Bloody Knuckles is exactly the type of movie you want it to be. This is a crude, sometimes juvenile, gross-out horror/comedy hybrid, reminiscent of classic Troma. And the beautiful thing of it all is that the film clearly acknowledges that fact. At no point does Bloody Kuckles pretend to be something other than what it is.
Travis (Adam Boys) is the mastermind behind “Vulgar Invasions,” an underground comic set out to shock and offend. The comic knows no boundaries, making everyone and everything fair game. In the opening of the film we see a bunch of different covers for various issues of “Vulgar Invasions” and it’s clear that the name is apt. The latest issue of “Vulgar Invasions” attacks a local “businessman” named Leonard Fong (Kasey Ryne Mazak). It’s pretty clear from the start that Fong isn’t really a businessman but a criminal using money and violence to take control of the city. As you can imagine he’s none too happy about his comic book portrayal and seeks revenge on Travis. This results in Travis losing his dominant hand.
Now with only one hand Travis struggles to get by. Without his artistc expression he has nothing and does not know what to do. This obvisouly has a great impact on the rest of his life. Basically, Travis gives up. His severed hand, however, has a different mindset. His hand will not give up and tracks him down. After a lot of convicing, including a pretty hilarious fight between Travis and hand, the severed hand finally convinces Travis to stand up and fight back against Fong!
Let’s talk about this severed hand. It looks fantastic! And I don’t mean fantastic for a low-budget, indie movie, but just fantastic in general. This hand walks around, kills people and operates just like another character in the film and it looks pretty flawless. It doesn’t look shoddy and bad, which is what I was expecting when I put the movie on. I was very impressed and this is an important factor because the hand is a key component to the film. The rest of the effects look pretty solid as well, but there was one that I had a slight issue with. When Travis gets his hand cut off there isn’t as much blood as I would have liked. This is a little issue of course, but in a movie like this that is so over the top, I would have liked to see them go all out with the blood here. A bit of a missed opportunity.
Another concern I had coming into this one was with the humor. Movies like this often times force the issue a bit too much in an attempt to shock with vulgarity. I am very happy to say that is not the case here. Sure, not all the humor works, but for the most part the jokes land and I laughed out loud multiple times. So kudos to the Matt O. and the gang for not over doing it.
I will say for a movie about a comic book artist getting his hand cut off that it did start a little slow. It’s just passsed the halfwork mark when the movie really kicks it into high gear and never looks back. It’s at this point that Travis decides to work with his hand to fight back. This is about the time we’re introduced to a character named Homo Dynamous (Dwayne Bryshun). This guy is basically a homosexual superhero and he teams up with Travis and the hand. I honestly loved every second that Homo Dynamous was on the screen. It sounds silly and it shouldn’t work, but he was very funny and killed every line.
Bloody Knuckles also attempts to tackle a few social issues. Throughout the whole movie Travis is all about attacking censorship. Tossed in are a few moments on homophobia and corrupt businessmen. There are some good ideas here but nothing that’s really enforced. For me Bloody Knuckles is a fun, bloody mess that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is best enjoyed with friends.
The film is now out on Blu-ray courtesy of Artsploitation and it fits nicely in with their current library. A handful of special features are to be found including one in which director Matt O. takes a visit to the home of Diabolik DVD. If you’re a physical media freak like me, this is something you’ll love. Diabolik DVD is one of the very best online retailers for all your cult movie needs so it’s pretty rad to see how they operate.
A new thriller is on its way which features The Birds‘ Tippi Hedren alongside the voice of Jonathan Pryce as he breaths life into a big talking whale, entitled The Ghost and The Whale, and we have your first look at it right here.
Anthony Gaudioso and James Gaudioso co-direct the film, which stars Hedren, Pryce, Monica Keena, and The Human Centipede‘s Ashlynn Yennie.
A man, Joseph, loses his wife at sea, then spirals deep into a world of confusion. The wife’s brothers’ need revenge! Joseph tries to tell anyone who will listen that a whale killed his beautiful Annabel Lee, but even he doesn’t quite remember the truth. A journey into the depths of his mind, a conversation with a whale, and bloodthirsty brothers…
Love is forever; so is revenge.
After four years, the worldwide phenomenon comes to a close with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the second half the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ third book in The Hunger Games young adult book trilogy. It isn’t the strongest entry in the series (that title would belong to 2013’s exceptional Catching Fire), but it does provide it a fitting, if somewhat drawn out, conclusion.
Picking up right where The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 left off, we begin the film with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) recovering from her attack at the hands of Peeta. She is bruised and battered after having been betrayed by her friend and is then immediately thrust back into the war against the Capitol. After a rather laborious first half she, along with Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and a slew of others enter into the Capitol, which has been booby-trapped beyond all over, prompting one character to declare it the 76th Annual Hunger Games (something the Part 1 was sorely lacking).
Jennifer Lawrence’s career has skyrocketed since she appeared in the first film four years ago, but she is still fully committed to the role that fully put her in the public’s eye. It is to Lawrence’s credit that Mockingjay Part 2 works as well as it does. She has always been the one to ground the films and give them an emotional depth when they could sometimes come off as melodramatic.
Director Francis Lawrence films the action sequences in Mockingjay Part 2 frantically, to the point where it almost feels like you are watching Saving Private Ryan. Sometimes it is so frantic that you can’t always tell what is going on or who is dying. Such is war, after all, so it fits the situations perfectly. When a major character dies about halfway through the film, it’s barely given a second thought. No one stops to mourn them because there isn’t any time.
The film has a few thrilling action sequences as well, with the two best ones involving a flood of tar and the other a vicious attack by mutts in the sewers. The latter stands out as one of the most horrific sequences the films have ever done and it plays out wonderfully.
Where Mockjay Part 2’s strength lies (and this was also a strength of the book) is that it doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of war. Besides the aforementioned deaths, Mockingjay Part 2 serves up a bleak outlook on the repercussions of the rebellion and the toll that war can take on a society. While Mockingjay was the weakest part of the book trilogy, it’s ending is what set it apart from other YA novels of the same ilk, and this concluding chapter in the film franchise is no different. The final half of the film and, specifically, the closing 20 minutes, make up for many of the weaknesses that came before it
Unfortunately, Mockingjay Part 2 fails to justify splitting the 390-page novel up into two films totaling over four hours of films screen time. Much of the film’s first hour is spent in meetings between Katniss, President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensby (the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman), which is exactly what Mockingjay Part 1 consisted of. Hoffman’s absence due to his untimely death last year is especially felt at the end of the film, with Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch delivering a letter containing Plutarch’s parting words to Katniss.
With such a large cast, Mockingjay Part 2 attempts to give each character a proper sendoff, and while it may work for certain characters (Finnick and Jena Malone’s Johana), many other characters (Elizabeth Banks’ Effie and Stanley Tucci’s Caesar, among others) are underserved and it feels nothing more than a long game of roll call. Mockingjay Part 2 would have done better to just excise some of those characters in favor of giving others more screen time. This is all the more disappointing considering that the two films had over four hours of screen time to squeeze as many character moments in as it could. You have to give the film one thing: it doesn’t feel overstuffed.
One of the weaker parts of the previous films was the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale, and that problem continues to plague Mockingjay Part 2. The film grinds to a halt every time the characters discuss Peeta and Gale fighting for Katniss’ affection. The good news is that these scenes are few and far between, but since Gale is more present in this film than he ever was in any of the previous installments, they do occur more than you would like.
Overall, Mockingjay Part 2 does justice to the book and refuses to water down any of the harsher moments of its closing moments. Any worries fans may have had about the film watering down any parts of the novel can rest assured that the deaths hit hard and the ending is just as bittersweet as you remember. On its own, it still feels like half of a film. The first half is a bit of a slog to get through, but once they enter the city, it becomes an incredibly intense war movie. It still doesn’t surpass Catching Fire as the high point of the franchise, but it is a noble effort.
With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 hitting theaters this weekend, Bloody Disgusting had a chance to catch up with actor Elden Henson, who plays the mute Avox Pollux in the film (for the uninitiated, Avoxes are Capitol traitors who have their tongues ripped out as punishment). We discussed his role in the film, the most horrific sequence in the entire Hunger Games franchise and Marvel’s Daredevil!
Bloody Disgusting: Hi!
Elden Henson: Hi!
BD: I got to see the film last night and I really enjoyed it!
EH: Oh good!
BD: So your character Pollux, being an Avox, doesn’t have any dialogue in the film. Is it difficult for you as an actor to play a character that has no lines?
EH: I think I probably had some fears when I first got the job but those fears quickly went away when I started working and talking with Francis [Lawrence] about the character. I was such a big fan of his before we worked together and he totally surpassed my expectations. The great thing about him is that he not only has a great visual style but he’s a great storyteller which is really important. We were having dinner before we started shooting and he said something that really resonated with me and helped me get into the character. He said “Just remember that with all the terrible things Pollux has gone through he still chooses to see the beauty in the world” and that really put me in a place where I thought I could do this. To have a director that you completely trust is a real luxury as an actor, and I trust Francis. And being able to work with someone like Jen, when she’s giving those impassioned speeches it’s like I don’t even have to act. They’re actually moving. So I’m not so much acting as much as I am being present.
BD: I can imagine. There are a lot of characters/actors in the film and I imagine it can be difficult to give everyone a special moment, but Pollux is the centerpiece in, in my opinion, what is one of the most thrilling sequences in the film with the mutt attack in the sewers. How was filming that scene? I guess what I’m asking is: was it fun?
EH: [laughs] It was but it was a little bit challenging, especially for Liam because he’s so tall. You couldn’t really stand up all the way in those tunnels and there was water in all the tunnels so I just remember being wet for a couple of weeks. I was really excited about that sequence because when we were shooting Francis sometimes listens to music when we’re shooting something that doesn’t have any dialogue in it so there’s this shot of us running through the tunnels and he called me to the side to show me some playback while listening to the music he was listening to and I remember thinking “Man, this sequence is going to be awesome!” And then when I saw it in the final product I was totally blown away. I mean I was there shooting it and I was still blown away. The mutts came out great to, because on the day of shooting it was a bunch of stunt people in onesies with green dots all over them. It was hilarious but we all had to try to be scared and it was just a fun sequence to shoot.
BD: Did they have sound effects for them as you were shooting or was it just people in the onesies running around?
EH: You know the funny thing was is that everything sound-wise was so heightened because they built all these tunnels on the soundstage so sound really bounces around in there and even just when you’re walking through with all the water created so much noise that I think all of those things put us in the mindset of the situation. And I’m also pretty claustrophobic in real life so I was really ready to get out of the tunnel. That wasn’t acting!
BD: How long did that sequence take to shoot?
EH: I don’t really remember. I think it was maybe a couple of weeks. I know the main junction where the main fight happens took quite a bit of time but it’s hard to remember because we finished so long ago and it was such a long shoot because we shot both of the movies at the same time. It’s definitely my favorite sequence in the film.
BD: Yeah mine too. I don’t know if you’ve read the books but that’s the one sequence I was looking forward to the most in the series. It’s a great standout moment for your character and to fit so many characters into one movie, they definitely pulled off a standout moment for you.
EH: You know again it’s a credit to Francis. He’s so detail-oriented and I remember him pulling Wes [Chatham] and I aside and you start thinking about how we need to find these moments to connect so that when Wes does die it does feel as devastating as it does for Pollux. Francis is able to layer in a lot of things to help in the end product.
BD: Well I mean you get to do a lot more action in this as opposed to a less action-y role in Daredevil. Is there a big difference between working on something like this for a major studio and working on Daredevil for Netflix?
EH: Yes! There is a huge difference. You know Foggy talks a lot, so there were many days where I was thinking to myself “Hmmm…I wish I was back playing Pollux who’s not having to say anything and not having to get mic’d” and then you know the reverse was that playing the Foggy character it’s like “Man, I’m just so happy not to be running anymore.”
BD: That actually leads into my next question. Do you have more fun doing an action scene or do you prefer dialogue-driven scenes?
EH: It really just depends. I wish I could choose. The truth is I really love getting to do the action stuff. I rarely get to run around with a gun or look cool in black fatigues, you know what I mean? But then there is a part of me that loves getting into dialogue-driven scenes and thinking about how best to phrase something so it’s really telling the story. Dude I’ve been really lucky to play a lot of different types of roles.
BD: You’ve had a very wide variety of roles, going all the way back to The Mighty Ducks when you were younger. I think I first saw you in The Mighty when I was a kid.
EH: Oh cool!
BD: Yeah! It must be rewarding to play so many different characters, and also to have Hollywood want you for those type of roles because I imagine its easy to get typecast.
EH: Yeah honestly I feel lucky with every job that I get. This business is filled with really talented actors and I’m sure there’s a lot of guys out there who could have also brought something really special to the role I have played. I just feel lucky that I get a chance to do them. I just try to not disappoint or get fired. I just try to do justice to the scripts that are written
BD: Can you tell us anything about Season 2 of Daredevil?
EH: The truth is Jeph Loeb, who is the head of Marvel television, is holding my son hostage right now so I don’t say anything, but what I can tell you is that what Jon [Bernthal] is doing with the Punisher is really going to make people happy and we’re really stoked to have Elodie [Yung] playing Elektra. She is a really talented martial artist, and also gorgeous, so I’m really excited for people to get to see Season 2.
BD: Are you done filming the season?
EH: No, not yet.
BD: Do you have anything lined up after that?
EH: I don’t. Honestly as soon as we finish Daredevil I’m just looking to spending some time with my son because you know there’s a lot of days I go to work before he’s up and then I come home after he’s asleep so I’m just looking forward to going back to Los Angeles for Christmas and New Year’s.
BD: Well you’ve been very busy.
EH: Yeah it’s been crazy, man. You know on top of having a son it’s just that the last year or two of my life have been incredible. I’m just so grateful and happy, especially now that I have a kid, to be employed.
BD: I’m sure. So I’m going to backtrack for a second. You mentioned how you try not to get fired on your jobs, but have you ever been fired from an acting gig?
EH: I’ve never been fired from an acting job. I’ve tried to get fired–No I’m totally kidding. But I started acting so young so I know from a very young age how lucky I was, and especially to have a job that I loved. With each job I get I try my hardest to do it in a way that people will like and will also do justice to the script, but no I’ve never gotten fired.
BD: Last question: Is there a certain type of movie or genre that you haven’t done that you would like to try?
EH: I think it would be fun to play a young Ozzy Osbourne in a movie about the formation of Black Sabbath. How awesome would that be? [Henson tells his agent, who is sitting nearby, to write that down and make it happen]. But I would love to do a western!
BD: They’re making a comeback now with Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and Kurt Russell’s new film Bone Tomahawk.
EH: Dude I can’t wait for The Hateful Eight. I cannot wait. I know people are talking about the things that Quentin said but he’s just that type of a person so I don’t think people should be surprised. In my opinion he’s one of the most talented filmmakers. I would die of happiness if I ever got a chance to work with him. I would be terrified and excited. I have so much respect for him that I would be afraid that I would let him down.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is in theaters everywhere today!
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Though our coverage of The Hunger Games film franchise has lessened over the years as its chapters have distanced themselves from the Battle Royale-influence that first drew us to the series, we have admittedly still kept a keen interest in where Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novels-turned-films would ultimately lead. With Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 finally bringing the saga to a close, we find the sci-fi/adventure series taking a notably bleak turn, a tonal shift that conclusively works in the favor of the series. However, as a 137-minute long film adaptation that is mining source material from only the second half of a 400-page book, there is an awful lot of wheel-spinning to endure before reaching that explosively emotional conclusion.
In the midst of a revolutionary war within the futuristic nation of Panem, the film finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) reeling from an unexpected attack from her former friend and sometimes romantic interest Peeta (Hutcherson), who has been “hijacked” by the nation’s menacing dictator President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in an effort to thwart Katniss’ charge against the corrupt powers-that-be within the Capitol. Recognizing that Snow will stop at nothing until the revolution is halted, President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) of the rebel city District 13 tasks Katniss with a mission to infiltrate the Capitol with a star squad of other skilled soldiers, including an unpredictable Peeta and her lifelong friend/second potential romantic interest Gale (Hemsworth). As the rebels battle their way through the streets of the Capitol, which have been armed with dangerous pods set to inflict varying degrees of destruction and terror, it becomes clear that Katniss may have to sacrifice much more than she bargained for in order to finally see Snow’s evil reign brought to an end.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is in fact the best kind of thrill ride you would hope to find in such an action-packed popcorn flick, but only once it stops retreading the contemplative slow-burn territory that the previous film so tirelessly covered. The finale’s most conspicuous problems are (still) inherent in the decision to split up the final book between two movies, which individually feel like two drawn-out halves of a whole. As Mockingjay – Part 1 focused on a dialogue-heavy, uncertainty-laden setup building towards an expectedly massive battle, the fact that we find much of the same “What should we do?” banter still so predominate in the first half of Mockingjay – Part 2 becomes frustrating — even for viewers like myself who have read and thoroughly enjoyed Collins’ divisive final book in the series. There are only so many empowering speeches and introspective exchanges that you can tolerate before you want to shout, “Just get on with it!”
To its credit, the story spanning across the two Mockingjay films is not a mind-numbing extension of a thin narrative yarn. Rather, it just spends a bit too much time focusing on what we have already established when it could have very easily left the more repetitive scenes on the cutting room floor, such as Katniss meeting with Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in his final role) more than once. Additionally, screenwriters Danny Strong and Peter Craig questionably retain some of the book’s more on-the-nose dialogue that spells out the state of the Katniss-Peeta-Gale love triangle a bit too obviously. Such moments don’t feel nearly as silly in the novel, but in the midst of the dismal tone that ultimately overtakes the film, they just don’t translate well to screen. Luckily, these moments are brief and are not the focal point of the film, which ultimately does Mockingjay – Part 2 and the character of Katniss a great service.
Once the action really gets going, Lawrence’s film consistently delivers. His directorial approach to the action sequences is gritty and unforgiving, capturing some of the more war-like battles scenes with commendable skill. The most notable of these is a thrilling chase sequence involving monstrously engineered “mutations” pursuing the rebels through an underground tunnel system. The front-lines camerawork in this section is effectively disorienting in the rebels’ race for survival, and the intensely suspenseful scene solidifies the unapologetically dark tone of the film as two notable characters meet tragic deaths quickly and mercilessly. I would have loved to see more sequences like this and those in which the group encounters the deadly pods throughout the city.
While the promise of an action-packed final battle may draw many in to Mockingjay – Part 2, the strongest aspect of the film lies in the decidedly grim and subdued direction its final act takes. This is a great credit to Strong and Craig, who wisely do not veer from Collins’ heartrending turns of plot that culminate in Katniss finally facing President Snow, once again chillingly portrayed by Sutherland as a relentless despot whose humanity has decayed as much as his health. Jennifer Lawrence shines once again as Katniss, who faces an inescapable, isolating darkness that she eventually accepts as a part of life in a world that has long been collapsing around her. In the film’s more emotionally raw scenes — like one in which she returns to her war-torn home and encounters her family cat — the actress is moving in her conveyance of exhaustion and heartache. The story’s final outcome may surprise many viewers who are not familiar with the books, as it makes very bold moves for a young adult series in regard to how it approaches survival, power, and the ways in which people are scarred by tragedy.
Conclusively, it’s difficult not to dwell on how much the decision to split the final book ultimately hampers would could have likely been an exhilarating single-film conclusion, as opposed to two solidly decent, if not occasionally uneven, efforts. In any case, viewers who walk into theaters with their franchise fandom intact are certain to leave feeling satisfied, as Lawrence’s faithful adaptation brings Collins’ final chapter to a satisfyingly dystopian realization. As big time Hollywood blockbusters go, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 does succeed in the end by solidifying the series’ more provocative attributes in way that is ultimately quite refreshing, as opposed to watering them down with syrupy romance or attaching to them an incongruously buoyant sense of closure. If unsuspecting audiences who are not aware of how the journey ends feel notably despondent as the final credits roll, the film will have most definitely succeeded as a work far more significant in its intentions that most would give it credit for.
Edited by Andy Cox
Published by TTA Press
Backed up by some seriously freaky photo-realistic artwork by Joachim Luetke, Jeffrey Thomas’ Distinguished Mole kicks off the fiction in issue 48 of Black Static. Telling the tale of Dr. Bendo Tin, a skilled physician passing his days in a Far Eastern health centre and lamenting the consistent lack of respect and recognition that his work receives, Thomas’ story takes us on an icky ride into existentially-tinged body horror.
Resentful of treatment by his peers, Dr. Tin decides that what he really needs is an impressive mole on his face – a cultural sign of mental and spiritual wisdom gauged by the size of the mole and the hairs that grow from it. Chance comes in the form of a mortally wounded monk who is wheeled into the operating theatre – sporting a gloriously distinguished growth on his chin.
Utilising his scientific know-how, Dr. Tin creates a tonic of sorts using cells from the monk’s mole… but he is in no way prepared for the surprisingly gruesome results.
Distinguished Mole is a speedy and very easy to enjoy nugget of body horror which takes a pleasantly unforeseen detour into a little bit of existential exploration for the final stretch. Most striking about it is the sense of place, which Thomas admirably creates not through focus on physical description or geographical details, but rather the cultural and local social attitudes revealed by his protagonist’s thoughts and character interaction.
Stephen Bacon’s Bandersnatch is up next. Our narrator, Lawrence, is currently in the midst of a pleasant walk alongside his sister, Michelle. Having just been reunited after a decade apart – owing to the death of their mother – the both of them find themselves working back into the familial groove.
Lawrence gets on just swell with Michelle’s dog, Roscoe… but not so much with her boyfriend, Scott. And let’s just say that Scott’s worries aren’t unfounded. Lawrence is one seriously twisted piece of work – a fact that Bacon gradually lays out for all to see, with excruciating inevitability that’s as calculated as his narrator’s grim intent.
Bandersnatch is uncomfortable stuff. Black as night and superbly unfolded throughout its short length, this is well-tuned human horror that will make you squirm.
In The Suffering, author Steven J. Dines introduces us to his narrator, Julia, a bereaved mother tortured by not only the memories of her beloved daughter’s death but by regular visions of her. As Julia sits nightly and looks from the window of her home, slicing and eating apples, she witnesses her young daughter run for her life – or afterlife, as it may be – from a demonic entity that stalks her though the woods behind the house.
The Suffering feels incredibly personal – reeking with an authentic sense of grief that works on one hand, but tends to drag the proceedings into something of a dirge on the other. The sense of hopelessness seems exactly the point, however, and Dines’ imagery is top notch, including a fearsome-feeling antagonist in the form of the creature – an otherworldly construct of rotting flora and fauna.
Up next, Andrew Hook’s Blood for your Mother is a lovingly old-school kind of family-ties shocker that keeps its revelatory punch for the finish. In it, Miriam Hubbard returns to the home of her all-but-estranged elderly parents in order to care for her father on what appears to be his deathbed.
Struggling with her inability to properly take care of the frail old man – owing to her own commitments elsewhere in life, and the refusal of the social services to intervene without her father’s permission – Miriam discovers a horrible truth about what’s going on beneath the roof of her old home.
And it’s a cracker. Consistently intriguing, all the way to the eye-widening finale, Blood for your Mother feels straight from Tales from the Crypt and would make for an excellent candidate for short film adaptation.
The lengthiest entry in this issue, Cate Garnder’s When the Moon Man Knocks rounds out the fiction with its fantastical approach to grief. Here, recently widowed Olive finds her life turned upside down when she gets an unsolicited phone call from Hector Wynter – The Moon Man – who wants to deliver her a particularly strange bit of news: that the dead live on the Moon, speaking to him by way of messages written on origami birds… and Olive’s deceased husband, Ben, has a message for her.
It’s certainly an inventive premise, and Gardner builds the drama admirably with the introduction of another woman with whom Ben may have been having an affair – putting the two ladies and Hector at a triangle of loggerheads whilst the supernatural tension also grows. With paper birds suddenly being received by all of them, and the actions of said birds becoming ever more autonomous and forceful, everything seems to be building to more threatening intent than Ben’s initial messages proffered.
Unfortunately Gardner does take a little too long building up to the final bombastic set-piece, so that When the Moon Man Knocks often threatens to lose its grip amidst the meandering dramatic threads. The author’s presentations of Olive’s grief and the confusion and denial that accompany the revelation of infidelity are well rounded and authentic, however, and manage to provide a solid anchor through to the darkly poetic finish.
Elsewhere this issue we have the usual wealth of film and book reviews to help you fill up your “to buy” list, along with a great Q&A with author Simon Kurt Unsworth, and columnists Stephen Volk and Lynda E. Rucker continue to uphold their usual high standards – the former assuredly tackling the advance of technology and hyper-reality bleed of film at once via the themes of classic sci-fi thriller Westworld.
All in all, here’s yet another excellent issue for Black Static. The threaded theme of grief and familial fracture makes it a heavy one… but it’s more than worth inviting the darkness in.
I cannot remember a time when horror was more prevalent on TV than it is right now, and we’re all the better for it. Another genre show is on its way as Deadline is reporting that Fox has put in development “Haunted,” a horror drama series written, executive produced, and directed by The Devil Inside co-writer/director William Brent Bell and executive produced by Chris Morgan.
Loosely based on the Bob Cranmer book The Demon of Brownsville Road, “Haunted” is described as a chilling horror series about a military agent who is partnered with her ex-boyfriend, now a rogue demonologist, to help a family overcome a deadly demonic infestation of their home.
The season-long case investigates the true story of one the most haunted houses in America. The believer-vs.-nonbeliever duo, by solving the mystery of the present, will solve the mystery of their damaged past. At its core the series will explore the age-old question, “Is evil real?”
Ainsley Davies also executive produces, while Lisa Arianna serves as a producer. 20th Century Fox TV, where Morgan is based, is the studio.
Fox has just dropped a trio of new posters for “The X-Files” on us, and they may very well be our favorite of the bunch thus far! Check ’em out!
“The X-Files” returns to Fox with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, January 24, 2016 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT), following the NFC Championship Game, and continuing with its time period premiere on Monday, January 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their iconic roles as Agent Fox Mulder and Agent Dana Scully in a mixture of stand-alone investigative episodes and those that further the original show’s seminal mythology. In the opening episode, Mulder and Scully take on a case of a possible alien abductee.
The all-new episodes will feature appearances by guest stars including Joel McHale (“Community”), Robbie Amell (“The Flash”), Lauren Ambrose (“Dig,” “Six Feet Under”), Annabeth Gish (“The Bridge”), Annet Mahendru (“The Americans”), Rhys Darby (“Flight of the Conchords”), Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”), and William B. Davis, who reprises his role as “Cigarette Smoking Man.” Three of the episodes are written and directed by Chris Carter, with the remaining new episodes written and directed by original series veterans Glen Morgan, Darin Morgan, and James Wong.
“The X-Files” originally premiered in September 1993. Over the course of its nine-season run, the influential series went from breakout sci-fi favorite to massive global hit and became one of the most successful television dramas of all time. The show, which earned sixteen Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes, and a Peabody Award, follows FBI special agents Scully (Anderson) and Mulder (Duchovny) as they investigate unexplained cases – “X-Files” – for which the only answers involve paranormal phenomena. “The X-Files” is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Ten Thirteen Productions. Carter is executive producer and creator of the series. Glen Morgan also serves as an executive producer.
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As fall turns to winter, it is time to turn our attention to the great horror films that have successfully incorporated the chill of the season. While weather is a seemingly unimportant aspect of a film, these movies manage to take advantage of how cold, desolate, and frightening the winter can be… especially in a horror film.
10. Silent Night Deadly Night (1984):
Directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr., this Christmas-themed horror movie created such controversy that Tri-Star Pictures pulled it from theaters days after it was released. Thankfully for all of us horror fans, it would eventually be re-released. It tells the story of a young boy who was institutionalized after witnessing the brutal murder of his parents by a man in a Santa outfit. In a serious lapse of judgment, he is released as an adult… at Christmastime. Donning a Santa outfit, he decides to let his freak flag fly and exact revenge on anyone and everyone during the most joyous time of year. The movie offended the PTA and a number of other religious organizations, resulting in the picketing and letter writing that eventually got the movie pulled from theaters. Of course, all that negative attention only served to make it even more popular… forever giving it cult status among horror fans.
9. 30 Days of Night (2007):
Horror fans either love or hate this vampire movie set in Barrow, Alaska. Directed by David Slade, the film capitalizes on the lore that says sunlight kills vampires. Since Barrow, Alaska, is about to experience a 30-day “polar night,” it becomes a target for a clan of vampires, who descend with a vengeance. Isolated and unable to signal for help, the townspeople of Barrow must fight for their lives… for the next 30 days. Plus, with all the snow in this movie, it will definitely put you in the mood for the holidays!
8. Dead Snow (2009):
Tommy Wirkola directed this Nazi zombie flick about a group of students that have to battle the undead in the mountains of Norway. Based on Scandinavian folklore that says the dead will rise to protect their treasures, the undead in this film are Nazis who are out to protect items that were never theirs to begin with. This film became a hit with many horror fans and seems to show that whatever is going on in Scandinavian countries, it seems like they have a knack for making great horror.
MORE Frostbitten Flicks on the NEXT page!
Our friends at Crypt TV have released a new One Minute Horror short film (although in this case it’s more like a minute and a half). Entitled Krampus Is Here, the film is “inspired by Krampus,” the new feature film which is heading our way on December 4th from Michael Dougherty.
Krampus Is Here is directed by John Ross, who also helmed The Thing in the Apartment (review).
Episodes are released several times a month and can only be found on Crypt TV’s Facebook page. One Minute Horror may be short in duration but is versatile in the different types of horror portrayed from week to week. From monsters to scares to thrills, One Minute Horror is designed to be easy to devour and geared to be watched multiple times.
Halloween may be over, but Krampus is coming… in fact, he’s HERE!
ONE MINUTE HORROR: Krampus is HereHalloween is over… but Krampus is coming.
Posted by Crypt TV on Thursday, November 19, 2015
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If you’re like most horror fans, you probably have a basic, possibly advanced, plan in mind in the extremely unlikely situation that a zombie apocalypse takes place. You know where to get food and supplies, you can rattle off a few places that offer protection and there’s at least one or two places that will provide you with weapons. Zombies don’t stand a chance, not with you and what you have in mind!
But wait a minute! What about your vehicle? Do you have the right wheels in order to survive? Is your car a gas guzzler? Does it have enough space to carry your gear? Can you trick it out with defensive and, if possible, offensive gear?
Below is an infographic that goes over several different kinds of cars and vehicles as well as rating them based upon several criteria. Looking at it, do you think you and your car stand a chance when faced with a horde of the undead? Or are you going to end up a zombie yourself?
Just a couple of weeks ago, we about Fox’s plans to team up with Al Ahli Holding Group to create a series of themed attractions at a new amusement park that will open in Dubai in 2018. Now it looks like AMC’s “The Walking Dead” will be getting an attraction of its own according to Slash Film.
Dubbed “The Walking Dead: Battle For Survival“, the announcement came via the 2015 edition of International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. According to the site, the ride is fully designed and ready to go. All that’s holding it back is a buyer and a home for it to shuffle into. So if you were getting excited to act out your inner Glenn, looks like you’re gonna have to wait a while. However, considering how massively popular the series is, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t picked up in the near future.
Two photos and a video of the ride can be seen below.
— Chandler Desrochers (@ChandlerD8113) November 17, 2015
The Aokigahara Forest (青木ヶ原, also known as the Suicide Forest or the Sea of Trees) is the perfect setting for a horror film given the horrors that have taken place there. There have been several features which took place in the location, and right now we have what’s being called a digital one-sheet for the next one, which is simply entitled The Forest.
Starring Natalie Dormer (“Game of Thrones,” The Hunger Games), Taylor Kinney (“Chicago Fire”), Eoin Macken (The Night Shift), and Yukiyoshi Ozawa, director Jason Zada’s The Forest hits theaters nationwide from Gramercy Pictures on January 8th. Dig on the image along with a new trailer below.
Rising with terrifying grandeur at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan, the legendary real-life Aokigahara Forest is the suspense-filled setting of the supernatural thriller. A young American woman, Sara (Natalie Dormer), journeys there in search of her twin sister, who has mysteriously disappeared. In the company of expatriate Aiden (Taylor Kinney), Sara enters the forest having been well warned to “stay on the path.” Determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate, Sara will have to face the angry and tormented souls of the dead that prey on anyone who dares come near them. These malevolent spirits lying in wait for Sara at every turn will plunge her into a frightening darkness from which she must fight to save herself.
The post New Digital One-Sheet and Trailer Take You Into The Forest appeared first on Dread Central.
We have such sights to show you… Dread Central has joined forces with the Who Goes There Podcast to bring Frights & Pints Horror Movie Night to The Ugly Dog Pub in sunny (and hot as HELL) San Diego! Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean the nightmares just go away.
Join us on Blackest Saturday for the fun, drink many beers, meet other horror fans, and maybe win yourself some cool horror goodies! Please share this event with everyone you know! It’s FREE!
The event will bring with it a special screening of 1982 classic The Thing! That’s right, one of our favorite films and the story the podcasters named their show after! Not to mention that it’s also one of the best displays of practical effects ever put to film and shows off Kurt Russell’s ability to grow a wicked beard!
Bring your friends and drink away all of your holiday angst!
Start spreading the word and join us Saturday, November 28, 2015, at 8PM PT!
The Ugly Dog Pub San Diego
6344 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, California 92115
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Fox has annoucned that they are developing an exorcism-themed show titled Haunted, which is based off the Bob Cramner book “The Demon of Brownsville Road”, according to TV Line. The Devil Inside‘s Brent Bell will be writing and directing.
Per the site:
The project centers on a military agent who is partnered with her ex-boyfriend, now a rogue demonologist, to help a family overcome a deadly demonic infestation of their home. The season-long case investigates the true story of one the most haunted houses in America. The believer vs. nonbeliever duo, by solving the mystery of the present, will solve the mystery of their damaged past. At its core the series will explore the age-old question, “Is evil real?”
Cramner’s book came out in August last year and is an autobiographical tale of the struggles he and his family had upon moving into a house that began experiencing, “…strange phenomena“.
The synopsis explains that they experienced, “…objects moving on their own, ghostly footsteps, unsettling moaning sounds…that gradually increased in violence, escalating to physical assaults and, most disturbingly, bleeding walls. Bob, Lesa, and their four children were under attack from a malicious demon that was conjuring up terrifying manifestations to destroy their tight-knit household. They had two choices: leave or draw on their unwavering faith to exorcise the malicious fiend who haunted their home.“
Remember, stay on the path…
A haunting new one-sheet and trailer have been released for The Forest starring “Games of Thrones” fav Natalie Dormer, who ends up at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan where the legendary real-life Aokigahara Forest is the setting of this supernatural thriller.
In The Forest, “A young American woman, Sara (Dormer), journeys there in search of her twin sister, who has mysteriously disappeared. In the company of expatriate Aiden (Kinney), Sara enters the forest having been well warned to ‘stay on the path.’ Determined to discover the truth about her sister’s fate, Sara will have to face the angry and tormented souls of the dead that prey on anyone who dares come near them. These malevolent spirits lying in wait for Sara at every turn will plunge her into a frightening darkness from which she must fight to save herself.”
In theaters January 8th, 2016 via Gramercy Pictures, The Forest is based on an idea by David S. Goyer.
Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Eoin Macken and Yukiyoshi Ozawa all star.
Well, shoot. It seems as if the Silent Hill-esque psychological horror game Ashen Falls has gone the way of its inspiration. The duo behind it made the announcement today in a post on the game’s Facebook page, which is still plastered with the incredibly imaginative concept art that left quite an impression earlier this year.
Hi everyone. It’s been awhile since our last update and I’m sorry to say this is not the update we wanted to share with you.
We’ve been quietly trying to see if we could make Ashen Falls happen over the last couple of months. We, Gilles and David, have also been working various contracts so we would able to finance the prototype. However, we’ve come to a point where we have to make a huge investment of time and money to do Ashen Falls right. Unfortunately we’re not able to do that at the moment and it means that we have to put the development on hold.
It really breaks our heart to have to do this, Ashen Falls is very special and dear to us and I hope there will be a way in the future to continue with it, but for now we will have to focus on other things.
We want to thank you all so much for the support, likes, messages, and comments. Your encouragement was the reason we gathered the confidence to even try.
Gilles and David
I sincerely hope that Gilles and David are able to find a way to make it happen. This concept art is far too stunning to leave its potential untapped.
If a horror movie was released in the ’80s and it hasn’t yet been remade, then it’s either completely irrelevant or someone just hasn’t gotten around to it yet. Steve Miner’s House, which hit theaters in 1986, is a favorite among fans, so it comes as no big surprise that it’s up on the chopping block.
In an exclusive interview with Fangoria, House producer Sean S. Cunningham (Friday the 13th) spoke about a modern day take on the horror-comedy gem, revealing that he’s currently developing a remake. Only he doesn’t quite call it a remake because some big changes are being made.
“I’m doing it right now. We are deeply in development,” Cunningham told Fangoria after accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award at the New York Horror Film Festival. “We worked on [a new] HOUSE about four or five years ago and determined that the structure of [the original] is extremely strong and that just remaking it in modern times wasn’t going to improve it and wasn’t going to change it. It would have to be rethought, and there had to be a really good reason to do it.”
“Recently we came up with—and it sounds so obvious—what if we made a gender switch, so that it’s not a man in the house?” Cunningham continued. “Although they’re not involved, imagine HOUSE starring Kristen Wiig or Melissa McCarthy. It wouldn’t be either one of them… well, it could; I mean, that’s a dream. But suddenly we realized, oh wait, then everything would have to adjust. And also, if we did it that way, it would bring back the fun that HOUSE had. So that’s the direction I’m committed to going in. I would love to make that movie, and I hope to be able to keep all the elements of the personal story from the Bill Katt version and still have it be fun.”
Good idea? Terrible idea? Sound off below!
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Described as a visually spectacular drama, Focus Features has set The Orphanage director Juan Antonio Bayona’s A Monster Calls for release on October 14, 2016.
Based on the award-winning children’s fantasy novel, “12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) attempts to deal with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith.”
Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Liam Neeson, and Sigourney Weaver all star.
Bloody Disgusting has the film’s first official trailer to go along with the teaser trailer that’s dictated like a horrific nursery rhyme. I’m excited to see what this “world” looks like!
One of three new one-sheets from Fox’s “The X-Files” revival harks all the way back to the 1993 premiere of the series in which Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) has an “I want to believe” UFO poster hanging on his office wall.
Now, Fox releases a new poster that validates his beliefs, 20 years later, stating “I still want to believe.”
There are two other gems, one of an eye with an “X” in it that’s insanely creepy.
“The X-Files” revival airs on FOX January 24th, 2016.
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as Mulder and Scully, respectively, with the iconic Cigarette-Smoking Man (William B. Davis) once again playing a major role.
Joel McHale stars as Tad O’Malley, a conservative news anchor who becomes an unlikely ally for Fox Mulder.
The presumed dead Lone Gunmen – played by Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood – are set to return for an undisclosed arc. Robbie Amell (“The Flash”) and Lauren Ambrose (Psycho Beach Party) signed on as Agent Miller and Agent Einstein, respectively.
The all-new episodes will feature appearances by guest stars, including Joel McHale (“Community”), Annabeth Gish (“The Bridge”), Annet Mahendru (“The Americans”), Rhys Darby (“Flight of the Conchords”), and Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”).
Mitch Pileggi returns as FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner in the new short-stack order of 6-episodes.
Three of the episodes are written and directed by Chris Carter, with the remaining new episodes written and directed by original series veterans Glen Morgan, Darin Morgan and James Wong.