Initially, I was given a video from 1989 that shows A Nightmare On Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger lighting the Undertaker (known then as “Master of Pain”) on fire. Also in the video is Dustin Rhodes, better known as Goldust and Ricky Morton of the Rock ‘n Roll Express. Doug Gilbert is donning the Krueger mask.
Also, thanks to Adam, we have a video from 1997 with both Freddy and Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘s Leatherface.
Who would win in a real fight?
Back in April we got the first word on a new series heading to Syfy, a "space opera" entitled "The Expanse." Now we know who the lead actor is going to be, and it's someone most genre fans know and love.
From the Press Release:
Syfy and Alcon TV are pleased to announce that three-time Golden Globe nominee Thomas Jane ("Hung," The Punisher, The Mist) will star as the world-weary Detective Miller, a native of “the Asteroid Belt” between Mars and Jupiter, in "The Expanse."
The new 10-episode space opera based on James S. A. Corey's international best-selling book series will premiere on Syfy in 2015.
Jane's Miller is a detective for a corporate security force operating as the law in The Belt. Ragged, in search of something even he can’t identify, Miller remains a dedicated cop with great instincts who discovers a newfound sense of purpose when he’s put in charge of the investigation into a missing heiress.
"The Expanse" is a thriller set two hundred years in the future. The series follows the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective (Jane) and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.
In making the announcement, Bill McGoldrick, Executive Vice President, Original Content, Syfy, said: “Thomas Jane is exactly the type of high caliber actor we hoped this project would attract. The intelligence and nuance he brings to every performance is perfect for the role of Miller.”
Said Sharon Hall, President, Alcon Television: “We knew this material would attract highly skilled actors and could not be happier about having Thomas Jane on board.”
The Academy Award-nominated screenwriting duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men, Iron Man) wrote the pilot and will continue to serve as writers as well as executive producers. Fergus and Ostby are showrunners alongside fellow executive producer Naren Shankar ("CSI," "Farscape").
"The Expanse" is produced by Alcon Television Group (ATG), a division of Alcon Entertainment, and marks the company’s first series order. Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will serve as executive producers with Hall. Alcon Television executive Ben Roberts will serve as co-producer. Ben Cook will serve as producer. Sean Daniel ("Graceland," The Mummy) and Jason Brown of the Sean Daniel Company developed the original pitch with Fergus and Ostby and will also executive produce.
Developed with the Sean Daniel Company as a direct-to-series project, Alcon is financing and executive producing the hour-long, 10-episode series, which is based on the popular New York Times bestselling book series collectively known as The Expanse, written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey). Abraham and Franck will be show producers.
It's that time of the year again! It's time for Doctor Gash's favorite all-day film festival, the Hudson Horror Show. This is the ninth edition of the bi-annual event, and the line-up looks fantastic.
With screenings of 35mm prints of Maniac, Mad Max and an uncut version of The Burning, as well as several other films, moviegoers get 12-plus hours of entertainment for under $30. Not to mention you'll get to peruse an entire lobby full of vendors of hard to find horror items.
And there will be giveaways as well. Even yours truly, Doctor Gash, will be there in his usual spot just before the final movie of the night giving away a load of horror swag!
So if you're anywhere near Poughkeepsie (that includes you, NYC horror fans!) get your Hudson Horror Show IX tickets now. It will sell out! And don't forget to check out the hilarious Hudson Horror Show "Rules" video below, featuring clips from some of your favorite horror movies!
From the Press Release
The movie festival that even modern technology could not kill, Hudson Horror Show, is back from the grave and hungry for your soul! Hudson Horror Show IX will be at the Empire South Hills 8 in Poughkeepsie, NY, on Saturday, August 9, 2014. This is the same theater we have been in for the last five years (formerly known as the Silver Cinemas South Hills 8). Now celebrating our fifth anniversary, we will present six movies (for the price of five), all off of vintage 35mm film. It’s been a long time, and oh, we have such sights to show you...
From director William Lustig we present one of the most brutal and unflinching horror films of all time, Maniac! You will be amazed at Joe Spinell’s riveting dual performance as both a slimy and sadistic killer and a suave ladies' man!
Hudson Horror goes post-apocalyptic! Before you see the reboot/sequel, join us for a 35th Anniversary screening of the original Mad Max! They say people don't believe in heroes anymore; in Poughkeepsie we’re gonna give em back their heroes! Sugar tits!
We really dig slashers and are overjoyed to present the early 80’s classic The Burning! While our beloved Cropsey does all of the killing, the true star of the film is special effects maestro Tom Savini. Savini’s glorious gore work was heavily cut to get an “R” rating in America, but we will be screening the uncut international version with all of the juicy bits intact!
What would HHS be without some foreign film insanity? You may need to wear tinfoil on your head to prevent your brain from melting from the madness that is Lady Terminator!! Presented by the B Movie Film Vault, this incomprehensible mess of a movie is a note-for-note ripoff of the Schwarzenegger sci-fi classic which needs to be seen to be believed!
The only thing better than one mystery movie is two! As a thank you for five years of patronage, HHS IX will screen two mystery movies, so that is six movies in total for the price of five. What will this gruesome twosome be? Get a ticket for Hudson Horror Show IX and find out!!
Our last show was a record-setting advance sell-out, and tickets for this show are on sale now! Don’t miss it; get your tickets now! Advance tickets are just $26.00. If any tickets remain the day of show, they will be available for $30.00, cash only. But don’t count on it. As always we’ll have vendors selling toys, DVD’s, t-shirts, and all other merchandise. If you are interested in being a vendor, or if you have a question about the show, shoot us an email at email@example.com.
This morning I was running on the treadmill when a lady next to me put on “Good Morning America,” a show that makes my blood boil. Out of my peripheral vision I could see all of the asinine shit they were reporting on, and obsessing on how much I hate the show. That’s when they actually popped on something I couldn’t ignore – a story on two chimps who were taken to see FOX and Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in theaters!
While “GMA” doesn’t have a story online, I was able to find a report on ABC News, embedded below, about these two-year-old chimps, Vali and Sugriva, who got to see Apes in a movie theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The Daily Mail wrote about the two chimps who were able to enjoy the full cinema experience at the BigD Auditorium at the Carmike Cinema, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, including buying their own popcorn and juice.
The chimps, who live at the Myrtle Beach Safari, regularly watch television as a form of entertainment – and are big fans of the latest movie’s predecessor, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.
Myrtle Beach Safari director Bhagavan Antle said the trip started as it would for most other people – with a trip to the confectionery stand where they got their popcorn and juice.
Dr Antle said: ‘They are smart – they knew to hand over the money to get their food and drinks.’
After settling down in their seats however it was time for them to turn their attention to the film itself.
Dr Antle said: ‘The older one, Vali, is a very bright guy, he’s watched the Lord Of The Rings many times, and he could follow the whole plot of the movie.’
Dr Antle said Vali was able to judge the facial expressions and actions of the characters to determine which were the ‘good guys’ and which were the ‘bad guys’.
He said: ‘He loves to clap – when he likes something he claps, so he clapped for the good guys, and when chimps don’t like what’s happening they hoot or bark, so when the bad guy came on he was barking.’
The chimps watched the film with some 1,000 other cinema-goers at the IMAX screen in the cinema complex – although not everybody was too comfortable having them present.
Dr Antle said: ‘A couple of people said very clearly “are you sure they should watch this movie, won’t they learn to take over the world?”
‘There were several people actually concerned about that.’
Image Source: Myrtle Beach Safari
Lionsgate has come across The Vatican Tapes and will share the with the world on February 27, 2015.
Lakeshore Entertainment is behind the pic directed by Mark Neveldine (Ghost Rider: With A Vengeance, Crank) in which, “A young woman becomes the spiritual conduit for the forces of darkness, responsible for unleashing unchecked evil in the world…”
Michael Pena, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, Peter Andersson, Olivia Dudley, and Cas Anvar star.
Lakeshore’s Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing the pic alongside Chris Cowles.
We've been saying it for weeks, and we'll say it once more for good measure: Hands down the biggest surprise of the year is how great WGN America's "Salem" has been. If you're going to miss it as much as we are, here's a look at its Top 5 moments.
The season finale, Episode 1.13, "All Fall Down," aired this past Sunday night and was full of shocking moments. It also left plenty of questions that we can't wait to see answered in Season 2. We should have a few tidbits for you following the "Salem" San Diego Comic-Con panel on Saturday, July 26th.
Related Story: Visit our "Salem" Archive
"Salem" explores what really fueled the town's infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth behind them. In Season 1 the series stars Janet Montgomery as Mary Sibley, Shane West as John Alden, Seth Gabel as Cotton Mather, Ashley Madekwe as Tituba, Xander Berkeley as Magistrate Hale, Tamzin Merchant as Anne Hale, Elise Eberle as Mercy Lewis, and Iddo Goldberg as Isaac Walton. Stephen Lang guest stars as Increase Mather.
"Salem" Episode 1.13 - "All Fall Down" (aired 7/13/14)
Increase Mather reveals his true plan about John Alden, Mary Sibley reveals her grand plan to Increase, Alden finds out the truth about Mary, and Mary finds out the truth about her coven. Meanwhile, the battle over Salem continues as the Grand Rite and Salem’s fate are revealed.
Get ready, kids! The "Sumnado of Sharknado" (as Syfy likes to call it) is officially upon us, and right now we have a quick Q&A with Sharknado 2: The Second One director Anthony C. Ferrante to help chum the waters of your anticipation.
Dread Central: Now, over half a year removed from the surprise pop culture quake Sharknado set off, what do you look back upon as being the best/worst aspects of it and the most surprising things to come out of it?
Anthony C. Ferrante: I’m still surprised that mainstream American embraced it. I remember watching the finished movie about three weeks before it aired. The movie is practically wall-to-wall VFX so this was the first time we saw everything completely together without missing slugs. <?i>
There were about three of us in the editing bay, and we were laughing with it and making fun of it. We had a blast, and after it was over, I said that this is the weirdest movie ever and no one would get it. I figured we probably made the greatest stoner movie ever made and maybe, just maybe, in a few years it would become some kind of cult movie. Then it blew up the night it aired and people were laughing with it, at it – they loved it, hated and some didn’t understand what the hell we were doing, which was fine, because people were watching it. You make movies to get a reaction out of people, and we did, which was very satisfying. You can never plan something like Sharknado happening, and it rarely happens to independent horror guys like myself, so I’m very grateful.
As for the best and worst aspects, the best is the fact that more people know who I am, which has opened up doors and opportunities I would have never had before. I directed a commercial a month after Sharknado hit, and I’ve never been offered commercials before. There are no real negatives that came of it, though I’ve noticed more people tell me I suck on Twitter than before, which I find amusing. But that’s part of the deal when you sign up to be a filmmaker. There’s no real negative in people knowing your work and loving or hating it. Every filmmaker experiences it. It just means I’m on people’s radars more.
DC: I know a lot of people who watched Sharknado found themselves wondering what I’m about to ask, so here goes. I understand how lobbing explosives into a tornado filled with sharks would kill the sharks, but why exactly did it kill the tornadoes?
ACF: Well, that’s a question that I was concerned about in the original script. In the original script, the plan was to kill the sharks by throwing bombs in the tornado, but my logic radar kept thinking, “But wouldn’t you want to stop the tornado as well?” So I did some research and wondered if it was possible if a bomb could dissipate a tornado. And actually, a nuclear bomb could potentially do that. So we fudged things a bit for Sharknado. But I added that whole line of dialogue that Baz (Jaason Simmons) says about how you can neutralize a tornado after the research. It was my "Mr. Science" moment in the middle of the movie and was also sort of a self-aware thing where I’m telling the audience, “Yes, this is insane and crazy, but there is some quasi-insane fudged science logic to it.” Then again, at a certain point, as a director you also have to accept it’s a movie about sharks in a tornado destroying Los Angeles and that there are no rules, except the ones we make up. It’s a suspension of disbelief. If cars can turn into robots and protect humanity, a sharknado can destroy Los Angeles and New York – just because we say so.
DC: Something I personally found most surprising, almost as ridiculous as the very notion of tornadoes filled with sharks, was the backlash that emerged... the genuine anger and resentment that comes from some by even mentioning Sharknado, many of whom have never even seen it. Much of it seems to have less to do with the movie itself and more about being annoyed it blew up the social media that night, that so many hipsters took an ironic liking to the film, and that it enjoyed any notoriety at all. Your thoughts on the sharknatroversy?
ACF: Good press. Bad press. If it brings attention to the film, it’s all a good thing. How many summer movies come out in theatres that people absolutely hate; yet, they make billions of dollars? I haven’t seen Transformers 4, but everyone tells me they didn’t like it; yet, it’s the most successful film of the summer so far. I think the amazing thing about Sharknado is that we didn’t force people to watch it and we didn’t have a huge marketing blitz for it the first time around. It just happened. It was organic and the audience found us. We had more attention and press than big studio movies that had hundreds of millions of dollars of promotion so a backlash was inevitable. I think the take-away I’ve been getting from all the hate is that people who have seen it and say “It’s so bad, it’s good” can’t come to terms that they like a movie that is about sharks in a tornado. We’ve gotten so overly serious with our movies and franchises that having a sense of fun with a silly movie has now become the exception, not the rule.
DC: On the other hand, Syfy may have actually overplayed their hand pushing Sharknado even harder in the days and weeks that followed premiere night. Any concern that Sharknado may have already been run into the ground and get treated as little more than a passing fad by the time the sequel airs?
ACF: I never thought the interest would have lasted this long. After the first couple of days of media attention, I expected it to die down, but it never stopped. And when we were shooting The Second One in New York, people were mobbing us like we were shooting the Avengers 2 or something. It’s amazing the amount of publicity Syfy is doing, and it’s necessary because we’re no longer an unknown quantity that people discovered. We’re now a franchise and they’re treating it like that, which for a filmmaker is amazing because it means more people are aware of what you’re doing. I think all we can do is make the best movie possible and it’s up for the audience to decide if they’re going to show up and decide if it lives up to the first movie.
DC: I know you can’t go into any real details at the moment regarding what we can expect to see in Sharknado 2: The Second One, but do you feel any real pressure to up the ante this time around to deliver something even bigger and better, improve upon the original, even while (I’m assuming) working with about the same low budget?
ACF: We definitely were working with a similar budget and shooting schedule and an accelerated post schedule. We delivered both of these movies in less than five months with over 500 VFX shots. We’re trying to make [something similar to] $200 million studio blockbusters for the cost of their craft services budget – and that’s one day of their craft services budget. With the success of the first Sharknado, we needed to do even more, and we did a lot the first time around. We also had tons of great landmarks in New York to use as a backdrop so that was exciting. Coming from horror, you usually shoot in one location – it’s a spooky house or hospital. Here, there’s a whole city to play with so to me the sky's the limit. Early on we came up with some pretty great setpieces that all ended up in the final film. You really have to just make what you think is the most entertaining film possible, and it’s up to the audience to decide if we pulled it off. The Second One was even more complicated than the first because we were shooting in extreme weather conditions in New York during the winter, but we made it a big part of our story.
DC: Why do you think sharks have become such staples of b-movies in recent years? We got mega sharks, snow sharks, Sharknado, Sharktopus, Ghost Shark, just about any loony scenario and/or mutation of sharks imaginable. Why sharks?
ACF: Everyone is afraid of sharks... well, almost everyone. Jaws is also a huge landmark movie for so many people. We all secretly want to make Jaws, but no one is going to able to touch that film. Even movies without sharks in it use Jaws as a template. Remember Dante's Peak? I think the recent trend of loopy shark movies is a way to diffuse the threat. “Sharks are scary, but you can laugh at them too.” Someone told me their grandchildren were terrified of sharks until they saw Sharknado and then they weren’t afraid of them anymore. So Jaws made people afraid to go into the water, and Sharknado made it okay for people to go back into it.
DC: Given recent events and cable television's love for ripped-from-the-headlines scenarios, are you sure you shouldn’t be working on a movie called “Polar Vortex” instead; albeit with the frozen hurricane filling the sky with ravenous polar bears that give new meaning to the phrase “biting cold”?
ACF: I think I’ll leave these other hybid weather/animal movies to other people for now. Sharknado was lightning in a bottle for me so why try to reinvent the wheel with something new when you can do a sequel in New York instead?
In Sharknado 2: The Second One, a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a "sharknado" on the population and its most cherished, iconic sites – and only Fin and April (Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, returning from the original) can save the Big Apple.
Kelly Osbourne, Judd Hirsch, Andy Dick, Judah Friedlander, Vivica A. Fox, and Mark McGrath also appear in the Syfy Original Movie, which promises cameos by the likes of Perez Hilton, rapper Biz Markie, Salt-N-Pepa's Pepa (aka Sandra Denton), Robert Klein, and professional wrestler/Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle.
Anthony C. Ferrante returns to direct a screenplay by Thunder Levin, who also wrote Sharknado.
Sharknado 2 premieres on Wednesday, July 30th, at 9 PM PT/ET, just a little more than one year after the original Sharknado aired.
Nicholas McCarthy’s 2012 debut The Pact was a twisting, suspenseful little film that I really enjoyed. The good news is that McCarthy hasn’t suffered from the ol’ sophomore slump. I like his new film, At the Devil’s Door (formerly known as Home) even better than The Pact. At times it’s terrifying and McCarthy deftly plays with suspense until it becomes near unbearable. It plays out against a dark, unpredictable canvas and features three strong female actresses who all get their turn to play lead.
The narrative structure of At the Devil’s Door plays out like three separate horror films, all of which are consistently and profoundly creepy. It’s an offbeat structure, but McCarthy pulls it off nicely. Even though it has almost an anthology feel, the transitions are smooth enough to make it cohesive. This is the type of horror film that really gets under your skin and makes your nerves feel all funny. At the center of it all is Ashley Rickards, who’s probably best known as the star of MTV’s Awkward. After running away with her boyfriend, she returns home a changed woman. I mean that in the demonic possession sorta way.
I’m wary to give away anything further about the plot because the twists collide in a very effective way and it’s best to go in fresh. I will say that there are a lot of horror tropes that in the hands of many other directors would’ve felt just like that, like cliches. But McCarthy manages to make elements like haunted houses, possession, and evil children feel completely like his own. The atmosphere he creates is so thick you could cut it with a butter knife and he doesn’t just depend on loud noises to scare us. And hot damn are there some scares in the film. There are your run-of-the-mill jump scares, sure. For the most part though, the film relies heavily on its eerie tone and shocking moments of terror to scare the audience.
There is some CGI in the film but for the most part, the successful scares are played out with practical effects. There’s one moment that spooked me where a dresser drawer opens. That’s it. Just a drawer opening. That’s how potent the overall sense of dread is in At the Devil’s Door. A drawer gave me a wicked bad case of the willies.
Anyone who enjoyed The Pact is going to love McCarthy’s impressive second film. It’s clever, bizarre, and wildly satisfying. From beginning to end it’s filled with thrilling ideas and claustrophobic tension. Despite the presence of cliches, At the Devil’s Door is one of the most inventive and effective horror films I’ve seen in a while.
Don’t miss it when IFC Midnight releases it on VOD August 8!
Reddit user taurus_manure (seriously, where do people come up with these names?) recently got an MRI brain scan for migraines (been there) and, upon receiving a disc with the images, proceeded to render them in 3D. The result? Well, it’s pretty damn terrifying. Seriously, some of the pictures would be fodder for any practical FX team in creating a demonic horror creature that is straight out of some Clive Barker-esque nightmare. Just look at the gallery below and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
In celebration of the UK DVD and Blu-ray release of Vincenzo Natali's ghostly thriller Haunter, we've gotten our hands on a quick sneak peak. The film's on shelves now so check this out and see if it rattles them bones!
The film stars Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, Michelle Nolden, Peter Outerbridge, and Peter DaCunha.
In 1986, 15-year-old Lisa (Breslin) and her family died in their home under sinister circumstances. Unable to move on, their spirits have continued to roam the house. And for nearly 30 years they have had to live the same miserable day over and over, never thinking they're anything but alive.
But now, Lisa has started noticing things that make her believe that she and her uncomprehending family are in fact ghosts. On top of that, she realizes that she must reach out from beyond the grave to help her living counterpart, Olivia, and her family avoid the same gruesome fate that Lisa and her loved ones suffered all those years ago.
Hot and ready for you cats right now are new stills from Leigh Janiak's Honeymoon (review here). Check 'em out and then commence furiously humping your way through the first night of marital bliss.
Honeymoon, the chilling directorial debut of Leigh Janiak, features rising stars Rose Leslie (HBO’s "Game of Thrones") and Harry Treadaway (Showtime's "Penny Dreadful"). Janiak co-wrote the film with Phil Graziadei; Patrick Baker and Esmé Howard produced.
Ben Huber and Hanna Brown co-star.
Newlyweds Paul (Treadaway) and Bea (Leslie) want to spend their honeymoon at a cabin in the woods. But the lovely romantic moment quickly disappears when odd events, such as the appearance of a mysterious light, the unexpected disappearance of Bea, and her strange return, completely hurt and acting differently, are destined to tear them apart.
Magnet Releasing will release the film on iTunes/On Demand and in theaters September 12, 2014.
In honor of it playing as part of this year's Fantasia Film Festival, we now have over a dozen images from Ju-on: Beginning of the End for you cats to start screeching over. Or maybe that screeching is just Toshio again. In any event...
Directed by Ochiai Masayuki (Infection, Hypnosis and the 2008 remake of Shutter), the sequel stars Nozomi Sasaki, Sho Aoyagi, Kai Kobayashi, Reina Triendl, Miho Kanazawa and Haori Takahashi.
An elementary school teacher named Yui (Sasaki) visits the home of a boy named Toshio Saeki (Kobayashi), who's been absent from school for a long period of time. When she arrives, she re-lives the horrific tragedy which occurred in the Saeki household 10 years earlier. A cardboard box left in a closet holds the key to revealing a long-hidden truth.
Magnet Releasing will release Honeymoon (read our review) on iTunes/On Demand and in theaters September 12.
We also landed new images to share with the previously released first clip from Leigh Janiak’s festival fav that stars Rose Leslie (“Game of Thrones”), Harry Treadaway (“Penny Dreadful”), Ben Huber and Hanna Brown.
“Newlyweds Paul and Bea want to spend their honeymoon at a cabin in the woods. But the lovely romantic moments quickly disappears when strange events, such as the appearance of a mysterious light, the unexpected disappearance of Bea and her strange return, completely hurt and acting differently, are destined to torn them apart.“
Hot on the heels of this morning's poster reveal for Alexandre Aja's Horns (review), which is getting an October 31st release in the UK, comes the teaser trailer. Dig it!
Directed by Aja (High Tension, Mirrors, Piranha 3D, The Hills Have Eyes) from Keith Bunin’s script, Horns stars Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Juno Temple, Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner, and James Remar.
Horns, a supernatural thriller driven by fantasy, mystery, and romance, follows Ig Perrish (Radcliffe), the number one suspect for the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin (Temple). Hungover from a night of hard drinking, Ig awakens one morning to find horns starting to grow from his own head and soon realizes their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their most selfish and unspeakable impulses – an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend’s tragedy and for exacting revenge on her killer.
This rock and roll infused dark fantasy explores why bad things happen to good people and what the loss of true love can do to a man. The widely acclaimed book was on the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks and has become an international bestseller as well.
William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside, Wer) has just signed on for more supernatural shenanigans according to Deadline. Per the site, the next project on Bell's plate will be The Inhabitant. Read on for the details.
The flick is said to be in the vein of The Conjuring. Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Vertigo’s Roy Lee, Matt Berenson (A Place Beyond The Pines), Jim Wedaa, and Adam Stone are producing from a script by Stacey Menear.
Yeah, that ain't much to go on but...
For more information go here!
The 18th annual Fantasia International Film Festival is gearing up to take Montreal by storm with three weeks of inspiration and excitement starting July 17 until August 5, 2014. The full 2014 lineup of programming and special events will be revealed shortly, but in the meantime, here’s some new imagery to whet your appetite.
We revealed a few months back that Ochiai Masayuki, who directed Infection, Hypnosis and the absolutely atrocious 2008 remake of Shutter, is set to pen and get behind the camera for Ju-on: Owari no Hajimari, or The Grudge: Beginning of the End.
Today, we got our hands on new imagery from the latest entry in which, “An elementary school teacher named Yui visits the home of a boy named Toshio Saeki who’s been absent from school for a long period of time. When she arrives, she re-lives the horrific tragedy which occurred in the Saeki household 10 years earlier. A cardboard box left in a closet holds the key to revealing a long-hidden truth.” Nozomi Sasaki and Kai Kobayashi star.
Telltale has released two brand zombie-spanking new screenshots from the upcoming episode of The Walking Dead: The Game season two episode four, titled Amid the Ruins. In the first screen, Clem’s surrounded by a gaggle of zombies, and it all looks awfully similar to the situation we were left with in the last episode. The second features an intense standoff between Clem and friends who look to be having a disagreement against an unknown number of other gun-toting folks.
What’s going on in the above images should be made clear when Amid the Ruins arrives later this month.
During a recent AMA chat with Guillermo del Toro on Reddit, the prolific director offered an update on the long talked about Hellboy III. The long and short of it? It's not good. Read on for details.
"The idea for [Hellboy III] was to have Hellboy finally come to terms with the fact that his destiny, his inevitable destiny, is to become the beast of the Apocalypse and having him and Liz face... that part of his nature, and he has to do it, in order to be able to ironically vanquish the foe that he has to face in the 3rd film."
"He has to become the beast of the Apocalypse to be able to defend humanity, but at the same time he becomes a much darker being. It's a very interesting ending to the series, but I don't think it will happen."
"We have gone through basically every studio and asked for financing, and they are not interested. Creatively, I would love to make it. Creatively. But it [has] proven almost impossible to finance. Not from MY side, but from the studio side. If I was a multimillionaire, I would finance it myself, but I spend all my money on rubber monsters."
Written by T. Blake Braddy, @blakebraddy
Team Junkfish’s Monstrum is an eerie first-person survival horror game set on a ship where very, very bad things seem to have happened. Things that, well, you as the player will discover by being subjected to them, too. With a sound design tweaked to make players ruin perfectly fine underwear, it is equal parts ship exploration and run-screaming-from-a-monster-and-hope-you-can-find-a-hiding-place. You know. That kind of game.
The overall point is to find items to repair a life raft in order to escape, but achieving the objective is way less important than avoiding the beast that roams the claustrophobic corridors, just lying in wait to strip you of your dignity (and your life). Since death is permanent, the stakes are insanely high for this satisfyingly simple gaming experience. Monstrum is guaranteed to wrench at least a single, panicked shriek out of you, and if you’re the kind of sadist who enjoys watching others suffer, you can find plenty of Let’s Plays highlighting this very same event. (In fact, our very own editor Adam put himself through Hell for your enjoyment right here.)
Grant Campbell, Gameplay Programmer and Designer on Monstrum, answered some questions about how they achieved tone in the game, where they gathered inspiration, and how they feel about boats. Also, there is talk of sausage fingers somewhere below. Monstrum is in Alpha and will be released early in 2015. It can be found on Steam.
BD: Sound design is one of the most appealing / frightening parts of Monstrum. How do you know you’ve landed upon the most terrifying sound possible? Is there a lot of discussion about how loud and unsettling to make, say, the sound of a door creaking?
Oh yeah, definitely. Sound is one of the most important parts of horror, in general. Most of the actual discussion we have on making the sounds scary is based around the ones the monsters make (e.g. roars, footsteps, general bodily functions). With environmental audio, like doors and creaking pipes, we let Jaime [Cross] (our resident soundsmith) know the kind of feeling we want to inspire, usually with some examples from other media, and get him to create a bunch of concepts based on these. Then we just pick the ones we like best and iterate until we’re satisfied with the result.
Sound design is made even more important in Monstrum because we use it as a mechanic. When the player does things that make noise, they are giving away their position and it’s important we make sure the player is aware of this. Our rule of thumb is “If the monster will notice it, so should the player,” so sounds that you might not normally be fully conscious of sometimes have to be made louder so that the player makes that connection. This goes for the player’s footsteps when running, opening and closing doors, basically anything that will attract attention.
BD: How will the “power system” you recently blogged about affect or change how players approach the game?
The power system gives the player more ways to approach the game, adding some variety to the overall experience. There are several systems on the ship that require power, such as lights, escape routes, and access to secret areas. Each of these has a corresponding fuse box that supplies power, but the number of fuses available to the player each run will be limited.
This creates a sort of resource management mechanic. Say, for instance, a player is having trouble with a particular section of the ship. It might be worth spending a fuse to power that section, turning on the lights and making it easier to navigate/notice items. However, this comes at the cost of high visibility, which is not great when you’re trying to stay unnoticed, and you have one less fuse. In addition to working lights, once powered, each section will provide a bonus of some kind. For example, powering the area containing the security room will afford a level of control over the ship’s ubiquitous security cameras.
Initially, most of the ship will be unpowered, but there will be some degree of low level lighting spread about, as running around in large sections of total darkness gets frustrating pretty quickly. There are also systems in place to make sure that, even if the player squanders all their fuses, there will always be at least one escape route always available.
BD: Where do the designs for the ship derive? Is there an inherent love for ships and the ocean on the team, or are you ever, like, “Jesus. Not another engine room?”
The decision to set the game on a ship comes from my love for – and, more importantly, intense fear of – the ocean. While I enjoy the calm and isolated nature of being on a boat, the sheer openness of the sea and the idea of being stranded terrifies me. This choice also avoids the inevitable thoughts of ‘Just smash a fucking window and run away’ that occur when playing horror games set in landlocked areas.
The choice of a cargo ship instead of something like a cruise ship is due to the desire for the environment to have a maze-like feel. While larger passenger ships are generally designed to be easy for the public to navigate, older and more industrial ships seem to have a very ‘functionality first, usability second’ logic to their layout. This fits more with the more confusing and oppressive atmosphere that we’re trying to create.
BD: Does the team have to create a whole ship build for each procedurally-generated level, or is the environment composed of interlocking, repeatable parts?
We currently only have one layout for the ship, which is broken down into several sections. These sections define what rooms can spawn there and the rules for their placement. So while the crew quarters section will always be in the same area of the ship – at the back and above the engineering section – its actual layout and the contents of its rooms will be randomised each time. The rooms for each section are selected from a large pool, each room having variant layouts and some randomised placement rules for decoration and items etc. They are then connected up using a pathfinding algorithm which places corridor pieces and junctions. By keeping the ship broken up like this, we make sure that each room spawns in an appropriate area, and that navigation becomes easier the more the game is played. While there were initially plans for some different ship layouts, those are on the backburner just now while we get the rest of the features in.
BD: How do you approach the creation of mood and tone within the game? Is there a piece of pop culture that you point to when trying to codify the experience into a single feeling?
I would say the best existing works that represent the central theme of the game are the original Alien, and the myth of the Labyrinth. You’re stuck in a claustrophobic and unfamiliar location and stalked by a monster but you are not Theseus, you are not Ripley, you are just a mere mortal in terrible danger trying to get away. This factors heavily into how we approach content creation for the game, as we try to make sure each asset and mechanic contributes to this theme as much as possible.
While on this topic, the way we were originally pitching the game was ‘Alien, on a boat’, and when we found out that Alien was pitched originally as ‘Jaws, in space’ it became ‘Jaws in space, but on a boat’. Though shortly after beginning development, a certain similar – and, more importantly, licensed – game was announced and we dialed back on that.
BD: How did the main monster’s design evolve into its current form, or was this the original vision for it? How will the other two pursuers differ from the first, or can you reveal anything about that yet?
Because there is only one enemy in the game at any one time, it’s important to make encounters with them as intense as possible, so I wanted to make the threat of the first monster immediately obvious. It had to be clear as soon as you saw it that this thing could end you in seconds, and for most players meeting it for the first time that is exactly what would happen. I admit that death is a pretty harsh introduction, but it does immediately teach the capabilities of your opponent and the importance of playing cautiously.
We refer to this monster in-house as ‘The Brute’, and the pitch I gave to the team was along the lines of ‘Big, strong and fast. Basically we should be able to replace him at any point in development with a bear and have the game feel the same.’ The original concept was a kind of a gorilla shaped and sea-themed creature, but it became quickly apparent that this thing would have serious trouble moving quickly around a cramped ship. The the new shape is more humanoid, freakishly swollen and muscular, and its fiery, scarred appearance came from a concept by one of our artists that we loved.
I can’t reveal too much about the other monsters just yet, but I can give you an idea of how they differ from the current one:
The Brute is meant to invoke a very primal ‘survival instinct’ response and so his behaviour is that of an enraged wild animal, smashing shit up and barreling after you single-mindedly upon seeing you.
The Hunter is the monster we’re currently working on, represents more of a slimy, creepy-crawly type of fear usually inspired by things like bugs and reptiles. It is the counterpoint to the Brute, choosing stealthier means of moving around the ship and hunting the player.
I can’t say much about the Fiend, as it is still in the early stages and is still subject to change but I will say that it plays on more malevolent tropes like serial killers and the supernatural, and its behaviour and personality will reflect this.
BD: Games like Monstrum feel almost like adventure games with loud noises. You yourself mention Dark Fall as inspirational. Why do you think first-person exploration (a la Myst) makes for such a great backdrop for horror games today?
I think it’s probably because exploration comes from unfamiliarity. Exploration is delving into the unknown to satisfy your curiosity, and because of the strong connection between the unknown and fear it makes a natural fit for the horror genre. From there a first-person viewpoint, is a sensible choice because it increases immersion by bringing the player closer to the environments they’re investigating.
BD: This game looks like it would be killer on Oculus. What has the response been like for VR players?
The response has been pretty positive so far! From what we’ve seen at shows people get really into it to the point of forgetting where they are, and it’s a good laugh seeing them freak out and swear in a crowded area. The Oculus adds quite a bit to the game experience. When you’ve got the headset on you really get a perspective of how small the ship’s corridors actually are and everything feels a lot more cramped and claustrophobic. There is also something quite intimidating in having to look up to make eye contact with the monster.
BD: Do you have anything else you’d like to announce?
The player’s hands are no longer made out of PlayDoh sausages. He’s even got fingernails and everything.
BD: Will all versions be ready for the game’s proposed Q3 release date?
We have recently revised our release date for Monstrum to end of January 2015. This is to give us some extra breathing room to make the game as good as we know it can be. Developing any game in a year (we began development September 9, 2013) was always going to be hard and with the response we’ve had from public we really don’t want to release as a messy early access title and ruin what goodwill we’ve achieved. This may mean staggering the release of Mac / Linux versions, as we’ve always said any release on Xbox / Playstation will be dependant on the response to Monstrum on PC.
BD: Final question: Would you rather be trapped on a ghost ship or forced to watch the movie Ghost Ship?
I’ll take the ship, because at least then I can jump into the sea if I need a way out.
Earlier today we shared the official teaser poster for Horns, which marks stars Daniel Radcliffe as the Devil. Now, with the teaser trailer, we watch him go through hell.
In UK cinemas and presumably here in the States on October 31, “In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to strange horns sprouting from his temples.”
Directed by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, Mirrors, Piranha 3D, The Hills Have Eyes) from Keith Bunin’s script, Horns stars Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Juno Temple, Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner and James Remar.
Bloody Disgusting’s Mike Pereira was a huge fan – read his review here – calling it “an audacious, wonderfully twisted romantic horror fantasy.”
RADiUS-TWC acquired the film for release here in the States, so expect it to be released in a similar fashion to Snowpiercer.