Back in March it was revealed that “Hannibal” screenwriter Nick Antosca will be penning the new incarnation of Friday the 13th for director David Bruckner, Platinum Dunes and Paramount Pictures.
While there’s no real news here – as it’s all speculation – Antosca tweeted out something that made my left eyebrow perk up.
“Just doing some research,” Antosca stated in his status dated May 3rd, 2015 that carried an image displaying a series of machetes.
What’s potentially important about the tweet is that there’s an implication Jason Voorhees could have a new version of his iconic machete. Again, this is all speculation, and Antosca could be teasing overly excited fans, but it’s definitely something that we should start paying attention to.
What are your thoughts on Jason getting an upgrade? I think it’s cool. I’m actually disappointed that Ash won’t have a variant version of his chainsaw in the upcoming Starz series “Ash Vs Evil Dead” like in the videogame “Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick”.
Special thanks to Bloody reader ‘Andrzej G.’ for the tip.
The new Friday the 13th will not be found-footage, but could clear up some unanswered questions about Jason Voorhees’ mythology.
Previously, it had been reported that the new Friday the 13th could take place in the 1980’s. In a more recent article, Brad Fuller of Platinum Dunes talked about his hopes for expanding Jason’s mythos and also taking the franchise back to summer camp.
Friday the 13th aims for release on May 13, 2016.
just doing some research pic.twitter.com/5Zm2QslsNM
— Nick Antosca (@nickantosca) May 3, 2015
In March, I had the opportunity to sit down with eight of “Salem’s” cast members as well as its co-creators at the “Salem” press junket to discuss season two of WGN’s batshit awesome horror drama, based loosely on the Salem witch trials.
As with many interviews, topics are contorted and twisted until they start to reveal the real sides of the actors and the ridiculous things that happen to them while filming. Since “Salem” is such a heavy show with little to laugh at, we at Bloody Disgusting wanted to give you a glimpse of how amusing and absolutely darling the cast of “Salem” is when not killing and torturing each other.
This June, the fight continues against the corrupt, Mutant-exploiting government as a classic X-Men crossover is reborn on Battleworld in X-TINCTION AGENDA #1! Writer Marc Guggenheim (Arrow Executive Producer) and artist Carmine Di Giandomenico (All-New X-Factor) return to the shores of Genosha for a can’t miss Secret Wars tale! It has been ten years since the fall of Cameron Hodge and his fascist regime. Ten years that Havok and Wolfsbane have toiled and labored to rebuild Genosha into the proud Mutant haven it once was.
But a decade removed from Hodge and his iron-fisted rule, their work may be undone in an instant. A plague ravages across the nation, infecting mutants and threatening them with extinction! With Genosha quarantined and all but abandoned by the rulers of Battleworld — as well as their former teammates, the X-Men – old friends may become bitter enemies in the fight for survival! Havok and Wolfsbane will stop at nothing to save those Mutants trapped on Genosha – but have they doomed Battleworld in the process? What would you do to protect your people? Find out as mutant battles mutant this June in X-TINCTION AGENDA #1!
X-TINCTION AGENDA #1 (APR150819)
Written by MARC GUGGENHEIM
Art by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO
Cover by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Variant Cover by MIKE DEODATO (APR150820)
Wanted Variant by MARK BROOKS (APR150821)
FOC – 05/11/15, On-Sale – 06/03/15
Game designer Pippin Barr has released a short browser game titled Let’s Play: The Shining that looks like it was created for the Atari 2600. Based off the film of the same name, the game goes through some of the main events from the film, such as Jack Torrence bouncing the rubber ball off the Overlook Hotel walls, Danny riding his tricycle through the hotel and running into the Grady Twins, and more.
Barr states via his website:
It was written in Haxe using the HaxeFlixel library. The music and sound effects in Let’s Play: The Shining were made with a combination of bxfr, Bosca Ceoil, and Audacity. The graphics were made in Pixen.
I ran through it and actually found myself getting slightly creeped out. There are some definitely jump scares, so even though you think you know the film you should still give it a playthrough.
You can play the game here and watch a trailer below.
Goblin Rebirth, the band that features former Goblin members Fabio Pignatelli and Agostino Marangolo plus Giacomo Anselmi on guitars, Aidan Zammit and Danilo Cherni on keyboards, has released a full stream of “Requiem For X”, the first track from their upcoming debut album.
The track mixes heavy, droning synths with Cathedral-esque organs to create a haunting piece that evolves into a prog rock track with a Gilmour-esque solo. It’s a wonderful track and I’m a very big fan of the sound they are creating. Depending on how it’s used, it could easily fit into a giallo-style horror film.
Guitarist Giacomo Anselmi explains:
The song is a prayer… It starts very sad, but it builds to become furious in the end. It tells the story of the death of a goblin. Fabio (Pignatelli) arranged the entire song. A child was supposed to sing the whistle melody at the beginning, but we changed it — we didn’t want another ‘School at Night.’ It’s unbelievable, a continuous crescendo until the song stops. That’s the moment when X dies.
Goblin Rebirth will be released on CD, LP, and digital. Pre-orders for the album can be found here.
Rob Zombie just shared the following cast photo from 31 that reveals, from left to right, Meg Foster, Jeff Daniel Phillips, and Sheri Moon Zombie, as well as Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Kevin Jackson.
Also, dig on was looks to be a new shot of Richard Brake as ‘Doom-Head’, which Zombie says “runs a perfect game of death and misery.” You can get a better look at him by clicking here.
You can check all photos released so far at our 31 tag hub.
“31 follows five carnival workers who are kidnapped the night before Halloween and held hostage in a large secret compound known as Murder World.
Once there, they have 12 hours to survive a terrifying game called 31 in which ‘The Heads’- murderous maniacs dressed as clowns – are released to hunt them down and kill them.”
To celebrate the upcoming release of the zombie horror/drama Maggie, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped by The Late Late Show With James Corden to perform a rather humorous sketch in which he reenacted several scenes from some of his most famous movies, including Terminator, Last Action Hero, Commando, Predator, The Expendables, and more.
Maggie hits theaters and VOD this Friday, May 8th.
Indiana Jones’ days of swinging his whip aren’t over yet!
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently spoke with Vanity Fair about the upcoming sci-fi film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But in the course of that interview, the topic turned to other titles that are held by the company, the main one being the Indiana Jones franchise!
Directly from Vanity Fair:
In buying the company, Disney also got rights, for better or worse, to less-storied Lucasfilm properties, among them Willow and Radioland Murders. A bigger prize is the Indiana Jones franchise. Kennedy confirmed rumors that another Indy movie “will one day be made inside this company. When it will happen, I’m not quite sure. We haven’t started working on a script yet, but we are talking about it.”
Kennedy served as executive producer on all four films in the series, the last being 2008’s Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. According to Deadline, Steven Spielberg wants Chris Pratt to don the legendary fedora.
I absolutely love this new international one-sheet for David Robert Mitchell’s must-see It Follows, which creeps up on star Maika Monroe.
I gave it a perfect score, calling it “a classical horror masterpiece.” Mike Pereira referred to as a creepy, mesmerizing exercise in minimalist horror” when reviewed out of the TIFF last September.
“For 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), the fall should be about school, boys and weekends at the lake. Yet after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter she suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions; she can’t shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind.”
Monroe, who is becoming a legit Scream Queen, stars with Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi and Lili Sepe.
“We’re going to take back this island, one block at a time.”
FX has debuted a teaser poster and first trailer for the second season of Guillermo del Toro’s “The Strain,” which promises a wondrous transformation. While I was a huge fan of the first half of Season One, it eventually tripped over its feet and fell straight on its face. The new footage looks incredibly promising, with tons of vampire battles, the return of the Master, and even humans experimenting on the infected (see above).
Max Charles, just seen in American Sniper opposite Bradley Cooper, has been cast in the part as a regular, replacing Ben Hyland, who played Zach Goodweather in Season 1. “West Wing” alum Ron Canada also landed the recurring role of the crisis-bungling NYC mayor.
In “The Strain,” “When a freak virus kills all but four passengers on an airplane at JFK, Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), head of the Center for Disease Control’s “Canary Team,” is immediately called to the scene. With help from a mysterious Holocaust survivor (David Bradley), “Eph” and his colleague (Mía Maestro) uncover the outbreak’s ties to vampirism. Now, the only way to stop the terrifying disease from wiping out mankind is to face its source – a sinister supernatural creature known as “The Master” – whose evil intent seems more powerful than any other force on Earth!”
While a lot of modern filmmakers miss the importance of social commentary, it’s what made George A. Romero’s original trilogy so spectacular.
For me, this is one of the major problems with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” series, adapted from Robert Kirkman’s character-driven comic series. I couldn’t tell you the point of “Walking Dead,” nor could I tell you the end-game or why I would even care. What are the filmmakers trying to say? It’s an empty void of random violence that barely keep my attention.
This October AMC is set to debut “Fear The Walking Dead,” a spinoff of “Walking Dead” that takes us to Los Angeles during the initial outbreak.
While many of us were hoping to meet patient zero and learn what caused said outbreak, executive producer and KNB effects guru Greg Nicotero reveals to Melty that the filmmakers have chosen to leave this vague, and instead have opted for social commentary “ripped from the headlines.” THIS is the first thing that has me excited for the series, which stars Cliff Curtis (“Missing,” “Gang Related”), Kim Dickens (Gone Girl, “Sons of Anarchy”), Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Storm).
“What’s important in the spin-off is how people react to it. It really is a fascinating statement on current society, because we get most of our information from our iPads and our phones. There have been things that have been happening in recent years… When you hear stories like that, about a guy who attacked someone and bit their face off, imagine how we reacted to that news story at the time.”
“Fear the Walking Dead” viewers might also get to see how some citizens’ grave mistakes help the virus spread, says Inquisitr, who caught wind of the story. He mentioned the recent Ebola cases in America and the Maine nurse who refused to self-quarantine after treating Ebola patients in West Africa.
“Even in the U.S., there was a nurse who was working in Africa and who came back to the United States and refused to go into quarantine for Ebola. So I think about stories like that and I go: ‘Wow, maybe that could have been the beginning, or maybe this could have been the beginning.’ In a TV show like ‘Fear The Walking Dead,’ you get to ask those same questions.”
During his Melty interview, adds Inquisitr, Nicotero revealed one of the biggest differences between “The Walking Dead” and its companion series — “The Walking Dead” featured multiple families that were torn apart (sometimes literally) by the zombie virus, but “Fear the Walking Dead” will focus on fractured families that are brought closer together by the outbreak.
“In our version of ‘The Walking Dead,’ we come across these people who are already a rag-tag group of survivors. They’ve lose people along the way, but they’ve found each other. The main difference in ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ is that we’re with families at the beginning of it.”
There’s a lot of great stuff here, and hopefully everyone involved has learned from the vast amount of mistake in “The Walking Dead”. If you guys like “The Walking Dead”, Can you imagine if it were as good as, let’s say, “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men”? Wowsers.
Prolific filmmaker Adrián García Bogliano has created an impressive track record the past few years. From tense thrillers like Cold Sweat to the supernatural dread of Penumbra and Here Comes the Devil, Bogliano has shown himself to be a versatile maestro of the macabre with a strong, unique vision. His latest film, Scherzo Diabolico, is a morbid tale of deception and ambition that plays out like classical tragedy. We witness a man struggle up the ladder, snatch the power from those sitting on the throne, and then fall back into the gutter again (in the most gruesome way possible of course, this is a Bogliano film after all).
Like his other films, Scherzo Diabolico sees Bogliano savoring the chance to subvert genre expectations. Revenge films are always in style and many of them are painfully formulaic. You won’t find any of that here. Bogliano’s story begins with what appears to be a kidnapping plot and then proceeds to sucker punch the audience’s moral compass into a bleeding pulp.
Francisco Barreiro, who previously worked with Bogliano in Here Comes the Devil, stars as Aram, a man who has been emotionally trampled by his professional and personal life. Despite being the hardest worker in his office, his career is going nowhere. At home, his wife doesn’t respect him and constantly reminds him how h’s a shitty father who makes lousy money. Jaded and perhaps simply bored by the mire his life is trapped in, Aram begins hatching a plot to achieve the success he feels he deserves. And it all starts with a kidnapping…
It’s much better to go into Scherzo Diabolico completely cold. I made sure to avoid trailers and whatnot before my screening at the Stanley Film Festival and was knocked on my ass repeatedly with the direction Bogliano takes the film. The piano music of Beethoven and Brahms set a bizarre tone that starts off as blackly humorous and then evolves into something much more sinister.
Barreiro (who also starred in We Are What We Are) does an amazing job juggling the many personas of Amar. He could be likeable and sympathetic in one scene and then cold-blooded in the next. It’s easy to root for him in the beginning and as the twisting narrative unfolds, our sympathy seesaws between love and hate. Through it all Barreiro simply nails it with equal parts nuance and bravado.
Scherzo Diabolico is a brutal little film that pits high drama alongside classic exploitations elements like seedy sex and violence. The film isn’t just your standard boobs and blood show, however. It does have something to say about the masks we wear in our everyday lives, literally and figuratively. Amar wears a mask to transform himself into an evildoer; his wife goes to a costume party to escape her drab husband; his son constantly wears a superhero costume; and other characters are forced to wear uniforms in their professions. Bogliano peels back to look at the darkest parts of human nature beneath these facades.
It’s interesting and meaty stuff that Bogliano address in a subtle and polished way. Through all of the vivid flashes of violence and pitch-black humor, Scherzo Diabolico feels like his most personal and entertaining work yet. There’s a meanness and bleakness to the film that may turn off some viewers, but for those who like their thrillers vicious and devoid of any silver linings, then Scherzo Diabolico is not to be missed.
From “The X-Files” to The Haunting to The Conjuring to Leatherface.
Lili Taylor is taking on the iconic slasher in the prequel to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 Texas Chain Saw Massacre prequel, which begins shooting this month in Bulgaria.
The film centers around a violent teen who one day will become Leatherface. He escapes from a mental hospital with three other inmates (Sam Coleman, Sam Strike, James Bloor, Jessica Madsen), kidnaps a young nurse and takes her on a road trip from hell. Along the way, they are pursued by an equally deranged lawman (Stephen Dorff) out for revenge.
Dorff will play ‘Texas Ranger Hal Hartman’, a lawman described to us as a lean, mean Texas Ranger who has a vendetta against the teen boy who grows up to become Leatherface, while Angela Bettis was cast as Mother Sawyer.
Back on Halloween Bloody broke the news that Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, the duo behind the slasher masterpiece Inside (À l’intérieur), as well as Livide and the forthcoming Among the Living, will be helming Leatherface for Millienum and Lionsgate.
Leatherface is being produced by Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman (interview), alongside Carl Mazzocone after they successfully resurrected the franchise with the 2013 Texas Chainsaw 3D. Les Weldon is also a producer on the project, which is being executive produced by Millennium’s Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson, Mark Gill and Beth Bruckner O’Brien.
If there were a contest to see who could come up with simultaneously the silliest but most aptly descriptive title, Space Beast Terror Fright would be on the winners’ podium alongside Sharknado and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Ever since Aliens and Starship Troopers gave us the space-bug squashing itch, gamers have longed for a proper backscratcher.
Back in 1999, Rebellion delivered the excellent Alien vs. Predator video game for the PC, which was followed up by the equally excellent Alien vs. Predator 2 in 2001. The recent track record has been a letdown, with the 2010 Alien vs. Predator failing to deliver. I’m sure it would have been better received if we knew what awaited us with Aliens: Colonial Marines in 2013. Alien: Isolation was a great game but featured too little alien squashing to be considered for this category.
Thankfully, the good folks at Nornware have noticed this discrepancy and are here to fix it with Space Beast Terror Fright. Taking place on a derelict ship in space, the players must navigate a series of corridors and collect datacores while holding off terror beasts: what a fright! At this point, spaceship means a series of randomly generated corridors, which makes it feel more like one of those old school maze games for Windows 95. That isn’t to say it looks bad, as the integrated UI does a great job of making you feel like a space marine, but it can be a bit jarring at first.
To assist the player, datacores each give an upgrade and provide ammo and battery restock. Upgrades include scaling levels of auto-aim, ammo capacity, thermal vision, ammo types, and more. Players always die in one hit, so tension is high, but can be temporarily alleviated with turrets that will hold a choke point until their ammo runs out. Be careful, since standing in the way of these turrets can be just as deadly to you as to the aliens.
As of now, the game is still in early alpha, so features are light. As of writing this review, they have just added easy mode. The gameplay is so far solid, without a lot of the bugs that one would expect so early into a project. There is a long way to go in fleshing out the menus, gameplay, and world generation, but there is a lot of promise here. I don’t really dig how the camera starts to strobe when aliens get nearby, as it feels like a cheap way to cause tension, and there is no way to disable this feature. The game also features a relatively pointless split-screen multiplayer option, which is universally silly for a PC title.
At the asking price of $15, it is only going to net you maybe a couple of hours of entertainment at this point, but fits into a satisfying niche. What you are buying at this point is a chance to see the potential, and experience the development process. It is rare that a game is actually presented in such a raw state, and even rarer that it functions as intended. You might want to wait for it to go on sale, but if you are jonesing for a fast paced alien shooter, you can do a lot worse than Space Beast Terror Fright.
More than a year has passed since I last made a list of some upcoming indie horror games that you should have on your radar, so it felt overdue to showcase another batch that are very much worth your attention. The following five are but a sampling of what’s to come — I chose them because they each represent the impressive range of games that are coming our way later this year.
And apologies if I come across a bit rusty, it’s been far too long since I last made one of these.
Which of these game(s) are you most looking forward to?
According to The Wrap, the online digital collective known as Machinima has a huge list of upcoming series, with projects including a Robocop short-form web series, Clive Barker’s “Creepy Pasta”, which will take famed internet fan fiction and convert it into “…an original series of live-action, blood-curdling short films,” and more.
Chad Gutstein, Machinima’s chief executive officer, states:
Fandom and gaming engenders so much passion and engagement; it’s a cultural shift uniquely connecting with the most valuable millennials. It’s this deep connection to our audience that has made Machinima the ninth largest video entertainment platform in the United States, and the second most-watched programmer on YouTube.
With our new slate, we are reminding our fans and our clients of one very important fact: Machinima is back!
The programming also includes three titles from the DC Comics universe and more. Head below for synopses of all projects.Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles Season 2
From visionary producer and animator Bruce Timm, “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles” turns the DC Universe upside-down. In this dark, alternate world, telling the good guys from the bad guys is never easy: Superman is not the son of Jor-El, he’s the son of General Zod; Wonder Woman is not from peaceful Themyscira, but rather the warring nation of Ares; and Batman is more vampire-bat than man…and he’s not Bruce Wayne. It is unclear if our greatest heroes are here to protect us…or to rule us. With Season 1 set to launch in June, Machinima, Blue Ribbon Content and DC Entertainment have already begun development on Season 2, a 10-episode follow-up to the initial limited series.DC’s Hero Project
Machinima, Blue Ribbon Content, and DC Entertainment are setting out to discover the next great creator for the world of DC Comics. Eight contestants compete in elimination challenges to develop a live-action short video based on their own interpretations of characters from DC Comics’ “Starman” comic book series. Well-known guest judges and celebrity special guests will join bestselling writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and a panel of esteemed judges to oversee the entire competition.#4Hero
A modern adaptation of DC Comics’ cult-favorite classic “Dial H For Hero,” #4Hero is a live-action, VFX-heavy action-comedy about a young woman named Nellie Tribble who is quietly desperate to make her mark on the world, but wholly unprepared to do so. Nellie stumbles upon a life-altering smartphone app that allows her to instantly become a Super Hero for a short amount of time. The problem is her super powers are dictated by whatever is trending on social media at that moment, and they are always only semi-useful.Clive Barker’s Creepy Pasta
For the first time, horror legend Clive Barker is stepping away from the creatures of his own imagination and entering into the world of Internet horror fan fiction, affectionately known as Creepy Pasta. Starting with viral urban legends (e.g. Jeff the Killer, Slender Man and Ben Drowned), Clive Barker’s “Creepy Pasta” is an original series of live-action, blood-curdling short films. These new tales will be curated and adapted by Barker from submissions obtained through the creepypasta community, and produced by Machinima to scare you to your core.RoboCop
“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.” OCP’s Security Concepts Division’s RoboCop program is back in an all-new, short-form limited web series, based on Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s 1987 classic action film. RoboCop returns to Delta City where viewers ride along with the now standard-issue RoboCop officers as they respond to calls from dispatch. Tapping into current themes of the surveillance state, the series is shot from the first person point of view of the RoboCop officers’ heads up display, along with security cameras, dash-cams, and drones.“Happy Wheels
Machinima will bring audiences an all-new original animated series based on Jim Bonacci’s hit online game “Happy Wheels” and produced by BMP Digital, the digital division of Bunim/Murray Productions. This must-see 10-episode short form series, which will feature fan-favorites such as Wheelchair Guy, Irresponsible Dad and Lawnmower Man, will expand upon the game that has more than 8 million players a month and showcase its notorious dark humor and penchant for blood and gore. Additionally, with over 3.1 billion video views amassed, BMP Digital is looking to leverage the voiceover talents of YouTube influencers such as Toby Turner (15.2M YouTube Subscribers) and others who have made this game so iconic.Jerome ASF’s The Baka Chronicles
Adding to the gaming fervor, Machinima’s iconic Minecrafter Jerome ASF (3.6M YouTube Subscribers), will be teaming with N00b Adventure creator Jim Schwerfeger for an all-new series – “The Baka Chronicles.” Featuring Jerome ASF’s most beloved character, Baka, the series follows two unlikely server admins who problem-solve the hilarious antics of griefers, trolls, and kids who wreak havoc across their favorite multiplayer Minecraft server. Little do our heroes realize this job is a massive headache.High School 51
Created and produced by Roberto Orci and Legion of Creatives, and starring Orlando Jones, High School 51” is as out of this world as the name implies.
Hidden away in the heart of Area 51, Dream Lake High School is filled with mind-blowing technology, top-secret government programs and a student body that is cool, quirky, attractive, and…well, alien. No one from the outside has ever been allowed into the school and no human has ever attended…until now.
For 16-year old Alex Valencia, the first and only human ever to attend Dream Lake, high school is going to be tough. Fitting in will be one thing but his biggest challenge just might be saving the human race!
The actor who’ll be playing the role that Tim Curry made famous, Pennywise the Clown from the television adaptation of Stephen King’s It, is a pretty surprising choice. Variety reports that Will Poulter (We’re the Millers, Maze Runner) will be the one filling the over-sized shoes.
Now, before anyone starts screaming, “What?!? The nerd from Meet the Millers?!? Are they crazy?,” keep in mind that “True Detective’s” Cary Fukunaga is at the directorial helm of this film that is set to go places that the 1990 TV mini-series simply was not able to. Sources say in the end, Fukunaga could not say no after being blown away by Poulter’s audition for the part and felt he was the right choice for the role.
This second adaptation of the classic novel will be split into two (or maybe three) parts, chronicling the childhood and then adult life of the main characters. At this time Fukunaga is only attached to direct the first part. Seth Grahame-Smith, David Kajganich, and Chase Palmer penned the new feature for Warner Bros.
More as we get it!
The post Stephen King’s It – Will Poulter Cast as Pennywise appeared first on Dread Central.
The Samurai (aka Der Samurai) is a wonderfully odd duck of a horror film and an interesting debut for German filmmaker Till Kleinert. A somewhat Lynchian riff on the cat & mouse thriller, it almost plays like a more surrealistic take on The Hitcher (the original, of course) at times. Our tale finds us following a quiet and unassuming small-town deputy named Jakob (Michel Diercks) as he goes about his daily life. Jakob has no friends and his only family is a grandmother whose memory is fading away more each day.
On the professional front, he has been tasked with ridding his little town of a wolf that has been causing problems. Instead of attempting to capture or kill the beast, he seems content to just leave a bag of bloody goodies in the forest for it to munch on every day. Jakob hopes that this will keep the animal away, but thus far it only seems to be inspiring it to stick around. I can’t imagine why?
It’s clear that Jakob would prefer to have a life of his own and beyond the town itself, but his duty to his grandmother has him anchored to the place where he grew up. Everyone knows Jakob and no one seem to hold him in high regard or respect him. Simply put, he’s a mindless cog in a country town machine. He wakes up, goes to work, and returns home without making any waves. It’s enough to drive someone mad and, funnily enough, perhaps it has?
This story wouldn’t be much fun if someone or something didn’t enter stage left and shake things up. And so enters the titular “samurai” (Pit Bukowski – how’s that for a name!); a mysterious lanky & limber man clothed in a white dress and wielding a katana. Naturally, he’s out to cause trouble; first on a small scale and then later on a larger one. He also has some kind of odd, almost psychosexual fascination with Jakob.
Where Jakob is a walking sack of repression, the samurai is inhibition personified. He reacts purely on instinctual animal desires and is a rollercoaster of emotions, holding nothing back in a journey whose primary goal appears to be pushing Jakob to express his true self. Constantly perching, running, leaping, and swaying like a creature instead of a person, the samurai expresses himself just as much in guttural growls and moans as he does in words.
While other characters weave in and out of the story, the focus is primarily on Jakob and our titular fiend. It is their antagonistic dance throughout that really matters. Sure we get creepy moments and the occasional spurt of blood and carnage, but the relationship between hero and villain and the blurred line between them is what really stuck with me.
The Samurai isn’t perfect, but it’s incredibly odd and interesting in the best ways. A moody, atmospheric courtship of a thriller that is sure to bring some delight to those who are open to the weird tale being told. Check it out when you get the chance. I’d also recommend keeping an eye out for whatever writer/director Till Kleinert does next. He’s one to watch and so is this film.
“Can there be two monsters like that in our city?” Oh, if only these chumps knew.
The story itself is simple enough: Vanessa and Ethan are attacked by a coven of witches, which sends Vanessa into a tailspin of crazy (as most things do), Mina is buried and Malcolm returns to London, Victor continues his task of bringing Brona back to life as Caliban’s bride so that he can secure the safety of his future, and Caliban gets a job at what appears to be the most badass wax museum of all time, run by a couple that seem reminiscent of either Sweeney Todd/Mrs. Lovett or the Thenardiers.
While “Fresh Hell” relies heavily on the satanic rituals and goings-on in Vanessa and the witches’ lives, make no mistake about it: emotionally, this episode belongs to Caliban. He is the most heartbreaking take on Frankenstein’s Monster I’ve seen in a long time. His self-loathing, shame, violent outbursts, unconditional love, loyalty, and hatred are so true to Mary Shelley’s original Monster it makes me want to weep.
He stole this episode with moments like “mine is not a face for touching,” (how about that scene, eh? That darling girl touching his face with such tenderness and understanding…such a beautiful moment), and his pleading—to whomever—to let Brona live. His raw vulnerability evokes emotions I never knew I had. So again, while “Fresh Hell” intended to introduce a new foe for Vanessa and further her tortuous life story, it was Caliban who owned my attention/love/hurt/and heart.
But this wouldn’t be a proper review without talking about “Penny Dreadful’s” new enemy—the Nightcomers. These are witches in service of Satan, though they are directly in the service of their Madame. You may remember her from last season. Madame Kali, the “psychic” from season one’s “Séance” episode. Turns out she’s not as phony as we may have thought. She’s in bed with Satan and they’re both after Vanessa.
Honestly, I’m disappointed in myself for not seeing witches coming. Witches are all the rage these days in TV, books, and comics. It’s only natural they’d show up in the one show on TV that seeks to combine every supernatural being out there. As with TV’s “Salem,” “Penny Dreadful” does not bother with making its witches sexy maidens of Satan. “PD’s” witches are hideously bald and malnutrition-looking creatures that take on almost a Nosferatu look when transformed into their true form.
As excited as I am to see where this new plot takes us (witches are a blast) I’m mildly bored with Vanessa being tortured. Some hardships are wonderful for character development, but what Vanessa has been through and continues to go through is on the verge of overkill. While Green plays the role to perfection, honestly she plays it beyond perfection—it’s like magic watching her in all her tortured states, but when it happens every episode, it gets old and I’d die to see her happy for just one moment in time.
Overall, “Penny Dreadful” is one of the most stunning shows on television. It’s so atmospheric. It’s dark and broody and sensual. It’s chaotic and sexy, calm and unyielding. While “Fresh Hell” could have been a stronger season two opener, I think they did a fine job reintroducing us to the majority of the cast and their insane hardships. I would have liked to see more of Malcolm after the death of Mina—the girl he spent an entire season looking for (that felt a bit anti-climatic, no?) and as I made clear above, I could have done with less of Vanessa and perhaps more of Ethan and his struggles. But I’m not sweating that, because this season is clearly going to explore his life in great detail.
My one serious complaint…where the hell was Dorian?!
- Victor works at his desk with his back turned to a dead body that is meant to come alive again. You couldn’t pay me enough money to work with my back against a dead body meant to come alive again.
- Victor also caresses said dead body. So there’s that.
- That blood bath scene with Madame Kali was delightful. No witch is complete without a sexy blood bath.
- This reviewer absolutely cannot wait to find out what Brona remembers and what she doesn’t. There is so much potential for some weird love triangle between Brona, Ethan, and Caliban. This also ups the chances of everyone finding out about Victor’s little secret.
- “That face will make our fortune.” Uh oh…
Tell us your thoughts on “Penny Dreadful’s” season two opener! I have some great PD swag sent to me from Showtime and I’m looking for the most profound commenter to share with. *wink* (Must be in the US and no PO boxes)
Meet your new Pennywise!
Will Poulter (pictured below; Maze Runner, We’re the Millers) is in negotiations to play Pennywise, the evil monster who lured in children disguised as a clown, in the upcoming remake of Stephen King’s horror classic It, says Variety.
“True Detective’s” Cary Fukunaga will direct It, which will be split into two feature films for New Line Cinema.
The original story followed a group of outcast kids that come together over summer break to take on the monster that’s haunting their town, battling their own personal monsters in the process.
King’s popular book was made into a TV miniseries in 1991 starring John Ritter and Tim Curry, who played the clown in terrifying fashion. A film adaptation was never undertaken given the size of the King novel, but Fukunaga has been very vocal recently that the latest script will stay true to the King story while also giving the film a new look.
Fukunaga penned the It screenplay along with Chase Palmer.