Lucio Fulci is probably most known for his straight horror work. Things like Zombie and The Beyond. And rightfully so. He has created some of the most memorable moments in horror. Before he dove head first into horror in the late 70’s and early 80’s however, he dabbled in a number of other genres. One genre in which Fulci got his feet wet was that of mystery/thrillers and one of his earliest thrillers was 1971’s A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin. Now thanks to Le Chat Qui Fume out of France we can enjoy this early Fulci entry in a beautiful Blu-ray digipack, 3-disc set.
Florinda Bolkan stars as Carol Hammond, a young woman who begins to have strange dreams that heavily feature a neighbor of hers. The dreams contain a ton of weird visuals and imagery, most of which are quite sexual in nature. At one point she’s walking through what appears to be a train cart and she’s just surrounded by multiple couples having sex. Eventually she reaches her neighbor and the two begin to join in on the festivities. Before too long the dreams turn murderous with Carol as the murderer and her neighbor the victim.
On the surface these dreams aren’t a big deal. Lots of people have crazy dreams just like these ones, so nothing to worry about right? Well, unfortunately for Carol her neighbor actually is murdered and it happens just like it did in the dream. So did Carol actually dream this murder because she committed it, or is she being set up? A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin attempts to solve this mystery, but Fulci keeps the audience guessing with dream sequences constantly thrown in throughout.
Overall this is a really solid whodunit. Fulci does a good job not giving away the killer up front, which is very important. Unfortunately that’s also what makes the movie a little difficult to follow. The plot gets a little complicated at times because of the dream sequences and it’s tough to distinguish fiction from reality. I actually had to watch the film twice to fully understand everything that I witnessed.
Confusion aside, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin is pretty classic Fulci throughout. The entire film is gorgeously shot. The dream sequences in particular are stunning. Especially the opening scene, which feels like something that could only be shot in the 70’s and only by an Italian filmmaker. I can’t really put it into words, but the whole movie has this feel that I don’t know can ever be recaptured. Those first frames are breathtaking. Cinematographer Luigi Kuveiller delivers on what may be his second best work next to Deep Red. These visuals blend perfectly with the hypnotic score from the one and only Ennio Morricone.
Of course A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin has some of the signature gore one has come to expect from a Fulci film. It’s not the goriest, not even close, but there is one scene that will make your jaw drop. Carol goes into a clinic and it’s filled with dogs that are town apart. I mean their stomachs are ripped open and you can see everything. It looks like experiments are being done on them and they’re connected to all these tubes. It’s quite gruesome and frankly a little hard to watch, so much so that Fulci actually had to testify in court that it was all fake and no dogs were harmed. When you have to testify in court that your practical effects are just that, you know you’ve accomplished something great.
This release from Le Chat Qui Fume is one of my favorites of the year, easily. I’m a real sucker for things outside of the actual discs that are included, things like the packaging and booklets. The box looks great, something that looks very nice sitting on my shelf, which is of high importance to me. The real bonus that I love, however, is that a booklet is enclosed with just tons of different pictures of various posters and promotional artwork for the film from around the world. This is particularly special because the film was re-released on the US as Schizoid and this includes posters for that. Quite honestly these little things are what set the best Blu-ray releases apart for me.
Another nice bonus, especially for those of us in North America, is that this release is region free. Most places online list it as region B, but I played it on my region A player and it worked just fine. If you want this release but have been hesitant because you thought it was region B, have no fear.
A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin may not be the horror that most people first think of when they first hear the name Lucio Fulci, but it is a very good film that showcases some of the director’s early years. And like I said, you still get that signature gore, it’s just used a little more deliberately. If you’re a fan of Fulci, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t enjoy this.
Robert Allaire is a unique musical talent. His work can be heard on several episodes of “American Horror Story,” and he now brings his interesting skills to the new movie Some Kind of Hate. Allaire recently talked with Dread Central about his work on the film.
Allaire began by discussing how he became involved with Some Kind of Hate (review). “I got a call from my agent about the film and had a meeting with the director, Adam Egypt Mortimer, where he made some good coffee and showed me parts of the film,” Allaire said. “We really connected over our love for experimental music and ideas about film, so working together was a natural fit.”
To get unique sounds for the music he composed, Allaire incorporated some unorthodox techniques, including using razor blades to play some instruments. “Razor blades are an important motif for the villain, Moira, and that led me to try using them on various instruments,” Allaire said. “So there are a lot of scrapes and scratches you hear from razor blades on guitar and other string instruments. Even if the audience doesn’t connect where the sound came from, the texture itself is pretty interesting and was ultimately inspired by taking that hard look at the characters to find ideas that can manifest themselves in the sound of the score.”
The score for Some Kind of Hate has a very heavy metal vibe and is quite gritty. Allaire discussed his inspiration for the music. “Lincoln, the main protagonist of the film, is a huge metal fan as is the director, Adam,” Allaire said. “There’s actually a scene where Lincoln talks about how important that style of music is to him. So again, it’s an example of finding inspiration from the characters and in this case transforming the main character’s love of a certain music into a theme in the score.”
Allaire talked about working with director Adam Egypt Mortimer. “Adam is great to work with,” Allaire said. “He has very clear ideas in terms of style and starting point, but he also allowed me a lot of room to explore my own ideas. I found that the stranger I made something sound, the more he liked it, which is always great.”
Detailing the making of the music, Allaire discussed how he built the sound. “If there was any unifying idea behind the orchestration, it was to never play an instrument as intended,” Allaire said. “So guitars were detuned and often recorded with contact mics. Cellos were played scratchy and distorted to the point of being unrecognizable. One of my percussion instruments is actually a heavily detuned bass being smacked on the strings with a nail file. I called a guitarist friend of mine, Matthew Setzer, to record some guitar drones; and at one point we threw a pound of wood screws into a broken guitar amp to get extra nastiness and grit out of the sound. That was fun.”
We asked Allaire to speak about what he felt was the key to creating a great horror movie score. He let us in on his ideas. “I think it’s important to know when to hold back and allow the natural atmosphere of a scene to be scary,” Allaire said. “Silence can often create more tension than anything, and a scare will always be more effective when you allow that tension to ratchet up as much as possible before breaking. Then you can go all out.”
And finally, we asked Allaire about some of his favorite horror titles. He had an amusing response. “Alien, 28 Days Later, Under the Skin… and whatever movie they end up making about Donald Trump’s presidential run.”
Below are two of the tracks featured in Some Kind of Hate, “Rage Within” and “Wolves from the Door.” For more visit the official Robert Allaire website and follow him on Twitter @RobertAllaire. You can also lick this link for the official Some Kind of Hate website.
Some Kind of Hate Synopsis:
Relentless bullying has turned Lincoln’s life into a nightmare. But he soon learns the true meaning of terror when he is sent to a remote school for troubled teens and the harassment starts all over again. Only this time, someone is watching–a teenage girl named Moira who was driven to suicide by vicious bullying years ago. When Lincoln accidentally summons Moira from the grave, he unleashes a vengeful and unstoppable force on a mission of blood-soaked revenge. Hell on Earth has a new meaning in this gruesome shocker.
Justin attends the evil circus of Penarium, Don sees the Insidious trilogy for the first time, plus we talk Everest, and even Lego Dimensions!
Now you can CALL US! Dial (404) 330-9945 anytime day or night, leave a message, and we just might play it on the show!
Click here for more info on the hard-drive upgrade we reviewed for the Xbox One.
All drugs are legal in Necropolis, said to be “a slick, futuristic thriller” starring Jonathan Pryce (High Sparrow in “Game of Thrones”).
In theaters and On-Demand from IFC Midnight tomorrow, October 2nd, Bloody Disgusting has an exclusive clip that brings out the guns.
“Set in a future where all drugs are legal, this dazzling techno-thriller combines high-octane action with high-concept science fiction. While investigating a grisly overdose death, hard-boiled cop Frank Grieves (Elliot Cowan) gets drawn into a deadly conspiracy involving a lethal new super-drug and a shadowy mega-corporation. Conjuring a stunningly realized universe in which gritty violence unfolds in a sleek digital dystopia, Narcopolis is a propulsive, visually explosive head-trip.“
Kids being scared nearly to death will make you laugh.
There are a lot of bad parents out there, and proof is in the following video that shows various adults scaring the living shit out of their kids.
I guess there’s a Snapchat feature that tracks your face and demonizes it. So, these parents recorded their children’s reactions as they are demonized. I would have been traumatized if my parents did this to me. It borderlines abuse and I don’t recommend doing this to any of your brothers, sisters or kids. But I do recommend watching the following…
Director/composer John Carpenter has announced that he will be performing a live set at the ATP Iceland Festival in Ásbrú, which was the former NATO base in Keflavík, which takes place July 1-3rd, 2016.
ATP’s Barry Hogan exclaims:
We are incredibly honoured to present the first ever show by this legendary film-maker and composer. Having had the opportunity to present the maestro Ennio Morricone twice in recent years, it has been a burning ambition of ours to also present John Carpenter, who is both a pioneer and a huge influence on us and so many great musicians and film-makers that we work with. You’d be fucking crazy to miss this.
Carpenter will perform music from his film compositions as well as his solo album Lost Themes.
A trailer can be seen below.
YouTuber PhotoAndGrime.com (real name Pieke Roelofs) has put together a very cool tutorial on how you can take some simple store bought ingredients, blend them together, and BOOM! Suddenly you have UV reactive fake blood!
The process is very simple: All you need to do is chlorophyll pills and some kind of cooking oil, such as olive or canola. Blend the two for a long time until it’s as smooth and liquidy as you can get it and then strain it. What you’re left with is a green liquid that turns into this really cool red that glows underneath a blacklight. Here’s a bonus feature: this is 100% edible, although due to the taste you’re going to want to put it in with something sweet.
If you’re planning on doing a Halloween rave, this is definitely a very cool trick to have up your sleeve.
Yeah… you remember her. As Sheriff Rick Grimes’ cheatin’ old lady from “The Walking Dead,” Sarah Wayne Callies definitely carved a name out for herself after a successful run on the hit AMC show, and she is now currently co-starring alongside Nicolas Cage in the supernatural-abduction film Pay The Ghost (review). She was nice enough to take time away from filming to speak with us for a few regarding the role, as well as what she’s got coming up for future projects, so settle in and enjoy!
DC: Can you give us a brief description of the film as well as your character, Kristen?
SC: Well, the film is the most terrifying thing in the world because it’s about parents who lose their son. The two parents have different relationships – the mother is trying to find a coherent life without him and trying to move through that grief; whereas, the father can’t let it go, and I think in a way that these characters have experienced a kind of insanity. During the course of the movie they’ve got to accept and believe in certain things that before they would have thought were complete preposterous bullshit. These are two very rational people – she’s a designer, he’s a professor, and they have to wrap their heads around the possibility that their son is no longer among the mortal world, and that’s one of the biggest hurdles for them.
DC: You had some very emotional scenes in the film – where do you have to go in your mind in order to be able to dig up such raw emotion for a role like this?
SC: I think that a lot of it has to be the circumstances in life – I’m a mom, and also working with an actor of Nic’s caliber. Everyone in life gets broken by grief and loss at some point – loss of a person, or a hometown, and as an actor, you’ve got to pick the right scab (laughs)!
DC: So, what was it like working with Nicolas Cage?
SC: He’s just extraordinary. I mean, I’ve always been aware of his work, and I’ve learned a lot from it, which is a huge part of why I took the job. I showed up one day for a table read of the script, and he’s someone who has a lot of humility and the collaborative spirit, and the professionalism of someone who’s ever worked before – he’s just happy to be there, and on everyone’s team – the first on set. There’s absolutely no thinking, “I’m one of the biggest stars in the world” with that guy, which is extraordinarily rare. I absolutely loved working with him, and we’re both quirky and weird, and the best thing is that Nic doesn’t give a flying fuck about what anyone thinks about him. When we’d gotten together to film Pay the Ghost, he’d had another film that had just come out, and it got absolutely panned, and he was so easy with it, and that in and of itself starts to create the basis for a great actor because he’s going to 100 percent follow his intuition and instinct and do a fantastic job.
DC: Lastly, what’s coming up for you – anything in the works?
SC: I’m in production right now on a new show called “Colony” – it’s Josh Holloway and myself – it’s science-fiction, and I’m so much in love with this story. I’m so proud of what we’re doing, and it’ll be coming out in January.
The post Sarah Wayne Callies Gives Us the Lowdown on Pay the Ghost appeared first on Dread Central.
All good things must come to an end. Savor every last drop of “Hemlock Grove, The Final Chapter,” streaming Friday, October 23 at 12:01am PT exclusively on Netflix.
We now have the first images from the Eli Roth-produced “Hemlock Grove,” a supernatural thriller which explores the strange happenings in a small Pennsylvania town. The show focuses on the unlikely friendship between the founding family’s young heir, Roman Godfrey (Skarsgård), and gypsy newcomer and outsider, Peter Rumancek (Liboiron). Each holds a monstrous secret that has been unleashed.
The series stars Famke Janssen (X-Men), Bill Skarsgård, Landon Liboiron (“Terra Nova”), Freya Tingley, and Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible II).
Funky has announced vinyls of our favorite slashers, including Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, and Leatherface, as well as the Ghostbusters Ray, Peter, Egon, and Winston…
Dorbz: Horror – Coming in October
Vinyl Sugar would like to welcome Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Pinhead, and Leatherface into the Dorbz family. Who said horror can’t be cute!? Just don’t let their smiling faces deceive you!
Have the scariest, most adorable Halloween ever!
Dorbz: Ghostbusters – Coming in December
We’re ready to believe you! Drop the spores, molds, and fungus – Ghostbusters Dorbz are on their way! Ray, Peter, Egon, and Winston are protecting your collection from the paranormal.
Also introducing our first Dorbz chase variants – keep an eye out for marshmallowed Ray and slimed Peter – 1 out of every 6 pieces!
Robert Knepper has joined the cast of Twin Peaks,” David Lynch’s upcoming new installment of his groundbreaking 1990 mystery series, reports Deadline.
The project has been shrouded with secrecy, but they still discovered that Knepper landed a recurring role on the new season for Showtime alongside fellow new addition Amanda Seyfried.
The only actor officially confirmed for the new “Twin Peaks” is original star Kyle MacLachlan who is set to reprise his role as Dale Cooper. Still, according to the site, many other fan favorite characters from the ABC run of the series are expected to return.
“You should be optimistic that the people you want to be there will be there, in addition to some surprises,” Showtime president David Nevins said last month. That reportedly included Catherine Coulson, who played the memorable Log Lady, though it is unclear whether she had been able to film any new footage. Coulson died of cancer earlier this week. I hear among those coming back is David Patrick Kelly, reprising his role as Jerry Home. Richard Beymer had been rumored to also resurrect his character of Jerry’s brother Benjamin.
“Twin Peaks” has been in production for about two weeks, with Lynch directing.
The big news hiding in the article is that, according to the site, Lynch is expected to shoot the series continuously as a movie, and later cut it into episodes.
In “Hellevator” a team of three friends rides a haunted elevator into various levels of an abandoned slaughterhouse. One player must get out on each floor and conquer a frightening challenge in order to earn money for the team. If they don’t make it back in time, the elevator moves on without them. Participants can earn up to $50,000 by properly completing their challenges, including the final challenge – The Labyrinth – where the surviving contestants work together to face their most difficult and terrifying challenge in a mad-dash race to accumulate more money.
Horror film icons Jen and Sylvia Soska, aka the “Twisted Twins,” serve as masterminds behind the scenes, pulling the strings throughout the game, taking delight in the horror and leaving contestants struggling to remember: “It’s just a game.”
We caught up with the Soskas in Downtown Los Angeles at Willow Studios – which actually was once the site of a slaughter house – where they were filming an episode entitled “The Butcher, The Baker, and The Candlestick Maker.”
Dread Central: We know that you two have been in talks with Jason Blum in the past about making films together, but as it turns out, you’re collaborating on a TV series first. How’d that all come about?
Sylvia Soska: We have been after Jason Blum and Blumhouse forever because we’re fans.
Jen Soska: I’m going to add a little context to that because it sounded like you wanted to kidnap Jason Blum and throw him in a trunk. There isn’t a studio in the world that doesn’t want to be with Blumhouse and Jason Blum right now, and as soon as we knew we were working with Blumhouse, they were like, “So, how does Jason do it?” and I’m just like, “He’s got an eye for talent and weird stuff.” It’s always low budget, high concept and each pays off because it’s stuff that horror fans really want to see and there has been an absence of that in the industry for a really long time so that’s why he’s on top, I think.
SS: And the cool thing about how he made it is the contestants actually felt they were in an active Blumhouse horror movie. Well, I find towards the end of the show they don’t feel that they wanted it as much as they felt before the film actually started!
JS: Everyone, and I’m guilty of this too, watches horror films and is like, “Oh, I would like to be there” or “I wouldn’t go in there,” and it’s not so tough. Well, now you could put your money where your mouth is and guys who talk big don’t usually make it very far. Surprisingly, a lot of big guys being big and strong and dapper and handsome does not help you there.
SS: I don’t mind if they’re handsome.
JS: No, it doesn’t hurt.
DC: Did you ever think in your careers as directors you’d end up being TV personalities and game show hosts too?
SS: No, I never did. Because we’re not film actresses — but not because we’re not talented, just because the Olsen twins are popular and so [we never got hired].
JS: It’s definitely a dream job but I never thought we’d go into game shows per se but I’m a huge fan of Cassandra Peterson / Elvira and I do feel that we’re next in line of the proud evolution from Morticia Addams and Vampira, and now you get to this. Yeah, two is better than one.
SS: This is very much like Elvira because we do give a current commentary from our lair about exactly what we think the contestants are doing.
JS: The contestants wouldn’t hug us so much after knowing all the things we were saying about them, especially the gentlemen, but if you prove yourselves, we would give you props. We’d be like, “Gosh, she came in crying, and she left as the final girl!” But if a guy is like, “I hate them” (in his voice), we would be like, “You missed, sweetie; I heard that and you’ll pay for it.”
DC: Looking at the scene you guys just shot, with the creepy clown walking by, not to mention some strange toys on the shelves….. What’s it like to be here every day and see what they have in store for these guys?
SS: It is like some weird nightmare. You get your script and you look at everything and it’s amazing because everyone’s pushing themselves, and when you have that and everybody is on the same page, and the final product you want to deliver, it’s a really exciting opportunity because you get to make something; you actually do. There’s nothing that you’re fighting and everybody is like, “All systems go ahead!”
JS: It’s like Christmas morning everyday, then Halloween morning, then Halloween night, which is better than Christmas morning.
DC: Did you design these sexy costumes for yourselves?
SS: We had a lot of input with our costumes, but you know us; I like to wear something clingy and low cut once in a while. Every day.
JS: Sometimes I wear something low cut and sexy; that’s another thing I’m hacking from her.
DC: Did you grow up scaring each other? Or tricking other people as twins?
JS: We never messed with each other at a young age. Twins grow up in a weird social setting; it’s like that movie The Invention of Lying – we had to realize normal civilians lie to each other for manipulative reasons because I was like, “Why would I lie to my sister? I love my sister; she’s my best friend ever,” which is true. But other people, yeah, of course. My fear is the fear of being a single twin and having her die.
SS: That’s a bummer….
JS: I know.
SS: Nobody wants to hear something that’s depressing right now; you have to be up! You have to snap up, sweetie.
JS: But what I like to do is, I like to casually ask someone, “Oh, I have a snake; how do you feel about that? Oh, you don’t like snakes? What about spiders in the dark?” and then making a [note] in my head. So don’t tell horror directors what you’re afraid of, that’s just bad.
DC: How does this TV hosting schedule work out with your directing schedule?
SS: I’m in pre-production on our feature film Puppet Killer right now, so we go and terrify somebody and then I approve the cast list and then I set up interviews for the weekend. It’s interesting because I’m so used to being behind the scenes, but every time I oversee a production, I get overbearing and like, “I want to be in production,” but we have a wonderful director on this, and he heads the whole show so he doesn’t need me for that.
JS: You can never tell when opportunities are going to work out so you have to seize them. I think we started going after the whole thing in February and then we came down in March to shoot the pilot and everyone had such a fantastic time; it was a great team and everyone was so happy that we pretended it never happened because how many pilots are picked up, especially it’s our first time and it’s such a counter point to any game show or anything that’s ever done before so, we were like, “I’m never going to end up doing this,” and then when we started going into Puppet Killer and that day when we were meeting with actors, we got a call from one of the producers on “Hellevator” and [it all came together].
DC: How fun is it to watch everyone being afraid and watching the scenarios play out?
SS: I cannot tell you the child-like feeling that we get every time that one of our monsters hits something right on the head — and it’s usually a victim — it just makes us so happy.
JS: I’d like to speak more highly of our contestants, but when you’re afraid, it makes it easy to manipulate human beings so we will help terrify them and push them in the direction that we want to; maybe drop blood on them, maybe drop cow eyes on them, maybe throw a bucket of confetti and then a bucket of blood on them because when they say, “Ah, it’s just confetti,” no… the second one was blood.
SS: As a lab rat they have the opportunity to win $50,000, but it’s not easy to get. We have to see what people are willing to do for money and then it’s interesting like a social experiment, really. I’m like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you did that.” If I’d win the money, I’d jump in there too.
JS: In order to defeat “Hellevator” or at least get through it properly, you have to face your fears. A lot of people think that’s it’s just a cash cow where you can do the challenges and succeed, but that’s not the way that it works. I’ve seen a lot of people lose their shit on the lab run and just like try and get through it, but it’s a lab that we set up. Sometimes, they’re just crying little bitches.
DC: Do you want to try any of the challenges yourselves?
SS: On the pilot, I tried one of the challenges and I felt like, “God, what have I gotten into?” I went through a jig-saw puzzle; you get through it and then… when I finished the challenge I felt like, “Oh, I can do anything” and it’s like, “No” because it starts easy and then gets harder and harder; it’s setting yourself up for a big fail.
JS: I love our featured co-stars, like the scorpions and snakes and tarantulas and the rats and the maggots and the cockroaches and the leeches…
SS: Continue, girl!
JS: Anytime I get extra snakes, I’m like, “Yes!”
SS: I’m also not afraid of them, so I’m able to get into the set, and I’m like, “Can I keep this scorpion?”
DC: Do you have any dream contestants that you really want to come on the show?
SS: So, we worked with Danielle Harris on See No Evil 2, where I found out one of her phobias is the elevators. Right after we had the first elevator scene, she just forgot to tell that and I was like laughing. And she was, “No, seriously. I’m terrified in there.” But the thing is, she’s become like an Amazon because she’s been trapped in an elevator so much that she knows how to kick out the top and get out. [She kicks ass] because Michael Myers has been chasing her. I would like to have real “final girls” episode.
JS: I absolutely agree. I would love to do a “final girls” edition. And villains, because they have phobias, and a lot of them are weird ones. They say, “I don’t like birds,” and I’m like, “You’re six-foot; what’s it going to do to you?” It would be really cool, and also we could adjust the challenges because it’s physically very dominated so we could have them having to pass through walls and go through walls again. How many walls can you pass through when such and such is chasing you?
DC: Did you like game shows, growing up? Or do you watch reality TV now?
SS: I always really liked “Family Feud,” but I was always afraid because I know my family is Eastern European so I feared we would look like we’re always arguing and swearing [if we got on that show].
JS: I like “Deal or No Deal” because I think I’m psychic; I think I’m good although I’m not. I like watching “Jeopardy,” but I like saying the answer after a smart person gets it right because I have no idea.
SS: It wasn’t a traditional straight game show, but I never missed an episode of “Fear Factor.”
JS: Evidently fear is not a factor for you.
SS: I wanted to do “Fear Factor” and win so if I had an online dating profile, it would be like, “I won ‘Fear Factor’!” and that would be it.
GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, will premiere the horror-themed game show “HELLEVATOR” on Wednesday, October 21st, at 8 PM ET/PT.
The terrifying eight-episode genre-bending series from Blumhouse, the team that brought the world the Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Ouija, and The Purge franchises, dares contestants to survive a series of challenges from the depths of an abandoned slaughterhouse.
“HELLEVATOR” is produced by Matador and Blumhouse Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. Executive producers are Jason Blum, Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin of Matador (“Lip Sync Battle”), and Shye Sutherland (“Wipeout,” “Bullseye”).
The post Hellevator – Dread Central Visits the Set of Horror’s New Game Show appeared first on Dread Central.
We recently had the opportunity of speaking with actress Jill Marie Jones, whose latest role has her leaping directly into the world of the Evil Dead with Bruce Campbell on the Starz channel’s original series “Ash vs. Evil Dead” when it hits the airwaves on October 31st (appropriately so). She was kind enough to give us a few minutes to discuss the role and what it was like to work with Mr. Campbell, so ease back and enjoy the read!
DC: Jill, can you set the show up for us, as well as a description of your character, Amanda?
JJ: I don’t want to say that the show is a continuation, but the amazing Bruce Campbell is reprising his role of Ash, which is so freakin’ hilarious. I knew how great he was at playing the character, but I never knew just how funny he was in real life because I’d met him for the first time in this process. The show picks up where he is in his life, and you’ve got these new characters, and my character, Amanda Fisher – she’s a Michigan State Trooper, and she went to a normal routine stop with a partner, and there’s some crazy stuff that goes on at this stop, and only in Evil Dead-world. There’s some blood goin’ on, and with everything that happens in this town, Ash’s name keeps coming up. My character feels like he’s involved, so her journey now is to hunt down Ash. She’s a total badass, shooting guns and knocking people out – I’ve never done physical work like this before and really didn’t know how much I would love it, and I do love it very much.
DC: Just how physical has the filming been?
JJ: It’s been very physical, and we have an amazing stunt department with a gym that’s set up on set – you can go in and hit a heavy bag or get some work in on firearms for preparation in Evil Dead land, and it’s something that I found within myself that I didn’t even know I loved!
DC: Were you already familiar with the Evil Dead films, or did you find yourself watching all of them in preparation for the role?
JJ: I was familiar with Evil Dead, but I’d never seen the movie before; as part of my process I watched them in a binge. Sam Raimi? Come on, man – we are so blessed to have that man be our leader – he is so incredible, and it’s great to meet people that you admire that have a heart of gold. He’s so calm and respectful, not only to the cast and crew, but everyone – he’s got a very nice touch, and it’s been a pleasure working with him.
DC: Can you give us a little insight about the sheer lunacy that’s involved with working alongside Bruce Campbell?
JJ: Bruce is our leader, and we just follow his lead, and it’s been amazing. I’d never met him before, and he does the character brilliantly – he’s incredibly funny on set as well. He welcomed us all with open arms and said that we’re all going to start our own journey, and I thank him for that.
DC: Jill, what do you have coming up in the future?
JJ: I have a lot of entrepreneurial things that I do as well – I’m a business lady outside of acting, but I’m up for two things right now that I really can’t go into much detail about, but one project is something that takes me back to my own history (wink, wink). I also write and have a show that’s being shot, so that’s it – I’m just an artist! (laughs)
The post Jill Marie Jones Talks About Her Role on Ash vs. Evil Dead appeared first on Dread Central.
If you’re anything like me you spend a lot of time, some would say entirely too much time, on various Facebook groups and internet message board discussing horror films on Blu-ray. A lot of these discussions center around what films aren’t on Blu-ray that we collectors desperately want. One that often comes up is 1981’s Ghost Story. The film was directed by John “Raw Deal” Irvin and features quite the cast including the likes of Fred Astaire and John Houseman. On November 24th, 2015 those discussions will come to an end because Scream Factory is going to bring us all the Blu-ray debut of Ghost Story! Blu-ray collectors rejoice!
In a peaceful New England town, the four lifelong friends who make up the Chowder Society come together each week to regale each other with tales of terror. But when one of the elderly gentlemen experiences a family tragedy, it becomes apparent that a buried secret from their youth has arisen to remind them of the sins of their past. Soon, they will learn they have never been forgiven… and a supernatural vengeance awaits them all. Craig Wasson, Patricia Neal, and Alice Krige also star in this chilling and atmospheric telling of one of horror’s greatest stories.
• New Audio Commentary by Director John Irvin
• New Interviews with Author Peter Straub, Actress Alice Krige, Screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, Producer Burt Weissbourd and Matte Photographer Bill Taylor
• Vintage Theatrical Trailer, TV and Radio Spots
• Photo Gallery
For those of us in the US John Frankenheimer’s 1966 sci-fi classic Seconds has been available on Blu-ray for a couple of years thanks to the Criterion Collection. On October 26, 2015 our friends over in the UK will now have easy access as well thanks to a dual format Masters of Cinema release from Eureka Entertainment. Like the Criterion release, Eureka has loaded this one up with special features and they’re actually not identical. Eureka has tossed in a few new special features to set their release apart a bit. Seconds was directed by John Frankenheimer and stars Rock Hudson.
An unhappy middle-aged banker agrees to a procedure that will fake his death and give him a completely new look and identity – one that comes with its own price.
•Gorgeous restoration from a 4K transfer, in 1080p HD on the Blu-ray
•Two Feature-length audio commentaries: one by director John Frankenheimer, and one by film scholar Adrian Martin
•New video interview with novelist and critic Kim Newman
•Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired
•Original theatrical trailer
•Booklet featuring new essays by critics David Cairns and Mike Sutton
The supernatural scamp known as June is getting ready to haunt your DVD collection next week, and right now we have a chance for you to score a copy on us!
To enter for your chance to win, just send an email to email@example.com including your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS. We’ll take care of the rest.
This contest will end at 12:01 AM PT on October 6, 2015.
The film stars Casper Van Dien, Kennedy Brice, and Victoria Pratt and is directed by L. Gustavo Cooper. Look for it on DVD on October 6th.
Nine-year-old June (Kennedy Brice, “The Walking Dead”) has been shuffled in and out of foster homes for years. And though she tries to be good, no matter where she goes, a trail of chaos and terror seems to follow. It’s only when June is sent to live with a new couple, Lily and Dave (Casper Van Dien, Starship Troopers), that it looks as if things might finally work out – except this innocent child with the face of an angel is possessed by an ancient, malevolent entity that has hijacked her soul. Unless June can defeat the demon within, her new family – and mankind itself – are destined for destruction.
Like last year, I wanted to make a pretty comprehensive guide to all of television’s most coveted of October treats. So get your DVR ready because October has arrived! All of the times are in EST. unless otherwise noted, plan accordingly.OCTOBER PREMIERES
Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
10:oopm – American Horror Story (F/X)
Monday, October 10th, 2015
10:00pm – Fargo (F/X)
Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
10:00pm – Wicked City (ABC)
Saturday, October 31st, 2015
9:00pm – Ash vs. Evil Dead
NETFLIX OCTOBER ADDITIONS
Curse of Chucky
American Horror Story: Freakshow
iZombie Season 1
The Lazarus Effect
Hemlock Grove Season 3
Manson Family Vacation
Amazon Prime Additions
John Carpenter’s Vampires
The Fly (1958)
AMC’s FEAR FEST
Thursday, October 1, 2015
4:00pm – Firestarter
6:30pm – Pet Sematary
8:30pm – Stephen King’s Thinner
10:30pm – Cujo
Friday, October 2, 2015
11:45pm – Tremors 2: Aftershocks
2:00pm – Pet Sematary
6:00pm – Stephen King’s Thinner
8:00pm – The Shining
Saturday, October 3, 2015
11:30am – The Shining
3:00pm – Predator
Sunday, October 4, 2015
7:45am – Preadator
3:15pm – Fear the Walking Dead Episode 1
4:45pm – Fear the Walking Dead Episode 2
5:46pm – Fear the Walking Dead Episode 3
6:52pm – Fear the Walking Dead Episode 4
7:57pm – Fear the Walking Dead Episode 5
9:00pm – Fear the Walking Dead Episode 6
10:10pm – Talking Dead
Monday, October 5, 2015
9:00am – Cujo
11:ooam – Jeepers Creepers 2
3:30pm – Predator 2
6:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 1, Episode 1
7:30pm – The Walking Dead Season 1, Episode 2
8:30pm – The Walking Dead Season 1, Episode 3
9:30pm – The Walking Dead Season 1, Episode 4
10:30pm – The Walking Dead Season 1, Episode 5
11:30pm – The Walking Dead Season 1, Episode 6
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
6:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 2
7:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 3
8:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 4
9:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 5
10:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 6
11:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 7
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
6:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 10
7:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 11
8:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 12
9:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 13
10:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 1
11:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 2
Thursday, October 7, 2015
6:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 5
7:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 6
8:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 7
9:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 6 Preview
9:04pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 8
10:04pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 9
11:04pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 10
Friday, October 9, 2015
6:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 13
7:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 14
8:00pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 15
8:59pm – The Walking Dead – A Look at Season 6
9:04pm – The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 16
10:03pm – The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 1
Night One – Sunday, October 19th
– 7:00 – 9:00 AM ET/PT: Casper
– 9:00 – 11:00 AM ET/PT: The Addams Family
– 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM ET/PT: Addams Family Values
– 1:00 – 4:30 PM ET/PT: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1
– 4:30 – 7:30 PM ET/PT: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2
– 7:30 – 8:00 PM ET/PT: Disney∙Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR!
– 8:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT: Disney∙Pixar’s Monsters, Inc.
– 10:30 PM – 12:00 AM ET/PT: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Night Two – Monday, October 20th
– 6:30 – 8:00 PM ET/PT: The Nightmare Before Christmas
– 8:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT: The Hunger Games
– 12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT: The Haunted Mansion
Night Three – Tuesday, October 21st
– 8:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT: ALL NEW Pretty Little Liars fan-appreciation special, “We Love You to DeAth”
– 9:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT: Freak Out ALL NEW Special
Night Four – Wednesday, October 22nd
– 6:00 – 8:00 PM ET/PT: Beetlejuice
– 8:00 – 8:30 PM ET/PT: Melissa & Joey ALL NEW Halloween Special
– 8:30 – 9:00 PM ET/PT: Baby Daddy ALL NEW Halloween Special
– 9:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT: Freak Out ALL NEW Special
Night Five – Thursday, October 23rd
– 5:30 – 6:30 PM ET/PT: Freak Out
– 6:30 – 7:00 PM ET/PT: Melissa & Joey
– 7:00 – 7:30 PM ET/PT: Baby Daddy
– 7:30 – 9:30 PM ET/PT: Corpse Bride
– 9:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT: The Nightmare Before Christmas
– 12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT: Teen Wolf
Night Six – Friday, October 24th
– 5:00 – 7:00 PM ET/PT: Corpse Bride
– 7:00 – 8:30 PM ET/PT: The Nightmare Before Christmas
– 8:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT: Dark Shadows
– 12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT: Beetlejuice
Night Seven – Saturday, October 25th
– 7:00 – 7:30 AM ET/PT: Melissa & Joey
– 7:30 – 10:30 AM ET/PT: Batman
– 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM ET/PT: Batman Returns
– 1:30 – 3:30 PM ET/PT: Beetlejuice
– 3:30 – 6:00 PM ET/PT: Dark Shadows
– 6:00 – 8:00 PM ET/PT: The Addams Family
– 8:00 – 10:00 PM ET/PT: Addams Family Values
– 10:00 PM – 12:00 AM ET/PT: Hocus Pocus
– 12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT: Corpse Bride
Night Eight – Sunday, October 26th
– 7:00 – 8:00 AM ET/PT: Freak Out
– 8:00 – 10:00 AM ET/PT: Coraline
– 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET/PT: Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
– 12:00 – 2:00 PM ET/PT: The Haunted Mansion
– 2:00 – 4:00 PM ET/PT: Corpse Bride
– 4:00 – 6:00 PM ET/PT: The Addams Family
– 6:00 – 8:00 PM ET/PT: Addams Family Values
– 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET/PT: Hocus Pocus
– 10:00 PM – 12:00 AM ET/PT: ParaNorman
Night Nine – Monday, October 27th
– 5:00 – 7:00 PM ET/PT: Freak Out
– 7:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT: ParaNorman
– 9:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT: Casper
– 12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT: Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Night Ten – Tuesday, October 28th
– 5:00 – 7:00 PM ET/PT: Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
– 7:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT: Casper
– 9:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT: Freak Out encores
– 12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT: The Haunted Mansion
Night Eleven – Wednesday, October 29th
– 5:00 – 7:00 PM ET/PT: The Haunted Mansion
– 7:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT: The Addams Family
– 9:00 – 11:00 PM ET/PT: Addams Family Values
– 12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT: ParaNorman
Night Twelve – Thursday, October 30th
– 4:30 – 6:30 PM ET/PT: The Addams Family
– 6:30 – 8:30 PM ET/PT: Addams Family Values
– 8:30 – 11:00 PM ET/PT: Dark Shadows
– 12:00 – 2:00 AM ET/PT: Beetlejuice
Night Thirteen – Friday, October 31st
– 11:00 – 11:30 AM ET/PT: Melissa & Joey
– 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM ET/PT: Baby Daddy
– 12:00 – 2:00 PM ET/PT: Freak Out
– 2:00 – 4:30 PM ET/PT: Poltergeist
– 4:30 – 7:00 PM ET/PT: Dark Shadows
– 7:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT: Beetlejuice
– 9:00– 11:00 PM ET/PT: Casper
Thursday, October 1, 2015
- 8:00pm – My Babysitter’s A Vampire
Friday, October 2, 2015
- 3:00am – Halloweentown
- 8:00pm – “Jessie” “The Ghostess with the Mostest”
- 8:30pm – “Girl Meets World” “Girl Meets World of Terror 2″
- 9:00pm – “I Didn’t Do It” “Bite Club”
- 9:25pm – “Mickey Mouse” “Black and White” – Mickey attempts to save face in front of Minnie after he’s scared as white as a ghost.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
- 3:00am – Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
Sunday, October 4, 2015
- 3:00am – Halloweentown High
- 8:00pm – “K.C. Undercover” “All Howl’s Eve”
- 8:30pm – “Best Friends Whenever” “Cyd and Shelby’s Haunted Escape”
- 9:00pm – “Austin & Ally” “Scary Spirits & Spooky Stories”
- 9:30pm – “Liv and Maddie” “Haunt-A-Rooney”
Monday, October 5, 2015
- 3:00m – Return to Halloweentown
- 8:00pm – Girl Vs. Monster
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
- 3:00am – Now You See It
Thursday, October 8, 2015
- 3:00am – The Scream Team
- 6:00pm – Mostly Ghostly
- 7:50pm – Mostly Ghostly 2
Friday, October 9, 2015
- 3:00am – Mostly Ghostly
- 8:00am – Spookly the Square Pumpkin
- 8:00 pm – “Invisible Sister” The Disney Channel Original Movie “Invisible Sister” follows science prodigy Cleo, whose class experiment turns her popular sister and star athlete, Molly, invisible. With the help of Cleo’s best friend and fellow science enthusiast, George; and her crush, Carter; Molly’s boyfriend, The Coug; and her best friend and teammate, Nikki; the sisters race against the clock on Halloween to find the antidote to reverse Molly’s invisibility before it becomes permanent. Starring Rowan Blanchard (“Girl Meets World”), Paris Berelc (“Mighty Med”), Karan Brar (“BUNK’D,” “Jessie”), Rachel Crow (“X Factor”), Will Meyers (“Bella and the Bulldogs”) and Austin Fryberger (“Kirby Buckets”)
Saturday, October 10, 2015
- 3:00am – Mostly Ghostly 2
- 11:00am – Invisible Sister
Sunday, October 11, 2015
- 3:00am – Twitches
- 8:00pm – Disney·Pixar’s “Monsters University”
Monday, October 12, 2015
- 3:00am – Twitches Too
Friday, October 23, 2015
- 6:00 to 10:00pm – MAL-OWEEN marathon featuring favorite “Liv & Maddie” episodes and encore presentations of the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Descendants,” the “Descendants: Set It Off!” special and “Descendants: Wicked World” animated shorts.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
- 9:00am to 10:00pm – Spooks & Chills marathon featuring encore presentations of Halloween-themed episodes
SYFY 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN
October 1: The Last Exorcism at 6/5c; Dominion Season 2 Finale at 10/9c
October 2: Men in Black II at 8/7c; Z Nation at 10/9c
October 3: I Am Legend at 7/6c; Night of the Wild at 9/8c; The Wolfman (2010) at 11/10c
October 4: Orphan at 8/7c; Fright Night (2011) at 10:30/9:30c
October 5: Blade II at 9/8c; Blade: Trinity at 11:30/10:30c
October 6: Blade: Trinity at 6:30/5:30c; Face Off at 9/8c
October 7: Ghost Hunters at 9/8c; Paranormal Witness at 10/9c
October 8: The Wraith at 6/5c; Haven Season 5 Premiere at 10/9c
October 9: Insidious at 7:30/6:30c; Z Nation at 10/9c
October 10: Insidious Chapter 2 at 6:30/5:30c; Ominous at 9/8c; Drive Angry at 11/10c
October 11: 1408 at 6:30/5:30c; The Conjuring at 9/8c
October 12: The Conjuring at 6:30/5:30c; Orphan at 9/8c
October 13: Orphan at 6:30/5:30c; Face Off at 9/8c
October 14: Ghost Hunters at 9/8c; Paranormal Witness at 10/9c
October 15: Hostel Part II at 6/5c; Haven at 10/9c
October 16: The Crazies (2010) at 6/5c; I Am Legend at 8/7c; Z Nation at 10/9c
October 17: Blade: Trinity at 6:30/5:30c; They Found Hell at 9/8c; Silent Hill: Revelation at 11/10c
October 18: Underworld at 6:30/5:30c; Underworld: Evolution at 9/8c; Underworld: Rise of the Lycansat 11/10c
October 19: Underworld: Evolution at 7/6c; Underworld: Rise of the Lycans at 9/8c
October 20: Men in Black II at 7/6c; Face Off at 9/8c
October 21: Ghost Hunters at 9/8c; Paranormal Witness at 10/9c
October 22: Lost Boys: The Thirst at 6/5c; Haven at 10/9c
October 23: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning at 8/7c; Z Nation at 10/9c
October 24: Orphan at 6:30/5:30c; The Hollow at 9/8c; The Fog (2005) at 11/10c
October 25: The Hollow at 7/6c; The Cabin in the Woods at 9/8c; Blade: Trinity at 11/10c
October 26: Blade: Trinity at 6:30/5:30c; I Am Legend at 9/8
October 27: I Am Legend at 7/6c; Face Off at 9/8c
October 28: Ghost Hunters at 9/8c; Paranormal Witness at 10/9c
October 29: Z Nation Marathon at 1/12c; Haven at 10/9c
October 30: Blade II at 7:30/6:30c; Z Nation at 10/9c
October 31: Insidious Chapter 2 at 6:30/5:30c; The Conjuring at 9/8c
Friday, October 9th, 2015
8:00pm – Mad Love (1935)
9:30pm – The Beast With Five Fingers (1946)
11:15pm – Hands of a Stranger (1962)
1:00am – The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)
2:30am – Corruption (1967)
4:15am – Eyes Without a Face (1959)
Saturday, October 10th, 2015
11:45am – X the Unknown (1956)
Sunday, October 11th, 2015
12:30am – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
10:00pm – The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
12:00am – A Clockwork Orange (1971)
2:30am – Time After Time (1979)
4:30am – Hands of the Ripper (1971)
Friday, October 16th, 2015
8:00pm – The Nanny (1965)
9:45pm – The Bad Seed (1956)
12:00am – Children of the Damned (1961)
1:45am – Villiage of the Damned (1961)
3:15am – The Curse of the Cate People (1944)
Friday, October 23rd, 2015
8:00pm – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
10:30pm – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
12:45am – The Fall of the House of Usher (1949)
2:00am – The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
4:00am – The Fall of the House of Usher (1957)
Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
1:00am – Lonesome Ghosts (1937)
1:15am – Frankenweenie (1984)
2:00am – Mr. Boogedy (1986)
3:00am – The Ghosts of Buxley Hall (1980)
Thursday, October 29th, 2015
7:45am – Freaks (1932)
9:15am – The Devil-Doll (1936)
10:45am – The House on Haunted Holl (1958)
12:15pm – Macabre (1958)
3:30pm – Stage Fright (1950)
5:30pm – A Bucket of Blood (1959)
6:45pm – Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
Friday, October 30th, 2015
8:15am – The Mummy (1959)
9:45am – Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966)
11:30am – Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
1:15pm – Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1969)
3:00pm – Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed! (1969)
6:15pm – Dracula A.D. (1972)
8:00pm – Cat People (1942)
9:30pm – Val Lewton: The Man In The Shadows (2007)
11:00pm – The Seventh Victim (1943)
12:15am – The Leopard Man (1943)
2:45am – The Body Snatcher (1945)
4:15am – Isle of the Dead (1945)
5:30am – Bedlam (1946)
Saturday, October 31st, 2015
7:00am – Doctor X (1932)
8:30am – White Zombie (1932)
9:45am – Dementia 13 (1963)
11:15am – The Fearless Vampire Killers (1966)
1:15pm – Homicidal (1961)
3:00pm – The Tingler (1959)
4:30pm – House of Wax (1953)
6:15pm – The Devil’s Bride (1968)
8:00pm – The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
10:00pm – Curse of the Demon (1958)
11:30pm – Dead of Night (1945)
1:30am – Mark of the Vampire (1935)
With an intriguing cast that includes such noteworthy names as Mila Kunis, Danny McBride, Susan Sarandon, Bob Odenkirk, T.J. Miller, Nick Swardson and Rob Riggle (and Lance Bass…?) it would seem that the new animated action adventure feature Hell and Back is sure to strike gold. In addition to this stellar group of actors, writers Hugh Sterbakov, Zeb Wells, and director Ross Shuman all hail from one of the funniest sources of late night comedy, Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken. Not to be put to shame, their co-writer and co-director Tom Gianas also carries an impressive resume, with writing credits from a wide variety of television programs including Pretend Time, The Man Show, Drunk History, and sixty episodes of Saturday Night Live. Considering how this large group of extremely talented comedians all came together to create Hell and Back, it’s honestly just surprising that this animated comedic thriller aimed towards an adult audience isn’t completely hysterical.
At first, the premise seemed promising. Three best friends, Remy, Augie, and Curt work at a dying amusement park that contains more memories than these high school buddies can count. The rides are falling apart, the electricity is inconsistent at best, and boardwalk is littered with trash, but due to nostalgia and a desperate need for cash, this place has become their home away from home. When word arrives that the bank is foreclosing on their precious park, Remy searches for a quick fix to their financial restraints. He may have gone a little overboard by summoning up the spirit of the devil, and accidentally banishing his friend Curt to hell through the ancient ritual of a blood oath sacrifice, but he honestly went in with the best intentions. Now, it’s up to Remy and Augie to tumble down the flaming rabbit hole, into the pits of hell, to retrieve their friend and return to the surface, out of the scorching depths, before their souls, too, are claimed by Satan himself.
Although the individual skits on Robot Chicken are usually a laugh riot, and sometimes, they even carry clever subliminal messages behind their crass jokes, a large part of the show’s success is its anthology style of presentation. While many of the segments are funny, every now and then, like any show on television, the jokes don’t quite hit, but viewers don’t mind because they never overstay their welcome. It would be easy to say that the reason why Hell and Back falls short of its ambitions is because it feels like one long dragged out joke from the television show, but it’s more than that. The problem isn’t the feature length runtime, but simply because the jokes that fill the film just aren’t funny.
It’s a real shame, too, because there’s a lot of good stuff here. Animated films made for adults can have a real cult following, such is the case with South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. However, it is a difficult, delicate balance of blue comedy and a throwback to prepubescent giggles that’s required of such a feat, and few filmmakers have the objectivity to realize when they’ve wandered too far into either territory. Unfortunately, Gianas and Shuman fail to make this distinction. The two don’t seem to realize that despite several filmmakers from the ’80s and ’90s and Jonah Hill’s best intentions, male rape is still not funny. This is especially true when the same joke about male rape is dragged out for an entire film, and it soon becomes clear that these brilliant comics have nothing else hidden up their sleeves.
It’s not that the film has nothing to offer. Without a doubt, the most triumphant aspect of Hell and Back it its glorious use of stop-motion animation. The design of the amusement park is eerily reminiscent of that one attraction-filled destination that every kid solicited throughout their youth, only to grow up and realize how truly dirty and rundown it really was. Satan’s quarters in hell look like the steam punk version of a Bond villain’s secret headquarters, adding to the hilarity that this is one devil that just wants to be liked and respected by his peers. Also, the inclusion of mythological characters Orpheus and Charon bodes well for the fantastical nature of the film, although it would have been more satisfying to see more creatures from Greek folklore pop up to round out this promising portrayal of the underworld.
However, the film works best during its brief moments of sincerity between the characters, who otherwise appear selfish and immature, despite their big rescue mission. They may have entered the gates of hell with a plan to retrieve their best friend, but the detached attitudes and crass humor shared by all of the people (and demons) in this film make it hard to care for anyone, let alone fear for their lives when they’re put in peril.
Even though the Hell and Back movie may not have been to my taste, I did appreciate the artistry of the stop-motion animation; and I loved catching up with the writer-directors, Tom Gianas and Ross Shuman, to ask them about the making of the film. They’re really fun fellas with an excellent sense of what their movie is (not too serious) and who’s going to like it (horror fans into irreverent comedy).
I caught up with them at the press junket in L.A. to ask them not only about the star voice talent (Bob Odenkirk, Mila Kunis), but some off the wall questions as well – they were game! Read on to see what the guys had to say.
Dread Central: How did you guys come up with this zany idea?
Ross Shuman: Originally it was the idea that one of the producers had and we were brought on to flesh out the ideas and figure out a visual language; we wanted to make Hell not the typical Hell with fire and brimstone. The idea was, if this places exists, maybe the portal going down to Hell is a mystical kind of portal brought on by the Beelzebub kind of spell, but the idea was really flushed out over probably 6-8 months of a lot of people just trying to work it from every angle. Even our production designer had influence on ways we would do things and set up themes. It was really an establishment of so many artists. So this movie was, more than most, a giant collaboration.
DC: How did you guys chose Bob Odenkirk as the Devil; I think he’s perfect. I know you do too, but what was it specifically about him that sent him over the edge for your choice?
TG: He’s probably the funniest guy I know and he’s got that going for him. Bob and I worked together for like 20 years, 25 years actually; we are coming out of Chicago together. I directed him in Second City. So, it was really that I asked him, “Hey, can you be in our movie?” and he was cool enough to do it and be the great Devil. I’ve known before he played Saul on “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” you know? So it’s weird everyone recognizes him now, but he’s just Bob to me.
DC: I love the way he plays the Devil; he has two looks in the film, and he changes his voice with those visuals. Can you talk a little bit about that, and how that decision to make two version of the Devil was arrived at?
TG: Ross is going to talk about the looks, but in terms of the character, he’s just a bad CEO but he’s the boss. The demons are like the guys who work in his office and they’re like, “Oh, we can do the job better than the boss does,” but the boss is the boss; you have to defer to him even though it’s maddening. So I think there’s a duality to this dynamic where you’re working your ass off at the job; whether it’s digging ditches or you’re in the office, whatever it is and the boss is just… That’s Bob. Bob puts on his coat to impress the guy, but he’s really a dandy in his private moments.
RS: Yeah, but the thing about his character is, he would prefer to be the smaller version, the more artistic version, the more thoughtful version, but in Hell with a bunch of demons that are really just about sacrifices — he would get no respect whatsoever, so he grows (big) and he even says, “Do you love this shit?” It keeps the demons in line. It’s his giant facade power suit, and then he goes home and he’s sad like normal kids, and he’s a sweetheart.
DC: Exactly. I thought your film was so well made and beautifully done visually, but it is in stop-motion and it is a cartoon that’s incredibly dirty and irreverent and definitely not for children so, who would you say your target audience is for Hell and Back?
TG: I think that’s pretty easy, I feel like it’s 18 to… any age. My father saw some clips and was laughing, and he’s in his 70s so, I feel like the target audience is probably 18 to 35 or 18 to even higher. The real thing here is that there are a lot of stop-motion movies that come out and even animated movies, and you can’t really pinpoint who they’re for because it’s cartoon and it’s like the movie should be for kids but at the same time, sometimes it’s not really for kids. It’s scary or it’s kind of a bizarre story and so, is it for adults? While adults are saying, “Well, this is not for me either” and it hits that netherland. So, this movie… what I like about it is we just say, “Okay, there are people that love mature content and love animation so let’s give those people what they want,” which is what I want. I would go see this movie in a heartbeat.
RS: I think these types of characters, the way they move, the way they look, harkens back to those holiday specials, Rudolph and Frosty, that everyone grew up on. Now, to add those kinds of characters we normally see in family [shows] to be acting out and saying the things they are in this movie is a really fun comedic juxtaposition. It turns everything on it head.
TG: Also, when we are working through all this, the idea was like somewhere in that animated movies when somebody got hit or they land in a situation that’s not very good, chances are if we’re being real, we want to go all “shit!” so what if we took that kind of Looney Tunes feel and mashed that up? Then we have something that’s really kind of edgy.
RS: Like the Road Runner in the Wile E. Coyote cartoons, if he could really articulate what he’s feeling, that is what would happen.
DC: We are a horror site, so of course we want to know what you did to make this film look creepy and give it that nightmare landscape?
TG: There are a lot of things in the shadows and in the darkness that you ultimately don’t know what they are so… I don’t want to spoil the movie or anything, but there are creatures that you would never imagine would come alive. And personally I feel that they terrifying.
RS: And probably the creepiest character in our movie is the Mila Kunis character; she’s half-human, half-demon. She gets things done, she throws one of the demons off the boat. But I think in terms of the horror aspect of it, she’s scary; yet, they are going to view her as this sweet young woman underneath, much like the Devil (has his other guise). And then she also has the coolest ship in Hell. It’s kind of like if the Millennium Falcon were a ship in Hell, what would it be?
TG: And also, the fact that you’re going into a Hell-themed ride at the amusement park and it actually took you into Hell, that would just make you [scared to death].
DC: I’ve often thought if I am ever sent to Hell, I would spend eternity peeling those little sticky, scored price tags off of merchandise for ever and ever. So, I”s love to know from each of you: What would your idea of Hell be in the afterlife?
RS: Mine would definitely ordering pizza and not being able to get the toppings I want [like in the movie].
TG: My torture is being in a parking garage behind someone who doesn’t know the dimensions of their car. I have to be patient, watch them back out real slow, readjust, back up, move forward, readjust… and you sit there all day. That drives me nuts.
Produced by ShadowMachine’s Corey Campodonico, Alexander Bulkley, and Eric Blyler, the film is being released today (October 2, 2015) by Freestyle Releasing.
Jason Trost’s How to Save Us, his fourth and most daring project to date, is arriving on DVD courtesy of Parade Deck Films on October 27th, and we have a whopping seven (7) copies to give away! Read on for the details.
Trost wrote and directed the film and co-stars with Coy Jandreau and Tallay Wickham. Trost (The FP, All Superheroes Must Die) brought How to Save Us (review) to life with a bone-chilling and brilliant score from acclaimed composer Tori Letzler (“American Horror Story,” Thor: Dark World) and Phil Miller’s astonishing cinematography.
To enter for your chance to win, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS. We’ll take care of the rest.
This contest will end at 12:01 AM PT on October 10, 2015.
When Brian Everett’s younger brother, Sam, goes missing on the island of Tasmania during the middle of a mysterious quarantine, Brian (Trost) is forced to traverse across enemy lines to save his brother from an army of ghosts by following Sam’s rules of survival. But will this buy enough time for Brian to find his brother, or will they both be stuck in a hellish realm of the dead forever?