A terrifying and suspenseful installment, “American Vampire: Second Cycle” #2 builds the horrifying tension of what’s to come. Readers should be prepared to see such vivid nightmarish imagery jump right off the pages. The “American Vampire” series hasn’t lost its edge after a long hiatus and actually came back more twisted than ever.
WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ART BY: Rafael Albuquerque
PUBLISHER: Vertigo Comics
RELEASE: April 16, 2014
Pearl Jones previously rescued an innocent little girl from a group of nasty hunters. The little girl, May, has deep bloody wounds dug into her soft skin. Trembling in fear, the girl whispers a name close into Pearl’s ear, making sure no one else hears her. The Gray Trader is coming and Hell is coming along with him. No human and no vampire is safe from this demonic monster. Pearl has to find information about this Gray Trader and warn everyone about him. But Pearl is actually too late to warn anyone. The Gray Trader is already here and the killings have just began.
Writer Scott Snyder has put together a riveting issue that quickly builds to a shocking twist. Fully developed as a character, Pearl is the anti-heroine who doesn’t want to get involved. She has already lost too muchand truly believes this isn’t her fight. She knows the Gray Trader means danger to both humans and vampires, but she doesn’t want to get drawn in. In tune to her maternal instincts, Pearl just wants to keep the unwanted orphans safe from the outside world.
In the previous issue, we just caught a glimpse of the antagonist in the climatic last pages. Readers are now presented with the Gray Trader and it is a dozy. I don’t want to give anything away but it is something you should definitely see. Right off the bat, you can tell Snyder is a John Carpenter fan and has created a creature that is cinematically mind-blowing.
Artist Rafael Albuquerque slowly paces the illustrations with suspense before finally revealing the scares. Music is such an influence to the time period even though there isn’t a soundtrack. In the opening pages, a Johnny Cash-type singer marches onto the stage. With the aid of Dave McCaig’s colors, the tones are important because they symbolize impending doom.
My favorite part of Albuquerque’s illustrations is when Pearl is tucking May into bed. Albuquerque illustrates the emotion and tenderness of the quiet scene as Pearl gently covers up May. Reinforcing the maternal theme, Pearl is horrified to see the scars on May’s back. Even though they are not related, Pearl wants to take care of May as if she was her own child.
A must read, “American Vampire: Second Cycle” #2 delivers the heart-pounding suspense and the shocking scares with outstanding style. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next issue.
Taking cues from Ian Malcolm’s stance in Jurassic Park, this new Godzilla trailer/spot focuses on nature restoring balance — apparently with the use of a giant lizard.
From visionary new director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) comes what is said to be a powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring Godzilla rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenseless.
Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Johnson, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, Richard T. Jones, Sally Hawkins, Akira Takarada, Victor Rasuk, Yuki Morita, and C.J. Adams star in the pic rated PG-13 for “intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence…
Godzilla roars once again on May 16.
Back in November I revealed that I had been secretly working with co-directors Norith Soth and Taka Arai on their found-footage shocker Face: A Frat Party Massacre, based on the short story by Mikal Britt.
In the found-footage horror, “An annual Halloween fear competition between a fraternity and sorority goes awry when drugs, alcohol and the old battle of the sexes are mixed together. Who will win this year? At what cost? The lives of men, women and animals are at stake in this unflinching, carnal and depraved found-footage film.” Sienna Beckman, Scott Alin, Brooke Diane Flint, Carolyn Matini, Lauren See, Roby Sobieski, Jessica Ann Kelley, Max Aria, Ashley Ann Alvarado, Taylor Judkin and the prolific Lex Woofer star.
We now have an official trailer for the pic, which is slated for a DVD release on August 19 (watch for a VOD announcement at a later date). As you can see, this film is really raw, dirty and ugly. I think it reflects the social commentary quite well, although some of you may not be able to stomach the style (and that’s okay!).
There are currently two vastly different variations of the film, with the version I executive produced being included on the home video release August 19 (or so I’m told). No matter which version you see, I can guarantee the finale is going to beat the living shit out of your gut. I caught a very early test screening that left me feeling sick, which is how I ended up becoming involved in this bizarre found-footage flick.
The pic, which is surly going to get a strong reaction, world premiered at the Another Hole in the Head Film Festival last December.
I’m still reeling from “Coven,” which started strong only to dissipate into a sea of goofy noise, so I’m not sure what ever became of Dennis O’Hare’s creepy/touchy Spaulding character. I remember him having Emma Roberts in a box, maybe getting his tongue cut out? In any case, he really liked Jessica Lange.
So hopefully “American Horror Story: Freak Show” is more memorable than Season 3 (and more watchable all the way through – I’m telling you guys… outline). They’re nudging in the correct direction by establishing some conflict. O’Hare tells Vulture, “I’m going to be working at cross-purposes with her.”
He also mentions that he’ll be in all ten episodes, unlike “Coven” (could have fooled me). Oh, and he’ll play “a collector of freaks.“
Ben Templesmith‘s comic (I’ve never heard of it but the stuff I’ve seen putting together this news piece looks pretty great) “Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse” is coming to TV courtesy of George Lopez’s Travieso Production Company. David M. Stern (“The Simpsons”) is writing the pilot and will produce alongside Templesmith.
No word on what network this will appear on, but we’ll keep you posted.
“Meet Wormwood, the English-accented, beer-drinking, sentient-corpse-possessing maggot expat from the Hell dimension. Well, one of them. If he’s not attempting to save Earth from demonic, parasitic fungal infections or undead strippers, then he’s off drinking with his homemade mechanical sidekick, Mr. Pendulum.”
About a year ago, Dutch writer-director Alex van Warmerdam unleashed Borgman all up in the Cannes Film Festival’s guts. Now Drafthouse Films is finally releasing this malicious black comedy that’s sure to cause a violent upheaval in the idyllic suburbs of your mind. A bizarre and playful film, Borgman feels like a deadpan fairy tale at times, but it’s rather hard to pin down. It’s best to leave any preconceptions behind and just let the titular character straddle you naked while you sweat out a fever dream about how your gardener wants to kill you.
Alex van Warmerdam keeps us on our toes right from the jump-off. A mysterious opening sequence sees three hunters (one a priest) out hunting for Borgman, a slender, bearded man with wild hair who is hiding out in a makeshift den under the ground. He narrowly escapes and manages to alert his cohorts, who are also slumbering in grave-like dens. It’s clear this isn’t their first time making a mad dash from below the surface of the earth.
From there Borgman splits up with his cohorts, though they’ll be coming back later to join in the fun. Stumbling into a rural area peppered with upscale houses, Borgman attempts to enter one with the intention of taking a bath. He’s savagely chased away by the home’s businessman patriarch, Richard, who beats him into unconsciousness. Richard’s wife, Marina (Hadewych Minis), feels sorry for this skeletal vagrant, so later when Richard leaves for work, she invites him in for a meal and a bath. But her remorse and curiosity run deep, so she allows him to sleep in their guest cottage for the night.
As Borgman attempts to leave, Marina is compelled to ask him to stay – the first sign that Borgman’s intoxicating spell is having its way with her bourgeois mind. Things escalate from here, particularly after Borgman shaves his beard off and Richard welcomes him as their new gardener. Does he really not recognize him? Or is it Borgman’s hypnotic charm that has Richard opening his door to this mysterious stranger?
The tension increases sharply during the second act, when Borgman invites his two friends from the beginning to stay with them, as well as two female accomplices who makes themselves right at home. The group subtly begins to control Marina, her three young children, and their attractive nanny – all while not doing a very good job tending to the garden (how they dispose of the old gardener is wicked). Borgman excels at emotionally manipulating Marina and toys with her until she’s throwing herself at him – all while Richard remains oblivious.
Who is Borgman and why is he screwing with this family? This is never answered and van Warmerdam only keeps on adding layers to the mystery. There’s the dogs who seem to materialize at random times – can Borgman and his friends shapeshift into canines? Other curious elements include a ritual that makes the children docile and a strangely beautiful stage performance put on by Borgman and his cohorts for the pleasure of Richard and his family.
I’m all for unexplained vague shit in films, but where Borgman started to stumble a bit for me was during the final act, when the cryptic narrative fails to add to the tension. The set up is ripe for suspense, and it is there for most of the film, but the closing scenes drain the tension out in a way. When we’re introduced to Borgman and co., they’re being run out of town by armed men. But here at Richard’s house, they seem to be in total control through the end. There’s no tension in that.
Despite what I perceived as a hiccup in tension, Borgman is an engrossing and interesting film from start to finish. It’s also a visually arresting one that utilizes its secluded location to great effect. Alex van Warmerdam offers no resolution or explanation as to why Borgman and his friends have ruined this family, though there is the sense of a cult recruitment program at the end. However you interpret it, there’s no denying it’s a wickedly funny and disturbing film.
Borgman is set for a June 6 release date from Drafthouse Films.
I don’t know much about the Devil in the traditional sense. I haven’t been to Catholic school, I don’t think I’ve been baptized or confirmed. I’m, at my most optimistic, an agnostic. But I do believe in being possessed by The Devil. I’ll explain why in a second.
Tangentially, I also believe in The Devil’s Due, which is now available on DigitalHD (it hits Blu-ray on April 29th). You can read my review here. I dig the directors, Radio Silence, and I particularly like how the last act of the film builds on the gory promise they showed in V/H/S. So, while this is indeed a sponsored tie-in with that film, it’s a film I’m more than happy to support.
I don’t necessarily know exact how accurate my assessments are, but let’s have at it!
Head below for 5 Signs You Are Being Possessed By The Devil!!
1: You Let A Shady Cab Driver Take You To A Satanic Ritual
Let’s say you’re an otherwise smart, upper middle-class couple with a decent head on your shoulders. You’ve just gotten married. The world is at your fingertips. Letting a cab driver take you to a shady club in a foreign country, even if its for free, is pretty dumb. There must be some demonic force already at work to make you do such a thing.
2: You Crave Raw Meat
I eat a lot of meat. I’m trying to eat less, but it’s hard when I’ve just found all of these new BBQ restaurants in my neighborhood. That being said, eating raw meat – especially when pregnant – is a bad move, even to this heavily carnivorous writer. Is the Devil even a demon? I’m pretty sure he is. Though I’m even more sure that eating raw meat while pregnant is not in that Dr. Spock book. Thank God we can afford that book now.
3: You’re Telekinetic
While telekinesis isn’t always a sign of being possessed by the Devil, here it is because this is a movie about demonic cults, Devil worshippers and kids that, more likely than not, will grow up to be fairly familiar with Satan himself. If I was telekinetic I would use it to print money somehow.
4: You Punch Out The Windows Of Inconsiderate Drivers
I hate it when cars almost hit me. I hate it even more when they DO hit me. And if they hit my pregnant wife, I’d lost my sh*t. Unless my pregnant wife was possessed by the Devil or something and could practically disassemble the car with her bare hands. Luckily I’ve just ensured that all of our bills are paid and I can cover the deductible on the insurance!
5: You Make Your Priest Have A Stroke
Let’s face it. Strokes are common. But so are priests so no worries! Still, making one almost bleed out in front of a bunch of little kids isn’t very ladylike. In fact, it’s Devil-like. I’d say you’re possessed by the Devil in this case. Either that or you are *very* hot. But again, all your bases are covered for the month so send your husband over there with some expensive roses to get the real skinny on your condition.
NECA was on hand last night in New York City at the Alamo Drafthouse’s special screening of Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street.
The film, which starred Robert Englund as a spectral child murderer, will have its 30th anniversary this coming November.
NECA is recognizing the landmark with a very special 30th Anniversary “Ultimate Freddy Krueger” figure, which will stand 7″ tall and come rocking a new head sculpt, two alternate heads, the ‘tongue phone’, as well as Tina’s skinned face!
NECA unveiled the painted prototype at the screening. You’ll see the photos below.
The great Takashi Miike continues his return to the genre, this time bringing the vampire genre back to Japan.
ScreenDaily reports that Miike has started shooting Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War of the Underworld as of April 17 for Japan’s Nikkatsu Corporation.
This time, the prolific director of films such as Thirteen Assassins, Audition, Ichi The Killer and most recently The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji is combining the yakuza genre with vampire legend.
Yakuza Apocalypse stars Hayato Ichihara (Rookies: Graduation) as “Kagayama, a feeble but loyal underling to legendary yakuza boss Kamiura, who turns out to be a vampire. When an assassin from an international syndicate arrives in Japan to deliver an ultimatum, Kamiura is killed. But, not before he manages to bite Kageyama, and the transformed underling sets out to get revenge against a formidable team of assassins.”
The film is produced by OLM. Yoshitaka Yamaguchi, a former assistant director to Miike and a director himself, wrote the original script.
Tomorrow is Record Store Day and people are already licking their chops thinking about all the amazing limited vinyl they’ll be getting their hands on. One of those limited releases is the soundtrack to the award-winning short film In The Wall, which was composed by Clint Mansell (Requiem For A Dream). The vinyl is being released by Death Waltz Recording Co., one of my personal favorite labels.
You can stream both sides of the soundtrack below as well as watch the full horror short.
Avatar baddie Stephen Lang, pictured, has been tapped for a recurring role on WGN America‘s drama series “Salem,” reports Deadline.
Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, “Salem” (thoughts here) explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and centers on Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), the beautiful, ruthless but vulnerable wife of the ancient, ailing but very wealthy George Sibley (Michael Mulheren), one of Salem’s town Selectmen.
Lang will play Increase Mather, an old-line, hard-core Puritan who led the way across the ocean to the Promised Land in the late 1600s. Intellectually, spiritually and politically, he’s the most influential man in the country — and the most feared.
“Salem” debuts this Sunday.
It looks like Plants Vs. Zombies Garden Warfare, a competitive first person shooter set in Popcap’s quirky Plants Vs. Zombies series, has a number of Easter Eggs hidden in it. I haven’t had a chance to play the game yet, but it looks fun. Or, at least it looked fun. Now I’m not so sure. I know what it’s like to be hunted by that dapper interdimensional being, so I’m hesitant to play this now that I know that he could strike at any time.
He could be behind me right now. Or you.
If you own the game and would like to see where his favorite lurking spot is, you can watch the video below.
Vampire Killers director Phil Claydon now has a full Crawlspace.
Penned by Gary Dauberman, New Line Cinema’s thriller is centered around a widower moves into a seemingly perfect new home with his daughter and new wife.
The full shooting cast includes: Michael Vartan, Nadine Velazquez, Erin Moriarty, Blake Jenner, Ronnie Gene Blevins, pictured above, Misty Upham, Katy Stoll, Dorian Kingi, Steele Stebbins, Thomas R. Baker, Adam Powell, Andrew Fiscella, Terry Myers, Teagan Sirset and Debbie Zaltman.
Filming is underway in L.A.
In my birthday post last year, I casually mentioned that I love cooking. But what I didn’t state was that I really, really enjoy cooking. I have fun with it. I almost feel like a mad scientist, a culinary Dr. Frankenstein in that I put whatever sounds good together and hope for a tasty result.
Recently, while watching an episode of Hannibal, I was inspired by a dish that he created (only click on that link if you’re caught up on the show). I know, it’s pretty morbid. But sometimes the most unsettling things can create something wonderful. Now, keep in mind that I have absolutely zero formal training. What I did was completely drawn upon from my own experiences with cooking and pretty deciding that I wanted to try something new and crazy.
So, with that in mind, I decided to tackle a roasted leg of lamb with some tricolor couscous as the main side. And since this recipe is inspired by something so ghoulish and macabre, I figured, “Why not share it with the BD audience?”
Below is my step-by-step guide for the meal. With it, you can host your own dinner party.
Roasted leg of lamb:
One 3-4lb leg of lamb, deboned
1/2 cup prunes
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1-2 large banana leaves
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
8-10 small red potatoes cut into bite size chunks
Minced fresh chives
Coarse sea salt
Red pepper flakes
2 cups tricolor couscous
2.5 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 tbsp butter
Prepare the spice rub
I put all of my spices into a mortar and pestle and ground everything together into a fine rub. I opted to go a little light on the red pepper flakes as I didn’t want this to be a hot, spicy dish but instead I just wanted a little bit of warmth.
Prepare the lamb
1. Open up the deboned leg of lamb
2. Cut off any big chunks of fat but make sure to leave a little bit. Fat is where a lot of flavor resides and it will help this roast stay juicy and succulent
3. Sprinkle the spice rub liberally throughout the inside of the leg and then proceed to rub it in, making sure to get into the cracks and crevices
4. Mix the prunes, dried apricots, walnuts, and almonds in a bowl or bag and then place them in the middle of the opened lamb leg. The idea here is that the left and right parts of the leg will close over the mixture, creating a sweet, nutty center. If you want, you can sprinkle some of the garlic slices in the middle as well
5. Wrap the left and right parts of the meat over the center and then tie the whole leg up with cooking twine
6. Between the cooking twine make small, shallow incisions in the meat. Insert the garlic slices into these incisions
7. Wrap the roast in clean, freshly washed banana leaves (it’s okay if they’re a little wet). It’s okay to lightly tie the banana leaves with cooking twine so that it doesn’t fall open
8. Put the wrapped lamb leg into a roasting pan and then put that into the fridge to settle for at least an hour
Cooking the lamb roast:
1. Take the roast out of the fridge and let it get to room temperate (45 minutes to 1 hour)
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
3. While the oven is preheating, you can put the bite size potato chunks in the roasting pan around the lamb. Make sure to drizzle with olive oil so that you get a nice crisp to the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper
4. Put the lamb in the oven near the center
5. It takes about 15-20 minutes per pound, so a 3.5lb roast (which is what I had) took about an hour
6. When the lamb is done, take it out and place the whole thing (minus the potatoes) onto a serving platter. Cut off the banana leaves, exposing the lamb roast
7. Place the lamb roast on a very hot grill for a minute on each side. This will give the roast a really nice char on the outside
8. After taking the roast off the grill, leave it for 10 minutes to settle
9. Put the potatoes in a serving bowl and sprinkle with minced chives
1. Melt the butter in a sauce pot
2. Add the couscous and stir constantly, toasting the couscous (note: do NOT use a plastic stirrer, which is a mistake I made the first time I did this)
3. Once it’s browned a little and you have a rich, nutty smell, add the chicken stock
4. Bring to a boil, cover and then turn off the stove but leave the pot on the burner
5. Check after five minutes. It’s okay if there is a little bit of liquid left as you can stir it in while fluffing the couscous
Serve to friends or family along with a nice red wine. Make sure to pile the lamb, fruits and nuts on top of the couscous while putting the potatoes on the side for a beautiful presentation. For dessert, I poured each person a glass of blackberry mead. I got mine from Schramm’s.
If you’ve got some recipe ideas or want me to try and come up with something, let me know via Twitter below!
Hardcore legends Converge have released an official video for the title track of their 2012 album All We Love We Leave Behind. The video, which was built, shot and edited by Craig Murray, mixes animation with jarring edits and beautiful locations to create a dark, eerie story that definitely has some strong horror elements and ties. You can give it a looky-look below.
You can pick up the new album here.
To celebrate the release of the Hammer classic Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell – coming to 2-disc DVD and single-disc Blu-ray for the first time ever in the UK on 28 April – we have a copy to give away to one lucky horror fan!
The final feature film directed by the legendary Terence Fisher, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell is a perfect, unusually gory and beautifully Gothic swan song for Hammer’s incarnation of Mary Shelley’s two accursed creations.
Featuring yet another standout performance by the brilliant Peter Cushing as the mad baron, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell is also notable for the pre-Star Wars pairing of the actors who would four years later reunite to play two of the most iconic villains in the cinematic galaxy – Darth Vader (David Prowse) and Grand Moff Tarkin (Cushing).
To be in with a chance of winning a copy, simply send us an e-mail to email@example.com, including YOUR FULL NAME AND POSTAL ADDRESS. We'll take care of the rest!
Please note that his competition is open only to UK readers and will end at 12:01 UK time on Friday, May 2nd.
Xbox Live’s Game with Gold offering continues with Tequila Work’s 2.5D horror-themed puzzle platformer Deadlight. If you’re a Gold subscriber, you can grab it for free today until the end of April. TJ and I reviewed it when it released back in 2012, and decided it’s a decent game that “starts off strong but it also falls apart pretty quickly.”
Even if you’re on the fence about it, you can’t beat free.
Next week's Episode 5.19 of "The Vampire Diaries," entitled "Man on Fire," includes some of what "TVD" does best: flashbacks! Not many are found in these photos and preview, but they do still bring some fun!
"The Vampire Diaries" Episode 5.19 - "Man on Fire" (airs 4/24/14, 8-9pm)
FLASHBACK TO THE 1960s — Stefan (Paul Wesley) tries to distract Elena (Nina Dobrev) from obsessing about the state of her relationship with Damon (Ian Somerhalder).
Meanwhile Bonnie (Kat Graham) does her best to be realistic about how the changes happening on the Other Side will affect her existence as the Anchor.
Damon demands the Traveler knife, forcing Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and Matt (Zach Roerig) to admit it has gone missing.
Through flashbacks to election night 1960, Enzo (guest star Michael Malarkey) reveals to Elena, Stefan, and Bonnie that he has learned what happened to his long-lost love, Maggie (guest star Heather Hemmens); and then, with the unwilling help of Liv (guest star Penelope Mitchell) and Luke (guest star Chris Brochu), things take an ugly turn. Trying to calm Enzo down, Damon intervenes, but his words cause Enzo to make a desperate and dangerous decision that leads to a violent confrontation with Stefan.
Finally, Markos (guest star Raffi Barsoumian) enlists Sloan’s (guest star Caitlin McHugh) help in a ritual designed to break an ancient curse against the Travelers. Tyler (Michael Trevino) is forced to play a dangerous part in the ritual while witnessing the incredible power the Travelers now possess.
Michael Allowitz directed the episode written by Melinda Hsu Taylor & Matthew D’Ambrosio .
CLICK "NEXT" FOR MORE PHOTOS AND A PREVIEW
Just a few more days stand between us and the witches of "Salem." Will they live up to our expectations? Here are a few more clues from series co-star Elise Eberle, who plays the "mysteriously afflicted" Mercy Lewis on WGN America's upcoming new show.
“Salem,” premiering on Sunday, April 20th, enters the world of the most notorious witch trials in history, a period steeped in fear, suspicion, and hysteria. “Salem” explores what really fueled the town's infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth behind them.
Related Story: Visit our "Salem" Archive
"Salem" Episode 1.01 - "The Vow" (airs 4/20/14)
John Alden returns from war to discover that the woman he left behind is now married to another man and that his hometown of Salem, Mass., is in the midst of a witch panic in the premiere of this supernatural drama.
Created, executive produced, and written by award-winning writer/producer Brannon Braga and Adam Simon, “Salem” stars Janet Montgomery as the ruthless but vulnerable Mary Sibley, Salem’s most powerful enchantress; Shane West as handsome, hardened war veteran John Alden – and Mary’s onetime love interest; Seth Gabel as local aristocrat Cotton Mather, who fans the flames of Salem’s witch hunt; Ashley Madekwe as Mary’s mysterious, carnal accomplice, Tituba; Xander Berkeley as chief politician Magistrate Hale; Tamzin Merchant as the forthright Anne Hale, an artist with a perilous attraction to Alden; Elise Eberle as the mysteriously afflicted Mercy Lewis; and Iddo Goldberg as outcast Isaac Walton.
Keep your eyes on the "Salem" Facebook page for updates and more info.
We told you about the new zombie flick Aftermath just a couple of days ago and now we have a bunch of images and even the artwork locked and loaded for ya! Read on for all the eye candy fit to snack on!
Directed by Peter Engert, the film also stars Andre Royo and C.J. Thomason.
When the devastating horror of a nuclear apocalypse becomes a reality, nine strangers find themselves holed up together in a farmhouse cellar. These would-be survivors are faced with dwindling supplies, radioactive air, and the greatest threat of all: the hordes of zombie-like refugees who want in.