Next Season of American Horror Story Will Have a Carnival Theme

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 15:32

The most persistent rumor about the impending fourth season of FX's mega-popular show "American Horror Story" is that it will have a carnival theme, which has made us quite excited about the potential for such a fun idea. Today comes confirmation of the rumors. Read on!

"American Horror Story" writer Douglas Petrie was recently interviewed on the Nerdist Writers Panel podcast, where he was pressed for details about the show's fourth season.

Though he at first declined to comment, Petrie confirmed the rumors of a carnival theme when they were brought up, saying that the season doesn't yet have a title but that yes, the carnival theme is the rough idea that they're working with.

Earlier this year creator Ryan Murphy hinted that Season 4 will take place in two different time periods, mainly set in the 1950s, which is the only other piece of information we really know about the season thus far.

Last we heard, Jessica Lange will be returning for one more go at it, and both Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett have also recently expressed interest in returning.

More as we learn it!

For more info in the meantime, visit the show's Facebook page and Twitter feed along with "American Horror Story" on FX.

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Categories: Horror News

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Returns in Upcoming Miniseries Ugly

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 15:28

Published way back in 1831, Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame has been adapted countless times over the years and turned into a handful of feature films and stage plays. Now our old pal Quasimodo is headed for the small screen. Read on for details!

Variety reports that director Roland Joffe (The Killing Fields, Captivity) has teamed up with FremantleMedia to develop a miniseries titled "Ugly," which is based on Hugo's iconic novel. It will be an eight-part adaptation set in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The miniseries will begin with the birth of a boy to an aristocratic family. The boy is deformed, and his family abandons him by the roadside in a basket, where he is discovered by a troupe of traveling actors. They name him "Ugly."

The story follows Ugly into adulthood, exploring the nature of beauty and ugliness, what it means to be human, and notions of morality.

Alongside the story of Ugly, Joffe has introduced a second story strand, that of John Law, a Scottish economist, who is put in charge of France’s finances by King Louis XV. Joffe said that the introduction of Law’s story is one of the ways he is making the story relevant to today’s audiences. Law’s great innovation is the introduction of paper money, which in turn leads to speculation. Law policies cause a financial crisis, which ruins the country.

FremantleMedia Intl. will introduce the miniseries to buyers at next month’s TV market MipTV in Cannes. Joffe hopes to move into production next year.

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A Sonogram of the Uncensored 'Proxy' Poster! (Exclusive)

bloody disgusting - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 15:25

The loss of a baby would make anyone go crazy…

Bloody has your exclusive first look at the censored and uncensored theatrical posters for the April 18 release for Zack Parker’s Proxy, which was acquired by IFC Midnight out of TIFF 2013 (read our review).

The film will debut on various VOD platforms April 18. It will also be opening in New York’s IFC Center with a Nationwide rollout to follow.

Alexia Rasmussen, Alexa Havins, Halloween‘s Kristina Klebe, and The Sacrament and V/H/S‘ Joe Swanberg all star.

A very pregnant Esther Woodhouse (Rasmussen) is walking home after her latest OB appointment, when she is brutally attacked and disfigured by a hooded assailant. When Esther seeks consolation in a support group, she finds friendship and empathy in Melanie (Havins), another mother scarred with tragedy. Esther soon begins to believe that the horrific event might be a bittersweet act of fate. However, friendship and empathy can be very dangerous things when accepted by the wrong people.

Categories: Horror News

First Poster Teases Fox's Maze Runner Adaptation

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 15:23

For those looking forward to the big screen adaptation of The Maze Runner, which we've been talking about for some time now, you'll be pleased to know that the trailer will at long last be finding its way out of the maze this week, premiering tonight during MTV's "Teen Wolf."

In the meantime, check out a slick new piece of poster art for the flick courtesy of Digital Spy, which shows the towering scope of the film's titular maze, along with a teaser of the trailer!

Look for The Maze Runner, starring Dylan O’Brien, Jacob Latimore, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Blake Cooper, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, on October 24, 2014. Noah Oppenheim and James Dashner (author of the novel) wrote the script. Wes Ball directs.

Synopsis
Based on the young-adult novel by James Dashner, “The Maze Runner” centers around teen Thomas (O’Brien), who awakens in a rusty elevator with no memory of who he is. What he does come to find out is that he’s been delivered to the middle of an intricate maze, along with a slew of other boys, who have been trying to find their way out of the ever-changing labyrinth — all the while establishing a functioning society within the enclosure they’ve come to call “The Glade."

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IFC Gives Cold in July a May Theatrical/VOD Date

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 15:17

Director Jim Mickle's (Stake Land, We Are What We Are) adaptation of Joe R. Lansdale's Cold in July was scooped up by IFC at Sundance earlier this year, which has had us itching for a release announcement. Today it has arrived along with a new still, and we've never been so happy about a cold front moving in!

IFC Films has announced that Cold in July will be given a VOD release on May 23rd, the same date it embarks on a limited theatrical run.

Michael C. Hall stars alongside Vinessa Shaw, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Wyatt Russell, and Mickle's co-writer Nick Damici.

Synopsis
How can a split-second decision change your life? While investigating noises in his house one balmy Texas night in 1989, Richard Dane (Hal) puts a bullet in the brain of low-life burglar Freddy Russell. Although he’s hailed as a small-town hero, Dane soon finds himself fearing for his family’s safety when Freddy’s ex-con father, Ben (Shepard), rolls into town, hell-bent on revenge.

Michael C. Hall brings a shell-shocked vulnerability to his portrayal of Dane that contrasts perfectly with the grizzled badasses portrayed by Sam Shepard and Don Johnson. Directed with an excellent eye for the visual poetry of noir by Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are), this pulpy, Southern-fried mystery is a throwback to an older breed of action film, one where every punch and shotgun blast opens up both physical and spiritual wounds. Twists and turns accelerate as the film reaches its inevitable destination: a gore-soaked dead end. Cold in July is as muggy, oppressive, and hard to shake as an east Texas summer.

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Avatar Release Official Video For New Track "Hail The Apocalypse"

bloody disgusting - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 15:15

Swedish metal band Avatar have released an official music video for the title track of their upcoming album Hail The Apocalypse. The black and white video, which was directed by Johan Carlén, plays out like a silent film with vocalist Johannes Eckerström cranking a windup music box, ushering in calamitous events.

Eckerström comments on the new video: “This is our best video to date. I play your friendly neighborhood doomsday prophet. You get to follow me facing the unbelievers & their reactions when chaos ensues. Good times all around & we are using some really amazing special effects to blow up the planet. Oh, and it’s done like a silent movie.

You can watch the video below. Also, make sure to pre-order Hail The Apocalpyse via iTunes.



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Categories: Horror News

Get Multiple Looks at the New Godzilla!

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 15:06

So you want a good... REALLY good look at the beast himself in Legendary Pictures' upcoming take on Godzilla? Well then, your prayers have been answered as right now we have multiple looks at one of NECA's collectibles as well as the cover reveal for Godzilla: The Art of Destruction, which we first told you about last month.

First up, Toho Kingdom showed off both the 12″ and 24″ HTT versions of NECA's latest collectible. The unpainted resin 24″ is seen below with the smaller painted 12″ HTT.

Next, Insight Editions, Legendary Pictures, Toho Co., Ltd., and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have unveiled the official cover of Godzilla: The Art of Destruction. Learn more here, and look for it on May 13th!

Check out all the goodies below.

Gareth Edwards (Monsters) directs an all-star cast that includes Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Johnson, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, Richard T. Jones, Sally Hawkins, Akira Takarada, Victor Rasuk, Yuki Morita, C.J. Adams, and Gary Chalk.

In theaters May 16, 2014, an epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Making his first appearance in 1954 (Gojira), Godzilla is a giant monster that lives in the sea that comes from the ocean to feed on mankind.

Visit the official Godzilla website here.

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Categories: Horror News

Pixelated Horror Finds A 'Home' On PS4, PS Vita

bloody disgusting - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 14:59

Sony’s arsenal of horror games is impressive and ever-growing. They’ve scored a number of (console) exclusives, like Outlast and Zombie Studios’ procedurally generated game, Daylight. Dead Nation recently returned, this time in HD, with the Apocalypse Edition, and they also have dibs on the still very distant SOMA, a sci-fi survival horror game from Amnesia developer Frictional Games. Now they have Benjamin Rivers’ pixelated horror hit Home, too.

As for whether or not this version will come with new content, a post on the PlayStation Blog teased it as a possibility.

“Home received several updates after its original launch to add content and extra features, and everything that’s in the game is making the trek to Playstation. Will you find anything new in this version of Home? Folks who have played the game before know that you can never be sure what you’ll discover the next time you start it up; I’ll be back on the blog to discuss specifics as we tinker around a bit more.”

Keep the horror games coming, Sony.

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Categories: Horror News

Tribeca 2014: Trailer Debut for Viewpoints Opener Summer of Blood

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 14:54

The Viewpoints section of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival kicks off on April 17th with the premiere of the delightfully twisted Summer of Blood, Onur Tukel's comedic reimagining of the vampire genre, and today the film's trailer has arrived.

Synopsis:
Misanthropic and immature Eric faces a premature mid-life crisis after his girlfriend leaves him. With no career and even less charisma in bed, it seems like this lovable loser is beyond hope, until one fateful summer night when a vampire bites him in a Brooklyn alleyway.

The next day Eric finds his confidence invigorated and his stomach in excruciating pain that can only be cured by one thing... blood.

Onur Tukel directs and stars in this delightfully dark comedy about love, lust, and humanity.

The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, will take place from April 16 to April 27 at locations around New York City. For more info visit the official Tribeca Film Festival website, "like" the Tribeca Film Festival on Facebook, and follow Tribeca Film Festival (@TribecaFilmFest) on Twitter and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TFF2014.

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First Oculus TV Spot Filled With Danger and Deception

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 14:52

On tap right now is the first TV spot for Oculus, which has been scaring the hell out of people at early screenings. This one cannot get here soon enough, kids! Check out the goodies for yourself!

Karen Gillan ("Doctor Who," Not Another Happy Ending), Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent and The Giver), Rory Cochrane (Argo, Parkland), and Katee Sackhoff ("Battlestar Galactica," Riddick) star.

Related Story: Mike Flanagan Reflects on the Horrors of Oculus

Oculus is directed by Mike Flanagan from a script he co-wrote with Jeff Howard, based on a short film Flanagan and Jeff Seidman made in 2005. Trevor Macy (Safe House, The Strangers, The Raven) and Marc D. Evans (Safe House, The Strangers, The Raven) produced the film, and Jason Blum, Ryan Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, Anil Kurian, D. Scott Lumpkin, Peter Schlessel, Dale Johnson, Glenn Murray, Julie May, and Mike Ilitch, Jr., serve as executive producers.

Synopsis
Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force­­ unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to prove Tim’s innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again…

For the latest news and updates, be sure to "like" Oculus on Facebook and follow @blumhouse on Twitter.

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First Leprechaun: Origins Footage Revealed

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 14:47

As promised, the first footage from the WWE's Leprechaun: Origins reboot is here, and though you don't get to spy what WWE Supertstar Hornswoggle looks like just yet, you can definitely get a feel for where the flick is going!

Leprechaun: Origins also stars Stephanie Bennett, Teach Grant (The Tall Man, Devour, Repeaters, “Cult”), Bruce Blain (“Supernatural”), Adam Boys, and Brendan Fletcher ("The Killing," Freddy vs. Jason, 13 Eerie).

The original Leprechaun, which featured comedic elements, followed an evil leprechaun searching for his pot of gold while avoiding four-leaf clovers. “The tone [of Origins] is going to be a little darker, a little more traditional horror than the Warwick Davis ones that people remember, trying to find a way to please fans of that genre; but at the same time this is really being played for scares,” said WWE president Michael Luisi in an earlier interview.

Producers are keeping details of Harris Wilkinson's script under wraps to keep the franchise's new direction a secret.

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Get Teased by the First Ju-On: The Beginning of the End Trailer

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 14:43

The first teaser trailer is here for Ju-on: Owari no Hajimari (translated: Ju-On: The Beginning of the End), and it's filled with the kind of sounds that to this day sends shivers down our backs. Check it out!

Ochiai Masayuki (Infection, Hypnosis and the 2008 remake of Shutter) is directing. Thus far Nozomi Sasaki has been cast along with Kai Kobayashi as the dreaded Toshio Saeki.

The flick is filming now with a release date slated for June 28.

Synopsis
An elementary school teacher named Yui (Sasaki) visits the home of a boy named Toshio Saeki (Kobayashi), who's been absent from school for a long period of time. When she arrives, she re-lives the horrific tragedy which occurred in the Saeki household 10 years earlier. A cardboard box left in a closet holds the key to revealing a long-hidden truth.

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Monkeybrain Monday Review: “The Fallen” # 1

bloody disgusting - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 14:36

While Monkeybrain comics may not specialize in horror, they do specialize in quality comic books. For those of you looking to expand your palette this is “Monkeybrain Monday” showcasing some of the digital titles this smaller publisher has to offer.

Alex De-Gruchy has crafted a unique story of survival with “The Fallen.” He blends popular genres and tropes to create an entirely new look at survival horror that sees superhumans fighting to survive the apocalypse.


WRITTEN BY: Alex De-Gruchy
ART BY: Michael Montenat
PUBLISHER: Monkeybrain Comics
PRICE: $0.99
GET IT HERE: http://www.monkeybraincomics.com/

Sadly “The Fallen” doesn’t really have anything new to offer the stories it borrows so heavily from. Everything feels borrowed and pre-established. It’s good fun when it works, but if you’ve read something like “Crossed” you know his crazy cannibal antagonists are far from original. In fact they seem tame compared to Ennis’ creation.

The quiet protagonist of the piece does his best to offer concise amounts of world building in a planet gone to shit but the task at hand proves a little too cumbersome for the issue to handle. Often the exposition feels heavy handed and forced. Instead of feeding the audience in small tidbits everything is dumped on them at once, forcing them to process an apocalypse and a world of superheroes.

I will admit that the unique way in which the apocalypse was brought on managed to capture my interest. It felt like a natural oversight that might come into play with super powered intellect. With that being said, I think I would have rathered see that moment than having been told about it.

Michael Montenat’s art is fairly gritty evoking a certain feeling of dread within the pages. It’s crafted in such a way that favors the action beautifully and manages to keep the paneling interesting every step of the way. I was thoroughly pleased with my panel by panel viewing because the action popped and felt organic. The character designs scream regular survivor joe, but other than that the atmosphere of dread really shines.

“The Fallen” has a lot to offer, but never really follows one of many elements it sets up. Instead it feels thinly spread out over a number of interesting topics but can never really make up its mind as to which one is its focus. It’s a shame because the world building and exposition get in the way of telling an otherwise interesting character study of survivor guilt as a superhero.

Rating: 2/5 Skulls.

Categories: Horror News

Former THQ Boss Sheds Light On Guillermo Del Toro's Action Horror Trilogy 'InSane'

bloody disgusting - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 14:23

Back in 2012, publisher THQ blew up in a fairly dramatic way, resulting in the liquidation of its assets and the auctioning off of most of its IPs. Unfortunately, this left many of its games either canned or in limbo, including Guillermo Del Toro’s promising action horror game InSane — the first in a planned trilogy — which was one of the first projects to get shelved. Thankfully, Del Toro owns the rights to the game, and it sounds like he hasn’t given up on it yet.

In an interview with Danny Bilson, who ran the cores games division at THQ, we get a peek at a few of the games that were left behind. Apparently, Bilson even has an idea on how to bring InSane back.

“I haven’t heard that he’s doing anything with it yet, although I do have an idea how to revive it, and I’m gonna speak to him soon,” Bilson told VG24/7.

“As much as I can tell you about it is that it was an action adventure game with really great environments, story and characters, and it was period and very Lovecraftian. I don’t wanna spoil it, in the hope that Guillermo wants to go further with it.

Guillermo Del Toro has expressed interest in keeping his Lovecraftian IP alive, though, sadly, we haven’t heard much from it in some time. According to Bilson, who has actually seen the game — proving it actually exists! — it’s a very promising project.

It was really atmospheric, a great world. There were environments in that game that players have never been through before. It had a really interesting narrative, a really great character that the player inhabited in it.

“It was at Volition for at least a year towards the end there. The people who really worked on it were at Volition. There were probably – I don’t remember exactly – about 35 people working on it in preproduction, doing some prototyping and working on some technology, things like that. They were very passionate about it at Volition.”

For the full interview, head on over to VG24/7.

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Categories: Horror News

Official Synopsis and Artwork for Anne Rice's Prince Lestat

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 14:08

Fans of Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles have been over the moon since learning that Prince Lestat, a new installment in the series, is heading our way in October, and now the official synopsis and artwork have arrived along with pre-ordering info!

Knopf is releasing Prince Lestat on October 28th. At present only the hardcover edition is listed for pre-order, but Anne assured us that the Kindle, Nook, and eBook versions of the book will also be available on the publication date.

Synopsis:
A stunning departure, a surprising and compelling return... From Anne Rice, perennial best seller, single-handed reinventor of the vampire cosmology—a new, exhilarating novel, a deepening of her vampire mythology, and a chillingly hypnotic mystery-thriller.

“What can we do but reach for the embrace that must now contain both heaven and hell: our doom again and again and again...” —from The Vampire Lestat

Rice once again summons up the irresistible spirit-world of the oldest and most powerful forces of the night, invisible beings unleashed on an unsuspecting world able to take blood from humans, in a long-awaited return to the extraordinary world of The Vampire Chronicles and the uniquely seductive Queen of the Damned, a long-awaited novel that picks up where The Vampire Lestat left off more than a quarter of a century ago to create an extraordinary new world of spirits and forces—the characters, legend, and lore of all The Vampire Chronicles.

The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis... vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned... Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth, are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco.

As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, 4th century Carthage, 14th century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all The Vampire Chronicles—Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet; Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia, along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures—come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who—or what—the Voice is and to discover the secret of what it desires and why...

And, at the book’s center, the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw—the great hope of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat...

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Simon Roy Talks Tone, Inspiration, and Point of View in "Jan's Atomic Heart & Other Stories"

bloody disgusting - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 13:23

Simon Roy is no stranger to the world of comics. For the last few years he’s been doing incredible work on “Prophet” with Brandon Graham, which got him an Eisner nomination last year. His style evokes a certain casual sense of dread in a world of layered science fiction. Creature designs are his forte and writing any new creature like an odd human being is just part of his charm. If you’ve been a fan of science fiction comics chances are really good you’ve seen his work.

Before all of this though, in 2009 Simon started work on Jan’s Atomic Heart, a story written and illustrated by himself and released with Ed Brisson’s New Reliable Press. In 2010 he was nominated for a Shuster Award for his work on Jan and illustrated two short stories in the first volume Brisson’s Murder Book series, called “Catching Up” and “Skimming the Till”.

Now, right before he’s about to launch “The Field” with Ed Brisson and Image Comics, he has decided to release “Jan’s Atomic Heart & Other Stories.” His now long time partner Image Comics has decided to spearhead this incredible release of older collected material next week on March 26th. To celebrate Bloody-Disgusting caught up with the talented writer/artist to talk about the stories inside the collection.


Bloody Disgusting: What influenced the futuristic character designs in Jan’s Atomic Heart?

Simon Roy: The work of Masamune Shirow (specifically his first “Ghost in the Shell” manga) has been a big influence on the way I approach tanks and robots and all that good stuff. He’s got this knack for perfectly balancing organic and mechanical visual elements in his designs so that they have this weirdly practical feel to them.

BD: The story is seeded in sensitivity and paranoia, do you carry these things with you on a daily basis?

SR: Well, a little bit. I’m the middle brother in my family, so I was doomed to sensitivity from an early age. But I don’t think I’m overly paranoid – it’s more of a pervasive, soft pessimism.

BD: How did you conceive of Jan? How did it evolve?

SR: I’ve actually got an infographic that tells that story a little better here – a graphic design project i managed to hijack and drive a bit more in the comic direction. http://www.flickr.com/photos/povorot/5261821802/

BD: You wrote it in school, what did teachers think of it? how did they influence it?

SR: Writing Jan’s was actually a bit of a reaction to the lack of connection i felt to my curriculum in first year art school. It was a total labor of love, and something that helped me feel like i was spending my time well (between making up bullshit explanations for sculpture projects).

BD: Why is some of your work a satire of war and violence? (Good Business)

SR: As a kid I loved all the history and machinery of war, but as an adult it’s much harder for me to approach that kind of stuff as gleefully. I still love the visual texture of it all, but if i’m going to use and enjoy that imagery, i don’t want to be just reinforcing the negative cultural messages that we’ve already all internalized. It’s funner to play with expectation a bit more.

BD: What comes first the story or the drawing?

SR:Usually the story, nowadays, but lots of the stories in this collection started just with an image. This image – a shipwrecked man getting stoned with a gorilla – was the seed that started “Shipwrecked with Dan the Gorilla”, for example. It’s hard to separate the two sometimes. http://www.flickr.com/photos/povorot/2913319193/

BD:Your work often features an odd POV, how do you decide what lens to tell a story through?

SR:I really enjoy work by creators like Philip K Dick and the Coen brothers, who are masters in telling stories about ordinary people that get caught in these webs of unintended consequences – naturalistic, almost momentum-based stories. I think I’m trying to emulate that a lot in my own work by trying to focus the story around characters i can really relate to. It’s a lot more interesting to see a character you’re connected to get dragged through an adventure – or take a viewpoint that’s not ordinarily sympathetic and see what the world looks like from there.

BD: All of your work seems to be part of a shared world, how much world building goes into a new project?

SR:It depends on the project. Most of the stories in this collection take place in worlds that are only lightly fleshed out, but the elements of exposition that do get used are hopefully implying a lot more. Generally speaking, the world-building in this collection is more about communicating an overall tone and making a convincing space for the story to exist in then building the entire world. That being said, I do like the idea that all these stories exist at different points in time in the same universe/timeline, which i do keep in mind a bit while i’m writing…

BD: Why did you collect all these stories? Why release them now?

SR:The idea kind of came up once Ed Brisson (my co-conspirator and publisher of the original “Jan’s atomic heart”) sold out of his last copies of that initial “Jan’s” print run. Since I’d been working with Image on “Prophet”, doing a reprint through them seemed like a logical next step. It helped that i had a bunch of other short stories lying around my studio and hard drive that i wanted to get out into the universe, too.

BD: Your work is steeped in science fiction, what has influenced you most?

SR:I read a lot of Larry Niven books when i was a kid, and he’s got a great set of stories set inside his “Known Space” universe – including a whole series of books (written by all sorts of different authors) detailing the long-running space wars between humans and the Kzin (tiger-people from beyond the solar system). Between that and Star Wars, a particular internal narrative foundation was laid in my mind very young, and i’ve been stuck there ever since.

BD:What are you excited to be working on, right now?

SR:This second I’m starting the pencils on a new story I’m doing for Dark Horse, for a small collection of paleolithic shamanic adventures starring a shaman called Tiger Lung. It’ll be part of a little hardcover collection that should be coming out sometime at the end of the year…

From IMAGE:
Price: $14.99
Diamond ID: JAN140546
Published: March 26, 2014

From the mind of Simon Roy, co-writer and artist of the Eisner Award-nominated series PROPHET, comes a collection of tales that span time, space, and species.

Categories: Horror News

[Book Review] Be Prepared For The Horrors Of 'The Troop'

bloody disgusting - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 13:13

If you’re looking to choose a bad-ass genre pseudonym, you could do a lot worse than ‘Nick Cutter’. Just ask author Craig Davidson (Rust and Bone; the upcoming Cataract City), who dives confidently into the horror genre with The Troop (February 25; Gallery Books), a harrowing campfire tale of trauma and tapeworms.

When Scoutmaster Tim drags five boy scouts out to an uninhabited island for their annual camping adventure, the appearance of a mysterious stranger serves as the catalyst for the gruesome nightmare that follows. Skinny and emaciated to the point of near-death, the stranger (dubbed the ‘Hungry Man’) is obviously ill and malnourished, and, in the first of many bone-headed character decisions to follow, Scoutmaster Tim decides to accept him into their camp, tie him down, and feed him.

A general practitioner with dubious experience, Scoutmaster Tim then follows up that dipshit decision with an even dipshittier one: immediate exploratory surgery, on a secluded island, without proper medical equipment, employing one of his scouts as an assistant. No wonder things go straight to hell. Scoutmaster Tim’s spontaneous surgery unleashes an experimental tapeworm on his disparate little troop of rejects. As the infected scouts begin to turn on the uninfected, the true nature of the little badge-earning bastards is finally revealed.

One of The Troop’s greatest strengths is its use of squirm-inducing medical details re: tapeworms and parasites. The narrative is occasionally interrupted by news stories or investigative documents (in the acknowledgements, Davidson cites Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’ as an influence), which heighten the reality of a truly scary story, part Stand by Me, part body horror gone rogue. Davidson really lays on the grue, and at times the parasitical details carry the narrative.

But an abundance of flashbacks detracts from the claustrophobic vibe Davidson is trying to pull off (‘this reminded (blank) of the time (blank) happened’ becomes a strangely frustrating motif in the early going), and while I realize it’s a valiant attempt to build characters, it also completely removes the reader from Falstaff Island. And Falstaff Island is where the scary stuff happens. Davidson handles the genre tropes with the finesse of a veteran. But The Troop would have been better if he’d trapped us where the horror is.

Categories: Horror News

[Books] "Godzilla: The Art of Destruction" Cover Offers New Look at Monster!

bloody disgusting - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 13:11

The official cover for the definitive book on the forthcoming Godzilla film, “Godzilla: The Art of Destruction” by Mark Cotta Vaz, due out May 13th, offer your latest look at the ginormous monster!

Insight Editions, Legendary Pictures, Toho Co., Ltd., and Warner Bros. Consumer Products’ collaboration will take audiences behind the scenes of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla, the epic rebirth of one of the world’s most revered monster, set to release in May 2014.

Leading up to the release of the film starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House), David Strathairn (Lincoln), Ken Watanabe (Inception), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) and Juliette Binoche (The English Patient), Insight Editions will partner with the three major film companies to bring readers “Godzilla: The Art of Destruction: by Mark Cotta Vaz. The book is a visually stunning volume that delves into the making of the new Godzilla film, showcases its incredible production art, and includes interviews with its director, key crew members, and cast. Insight Editions, known for their innovative, cutting-edge books “Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World” of “Superman” and “Pacific Rim: Man, Machines & Monsters,” will once again bring their expertise to this definitive book on one of the most anticipated films of 2014.

Godzilla, one of the most recognizable characters in history who has become an icon of Japanese cinema since his debut in 1954, will once again take center stage in the new film by acclaimed filmmaker Gareth Edwards (Monsters). Edwards directs from a screenplay by Max Borenstein and story by David Callaham and Max Borenstein, based on the character “Godzilla,” owned and created by TOHO CO., LTD. Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers. Patricia Whitcher and Alex Garcia are serving as executive producers, alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.

Categories: Horror News

Beneath Director Larry Fessenden Talks Big Fish, Rubber Puppets, Lake Monsters, and Much More!

Dread Central - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 13:00

Veteran horror contributor and all-around cool guy Larry Fessenden has a lot of acting, directing and producing credits to his name. But he's never worked with anything quite like he did on Beneath. Fessenden recently sat down with Dread Central to talk about his new film.

First he gave us a brief synopsis of what viewers can expect when they hitch their anchor to Beneath. "It's a stylish little horror film about six teenagers stuck in a rowboat with a malevolent force under the water trying to get them," Fessenden said.

"It's a movie about the decisions they make to get out of the dilemma, and they're not all pretty decisions."

Indeed the film, which at first glance appears to be a monster movie, certainly has other, more devious intentions for viewers as they get deeper into the story and the characters become much less friendly with each other. "I'm a director with that sort of agenda on my mind. Life is what it is, but it's how you respond to it. So I make movies about people behaving badly. I find that to be an interesting topic," Fessenden said. "And the script sort of leant itself to that. I always say Jaws is a movie about a malevolent fish and three guys you really love. For one reason or another they're very charming. Whereas in this movie, the fish is just doing what it does. It doesn't have quite as much malevolence. But the way people react, that's kind of the story in this case, and that worked for me. I think that's what the original writers had in mind."

But the first thing that will grab viewers' attention in Beneath is a giant lake fish which terrorizes the teens stuck in a rowboat. And the veteran monster movie viewer will quickly realize the creature is a practical prop, not computer generated. "I pitched to Chiller that we'd have a real puppet. I had no interest in doing a CGI monster," Fessenden said. "It's not that I don't love CGI; it works in a lot of movies. But quite honestly, you need a lot of money to sell that stuff. I think it's tougher to sell than a rubber puppet, personally. So they agreed, just because it's sort of charming. People think, 'Why not? We'll have a big prop fish.' Well, then, of course, we had to make it."

And the making of the fish was a story in itself. "We hired our guys out of LA, and I sent them some sketches of the creature I pictured in my mind. It was pretty vague. It just said…giant fish," Fessenden said. "So we did some sketches and I did some Photoshop compositing and I sent them that. Then they had to build an enormous clay sculpture and they'd send me photos and I'd send them notes like, 'I think the gills should be more like this…' I'd draw on the pictures and we eventually got to where we made a mold, but it was really the talent of the sculptors that created this beautiful prop."

Fessenden continued on the adventures of the fish. "Then it got shipped to New York and it went in the water with two puppeteers who would wear wetsuits and they'd go under the water and drag this fish around on a little line. It was incredibly old school," he said. "It was just basically a huge inanimate object. Each shot required a different approach. If you wanted the jaws to move, maybe you had to be on a platform manhandling that. It was arduous but cool because you're forced to break down the exact shot you wanted and get the fish to behave the way it has to just for that shot, and that was the toughest part."

And although the giant prop is all handmade with good old fashioned elbow grease, the filmmakers did use just a dash of CGI for a couple finishing touches. "I think a lot of the last-minute details were accomplished though a little bit of CGI on top," Fessenden said. "It gives it some life and the eye was sort of our main focus for that kind of thing. And they don't make practical monsters so much anymore. I'm reminded of the Jurassic Park days, which were notoriously CG…but, of course, they really aren’t. They were enormous puppets. Beautiful creatures, huge armatures and even quite heavy and dangerous, and I came from that tradition."

Fessenden drew from knowledge of the creation of the greatest giant fish movie of all time to help him decide where to film Beneath. "At first, you say, 'Are we going to film in a tank, in a controlled environment?' And I said, 'Absolutely not!' I drew from the experiences of Spielberg on Jaws, and of course, he had a miserable time and I don't think he ever recovered, but it made the movie so wonderful and we wanted to have a similar relationship to the set and really be out on the water on this lake," Fessenden said. "So we built this huge platform and we dragged it out into the middle of this lake and we'd have to take a boat out every day, four guys at a time, to get 30 people out there, and then we'd be out there, stuck. If you wanted to go to the bathroom, it'd be 15 minutes back and forth. It slows down production."

"Then we decided to put that beautiful crane on there, which was also ill-advised, but we went for it. I wanted the high-angle shots that made the whole thing look kinda dreamy. I didn't want to do the traditional handheld for that. I wanted something a little more elegant and stylized so we got the crane out there. And then every day at the end of the day the fish guys would swim that huge prop out into the middle of the lake, and we'd have an hour or so to do three seconds of film."

The original script has one of the characters filming all the action with a handheld camera. To add additional style to the movie, filmmakers tapped into that camera and used it to add a found-footage element to Beneath. "I think it does add realism because that's footage that's not going to be controlled," Fessenden said. "As I said, I deliberately told the story with our movie camera with an elegance and almost a distance so I loved having the immediacy of the GoPro footage. And also I chose, for better or worse, to have the only kill onscreen be filmed by that camera."

"It's a stylistic choice, and I've always liked mixing formats. Even when I was a kid, I'd make videos and have an entire robbery scene that was in Super 8. It sort of helped transport the viewer into another reality and so was sort of the agenda there. And it was in the script as well that he was filming them all. It was part of the story."

And although the conditions were not stellar, Fessenden was blessed with a cast that knew how to get things done. "The actors were awesome," he said. "They'd sit in the little rowboat. They had umbrellas so they didn't get sunstroke. They would sit there while the crew dicked around, and then we'd be ready for a shot and be off and running. We shot pretty much in order, which is cool. And as each character actor died, they would go home. I feel like the actors had this real sense of loss as each one of them left the shoot until there were just the two left."

Fans of 80's horror will certainly watch Beneath and recall another group of teens trapped in a similar situation in Creepshow 2. Fessenden discussed this film and other influences. "I watched a lot of the lake monster movies and stuff, and honestly, 'The Raft' segment in Creepshow 2 is really one of the best," Fessenden said. "It's got the creepiest vibe even though there's no real monster, just this goop, or whatever it was. It's almost my favorite of all of them. In that regard, it was an influence. Obviously Jaws was an influence and a movie called Lifeboat by Hitchcock. Different movies have approached these problems in one way or another. What I didn't find particularly helpful were things like Lake Placid and Shark Night 3D."

Finally, the idea that Beneath had a sort of 70's feel to it was brought up, and Fessenden discussed why that might be. "I think a lot of that comes from personal tastes, even the colors," he said. "As the director, you choose the costumes, and oddly enough, in a movie like this, there's only going to be one costume on each character, which really limits that. It could just be my tastes, honestly."

"And even the boat. I wanted an old, wooden boat as it had to do with the grandfather and have a sense of history living in the frame. I also think, in a novel way, movies that spend a lot of time on character already feel like 70's movies because they don't do that as much anymore."

Beneath is now available on Blu-ray/DVD and VOD.

Beneath
When a group of young friends commemorating their high school graduation take a trip to the remote Black Lake, their celebration turns into a nightmare with the sudden appearance of a bloodthirsty, underwater predator. Stuck in a leaking boat with no oars, the teens face the ultimate tests of friendship and sacrifice during a terror-stricken fight for survival. Beneath is written by Tony Daniel and Brian D. Smith and directed by horror icon Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter, Habit). Produced by Fessenden and Peter Phok for Glass Eye Pix (Stake Land, The Innkeepers, I Sell The Dead).

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Categories: Horror News

Advance Review: Undertow # 2

bloody disgusting - Mon, 03/17/2014 - 12:54

Pushing into unknown territory is never easy. The excitement of discovery comes hand in hand with the dangers of loss. For the crew of The Deliverer the ideals of settlement are contested while the small crew on land comes to terms with the dangers of being intrepid in another layered and stellar issue of “Undertow.”


WRITTEN BY: Steve Orlando
ART BY: Artyom Trakhanov
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: March 19, 2014

Our history is one of a settled people. We grow up learning of the trails and tribulations that go with sailing to new lands and the choice to buck the status quo and follow a leader into a new and dangerous world that comes with it. So watching the Atlantian people go through the motions of such a journey provides an incredibly interesting lens on science fiction.

Aboard the Deliverer we’re treated to a more robust feature for the supporting characters. Civil unrest starts to spread. So naturally debates arise about the best course of action. On land Ukinnu follows Anshargal into the abyss. We’re treated to a whole host of dangers, and the relationships of the characters are deepened through survival.

Amongst all this Orlando takes time to focus on certain character beats that go a long way to expanding what we know about our leading men. Both Ukinnu and Ashargal have flashbacks. These sequences take place in a time long before we met them on the pages of issue #1. Each manages to take the respective character in a new and different direction while still informing what we knew about them previously. It serves to balance the pacing of the A and B stories perfectly.

Trakhanov’s art is still absolutely breathtaking. His colors wash over the panels in a way that emotionally compliments Orlando’s script. The colors are vibrant and engaging during the action scenes and literally make everything pop off the page. Stylistically the inserts used to break up large panels help convey the character’s feelings in hectic moments. While the flashbacks have their own style and tone. Everything in the execution shows a creative team that’s found its perfect groove.

What happens on these pages doesn’t throw the story forward with the same raging current of the first, however, the issue revels in smaller moments finding its focus on character and world building. The effort is solid throughout and manages to convey all sorts of unique information pertaining to this strange new world.

The relationships between the characters are now more complex and layered. Everyone’s motivations aren’t entirely clear and idealistic clash is very close on the horizon. For a book chock full of new ideas, it’s the old ones that prove most interesting in the second issue. A flawed but driven leader, an ambitious newcomer, and the dangers of being frontiersmen prove most engaging. These elements along with the exciting final page will have you dying of anticipation until April.

Rating 4.5/5 Skulls.

Categories: Horror News