Albright, Erin S. Wells, Glenn Chadbourne, Will Renfro, Jill Bauman, Chris Odgers, Steve Gilberts, Alex McVey, and Keith Minnion.

Important Note for Collectors:
Currently the only edition still available is the Oversized Limited Edition at $50. It is signed by the editor and the artists, and there are no other editions planned at this time.

Table of Contents:
"Introduction" by Brian James Freeman
"Memory" by Stephen King
"When I was Twenty-four and Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" by Dean Koontz
"Peter and PTR: Two Deleted Prefaces and an Introduction" by Peter Straub
"An Abandoned Fragment" by Ray Bradbury
"The Hunt" by Kelley Armstrong
"Winter Takes All" by Michael Koryta
"Dead Image" by David Morrell
"The Curious Odyssey of James Deacon (AKA James Dean)"/ "Where Darkness is the Only Light" by David Morrell
"Spares: The Missing First Chapter" by Michael Marshall Smith
"The Straw Men: Excerpt from Ch. 29, First Draft" by Michael Marshall
"Ash Wednesday: The Missing Chapter" by Chet Williamson
"Lost Chapter From the First Draft of Lost Souls" by Poppy Z. Brite
"The Ghost Ship: An Unfinished Manuscript" by Stewart O'Nan
"If There Were Demons Then Perhaps There Were Angels: William Peter Blatty's Own Story of The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty
"The Curator" by Owen King
"A Night's Work" by Clive Barker

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Categories: Horror News

[Blu-ray Review] ‘Final Exam’ Is a Uniquely Wacky ’80s Slasher

bloody disgusting - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 13:16

Jimmy Huston’s 1981 college slasher Final Exam has been released a couple times over the years. Code Red put out a DVD and then Scorpion Releasing did the same. Now the oddball film gets its Blu-ray debut thanks to Scream Factory, in collaboration with Code Red. If you’re tired of the same old slasher formula, check this one out. It makes some weird and unpredictable decisions that help set it apart from the wave of early ’80s slashers.

The film opens with a standard prologue in which two horny teens are murdered in their car on lover’s lane. From there, Final Exam is anything but standard. Another killing doesn’t happen for nearly an hour. It has a very slow pace for an ’80s slasher, but it’s certainly doesn’t lag. We’re introduced to a handful of characters that you can actually tell apart. They fill in tired stereotypes, but there’s enough tweaks to the characters to make them feel unique.

Take Radish (Joel S. Rice) for example. First off, his name is Radish. And although he’s playing the nerdy character, he’s got a serious dark side. He’s wicked paranoid over the double murder we saw in the prologue, so much so that he’s excessively anxious at times. Rice moves and talks in a really strange manner too. It’s a wholly weird performance.

Rice is the first one to freak out when a bunch of frat boys show up at the school in ski masks and pretend to commit a mass murder. I mean, I would shit myself too, but while the rest of Lanier College’s student body is laughing it off, Rice is cowering in an office, calling the cops. Turns out the stunt was just an elaborate ruse to distract faculty while buffoon jock Wildman (Ralph Brown) can cheat on an exam. A phony act of terrorism has got to be the most insane method of cheating I’ve ever heard.

Wildman himself is an exaggerated version of the dumb jock. He’s like ogre from Revenge of the Nerds turned up to 11. He sprays deodorant into his pits and his mouth. He keeps buckets of fried chicken in his dorm room. When he breaks into his coach’s office to steal pain pills, he smashes a trophy on his way out for good measure. He doesn’t even leave the pills in their bottles when he steals them either – he just pours them on coach’s desk and clumsily pockets handfuls of them, leaving a lot behind. It’s a super baffling, funny performance.

Then there’s the killer, a chubby guy in a jumpsuit who shows up at Lanier out of nowhere and starts slaughtering the student body. There isn’t much of a student body to begin with. Seriously it appears only about six or seven kids attend this school. Extras are pretty much non-existent. When I say the killer comes out of nowhere, I mean there’s barely any build-up whatsoever – nothing to signify that a serial killer is lumbering around the campus.

There is a cool shot, where the film’s virginal heroine Courtney (Cecile Bagdadi) sees the killer creeping outside of her dorm window – inspired by Halloween no doubt. Other than that, he’s an enigma. He’s never given a name or a motivation, which some viewers may not like. I didn’t mind the lack of killer characterization though because the weirdo students filled any void there. I could’ve watched 90 minutes of Wildman raising hell on campus and been satisfied.

It may not be filled with gore and sex, but Final Exam stands apart from other slashers of its time solely because of its unique approach and bizarro characters. There’s quit a bit of humor as well, resulting in a uniquely wacky slasher.

The new Scream Factory 1080p transfer was apparently sourced from the original camera negative. Colors appear bold and details are strong. I haven’t seen any of the prior DVD releases, so I can’t comment on how much of an improvement it is. There’s some minor print damage peppered here and there but overall nothing to gripe about. The mono mix is strong as well, with no problems to report.

The Blu-ray carries over the commentary from the Code Red DVD, which includes Joel Rice, Sherry Willis-Burch, and Cecile Bagdadi. With so many participants, it’s a very lively track with no awkward pauses. They cover a lot of ground, including the theory that it was twin killers carrying out the murders.

Scream Factory has also carried over cast interviews with Willis-Burch, Bagdadi, and Rice. They cover the usual ground of how they got involved and what it was like to work with Huston.

While it doesn’t contain any new extras, Scream Factory’s Blu-ray of Final Exam sports a really bold transfer. Still, I’d only upgrade if you simply can’t live without it on Blu.

Categories: Horror News

Weird ‘Young Ones’ Trailers Hunt for Water

bloody disgusting - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 12:18

Bloody reader ‘Fabien M.’ just sent us a pair of international trailer from the post-apocalyptic Young Ones, starring Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning and Michael Shannon, which we’ve been teasing since Cannes.

Set in the future when water is hard to find a teenage boy sets out to protect his family and survive.

The trailers are a bit of a slow burn, but have some really cool futuristic stuff within it. The only problem is that it looks like Waterworld, only they’re seeking water instead of land.

Jake Paltrow directs from his own screenplay.

Categories: Horror News

‘Rigor Mortis’ Haunts Buildings Everywhere This July

bloody disgusting - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 11:25

Drawing on a range of influences from Hong Kong and Japanese horror-film tropes, pop singer-turned actor and first-time director Juno Mak references vampire myths worldwide for the eerie and chilling Rigor Mortis (read our rearview), debuting on Blu-ray, DVD and digital July 8 from Well Go USA Entertainment July 8.

A feast for genre fans, the film follows a depressed actor (Chin Siu-ho) who moves into an even more depressing apartment complex and attempts suicide, only to be rescued by Uncle Yau (Anthony Chan). Unfortunately, the suicidal actor has imbued the dark spirits who haunt the apartment with strength. And to add to their worries, one of the building’s residents has brought a man back from the dead… and he’s about to wake up.

He lives in a haunted apartment building where supernatural creatures, ghost hunters, Taoist exorcists, and the souls of the undead are among his neighbors.

The pic is produced by T akashi Shimizu (Ju-On, The Grudge).

Categories: Horror News

Two More ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Spots Prepare for War

bloody disgusting - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 11:05

It’s a slow news weekend because of the holiday so check out these two new spots for 20th Century Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the awesome Rise of the Planet of the Apes, that asks, “How many were there?”

In theaters July 11, Matt Reeves directs with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Judy Greer and Jocko Sims starring.

In the sequel to the prequel, “A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

Categories: Horror News

‘At the Mountains of Madness’ Happening, Only It Will Be PG-13…

bloody disgusting - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 09:48

How desperate is Guillermo del Toro to being us an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness? Well, he’s willing to compromise with Universal Pictures, against his better judgement, stating that he’ll make the creature feature a PG-13 horror film.

The 3-D film originally had Tom Cruise in talks to star, but also had a ballooning budget of over $120M, which was a lot considering del Toro wanted it to be R-rated. The studio killed the movie, which resulted in us being gifted with Pacific Rim, among other great stuff like the forthcoming “The Strain.”

Del Toro now has a blooming relationship with Legendary Pictures, producers behind the project, and in an interview with the WSJ reveals that At the Mountains of Madness may be back in his cards.

I said to them, that’s the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive, it’s still … I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic. There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic. Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it.

We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point, so I know they love the screenplay. So, we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do.

Madness is the deliberately told and increasingly chilling recollection of an Antarctic expedition’s uncanny discoveries-and their encounter with untold menace in the ruins of a lost civilization-is a milestone of macabre literature.

I always trust the filmmakers to do what’s right for the movie, and if he thinks he can pull it off with a PG-13, well, God bless. You can see some of del Toro’s early sketches here.

Unfortunately, it looks like this could take a back seat to Pacific Rim 2, which he briefly talks about.

I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.

You can read the entire review at the aforementioned link.

Categories: Horror News

Faith No More Debut Two Brand New Songs

bloody disgusting - Sat, 07/05/2014 - 02:22

At the end of May this year, alt-metal band Faith No More posted a tweet that stated, “The reunion things was fun, but now it’s time to get a little creative,” strongly hinting that the group was gearing up for a new album or, at the very least, some new music.

Well, it looks like they’ve made good on that promise as they premiered two brand new songs at London’s Hyde Park earlier tonight! Fan-shot footage of the songs (well, half of the second song) can be seen below. This is the first new material since 1997′s Album Of The Year.

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Categories: Horror News

Rigor Mortis Comes Home With You on Blu-ray and DVD

Dread Central - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 19:21

After premiering in limited theaters back in early June and on VOD outlets, Well Go USA will be releasing Juno Mak's Hong Kong vampire flick Rigor Mortis on Blu-ray, DVD and other digital platforms on July 8.

Rigor Mortis is co-produced by legendary J-Horror auteur Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge).

The Blu-ray and DVD will be available for an SRP of $29.98 and $24.98, respectively.

Related News: New Rigor Mortis Clip Reveals a Horror Filled Hallway

Release Details
Drawing on a range of influences from Hong Kong and Japanese horror-film tropes, pop singer-turned actor and first-time director Juno Mak references vampire myths worldwide for the eerie and chilling RIGOR MORTIS, debuting on Blu-ray, DVD and digital July 8 from Well Go USA Entertainment. A feast for genre fans, the film follows a depressed actor (Chin Siu-ho) who moves into an even more depressing apartment complex and attempts suicide, only to be rescued by Uncle Yau (Anthony Chan). Unfortunately, the suicidal actor has imbued the dark spirits who haunt the apartment with strength. And to add to their worries, one of the building’s residents has brought a man back from the dead... and he’s about to wake up.

Synopsis
A washed-up actor, desperate and suicidal, moves into a haunted apartment building where supernatural creatures, ghost hunters, Taoist exorcists, and the souls of the undead are among his neighbors

RIGOR MORTIS has a runtime of approximately 101 minutes and is not rated.

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Categories: Horror News

Twisted Music Video Of The Week Vol. 142: ††† “Bitches Brew”

bloody disgusting - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 18:30

My vinyl kick is only getting worse as each day passes. I recently went to Chicago and, for the paltry price of $27, I came home with 14 records (I love used record stores). However, one of the more recent releases I picked up that I have trouble taking off my turntable is †††‘s fantastic self-titled debut album. And because of my love of that album I want to make this week’s Twisted Music Video Of The Week their video for “Bitches Brew”!

The video is a static-y phantasmagoria, reminding of films like The Shining and Suspiria. Check it out below and make sure to leave your recommendations for next week’s video!

Categories: Horror News

Geoff Barrow Of Portishead And Ben Salisbury Will Score Alex Garland’s ‘Ex-Machina’

bloody disgusting - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 18:18

Portishead multi-instrumentalist/founder Geoff Barrow will once again team up with composer Ben Salisbury to score the upcoming sci-fi thriller Ex-Machina, which is written and directed by Alex Garland (28 Days Later). The film is expected to appear at festivals this summer and then be released early next year.

The IMDb synopsis reads:

Caleb, a 24 year old coder at the world’s largest internet company, wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to Nathan, the reclusive CEO of the company. But when Caleb arrives at the remote location he finds that he will have to participate in a strange and fascinating experiment in which he must interact with the world’s first true artificial intelligence, housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl.

Salisbury and Barrow worked together previously on Drokk: Music Inspired By Mega-City One, which was originally meant to be the score to the 2012 film starring Karl Urban (you can read more about it here).

Categories: Horror News

Man Gets Brain Bleed From Headbanging: Doctor Says Fans Should “Rock On”

bloody disgusting - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 16:08

A 50-year old man recently went to doctors at the Hannover Medical School in Germany after complaining about constant headaches that seemed to only get worse as time went on. With no history of head injuries or drug problems, doctors asked the man what else could have possibly led to any head trauma. The answer? The man had taken his son to a Motorhead concert the month before and had been headbanging like a freaking maniac. Before I continue, you rock on metal dad!

In a study that was published, doctors found a brain bleed and had to drill a small hole into the man’s head to drain it of the blood. The result? The headaches have since stopped.

Dr. Ariyan Pirayesh Islamian stated that with headbanging the, “…risk of injury is very, very low.

The study writes that this case:

…serves as evidence in support of Motörhead’s reputation as one of the most hardcore rock’n’roll acts on earth, if nothing else because of their contagious speed drive and the hazardous potential for headbanging fans to suffer brain injury.

Islamian also stated, “Rock ‘n’ roll will never die. Heavy metal fans should rock on.

Categories: Horror News

Tony Iommi Strongly Hints That Black Sabbath Isn’t Over Yet

bloody disgusting - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 15:34

In a Facebook post yesterday, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has strongly hinted that the band would not be hanging up their boots after their current tour finishes, instead saying, “…we’ll see you on the next tour.

Iommi has been struggling with health issues for the past few years has been understandably hesitant to commit fully to any Sabbath plans, so this statement is especially surprising and welcomed! You can watch the video below.

The full video transcript reads:

Hello everybody. I wanna thank you for all your messages on Facebook. It’s been great. We’ve had a laugh, and some of them have been really great and very supportive. Thanks so much. I am at home at the moment, about to leave for Hyde Park, which we’ll play tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to that. The tour has been marvelous; we’ve had a great year, and you couldn’t wish for better. It’s been phenomenal ,and you’ve been phenomenal. And thanks for coming to the shows and being supportive. Thank you very much and we’ll see you on the next tour. Thank you very much. Bye.

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Categories: Horror News

Corey Taylor Says New Slipknot Album Is ’98% Done’

bloody disgusting - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 15:20

Iowa metal band Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has stated in a recent interview with Full Metal Jackie that the new album is “…98 percent done.” This new album follows 2008′s All Hope Is Gone, which was the last album to feature bassist Paul Gray before his passing in 2010 as well as Joey Jordison, who left the band in December of 2010.

Taylor continues by saying:

I’m in the process of heading to the studio to give a listen, see if there’s anything we need to touch up. But yeah, it is very close. The next step is the mix, and we’re going to try to get it out very soon. There will be big announcements soon. Big things to hear, soon. That’s really all I can say about it. I know we’re anything, if not diligent to our plan. The plan is to just slowly but surely get people to lose their minds for the next couple of months with just little stuff here and there leaked.

You can read the full interview via Loudwire.

Categories: Horror News

The Wolf Among Us: Episode Five Gets a New Teaser Trailer and July Release Date

Dread Central - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 14:48

"Is this any good?" I hand over the graphic novel, a novice with alt. comics. Brad, the bear of a man and small town comic book store owner, nods approvingly, "It’s great." I look a little reserved; as a student, I didn’t have money for bad comics, but Brad persisted.

"Look, read it; if you don’t like it, bring it back and I will give you a full refund," an unheard of endorsement in the comic book realm. That book was Fables, and it’s still sitting in the front row of my bookshelf because it was one of the best I have ever read.

Fables has jumped over to the gaming realm with The Wolf Among Us, released in a series of short episodes. Season 1 reaches its climax with the July releases of its final episode, "Cry Wolf," announced with a brand new teaser trailer.

North American Playstation 3, Mac, and PC users will get the first taste as they will have access on Tuesday, July 8th, through the Playstation Store, Steam and the Telltale online store. On July 9th the game becomes available for Xbox 360 users and European PS3 owners. Purchase of the single episode costs $4.99, or gamers can opt for a season pass for $24.99, which grants access to all episodes.

iPhone and iPad users can get in on the fun on July 10th with the final episode holding its $4.99 price point or nabbing the Episodes 2-5 multipack for $14.99.

A complete collection of the entire first season will be available November 18th with a disc=based version coming to consoles for $29.99. The complete version will be available for PS3 and Xbox 360, but in even bigger news, it will also give next-gen consoles their first taste of the series with the title coming to PS4 and Xbox One on the same day.

Developers revealed the storyline of the final game, saying Bigby Wolf will confront a powerful enemy: a dark force that has been feeding on the desperation of Fabletown's seedy underbelly. But when hidden truths are revealed, you must decide exactly what justice means in the gripping season finale of 'The Wolf Among Us.'

Positive reviews have been coming at this series harder than an Aroldis Chapman fastball. The previous game, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, received a 5 out of 5 from Joystiq and Digital Trends with PC Gamer calling it, "the tenderest, loneliest, and most gruesome so far."

The game may prove enjoyable for horror fans as it has been rated M for mature due to "Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, Strong Language, and Use of Tobacco."

To learn more, visit the official The Wolf Among Us website, and be sure to "like" The Wolf Among Us on Facebook.

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Categories: Horror News

Guillermo del Toro Talks Pacific Rim 2 and Not Giving Up on At The Mountains of Madness

Dread Central - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 14:17

The Wall Street Journal recently caught up with prolific filmmaker Guillermo del Toro to talk about about his upcoming sequel to Pacific Rim and keeping hope alive for At the Mountains of Madness. Read on for the skinny!

"I said to [Legendary Pictures], [At the Mountains of Madness] is the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive," he admitted. "I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic."

"There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic. Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it. We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point so I know they love the screenplay. So we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do."

Del Toro continues, "I think there’s a really strong possibility we can do it at Legendary because now they are at Universal, and Universal, you may remember, almost greenlit the movie. The fact that we now have two studios together that love the material, and if they support each other, they are risking a lot less. It would be great to do it, but I’ve understood that you don’t plan your career; it just happens."

As for Pacific Rim 2...

"I can tell you: [screenwriter Zak Penn] and I really went in, we started with [screenwriter Travis Beacham] about a year and a half ago, kicking ideas back and forth. And, admittedly, I said to Zak, "Let’s keep kicking ideas till we find one that really, really turns the first movie on its ear, so to speak. We came up with a really, really interesting idea. I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different."

"I’m hoping to bring the same idea I had in the first movie, that was to make it multicultural and humanistic as much as possible, to make characters from many nationalities or gender, to make them equal in the scope of the adventure, in the day-to-day of the adventure. So we’re bringing a few characters that are new and hopefully doing good work managing those that survived the first movie."

Stay tuned, kids!

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Categories: Horror News

Mike Huddleston Talks Adapting “The Strain”

bloody disgusting - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 13:37

“The Strain” should require no introduction. It’s a chilling contemporary horror story that sees the ancient mythology of the Vampire combined with the modern paranoia of viral outbreak. Together these things culminate into one of the most harrowing and bleak horror stories of our current generation. You may know it as a novel, a comic, or the forthcoming TV Show from FX. Recently I sat down with the artist of the Dark Horse Comic series to talk about why these three are not so different, and how the adaptation of “The Strain” is as unique as the series itself.

Hell, we just ran an article called “The Strain is a Perfect Modern Horror Comic.”

So get in before FX launches the show in a little over a week, and next week find the collected hardcover of the first story from Dark Horse. There is no better time to be a fan of Guillermo del Toro, and horror comics. Check out a fascinating about adaptation after the jump!

Bloody-Disgusting: How closely did you work with the books in designing the looks of the characters and creatures in The Strain?

Mike Huddleston: At the very beginning Dark Horse sent me the novels. I read a little of the first one and stopped reading. I worked with Guillermo pretty directly in the designing of everything. Everything, the vampires, the master’s coffin was the result of a direct back and forth between him and I. We would cast the comic by sending images back and forth of actors. I’m actually not that familiar with some of the details of the book because I worked so closely with Guillermo and David’s scripts.

It’s really surprised me how much del Toro has been personally involved in the project. When I signed on, I was excited about the story, but I didn’t really expect that he was going to be directing so much of everything. To the point that even my pencils and inks were approved by him, this is his vision all the way through.

These tongues are one of the many reasons “The Strain” is so horrifying. More from Mike about that later.

BD: I was reading up about your relationship, and I found it interesting that during the preliminary preparation for the book Guillermo was so in love with one of your design choices that he ended up working it into the third novel “The Night Eternal.”

MH:  I was really flattered about that. It doesn’t surprise me much because with every sketch that I did he was feeding me ideas all the way through. We’d have this back and forth. He was especially involved in the design of The Master. I would draw, he would draw on the drawing, and we’d keep sending them back.

BD: What intrigued you most about “The Strain?”

MH: Knowing that it was a Guillermo horror project meant it was going to be something really special. I knew there was going to be extra levels of mythology and strangeness to it. So I was excited to play around in that universe.

Once I saw the scope of it, this planet wide invasion, and now that we’re working on the third novel, the history and mythology is really exciting. This project is gigantic. I’m really curious to see how the show is going to handle immensity of this project on FX.

BD:  How involved were you with the show?

MH: Directly, not much. Although there are a lot of shots that are seemingly lifted right from the comic. Design wise, there is a lot of my work. The Master’s coffin looks almost identical to what Guillermo art directed me to do. He serves as art director on the show. So the things we designed have fed back into the visuals for the show.

Guillermo’s mix of science and mysticism is really going to make the show something different. Going back to Cronos, if he can mix gears into horror then he’s tapped into a new way of thinking about old ideas.

The Master’s Coffin from the show, clearly inspired by Mike’s work.

 

BD: New York is essentially the most important character in The Strain, how well do you know the city?

MH: I’ve been there for business and spent a lot of time there. I’m by no means the expert on the city at all. When I was first drawing the book I was living in Paris. I didn’t really have any first hand experience to draw off. But that’s where Google Street View can save you as a comic book artist. When David would call out specific neighborhoods, parks, or buildings I could get that visual and place it inside the comic. It’s been challenging. It’s not like drawing Batman or Superman where you’re just making up anything that you want.

When Guillermo is calling out specific buildings in New York, it has to be that building. I’ve been using google a lot to make up for the fact that I’m not there.

BD: Many of the moments of pure terror in The Strain don’t come from the vampires themselves, but rather the moments where people are trying to figure out what the hell is going on. How did you make these moments just as “dreadful” as the creatures themselves?

MH: The scripts David’s giving me have the worst moments of horror in the human characters. There is a part in one of the scripts where our character is in the sewer deciding to kill their own mother. Reading that script was one of the most tense moments for me in the entire project and it was a purely human moment. I think those are much easier to be horrific because we understand them and they are relatable. As soon as you introduce vampire invasion and tentacles we stop having an immediate connection.

The scripts are really setting me up. I don’t really have to do that much other than draw it well and stage it dramatically. The emotion is already there.

BD: Doing a vampire book means thriving in darkness with heavy inking and black gutters. How did your style evolve as you became more comfortable in the world of The Strain?

MH: I did a book about ten years ago called “The Coffin” which is actually the book that started my relationship with Guillermo. That was a dark horror style that del Toro wanted. At the beginning of the book, I was so aware I was working on someone else’s project. I didn’t know how much of my own personal style I could inject into it. I played it a little safe. As time has gone on, any time I’ve stretched they’ve been super excited with what I’m doing. Now working on “The Night Eternal” I feel like it’s my project. Almost my creator owned book. Things have gotten much darker and much scarier. I’m more excited for this book than any of the others so far.

The Night Eternal hits August 20!

 

BD: What else can you tell us about “The Night Eternal?”

MH: You get a lot more of the backstory. In terms of where this plague started. This is real ancient history for The Master, and the vampires within the first couple of issues. I’ve been drawing ancient Native Americans, Intuits, Byzantine Empire Romans, and just all sorts of things all over the place.

That’s all I really know. I’m reading these books as I draw them. I’m about four or five issues in, and that’s all I’ve seen so far. We’re really diving into depths of the mythology. The vampire apocalypse has happened. We’re just now seeing our characters surviving where they didn’t stop things. It’s really a dark world.

BD: One of the biggest things I’ve noticed with your and David’s work on The Strain, is that hope isn’t really a concern. What was exciting about eliminating the hope of making things better from the story?

MH: I’m curious to see how this story ends. I don’t know how it ends. It gets really bleak by the third book. Our characters are still there and still fighting, so the fact that they’re still working, you feel like there has to be some sort of hope somewhere. But the odds are really against them.

BD: The process of The Strain’s adaptation is unique and awesome. Are you excited to see scenes you worked so closely on come to life?

MH: I don’t know how many times this has happened. Guillermo is so involved with all versions of The Strain. People always ask me how close the show will be to the comic, and the answer is they’re the same. David and I were just doing the show before the show. Guillermo is so involved in every version of this story. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same person adapt material all the way through each process this is incredibly unique.

In the past when I’ve talked to Guillermo he was really open to bringing me into doing concept design on the show. With me handling art of the comic, and I’m already five hundred pages in with another some two hundred pages to go. They’d have to pull me off the comic to put me on the show. I’m happy to be doing to the book. I’m making my version of what I want it to be. I’m free of producers or anyone else other than del Toro to satisfy. I’m looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the show.

BD: The process of adaptation usually comes with certain constraints, but with The Strain it seems you were given blank cheque. How did that influence your storytelling?

MH: I think that’s why I held back at the beginning. I was feeling out where the limits were. Then I discovered there really weren’t many. There where things we pitched to Dark Horse that we felt needed to be slightly adjusted.  Then other things about character designs that I brought to the table. Guillermo is the type of guy that if a good idea comes to him from somewhere he’s willing to run with it. So I feel really fortunate.

BD: What’s your favorite type of horror?

MH: This is going to sound like I’m kissing ass here, but it’s what Guillermo’s doing in something like Pan’s Labyrinthwhere it’s not just straightforward. I’m sure some people wouldn’t call it horror, but there are lots of terrible things that force emotional growth in characters. The mythological elements of horror are really compelling to me.

Horror really scares me. I listening to this old podcast about shadow people the other night and I had to sleep on my couch. I can’t handle it. I don’t watch a lot of it. I know that’s weird. Luckily a lot of people have reacted to The Strain and called it a scary experience. They think the book is disturbing. I must be getting something right.

BD: The vampires of The Strain are completely new, they even have this disgusting new appendage they use to drain their prey, how did you approach this lashing tongue and how did you try to innovate with this strange biology?

MH: The concept itself is entirely Guillermo’s. Having monsters with things coming out of their mouths is a real theme for him. There was some effort with this tongue. I had to think about at the beginning of how I used it. Once you start thinking about it as this darting tentacle that’s striking into people it starts opening up how you think about it. You try to use it compositionally. It’s a lot like someone swinging a sword, it’s already dynamic as long as it’s staged in a good way. It was about getting the best shots I can and making it gruesome as possible.

There is a scene in “The Night Eternal” where we see a proto-tongue coming out of one of the first people affected by this vampire plague and it was one of the only moments where Guillermo pulled me back. I went too far and I got too disturbing. So in the next book you get to see the development of that tongue.

THE STRAIN VOLUME 1 HC

When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Centers for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event—an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness. Collects issues #1-#11.

The hardcover hits July 9th. The series starts July 13. Get in before it infects everyone around you.

Categories: Horror News

[EXCLUSIVE Preview] The Empty Man #2

bloody disgusting - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 12:52

Cullen Bunn is no stranger to horror. He’s firmly cemented himself as someone who can tackle tragic characters and seems firmly cemented in the world of darkness. It should come as no surprise that his new series from BOOM! “The Empty Man” served up a spine tingling first issue that captivated audiences. So much so that our own Jorge Solis called it “a fast-paced thriller… that leaves you with an unsettling presence in your mind after you’ve finished reading.”

So we here at Bloody-Disgusting are happy to show off an exclusive preview of #2. Right here, right now. You won’t find these goods anywhere else. So check out how Bunn deals with the incredible plot twist that ended the debut issue!

From BOOM!

THE EMPTY MAN #2
Author: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Vanesa R. Del Ray
Cover Artists: Vanesa R. Del Ray
Price: $3.99
Synopsis: Agents Langford and Jensen have uncovered a hidden Witness Cult in the middle of American suburbia they suspect is behind the kidnappings plaguing the country, but will they catch up to Markoff and Patient Zero before the Empty Man virus strikes again?

 

Categories: Horror News

Everyone's Depending on You to Watch this TV Spot for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Dread Central - Fri, 07/04/2014 - 11:00

In case yesterday's special #FourthOfApes teaser for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes wasn't enough to get you in the holiday spirit, we're back today with yet another TV spot for the film. Check it out before you head out for some 4th of July frivolity!

Look for the film in theatres on July 11th, 2014. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smith-Mcphee, Enrique Muriciano, and Kirk Acevedo.

Synopsis
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

For more visit the official Dawn of the Planet of the Apes website, "like" Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on Facebook, and follow Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on Twitter (#DawnOfApes).




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Categories: Horror News