#SDCC14: Salem Season 2 Will Be Deeper, Darker, Scarier... and Lovecraftian! Hear from the Cast & Crew!
The phrase "the best show you're not watching" gets thrown around a lot, but in the case of "Salem," it couldn't be more true. We've been singing its praises since Episode 1 so our mission at SDCC was to find out what's ahead in Season 2.
Surprisingly, the powers-that-be, exec producers Brannon Braga and Adam Simon, were quite forthcoming while co-stars Janet Montgomery. Shane West, Seth Gabel, Ashley Madekwe, Iddo Goldberg, and Elise Eberle were all incredibly charming and obviously invested in their characters.
Beware in case you're not caught up as spoilers for Season 1 abound!
We've found the horror crowd to a bit slow to pick up on just how hardcore the show can be at times so we queried Braga as to how we can help raise awareness. "I like that our show is not plastered all over buses," he responded. "I like being the show that launched this network [WGN America]; I think it's cool. "
"We got away with more as well because of that," added Madekwe. "There were things I think we might not have been able to do if we were under such scrutiny."
"The horror is a huge part… it is a horror show," Braga reassured us, "and we plan to continue doing it. I think Ashley is right. This show pushes the boundaries for a show on basic cable."
When asked what has kept TV mostly away from witches, with the exception of lighter fare like "Bewitched" and "Charmed," Braga stated his surprise that "not a lot was done with this time period in particular [overall]. There's The Crucible, and that's about it, which is great because there are many historical details which are completely untapped. Characters, events, stuff that's just rich to mine for dramatic purposes. But the bad [part] was nothing exists. We couldn't rent anything; everything had to be built from scratch. From every building to every pipe a guy smokes to every tool… everything that you see on the show is hand-crafted."
Braga described the creative team's planning process for Season 2: "You can't really do the kind of ending we had for Season 1 without talking about Season 2 and having some clue where you're going. It's safe to say that every character has transformed… enemies have become friends, vice versa."
"The one thing I will tease you with is… obviously the characters are going on a certain trajectory. There's a child involved, Tituba and Mary are enemies, Mary plans to kill Tituba, Isaac's dying of the plague, Alden's been rescued by Indians, Cotton's off to Boston. Those storylines will be followed; some storylines may not even be in Salem at first… there are other witches out there who may also have sensed the Grand Rite was happening and are thinking, 'Wow! Who's this Mary Sibley, and how the hell did she pull that off?'"
So it sounds like a lot of our loose ends will be tied up or at least not left totally hanging. Going back to Alden for a moment, we wondered if the Mohawk tribe will continue to factor into future events. "They'll be a thread," said Braga.
As for the biggest twist of the finale, Montgomery herself was surprised to learn Mary and John's baby had survived. "We were lucky to find such a great little actor. I'm just excited for next season and what we can do with that character and how it will complicate Mary's position even more." A child raised by Satan… he's sure to be a real delight!
We prodded West to share what he knows about what's upcoming for the possibly dead John Alden, but before he could, Braga chimed in, "Everyone who's at Comic-Con is probably safe." "Probably…" echoed Madekwe.
"I don't know," replied West. "I'm excited where John went, especially where John and Mary were going as well before obviously the child [came] back, which is going to be great to play with next season for sure. I'm enjoying going back to deal with the Indians, the Native Americans, to see where that storyline can go and if we can compound a little bit on what happened in the past for him as well. I think it's a great start for John, and then we'll get him back into Salem… I don't know if it'll be immediately or if it'll take some time, but it's fun to explore."
Next the tables turned as Ashley leaned over toward Brannon and said, "I have a question. I'm not there for some of the scenes you guys shoot obviously. When I come to you [addressing Montgomery] and I say, 'The child's alive,' is that when you change your mind? Or did you always plan to leave John in the woods?"
Janet responded, "No, no… it's when you tell me about the child, and I say, 'Well, if I don't go…' You say, 'You've got to complete the Grand Rite or a sacrifice deferred so I'm going to kill your child,' so then I make a choice to go for my child and hope that John can understand."
Braaga said what's great about John and Mary's relationship is that "it started as a tragic romance, and just as they were getting together, it became a tragic romance again." He hedged a bit when we asked about any kind of time lapse between the Season 1 finale and the show's return episode, but he did acknowledge, "It's safe to say that most of the characters are left in an exigent [situation] so I don't think we're going to be doing like a year later or anything like that."
Montgomery credited "smart writing" for her character's ability to win over the audience despite taking us on a roller coaster ride of sort of liking her in the beginning, hating her later on, and then finally accepting and admiring her by season's end. That and "Stephen Lang coming in. The addition of Stephen Lang, who is the Puritan, the good guy... having him come in and be so great at being nasty really makes you feel for Mary and you start rooting for her..."
Braga added, "For me, the moment that Stephen Lang's character hung the three girls, he became the monster. And that's right around the time Mary's starting to go through her own evolution. It was the villain the show needed. Because Mary was the villain at first… she was the villain and the hero."
Complexity is a hallmark of "Salem" characters with few exhibiting more than Cotton Mather, and we wondered where he's going in Season 2. Here's this man of God killing to, in his mind, do good; what happens to him? "He doesn't know that Mary's been manipulating him the whole time," Braga reminded us. "Even the murder of his father was orchestrated to some degree by Mary. So he has a lot of stuff that's going to happen… a lot of cool stuff will happen with him too."
But where will that cool stuff take place? Braga laughed, "Well, right now he's riding off to Boston. You know, he's going to have to go into hiding. He killed his dad, and dad is a really important guy… or was!"
"Slightly!" interjected West. "Slightly dead, slightly important."
That was about all we could pry out of Braga so next on our hot seat was his cohort Adam Simon, who gave us the best soundbite of the day when we asked for his opinion on the tone of Season 2. With a bit of input from co-stars Goldberg and Gabel, he told us we can expect it to be "deeper, darker, scarier, funnier, sexier, stranger, bigger…"
Seth elaborated, "When we leave Season 1, the proverbial shit hits the fan. Season 1 I feel is just this pressure cooker of all of these things that are going to happen, and as an audience member, you don't know whether we're going to be loyal to all the facts of that historical event, and is it going to be as boring as what I studied in high school? It takes a journey into the fantastical that still tries to honor what happened during that time period but take some liberties to get to the heart of people's perception of [it]."
"This is a very supernatural, superstitious time for people in a new world where literally anything was possible, and in the 'anything is possible' is the devil and demons and God and angels and savage Indians and dark arts and all kinds of things… in their mind these genre ideas were real. And so Season 1 I think, for us as a cast and crew, for the story that happens in the show, I feel like it all was just kind of boiling up, and now the lid gets blown off at the end of Season 1 and everyone is displaced in some way. Cotton is traveling to Boston after killing his father, John Alden has been almost killed in the woods and then rescued by Indians, Isaac has gotten some kind of plague and might die, [Mercy] becomes the 'Queen of the Night'… There's so many different revolutions happening. And this is a time that precedes the American Revolution; everyone has these mini revolutions of their own in the town of Salem."
"I think what you can expect from Season 2 - a word to sum it up - would be 'revolution.' That there has been an explosion of chaos and that chaos is necessary in order to create great change. I don't know what the details will be, but I imagine it'll be something like that."
Simon picked up the thread, "Look, one of the phrases that led Season 1 was 'Witch Among Us,' playing on that phrase, and one of the phrases we bounce around for Season 2 is 'Witch War.' Or 'Which War?' This is a time where there are wars all culminating here. War between the Europeans and the Indians. War between the French and the English. War between the Dutch and Germans that are still there. The war that's going to be brewing over the slaves that are being brought in."
Iddo added, "We've established Anne as a witch now… we have Anne, we have Mercy, we have Tituba…"
So the witches themselves will be at war? Yes," Simon said. " They're gonna be because now we have a dynastic battle. There's going to be a question as to which is the [ruling] line, even within, say, the English witches, which is what we call the 'Essex' witches… Even in that strand of the witches we now have a potential battle because the Hales are an old, old, old family with clearly very powerful witch blood and now Anne Hale has discovered in the most horrific way possible what her power really is. Not to mention [Anne] has kind of had a bit of an alliance in a funny way with Cotton that she might in ways end up fulfilling her father's dream that, in fact, the Hales and the Mathers might merge… the top family of witches and the top family of Puritans might come together."
"Meanwhile, there's Mary Sibley, the 'Black Rose' they grafted onto their vine, who is not only by no means relinquishing her power but now has an heir, which she never had before. And of course we have Mercy Lewis, who is saying something true when she says, 'Well, the rule is the one who kills the Samhain is the Queen of the Night,' and yet, she is the one who did it so there's a free-for-all coming over who's in charge. And that's not even to mention the German witches who want in on this now too. Identity politics has been the ruling politics in America since day one, whether that's between Indians and Europeans, between the five or six different types of Europeans. The witches themselves are as driven by ethnic and identity issues as the others are, and not only that, they all bring their gods and their demons with them."
And then things got really interesting as Simon revealed, "One other thing I'd throw out that's going to be a lot of fun to play with is we've only barely scratched the surface of the idea that Salem is a port. It's on the edge of the sea; it's a super important port. But also, from an almost Lovecraftian, horror perspective, there are things in the sea as horrendous as there are in the forest. So imagine Salem as Innsmouth in effect, if you know your Lovecraft. Imagine the fact that Lovecraft was really the more accurate historian of our early history than Arthur Miller was. It's H.P. Lovecraft's Crucible."
Lots of headsy stuff to take in for sure so we came back down to earth by trying to pry out of Goldberg exactly what the heck Isaac was doing when we last saw him. His lips were sealed, but Simon teased, "We would all be in big trouble if we don't have Isaac. We believe real firmly no community can survive without its fool, its holy sacred fool. Now whether he stays a fool or not and what he becomes, who knows? The season did end with him in effect throwing himself on a grenade, which is not enough to stop it from happening but may well have changed the impact that it would have had, had he done what Mary wanted him to… at potentially great cost, but not total, or maybe… we'll see. We don't want to give anything away. But by no means have we seen the last of Isaac the Fornicator."
As for how much more story there is to tell, Simon explained, "You've got to remember, yes, it was six months of a show, but in fictional time it was [only] one month. We haven't even gotten to the event that The Crucible begins with. Now we're not going to spend years and years and years on the witch trials because ultimately the witch trials are a door to open into a completely supernatural vision of early America and of the world based on the consensus reality that the people had back then. But even within the events of the witch trials themselves, we've just barely begun. There's been no Panel of Judges yet, the new Governor Phips has not arrived. There's so much drama, politics, and magic all still to happen there that this has just been the setup for."
We saved the best for last and asked Elise to describe what it's been like playing Mercy. Talk about a character arc! She enthused, "It's a wild flippin' ride. I love it. As an actor, the ability to play so many different emotions… it's like she's a bipolar, schizophrenic girl so to have something like that and get to just work on it and play with it is a dream come true. I've always been so interested in crazy people. *laughs* It's so much fun; I just eat it up!"
Here's a look at our group as they were heading off for their first SDCC panel. Hope to see you all back next year, heathens!
— Iddo Goldberg (@IddoG) July 26, 2014
Whether you love him or hate him, you simply have to respect Kevin Smith for the direction he's currently taking with his career, where he's decided to make movies that only he can make.
One of those movies is of course the upcoming Tusk, which is the first in a trilogy that will also include his very own version of Jaws. Say what?!
The fine folks over on /Film picked up on the announcement at Comic-Con, where Smith revealed the first trailer for Tusk. On his panel, he said that the crazy film about a dude who turns a podcaster into a walrus will be the first in his 'True North Trilogy,' followed up by the previously announced Yoga Hosers and a movie called Moose Jaws.
Smith describes the latter film as being "Jaws, with a moose," and says it will feature much the same cast as Tusk. The only thing he really said about the movie is that there will be a scene in it of a killer moose eating a little girl, which is enough to pique my interest.
So awesome to see Smith stepping outside of his comedy comfort zone and delving deep into the horror genre. As someone who loved Red State, I welcome all these whacky upcoming projects with open arms!
Bummed that you weren't able to attend this past weekend's San Diego Comic-Con, where all sorts of tidbits were revealed about the upcoming Goosebumps? Well, have no fear because Columbia Pictures has just provided us with all the highlights in the form of two must-watch videos.
Check them out below to hear star Jack Black and director Rob Letterman talk about the film, giving us a whole lot of insight into what we can expect from it. Viewer beware; you're in for a treat!
Jack Black, Ken Marino, Amy Ryan, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee, Halston Sage, Timothy Simons, Amanda Lund, and Dylan Minnette star.
In the film, directed by Rob Letterman, Black portrays famed children's horror writer R.L. Stine, whose monsters, it turns out, are actually real. When they escape from his books and attack an unsuspecting town, it's up to Stine and two teens to get the monsters back into their stories.
Goosebumps, which comes from a screenplay by Darren Lemke and Mike White, is produced by Neal H. Moritz through his Original Film banner and Deborah Forte of Scholastic Entertainment.
Look for it in theatres on August 7, 2015.
Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.
Apparently, it took more than one Michael Myers to help spread the word regarding September 23rd's Halloween Complete Collection Blu-ray set at the San Diego Comic-Con, and once they got together... well, have a look. You certainly don't see this every day!
Halloween Box Set Release Details
Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory proudly announce the bonus features and technical specifications for the September 23rd HALLOWEEN Complete Collection Blu-ray™ set.
This new set boasts a wealth of NEW bonus features including 7 brand NEW featurettes, 3 brand NEW commentaries, 4 brand NEW interviews – with many of the participants sharing their thoughts about the franchise for the first time -- and NEW transfers and audio specs on selected titles.
Disc 1 – John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1); Dolby TrueHD 7.1; Original 1978 Audio in Dolby TrueHD Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc 2 – John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) (Exclusive to Deluxe Edition)
Original 2008 Blu-ray with different color timing and special features.
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1); Dolby Surround 5.1; PCM 5.1; Original 1978 Mono Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc 3 – Halloween II (1981)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1); DTS-HD MA 5.1
Disc 4 – Halloween II TV Cut (1981) DVD (Exclusive to Deluxe Edition)
Standard Definition Full-frame 1.33:1; Dolby Digital Mono
Disc 5 – Halloween III: Season of The Witch (1982)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1); DTS-HD MA 5.1; Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0
Disc 6 – Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1); Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc 7 -- Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1); Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc 8 -- Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) Theatrical Cut
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1); Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc 9 – Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) Producer’s Cut (Exclusive to Deluxe Edition)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (1:78:1); DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Disc 10 -- Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1); DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Disc 11 -- Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1); DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Disc 12 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1); DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Disc 13 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007) Bonus Disc (Exclusive to Deluxe Edition)
Disc 14 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 (2009)
1080p Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1); DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1;
Disc 15 – Bonus Features (Exclusive to Deluxe Edition)
1080p, 520p Full Frame, Anamorphic Widescreen 1:85:1, 2.35:1;
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Stereo, Mono
Is it September 23rd yet?
The San Diego Comic-Con may be technically over, but the goodies from the show are still coming! On tap right now is the full panel for "Constantine." Check it out, and look for more like immediately!
About the Show:
"CONSTANTINE" follows enigmatic and irreverent Liverpool con-man-turned-occult-detective John Constantine, who is reluctantly thrust into the role of defending our world against dark forces from beyond.
Featured in hundreds of comic book issues, John Constantine has been a DC Comics staple since his first appearance as a supporting character in Swamp Thing in 1985. The character was subsequently featured in his own bestselling Hellblazer and Constantine comic book series.
UK native Matt Ryan (Layer Cake, "The Tudors," "Torchwood") stars as the title character. The cast also includes Harold Perrineau, Angelica Celaya, and Charles Halford.
The "CONSTANTINE" pilot is executive produced by Daniel Cerone ("The Mentalist," "Dexter") and David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight films, Man of Steel). Neil Marshall (The Descent, "Game of Thrones") is directing from a teleplay by Daniel Cerone with story by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer. "CONSTANTINE" is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television and is based upon characters published by DC Entertainment.
Columbia Pictures has sent us San Diego Comic-Con panel highlights and an interview with Jack Black for their upcoming Goosebumps, their horror comedy that will arrive in theaters August 7, 2015.
Directed by Rob Letterman, “Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series. It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination – the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong.“
Scholastic has sold over 400 million Goosebumps books worldwide in 32 languages since the series introduction in 1992, earning critical acclaim and dominating global best seller lists. R.L. Stine has been recognized as one of the bestselling children’s authors in history.
Ben Ketai’s Beneath, which premiering at the Los Angeles Screamfest Horror Film Festival last October, will be arriving on VOD June 27 from IFC Midnight. It will also open in limited theaters July 25.
We now have a second exclusive clip from the pic, starring Jeff Fahey, Kelly Noonan, Joey Kern, Brent Briscoe, Mark L Young and Eric Etebari, in which a member of their underground crew becomes a bloody mess. When things go wrong, there’s no escape…
Heading deep underground, “A crew of coal miners becomes trapped 600 feet below ground after a disastrous collapse. As the air grows more toxic and time runs out, they slowly descend into madness and begin to turn on one another.“
Another new trailer has made its way from the San Diego Convention Center to the Internet as the SDCC's red band look at the upcoming Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is now available. Add a splash of color to your Monday by checking it out here!
Following the groundbreaking film that grossed $160 million worldwide, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For reunites Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller for the next chapter in this trailblazing series.
Weaving together stunning visuals with an uncompromising, hard-boiled plot, the film promises more lurid tales from the various residents of Basin City. With a star-studded cast that includes Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba, Juno Temple, Josh Brolin, Jaime King, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke, Jamie Chung, Lady Gaga, and Christopher Meloni, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For ensures an experience like no other!
Related News: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For archive
The film will be released by Dimension Films in the US and Canada on August 22, 2014.
Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring Miller's visually stunning Sin City graphic novels back to the screen in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. Weaving together two of Miller's classic stories with new tales, the town's most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR is the follow-up to Rodriguez and Miller's 2005 groundbreaking film FRANK MILLER'S SIN CITY.
For several issues now Marko and Alana have been safe from the many different factions that have been hunting them. As things quiet down the couple is faced with the challenges that naturally arise in relationships. Meanwhile Price Robot IV receives some terrible news satiates some of that famous “Saga” bloodlust. This issue is one of the most down to earth, melancholy books in the series, and as good as its ever been.
WRITTEN BY: Brian K. Vaughan
ART BY: Fiona Staples
RELEASE: July 23, 2014
Reviewed by Epic Switzer
Now that the dust has settled and our heroes have found a place to lay low, Vaughan is really getting into the nitty gritty of relationships. Invocative of the last seen in “The Graduate”, Marko and Alana fell in love amongst bursting bombshells and the constant threat of discovery. They’re relationship was always dangerous, forbidden, and a metaphor for the excitement of our own youthful affairs. Now that they have escaped certain death, there isn’t a simple happily-ever-after to tack on. The honeymoon phase is over and Marko and Alana are now coping with the banality of normal life. It is a pretty bold direction for this sci/fi adventure book to take but I’m finding it to be both socially relevant and rewarding.
The central conflict for both Marko and Alana has been building over several issue and in this issue they are both just slightly south of crossing that line. Alana is coping with her unfulfilling job by using, which as you might expect is a big part of the entertainment industry culture. Marko, who rarely sees his wife, is facing the temptation of another woman who is actively filling his needs. If you didn’t know I was describing Saga right now you might assume this is any of a variety of true to life dramas, and that cultural commonality is something I think Vaughan is purposely emphasizing in this arc. As always, he gets the point across quite poignantly in the only scene where Marco and Alana are together.
Across the galaxy, Prince Robot IV is having a pity party fuck-a-thon on planet Sextillion after being cracked in the head and failing to apprehend his targets while simultaneously missing the birth of his son and the death of his wife. He’s pissed, and yet another character exhibiting self destructive behavior as a coping mechanism. There’s always a lot to dig into in this book. I can’t wait until everything comes to a head on Gardenia. It will be interesting to see how Marko and Alana handle things together on their next adventure.
Fiona Staples is absolutely incredible, but you already knew that.
Epic Switzer AKA Eric is an aspiring filmmaker and screenplay writer living in Los Angeles. His work tends to focus on the lighter side of entropy, dystopic futures, and man’s innate struggle with his own mortality. He can be found on twitter @epicswitzer or reached via email at email@example.com.
Returning to the wheelhouse that made him a comics star on Thor, Walt Simonson launches ‘Ragnarok’ a Norse mythology inspired epic. This first issue starts the tale of Brynja, a sword wielding dark elf worthy of standing along the likes of Red Sonja, and delivers a fun tale of violence and adventure.
WRITTEN BY: Walter Simonson
ART BY: Walter Simonson
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: July 23, 2014
Review By: Ooknabah
Taking place in a blasted world in the aftermath of the death of the gods, Ragnarok follows Brynja as she undertakes to kill a dead god for the sakes of gaining immortality for her family. While the characterization is fairly simple, this is well worn territory for Simonson, and the familiarity allows him to create an authentic atmosphere while still playing in its confines. There is little in the way of groundbreaking developments, but for fans of the genre this is good pulpy entertainment which is essentially what the story promises from the outset, and it delivers.
Simonson’s art is good, although the lack of detail on zoomed-out figures comes across as a bit lazy: Still, the work is functional and the action feels kinetic and lively, while the tense and moody elements work well, all in all creating a more than serviceable whole. Of note, some of the larger reveals of ancient architecture brings to mind Simonson’s best work in the 80s. This does not rise to those heights, but the skill and experience of an industry veteran, particularly in layouts and staging, is evident throughout.
All in all, this comic plays out like a forgotten classic of the 80s or 90s, with overblown dialog and prose that leans a bit over the top. Since those days, writing in comics has evolved to allow for more nuance and subtlety, very little of which is in effect here. That said, there is something to be said for the appeal of a throwback to older comics, and for fans of Conan, Thor, or other such medieval-themed adventures, there is a lot here to like. There is a slight worry however, as the premise of the comic may be overtaken in later issues as the dead god set to be awaken could drastically alter the tone that has been set here. But those are problems for tomorrow: Today, you’ve got a classic adventure, well executed.
Bombastic and bold, if you miss comics like Walt Simonson used to make, well then rejoice, as he is still making them today. To be honest, I didn’t expect to care for this one, but it caught me by surprise in a pleasant way. I’ll be here next issue.
Ooknabah AKA Brent Hirose is a writer, actor and gigantic nerd from Vancouver B.C. You can listen to his podcast about that at HugeNerds.Podomatic.Com or check out his many other projects at BrentHirose.com
Alright folks, I’m back with some music recommendations! It’s Monday and who knows what kind of a week you have ahead of you. Regardless, music always helps time go by faster so let’s get some new tunes into your ears! Below is a collection of pop, electronica, possible metal, and some definite metal! Check out this week’s edition of BD Playlist!
Wolves In The Throne Room – Celestite
The latest album from the Olympia, WA black metal band is more in line with Tangerine Dream. Lush soundscapes accent sublime melodies that take their time, building layer upon layer. To put it in the most plain way possible, it’s wonderful.
Even though Zac Thompson strongly disliked the pilot presentation of NBC’s “Constantine”, we’re still hoping that things get better in the following episodes.
Series stars Matt Ryan, Harold Perrineau, Charles Halford and Executive Producers Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer were at the San Diego Comic-Con for a panel Q&A on “Constantine,” premiering Friday, October 24 at 10/9c on NBC.
We have the entire panel for you guys, as well as the trailer shown to those who attended. In addition, a third video shows you the musical artistry that helps bring the world of “Constantine” to life.
The series is about occult master and demon hunter John Constantine, who is tasked with defending humanity from the forces of evil.
The project is based on the “Hellblazer” comic book series.
“Based on the wildly popular DC Comics series “Hellblazer,” seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan, “Criminal Minds”) specializes in giving hell… hell. Armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wickedly naughty wit, he fights the good fight — or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he’s decided to leave his do-gooder life behind, but when demons target Liv (Lucy Griffiths, “True Blood”), the daughter of one of Constantine’s oldest friends, he’s reluctantly thrust back into the fray – and he’ll do whatever it takes to save her. Before long, it’s revealed that Liv’s “second sight” — an ability to see the worlds behind our world and predict supernatural occurrences — is a threat to a mysterious new evil that’s rising in the shadows. Now it’s not just Liv who needs protection; the angels are starting to get worried too. So, together, Constantine and Liv must use her power and his skills to travel the country, find the demons that threaten our world and send them back where they belong. After that, who knows… maybe there’s hope for him and his soul after all.”
David Tennant is back… er sort of in “Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor” # 1 from Titan Comics. This is an interesting adventure into New York that marred by spending far too much time with a new supporting cast, and a extremely dialogue heavy script that couldn’t hold my interest.
WRITTEN BY: Nick Abadzis
ART BY: Elena Casagrande
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
RELEASE: July 23, 2014
I’m a huge Whovian. I’ve followed The Doctor through thick and thin since the reboot and was positively overjoyed to see this series from Titan. I’ve sorely missed Ten and would give anything for more but Nick Abadzis’ script sadly misses the mark and fails to remind me of the Ten I love.
It’s not that The Doctor doesn’t sound like himself, it’s that he doesn’t have much to say in an issue filled with dialogue. There is no way introducing readers to the supporting characters of the story will invest them in the adventures that await. Remind us of the charm of The Doctor. While the story doesn’t require any requisite knowledge of previous events, it take far too long to get started.
The dialogue is so over abundant and superfluous that you’ll often forget who’s speaking if it isn’t The Doctor. It all feels very monotone and draining. But does a nice job at developing new character, albeit too much.
Elena Casagrande’s work is stellar. She has a great handle on the human form and draws the sprawling metropolis of New York City with relative ease. Yet, she doesn’t really dive into much of the fun stuff here. The aliens she does pepper in feel in place inside Doctor Who mythology but fail to stand out because they feel so subdued until the final page of the book.
In a lot of ways this is the Doctor Who comic fans have always deserved but it doesn’t really have itself figured out yet. The Doctor is incredibly light, and the scope of his adventures isn’t quite communicated. I mean the scope of New York is hardly on display, and for this world, scope is everything. You’re traversing time and space, so at least take me out of the Laundromat and subway tunnels.
Titan Publishing are releasing ‘Alien – Sea of Sorrows” this week. The novel serves as a direct bridge between the first two films. Writer James A Moore brilliantly captures the tone and the terror of the first films in the series and provides an interesting addition to series mythology.
Without a doubt, Doug Jones is one of our favorite actors. The personable, prolific performer always has some interesting projects to talk about, and he recently sat down with Dread Central to discuss some current and future endeavors.
Jones began by describing an intriguing new movie series. Space Command: Redemption is the first installment in a proposed franchise.
"It's an original piece by writer/director Mark Zicree, who has such a pedigree in writing for film and television in the science fiction genre," Jones said, "a hugely decorated writer who has written for everything from "Star Trek: Incarnation" to "Babylon 5" and beyond. So there's elements of all that. It's got all the trappings of a science fiction show that takes place in space, but it also has a warm, heartfelt soul that's unlike anything I've read and I think that's what attracted me to it. And to be surrounded by a cavalcade of great science fiction actors from Robert Picardo from "Star Trek: Voyager" to Bill Mumy from Lost in Space and "Babylon 5" and Mira Furlan also from "Babylon 5." It's such a cool project to be involved with."
In Space Command Jones plays Dor Neven. He shed some light on the character. "I play an android and I've always wanted to play an android," Jones said. "I've played robots in a couple things before, in funny projects like Benchwarmers or when I played Nick Swardson's wacky character Gay Robot. But this is more of a human with mechanical innards. And what I loved about it was my character, Dor Neven, sort of breaks through the mechanical machinery he is and develops an opinion and attitudes and feelings and thoughts of his own, and it takes an inhibitor chip to keep him in line. And without the inhibitor chip, he can either run amok or feel feelings and be a human, depending on your perspective of him."
He elaborated on the details of the androids. "Mark did a great job of creating this fantasy world where we have androids that were created to help the work force, Jones said. "But once they start waking up to the fact that they're alive, they feel entrapped and enslaved. Mark tied in human history with other cultures that have been enslaved or felt pushed down before and put them in this fantastical place where we can work through those issues on film and get some entertainment out of it and be empowered at the end of the day, too, by the rally for the underdog."
And as we often see him, Jones is an antagonist in Space Command. "I'm sort of portrayed as the bad guy in this," Jones said. "I'm the one who's the loose cannon on deck that needs to be stopped. But by the end of it, we're finding out that maybe I don't need to be stopped; I need to be set free."
Sometimes he's absolutely covered in make-up and prosthetics, but as Dor Neven, Jones is quite visible. "Very little make-up, which was another drawing point for me," Jones said. "They did not obliterate my face. They made me a little less human, but very much Dougie showing, which always appeals. I like when I can go to the craft service table and get my own snacks."
Moving on from Space Command Jones discussed a very popular new television show that he's involved in, "The Strain". "I was originally slated to do much more with the show," Jones said. "Guillermo del Toro, my hero in this world who champions me for everything he does, wanted me to be a character in the pilot who would then carry on for the entire five-year plan of the show. But because of my prior commitment to "Falling Skies", I couldn't, schedule-wise. I was available to do the pilot, but I wasn't available to do any episodes after that…until "Falling Skies" was finished filming for the season. Then I could run to Toronto and do the season finale of "The Strain". So that's when you'll see me, in the finale of Season 1. They'll introduce me in a guest cameo, a one-scene deal. But when you see me, and my kind on film, you'll say, 'Ohhhhh! More of those to come later. Yes!"
And, of course, Jones appears weekly as Cochise on "Falling Skies". "We're right in the middle of Season 4, airing on TNT at 10 p.m. on Sunday nights. In a competing time slot with "The Strain", unfortunately, but that's why we can DVR one and watch the other," Jones said. "I continue this season, I'll make my entrance and offer up lots of heady dialogue and information, the technology the humans don't have. It's like, I walk into a scene and say 'Here's the gadget you need to get through this moment in your life. Here's how you use it. And here's what the Ashwini want from it. Okay, I'll see you later.' A season full of that for me. And my friendship with Noah Wyle's character, Tom Mason, does continue and only grows stronger throughout the season. And that's my favorite part of the show, the humanity I get to play through this alien character. What I'm learning from humans and their relationships and what a good example of true heroism and family that Tom Mason and his family represent on film."
And what's up with Hellboy 3? "Isn't that the question of the year," Jones said. "If you look on IMDb, it still looks like it's rumored and in development. I don't know who put that up there. Nobody does. They're having a standoff. When you ask Guillermo del Toro, here's what he'll tell you…he and Ron Pearlman and me and Selma (Blair), we all want to do it. There's no question that we would love to come back and finish a Hellboy trilogy for you. The standoff that Guillermo is having with the studio system is over the fact that he did the first two movies for a budget that was less than what a mega-budget like that normally would get. He made those look bigger than they had the money for but he begged, borrowed and stole to get favors and make those movies look as big as he could. He doesn't want to do it that way for a third one. It was very stressful for him. I don't blame him. Now he's saying he wants a full $150 million budget that other films of that size get and there's no studio in town who's willing to give him that for the Hellboy franchise right now. So he's holding his ground, they're holding their ground and in the meantime, we're not making a movie, unfortunately."
As the rapid-fire interview rolled on Jones gave us a little info on the upcoming movie Crimson Peak. "I was able to do this after I finished "Falling Skies" in Vancouver," Jones said. "I ran over to Toronto and we got three weeks of Crimson Peak in. You'll see me in a few scenes with key moments that will make you go 'aieeeee!'' It's a great haunted house story. With Guillermo, you're always going to get some kind of classic filmmaking with his own thumbprint on it. And he's involving a very young, hip, happening, very followed cast. Everyone from Tom Hiddleson to Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam and the beautiful, gorgeous, young Mia Wasikowska. It's her storyline we follow through the whole movie and her journey to see love and belong somewhere, but she ends up in a haunted mansion in England and the haunted mansion is a very key character in the story and all that happens in and around it. What I can tell you, there's a lot of secrecy around what's haunting the house and why, so I can't expose that. But I told Guillermo while working on the film that I'm going to be doing a lot of press this summer for "Falling Skies" especially. What do I tell people when they ask me about what I did on Crimson Peak? In his typical fashion he said (in gruff del Toro voice) 'Well, tell them it's a haunted house story and what the 'f' do they think you played.'"
An avid reader of Dread Central, Jones commented on an article he recently read on our site. "Guillermo del Toro did an AMA on Reddit and part of it was on Disney's Haunted Mansion," Jones said. "This has been in the news for five years now that he's going to be writing and producing, if not directing, depending on his schedule. So they've been retooling and rewriting the script and he's been making multiple trips to Disneyland to keep going through the Haunted Mansion attraction. That's all good news. It's not a dead project, it's very much alive, but they're just hammering out script issues. So in the middle of this article…I'll just quote from him. He said, 'One thing we have done so far is create a look based on the face and body of Doug Jones for the Hatbox Ghost'…which is the character I would have leaned toward and I'm lusting over anyway. So to read that as a quote from him for the first time on Dread Central…I was very pleased when I read that." Awww, thanks, Dougie!
And one last word on del Toro…"He has another secret project in the works, something he wants to do in black and white," Jones said. "It would be a smaller film, something he plans to produce independently like he did Pan's Labyrinth. And rumor has it, based on very good authority, that I might be involved in this. That's all I can say about that. It's uber, uber secret on all sides."
It's always a cool thing to see the actors behind our favorite video game characters. More often than not, they're an integral part of why they resonate with us, and I like seeing them get the recognition they deserve.
So I was happy to come across this video that finds Troy Baker (Joel) and Ashley Johnson (Ellie) reminiscing about the making of The Last of Us.
It's a really great conversation between two actors who are among the most crucial elements of the game's success. The ten minute clip covers a lot of ground, from their experiences with MoCap, to their developed bond and, a deleted musical number (well, sort of).
Check it out below, and get ready to enjoy The Last of Us all over again on PS4 when it streets tomorrow.
Starz Digital Media is set to release the award-winning horror film Septic Man (read our review) this summer.
The film will be available On Demand and for digital download August 12 and will have a limited theatrical run on August 15. The DVD will be available August 19.
Bloody Disgusting has been provided with a batch of stills to go with the art and trailer.
From the creators of Monster Brawl, Exit Humanity, and 2014’s Hellmouth and Ejecta, Septic Man dazzled audiences at the 2013 Fantastic Fest where its star Jason David Brown (Exit Humanity) won “Best Actor” in a horror feature. The film also garnered a prize at Toronto After Dark 2013.
“Septic Man follows Jack, a sewage worker who is determined to uncover the cause of the town’s water contamination crisis. During his investigation, he becomes trapped underground in a septic tank and undergoes a hideous transformation. He must team up with a docile Giant and confront a murdering madman in order to escape.”
Septic Man was directed by Jesse Thomas Cook (Monster Brawl) and written by Tony Burgess (PontyPool). It co-stars Molly Dunsworth (Bunker 6, Hobo with a Shotgun) and Robert Maillet (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones).
Give me a second… okay, I’m good.
Just minutes ago we showed you a new comic poster for Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, in theaters August 22 from TWC-Dimension. Now, we have some news out of the panel, as well as a look at this crazy red band trailer that was showed to Comic-Con patrons.
For those of you excited about a potential third film, here’s how to make that happen: “Robert [Rodriguez] and I are already talking about Sin City 3,” Miller told the Hall H crowd, “so you’d better show up to 2!”
You can check out the red band trailer for the film below, which is about Dwight McCarthy planing to have his vengeance against the woman who betrayed him, Ava Lord, while Nancy is trying to cope with Hartigan’s death. Also, enjoy a strip tease by Jessica Alba.
Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Josh Brolin, Bruce Willis, Juno Temple, Jaime King, Rosario Dawson, Michael Madsen, Jamie Chung, Dennis Haysbert, Crystal McCahill, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Julia Garner, Ray Liotta and Stacy Keach star.
It’s Halloween night in Rob Zombie’s forthcoming horror flick, 31, which he’s already beginning to tease on his Facebook page.
Today he shared a second production drawing for the film, presumably by Alex Horley, which shows a half-naked girl in a Halloween costume being stormed by a monster of a killer.
Zombie promises that there’s BIG news coming on July 31.
“All I can tell you is that it’s a completely original idea, it’s something new,” Zombie teased last month. “It’s not based on anything. I’ll start shooting the movie in the fall. So hopefully starting from October, I’ll start shooting it. For right now, I’m going to keep the details secret. But it’s not based on anything.”
For whatever reason most of the mainstream press skipped out on the late-night San Diego Comic-Con event in which Kevin Smith revealed this absolutely bonkers trailer for Tusk, his horror film about a man who is turned into half walrus.
Thankfully, /Film was on hand and brings back more news, good news only if Tusk ends up being as crazy as it looks.
Tusk will be the first film in a newly planned series that Smith calls “The True North Trilogy.” Likely a reference to a similar Canadian setting, says the site, Tusk would be followed by Yoga Hosers (which Smith wants to make next, and be PG-13) and a new movie called Moose Jaws which he described as, yes, “Jaws, with a moose.” All three films would return the same actors as Tusk – Justin Long, Michael Parks and Joel Haley Osment.
Smith’s next film, Yoga Hosers, is a bit more mysterious at the moment. He talked like it was going to shoot next and maybe be be ready for release next year. And though the film was spawned by an odd story of theft among yoga enthusiasts, that seems to not be the focus at all. Smith said he was hoping to make Yoga Hosers his second PG-13 movie (the first being Jersey Girl) because it stars two 15-year-old girls as the main characters. In the film, they’ll battle people with superpowers. Or maybe have superpowers. It wasn’t exactly clear. But Smith said he would be “run out of the country” once we heard what the powers in the movie were.
Then there’s Moose Jaws. The only thing Smith said beyond the premise is that it featured a scene of the killer moose chowing down on a little girl. So it sounds like some kind of exploitation horror.
I really, really didn’t like Red State, mostly because it lacked impact and showed Smith didn’t really understand horror or suspense. But, there’s always hope that he’s learned from experience and criticism, and delivers with Tusk, which is my hope. I’d love to be excited for bizarre horror cinema that’s been vacant for quite some time in Hollywood…
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