Elle Plays Deadly Games with Paul Verhoeven

Dread Central - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 13:00

Any time news of a new Paul Verhoeven film comes around, we’re all eyes and ears. Read on for your first look at his new thriller, simply titled Elle.

Isabelle Huppert, Christian Berkel, Anne Consigny, and Virginie Efira star.

Synopsis:
Michèle seems indestructible. Head of a successful video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game–a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.

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Categories: Horror News

NECA Unveils the “Royal Facehugger” Figure

bloody disgusting - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 12:36

Yesterday was National Hug Day, a day that brings people closer together as we put aside our differences and conflicts, choosing instead to embrace one another to show that we can all get along, that we can overcome hatred.

Or we can see it as a day where a Facehugger latches onto your face, jams its euphemized phallic tentacle down your throat, and proceeds to impregnate your torso with a xenomorph. Y’know, just those little romantic things that keep a relationship going.

To celebrate National Hug Day, NECA has unveiled a new toy that I think is really incredible. It’s for a “Royal Facehugger”, which is a specific type of arachnid-esque critter that bears the egg of a Queen Alien. We saw one very briefly in the director’s cut of Alien3, which stands apart thanks to the webbing between its legs as well as the overall larger size.

Below are photos of the toy, which looks absolutely fantastic, as per anything NECA does! They really show immense care for their products and I think that’s why they’re considered one of the very best at their craft.

[H/T Figures.com]

Categories: Horror News

You Better Stay Quiet in This New ’31’ Shot

bloody disgusting - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 12:15

Rob Zombie’s 31 is gearing up for its big Sundance premiere, which will happen this Saturday at 11:59pm, and we can’t WAIT to see what people’s reactions are! However, is Rob Zombie subtly suggesting that people should keep their mouths shut regarding their thoughts?

The latest picture released from the upcoming horror film definitely suggests that bad things will happen if you’re not quiet. The picture shows “Sick Head” holding Sheri Moon Zombie down and covering her mouth while she looks up in complete fear and terror. However, we’ve seen that Moon Zombie can definitely hold her own against Sick Head, so I’m not too worried about her.

Zombie had to edit the film three times in order to receive an R-rating, although it’s still being touted as having “strong bloody horror violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use.” Zombie himself stated that an uncut version will be coming to audiences via home video.

In 31, “Five friends are kidnapped on the day before Halloween and are held hostage in a terrifying place named Murder World. While trapped, they must play a violent game called 31, in which the mission is to survive 12 hours against a gang of evil clowns.

The film stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Malcolm McDowell, Richard Brake, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Jeff Daniel Phillips, and Meg Foster.

Categories: Horror News

Hitch Hike to Blu-ray with Kino Lorber and Raro!

Dread Central - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 12:00

David Hess, Franco Nero, and a naked chick with a high-powered weapon in her hand all in the same movie? It just seems so right, and that’s exactly what we’re gonna get when Hitch Hike makes its way to Blu-ray courtesy of Raro Video and Kino Lorber.

From the Press Release:
Raro Video and Kino Lorber are proud to announce the Blu-ray release of Hitch Hike, a controversial and rarely seen Italian exploitation thriller directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile starring Franco Nero (Django) and Corinne Clery (The Story of O) and featuring a music score by acclaimed composer Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight).

Raro Video brings this cult classic to Blu-ray complete, uncut, and uncensored in a new HD transfer. The Blu-ray will become available on February 16, 2016, with a SRP of $29.95, featuring a new and improved English subtitle translation and special features including a documentary, Road to Ruin (26:29), and a fully illustrated booklet about the film.

Synopsis:
While on a cross-country drive, a bitter writer (international superstar Franco Nero of Django) and his beautiful wife (Corinne Clery, The Story of O and Moonraker) pick up a stranded motorist (David Hess of Last House on the Left infamy). But when this hitcher turns out to be a depraved psychopath, their road trip takes a vicious detour into sex and savagery where the miles are marked in mayhem and vengeance is the ultimate rule of thumb.

Rarely seen in the U.S. (causing it to be named “one of the greatest films no one has ever seen,” IGN), Hitch Hike is a sleaze epic fueled by wild performances, scenes of shocking violence, and a visceral score by legendary composer Ennio Morricone. This RaroVideo release is completely uncut and uncensored and presents co-writer/director Pasquale Festa Campanile’s vision in all its shocking glory.

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Categories: Horror News

‘Underworld’ Being Developed Into a Television Series

bloody disgusting - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 11:38

Len Wiseman’s Underworld is way more popular than it deserves to be – and that’s probably because people like myself could watch Kate Beckinsale in her strong and sexy role for hours on end.

The 2003 film was originally billed as “Romero and Juliet” with vampires and werewolves, something you’d expect to see on the Syfy Channel.

Somehow, some way, the film grossed nearly $100 million worldwide, and thus spawned four sequels (the fifth in post production for release this October).

While Wiseman and the Sony Screen Gems executives had talked reboot, it appears a television series is now in the cards, the director tells Collider.

“Yes, there’s been a lot of conversations and even development on what that series would be,” explains Wiseman. “It’s really appropriate for television, in terms of how those characters can really tie in, but also become something new. It’s really an attractive space. I don’t want to put a date on it because then that’s going to be printed and it might not happen in that timeframe, but it is a thought.”

He’s 100% right. Underworld would be a solid series, especially on a cable channel like Syfy. Though, Wiseman has a relationship with Fox television, and directed the awful pilot for “Sleepy Hollow.” Let’s be clear here, everything Wiseman touches is shit, but turns to gold for studios (i.e. Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, Live Free or Die Hard and even Total Recall).

Would I watch an Underworld series? Heck yes I would. The more horror in our world the better, but hopefully it’s something that keeps me engaged enough to tune it week after week. What about you guys? What would you want out of a series that would most likely not star Beckinsale as Selene?

Categories: Horror News

Today on VOD: JeruZalem and Martyrs

Dread Central - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 11:13

The big horror release this weekend is William Brent Bell’s creepy doll flick The Boy, which stars Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”) as a woman tasked with babysitting, well, a super creepy doll. But it’s not the only horror option that was unleashed today. Read on for your VOD update!

First up, Epic Pictures Releasing put the award-winning Israeli horror film JeruZalem (review) up for streaming on digital platforms today. Directed by Doron Paz and Yoav Paz, the film is shot from the POV of a Google Glass headset worn by the main character, and was filmed in Jerusalem.

Synopsis:
JeruZalem follows Rachel (played by “Jane the Virgin” star Yael Grobglas), and her friend Sarah (Danielle Jadelyn), two American girls on vacation in Jerusalem. The two follow Kevin (Yon Tumarkin), a mysterious and handsome anthropology student, into the heart of the Old City. The party is cut short when a biblical prophecy comes to pass on the night of Yom Kippur and Jerusalem’s gate to hell is opened, releasing an epic apocalypse. Trapped between the ancient walls of the holy city, the trio must survive long enough to find a way out as the fury of hell is unleashed upon them.

Also out today, via Anchor Bay, is the American remake of Martyrs (review), directed by Kevin and Michael Goetz. It’s available in limited theaters and on Digital HD this weekend, and will arrive on DVD, Blu-ray, and all VOD outlets February 2nd. The film stars Bailey Noble and Troian Bellisario.

Synopsis:
Ten-year-old Lucie flees from the isolated warehouse where she has been held prisoner. Deeply traumatized, she is plagued by awful night terrors at the orphanage that takes her in. Her only comfort comes from Anna, a girl her own age. Nearly a decade later and still haunted by demons, Lucie finally tracks down the family that tortured her. As she and Anna move closer to the agonizing truth, they find themselves trapped in a nightmare – if they cannot escape, a martyr’s fate awaits them…

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Categories: Horror News

Eileen Dietz and Jansen Panettiere Head to Eden Falls

Dread Central - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 11:00

The cast is quickly filling out for Eden Falls, co-written by original Friday the 13th scribe Victor Miller, and we have the early word for you right here!

From the Press Release:
Jansen Panettiere joins the cast of Eden Falls as the main character, Rob Adams. Panettiere (Summer Forever, Ice Age: Meltdown) is the younger brother of Hayden Panettiere, star of “Nashville” on ABC. The film will also star Eileen Dietz (Pazazu from The Exorcist).

Eden Falls is the story of Rob Adams, a freestyle skiing star who corkscrews 720’s into a nightmare paranoid landscape to save Lucinda, the only woman he will ever love.

Eden Falls was written by Michael Coulombe, Martin Rogers, and Victor Miller, three-time Emmy winner and writer of Friday the 13th. It will be directed by Michael Coulombe. The score will be composed by Friday the 13th veteran Harry Manfredini.

Eden Falls is produced by Shaun Cairo.

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Categories: Horror News

Dead Men Tell No Tales in this Trailer

Dread Central - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 10:00

While the production values in the trailer for low-budget horror Dead Men Tell No Tales do leave a lot to be desired, the film still looks like it could be a guilty pleasure. And with a cast including well-know horror actress Genoveva Rossi, they at least have some star power on board.

Nadia White, Rita Christine, and Jenny Jannetty co-star.

Synopsis:
From the warped mind of Dusty W. Fleischman comes the latest feature film from Creepy Crawl Entertainment. This zany comedy is all about the wrong power in the wrong hands. What would you do with the power to control destiny? See what craziness happens when an average everyday guy gets to answer that question.

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Categories: Horror News

[Review] ‘The Boy’ Manages to Entertain Despite its Silly Premise

bloody disgusting - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 09:46

STX Entertainment’s first movie of 2016 is The Boy a fun little thriller about a woman who must babysit a really creepy looking doll. Being the second wide-release horror film to come out this year (the first being the disappointing ghost story The Forest), it’s understandable to be wary. We all know that horror films released in January aren’t exactly known to be of the highest quality, but The Boy proves to be one of the more successful entries in the evil doll sub-genre, poking fun at itself at all the right moments. It is quite a bit of fun, despite its lack of inspiration.

Greta (The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan) takes a job as a nanny somewhere in the United Kingdom at a large mansion owned by the Heelshires (Jim Norton and Diana Hardcastle). Upon arriving, she learns that the child she was supposed to be caring for is actually a porcelain doll named Brahms, who was made in the likeness of the Heelshires’ son, who died in a fire in 1991. The elderly couple treat the doll as if he were their real son, and soon leave him in Greta’s hands with a strict set of rules, which she immediately ignores. Keeping her company while the Heelshires are away is Malcolm (Rupert Evans, Hellboy, The Canal), their grocery boy man.

We spend much of The Boy watching Cohan walk around the mansion, and while you’d think that would be boring, director William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside, Stay Alive) does a decent job at keeping you interested. Wisely stepping away from screenwriting duties (he has written every single film he has directed before this, and all of them have been less than stellar), Bell manages to instill a good amount of fun into newcomer Stacey Menear’s script. Menear borrows from a slew of other horror films, so the lack of originality is regrettable. There’s nothing in The Boy that we haven’t seen before.

Unfortunately Bell also relies a bit too heavily on jump scares and not one, but two (two!) fake-out dream sequences. These techniques can prove tempting to novice directors, but they ultimately cheapen the experience. It’s disappointing to see Bell still resorting to these scare tactics after having made films for over a decade. To be perfectly honest, The Boy isn’t all that scary and if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen a large chunk of the first two acts, which is unfortunate. The jump scares overwhelm but The Boy somehow still manages to keep you involved in what is happening on screen.

Cohan is a compelling lead and it’s nice to see her outside of her comfort zone, playing a vulnerable woman who has suffered a recent tragedy. Cohan has the difficult task of making us believe that she believe this doll is real, and she is certainly up to the task. The real treat in the film is Evans, who provides much of the comic relief and provides a potential love interest for Greta. Norton and Hardcastle are equally entertaining, making the most of their brief time on screen. Hardcastle is particularly good.

Taking a page from last year’s Sinister 2, The Boy brings in a violent ex-husband in an unnecessary subplot that seems to have been added to pad the movie’s runtime rather than offer any real sense of danger to Greta. As mentioned before, Sinister 2 isn’t the only movie The Boy borrows from, but to say any more would spoil much of the third act. It’s not exactly the most inspired turn of events, but that doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable.

The Boy is a goofy film and it knows it. It’s hard to take a tale about an evil doll seriously (Hell, even the Child’s Play franchise eventually turned to comedy). It has a sense of humor about itself while still generating a sufficient amount of menace to the proceedings. Audiences may be taken aback by the silliness of the whole affair, but if they can just go along for the ride they may find themselves pleasantly surprised. The Boy is not a great film, but you could do a lot worst this month. It’s worth the price of admission, or at least a rental.

Categories: Horror News

Carrier, The (UK DVD)

Dread Central - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 06:00

Starring Edmund Kingsley, Jack Gordon, Josie Taylor, Joe Dixon, James Payton, Karen Bryson

Directed by Anthony Woodley

Distributed by Altitude Film Entertainment

Actor Jack Gordon doesn’t seem to have much luck on planes. After suffering the tortures of a demented killer in the sky in 2011’s Panic Button, he once again finds himself menaced on board a giant flying metal tube – this time, by a deadly global pandemic that has brought the human race to its knees.

Society has all but collapsed, and as the infected are summarily terminated without prejudice on the ground, Craig (Gordon) and his fellow bunch of survivors take to the skies in a 747 hoping to avoid the infection and perhaps make it to somewhere sickness-free.

Unfortunately, this being a genre film, the infection is in fact on board – leading to death and disagreement amongst the inhabitants of the airplane. Most want nothing but to survive, others seem to have given up hope, whilst the intimidating Eric (Dixon) believes that none of them should ever set foot on land again for risk of spreading the contagion further.

A low budget independent feature, funded mainly through Kickstarter, The Carrier often makes it clear to see just how much effort and spunk has gone into its creation. Yet, despite the best efforts of cast and crew, the script routinely fails to rise above the level of generic low-key disaster formula with a touch of zombie-like elements.

Make no mistake; the infected here aren’t crazed, bloodthirsty monsters… they’re simply desperate people, rendered hideously disfigured by the contagion, clinging to life by any means necessary – but their particular perspective is rarely explored in any depth, the narrative seeming to believe that a single moment of emotional connection with one of them is enough to get that message across. Sadly, it isn’t.

There’s a strongly topical idea at the core of The Carrier — that of a fatal, antibiotic-resistant infection quickly overtaking the human race – which should give all of us pause for thought towards the future of medicine… but again, this sinks into the background as the story plods along through an ill-advised second half that takes place entirely on the ground and brings the drama and tension grinding to a halt. So much for an air-based shocker.

Besides the narrative failings, The Carrier’s cast are all on point. Ed Kingsley is strong as the determined pilot who (unsurprisingly) turns out be a self-absorbed toff, whilst Gordon does his everyman thing with the usual aplomb. Northern Irish actor Billy Clarke (previously seen in the cracking The Devil’s Business) is as great as can be expected, whilst the female cast, including Josie Taylor and Karen Bryson, do their best to bring some spark to their threadbare characters.

Shouldering much of the tension is Joe Dixon as Eric. Being the supposed antagonist determined to ensure that none of the survivors manage to spread the plague elsewhere, it feels most damning of The Carrier that by the time the third act is swinging around, the prospect of him murdering every other character and getting things over with is much more appealing than anything else the film could do to salvage itself at that point.

So, check your passport’s valid because we’re taking a one-way flight to Pun City: The Carrier is a respectable, if sub-par, indie thriller with a few good ideas behind it… but it just never takes off.

On the special features front, Altitude Film Entertainment bring The Carrier to UK DVD sporting an 11-minute featurette that takes apart the impressive amount of creative effects work that was used to bring the film to life. It’s a real eye-opener and indicative of the hard work that went into creating the final product.

Next to that, there’s a 30-minute “making of” featurette that does everything it needs to do for such a supplement – plenty of on-set footage and interviews abound. There’s also a selection of deleted scenes that were (wisely) excised for pacing reasons, the film’s trailer and a feature audio commentary with director Anthony Woodley, producer Luke Healy and actor Jack Gordon. It’s a good listen given that, as is generally expected for independent films such as The Carrier, all involved have plenty of stories to tell about the adjustments, challenges and creative decision-making that went on throughout the film’s creation. Sadly, it isn’t quite strong enough to make a re-watch of the movie itself much of a recommendation.

Special Features:

  • VFX Featurette
  • Making of Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailer
  • Audio Commentary


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Categories: Horror News

Get The Witcher 2 For FREE!

Dread Central - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 21:15

If you own an Xbox One, then my God, are you in luck! From January 21 to February 5, CD Project RED’s fantasy RPG masterpiece The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings will be FREE to download as part of Microsoft’s aim to introduce Backward Compatibility to the console.

This is a pretty big deal as it was one of the top reviewed games of 2011 in addition to picking up a bunch of awards. Rarely does an opportunity come along to pick up such a highly acclaimed game for free so this is, quite simply, an offer you can’t refuse.

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Categories: Horror News

Shudder Teams with Sundance for New Midnight at Sundance Collection

Dread Central - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 20:23

In honor of Shudder’s new partnership with Midnight @ Sundance, the AMC-backed streaming service has created a collection of festival favorites for your viewing pleasure, Midnight at Sundance. If you can’t make it to the Sundance Film Festival itself this year, you can catch some independent horror classics like Trollhunter and V/H/S on your sofa.

Sound up your alley?  Then read on for the official details along with info on a slew of new titles just added to the service!

From the Press Release:
New Year’s Resolutions not working out? Still avoiding the gym like the plague? Nix those plans and spend these wintry months curled up with Shudder’s new additions to its scream-filled library. The AMC-backed horror streaming service will keep your heart rate up this year, no gym membership required.

The curators at Shudder are working hard to bring subscribers the best in horror as we wrap up the first month of 2016, curating additional films for streamers and screamers to enjoy. New titles now available on Shudder include I Can See You, Lips of Blood, Night Tide, Female Vampire, The Long Hair of Death, The Iron Rose, The Hands of Orlac, and The Phantom of the Opera with Cub, Bloody Knuckles, Der Samurai, Nightmare City, and Carved: The Slit-Mouthed Woman exclusive to subscribers.

In addition to new titles, Shudder has partnered with Midnight @ Sundance and will be hosting the first official Midnight Party at the festival this weekend. The service is celebrating the spirit of independent film for fans at home with its new collection, Midnight at Sundance. For 25 years, Midnight at Sundance has proven a terrifying tastemaker, introducing and supporting some of the brightest voices in 21st Century horror. Out in the dark, snowcapped mountains of Utah, at an altitude that challenges the faint of heart, horror has made a chilling mark on Park City. Any many of those films now reside at Shudder.

COLLECTION: Midnight at Sundance
As Sundance’s 25th Midnight gets under way, Shudder has selected past festival highlights for subscribers to stream, including:
• Dead Snow
• Donkey Punch
• Excision
• Grace
• Hobo With a Shotgun
• Septien
• The Pact
• Timecrimes
• Trollhunter
• V/H/S

Shudder is available now for desktop, iOS, Android mobile devices, Roku players, and Roku TV models with more outlets on the way. The service is available for a 14-day free trial with a monthly cost of $4.99, or $49.99 yearly, after the trial ends.

Visit Shudder to learn more about the service, browse the collection, or to start your free trial today.

 

The post Shudder Teams with Sundance for New Midnight at Sundance Collection appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

The Escapists: The Walking Dead Arrives on PS4 in February

Dread Central - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 19:56

We previously told you about Team17 Digital’s The Escapists: The Walking Dead, a mashup of breakout hit The Escapists with the beloved universe that is Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic series, and now we know when it will be arriving on the PlayStation 4.

Per the PlayStation Blog, it will be launching on February 16th.

About the Game:
In this unique game, recreated entirely in the charming 8-bit pixel art style of The Escapists, you play as The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes as he takes on hordes of walkers let loose upon the world.

Rick is in charge of a band of survivors featuring many of the original comic book cast, including Maggie, Hershel, Glenn, and Michonne. Rick must secure the safety of the group by seeking out a safe escape route from each area and manage several dangerous tasks to keep as many of the group alive as possible. The game faithfully matches the timeline of the comics, meaning Rick must first fight his way out of the Harrison Memorial Hospital, arriving at the Greene family farm before visiting destinations such as the Meriwether Correctional Facility and Woodbury.

Protect the living, and escape the dead as you play through the award-winning comic’s epic story.

  • 5 Locations: Tackle 5 of the most infamous locations from The Walking Dead story including: Meriwether County Correctional Facility, Woodbury, and Alexandria.
  • Epic Crafting: Choose from over two hundred + different items to make over 70 tools or weapons to aid your survival.
  • Well-known characters: Interact with all your favorite characters from the comics and recruit them to help you with important tasks.
  • Routines: Make sure you and your survivors keep up your daily routines – it’s important for morale!
  • Guns!: Firearms will now be available to craft or discover – they are handy for keeping walkers at bay!
  • Zombie Hordes: Use your wits and your survivor companions to fend off hordes of hungry walkers.

Check out some screenshots and the announcement trailer below. For more info visit The Escapists: The Walking Dead on PlayStation.com.

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Categories: Horror News

Director Jared Cohn Counts to 6ix

Dread Central - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 19:20

A new horror flick from director Jared Cohn is on its way of the biblical variety as Deadline is reporting that the upcoming thriller 6ix will begin filming in Chicago in May.

Written by Nicholas Celozzi, the story follows a a devout and merciless killer who believes he was born without a soul and seeks to regain it by stealing the “senses” of his victims, using the New Testament Book of Revelation for inspiration. Two detectives are tasked with finding him before it’s too late and six innocent lives are lost.

Cohn is directing with Celozzi producing alongside Jeff Bowler. 6ix is fully funded and aiming for release later in 2016.

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Categories: Horror News

That Time When ‘Tales From the Crypt’ Had an Unsuccessful Sci-Fi Spinoff Hosted By a Sexy Robot!

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 17:48

Everyone knows ‘Tales From the Crypt’, but what about it’s short-lived science-fiction based spinoff, ‘Perversions of Science’?

“Losing control can be a terrifying thing. But then again, it’s nothing to lose REM sleep over. At least, that’s what the man in my next playback keeps telling me, and he should know. I calibrated this off-kilter ode to insomnia under the name, ‘Dream of Doom’”

It’s hard to deny that Tales From the Crypt was a cultural phenomenon. Even if you had never seen the show before, you were at least aware of the property in some sense, whether it was its comic-based source material, or even its pun-loving host, the Cryptkeeper. With the footprint that this audacious anthology left on the television landscape, you would think that a sister series that embraced sci-fi rather than horror would be a natural hit. Perversions of Science would debut in 1997, a year after the conclusion of Tales From the Crypt. The public was assumingly hungry for more pulpy anthology storytelling, with Perversions swooping in nicely to fill the void, but in spite of this, the series would see cancellation within the same year. Perversions of Science is certainly an anomalistic oddball of a show, but its faults almost make the series a more fascinating case study. The fact that it existed for such a short time, and is virtually on nobody’s radar in spite of the pedigree that it comes from makes it all the more interesting, too. By all reasoning Perversions of Science should have been a huge success, and we’ll break down the reasons why this footnote is deserving of a second glance.

With Tales From the Crypt providing a winning formula for HBO for seven years, it isn’t surprising that they approached the same cabal of producers (Robert Zemeckis, Walter Hill, Gilbert Adler, A.L. Katz, Joel Silver…) for another stab at the format. In fact, this wasn’t the first time that a spinoff of the anthology series was explored. In the middle of Tales From the Crypt’s run, a war and action-based series titled, Two-Fisted Tales, still based on the EC Comics line, had a pilot produced but never ended up going anywhere (the episodes were even worked in Tales From the Crypt’s third and fourth seasons). While a war anthology might seem limiting, the topic of science fiction is certainly more universal and it was enough for HBO to get excited. Thus, Perversions of Science was born.

It’s kind of crazy to see just how similar Perversions of Science is to Tales From the Crypt, with the spinoff directly trying to invite the comparison. The series starts off with a gorgeous Möbius strip of an intro sequence that acts as even better walking guide to your destination than your descent into the crypt in Tales. The whole thing is paired with a deeply fun Danny Elfman orchestration that’s worth checking out the series for alone (and feels really reminiscent of his work on Ed Wood for what it’s worth). This impressive introduction is even concluded with the series’ own de facto Cryptkeeper, a sexy female robot by the name of Chrome. Whereas the Cryptkeeper would make puns based around death and the macabre, Chrome’s aim is all about sexual innuendo and pushing your buttons. Each story even begins from a projection stemming from her breast when she pushes her areola (I swear to God). HBO kept up the same airing strategy that they did for Tales From the Crypt as well, premiering the series as a three-episode event. There was no lack of fanfare going on.

Beyond all of the obvious visual allusions to the series’ predecessor, the show’s stories were still all originating from EC Comics (the Weird Science line, to be precise, but using that title for the series would have invited an unwanted association with the John Hughes comedy of the same name). On top of that, Perversions of Science also had an assemblage of directing, writing, and acting talent comparable to Crypt’s A-list talent. In spite of all of this though, the series mostly fell on deaf ears. It certainly was no fault of HBO and lack of exposure though, with the network giving the series a huge marketing push, and advertising choicely in Playboy and comics, where the ideal market would be looking.

Perversions of Science may fail to tap into the heights that Tales From the Crypt did during its first season (lest we forget that that remarkable year of television had the gems “The Man Who Was Death”, “And All Through the House”, and “Collection Completed”), but it does hit some pretty excellent highs that warrant the series a better reputation than it currently has. The ten-episode season kicks off with a Walter Hill directed entry called, “Dream of Doom” that’s basically Inception a decade before Christopher Nolan would go there. The episode sees Keith Carradine playing a beleaguered professor who’s unable to fully wake up from his dreams. Every time that he tries to escape, he winds up in another dream, increasingly losing touch with reality in the process. It’s even kind of nuts that the installment is scripted by Nolan’s constant confidant, David Goyer, and getting to see him playing around with this complicated concept so long ago. It’s a strong, unnerving premiere episode that director Hill doesn’t squander, and it ultimately ends up feeling more like Groundhog Day than Inception, but it still works.

“Anatomy Lesson” deals with a young guy with homicidal tendencies that’s continually plagued by visions of a bearded man (an on-point Jeff Fahey) that he’s been having since his childhood. The more psychological entry directed by Gilbert Adler is appropriately dark like most of his work, using a succinct script by Kevin Rock (writer of installments in the Warlock and The Howling franchises) to sell the material. “Boxed In” is the polar opposite tonally, presenting a sex-fueled slapstick farce staring (and directed by) William Shatner. While much of “Boxed In” just feels like an excuse to get Shatner back on the bridge of a spaceship, the segment is one of the weirder stories as Shatner struggles with his morality as he weighs the pros and cons of having sex with a sex android. These might have amounted to mediocre Tales episodes, but they do a good job at showing the varied scope of the “sci-fi” that the series would put under its microscope. Clearly this wouldn’t be all aliens and space fodder. These three episodes that made up the premiere night couldn’t offer up a more eclectic taste.

“The Exile”, much like “Dream of Doom” is another of the more worthwhile episodes of the series, largely due to its precise direction (courtesy of William Malone of The House on Haunted Hill remake) and cast (Ron Perlman and Jeffrey Comb, who is off leash here and gets to deliver delicious lines like, “That makes the tip of my dick cry”). The story is set against a World War II backdrop with a wartime scientist failing the rehabilitation process and being exiled from the world as he atones. There’s a very A Clockwork Orange mentality to the episode, as well as a certain socialmindedness that would so often accompany The Twilight Zone.

Even if several of Perversions of Science’s episodes would fail to connect with audiences in the same way that Tales From the Crypt would, this poignant social commentary was present in many of the entries, like “Given the Heir” (a woman achieves perfection in her body, only to be sent into the past and become an object of gaze), “Snap Ending” (a complicated look at sexuality as a mixed gender species tries to understand a new organism), and the season/series finale, “The People’s Choice” (a story on consumerism steeped in patriotism, as feuding robot housekeepers become the norm). This sort of reflection and dissection of society at large was an element of storytelling that was often absent from Tales From the Crypt, and in this sense Perversions did feel a little closer to Rod Serling’s classic series. Normally this wouldn’t be a bad thing, but when you’re towing the line between being jokey and putting on little silly spectacles, inviting this comparison can sometimes only highlight what you’re not.

Other episodes saw topics like moving between alternate realities to find loved ones that are dead in our timeline (something Fringe would invest heavily in years later), like in “Planely Possible” by Tales mainstay Russell Mulcahy and Peter Atkins (Hellraiser and Wishmaster series), or the concept of alien colonization and covert hybridization with the human race as a means to infiltrate the species, which sees exploration in “Ultimate Weapon.”

These all amount to very entertaining distractions, but the series’ episode “Panic” directed by the prolific Tobe Hooper and written by the selective Andrew Kevin Walker (writer of the incredible Se7en screenplay) is one of my favorite anthology shorts of all time. It might be campy as hell at certain points, but if this was a Tales From the Crypt episode, it would still rank up there with me amongst the best of them, mainly for the incredible twists that this economical piece of television pulls out at you. “Panic” is set on Halloween night in 1938, during the broadcast of Orson Welles’ infamous “War of the Worlds” prank (or rather Carson Walls, an approximate for story’s sake). Two friends (Jason Lee and Jamie Kennedy, no less) are having a nonchalant time at a Halloween party when suddenly the alien invasion news breaks out and everything changes.

I really don’t want to spoil the direction that this episode goes in, but it takes the premise of the “War of the Worlds” broadcast and subverts it with such a brilliant idea that it just fills me with such glee. Not only is this initial twist one of the smarter premises that I’ve seen used for an anthology show, but the ultimate twist that wraps up the episode is so in-your-face audacious, you just have to get on board with it. “Panic” is a bewildering experiment from top to bottom that never stops you from guessing what’s going on. This episode is deserving of some sort of elevation above its discarded series’ status. Perversions of Science might be a very mixed bag, but “Panic” is the series at its absolute best and won’t disappoint.

But on the topic of disappointment, it’s worth examining just why this series did crash and burn so unceremoniously. It’s possible that the final, British produced season of Tales From the Crypt left a bad taste in the audience’s mouth and rather than wanting more of this sort of thing, they were just burnt out. It’s also possible that sci-fi tends to have less of a success rate than horror, especially with how recent programming has been dictating. Not only is horror huge with results at the moment, but anthology horror is doing even better. Interestingly enough, Perversions of Science’s cancellation wasn’t because of it receiving tiny numbers due to some juggernaut of a competition. Granted, the series didn’t perform as well as Tales From the Crypt had, but it maintained solid numbers in its spot. What was more of an issue was the premiere of HBO mega-hit, Oz, also in ’97, and when it came to the time of cleaning slate at the end of the year it was clear which of the two wasn’t going anywhere.

With the complete lack of reputation that this series has, it almost feels more appropriate that this be the series that Shyamalan should revive for TNT. There’s considerably less stakes on something like this, you get around the issue of not having the rights to HBO’s Cryptkeeper, you still get the library of EC Comics at your disposal, and arguably Shyamalan has more a connection to science fiction than horror. The director could essentially create the same series, but under a title that doesn’t sully Tales From the Crypt’s name any, and as a result Perversions of Science gets a nice little publicity bump as well.

Or perhaps the series is just meant to always lie in obscurity. It did tell us that the whole universe all rests inside a piece of popcorn, after all.

The entirety of Perversions of Science is available on YouTube. God bless America.

Categories: Horror News

‘Layers of Fear’ Coming to PS4 in February

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 17:25

Bloober Team is taking their psychedelic horror game Layers of Fear out of early access next month so it can get an official release on PC (Steam), PS4 and Xbox One. This mind trip of a video game is played from the perspective of a painter with a tenuous grip on reality that’s twisted the world around him into something sinister and unpredictable.

Layers of Fear is an atmospheric and deeply unnerving game that’s easy to recommend, especially if you enjoy the kind of hallucinatory horrors seen in games like Eternal Darkness, The Evil Within and P.T.. It’s expected to release on February 16.

Categories: Horror News

‘Salem’: Marilyn Manson Will Appear in Third Season

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 16:24

After writing the show’s theme, Marilyn Manson will join the cast of WGN America’s hit supernatural thriller “Salem” in a special guest starring role, Bloody Disgusting learned.

Manson will portray “Thomas Dinley,” a barber and surgeon who is the go-to man in Salem, from a shave and a haircut to being leeched, bled, sliced open or sewn up.

The four-time Grammy nominee is no stranger to the cable network’s first scripted original, having previously collaborated with “Salem’s” composer Tyler Bates on the show’s opening title sequence. The hauntingly dark track, “Cupid Carries a Gun,” sets the tone for the enthralling one-hour drama which boldly reimagines the infamous 17th century witch trials in a world where witches are real, but they are not who or what they seem to be.

Production on the original drama’s third season, produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, begins today in Shreveport, LA.

Continuing its bloody, sexy and fantastical reimagining of Colonial America, “Salem’s” third season dawns with the triumph of the witches’ plan to remake the New World by bringing the devil to earth and making Salem his capital. But the devil is a liar, and instead of a New World free from murderous Puritan hypocrisy, his own plan will bring nothing but death and slavery with the ultimate aim of leading humanity to destroy itself. And there’s only one person on earth who can beat the devil — the very witch that birthed him, his mother, Mary Sibley. The only problem is—she’s dead. Or is she?

“Salem” stars Janet Montgomery (“Human Target,” “Made in Jersey”) as Mary Sibley, Shane West (“Nikita,” “ER”) as Captain John Alden, Seth Gabel (“Arrow,” “Fringe”) as Cotton Mather, Ashley Madekwe (“Revenge”) as Tituba, Tamzin Merchant (“Jane Eyre”) as Anne Hale, Elise Eberle (“The Astronaut Farmer”) as Mercy Lewis, Iddo Goldberg (“Mob City”) as Isaac Walton, Joe Doyle (“Raw”) as Baron Sebastian Marburg and Oliver Bell (“The Saint”) as Mary’s son.

Categories: Horror News

‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ Images Infected By the Black Plague

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 15:23

Set for release February 5th, 2016 is Sony Screen Gems’ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (read our report from set in London), which focuses on the Bennett sisters – Elizabeth (Lily James), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady), Jane (Bella Heathcote), and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) – several badass women who have been trained to brutally slay the undead.

The events in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies begin with the tangled relationship between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England, and is complicated by a full on outbreak of zombies.

Check out a series of new imagery that shows the full cast, including Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Charles Dance, and Lena Headey.

[H/T] The Playlist

Categories: Horror News

It’s official: Tom Cruise Gets Wrapped Up in ‘The Mummy’ Remake!

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 15:08

Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but he’s an awesome actor, and knowing he’s going to star in another genre film gets me all tingly inside.

While rumored to be circulating Universal’s monster revivals, the star of War of the Worlds is now officially attached to The Mummy, the first (not counting Dracula Untold) of the new expanded universe.

Because of Cruise committing, Universal has been forced to shift the release date, setting it for June 9, 2017.

As reported last month, Kingsman: The Secret Service‘s Sofia Boutella is starring as the film’s monster with Alex Kurtzman directing from Jon Spaihts’ modern day script.

Universal is planning an Avengers-style universe, which means we should expect Cruise to appear in other tie-ins down the road. As I’ve been saying since day one, I’m pretty sure Cruise will play Van Helsing and reprise the role in the feature film of the same name – after we see Frankenstein, and his Bride, the Wolf Man, the Creature From the Black Lagoon and even the Invisible Man back in theaters. (There’s talk of Scarlett Johansson toplining the Creature From the Black Lagoon reboot with the studio targeting Angelina Jolie Pitt for the leading role in Bride of Frankenstein.)

Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

Categories: Horror News

Neo-Noir ‘Like Me’ Goes On a Social Media Crime Spree

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/21/2016 - 14:30

Glass Eye Pix and Dogfish Pictures have wrapped principal photography of their collaboration Like Me, a genre- and mind-bending neo-noir starring The Town That Dreaded Sundown‘s Addison Timlin, Bloody Disgusting learned.

Timlin, pictured, plays the lead role of Kiya, a discontented loner who documents her own crime spree through social media, which provokes a disturbing Internet following. Larry Fessenden (You’re Next) plays Marshall, a paint-huffing motel owner who crosses her path. Ian Nelson (The Hunger Games), Jeremy Gardner (The Battery, Spring), and Stuart Rudin (Stake Land) round out the cast.

Like Me is the directorial feature debut of Rob Mockler, who also penned the script. The project was selected to participate in James Belfer’s Dogfish Accelerator program, which provided financing and business development for a slate of films, series, digital content, and animation. The film was also selected as an Indiewire Project of the Month.

Filming commenced on December 1, 2015, in Brooklyn before moving to Rockaway Beach, Queens, and Woodstock, NY.

Categories: Horror News