Look to the sky for horror.
In theaters and on VOD nationwide November 7th from IFC is Hangar 10, a horrifying new British sci-fi thriller from director Daniel Simpson, based on spine-chilling true events!
Bloody Disgusting is the first to enter Area 51 with this exclusive trailer premiere that’s loaded with all sorts of scares and alien-esque fun! It comes from the producers of Severence and Creep, which is promising.
“33 years after the infamous Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, three metal detector enthusiasts hunting for Saxon gold in the same region capture incredible footage of UFOs whilst filming their expedition. As night falls – and with their navigation equipment failing – the trio finds themselves facing a terrifying encounter with an unforgiving alien presence.“
The don’t-show ending of The Blair Witch Project is one of the most infamous, frustrating, polarizing, and perfect closing shots in horror movie history. It offers no closure nor explanation. It simply is what it is. But was it always supposed to be that way?
At Denver’s Mile High Horror Film Festival, I had the opportunity to sit down with Blair Witch directors Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez and I asked them about the ending and their original intent. Turns out it wasn’t always supposed to be how it ended up…and the first thing Artisan wanted to do when they bought it? Change the ending.
“Well, we wanted to show something more spectacular than what we ended up with. But we couldn’t come up with an idea and we had a limited budget, so it was going to have to be something really clever. We actually didn’t have the ending of the movie when we were filming. We started shooting the movie without the ending and I remember Gregg (Hale), our producer, would come in and be like, ‘Man, you got five days,’ and we would go back and think about it.
…but we didn’t want to betray the rest of the movie. There are no real gags in the movie, we weren’t showing anything, you know, except a bundle of sticks and some teeth. And then maybe two or three days before we had to shoot the ending we came up with the idea…Artisan wanted to change it when they bought the movie. That was the first thing they wanted to do was change the ending.
At least Todd McFarlane’s McFarlane Toys was able to create their own interpretation in toy form back in their ‘Movie Maniacs’ Series 4. Good, bad? Eh.
Read more about the Blair Witch’s ending, their original plans for a prequel, their reaction to Book of Shadows, and more tomorrow when my full interview with Dan and Ed is published!
From the writers of Power Rangers R.P.M. and The Tigger Movie comes a wildly morbid and original film: Blood Punch. While its pedigree may sound a bit too kiddie for a horror film, you’ll never see Blood Punch on the Disney Channel, oh no. It’s a twisted and clever film that’s been kicking much ass on the festival circuit and just last week it damn near blew the roof off of the screening I caught at the Mile High Horror Film Festival. It’s like a supernatural film noir on meth, with heaps of dark humor and a madcap edge that cuts deep. And as its name suggests, Blood Punch is a very, very bloody affair.
Much of what makes director Madellaine Paxson’s film such a blast is experiencing the curveballs as they come at you, so I won’t reveal too much of the sharp plot. Milo (Milo Cawthorne) is a brilliant and sweet guy whose knack for cooking meth led him to a drug rehabilitation center. There he’s tempted by pseudo femme fatale Skyler (Olivia Tennet), a chain-smoking harlet with a filthy mouth and silver tongue. She convinces Milo to bust outta rehab and flee with her to a secluded cabin where he’ll cook meth for one day, for one big pay off. Feeling an attraction to Skyler he can’t shake, Milo signs on for this wholly crazy scheme. The only problem is Skyler’s boyfriend, Russell (Ari Boyland), a psychopath she affectionately refers to as “the devil.”
Well, Russell isn’t really the only problem. The cabin was once the site of an epic Native American war, where the full moon raged for an entire month. The blood spilled there left a bit of a paranormal mark on the joint.
From the moment they arrive at the cabin, Russell sets Milo on edge – explaining how much he adores guns and admitting he knows Milo and Skyler knocked boots in rehab (awkward!). From this point forward, Blood Punch makes you second guess everything you thought you already had figured out. Russell is not as dumb as he seems, Skyler is not as one-dimensional as she seems, Milo is not getting played the way he seems, and the cabin is not what it seems. The film frequently toys with your expectations like a kid in a sandbox – building little structures then smashing them up.
Milo’s first hint that things are way, way off is when he awakes to find a video of himself he doesn’t remember recording in which he chops two of his fingers off. But Milo has all his fingers? Blood Punch is full of reality distorting moments like this, but it never feels like writer Eddie Guzelian is trying to outsmart us or yelling “Gotcha!” in our faces. As wild as the story gets, it flows very organically. The only instance where it feels like they’re maybe getting too absurd is when their drug buyer is introduced. Blood Punch sharply veers off its course there. However, considering how much it’s played with our expectations up to this point, it’s easy to overlook the craziness of this scene.
All three main actors are alumni of New Zealand’s version of the Power Rangers and their history truly shows on screen. The chemistry between them all is so thick you could cut with a hatchet (a weapon utilized heavily in the film). They all get their turn to shine as well, without hogging the spotlight. This is an ensemble film, for sure. Ari Boyland does a solid job playing the (heavily armed) prep school bully from hell. His biting delivery is unnerving, giving the sense he could take your head off at any moment. With a smile, of course. Olivia Tennet brings the heat with a seductively rugged performance and Milo Cawthorne anchors them all as the tight-lipped voice of reason (except when he’s losing his mind).
Darkly comedic with a seriously warped set of sensibilities, Blood Punch takes us down the road to hell, which here is paved with blood and meth (with some peyote as a stiff chaser). It’s fun as hell and smart enough to pull all the right moves without rubbing its twists in your face. There’s a film noir from 1948 called Road House (no relation to the Swayze throat ripper) about a violent love triangle that implodes at a secluded cabin. Blood Punch reminded me a bit of that classic, but in broad daylight with a Twilight Zone affection for screwing with our minds. It’s a helluva trip.
Blood Punch is currently without a distributor, which will hopefully be remedied soon because genre fans need this movie in their eyeballs, ASAP.
Messing around with spirit boards never ends well. Especially in film. Although the most widely-used version of a spirit board is made by Hasbro (the masterminds behind Yahtzee and Nerf guns), the Ouija board still manages to scare the hell out of people and cripple sleepovers across the nation. Now the “game” is coming to the big screen courtesy of Universal and Blumhouse Productions.
Ouija hits theaters Oct. 24, just in time for Halloween, but now folks in the Orlando area have the chance to see it early! On Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 7:30pm, we’ll be giving away passes to a FREE advanced screening at:
AMC Altamonte 18
433 East Altamonte Dr.
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Passes are limited and first come, first serve so be sure to get there about an hour early!
“In Ouija, a group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.”
Stiles White directs the supernatural thriller that is produced by Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller (The Purge, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th) alongside Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Insidious series, The Purge), Bennett Schneir (Battleship) and Hasbro.
•NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
• RATED PG-13
I love peaking into history and seeing what the studios were up to in October all those years ago.
October 16 is a pretty interesting date as it saw the release of a few horror classics, as well as some truly terrible limited releases.
The best release came in 1992 when Clive Barker’s Candyman, directed by Bernard Rose, hit theaters. Candyman is still one of my favorite horror films ever, mostly because of the urban subplot that tales place in Chicago’s now-vanquished Cabrini Green. It’s rare to see urban horror, although it’s always special when films like Candyman, Attack the Block and People Under the Stairs make it into theaters (Halloween: Resurrection was close to urban horror). Making $25M in theaters, I’m not exactly sure if that was a success or not – but it did spawn sequels and toys. Candyman is still scary as fuck.
In 1998 Ronny Yu’s Bride of Chucky, the fourth film in the Child’s Play franchise, hit theaters. Boasting a supreme soundtrack (Rob Zombie, Static-X and more), beautiful cinematography, and astounding effects work, Bride of Chucky remains a classic, even if the original film and its sequel are still the best in the franchise. Bride also took an interesting new approach to Chucky, in bringing him to the forefront and turning the franchise into a comedy. Still, the film ended on a dark note and could have set up a darker relaunch with Seed. The film was successful enough to get Universal behind Seed of Chucky, and eventually Curse of Chucky. I remember Bride being one of the first DVDs I purchased, and it was a big deal not having to wait for Blockbuster to release used on VHS.
In 2007 Echo Bridge released Anthony Del’s The Woods Have Eyes, “Tracked by a hunter and his crazy sons, to survive the children must take revenge into their own hands.” Also in ’07 Lionsgate and After Dark released Tooth & Nail, about a small group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world take refuge in an empty hospital with plans on rebuilding society. Oh, and the same year saw Return to House On Haunted Hill, Victor Garcia’s House On Haunted Hill sequel hit home video. In that, Ariel Wolfe is the sister of Sara Wolfe, a survivor of a massacre some years ago in the “Hill House” sanatorium.
The year 2009 was no stranger to horror as it saw the release of both Christopher Smith’s bizarre Triangle and Sony Screen Gems’ generic thriller/remake The Stepfather. Triangle was a direct-to-disc release: “When Jess (Melissa George) sets sail on a yacht with a group of friends, she cannot shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Her suspicions are realized when the yacht hits a storm in the Bermuda Triangle and the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety.The ship appears deserted, but Jess is convinced she’s been on board before.They soon realize they are not alone… Someone is intent on hunting them down, one by one.”
The remake The Stepfather opened wide making $30M worldwide. Not the best of Screen Gems’ gener-o thrillers.
Last week, the long awaited and eagerly anticipated Alien: Isolation hit shelves. Garnering mostly positive reviews, the game is being hailed for its eerie atmosphere and terrifying stealth elements. And one of the elements that is being recognized and lauded is the score, which was composed by duo Joe Henson & Alexis Smith, aka The Flight.
Today, we’ve got an exclusive interview from the duo as they talk us through their process for scoring Alien: Isolation as well as their thoughts on where video game composing might go in the future.
Make sure to check out Adam’s 10 Ways to Die in Alien: Isolation!
Tell me about the process of working on ‘Alien: Isolation’. What was the first step in crafting the score and how important was Jerry Goldsmith’s original score as an influence?
Jerry Goldsmith’s score was our jumping off point. We referenced the film a lot, but were already very familiar with it. It is one of the few films that we still watch at least every year. We each have a very personal idea of what the Alien universe sounds like. Saying that, we didn’t just want to make a pastiche of the original score, so we started there but quickly moved in our own direction.
For this project we teamed up with film composer Christian Henson. One of the first things he did was an amazing piece where he expanded on the key Jerry Goldsmith themes. But from there we tried to get into new territory.
There are also some very iconic non-thematic sounds in Alien that we used throughout our score.
The game uses a lot of technology to make the music a truly immersive experience, one that reacts to what the player is doing. Considering that people have several ways of playing a game, how difficult was it to write cues that matched these different possibilities?
It is a balance. You have to be aware of how the music system is going to work, as that is the way most people will be hearing it, and it has a job to do in the overall experience of the game. At the same time, to begin with you have to try and forget about this, and concentrate on simply writing music in a musical way. It is the key challenge of writing interactive music, and one that we actually enjoy the puzzle of.
Some of the musicians who recorded the original ‘Alien’ score nearly 35 years ago were also there to perform for ‘Isolation’. What was it like working with people who were a part of the original story, before it became the phenomenon that it is today?
It was great to have some of the original players in the orchestra. One of the things we were racking our brains about was trying to replicate that iconic Alien ‘whale’ sound. We had tried using a superball on the soundboard of a piano and we had sung through a Zube Tube. However, one of the trumpet players who had played on the original said he remembered it being a conch shell. We used all three versions in the score!
Over the years, the ‘Alien’ games have long been plagued with bad reviews. Was there any concern in taking on this project?
Not really, we knew that the guys at Creative Assembly were doing something amazing as soon as we met them. They had a great idea that instantly intrigued us and were obviously putting real heart and soul into everything they were doing.
Creating a score that inspires fear, dread, and terror is not an easy task. What sounds or tones did you find sent shivers up and down your spine as you were working on this score?
Those iconic Alien sounds still scare us! The ‘whale’ sound, the menacing col legno orchestral snaps through analogue tape delays, and the unsettling aleatoric high strings. When writing the most extreme part of the score it was sometimes difficult to listen to. The player will only hear the chaos for a few seconds before he/she dies again, but we had to work on them for days.
As game consoles become more advanced, what opportunities does that allow you as composers in terms of creativity, range, and scope?
For us, it just removes any restrictions that might have come before. This is good for the industry – hopefully we can now concentrate a bit more on the musical content rather than how the technology works.
You’ve worked with some very big artists in the music industry. How do those experiences help with your scores?
We’ve come to scoring games from a different angle to a lot of composers; we don’t always think orchestra first. We usually just pick up instruments and start playing ourselves, or get some people together in a room. Working with artists has taught us that the magic usually happens when people collaborate. In some ways music has become a bit of a lonely exercise recently, with a lot of it made by people on their own on a laptop. We want to get away from this and it feels very natural to us both as that is how we have always worked.
In your opinion, what does the future of video game composing look like? What will change, what will stay the same, and what exciting advances do you think will revolutionize how composers create their work?
We hope it becomes more about the music and less about the technology. As the music systems are now limitless in scope, we hope that we can now get past that and return to thinking about what makes music engrossing and emotional. For us, that is about hearing real people playing instruments, as well as pushing electronic boundaries.
We are aware that there are some amazing procedural systems that are currently in development, but that doesn’t mean that is how all game music will be created in the future. We can imagine some types of games where this may be perfect, but hopefully there will always be a place for hearing real people making, writing and playing music.
After having just finished “Ghost Fleet” #1 I can assure you this is a comic you don’t want to miss. It’s so much more than a long haul trucker action comic, although it has plenty of that… It’s less Maximum Overdrive and more Indiana Jones, but with it’s own spin. The world is huge and the first issue is pulse pounding and mysterious in all the right ways. Plus writer, Donny Cates is a standup dude. He was more than energetic this past week at NYCC, and was just excited to share his story with others. So be sure to pick this bad boy up in the first week of November from Dark Horse Comics.
THEY TRUCKED WITH THE WRONG GUY!
For the world’s most valuable, dangerous, or secretive cargo, you don’t call just any trucking service . . . You call THE GHOST FLEET. When one of the world’s most elite combat-trained truckers takes a forbidden peek at his payload, he uncovers a conspiracy that will change his life forever! A new series of badass action on the open road begins here!
* From the critically acclaimed writer of Buzzkill!
THE GHOST FLEET #1 is on sale November 5th.
Deadpool proves to be Marvel’s answer to defying genre conventions. The incredibly fun hero is comfortable in any sort of environment, and every year it seems the merc with a mouth has gotten himself into more insane trouble. So it should come as no surprise that Marvel is releasing a sequel series to “Night of the Living Deadpool” in the form of “Return of the Living Deadpool.”
To “cure” the horror of a zombie outbreak, the Merc With a Mouth used his own healing factor to save the day. Any zombie that ate Deadpool transformed…into another Deadpool!
“So there are thousands of Deadpools, all of them originating from the one and only Wade Wilson,” says Bunn in an interview with Marvel.com. “Every time a zombie takes a bite out of one of these Deadpools, the zombie becomes Deadpool. But the ‘copy’ is degrading from rebirth to rebirth. You know how Deadpool has numerous personalities? Well, these newly created Deadpools start to latch onto different aspects of Deadpool’s split psyche, forming factions. And these factions don’t all get along!”
As hordes of Deadpools battle for undead supremacy against the zombie hordes, witness a world gone completely insane! Time to find out what’s worse – an army of flesh eating corpses, or an army of wisecracking Deadpools. You decide this January in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL #1!
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL #1
Written by CULLEN BUNN
Art by NIK VIRELLA
Cover by JAY SHAW
On Sale in January!
Not nearly as cool as getting a photo with Robert Englund in his Freddy Krueger makeup, Rock and Shock is still setting up an even that’s still a must for all horror fans.
When the event returns to Worcester, MA from October 17th through 19th, those attending can nab a photo with the cast of both Child’s Play (1988) and Curse of Chucky (2013)!!
Posing with you next to a screen-used authentic Chucky doll are Child’s Play and Curse of Chucky stars Brad Dourif (the voice of ol’ Chuckster), Fiona Dourif and Alex Vincent.
Prices range from $30 to $40 for individual shots, group shots are more like $50 to $70 depending on how many actors are in the shot, explains the site.
Full details here.
“American Horror Story” babe Alexandra Breckenridge has joined “The Walking Dead’s” ongoing fifth season, says THR.
The actress will recur in season five with an option to be promoted to a series regular in season six. While specific details about Breckenridge’s character are being kept under wraps, the casting breakdown described the role of “Samantha” as an attractive, strong, smart, charming and articulate woman with a vulnerable side. She’s a mother with a bohemian spirit, and a talented artist.
Season five now finds Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) group back out on the road, where they’re likely to encounter several new people — with additional characters from Robert Kirkman’s comic series expected to be introduced.
Screen Daily reports that IFC Midnight has acquired North American rights to Dark Summer, Paul Solet’s supernatural horror film that Content Media will introduce to international buyers at the AFM.
“Dark Summer is a stylised contemporary ghost story about a home-alone teenager on house arrest who experiences a terrifying presence.”
Keir Gilchrist stars with Stella Maeve, Grace Phipps, Maestro Harrell and Peter Stormare.
The distributor has set the multi-platform release for January 9, 2015, after brokering the deal with Preferred Content and Content Media.
Here’s the first ever image and now a trailer, thanks to Bloody reader Fabien M.
“IFC Midnight truly excels in the elevated genre space and has been a great North American home for the Pact franchise – so we’re very happy to have them as partners on Dark Summer,” said Carmichael.
Jason Bakutis – a former professional special FX makeup artist (Friday the 13th: Jason Goes to Hell, Critters 3 and 4), – just wrote in about his new Kickstarter campaign that I am absoutely praying gets funded.
What he’s created is tiny dioramas based on classic, iconic horror scenes called “MicroFear.”
“MicroFear” is a collection of digitally-sculpted, handcrafted miniature dioramas. The tiny pieces each convey a classic horror scene from film and literature that fans of the genre know and love.
Backers of the campaign will receive one or more dioramas to display in their own Cabinets of Curiosity. For an added level of interest, modelbuilding enthusiasts can opt to receive the diorama in kit form! This option is an exciting throwback to anyone familiar with Aurora model sets or other “garage kits” that were wildly popular in past decades.
Each scene measures less than 2.5” tall and features details smaller than 1mm. The majority of each scene is comprised of high quality cast bronze pieces, while remaining elements are composed of materials like onyx resin, wood, lichen, and even sand, that add an element of realness far beyond that of hobbyist model kits. The design starts as a digitally sculpted 3D model from artist Jason Bakutis, a former Hollywood special FX makeup artist. When the model is perfected at the tiny scale, it is then 3D printed in extremely high resolution in wax, and then cast in bronze using a traditional lostwax casting technique.
“I cast the pieces in bronze because the material’s strength allows me to beautifully render small, thin elements that won’t lose their shape,” said Bakutis. “I am a kid from the monster generation. I built model after after model in my day, and I know how much fans like me appreciate this level of incredible detail.”
Backers to the Kickstarter campaign can choose from scenes titled: “The Mummy”, “The House of the Psychopath”, “Bigfoot”, “The Pit and the Pendulum”, “The Nanny”, and “Spook Shack”.
While Bree is raving about last night’s episode (read her review), I’ve only managed to catch the premiere of “American Horror Story: Freak Show”.
The show set up a solid premise, was unique and colorful, and introduced enough mysteries to keep us hanging around – and the killer clown was crazy awesome!
The next two episodes are to be a two-parter, with the first being “Edward Mordrake Pt. 1″. In the third episode, “The Freaks refuse to perform on Halloween due to an old carny superstition. Jimmy is smitten by a woman claiming to be a fortuneteller. Ethel receives life-changing news.”
Watch the promo below and tell us what you thought of Episode 2.
If it’s Halloween it must be Saw.
Lionsgate has since released a new trailer and variant posters, but today we get something way cooler. The film was released before studios gave a shit about us online journos – meaning there’s barely any content available. Today, we got our hands on some hi-res stills – some never before seen. The ones previously released, you’ve never seen ‘em this large. Save ‘em, us ‘em, celebrate having ‘em!
The film will open on Friday, October 31st, with select screenings beginning Thursday night, October 30th. The seven Saw films grossed $874 million at the box office worldwide and were hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Successful Horror Franchise” of all time.
Saw was the first collaboration for co-creators James Wan, who directed the film, and Leigh Whannell, who wrote the screenplay. Together, they also created the successful Insidious franchise, and Wan has gone on to direct such high-profile films as The Conjuring.
Directed by Wan from a script penned by Whannell, Saw is a psychological thriller focusing on two men who wake up in a secure lair of a serial killer, with a dead body lying between them. The killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw,” leaves them tape recorded messages with details of how to make it out alive. The only way for one man to make it out alive is to do the unthinkable. The two men desperately try to find a way out, while also trying to figure out who’s behind their kidnapping.
The film, which was released over Halloween weekend on October 29, 2004, was produced by Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules, and Mark Burg.
YouTube cover artist Artificial Fear has posted a rather badass metal cover of the American Horror Story: Freakshow theme song. The cover doesn’t go excessively into the metal genre but instead uses distortion tastefully, adding a dark, sinister vibe to the track.
Check it out below and check out other covers by Artificial Fear on his channel.
George Cameron Romero has taken it upon himself to carry on the Legacy that his father created… the definitive “Origin” story of a legend as told by a legacy.
Set in the turbulent late sixties shortly before George A. Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead, Origin tells a story of paying the ultimate price for success.
Romero has launched an Indigogo campaign for which Bloody Disgusting is officially backing. You can help father and son tell the genesis story of the ‘Romero Zombie’ as the Legacy continues!
Origins is the story in the Romero universe of how the first ‘Zombie’ strolled across that cemetery and into lives of those in the ‘dead’ series almost fifty years later.
“I want to take back the Zombie Genre in the name of the Legacy that my father created almost 50 years ago,” says Romero. “I want to tell the Origin story of the modern zombie, in a way that my father wasn’t able to do so back in 1968.”
Fans can contribute to the ORIGINS campaign by visiting helptelltheorigin.com.
Origins takes place in the Turmoil of the 1960′s just shortly before “Night of the Living Dead”, and explains how The ‘Original’ Romero Zombie was created.
In 1962, Dr. Ryan Cartwright was on the scientific and altruistic path to find a way for humans to sustain life in the event of M.A.D (Mutual Assured Destruction), a huge topic brought on by the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Little did he know that over the course of the next several years of his life, he would take a well-funded and military focused journey to the darkest corners of the world… as he creates the ultimate weapon for the government and a curse that will plague mankind for the rest of days.
Something we don’t cover much here on Bloody-Disgusting but still warrants a post here and there are some of the amazing art installations that take place in galleries around the world. That’s why I want to highlight ‘The Immortal Zoo’, the upcoming exhibition from Jessica Joslin, who uses both real and replicated bones mixed with various metals to create a Victorian creature that would be perfectly suited for Wonderland.
Her bio reads:
The creatures that populate Jessica Joslin’s world are intricate fusions of bone, brass, antique hardware and other scavenged treasures. Infused with the Victorian era’s passion for natural history and arcane technology, these creatures reflect both the real and the imagined animal, the living and the dead. Through careful observation and intricate construction, they re-imagine the animal kingdom, bolt by bolt, beast by beast. They are a nod to the Wunderkammer of yore, and the Victorian predilection for invention and exploring science through the collecting of naturalia. The precision of the engineering conveys a sense that these beasts are anatomically plausible, and the spark of life is simulated through limpid glass eyes, engaging the viewer silently and directly.
The gallery runs from October 24th through November 22nd at the Firecat Projects in Chicago, IL. A trailer for the event, which features music from The Parlour Trick, can be seen below.
A gallery of Joslin’s works for ‘The Immortal Zoo’ can be seen here.
“AHS: Freak Show” just got intensely dark. ‘Massacres and Matinees’ the season’s second episode introduced us to two new freaks and sadly (really, genuinely horrifically sad) took away a freak. The turmoil in last week’s premiere episode was created by the townies against the freaks, but this week brought a whole new type of struggle, and it’s rooted deep within the flaps of the Freak Show tents.
When Strongman Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis!!!) shows up with his wife and fellow performer Desiree, a three-breasted hermaphroditic sensation (Angela Bassett), the troupe of monsters begins to face problems they don’t even realize are coming yet. Chiklis knows how to play one role but he plays it very well. He was a corrupt strongman in “The Shield,” a literal strongman in “Fantastic Four” and he’s a dick of a strongman in ‘Freak Show.’ He shows up with the confidence of a mountain, only to crumble into desperation when Elsa rejects his act (as well as Desiree’s three titties, ding-a-ling, and working female parts). Immediately Elsagives in and…boy, was that a mistake. Now Toledo is calling the shots, running the show, beating up Jimmy, and billing Elsa lowest on the show roster. The jump in logic here defies gravity but hopefully it will clear itself up.
Meanwhile, Dot and Bette remain the headliners of the show, only it’s the unsuspecting Dot who shows up her conjoined twin and turns out to be the one with real talent (which we see in yet another anachronistic performance of Fiona Apple’s Criminal, complete with slow motion mosh pits and crowd surfing like it’s a Nirvana show, not a 1950’s carnival). I’ll have to get back to you on these musical numbers because I simply don’t know how I feel about them yet. I will say that, stylistically, this one worked much better than last week’s Life on Mars disaster. The twins provide a complex emotion for the show. All of a sudden their lives are in upheaval, their yearnings for different and separate lives has reached a zenith and is figuratively pulling them apart. It doesn’t help that the overshadowed Elsa isn’t pleased and that just might mean she’ll have to kill off her brand new monster-darlings by turning them against each other.
Perhaps the most exciting element of ‘Massacres and Matinees’ is the teaming up of Dandy and Twisty. But more on that in a moment…
Is it just me or is Dandy the most unexpected character of this season? He whines like a man-child (he is very reminiscent of Veruca Salt and her lovely demanding nature…“I WANT IT NOW!”), he’s bored all the time, possibly kills the neighbors’ pets, drinks cognac from a monogramed crystal baby bottle, and it turns out, is pretty fucking sadistic…all in all, Dandy is my favorite character thus far. He is such a bewildering spectacle and is rising to the top as one of the quirkiest of the bunch. Which is impressive since he couldn’t even secure himself a spot as part of the freak show talent after pleading with Jimmy.
As mentioned above, this episode saw the unlikely duo of Twisty the Clown and Dandy the sociopath team up under a bizarre (albeit well-intentioned) push from Dandy’s mother, Gloria (the impeccable Frances Conroy). But what we see in their time together is that Dandy is the true monster, and Twisty is just…broken. He’s truly a clown who just wants to entertain children, even if he’s a bit misguided in what might entertain them (severed head, little boy?). In some ways, he reminds me of Lennie from Of Mice and Men. Except he’s got that serial killing side hobby. While none of us want to feel sympathetic toward this beaten down clown, part of us does.
Aside from Toledo’s inexplicable rise to ultimate power over Elsa in less than a day, this episode showed a lot of plot strength. It flowed nicely and made a surprising amount of sense for such a chaotic source of entertainment. More so than any “AHS” season, ‘Freak Show’ is really playing up the style. Each season has been highly stylized, but this season seems to put a great amount of focus on it, as if it’s its own character. The show plays out almost like an elaborate music video, or a moving painting. Along with some of the darker moments (MEEP!) and deeper character development (Jimmy has a heart that’s going to make our eyes and our panties wet) ‘Massacres and Matinees’ brought back a lot of the signature cinematography, music, and eerie sound effects that have worked so well to unsettle “AHS” audiences for the last three years. This show can, will, and should be completely kitschy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to get dark and rough, again I say Meep! The pacing is quick; the heat is being turned up inside the carnival walls while Dandy and Twisty turn up the heat on the innocent townsfolk of Jupiter. This thrill ride just got a little more ill.
But of course, it’s not all lollipops and balloons. The show has a few quirks that I can’t get past. For one, Lange and Bates’ accents are insanely bad. I let it go last week to give the show the benefit of the doubt, but after another hour of that madness, I have to say something. Second, are the viewers the only people who see how disgustingly horrific Twisty is? How is he able to walk up to any given person and pass himself off as a perfectly acceptable work-for-hire clown? Something tells me I’ll just have to deal with these issues. But something tells me that’s okay.
Sad news to report as Elizabeth Peña passed away yesterday at age 55. Her manager has stated that she died of natural causes.
Peña was known to many for her voice acting as Mirage in The Incredibles. However, for us in the horror community, she will forever be known as Jezzie from the 1990 horror mystery Jacob’s Ladder, which was one of the main inspirations for the Silent Hill franchise. She also appeared in the 1996 murder mystery Lone Star, for which she won an Independent Spirit Award.
Rest in peace, Elizabeth. You are missed.
To celebrate the release of Zombeavers, out on DVD, Blu-Ray and Download 20th October, we have a DVD copy up for grabs!
From the producers of American Pie, Cabin Fever and The Ring comes Zombeavers: the horror comedy not to be missed with hysterical interludes, gross-out gore and old school animatronics that will have audiences on the edge of their seats.
The film follows a group of college students headed out into the wilderness for spring break, unaware of the danger that lurks beneath the lake. Unbeknownst to the vacationers, a chemical spill has irreversibly altered the wildlife, and Zombeavers are on the prowl. As a weekend of sex, drugs, and debauchery gets under way, the beavers close in on their prey; and the bloodthirsty beasts really do take the term ‘killer weekend’ to the next level.
© 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
To be in with a chance of winning, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org including your FULL NAME AND POSTAL ADDRESS. We’ll take care of the rest.