Deathgasm writer/director Jason Lei Howden is convinced that he’s created “…the most heavy metal horror movie ever made.” However, that’s not arrogance talking. Rather, that’s a challenge to filmmakers to see what they can bring to the table. After all, in how own words, “…it’s a horror genre that deserves a revival.”
Below we’ve got an exclusive interview with Howden about the movie and how it’s been sweeping the world, utilizing a fantastic blend of horror, comedy, and REAL heavy metal.
Both Brad and Patrick loved the movie, the latter calling it, “…the Party Movie of 2015!” Having seen it myself, I can assure you that’s 100% true! Gather your friends, grab a pack of cold ones, and get ready for a movie that had me laughing and cheering along!
Deathgasm hits U.S. cinemas on October 2, 2015 from Dark Sky Films.
This may very well be the ultimate heavy metal horror film! Was that your intention from the start or was there something else in mind when you began writing ‘Deathgasm’?
I’ve always been a little disappointed by the lack of decent Heavy Metal horror movies. I love Trick Or Treat and a few others, but the falloff in quality from there is pretty steep. And many of the 80’s films contain soundtracks that are classified as more ‘Rock N’ Roll’ than pure ‘Heavy Metal’.
So I set out to create a movie which was fun, gory as hell and featured REAL Metal: Brutal Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Black Metal, Doom Metal. But the Metal had to not only be in the soundtrack, but part of the story. It’s the catalyst for the films conflict and the tool which the protagonists use to save the day.
I do believe that it’s the most METAL Heavy Metal Horror movie ever made and I look forward to seeing someone try and top it, because it’s a horror genre that deserves a revival.
Metal and horror have long been bedfellows, with each taking inspiration from the other. What do you think about these two genres make them so compatible?
The imagery, tone and themes are all very similar. You could take any Morbid Angel or Slayer track and make a kickass horror movie out of it.
I think Metal has always been influenced by Horror movies. Even the very first Metal band Black Sabbath named themselves after a Mario Bava movie. The darker horror imagery and lyrics separated them from bands like say, Led Zeppelin.
It goes the other way to a certain extent. From Dario Argento’s Phenomena playing Iron Maiden during the murder scenes, to 90s teen slashers featuring Nu-Metal OST’s.
Maybe what Heavy Metal and Horror fans share is a taste for something extreme, to experience something challenging, violent and disturbing and be changed by it. Both are cathartic art forms which let you confront and purge yourself of fears and anger in a safe, healthy, and in Deathgasm’s case, hilarious way.
The movie is, in my opinion, an absolute blast! It’s the kind of movie that makes me love watching movies! At what point, if ever, did you think to yourself that you had something really special on your hands?
At the SXSW premiere earlier this year, because before that only four or five people had ever watched it. I just didn’t know how anyone was going to react. And then after the screening the Bloody Disgusting review came in, which was one of the first. We got 4/5 stars!
It blew my mind, because I’m on the site every day and I know the reviews can be pretty blunt and to the point. But it snowballed from there, and the feedback in horror circles has been really amazing.
The biggest thing though was getting positive feedback from the Metal community, because Metal characters have been done terribly for so long. I didn’t want people to think I was taking the piss out of the music fans, our characters are Metal heroes being badass and saving the world. So when Metalheads come up to me and say I nailed the characters, and the soundtrack is awesome, that makes me really proud.
The movie ends with the possibility of a sequel. Is that something you’re entertaining or do you think ‘Deathgasm’ should be its own beast?
I just received a small grant from the Writers Guild to write Deathgasm 2, so there will be a script at least. I can’t reveal too much at this point but there are some really fun directions I’m planning to take it. I have a trilogy in mind, and a comic book series which I’m currently working on also.
But we need people to go out there and support Deathgasm to make it happen. So trve fans of Horror and Metal need to go out there and watch it in cinemas, VOD, buy some merch or DVDs, just to show the suits there is demand for more awesomeness. Otherwise you are dooming us all to a world of Oscar bait and more Fantastic Four sequels.
Clearly only a metalhead could write something like this. What are some of your favorite metal bands?
I love bands from all Metal genres, I’m not a purist in that respect. But just checking my ‘recently played’ in the last week I’ve cranked The Black Dahlia Murder, Slayer, Ghost, Merciful Fate, Iron Maiden, Bulletbelt, Danzig, Kadavar, Rammstein, Cattle Decapitation, Taylor Swift, Sinister, and Gorgoroth.
What do you feel are some of the most “horror” metal tracks out there?
Cannibal Corpse’s Hammer Smashed face is amazingly gory and horrific.
Lyrics like: “The sledge my tool to torture, As it pounds down on your forehead. Eyes bulging from their sockets, With every swing of my mallet” sound like they were written by Leatherface.
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath has that classic old-school-satanic-horror vibe, I can just see the black cloaks and ceremonial daggers when I listen to it.
Slayer’s ode to Ed Gein “Dead Skin Mask” still creeps me the hell out whenever I hear it. And King Diamond’s ‘Welcome Home’ is a standout on the already unsettling concept album ‘Them’.
Fans of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser have been waiting for a really proper Blu-ray release for quite sometime. If you’re one of those fine folks the good guys over at Arrow Video have some excellent news for you! We’ve known for a while now that Arrow has had plans to release what they’re calling Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box Limited Edition Trilogy. This release is scheduled for October 26, 2015. We now have the full details and the artwork and it all looks oh so very glorious. I thought Arrow’s upcoming Deep Red set was as good as it gets, but Arrow looks to already be topping that. Check out all the features as well as pictures of the set below! You can pre-order the set now from Arrow!
4-DISC LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
•Brand new 2K restorations of Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
•Uncompressed PCM Stereo 2.0 and Lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound for Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II
•Lossless DTS-HD MA 2.0 sound for Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
•English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for all three films
•Limited Edition bonus disc
•Exclusive 200-page hardback book with new writing from Clive Barker archivists Phil and Sarah Stokes
•20-page booklet featuring never-before-seen original Hellraiser concept art
•Limited Edition packaging with new artwork from Gilles Vranckx
•Set of 5 exclusive art cards
•Fold-out reversible poster
DISC 1 – HELLRAISER:
•Brand new 2K restoration approved by director of photography Robin Vidgeon
•Audio commentary with writer/director Clive Barker
•Audio commentary with Barker and actress Ashley Laurence
•Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser – brand new version of the definitive documentary on the making of Hellraiser, featuring interviews with key cast and crew members
•Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellraiser – actor Sean Chapman talks candidly about playing the character of Frank Cotton in Barker’s original
•Soundtrack Hell: The Story of the Abandoned Coil Score – Coil member Stephen Thrower on the Hellraiser score that almost was
•Hellraiser: Resurrection – vintage featurette including interviews with Clive Barker, actors Doug Bradley and Ashley Laurence, special make-up effects artist Bob Keen and others
•Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser
•Original EPK featuring on-set interviews with cast and crew
•Draft Screenplays [BD-ROM content]
•Trailers and TV Spots
DISC 2 – HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II:
•Brand new 2K restoration approved by director of photography Robin Vidgeon
•Audio Commentary with director Tony Randel and writer Peter Atkins
•Audio Commentary with Randel, Atkins and actress Ashley Laurence
•Leviathan: The Story of Hellbound: Hellraiser II – brand new version of the definitive documentary on the making of Hellbound, featuring interviews with key cast and crew members
•Being Frank: Sean Chapman on Hellbound – actor Sean Chapman talks about reprising the role of Frank Cotton in the first Hellraiser sequel
•Surgeon Scene – the home video world premiere of this legendary, never before-seen excised sequence from Hellbound, sourced from a VHS workprint
•Lost in the Labyrinth – vintage featurette including interviews with Barker, Randel, Keen, Atkins and others
•Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellbound: Hellraiser II
•On-set interview with Clive Barker
•On-set interviews with cast and crew
•Rare and unseen storyboards
•Draft Screenplay [BD-ROM content]
•Trailers and TV Spots
DISC 3 – HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH:
•Brand new 2K restoration of the Original Theatrical Version [93 mins]
•Alternate Unrated Version [97 mins]
•Brand new audio commentary with writer Peter Atkins
•Audio commentary with director Anthony Hickox and Doug Bradley
•Hell on Earth: The Story of Hellraiser III – making-of documentary featuring interviews with Atkins, Keen and actor Ken Carpenter
•Terri’s Tales – brand new interview with actress Paula Marshall
•Under the Skin: Doug Bradley on Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
•Raising Hell on Earth – archival interview with Hickox
•On-set interviews with Barker and Bradley
•Never-before-seen Hellraiser III SFX dailies
•Hellraiser III comic book adaptation [Disc gallery]
DISC 4 – THE CLIVE BARKER LEGACY – LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE:
•Clive Barker short films Salomé and The Forbidden
•Books of Blood & Beyond: The Literary Works of Clive Barker – horror author David Gatward provides a tour through Barker’s written work, from the first Books of Blood to the recent The Scarlet Gospels
•Hellraiser: Evolutions – a brand new documentary looking at the evolution of the hit horror franchise and its enduring legacy, featuring interviews with Scott Derrickson (director, Hellraiser: Inferno), Rick Bota (director, Hellraiser: Hellseeker, Deader and Hellworld), Stuart Gordon (director, Re-Animator, From Beyond) and others
•The Hellraiser Chronicles: A Question of Faith – short film
200-PAGE BOOK – ‘DAMNATION GAMES’ – LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE:
•Exclusive 200-page hardback book with new writing on Hellraiser and the Barker universe from Barker archivists Phil and Sarah Stokes – including chapters looking at Barker’s early work, the genesis and production of the first 3 films in the Hellraiser series and much more, all illustrated with stills and rare material from the Barker archive
With the Jack Black Goosebumps film right around the corner, this news should come as no surprise. On October 14th, 2015 Via Vision Entertainment out of Australia will be releasing all 68 episodes of the 90’s Goosebumps television show on one 12-disc DVD set. No word yet on whether or not the series will be getting this kind of treatment in the US, but it’s good to know there are options out there. This looks to be Region 4 so you would need to have an all region player to watch this set. Currently you can pre-order the set from JB Hi-Fi for $89.98 AUD which is roughly $63.00 USD, which means you’d be paying less than a dollar per episode. Not too shabby.
Premiering in 1995 Goosebumps became the highest rating children’s TV show for three straight years in the United States. It was eventually broadcast in over 100 countries including Australia. With book sales eclipsing 300 million, the TV show brings to life popular titles in the series such as The Haunted Mask and Cuckoo Clock of Doom. Starring Kathryn Short as Sabrina Mason and Cody Jones as Noah Caldwell with RL Stine appearing as the host, Goosebumps uses its anthology format to tell tall tales of comic book masked mutants coming to life, spectre haunted auditoriums, eerie forsaken beach caves, modern parables of cursed genies granting three wishes, midnight scarecrows, totalitarian reality police and revenge plans for school bullies gone awry.
“On Halloween, nothing’s as it seems.”
Anthology horror is more popular right now than a loose cheerleader at a haunted sleepaway camp. Between the nearly annual installments from the V/H/S and ABCs of Death series, the format has also proven to be very successful on television, where programming like American Horror Story, Fargo, and True Detective is beginning to dominate. As powerful as these bite-sized pieces of horror can be, with each passing anthology there’s admittedly less ground to cover (and less “big” directors to tap) and it’s easier for the collections to blend into the background. Tales of Halloween succeeds on a lot of levels, and a few of these stories are even great additions to your seasonal viewing, but as a whole the film struggles to feel like something essential.
Tales of Halloween presents the idea that all of these stories are occurring during the same Halloween night with there being some connective tissue and overlap between the stories, but honestly, they all still feel pretty isolated. There are devices like a radio station that acts as a flimsy narrator as it pops in and out of these segments trying to segue them together, and the same horror marathon playing on the TV of several characters, but it’s pretty fruitless.
There are ten stories culled together here with the quality being all over the place, but the majority of them are on the more competent side of things. David Parker’s “Sweet Tooth” and Axelle Carolyn’s “Grim Grinning Ghost” both tackle the topic of urban legends and Halloween boogeymen to success. “Sweet Tooth” looks at a ghoul of the same name, who used to be a poor child whose miserable parents never let him eat any of his Halloween candy. In time the boy learns what his parents have been doing with his candy, with the results being fairly horrifying and almost as sickening as what the child does to get back at them. Accordingly the legend of this candy-craving monster is born, and the Sweet Tooth lore is actually a pretty inventive modern boogeyman to inject into the holiday amongst the rest of the familiar haunts (pun very much intended) that the film gets into. A ghost that rips out your intestines to get to your candy is a great idea, and Parker has plenty of chilling visuals to make this story work beyond the messed up concept.
Carolyn’s segment presents a Bloody Mary-type figure in the form of Mary Bailey, a disfigured girl who was bullied her entire life. “Grim Grinning Ghost” deals more in atmosphere and appropriately feels more like a ghost story. There are some haunting images as the heroine wanders the streets alone, almost looking like Eva Green from out of Penny Dreadful. At other times shots feel like they’re right out of It Follows as Mary Bailey’s figure dips into frame, and the image of the enlarged shadows of Mary Bailey’s hands closing in on her as she comes home is beautiful. It’s certainly a case of style over substance though, and in spite of the razor-thin story, Carolyn does much with it. This honestly feels like one of the stories that could have benefitted from being longer. “Grim Grinning Ghost” seems to just be starting by the time it ends, and its short run time only highlights the concept’s thinness.
Neil Marshall was one of the two directors here that I was particularly excited about. The Descent is a straight up masterpiece, and the work he did on the third season of Hannibal is breathtaking stuff. Unsurprisingly, right from the start of “Bad Seed” Marshall makes an impression by getting some mileage out of the disgusting visual and sound design of carving pumpkins. We see them continually getting gutted, their death rattle a sickening squish as the blade goes in and out, almost as if these pumpkins were human bodies. Marshall knows how to establish atmosphere, and this, paired with the Carpenter-esque score is the perfect introduction to this world.
Marshall swings for the fences here by telling a story about killer jack o’lanterns without trying to make any sense out of it. He’s certainly capable of sophisticated horror, so to see him tackling something with such a campy edge to it–in spite of it still being so horrifying–is a great mix. There’s plenty of bonkers stuff going on here like watching police officers manhandle the serrated flaps of flesh from where the jack o’lanterns ate the heads of people, or the visual of a police officer pointing her gun at a bunch of inanimate jack o’lanterns, concerned that one might come to life on her. I’d also like to think the Clover Company who’s behind all of this might be a sly reference to the Silver Shamrock and their similar motives in Halloween III, and if that’s the case, some tremendous respect is due here.
These shorts certainly get the job done, but there are also a few segments that go above and beyond and could truly stand as inspired pieces of short-form horror on their own. Adam Gierasch’s “Trick” is incredibly simple as a bunch of stoners watching horror movies get victimized by a cabal of children. There’s something powerful in the complete randomness of the violence here, strengthened by the young perpetrators of it. In that sense “Trick” seems to be trying to say something about the nature of such violence and the corruption of youth, especially since we’re shown images from the horror film they were watching in juxtaposition with their real-life carnage. Gierasch is sure to shoot the hell out of the short (he might even over-shoot the thing), but it adds a sweeping chaos that adds to the sheer horror of what these children are doing. It feels deeply reminiscent of the French horror film, Ils (Them), which is never not a good thing, and it’s appreciated to see the director going for broke, never really holding back on the brutality of it all.
Mike Mendez’s “Friday the 31st” goes in completely the opposite direction with its storytelling, but is just as compelling. You’re immediately thrown into the climax of some slasher film where our resident machete-wielding maniac lumbers after a Final Girl. Things proceed as you’d imagine as you essentially see the end of a horror film that you didn’t see the beginning of, but then all of a sudden a very magical thing happens. Instead of the piece ending, the Leatherface-like killer then gets invaded by aliens who are looking to get their trick or treat on. Of course this quickly balloons into a full-blown extra-terrestrial invasion. “Friday the 31st” is a modern, inventive idea that looks great to boot, and it’s got a real sense of playfulness (in the right way) that the bulk of the other contributions are lacking.
The segment I was most taken with though was Lucky McKee’s “Ding Dong.” McKee was the other director (besides Marshall) that I was looking forward to in the film, and his effective short explores a couple mourning over the loss of their child. There’s some nice work going on where the wife’s abusive actions towards her husband are depicted by him seeing her as a demon. It’s terrifying stuff and a great way of representing trauma and loss in a visual way. McKee’s segment turns into a bizarre performance piece that this couple performs for their trick or treaters as the increasing amount of children that they see chips away at their psyches. “Ding Dong” perhaps gets a touch too comedic for its own good, and the same can be said for its focus on the wife’s cleavage, but it still largely works as a disturbing short and a commentary on grief. In spite of its flaws, this is the short that left the strongest lasting impression on me and the one that affected me the most in the end. It’s exactly the sort of thing that a short should be.
While these are Tales of Halloween’s many triumphs, there are also a number of rotting pumpkins amongst the litter, too. Saw franchise veteran, Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV) turns out a truly confusing piece in “The Night Billy Raised Hell.” The short looks at young Billy being told that he’s now too old for trick or treating and is officially the age to start pranking people, with their curmudgeon of a neighbor seeming like the best target. However, this concept gets derailed pretty quickly. Billy gets abducted by his neighbor (Barry Bostwick, hamming it up like crazy), who it turns out is a devil, who takes it upon himself to show Billy how to literally raise Hell. Bousman’s segment is obviously going for laughs, not only due to the clear sense of humor it’s having towards all of this, but there’s also beyond goofy, cartoonish sound effects that are peppered throughout the thing. The sound effects are a total misfire, and while the humor works in some cases, one can’t help but feel the piece would be stronger if it took it’s rather serious subject matter, well, seriously. There’s a rather confusing Adrienne Curry cameo and a discussion about Twitter followers that’s kind of weirdly emblematic of the whole thing. Bousman also can’t help but throw in a nice little twist at the end, too, in keeping in tradition with his style.
“This Means War” by John Skipp & Andrew Kasch has a similarly cute angle to it, and right from the start it’s clearly not interested in being the scariest entry here. The short looks at the concept of two neighbors dueling over who has the better Halloween decorations (and the onslaught that ensues), and it’s a perfectly cute, fun idea that’s a visual mélange perfectly suited for a short film. It’s a lot of fun but ultimately lacks impact in the end, especially when in comparison to some of the stronger offerings on display here.
Paul Solet’s “The Weak and the Wicked” and Ryan Schifrin’s “The Ransom of Rusty Rex” tackle similar ground—bullying and violence is actually a rather large theme through the film as a whole—the former examines a bunch of street toughs torturing people on Halloween until some sort of monster hunter comes to intervene and provide them with a fight their own size. The biggest strength of Solet’s vision is the very fable-like spaghetti western feeling that it conjures, right down to its amazing Morricone-y score. In spite of its interesting premise, it doesn’t do much with it all and fumbles the decent set-up with a very messy aftermath. That being said, I immediately raised this up half a grade because of how fantastic and Attack on Titan-esque the monster ended up looking.
Schifrin’s take on intimidation looks at some bank robbers-turned-kidnappers who are looking to make a big score vis-à-vis a juicy ransom. “The Ransom of Rusty Rex” focuses on Rusty’s tenure as hostage, but very early on it’s obvious that these criminals have gotten in over their heads; their hostage is clearly a werewolf or some sort of monster. The problem with shorts is that they largely do play into your expectations, even if they do pull it off reasonably well. A welcome turn is taken when the hostagers try to repeatedly off their ransom, finding the task impossible, with this beast actually being its own curse. Everything here just feels very average, right down to the look of the demon, which is fine, but is inevitably going to render the segment forgotten. Sure, it’s a nice subversion that obtaining this beast actually makes you his hostage when these guys are trying to use him for exactly that, but irony is not enough to save this one.
Tales of Halloween is certainly not the sum of its parts, but the stronger segments within it still make it feel worth checking out in some capacity. More than anything it’s put David Parker, Adam Gierasch, and Mike Mendez on my radar and I look forward to seeing what horror endeavors they take on next. This isn’t the sort of movie that you should over-analyze and brood over, but rather the perfect thing for a Halloween party with a rowdy audience and the macabre spirit being heavy. You’ll love the good bits, you’ll laugh at the bad ones, and you’ll have a great time in the process. Take that perspective into mind and you should have an okay time with this. One or two of the shorts will surely resonate with you.
“Sweet Tooth” 3/5
“The Night Billy Raised Hell” 1.5/5
“The Weak and the Wicked” 2.5/5
“Grim Grinning Ghost” 3/5
“Ding Dong” 4.5/5
“This Means War” 1.5/5
“Friday the 31st” 4/5
“The Ransom of Rusty Rex” 2.5/5
“Bad Seed” 3/5
‘Tales of Halloween’ begins playing in select theaters and on VOD October 16th.
We announced that principal photography has begun in Los Angeles on New Line Cinema’s The Conjuring 2, with James Wan (Saw, Insidious, Dead Silence, Furious 7) once again at the helm.
The supernatural thriller brings to the screen another real case from the files of renowned demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Reprising their roles, as previously reported, Vera Farmiga (Up In the Air, “Bates Motel”) and Patrick Wilson (the Insidious films), star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.
Filming under the title of The Conjuring 2, the sequel will tell of the infamous “Enfield Poltergeist,” which took place at a council house in Brimsdown village, borough of Enfield, England during the late 1970s.
Rounding out the cast are Frances O’Connor (“The Missing”) as the single mom, with Madison Wolfe (“Zoo”) and newcomers Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley and Benjamin Haigh as her children; Maria Doyle Kennedy (“Orphan Black”); Simon Delaney (“Roy”); Franka Potente (“The Bridge”); and Simon McBurney (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation).
In addition to directing the film, Wan wrote the screenplay with Carey Hayes & Chad Hayes, and David Leslie Johnson.
Peter Safran, Wan and Rob Cowan, who previously collaborated on The Conjuring, are producing.
The film is set to haunt theaters on June 10th, 2016.
Twentieth Century Fox’s own version of Frankenstein, based on the 1818 Marry Shelley novel, is being resurrected this Thanksgiving.
Here’s two featurettes for Victor Frankenstein with James McAvoy as the title character, and Harry Potter, Horns and The Woman In Black‘s Daniel Radcliffe as the newest Igor, the hunchback assistant to Dr. Frankenstein, in the latest adaptation that will open in theaters on November 25th, 2015.
“Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Daniel Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences. Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation. ”
Victor Frankenstein, directed by Paul McGuigan, also stars Mark Gatiss, Jessica Brown Findlay and Andrew Scott.
FX released a series of art and a new clip from “American Horror Story: Hotel” in which star Wes Bentley takes a cat-nap with something under his bed…
13-episode season premieres on FX on October 7th.
“Built in 1930 by the rich and charming but deeply psychotic James March (Evan Peters), the beautiful art-deco hotel is, in actuality, a labyrinthine structure built to hide March’s murderous activities (think dead ends, secret rooms, endless shafts). This echoes America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes, which we detail here.
“In regards to Lady Gaga, the show shifts to present day, where the Cortez is acquired by Gaga’s Countess, described by the site as “a glamorous socialite who attends art openings and fashion shows and maintains her looks not from a steady diet of kale but from imbibing human blood.”
“The Countess is also insatiable when it comes to love and sex, which sets up a macabre love triangle between her, the similarly blood-hungry Donovan (Matt Bomer) and the newly turned male model Tristan (Finn Wittrock).
“Also gravitating around the world of the Cortez are Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett), an actress/former lover of The Countess’ seeking revenge; Iris (Kathy Bates), Donovan’s mother and the front desk clerk; Liz Taylor (Denis O’Hare), a cross-dresser nicknamed by The Countess; Hypodermic Sally (Sarah Paulson), a junkie and friend of The Countess; Detective John Lowe (Wes Bentley), a cop investigating a murderer named the Ten Commandments Killer; and The Addiction Demon, a creature in the vein of Rubberman or Bloodyface, who has no eyes or mouth but does wield a nasty, conical drillbit dildo.” (EW)
Because some people have trouble reading…
Robert Englund talks a lot. I mean, he talks a lot. Every single time I’ve interviewed him I prepare only two questions because he will basically take over the conversation. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, compared to other stars, it’s pretty awesome to have someone who actually cares to answer questions asked by the fans. Englund is a good guy in my book.
With that said, let’s flash back to last week when we ran this report from a lengthy interview with Englund. In it he speculates that New Line could be thinking about remaking Dream Warriors as the next A Nightmare On Elm Street, while also stating that he’d love to return in some sort of cathartic cameo role.
If anyone actually read the article, they would see that Englund is basically vocalizing his desire to be part of the franchise, even if it means he won’t ever return as Freddy Krueger, for which he played in film eight times.
A day later Jon Barkan followed up my piece with more Englund sound bites that shared his thoughts on Freddy being a child molester.
Even though Englund goes on and on and on and on, at no point does he even imply that he would return as Freddy.
Between hopeful readers looking for meaning in an otherwise interesting story, and hack websites sensationalizing his quotes for traffic, Englund’s statements were being misconstrued as if he were running for President… or at least a return as Freddy.
So, for the last time I’m explaining to all of you that he will NOT BE PLAYING FREDDY in the next A Nightmare On Elm Street.
Englund also wasted his evening sharing the following tweet that should put the nail in this ridiculous rumor’s coffin…
Just for the record, I will NOT be starring as Freddy in any new Nightmare projects, real or fictional
— Robert B. Englund (@RobertBEnglund) September 29, 2015
Francis Ford Coppola’s phenomenal and gorgeous Bram Stoker’s Dracula is coming to the Supreme Cinema Series on October 6th. To celebrate this upcoming release, two short clips of Coppola talking about the movie have come online and can be viewed below.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a reimagining of the classic Dracula fable, highlighting the romance of the gothic horror while still holding onto the fear and terror that made the original so memorable and iconic over the years.
The 1992 film starred Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Cary Elwes, Winona Ryder, and Tom Waits.
The Supreme Series blu-ray can be ordered via Amazon.
There aren’t many developers that are willing to explore tough philosophical questions with their games, and even fewer that are able to build an entire world around the answers they find. This is what SOMA is, more or less. It’s an incomplete answer to the question of what might happen if we separated human consciousness from the human body.
At first glance, this game appears to be the worst possible outcome that could come from our desire to “cure” mortality. It is that, and even though the premise has been explored numerous times before in various movies, books, video games, etc., the answer Frictional has for us may be the most unnerving one yet.
SOMA takes place in Pathos-2, a sprawling underwater complex nestled on the ocean floor that’s been designed to keep our species going. What’s left of humanity resides here along with a handful of undesirables who might find its grimy, abandoned look charming. It’s the kind of setting where you might expect to see a Big Daddy come strolling around a corner with a Little Sister in toe.
Pathos-2 doesn’t have any of the personality of Rapture, and it shouldn’t. It’s emphasis is on function over style, so while the views are undeniably extraordinary, it’s never as awe-inspiring as one might expect an underwater supercomplex to be.
There is a history here that makes Pathos-2 an interesting place to explore, if only to seek out any hidden clues that might shed some light on what happened there — and more specifically, what happened to the fish, and are they still edible or would it be safer to just eat around the bits that weren’t originally a part of the fish?
The story has been the heart and soul of SOMA since its unveiling, when Frictional’s creative director Thomas Grip described it as the sort of horror game that would “chill you to your core, and confront you with questions about your very existence.”
And if it’s not chilling your core or toying with your sense of self, that’s probably because it’s busy testing your morality with impossible decisions in order to make you feel like a monster just before it locks you in a room with a legitimate monster to see how long you can last.
It sounds cruel, but I’ll take that over another horror game starring Slender Man, zombies, or the cast of Chuck E. Cheese’s (no offense, Scott). As much as I enjoyed those games, they do leave me with a craving for something a bit more substantial.
Frictional is uniquely skilled at crafting games that leave me satisfied, even when I’m not the one with the controller. There’s a simplicity to the way they’re designed that makes them exceedingly easy to understand. Amnesia was peppered with scavenger hunts, clever puzzles, chase sequences, and a few deadly games of hide and seek.
Amnesia was a simple game that had mastered the delicate art of balancing of visceral terror with slow-burn horror. I’ve already gone into great detail why it will be remembered for many years to come. In my defense, that was before SOMA took that formula and made it so much better.
SOMA has these things too, and they’ve been changed for the better. The puzzles don’t feel as forced now that they’ve been woven into the world in a more natural way, and finding what you need to move the story forward isn’t frustrating so long as you’ve been paying attention.
This rule also applies to the monster encounters, where an awareness of one’s surroundings can often mean life or death. I would’ve died a lot more than I did had I not taken a minute to look around every once in a while to scout hiding places and escape routes.
Between the gradual realization of what’s going on and the horrifying reality that is existing in the bleak world of SOMA, you might not notice the occasional bad line reading, wonky AI pathing — I once escaped a sure death after my pursuer got stuck on a wall — or a room that looks unfinished compared to the others.
They’re largely insignificant flaws that shouldn’t take away from the experience, except when they do. The “problem” is a meh line reading has a tendency to stand out when there’s writing this good, and a lack of detail in an environment can be jarring when the rest of the game looks so good.
The massive attention horror games are enjoying right now has come at a cost. Many developers have sacrificed narrative depth in order to appeal to a wider audience, including the millions of people who watch Let’s Plays on YouTube or lifestreams on Twitch.
Grand ideas, taboo subject matter and intelligent conversations have taken a backseat to graphical prowess, simple mechanics and shallow frights. I don’t mind it. Many of the genre’s biggest success stories have employed classic haunted house scare tactics, and I think we can all agree that haunted houses are great up to a point.
The Final Word: Frictional Games set out to build a game that lingers in your thoughts long after you’ve set down the controller when most developers are content with amusing YouTube and Twitch audiences with gimmicks and jump scares, and in doing so, they made one of the best psychological horror games since Silent Hill 2.
The upcoming live action adaptation of the Japanese supernatural horror manga Death Note may have landed Nat Wolff (Paper Towns) to play the lead role, which in the manga was a young man named Light Yagami. According to Variety, Wolff is currently in final negotiations, so it looks like this is pretty serious!
They synopsis for Death note reads:
The story centers on a student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone by writing the victim’s name, who then decides to cleanse the world of whom he deems evil. As the student is tracked by a reclusive police officer, a cat-and-mouse game ensues.
Produced by Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Jason Hoffs and Masi Oka and directed by Adam Wingard, Death Note will begin production in Spring 2016.
Yesterday, Fox aired a trailer for the upcoming season of the supernatural thriller/drama “The X-Files“. Broken into two parts, the trailer teased fans and gave them the slightest of tastes of what to expect. Now Fox is ready to move from appetizer to main course with an extended trailer that takes the footage from yesterday and gives us even more.
The return of “The X-Files” comes thirteen years after the original series run and brings us six brand new episodes from creator/executive producer Chris Carter, mixing stand-alone episodes and those that further the original show’s mythology. Stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are re-inhabiting their roles as FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Mitch Pileggi also returns as FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner.
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.
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.”
“The X-Files” returns on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 10pm EST and once again the following night at 8pm EST.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, peace and goodwill. But for some folks in the small town of Bailey Downs, it turns into something much less festive. When Krampus – the anti-Santa who punishes the naughty children – is summoned by a young boy, everyone’s fight for survival begins.
RLJ Entertainment’s A Christmas Horror Story (read our review) is to be released in theaters, and on iTunes/VOD platforms October 2nd.
Rob Archer believed in his role as the Krampus so much that he went and got a Christmas Horror Story tattoo. This exclusive video documents the occasion…
Directed by Steven Hoban (Darknet), Grant Harvey (She Made Me Do It) and Brett Sullivan (Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed), the film stars William Shatner (Star Trek) and George Buza (X-Men).
“A Christmas Horror Story brings a scary twist to the traditional Christmas tale,” said Mark Ward, RLJ Entertainment’s Chief Acquisitions Officer. “With the legendary William Shatner and horribly fantastic creatures, genre fans will never see this happy holiday the same way again.”
CHRISTMAS: a time of Joy, Peace and Goodwill, unless you happen to live in the town of Bailey Downs. Here, on Christmas Eve, joy is corrupted when a malevolent spirit traps three teens in a school basement intent on recreating a twisted version of the Nativity story. Peace is shattered when a family returns from a snowy forest with the perfect Christmas tree only to find something is terrifyingly wrong with their seven-year-old son. And goodwill is perverted when a not-so-nice family is hunted down by Krampus, the demonic anti-Santa Claus of Nordic mythology. Even Santa Claus himself is drawn into the horror when he has to fight off a horde of howling Zombie Elves before making his rounds. This Christmas, the creatures are stirring and they’re coming for you whether you’re naughty or nice.
In my review I state that “the filmmakers pull off a twist that’s so shocking it could save Christmas.”
The Hive (review), a cross-genre sci-fi horror thriller that’s said to turn the contagion genre on its head, is currently available for pre-order on iTunes. Additionally, the iTunes airing will be packaged with exclusive extra content available only on that platform. It’s also now on various VOD platforms.
“The Hive tells the story of Adam, a teenage camp counselor who wakes inside a boarded up cabin, with absolutely no memory of who he is or where he is. The only clues as to who he is and what’s happening are messages Adam has scrawled for himself onto the walls and disturbing changes to his physiology. As he begins to piece together the events that led him to his strange imprisonment, he realizes that the only memories he does have are not his own, and they may be the key to his survival.”
The film, from producer Cary Granat (Scream) and directed by Dave Yarovesky, stars Gabriel Basso (Kings of Summer, Super 8), Kathryn Prescott (MTV’s Finding Carter, Skins), Jacob Zachar (Greek) and Gabrielle Mann (Vampire Diaries, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones).
We have a series of new images to go along with the final poster for Summit Entertainment’s The Last Witch Hunter, set for release on October 23, 2015.
Vin Diesel stars as 13th century Kaulder, the last of witch hunters, alongside Elijah Wood, Rose Leslie and Michael Caine. The Crazies‘ Breck Eisner directs.
In The Last Witch Hunter, “Tormented by the loss of his family and cursed with immortal life, the last witch hunter (Diesel) is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history.“
“The modern world holds many secrets, but the most astounding secret of all is that witches still live amongst us; vicious supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world. Armies of witch hunters battled the unnatural enemy across the globe for centuries, including KAULDER, a valiant warrior who managed to slay the all-powerful QUEEN WITCH, decimating her followers in the process. In the moments right before her death, the QUEEN curses KAULDER with her own immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Today KAULDER is the only one of his kind remaining, and has spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones. However, unbeknownst to KAULDER, the QUEEN WITCH is resurrected and seeks revenge on her killer causing an epic battle that will determine the survival of the human race.”
We continue our tribute to Wes Craven this week by taking a look at some of his most underrated (and underappreciated) films. Everyone knows about A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, but if you look through his 40-year filmography, you might find that he has directed some films you’ve never seen (or heard of). Many of them are quite good (or at least incredibly entertaining). Have you seen the following five films?Deadly Blessing (1981)
Deadly Blessing is one of Craven’s best films, but also one that hardly anyone knows about. The plot centers on Martha and Jim, a married couple who live on a farm (called “Our Blessing”) near a community of Amish-like citizens called Hittites. When Jim is eventually murdered by his tractor (stay with me) and a strange figure begins to torment Martha and her two visiting friends (one of whom is played by Sharon Stone). It’s not clear until the very end whether the figure is human or supernatural (or both), but Deadly Blessing showed Craven try to tone down the gore and produce a thought-provoking suspense film. It wasn’t highly regarded upon its release, but it has some fantastic set pieces (including one involving a spider falling into Stone’s mouth) and it has aged well over the decades. It’s definitely worth a watch. The bonkers ending alone is worth a purchase.Deadly Friend (1986)
Deadly Friend isn’t a very good movie, but that’s not surprising considering all of the re-shoots and edits Craven was forced to perform on it after a disastrous test screening with audiences. You see, Deadly Friend was Craven’s Short Circuit (or even E.T.). It was intended to be a PG-rated family film about a teenage genius who resurrects his friend (Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Kristy Swanson, in her first film role) by putting a computer chip in her brain after she is accidentally murdered by her abusive father. Audiences complained about the lack of gore in the film, so the producers and the Vice President at Warner Bros. demanded script re-writes and re-shoots, which completely changed the entire film. The film is most well known for it’s “decapitation by basketball” scene,Music of the Heart (1999)
Otherwise known as “Wes Craven’s only non-genre film,” Music of the Heart is actually a sweet little film. Sure, it’s a little too sugary-sweet, and the hardships Roberta Guaspari must overcome never seem that difficult (oh no, the venue can’t be used anymore! will we ever find another one?), but this was Was Craven out of his element, and for the most part it’s a success. Shot between Scream 2 and Scream 3, Music of the Heart is a respectable effort by Craven. While it doesn’t match the heights of previous inspiring educator films (my personal favorite is Sister Act 2, but most would cite Lean on Me or Stand and Deliver) it boasts a strong performance by Streep (is there any other kind?) and a captivating story. Also, I firmly believe he cast Angela Bassett in the film as an apology for putting her in the atrocity that was Vampire in Brooklyn.The People Under The Stairs (1991)
While being one of his most well known films, many people don’t seem to like it that much (Zac pretty much loathed it). This was understandable back when the film was released, because the promotional materials and all of the trailers touted the film as being a legitimate horror film, when in actuality it is a campy black comedy. The film tries to make a commentary on the racial divide of the early 90s with mixed results, but The People Under The Stairs is a delightfully fun house of horrors with two of the most memorable villains in Craven’s rogues gallery with Mommy and Daddy. The former could be a drag queen inspiration if I’ve ever seen one and the latter is a crazy guy in a leather S&M getup. It’s all pretty hilarious.Shocker (1989)
What makes Shocker so fascinating is the story behind it. Craven felt New Line cheated him out of some money after A Nightmare On Elm Street came out, and so he went about making a new slasher film that he thought he could also turn into a franchise with dream sequences and unique kills. That film turned into Shocker, and while it’s by no means a great film, it’s fairly entertaining in its own right. What is also interesting about this film is that it was clearly the inspiration for Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing though. Still, you can’t deny Craven’s creativity and willingness to branch out with this would-be franchise starter.
Do you disagree with any of my choices? Did I leave out a Wes Craven film that you think is underrated? Let me know in the comments below! Feel free to Tweet me as well!
It’s probably not a surprise that I love the absolute hell out of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. It’s wild, it’s inventive, it’s unpredictable, and it just flat out rocks! If you haven’t seen the movie, I don’t know what to tell you aside from make it priority number one before the end of the weekend. Get some friends for a movie party or watch it alone, I don’t care.
For those of us who HAVE seen the movie, we all know that there are some incredibly memorable characters within. But which of those best represents you and your personality? Well, the 20-question quiz below aims to tell you exactly that! So why not take it and let us know who you got in the comments?
I got “Boone”, which reads:
Unaware of your destiny, you meet strange creatures that help guide you to find your true path. The ones who love you would do so no matter how monstrous you become and for that you’re a true hero to those that need your help.
“Y’all come back now, y’hear?”
Revenge comes in an artfully wrapped package in The Gift, a chilling psychological thriller available on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and on Demand October 27, 2015, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
From STX Entertainment and Blumhouse Productions (Whiplash, The Purge), The Gift is a suspenseful and thrilling morality tale that earned a “Certified Fresh” seal on Rotten Tomatoes with a remarkable score of 93%.
The Blu-ray and DVD are packed with chilling bonus features including a riveting alternate ending, deleted scenes, feature commentary with writer and director Joel Edgerton, and more.
“Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a young married couple whose life is going as planned until a chance run-in with Simon’s high-school acquaintance sends their world into a narrowing tailspin. At first Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo (Joel Edgerton), but after a series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years. As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she is forced to contemplate: how well we really know those closest to us, and are bygones ever really bygones?“
The Gift asks the question, “Can you really go through life having never wronged anyone?”
Screen Media Films has acquired worldwide rights to Mickey Keating’s superb new thriller, Darling, which just had its World Premiere at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX.
Trace reviewed the film, calling it a hypnotic, trippy ride!
Keating’s psychological horror story, “Begins as a lonely young woman (Lauren Ashley Carter) moves into an old, mysterious Manhattan mansion. Hired as a caretaker, it’s not long before she discovers the estate’s haunted reputation and troubling past. These stories slowly transform into a backdrop for her twisted and violent descent into madness…”
Darling stars Lauren Ashley Carter (Pod, Jug Face, The Mind’s Eye) with supporting performances by Brian Morvant, Sean Young, Larry Fessenden, John Speredakos, and Helen Rogers.
Produced by Larry Fessenden and Jenn Wexler for Glass Eye Pix and Sean Fowler for Alexander Groupe. Keating and Carter are also producers and composer Giona Ostinelli returns from the director’s previous feature to score this film. Poster art featured here done by Erin Mealing.
Columbia Pictures released a new clip from Goosebumps, in theaters October 16, 2015.
Directed by Rob Letterman, the clip gives us a look at hilarious and whacky Jack Black portraying R.L. Stine, who has all of his creations accidentally released.
Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Jillian Bell, Ryan Lee and Ken Marino all star in Goosebumps.
“Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.“