Three new videos have crawled their way out of the dark abyss in order to continue Bethesda’s exploration of the look and sounds of The Evil Within, which I can now giddily say will be releasing this month. The series follows Adam Sessler, formerly of Rev3 Games and G4′s X-Play, as he continues his behind the scenes look at 2014′s most anticipated horror game (according to you).
The Evil Within arrives on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 14.
For its concluding chapter, “Kill Shakespeare: The Mask Of Night” #4 ends with a bang in its action-packed finale. The classic Shakespearean characters feel more alive and modern as they become part of the swashbuckling genre. The “Kill Shakespeare” series has gone off in a new and fresh direction, keeping newcomers and longtime readers in a state of twisted surprise.
Written By: Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col
Art By: Andy Belanger
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release: Oct. 1, 2014
Reviewed By Jorge Solis
In the aftermath of “Vol. 3: Tide of Blood,” Juliet, Hamlet, and Othello were captured on the pirate ship, The Boreas. While being held captive, pirates Cesario and Viola discovered the hard way, there is no honor amongst thieves. With the traitor revealed, Lucius Andronicus arrived to make things worse. Now that he has claimed the pregnant Juliet as his dinner, Andronicus is a hungry cannibal, with a taste for unborn children.
Though Hamlet has been in the background, writers Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col put this Shakespearean characters out in the forefront as an action star. Wrong about Juliet and Romeo, Hamlet helplessly watched the love of his life being taken by Andronicus’ men. Coming to his senses, Hamlet is ready to make things right, but he needs help from Viola, the true captain of the Boreas. Throughout the story arc, Viola has switched sides, you could never predict her next move.
McCreery and Del Col definitely have a lot of fun with the dialogue between Hamlet and Viola. Attracted to the “bad girl” act, Hamlet seems to be enjoying the dirty talk and dark humor. As if they were on their first date, the deadly duo are slitting throats as they takedown Andronicus’ ship. Notice how Viola is getting frisky after her face is smeared with blood; defining their chemistry.
Andy Belanger’s artwork delivers so much action into every single panel. Using the split-screen as a visual technique, Belanger captures the sword action and blood from every angle. Everything is set in the opening pages, where readers get a taste of how sick and twisted Andronicus really is. Belanger keeps the pace at a fast beat because the story is counting down to Juliet being placed on the dinner table.
The panels jump to close-ups when Hamlet and Viola share the panel together. They are always keeping their eyes locked onto each other. The two are attracted to each other because their kicks come from the thrill of danger. Their attraction is highlighted as a fire starts in the background.
“Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night” #4 closes its riveting swashbuckling adventure with an action-packed finale. I can’t wait to see how “Kill Shakespeare” continues.
Tim Daniel and Michael Moreci made a huge splash in horror comics earlier this year when they unleashed the incomparable “Curse.” They proved themselves to be masters of horror, and built a very human story out of the tried and true werewolf lore, and today I’m happy to announce their followup series: “Burning Fields.”
BOOM! Studios has taken the men who made “Curse” such an incredible success and challenged them to craft something different and possibly more horrifying. Their back with Colin Lorimer and Riley Rossmo too, so the transition into this new world should be seamless. “Burning Fields” is a geopolitical drama with a monster mythos. Think Zero Dark Thirty meets The Thing and you’ve got the right idea.
The story follows Dana Atkinson, a dishonorably discharged army investigator, who is pulled back to the Middle East when a group of American oil technicians disappear under bizarre circumstances. With the help of an Iraqi investigator, what Dana discovers is unimaginable: a series of unusual incidents at the drill site lead her and her unlikely ally to discover a mythic evil that has been released, one that threatens both the lives of the entire region and the fragile peace that exists.
I was luckily enough to sit down with Tim and Michael to discuss the challenges of returning to the horror genre, the horror of war, and the inspiration for such an original premise.
Bloody-Disgusting: Is there any pressure on returning to horror after the incredible response to “Curse?”
Michael Moreci: I think so, yeah. Maybe even only on Tim and I, especially, in regards to how we approach our work. I think our fear is that people will be expecting Curse 2, and that we’re going to take the story of Burning Fields and place it over the Curse template. Neither of us are interested in going that route, as easy as it might be. What attracted us to Burning Fields is the ambitious story we’re trying to tell, and attempting to fall back on past success wouldn’t do justice to our goals or to the reading experience. We’d be shorting too much, and that’s not in Tim’s or my DNA. That’s part of why we work so well together—we’re both stubbornly committed to telling stories that shake things up, that push the envelope. We’re not comfortable unless we’re uncomfortable. And Burning Fields is a difficult, challenging story, like Curse, like my own series Roche Limit, like Tim’s series Enormous, but in its own way.
Add those things together—that rigors of writing Burning Fields, the expectations coming off of Curse—and you have a pretty intense situation. But we feed on that; we love it.
Tim Daniel: No pressure, just a genuine desire to work in the horror genre again and allow Burning Fields to be its own thing. Stephen King has explored all manner of horror. Take two of his novels as example; The Stand and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. They could not be further apart story-wise, but the reading experience is pure King and pure horror. At this point in our careers, we should be able to provide readers with a resonant reading experience. Something that’s going to both challenge and reward, while being unique to itself. Certainly, neither of us have any desire to repeat ourselves. But, being that we’re in the horror genre with Burning Fields and having reassembled the Curse team, I hope readers are comfortable spending their money and time on the series knowing what they’ll get will be of certain level of quality indicative of Curse.
BD: The series is billed as military horror, which first had me double take, I think you two are the first to tackle the sub-genre. I mean Full Metal Jacket could be considered a horror movie, and even Apocalypse Now, but they were military stories first and horror second. I imagine you two want to focus on the horror but why use the military as a backdrop?
MM: Tim and I are effective as horror storytellers to the degree we’re able to accrue emotional investment in our readers. Curse had that—a story of a parent and a child as well as the frustrations many of us have with our broken healthcare system. That investment is far more important than any blood and gore you can deliver; without that sense of seeing yourself in the character, without that emotional core, the horror, ultimately, doesn’t matter. You need to be afraid of something first.
For Burning Fields, part of the core is the specter of this endless war and the horrors it has engendered. We aim to tell a very personal story with our protagonists, Dana and Aban, about loss, faith, and commitment to an ideal. But in a grander sense, we want to explore the reckoning of war. Now, there’s a million ways we can go with this, suffice to say. But we’re focused on the horrors and the gross abuse caused by the private military complex. This is a topic worth an encyclopedia of accounts (and I’d urge anyone interested to read Jeremy Scahill’s book on Blackwater for a peek into the absolute nightmarish world of PMCs), so we can’t even hope to be comprehensive. But if you want to understand how the idea of a noble war/conflict is a fantasy, look no further than an industry—a very lucrative industry—that is built around imperialism, greed, and the suffering of others, amongst other things.
That knowledge, that truth, tarnishes everything it touches. The perpetuation of war is bad enough, and it requires a certain amount of, for lack of a better word, patriotism to justify its existence. We’re all told to support the troops, to feel some sort of emotional connection to their service and sacrifice—but what does that investment mean when the growing number of those forces are essentially paid mercenaries who act without impunity and are responsible for countless horrors? That truth poisons everything, and there’s a price to be paid in it.
TD: War is horror enough. Easily, inarguably, humankind’s greatest self-created atrocity. The movie examples you cite definitely qualify in illustrating that notion. The fact that the basic components of Burning Fields made you already do a double take is exactly what we set out do. I think Mike and I like to find elements from the real-world which are genuinely horrific in nature; the threat of a parent losing a child, the rigors of war, etc. and then define and illustrate that horror through the presence of the otherworldly.
BD: Tell me a little bit more about your protagonist Dana, who inspired her creation, what drives her, and what is she most afraid of?
TD: We see so much about “strong female lead” or “instantly likable female” or “badass female” and yet Dana Atkinson is somehow none of those things and all of those things without being a gimmick or coming off as blatant pandering to current trends. In that way, she strikes me as someone we could all recognize and identify with, her struggle to pursue justice is authentic. In my head, I see her as a combination of Kara Thrace (Starbuck) from Battlestar Galactica, Dana Scully from X-Files and Maya from Zero Dark Thirty. I mention Kara Thrace first since I absolutely love what Katee Sackhoff brought to that character – a genuine sense of grit and vulnerability. Dana is only one half of the Burning Fields equation though since we have an Iraqi Detective, Aban Fasad who serves as her foil. In fact, Aban is such a strong and vital presence you could easily say Dana is his foil as well. Neither character will necessarily dominate the story.
MM: Going off what Tim said, I never make a character to suit a trend or demographic—that’s cynical and, being honest, cheap. The protagonist in Burning Fields is female because that’s how I imagined her in my head—same as Laney being an African American. Character always comes first. We’re not checking any boxes.
Anyway…Dana is a character I really love and admire. What’s so compelling about her is her dogged intensity, her intransigent dedication to her code of ethics. You don’t find that often, people who draw their line in the sand and say “I will not cross this” and don’t, regardless of how easier it might make their lives. Having honor isn’t easy.
But that’s Dana—she’s the person who keeps everyone else honest, even as they grumble under their breath about her. But, at the same time, she’s not without flaw. Her stubbornness makes her a loner, and she fears a time when the world runs out of people like her, those vigilant ones watching the gate, keeping guard. She knows, in so many ways, she’s a relic, she’s difficult; her fear is the time when she goes unheard, or a time when she finds even herself compromising.
BD: Horror always seems to be about the core elements of escapism, loss of control, and a certain dose of history. “Burning Fields” has Dana returning to the military where she was dishonorably discharged, a return to her past, but what is she running away from?
TD: Mike gave Dana an amazing line of dialogue from Issue #3 that I think perfectly summarizes her plight, “Running from, running towards…it’s all the same to me these days.” My father-in-law describes this phenomena as the “mirror maze”– when the truth and the lie, the reality and the fiction merge and it’s impossible to discern between the two any more. We end up groping for anything we might think will rescue us from ourselves and that’s a deadly trap in itself. Dana’s been lost in the maze for a while by the time we meet her…she might not be running so much as searching for a wrecking ball to shatter the whole damned thing.
BD: Can you tell me anything about the mythic horror she unleashes?
TD: Since Burning Fields is set in the Middle East we have employed an ancient Mesopotamian myth from the region. The more we researched it, the more it yielded all manner of gruesome and outlandish possibilities for the story. So, it became more about stripping the myth to its core and weaving those elements into the story. To be clear, Dana’s not responsible for this happening and neither is Aban, who is equally important to discerning exactly what is transpiring in the area surrounding the oil field of Kirkuk.
BD: With “Curse” you worked with our expectations of the genre and the creature lore and actively defied them to create the most interesting take on a horror staple I’ve seen in a while. Are you aiming to do something similar in “Burning Fields” or are you creating your own mythology?
TD: Having found an avenue to explore in the very familiar and well-worn werewolf mythology of Curse was serendipitous. With Burning Fields, we’re presenting something very few people may have knowledge of, certainly I was not before embarking on this story, and that gives us a relatively blank canvas to fill. By the time Burning Fields comes to a close, we hope readers will see that we have done something very fresh with a horror convention that is in fact, regardless of the origin of the myth, actually very familiar.
MM: I think reinvention is a funny, though salient, term. The example I always use is Swamp Thing, how Alan Moore stripped that character down to its barest parts and tweaked the angle just a touch to give us something familiar but new at the same time. That’s what we did with Curse, taking the werewolf myth and boiling to the foundations of control (or lack thereof) and animalistic tendencies.
Burning Fields, on the other hand, is a totally different beast—I agree with Tim. It’s essentially a monster story. And what makes monster stories most terrifying? It’s that the monsters we fight are, for the most part, the ones that we create. We make monsters, thinking we can control them…until one day we can’t. It’s the monster that’s in control and, somehow, most of us don’t even notice. That’s Burning Fields.
BD: What’s it like to be working with Colin again? How much influence does he have on the story?
TD: Colin is a consummate story-teller who is vastly underrated in the field. He also happens to be a thorough professional. No matter what we script, he’s making decisions that not only execute the story perfectly, but up the ante on almost every single page. Hopefully, one of these days we can do a script-to-page process feature that will reveal just how good he truly is in crafting a page.
MM: I can’t say enough good things about Colin. He’s a pro’s pro, a workhorse, talented as can be, and a terrific man. I love our rapport, being able to write scripts and see his work as I go; it enables some great ideas and makes the process so smooth. He’s an underrated storyteller and artist—it’s hard to find someone with the prowess, and dedication, he possesses.
BD: What is your collaborative process like as a co-writing team?
TD: We’ve figured out the nuts and bolts – divide responsibilities, conquer tasks, draft outlines and scripts, revise, draft, revise, meld. But now, more than ever, Mike and I are challenging each other on the art side of the process. There’s no cheats. Neither of us will allow the other to rest on our laurels or skate through a scene or even single line of dialogue for that matter. It’s beautifully brutal. What’s truly rewarding is that moment when we hit upon something we know is working and the energy level pumps up past ten on the gauge. I dig that more than anything, because I know were doing what we do for one reason, the pure appreciation for storytelling.
MM: I think that’s the big thing, the aspect of upping our game. In an industry where so many jobs are won by reasons other than merit, Tim and I—and I’m patting us on the back, I know—have spent more effort polishing our craft, not our personas. Look, we’re both good enough guys (sort of), but all we really care about is growing as writers and delivering on the promise we make to each and every reader to deliver a story worth the price of admission. Everything else is just noise. With that shared goal, we’re able to hone and do what needs to be done for the story and nothing else.
BD: What are you most terrified of with “Burning Fields”? What parts of your own fears are on the page?
TD: Private military companies…I’m really uncomfortable with entities that operate seemingly outside or above the widely acknowledged covenant of military practice and accountability. There is definitely a “who’s watching the watchmen” feel to the entire enterprise of a privatized military. Ultimately, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before one of them (or several) obtain enough power to thumb their noses at the United States because it’s just too difficult to keep ideology pure when you introduce profit margins. Then we’ll find ourselves fighting ourselves and that’s civil war…that’s terrifying.
MM: Everything Tim said, plus my own fears about doing justice to a very, very delicate situation. We both did so much research and studying to making sure the book is as authentic as possible, specific to this place in the world. We studied Kirkuk, the Qur’an, local customs, regional news as it broke, and the history of private military companies. This is, to say the least, a heavily researched book. And I’m proud of that, but also fearful. I don’t want to come off as cavalier or insincere because, yes, while we are trying to get it right with all the legwork we’ve done, this is still popcorn entertainment. What’s happened in Kirkuk and other similar places is very real; the terrible things done by private military mercs are endless. I think we’re being as mindful as can be, though I fear there will be that person who calls us out on inaccuracies or insensitivity.
BD: What are your favorite horror movies? What inspired “Burning Fields” the most, and where did the idea come from?
MM: The Thing, without question, is all over Burning Fields. I love that movie, first and foremost, but I also love the idea of this sickness, this virus, that is psychological more than anything. It’s a disease that compromises who you are as a person. And that’s a point I was getting to earlier—we’re supporting troops in these PMCs, and these war corporations are, without question, no effing good. They’re not. They go in and they poison wherever they go and, in turn, sully our own souls with their motivations (war for profit) and actions. And, of course, there’s something more concrete happening in Burning Fields about an evil being awakened and that evil spreading wherever it goes.
TD: A partial and ever changing list of favorite horror films: The Mist. The Thing. The Conjuring. The Descent. You’re Next. Frankenstein. The Wolf-Man. The Hunger. Monsters.
Burning Fields germinated with Mike. He sent me a three sentence email. I loved it immediately and responded to the idea. A few days later it was still stuck in my head, rattling around and taking form. Assembling itself. I sent Mike back a revision, adding on a piece or two and off we went. He responded in kind with even more detail and one such note was the location of the story – Kirkuk. Amazingly, he was throwing a dart at the map and we then discovered to our amazement that this place has been in almost constant conflict for the better part of a century as a hotly contested, oil-rich region of Northern Iraq. In fact, he just topped himself last week when he sent me a one word email. And that’s started us down a new path for what hopefully becomes our next project… My personal list of Burning Fields ingredients: The Thing, Jarhead, The Conjuring, The Descent, Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker and True Detective…
First, let me admit my bias: I love Rat Queens. I have the T-shirt, I did an interview with the creators on my own site, I drove up to New York for the D20 Burlesque Show, my phone autosuggests “Dave” when I type “Orc,” and I have a quarter sleeve tattoo. So it would be impossible to pretend that this review is an impartial one. However, as a (possibly insane, obsessive) fan, I love this series because it is great. It is well written, it is funny, it is beautiful. If it stopped being any of those things, you can bet I would have a problem with it. I’m not cutting this series any breaks, because I love it so much.
WRITTEN BY: Kurtis J. Wiebe
ART BY: Roc Upchurch
RELEASE: October 1, 2014
Reviewed By Katy Rex
All that said, oh my goodness. Issue #8, debuting on Oct 1, is mostly a Violet origin story. More than that, though, it hints at a Rat Queens origin story. Wait, you say. What about that cliffhanger? What do you mean, origin story? Sorry, folks. Kurtis J. Wiebe is fucking with you. And if you’re like me, you won’t even be mad about it. Sure, the issue after the “most epic cliffhanger to date” is a flashback, leaving you on the edge of your seat for another month. But this issue gives Violet more depth and character, it puts her temper into context, and it explains (at least a little) what the deal was with Barrie a few issues ago. Plus, it gives us the slightest little hint about the name “Rat Queens.”
Roc Upchurch, who apparently doesn’t want to have any free time, does the colors, the pencils, and the inks. The colors in this issue are phenomenal. There are panels, like the one below, where details like Barrie and Violet’s eyes speak volumes about siblinghood (the same eye color) and resentment. Some of the panels, however, suffer from a lack of detail. In contrast to the single page portrait of Vi on page 2, the following splash features inset panels with characters with no faces. This lack of detail isn’t present through most of the book, but it is slightly off-putting. On the other hand, the depth of detail in the shaving scene later makes the moment truly heartwarming.
If you’re trade-waiting on this series, you’re missing the letters page, which is your usual collection of cosplays, fan art, and love letters—but this issue, we get to see Kurtis’ new daughter, Willow Kate, and we get a recipe for a new “vomit inducing, blood poisoning [alcoholic] beverage,” dubbed “Betty’s Candy Coated Dreams.”
Be sure to pick this issue up today!
—Katy Rex writes comics analysis at endoftheuniversecomics.com, comicsbulletin.com, and bloody-disgusting.com. She also writes scholarly articles for various academic journals. She really likes butt jokes, dinosaurs, and killing psychos and midgets in Borderlands 2. She has a great sense of humor if you’re not an asshole. Twitter: @eotucomics Tumblr: katy-rex.tumblr.com Instagram: @katy_rex Email: email@example.com
Fans of Brubaker and Phillips can expect a truly authentic experience from their books. No matter the setting, time period, or genre, Brubaker’s expertise on every subject he writes about practically bleeds off the page, while Phillips classic style yet nuanced style drives home that the books the create together are the real deal. “The Fade Out” #2 balances with noir sensibilities of issue one with the studio era context of the book to substantiate the style and tone of the book while moving the plot forward appropriately and developing our cast of archetypal characters in an honest way. “The Fade Out” is a perfect balance.
WRITTEN BY: Ed Brubaker
ART BY: Sean Phillips
RELEASE: October 1, 2014
Reviewed By Eric Switzer
I like that this issue puts an emphasis on setting. That isn’t to say anything is missing in terms of story or character; all the “Criminal”/”Fatale” flavor is there, but issue 2 really brings you into the world these characters live in. Too often I think setting is kept too much in the background; something to inform the visual style and frame the story being told. The story in “The Fade Out” feels like something that it happening in a world that existed before the story began. Part of that may be due to the historical context, but that doesn’t take anything away from Brubaker’s skill as a writer, the man does his research. Furthermore the relationships between these characters and their pasts are present but overwhelming, the book introduces a lot of people and histories without being bogged down by exposition. It makes one feel like the writer respects his audience. Brubaker/Phillips are in an elite class, so pick up “The Fade Out” and get with the program.
Something clicked for me when I read this issue and I finally understand the brilliance of Phillips style. I’ve always loved it in its muted tones and hard edges, I’ve felt it was wildly appropriate for the genre work these guys do and always consistent yet varied to meet the stories needs. It is minimalist is a way, and it finally struck me how iconic his work has become. Instantly recognizable and purposely so, I think, because while many artists have brilliantly creative uses for panels and layout, Sean’s are simple, balanced, and perfect for the kinds of stories being told. I can’t help but stare in awe at a page depicting a emotionally charged fight between old friends: four panels, each perfectly square, within them a man bellows and thrashes at the open air, trapped in the panel. It is really quite brilliant, yet easy to overlook. The longer these guys work together the more substantial their work becomes, the more I realize how much there is to appreciate.
I really can’t recommend this book enough. What they offer isn’t hugely varied from series to series, but it is always consistently well researched, well plotted, well executed, and well designed. If you don’t like classic hollywood crime there is something wrong with you.
Eric Switzer is an aspiring filmmaker and screenplay writer living in Los Angeles. His work tends to focus on the lighter side of entropy, dystopic futures, and man’s innate struggle with his own mortality. He can be found on twitter @epicswitzer or reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is starting to feel like my prime directive is gushing over “Robocop” but I really love this book. I’ve read a couple of less-than-glowing reviews for this issue, and at first I was going to come here and defend the book, but on second thought, fuck that. It would be like defending Kraft Singles or Slim Jims, “Robocop” is consistent, unique, and not trying to be anything else than what it is. This is the best “Robocop” book we could have ever asked for and I’m loving the ride.
WRITTEN BY: Joshua Williamson
ART BY: Carlos Magno
RELEASE: October 1, 2014
Reviewed By Eric Switzer
Robocop is getting keelhauled behind a monster truck while Lewis (handily) deals with Nash. After some characteristically delicious gore, Murphy and Lewis arrive at the protest to put the kibosh on Killian’s bullshit. Lewis gets promoted (sort of) and Murphy gets his side armed taken away while Killian goes into phase II of his master plan, and boy, this shit is about to get pretty real.
Comparing “Robocop” to fake cheese and greasy meat is in no way meant to disparage the character or the book. I love all of those things. What I’m saying is that “Robocop” is a strongly established property representative of a specific time in blockbuster filmmaking in the 1980s. All attempts to update or revamp the property have failed pretty miserably. Williamson and Magno are delivering exactly what fans needs: they aren’t rewriting the formula or giving us a fresh new take on the character, they are simply giving us more of what we already love, and in the case Robocop, who only has a couple of solid films behind him, that isn’t at all a bad thing. This series is true to those films from beginning to end in every way. To say you have a problem with the book is to say you have a problem with the entire Robocop franchise. If you love Robocop, you will love this book.
Now, having said that, beyond this first arc I will expect some fresh ideas, but I have no worries about Williamson delivering. Like any good sequel, the opening sequence has to be familiar, remind us what we love about the character and the world, and then move on to bigger ideas. “Robocop” is incredibly nostalgic, I’m excited to see where they take the series next. I don’t want a restart, I want them to expand upon the Robocop we already know and love. That is what I’m really excited for.
Eric Switzer is an aspiring filmmaker and screenplay writer living in Los Angeles. His work tends to focus on the lighter side of entropy, dystopic futures, and man’s innate struggle with his own mortality. He can be found on twitter @epicswitzer or reached via email at email@example.com.
Capcom has dedicated a brief trailer to those BSAA costumes we recently unlocked for Chris and Jill in the upcoming remaster of the Resident Evil REmake. There’s not a lot of footage in this video, but they certainly look good. As good as Chris looks with his abundance of pouches — he has to have food, maybe even a sandwich, in one of them, right? — I imagine I’ll be playing with the original costumes first, for the nostalgia factor.
Both costumes will be made available for all versions of the game when it releases next year.
Resident Evil REmake hits PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in early 2015.
Magnet Releasing and Drafthouse Films shared an exclusive new look at ABCs of Death 2, releasing on various VOD platforms tomorrow, October 2 with a theatrical run set for October 31.
In the new still we take a look at one of 26 shorts, this one directed by Dennison Ramalho, second unit AD on Embodiment of Evil. In “J is for Jesus,” a man is kidnapped by his own father and given an exorcism to cleanse his soul only to learn he’s not the demon. Watch for an exclusive interview with Ramalho in the coming week.
“ABCs of Death 2 is the follow-up to the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning from Nigeria to UK to Brazil and everywhere in between. It features segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. The film is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free rein in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and at times confrontational, ABC’s of Death 2 is another global celebration of next generation genre filmmaking.“
To celebrate the VOD release on 10/2, producers Tim League, Ant Timpson and the international filmmakers behind the highly anticipated horror anthology sequel will be holding a Live Twitter #DeathParty starting at 10:00 PM ET on Thursday (10/2). Join in the conversation and watch 26 new ways to die along with the creators using the hashtag #DeathParty.
Like a new October tradition, FX has shared the main titles for the new season of “American Horror Story,” with this season revolving around a 50′s “Freak Show.”
I love the new credits, which put a new spin on the traditional “AHS” theme, while also displaying some scary visuals. I’m officially amped for the October 8 premiere!
Watch the trailer just released yesterday.
“‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952. A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.”
Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, and Evan Peters return from previous seasons. New cast members includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Matt Bomer, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.
The Scumdogs of the Universe, known lovingly here on planet Earth as GWAR, have announced that their reign of terror will not cease with the loss of leader Oderus Urungus, who passed earlier this year.
Guitarist BalSac the Jaws of Death stated:
Something is wrong, unspeakably wrong. It feels as if the very fabric of reality has been ripped from belly to taint. And it all centers around Oderus’ disappearance. One moment, life is fantastic, as we celebrate the near sinking of Japan as a result of our recent journey across the Pacific; and the next, he is just gone. Suddenly the world is a dark, vile place with hordes of trolls biting at my hooves and daring to spit poison in my face. There is a great evil behind this, and I will not rest until I know what has become of my brother!
To find the answer to this dilemma, GWAR will embark on a N. American tour this fall that will see the appearance of two new Scumdogs: Blóthar on lead vocals and bass guitar and Vulvatron on vocals.
As for the appearance of a new female amidst their ranks, drummer JizMak da Gusha stated, “Dames, they ain’t nothin’ but trouble.”
Head below to see their full touring schedule.
GWAR Eternal Tour Lineup
Blóthar: Lead Singer, Bass Guitar
Beefcake the Mighty: Bass Guitar, Vocals
Pustulus Maximus: Lead Guitar, Vocals
BalSac the Jaws of Death: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
JiZMak da Gusha: Drums
Bonesnapper: Bodyguard, Crappy Vocals
Sawborg Destructo: Annoying Nemesis, Annoying Vocals
Vulvatron: Plot Twist, Vocals
GWAR W/ Decapitated and American Sharks:
10/15: Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
10/16: Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
10/17: Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater
10/18: Worcester, MA @ The Palladium – “Rock and Shock Festival”
10/19: Buffalo, NY @ The Town Ballroom
10/21: Louisville, KY @ Expo Five****
10/22: Memphis, TN @ New Daisy Theater
10/23: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
10/24: New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
10/25: Austin, TX @ Emo’s – “Housecore Horror Film Festival*
10/26: Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
10/28: Oklahoma City, OK @ Diamond Ballroom
10/29: Sauget, IL @ Pop’s Nightclub
10/30: Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
10/31: Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall**
11/1: Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
11/2: Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
11/3: Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
11/4: Reno, NV @ Knitting Factory Concert House
11/5: San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
11/6: Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
11/7: Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Live
11/8: Magna, UT @ The Great Salt Air
11/10: Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House
11/11: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
11/12: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
GWAR W/ TBA and American Sharks:
11/14: Vancouver, BC and Commodore Ballroom
GWAR W/ Corrosion of Conformity and American Sharks:
11/15: Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
11/16: Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall Ballroom
11/17: Edmonton, AB @ Union Hall
11/19: Fargo, ND @ The Venue
11/20: Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theater
11/21: Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
11/22: Detroit, MI @ Harpo’s
11/23: Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection***
11/25: Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
11/26: Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
11/28: Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
11/29: Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
11/30: New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
12/2: Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
12/3: Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
12/4: Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall
12/5: Orlando, FL @ Firestone Live
12/6: Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
12/7: Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
12/8: Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theater
12/9: Toronto, ON @ Opera House
12/10: Montreal, QC @ Virgin Mobile Corona Theater
12/11: Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
12/12: New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place
12/13: Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Sound Stage
*No American Sharks
**Havok plays on this show
*** The Meatmen play on this show
**** Huntress plays on this show
Sometimes, after watching a film, your reaction is one of confusion. As in, what the hell did you just watch? Sometimes, it’s a good thing, as it has you wanting to watch the film again, because you enjoyed it so much and you want to piece together what you just watched. Other times, as in the case of director/writer Till Hastreiter’s The Forbidden Girl, you end passing on another viewing. The mystery as to what you just saw be damned when a film has seemingly thrown things against the wall in an effort to see what sticks.
Tobias McClift is the son of a fundamentalist preacher, who is is intently focused on Tobias not falling in love, or having anything to do with love. Failure of Tobias to do so would be catastrophic. Nevertheless, Tobias meets up with Katie, with whom he’s romantically involved. But before they can enjoy each other, a demonic entity shows up and carries Katie away. Fast forward six years later, and Tobias is being released from a psychiatric hospital over the whole thing. He manages to snag a tutoring position in a huge Gothic mansion for a reclusive young girl named Laura Wallace. Turns out, Laura is his beloved Katie. Held captive by the mistress of the house, Lady Wallace, and her protector/lover, Mortimer, Tobias pledges to free Laura/Katie. But it turns out that his father’s words weren’t crazy after all.
I suppose the best thing going for the film is it’s cinematography. The sets and Gothic locale are quite beautiful to look at, particularly the interior of the castle. The plethora of visual detail combined with the varying uses of filters and colour saturation really make the film visually appealing. There’s also a dream sequence early on that evokes thoughts of David Lynchian surrealism, which again is a visual treat.
Acting-wise, we get decent performances by the two leads in Peter Gadiot and Jytte-Merle Böhrnsen. Gadiot is likeable as Tobias, and feels very natural in the role. Böhrnsen does well as the mysterious Laura/Katie, having fun with the role as a flirty, confused woman. Klaus Tange worked well as Mortimer. The guy was certainly creepy and unpredictable, looking like an edgier version of Rutger Hauer from Blade Runner. Jeanette Hain was interesting to see as Lady Wallace, going through various stages of makeup and attempting to change up her character for each one unique.
However, all of that can’t make up for the fact that this film is a bore. The problems begin with the story. It’s all over the place with a bunch of ideas thrown into the blender and puréed. What comes out feels very disjointed and confusing. Is it a love story? A ghost story? Witchcraft? Using a far simpler story would’ve made things more bearable. Chopping off some of that 106 minute runtime would’ve been nice, too. I guess this is why you shouldn’t have three different writers, and one of them is directing. Instead of being creepy, the film ends up being more about it’s visuals.
The other thing is the use of CGI. Bad CGI. For starters, smoke monsters really should be kept to shows co-created by J.J. Abrams. Also, because this film was originally shot in 3D, certain shots have that ‘cutout’ feeling to them, making the CGI even more apparent. It’s just one bad After Effects shot after another. The bad CGI reaches it’s peak during the ridiculous ending, where a slow-motion sex dance straight out of 300 has a light show involving the aforementioned eclipse that ends up forming a pentagram and what the f*ck am I watching?!
So yeah, The Forbidden Girl definitely is a case for either the cure for insomnia or having your brain start to kill itself. Style over substance is definitely the case here, as the camera alone can’t stave off a ridiculous and boring story, coupled with alright acting and abuse of CGI. The case art for this DVD is a complete lie, as the shot depicted on the cover must be from a more entertaining than this one.
Presented in 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image features strong colour reproduction with good detail. The darker scenes do tend to suffer a bit with regards to shadow details, however given the filters used during these sequences to pump up the saturation, it’s probably done on purpose. There were a couple of scenes where aliasing errors crept up, but other than that, this is an overall appropriate transfer.
Audio-wise, the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track isn’t going to blow you away, but it does the job. Dialogue is clear and free of any distortion, and while there’s not a lot of movement in the directionals, action is mostly kept to the centre speaker. The score doesn’t overpower, and is balanced with the rest of the audio.
The sole extra included is the film’s trailer.
Netflix and 41 Entertainment announced today, Kong – King of the Apes, an original animated TV series for kids from Executive Producer Avi Arad.
Arad has been a producer of iconic superhero stories like Spider-Man franchise movies, the X-Men franchise movies, the Iron-Man films, and The Incredible Hulk. He has also executive produced kids TV with the extremely popular “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures” series which began in 2013.
Netflix members around the world will be introduced to KONG first through a full-length feature film that will be followed by 12 half hour episodes beginning in 2016!
Set in 2050, this CGI animation is a fresh and modern take on the classic King Kong story. Even far in the future, KONG is still the strongest creature ever born with many human traits that make him the ultimate iconic hero. In KONG, the future looks bright for San Francisco’s Alcatraz Island since its transformation into the most impressive Natural History and Marine Preserve on the planet. But when the star attraction suddenly goes ape and KONG becomes public enemy number one, the villain that framed him is free to unleash an army of gigantic robotic dinosaurs on the unsuspecting world. Ironically, KONG is the only force formidable enough to stop these super-powered dinosaurs and the evil genius manipulating them. But KONG is now the world’s most hunted fugitive. Fortunately, there are three young humans who know the truth and are willing to risk their lives to help KONG evade capture, while he battles to save humankind.
October 1, 2014: Toronto After Dark: Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult Film Festival is thrilled to officially unveil its final wave of exciting film announcements for 2014, including 9 new feature films and a fantastic collection of shorts. Included in the lineup are some of the hottest new genre films from the international film festival circuit including HOUSEBOUND a multiple award-winning scary horror thriller from New Zealand, WYRMWOOD, an action-packed post-apocalyptic zombie movie from Australia, and WHY HORROR? a fascinating Canadian documentary that uncovers the psychology of horror fans around the world.
These final films join a list of 10 exciting features previously announced in late August that include THE BABADOOKthe acclaimed new supernatural horror hit from Australia, and DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD, the crowd-pleasing follow-up to the original Norwegian nazi zombie hit. All the features will have their Toronto, Canadian, North American or World Theatrical Premieres hosted exclusively at the festival’s 9th Annual Edition, this October 16-24, 2014 at the Scotiabank Theatre, in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Preview all the available trailers to the Toronto After Dark feature film lineup, plus a new one-minute festival sizzle reel of trailer highlights at the Youtube Playlist below. Scroll down further for more info on the final wave of films, and how you can get tickets and passes to screenings at Toronto After Dark this year.
THE FINAL 9 FEATURE FILMS ANNOUNCED!
HOUSEBOUND (New Zealand) Toronto Premiere & Opening Gala Film
HOUSEBOUND is a wickedly fun scary new horror thriller from New Zealand, described as “bloody brilliant” by filmmaking icon Peter Jackson (LORD OF THE RINGS). The film follows a young woman forced to return home and endure a triple threat of being under house arrest, living with her eccentric old mother, and potential ghosts in the house. Full of suspense and frights, and laced with a good dose of dysfunctional family comedy that will allow anyone to relate to the main characters, HOUSEBOUND has become a smash hit on the festival circuit, winning numerous audience awards since its SXSW debut. Trailer Poster
WYRMWOOD (Australia) Canadian Premiere
DAWN OF THE DEAD meets MAD MAX in this full-on, post-apocalyptic road action adventure from Australia that will delight fans with its car chase thrills, zombie kills and unique spin on the undead mythos. After Barry, a talented mechanic, sees his community torn apart by a zombie apocalypse and his sister abducted by some sinister government scientists, it’s clear his only means of survival and finding his sister is to hit the road. But first he’ll have to improvise some deadly weapons out of garage tools, significantly modify a road vehicle for combat, recruit several allies to his cause – and also wipe out hordes of ferocious zombies beginning to encircle his home! Trailer ” target=”blank”>Poster
WHY HORROR? (Canada) Canadian Premiere
WHY HORROR? is a fascinating new feature documentary that follows horror journalist Tal Zimerman (RUE MORGUE) as he travels the world to examine the different cultures, media, science, and psychology of horror, with one simple purpose: to understand why we love to be scared. Featuring exclusive interviews with horror filmmaking luminaries such as John Carpenter, George A. Romero, Eli Roth, Don Coscarelli and more, as well as discussions with leading psychological experts, WHY HORROR? is an illuminating experience for both fans and and foes of the movie genre alike. This screening is co-presented by Rue Morgue Cinemacabre, and will feature a fascinating post-screening Q&A with Tal Zimerman, and the Documentary’s Directors. Trailer Poster
LET US PREY (Ireland/UK) Toronto Premiere
In this tense, supernatural spin on John Carpenter’s cult classic ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13,a menacing stranger (GAME OF THONES’ Liam Cunningham) turns up in the middle of the night at a police station in a remote Scottish town. After being placed in a holding cell, it’s not long before the stranger initiates a terrifying chain reaction of madness and violence amongst the inmates and police officers. One of the few unaffected is a newly hired female officer (THE WOMAN’S Pollyanna McIntosh), and with her back to the wall, not knowing who she can trust, she finds herself fighting for her life. Trailer Poster
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (USA) Special Presentation
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (AMERICAN HORROR STORY) stylishly and cleverly reinvents the 1976 horror cult classic of the same name, with this dark and delicious cinematic treat for horror fans, both old and new. Based on a terrifying true story, THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN picks up sixty-five years after a masked serial killer terrorized the small town of Texarkana. But now the “moonlight murders” have begun again. Is it a copycat or something even more sinister? A lonely high school girl (ODD THOMAS’s Addison Timlin), with dark secrets of her own, may be the key to catching the murderer. The fantastic supporting cast includes fan favourites Gary Cole (OFFICE SPACE),Denis O’Hare (AMERICAN HORROR STORY) and Veronica Cartwright (ALIEN). Trailer ” target=”blank”>Poster
LATE PHASES (USA) Toronto Premiere
When grizzled war veteran Ambrose (STAKE LAND’s Nick Damici), moves into the Crescent Bay retirement community, he’s discovers that some local residents have been dying not from old age, but from a series of mysterious, vicious dog attacks. After his own house is attacked in the night by the animals, Ambrose sets his military mind to tracking them down.But it soon becomes clear that these attacks are a regular monthly occurrence, synchronized to the full moon, and the tight-knit community of Crescent Bay has been hiding something far more sinister that wild dogs in its midst. Ambrose will have to face off against some creatures that are part-man, part-wolf – and completely deadly. Trailer Poster
REFUGE (USA) Canadian Premiere
Set amidst the ruins of a collapsed America in the wake of a great catastrophic plague, REFUGE is a tense post-apocalyptic survival thriller in the vein of THE ROAD and THE WALKING DEAD. Taking refuge in an old boarded-up home, a family does its best to maintain a sense of normalcy amidst a lawless world of roaming gangs. But it’s not long before food and supplies begin to dwindle, forcing the family of survivors into a deadly showdown with a group of vicious marauders surrounding their home.Trailer Poster
THE DROWNSMAN (Canada) Toronto Premiere
With THE DROWNSMAN Chad Archibald (ANTISOCIAL) delivers a refreshingly new take on classic urban legend horror such as the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series. After a young woman narrowly survives a terrifying drowning experience in a lake, she finds herself stalked by an evil entity, The Drownsman, determined to drag her and her circle of close friends to a watery hell! Trailer Poster
KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER (USA) Toronto Premiere
Based on a true story… a lonely, eccentric Japanese woman (PACIFIC RIM’s Rinko Kikuchi) becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in the Coen Brothers’ cult classic crime thriller FARGO, is in fact, real and still out there, waiting to be recovered. After watching the movie over and over again, she prepares a crudely drawn treasure map and with limited preparation, escapes her structured life in Tokyo and embarks on a foolhardy quest across the frozen tundra of Minnesota in search of her mythical fortune. Stunningly shot, beautifully acted, and dream-like in its execution, KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER has entranced audiences wherever it has screened, winning numerous festival awards since its debut at Sundance where it won a Special Jury Award. Poster
28 SHORT FILMS ANNOUNCED!
Fans can also look forward to two fantastic showcases of cutting edge genre short films at this year’s festival!
CANADA AFTER DARK: 19 outstanding Canadian short films will screen at this year’s festival. And as per tradition at Toronto After Dark, one in front of each of the Feature Films:DAY 40, DEAD HEARTS, FOXED, HONOR CODE, INTRUDERS, KISMET, LAST BREATH, LAZY BOYS, LITTLE MATTHEW, LUMBERJACKED, MIGRATION, THE MONITOR, MONSTER ISLAND, PERIOD PIECE, PUPA, ROSE IN BLOOM, SATAN’S DOLLS, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, YOUNG BLOOD
SHORTS AFTER DARK: 9 incredible International Short films will screen this year as part of the popular international short film showcase:DYNAMIC VENUS , EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING, HAPPY B-DAY, INVADERS, , HE TOOK OFF HIS SKIN FOR ME, LIQUID, REDACTION, STRANGE THING, SWORDFIGHTS
FROM FRI, OCT 3:SCHEDULE, DETAILED FILM INFO, SINGLE TICKETS AVAILABLE!
The complete Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2014 schedule for all 20 Screenings, over nine thrilling nights, this Oct 16-24 at the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Toronto will be announced from Friday, Oct 3. Fans can expect as with previous years, the vast majority of screenings to take place at the convenient prime times of 7pm and 9.30pm nightly. At the same time, fans will also be able to buy single tickets ranging from $11 (Multi-film purchase) to $13 (Regular Single Film Tickets) to all screenings at the Festival Website, Cineplex Website, Cineplex App and in person at the venue.To get notified of when the schedule and box office has gone live, sign up for our E-Newsletter.
After years of denial, our breaking news from 2011 and 2012 is confirmed officially today with the announcement that Lionsgate and “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer are expanding the universe in short form.
As part of its ongoing effort to enhance its diverse portfolio of premium content, Lionsgate is teaming with Facebook, the prestigious Women In Film organization, the crowdsourcing platform Tongal and best-selling “Twilight Saga” author Stephenie Meyer to create and manage a social media campaign to develop and produce a series of short films directed by aspiring female filmmakers, a press release tells us.
The campaign, called “The Storytellers – New Creative Voices of The Twilight Saga,” will include films based on a broad spectrum of characters from the Twilight universe, with guidance provided by Meyer’s encyclopedic “The Twilight Saga: Official Illustrated Guide.”
The campaign will center on a multiphase contest culminating in the selection of at least five aspiring female filmmakers to direct short films based on characters from the “Twilight” universe. The films will be produced and directed with the mentorship of a blue chip panel of advisors, which will ultimately select the winning shorts that will premiere exclusively on the Facebook platform next year. The star-studded group of female panelists will include Stephenie Meyer, actress Kristen Stewart, Academy Award winners Kate Winslet and Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Lee, the award-winning writer and one of the directors of Disney’s global blockbuster Frozen, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, Emmy Award-winning actress Julie Bowen, and Women In Film President Cathy Schulman.
Five winning shorts will be financed through production advances, and fans will help select a grand prize winning filmmaker who will receive a cash prize and career opportunities. The short film development and production process will involve extensive fan engagement on the Facebook and Tongal platforms.
The infamous 1983 music ‘video’ for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, which was directed by John Landis (An American Werewolf In London), is getting released in a new dimension come 2015.
The 14-minute short film, which revolutionized music videos and has since become one of, if not the the most famous ever released, will be getting the 3-D treatment, and will arrive on Blu-ray and potentially in limited theaters come 2015.
Landis is overseeing this project now that a dispute with the Jackson estate has finished, which we exclusively broke.
Landis told the NY Daily News:
It is going to reappear in a highly polished and three-dimensional way that is very exciting on the big screen.
Pressed on what fans can expect to see, Landis showed his scary side.
“I cannot tell you any more,” Landis joked. “I might have to kill you.”
Although XLrator Media has yet to announce a release, Australia is set to get the edgy, comedic thriller, The Mule (read our review), from Entertainment One Films this year.
The film, written by Saw and Insidious‘ Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson, recently had its world premiere to great acclaim at South by Southwest in March. Now, the first trailer has arrived! Drop your pants and you’ll receive it below…
“It’s 1983. A naive man with lethal narcotics hidden in his stomach is detained by Australian Federal Police. Alone and afraid, ‘The Mule’ makes a desperate choice; to defy his bodily functions and withhold the evidence…literally. And by doing so becomes a ‘human time-bomb’; dragging cops, criminals and concerned family into his impossible escapade.”
The Mule stars Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix), Angus Sampson (Mad Max: Fury Road, Insidious), Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious), Ewen Leslie, Geoff Morrell, Georgina Haig, Noni Hazlehurst and John Noble (The Lord of the Rings, TV’s “Fringe”) and is directed by Angus Sampson & Tony Mahony. It was produced by Angus Sampson & Jane Liscombe and executive produced by Michele Bennett (Chopper), Leigh Whannell, David Griffiths, Angus Coupland & Troy Lum (The Water Diviner, Saving Mr. Banks).
Time for horror audiences to go trick or treating!
“Fun Size Horror” is a horror film collective that has come together to create 31 films to celebrate Halloween! You can find all of the our terrifying shorts distributed across the online world, including on Bloody Disgusting, this Halloween.
“It occurred to me that I know all these great filmmakers, who are always wanting to create their own thing and all love horror, but were never given a platform,” said Zeke Pinheiro, who came up with the concept. “So I figured, why don’t we pool our skills, equipment and resources, and create a collective with the goal of each of us creating a short film that runs less than five minutes for Halloween.”
All of the “Fun Size Horror” short films have been independently produced by a wide range of filmmakers including Jackson Stewart, Josh Waller, Glen Murakami, Mali Elfman, with participating actors Lance Reddick, Rose McIver, Tracie Thoms, Brea Grant, Amy Dallen and Diva Zappa.
Starting October 27th through Halloween, a new short will appear everyday on each of the five sites hosting Fun Size Horror. Each short will only be up for 24 hours before being replaced by the next day’s horror film so make sure to catch them while they’re up.
I’m not exactly sure why this interview took place, but Vulture has a pretty cool chat with director John Carpenter about his filmmaking career. Those who have interviewed him understand that he’s a tough cookie to crack, unless of course you talk basketball with him (we’re brothers from another mother).
Anyways, Vulture actually got some really juicy stuff from Carpenter, including the reveal that Texas Chain Saw Massacre co-creators Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel worked on the script for The Thing at one point.
“Yes,” Carpenter confirmed, adding this nasty little tid-bit. “They wrote a whole draft before I came along. All sorts of drafts were written before I came along. One was underwater … they were just trying to make it work.”
And as insane as that sounds, the coolest part of the interview is when Vulture and Carpenter riff on the day horror died.
Vulture: After making The Thing, you read a demographical study that said the audience for horror movies shrank by 70 percent over a six-month period.
Carpenter:Yes. It was shocking! [Laughs.]
Vulture: Can you remember where you saw this?
Carpenter:It was sitting in my office at Universal. Universal had sent it over.
Vulture: Was it their way of saying “Lower your expectations”?
Carpenter:Yeah: “Brace yourself.”
The film opened on June 25, 1982 and flopped in theater, pulling in only $19M. Thank the heavens this was only the beginning of Carpenter’s illustrious career.
FX has released a transcript of an interview with “The Strain” star Kevin Durand, who allegedly was approached to play Abraham in AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
When asked for confirmation of the rumor, Durand knocked it down immediately.
“You know what, I wasn’t. I wasn’t, but I heard that from people. Ultimately for me it’s just really nice; it’s such an incredible compliment that you think of me for these characters. I’m so grateful for that,” explains Durand. “But no, nobody ever talked to me about that.”
But he does reveal that he was approached for an unknown role of a character named “Negan.”
“I’ve had a lot of people with ‘The Walking Dead’ talk to me, mentioned that they see me for a character named “Negan,” but I haven’t read the comic,” he adds. “But my ears are always open to what’s being said out on, and, like I said, I’m always honored to hear any of your thoughts.
“Bring it on.“
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the character, The Walking Dead Wiki has his bio:
“Negan is a character first introduced in Issue 100 of Image Comics’ The Walking Dead. [He] was the leader of the Saviors and is a primary antagonist in the Comic Series. He uses his authority and resources to subjugate other communities, such as the Hilltop Colony, The Kingdom, and later the Alexandria Safe-Zone, into paying tribute to The Saviors, in exchange for protection against zombies. The communities join together and start a conflict against The Saviors, which ends up with Dwight, former lieutenant and defector, taking charge of The Saviors, now willing to cooperate with all survivors. Negan is then incarcerated, receiving a life sentence.”
For the month of October we’re going to take you down memory lane and reveal what horror films opened on each day leading up to Halloween.
October 1 actuality saw quite a few releases, most notably George A. Romero’s $100k indie Night of the Living Dead, which made a whopping $30M worldwide at the box office. Explains Wiki, Night of the Living Dead was heavily criticized at its release owing to explicit content, but eventually garnered critical acclaim and has been selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” It’s soaked in social commentary that’s still relevant today.
And as unbelievable as it sounds, today also marks the 40th anniversary of Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, another horror indie that broke through the Hollywood barrier. Hooper produced the film for less than $300,000 and used a cast of relatively unknown actors drawn mainly from central Texas, where the film was shot, explains Wiki. The limited budget forced Hooper to film for long hours seven days a week, so that he could finish as quickly as possible and reduce equipment rental costs. Due to the film’s violent content, Hooper struggled to find a distributor. Louis Perano of Bryanston Pictures eventually purchased the distribution rights. Hooper limited the quantity of onscreen gore in hopes of securing a ‘PG’ rating, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated it ‘R’. The film faced similar difficulties internationally.
The site also explained that, Uupon its October 1974 release, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was banned outright in several countries, and numerous theaters later stopped showing the film in response to complaints about its violence. While it initially drew a mixed reception from critics, it was enormously profitable, grossing over $30 million at the domestic box office. It has since gained a reputation as one of the best horror films in cinema history. It is credited with originating several elements common in the slasher genre, including the use of power tools as murder weapons and the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure. The popularity of the film led to a franchise that continued the story of Leatherface and his family through sequels, remakes, one prequel, comic books and video games.
A look through the history books also reveals that October 1 shared the release of the 1978 Patrick, which has since been remade, Magnolia Pictures’ 2009 Universal Soldier: Regeneration, Paramount Pictures’ god-awful 2009 Case 39, and even Dark Sky Films’ 2010 release of Adam Green’s Hatchet II!
If you’re looking for a way to kickoff this October in style, starting with the brand new TCM box set and NOTLD is a great place to start! Share your stories below. When was the first time you saw them all? Which is your fav?