[Review] ‘Aftermath’ Is Bleak, But Also Lacking

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 16:27

It always seems like there’s a possibility of World War 3. Even today, while the Cold War has long passed, there’s seems to be a constant feeling that someone in Russia or the US will end up pushing that red button, launching a nuclear holocaust. Obviously, the whole thing makes for potentially great sci-fi and horror films capitalizing on the “What if?” scenario. Newcomer director Peter Engert is the latest to try and weave a tale of survivors struggling in a post-nuclear wasteland. Rather than taking certain liberties, such as the lack of effects from that darn radiation sickness in other post-nuclear films, Engert attempts to present the things in a more realistic fashion. Question is, does it work?

In rural Texas, the Big One has dropped as the United States is in the midst of World War 3. A young doctor named Hunter (C.J. Thomason) through chance meets up with a group of other survivors in a farmhouse cellar. Battling claustrophobia and their interpersonal conflicts, the group of nine must also deal with growing hunger, radiation sickness and a roving gang of dying refugees eager to steal supplies.

As I said, unlike some futuristic films that portray humanity’s struggle against a common foe without worrying about the logical problems inherent with nuclear warfare, Engert has chosen to give the film a very bleak and not-so-rosy outlook. Communications are toast due to the EMP burst from the dropped bomb, the soil is radioactive and the air is practically poison, survivors are soaking up radiation and slowly dying from the fallout, and the emergency broadcasts from the vice-president (!!) are hollow and generic. It’s pretty damn depressing. However, it’s also not out of the realm of reality if a nuke was dropped. Throwing in instances of roving bands of people pettily fighting with other survivors for supplies just adds to the bleakness, knowing that it’s all in vain. It’s an interesting change of pace from what you’d normally expect that’s reluctantly welcome.

Of course, it would all be for nothing if the cast wasn’t up to the job. C.J. Thomason does well as the heroic doctor Hunter. He does much of the exposition, explaining the effects nuclear fallout, while also doing the “doctor thing”, patching people up, gathering supplies and so on. Monica Keena also does well as nurse Elizabeth, doing her job to the best of her abilities for as long as she can. The real star is surprisingly Edward Furlong, who I still remember as John Connor whose acting was all over the place. Not here, as Furlong plays the short-fused redneck prick Brad, who undermines and opposes Hunter’s do-gooder plans. Overall, all the players provide the needed tension and drama that’s required for a film like this.

As you’ve probably determined, this is not a film with a happy outcome. That’s understandable, but unfortunately Engert doesn’t do much more with the film. Much of what Engert does do has been done before in other post-apocalyptic films, including a raid by outsiders on our protagonists’ shelter. Of course, outsiders consist of irradiated folks that bring to mind the rage zombies from 28 Days Later, only crispier. Sure, it does have that exploration of what people would do in a situation such as this, but there’s nothing more to it. There’s a cry for more backstory for the characters, but ultimately that never comes. Instead, the film starts becoming flat by the midway point.

Aftermath strives to be different from what you’d normally get with a post-nuclear film. And while the bleakness and pessimistic outlook does change things up, it doesn’t deviate from the formula we’ve all seen before. Adding in the lack of backstory exploration needed to keep things going, the film comes across as more depressive than it needs to be. While a dose of theoretical reality is nice, you’d still want to be entertained for 92 minutes. Aftermath offers up some good points, but still misses a few things to make it truly worthwhile.


Shot on the RED camera, Aftermath is presented in AVC-encoded 1080p 1.78:1 widescreen. Being shot digitally, the transfer sports solid black levels and great detail, both in light and in shadow. Since the film’s been colour-corrected to help appear harsh and bleak, the palette is appropriately desaturated. Overall, a great-looking transfer.

Audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The initial nuclear blast has the appropriate window-rattling oomph in the bass, which is always fun. Much of the dialogue is presented in hushed speech, which makes arguments and the sounds of violence louder than they normally would be. It’s a neat effect, and makes the final act intense to the point of it being almost unbearable. Regardless of the loudness, dialogue comes across clear and free of distortion.

Categories: Horror News

Death Waltz’s Second “Originals” Now Up For Pre-Order

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 15:00

Death Waltz has released the second title in its “Originals” series, this time unveiling The Equestrian Vortex, which is composed by Andrew Liles. The title is now available for pre-order through Death Waltz (Europe) and Light In The Attic (N. America).

Death Waltz Recording Company in association with director Peter Strickland and audio historian Andrew Liles are proud to present the world premiere release of a true classic of Italian cinema: the 1977 giallo THE EQUESTRIAN VORTEX. A tale of a coven of witches presiding under a riding academy, the film has been hailed by both critics and detractors as one of the most disturbing pictures ever made, with much of the credit going to the film’s soundtrack. Supervised by director Giancarlo Santini and created by sound engineer Gilderoy, THE EQUESTRIAN VORTEX is less a score and more a journey into the unconscious, where ghosts swirl with ethereal drones as screams echo into the night. Adding to this is the conspiratorial dialogue from actresses Silvia, Claudia, and Elisa, reading bizarre incantations that unleash the full horror of what lies beneath. We dare you to come out unscathed from the bloodcurdling terror that is THE EQUESTRIAN VORTEX.

Categories: Horror News

[Preview] “Colder: The Bad Seed” #1

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 14:59

A few months ago before SDCC we were the outlet for the exclusive reveal of “Colder: The Bad Seed.” And now as we approach the release of the first issue, Dark Horse Comics have shared a preview. Honestly, Dark Horse has been the go-to company for horror in the past few years, but Colder has been the absolute standout of an incredible collection of releases. Paul Tobin is able to capture the insanity of mental illness with relative ease, and crafts a chilling story unlike any other. Be sure to check out this preview and let your LCS know you want this book.

COLDER: THE BAD SEED #1 | Paul Tobin | Juan Ferreyra

Life goes on for Declan Thomas after his deadly encounter with the psychotic Nimble Jack, but Declan’s strange powers continue to develop, offering him a profound connection with the nature of insanity. Little does he know that the malevolent Swivel wishes to pick up where Nimble Jack left off!

* The sequel to the critically acclaimed series!

* Written by Eisner Award winner Paul Tobin (Bandette, The Witcher)!

* Don’t miss Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra on Prometheus: Fire and Stone!

“Juan Ferreyra is a god amongst men who draws our darkest fears and uses his sorcery to haunt the dreams of the sane.”—IGN

COLDER: THE BAD SEED #1 is on sale October 22nd. FOC is next Monday September 29th so be sure to preorder!

Categories: Horror News

What’s Your Biggest Fear? ‘Run Like Hell’ (Exclusive)

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 14:50

Gravitas Ventures’ action/horror indie Run Like Hell will be available on VOD beginning September 23rd, 2014. Before they start their dash to terror, we’ve asked the cast and crew what they biggest fears were. Check out their answers below, and then share your own worst fears!

Produced by Two Guys and a Film (TGAAF), Run Like Hell builds out of a deceptively innocent road trip with two couples into a genre bending adrenaline rush of action filled horror. It’s said to have clever nods to past genre masters like Carpenter.

Run Like Hell is the narrative feature directorial debut of TGAAF principle James Thomas (Hard Sun, Broken Home) and the second feature filmed back to back under their shingle.

In it, “Four friends Dan, Samantha, Maggie and Luke, venture on their first road trip. Every year Samantha and Maggie (sisters), fly home to spend the Fourth of July with their parents, but this year Dan mapped out the PERFECT road trip. Along the way their car is stolen. With no car, no cellular service, and no one in sight, they are forced to seek the help small town locals of Harold and Nancy Johnson. The town’s real motives become obvious as the couples find themselves fighting to stay alive. When there’s nowhere to hide, all they can do is run like hell.

The cast is led by a number of up and coming indie actors including Dave Finn (Happy Anniversary, Teen Vampire Angst), TGAAF principle Canyon Prince (Hard Sun, Zoolander), Robyn Buck Hard Sun, Prey For the Island), Tamara Carey (18 Year Old Virgin, Hard Sun), Aaron Rice (Redeeming Dave, The Cult) with J Michael Briggs (Army of Darkness, Hard Sun), and Jessica Cameron (Truth or Dare, Paranormal).

Categories: Horror News

Drafthouse Falls In Love With ‘Spring’!

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 14:46

From Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who directed the incredible indie Resolution, and also kicked ass on our upcoming V/H/S Viral, also saw the premiere of their Spring at the Fantastic Fest film festival this past weekend.

It was announced today that Drafthouse Films acquired the coming-of-age horror drama out of the festival and will release in limited theaters and on VOD in 2015.

Evil Dead fav Lou Taylor Pucci stars in this eerie and skin-crawling love story that I guarantee you’re going to fall in love with.

Pucci plays a young man in a personal tailspin who flees the US to Italy, where he sparks up a romance with a girl (Nadia Hilker) harboring a dark, primordial secret in this edgy, romantic drama with a supernatural twist.

Categories: Horror News

‘Goodnight’ Doppelgänger ‘Mommy’ (Trailer)

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 14:39

Radius-TWC recently acquired Goodnight Mommy, a horror thriller that premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Today, Bloody reader Fabien M. shared the trailer, which shows an awfully creepy doppelgänger mommy. This movie looks scary as fuck!

Austrian directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala helmed the movie, which “takes place in an isolated home and centers on a pair of twins whose mother returns home from the hospital. But with a bandaged up face and off-liter behavior, the twins begin to think that perhaps this isn’t their mother after all.

Real-life twins Elias Schwarz and Lukas Schwarz star as does Susanne Wuest.

Categories: Horror News

[TV] Full “The Walking Dead” Trailer An All-Out War!

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 14:33

It’s not over until they’re all dead.

it looks like an all-out war in the new full trailer for “The Walking Dead”, which premieres on Sunday, October 12 at 9:00pm ET/PT.

It stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chad Coleman, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira and Sonequa Martin-Green.

Season Four of “The Walking Dead” ended with Rick and the group outgunned, outnumbered, and trapped in a train car awaiting a grim fate. Season Five picks up shortly thereafter. What follows is a story that weaves the true motives of the people of Terminus with the hopeful prospect of a cure in Washington, D.C., the fate of the group’s lost comrades, as well as new locales, new conflicts, and new obstacles in keeping the group together and staying alive.

Stories will break apart and intersect. The characters will find love and hate. Peace and conflict. Contentment and terror. And, in the quest to find a permanent, safe place to call home, one question will haunt them… After all they’ve seen, all they’ve done, all they’ve sacrificed, lost, and held on to no matter what the cost…Who do they become?

Categories: Horror News

BD Playlist: Adam Vol. 3

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 14:00

If I’m learning anything here, it’s that Adam is probably the suavest and classiest of the Bloody-Disgusting writers. I mean, have you been keeping an eye on his BD Playlist selections? The guy knows how to listen to music that gently cradles and lovingly caresses the ears.

But don’t take my word for it. Venture forward to see what he recommends you check out this week and make your own opinion!

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular

Categories: Horror News

Nothing More Release “Mr. MTV” Music Video

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 13:36

Alt-rock band Nothing More have released an official video for “Mr. MTV”, which comes from their recently released self-titled album. The video shows the band performing in a studio while subliminal messages keep flashing forth.

I’m convinced that these guys are going to blow up. They write incredibly catchy songs without sacrificing technicality. If you haven’t given them a chance, now is as good a time as any other!

Categories: Horror News

[TV Review] “The Strain” Episode 1.11, ‘The Third Rail’

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 13:04

“The Third Rail” is supposed to be the rousing pseudo finale of The Strain but it yet again proved to be an uneven hour, with varied degrees of focus. I just can’t fathom how these episodes were written, as this week the central conflict finally develops while a woman while Alzheimer’s takes up far more time than she needs to, looking for her ash tray.

Let me get this out of the way. I understand her attachment to the object. I understand why she’s hysteric, and I get why she’s part of the show. It’s about holding on, it’s about protecting the one’s closest to us, but why in the name of god do you leave the child and the old lady to hold down the fort? As illogical as that may be, it’s really the child actor playing Zack that bothers me to no end. See, the script has him acting like a mini adult where it’s required and a complete imbecile in other scenes.

Yet, despite all my dialogue problems with this little adult, his story held my favorite moment of the week when he and Gus cross paths. It shows that this world will eventually have our heroes converge on one another and when they do it’ll be glorious. But, until then we have to deal with small moments like this.

Speaking of Gus, he’s becoming a fearsome force for the fight back against the master. It’s clear that he now understands the world has fall to ruin after killing his brother and his mother nothing is sacred, and he was already violent by nature. So his story is really going to be something to watch.

Finally this week we were given some moments of true terror with our group descending into the subway tunnels. There was a real sense of fear when they had to cross over the hordes of sleeping vampires and real tension between the group. And, how awesome was that vamp hitting the third rail and smoking to a crisp? It’s imagery like that, which keeps me coming back week after week.

What keeps me thinking about giving up on this show are moments like Eph’s blind determination to find Kelly amidst these hordes of deadly creatures. On the one hand I get it, this is his wife, but she was completely estranged and very distant. Their relationship wasn’t the strongest and while he may find the compelling need to release her from the virus, the time has come to move on.

Abraham handles everything like a champ, as is assumed with how badass he’s been over the past few weeks. Yet, we get a peak into his defining flaw, his raw determination to defeat the master compels him to make mistakes. He’s far to dedicated to revenge, but how fucking awesome was it when he smashed The Master’s coffin to nothing. He was finally able to make amends with his crucial mistake from years ago. It’s damning how much that actually haunted him because you don’t see it on his face until that very moment.

While Vasily seems to be the only one who can remain objective in this scenario and is reprimanded for it. It’s almost as if they don’t like that he doesn’t care, but it’s his biggest asset. This is a man who killed vermin for a living and now his world is overrun. Let the man go wild, he’s sure to get the job done better than anyone.

With two more weeks to go, The Strain is showing signs of age. This weeks episode felt padded yet again, but was a significant improvement over last week. The large cast forces episodes to narrow their focus but doesn’t always bode well. While, the A story hit new heights of horror for the series, the B story faltered completely with Zack, and Gus’ story was long overdue. We’ve still got a lot of road left to cover and hopefully these last two episodes will help the series stick the landing on an otherwise bumpy season.

Stray Thoughts:

- Really don’t dig the look of The Master he comes off impossibly cheap.
- I understand Zack’s dedication to his phone, but getting two strangers killed for it was a little much.
- We need more brief scenes like the one between Zack and Gus, showing how the world is getting smaller every day.
- Two weeks no Eichorst, send help.

What did you think of “The Third Rail?”

Categories: Horror News

First Look: Mezco Toyz ‘Annabelle’ and ‘The Conjuring’ Merch

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 12:55

Horror fans first entered the world of the paranormal investigation team the Warrens in 2013 with The Conjuring. Terrified theatergoers couldn’t get enough of the twisted tale, helping it become one of the highest grossing horror films of all times according to Forbes magazine.

Annabelle, the doll so evil even the Warrens were afraid of her, now returns to the big screen in Annabelle, a film dedicated to her terrifying origin. First introduced in The Conjuring, the upcoming Annabelle tells a tail filled with malevolent entities and killer cultists.

Mezco Toyz is no stranger to the world of the bizarre, the shapeless form in the shadows, and the whisper in the dark…so clearly there is no better choice for a producer of The Conjuring and Annabelle merchandise.

Mezco’s award winning design team has already begun creating an Annabelle version of their world record holding Living Dead Dolls, and has many more scares tucked away for the future.

Mezco’s unholy collectibles of the damned will arrive in stores in late 2014. Annabelle arrives in theatres in October 2014.

Categories: Horror News

[Podcast] Whatever – September 22nd, 2014 – “The Last of Us Maze Runners”

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 12:21

This week, Don and Justin talk The Maze Runner and the Tokyo Game Show (“Resident Evil: Revelations” and REmake, in particular), how well “Destiny” holds up two weeks later, and Don’s late the the party (as usual) to “The Last of Us: Remastered.” What other surprises lie in wait? Stay tuned and find out!

As always, you can find us on iTunesSoundCloud, or YouTube.

Leave a comment below, head to our Facebook page, or hit us up on Twitter, and let us know your thoughts!

Categories: Horror News

[TV] Meet the “American Horror Story” Freak Show Cast!

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 12:19

Meet the freaks of FX’s upcoming “American Horror Story: Freak Show” in these character portraits!

It begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952.

A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.

Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, and Evan Peters return from previous seasons. New cast members includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Matt Bomer, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.

FX is set to debut the fourth season on October 8th at 10:00 PM on FX.

Categories: Horror News

Poster Becomes ‘Uncaged’

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 12:10

We now have the first teaser art for Uncaged, which has first time feature director Daniel Robbins behind the wheel. The film was shot in New York and features Gene Jones (No Country For Old Men, The Sacrament).

In the film, “After several nights of waking up in the woods, a troubled teen straps a camera to himself to document how he’s getting there, only to find some things are better left a mystery…” Similar to Sinister, the film is said to marry found-footage with a more traditional shooting style.

Producer Raphael Margules on the project, “One of the great things about Contracted’s success was it gave us the opportunity to help out talented friends we wanted to see making movies. Daniel Robbins may not be a household name in the genre right now, but we think this film should showcase a new and exciting voice to the public.

We also learned that they have contracted Brooke & Will Blair (aka the Blair Brothers) to compose the score for Uncaged. Their previous films include Blue Ruin and Murder Party.

Categories: Horror News

This ‘Beaster Day:’ Artwork Is Both Ridiculous and Awesome!

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 12:06

And you thought the Easter Bunny in Bogus Journey was freaky…

Check out this ridiculous and awesome art for the horror comedy Beaster Day: Here Comes PeterCottonHell.

From Uncork’d Entertainment, we also have the trailer for the crowd-sourced splatterfest that arrives this fall on home video.

The film is written and directed by The Snygg Brothers (Zachary & Spencer), and stars Peter Sullivan, Marisol Custodio, John Fedele, Jon Arthur, Bill Joachim, Darian Caine, AJ Khan, Kerri Taylor, Jackie Stevens, Autumn Bodell, and Violetta Storms.

Hide your eggs!! Deep in the woods, there stalks a giant killer mutant Easter Bunny. Unsatisfied with nibbling on grass, he craves, chews lives on human flesh. Rock climbers, hitchhikers, and NUDISTS alike all end up in his jaws as he devours everyone in his way. One by one the townsfolk are consumed by the evil hare, but he still remains a mystery to most of the habitants.

Knowing that a flesh eating giant rabbit might affect tourism a bit and the upcoming Easter Day corporate sponsored parade, the corrupt mayor quietly covers up the deaths hoping to rake in as much cash as he can for the Easter Day celebrations. The mayor tells the townsfolk that there is nothing to fear from the horrific decapitations and intestine removals. The deaths are all accidental demises due to hazardous farm tool equipment.

The only people left to save the town are a crazed dog catcher and a want-to-be actress who dreams of being a poet, painter or anything other than a dog catcher. Will they win? And how many more NAKED MODELS have to DYE?!?

Categories: Horror News

‘Halloween’: I Binge-Watched the Entire Collection!

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 11:02

4 Days. 10 movies. 2 alternate cuts.

The Shape consumed my life.

I just binge-viewed the complete Halloween collection, although it’s not exactly “complete”. One of the biggest detriments to the massive set, out tomorrow through Scream Factory and Anchor Bay, is that it only contains the Director’s Cut of both Rob Zombie’s Halloween (review) and his Halloween II (review). Both versions are painfully too long, especially the remake, which I couldn’t help but fast-forward through. But that’s a small complaint about an otherwise epic set.

While some people enjoy overly complex packaging, I’m all about simplicity and what it will look like on my shelf. The packaging is nice and clean, displaying all of the titles in individual cases so you can easily grab the film you want to watch. The black Blu-ray cases are a beautiful touch, and give it a unique and distinctive feel. It also comes with a full-color book with a brief history of Halloween and Michael Myers. While the Blu-ray and DVD menus are a bit clunky, the transfers look crazy good, although I hardly consider myself an expert in film and audio quality.

Speaking to the actual films, this isn’t a review of the box set, but a sort of play-by-play of my thought process while binge viewing all ten films in a row, 12 if you count the Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and the television version of John Carpenter’s Halloween.

This was a special experience for me – being someone who rarely revisits films, and previously had a hard time deciphering the order in which I rank the ten films. There’s a lot of positive to binging, especially because the movies are all paired, except for Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the only sans Michael Myers films in the franchise (and also one of the best sequels). The first two, directed by John Carpenter and Rick Rosenthal, respectively, play back to back.

Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and The Curse of Michael Myers all connect together as a trilogy to tell the (much-hated) tale of the curse/cult of the Thorn. The seventh film, Halloween H20, was an anniversary film of sorts, that rekindled the franchise with star Jamie Lee Curtis. H20 is connected to Halloween: Resurrection, mostly because of the opening sequence where Laurie Strode finally dies (and both feel hilariously of that time period).

Lastly, you have the paired Rob Zombie re-imaginings that were to start the franchise free of the Thorn abomination. Still, after binging, I was able to conclude that the mythology behind Zombie’s Michael Myers is way worse than cult of Thorn. More on that later. In short, watching them in a row is a great way to pick up on the small things you may have otherwise missed, especially in the bloated and complex Thorn trilogy.

What I found most interesting while revisiting John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween is recognizing the true power of the score and accompanying stinger. I often wonder how powerful the movie would have been without this simple, yet impactful touch? It’s sort of incredible how perfectly the stars aligned for this little indie; from the score to the title, the Shape mask, and cast, it’s actually the perfect horror movie, which is probably why it’s still so extraordinarily popular (not that you needed me to tell you that.)

It’s also interesting that, considering how awesome the Shape mask is, that nearly no sequel was able to duplicate its simplistic terror. My favorite thing to do when I watch a classic is put my mind in the time period that it was released. Remembering that Halloween was a true indie production, with no plans for a sequel, makes it that much better. And in regards to the backstory, the lack of motivation for Michael’s killing spree makes it all the more terrifying; Halloween is basically a movie about an unrelenting psychopath murdering babysitters for no other reason than he’s a nut job. Objectified as “the boogeyman,” it’s also frightening that Michael can’t be reasoned with. Loomis’ passionate fear of Michael elevates Michael’s true onscreen power. The more Loomis describes Michael as a “monster,” the scarier he becomes to the audience.

I also noticed for the first time that Carpenter’s blocking is out of this world. Some incredible moments of note are: The shot of Michael in the background sitting up; the various moody atmospheric crane shot of the streets of Haddonfield (actually Pasadena, CA); the shot of Michael pinning a kid to a wall with his blade, and then looking at him like an intrigued child might stare at something brand new. There is just so much ferocity and power to Halloween that, after this viewing, I may be convinced that it’s the best horror movie ever made.

The television version of the first film, which boasts another 10 minutes of footage, was shot prior to the filming of Halloween II, and contains various scenes in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium with Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) and a young Michael Myers. There’s a lot of mythology dumps in these scenes, including the tease that Michael wants his “sister”, as painted with blood on a door. In retrospect it’s fun to watch, but it’s also a bit on the nose and cheesy; thank god this wasn’t actually in the original Halloween.

With Carpenter’s 1981 Halloween II, the coolest aspect is that it begins immediately after the events of the first, while it also adds the heavy mythology of Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) actually being Michael’s sister.

With the sequel, Rick Rosenthal displays some of my favorite camerawork in the entire franchise, especially of the shot of Michael appearing out of shadows for a kill. And as much as I love the film, there’s a lot of weird stuff, such as Donald Pleasence’s extreme over-reacting, and the town’s mishandling of the whole Michael Myers situation (in one scene, a kid wearing the same mask as Michael gets hit by an incompetent police officer. The car smashes into a van, explodes, and kills the kid. They realize it isn’t him and run off to pursue Michael, leaving the kid pinned to the van and burning alive). One of my biggest issues is the finite finale that was meant to end the franchise. Even worse is the (awful) extended ending, which was smartly removed. In my mind I always loved Halloween II, but after a week of binging it has slid down my list quite a bit. For what? How about Season of the Witch

It’s nothing short of amazing how many horror fans hate the 1982 Season of the Witch. They’re wrong. Dead wrong. It gets such a bad rap, but it’s easily one of the best in the entire franchise, if not the second behind Carpenter’s original. From the catchy Silver Shamrock theme song to the wonderfully designed sets, props and Halloween consumes/masks, Witch wonderfully captures the essence of early 80′s horror. Even without Michael Myers slicing and dicing, you can tell a lot of work went into creating an interesting story that could deliver on its Halloween premise, potentially setting up a franchise in the spirit of “The Twilight Zone”. Frankly, I think the anthology concept would have been a better direction that the upcoming Thorn arc, but clearly fans demanded the return of Michael (I can only imagine what it was like to have caught the movie in theaters and expected to see Michael back on the big screen). A return is what they would get.

I think it’s safe to say most Halloween fans hate the Cult of Thorn subplot, but I’ve now learned to love it. Maybe it’s because I already know it’s beyond stupid, or maybe it’s because I just don’t care anymore, but whatever the case may be, I sort of dig it now. I think what I really like is the filmmakers’ commitment to the over-explanation of Michael’s motive, which begins in the 1988 The Return of Michael Myers. From the Cult constellation symbol to the “Man In Black,” The Return of Michael Myers and Revenge of Michael Myers both technically know where the franchise is headed. I commend their commitment, even if it dampers and weakens the motivation behind the Myers murder spree. If you watch these three, and then go back to the first knowing he’s just a puppet, well, that sucks. As stand alone trilogy, there’s a lot to like.

Danielle Harris is really one of the main reasons Return and Revenge are good movies, and it’s really a shame she wasn’t in Curse, which Akkad admits was a mistake (in a short extra features interview). One of the biggest issues is that, if you weren’t to watch these three back-to-back-to-back, Curse is massively confusing. By the sixth film, there are so many family connections to Michael that it begins to play out like a Benny Hill act. It is fun, however, to put your mind at the time of release, and understand that fans were extraordinarily pissed off that Michael wasn’t in Season of the Witch. You get to understand why the films are taken in the direction that they are; even the trailer is fun to watch as it boasts Michael’s legendary return.

Something I really dug about the 1989 Revenge of Michael Myers was that it was surprisingly well directed (by Dominique Othenin-Girard), even if the pacing was absolute shit. The party sequence feels like an eternity and it takes forever for the finale to get going. And speaking of the finale, I absolutely love how Return, Revenge and Curse are so perfectly strung together; whether it’s true or not, it really does feel as if the filmmakers knew exactly what the end game was from the beginning of Return.

The biggest selling point of this box set, however, is the Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. As to really be able to pick which I prefer, I watched both Curse and its Producer’s Cut back-to-back. In the end, I choose both; I wish the Producer’s Cut had extreme gore from the theatrical version (edit*), while I prefer the conclusion of the Producer’s cut (Michael standing in a circle of rocks). The endings of both are extremely flaccid, although the Producer’s Cut is more fulfilling, even if Michael Myers just stands there in a circle of rocks like an idiot (see accompanying pic). It was also interesting to see Loomis handed the curse, which could have been the beginning of an entirely new journey had he not passed away. The biggest issue with both versions is that Michael stops becoming the central character in the franchise, which now becomes about a bunch of old people wearing stupid hoods. Accepting that these sequels exist, and having moved past my hatred for the over-elongated backstory, I sort of enjoy them now.

After staying dead for nearly a decade, Michael Myers returned in Halloween H20, along with her sister, Laurie Strode (and franchise star Jamie Lee Curtis). I still love H20, even though it takes more than an hour to get going. From the score (Bush!) to the bland, bright cinematography, it’s such a product of the 90′s. The best thing about this sequel is when Laurie finally stops fearing Michael and in turn hunts him down. Revisiting all of these years later, I now feel as if the cat and mouse game doesn’t hold up, and that it needed a stronger third act. Also, one of the more bizarre decisions made with H20 was to have the entire school on holiday, which gives the film a stage-y/empty vibe. It’s not until the ambulances and police show up that it starts to have the feel of believability, only by then it’s basically over.

Watching this I had a flashback of rage. I remember seeing H20 in a theater and getting super pissed off. When Michael gets decapitated, the audience chattered, “He’s finally dead!” It was even more infuriating when Halloween: Resurrection opened with a ridiculous explanation pandering to faux fans as to how Michael “placed” another person into his infamous jumpsuit, crushed his vocal cords, and escaped. The one saving grace is that Michael has done “clever” rouses like the aforementioned on more than one occasion in the previous sequels. I guess it’s not so far-fetched, as much as it was irritating that the audience didn’t really understand the character they had just watched – probably for the first time ever.

Halloween: Resurrection is surprisingly one of the more violent sequels (until Rob Zombie comes along), and is also extremely well shot. The opening riffs on Scream, killing off Laurie Strode once and for all, and setting the stage for a techno-slasher way ahead of its time.

Resurrection, much like H20, is grossly a product of its time. It’s also bizarrely smart, tapping into found-footage and internet tropes. I love what they do with the multiple Michael Myers’, and remote viewing of the events taking place in the house. Both are used pretty well to fool the audience, and at times create some suspense. But the problem isn’t the concept, it’s in the execution and stunt casting. The entire film falls apart on the shoulders of Tyra Banks and the insufferable Busta Rhymes (the worst character since Billy). He’s constant (“Trick or treat mother fucker“). He’s nonstop. He’s obnoxious (“Looking a little crispy over there Mikey, like some chicken fried mother fucker.“). And worst of all, he’s not funny. Busta Rhymes’ performance will go down in history as one of the worst ever in a horror film. I could feel the franchise dying with each and every line of improved dialogue spewed from his moronic breathe.

And maybe that’s what happened. Maybe the franchise was dead, at least for a while. If you can get past Busta, the saddest thing about Resurrection is that it leaves a sequel door open, one that would never be returned to. John Carpenter’s entire franchise has no real conclusion (unless of course you want to pretend his 1981 Halloween II was the true finale), and ends with a Busta Rhymes monologue that’s the equivalent to having someone pin you down and shit all over your face.

Busta Rhymes is the end of the Halloween saga. Think about that for a second…

I couldn’t stop obsessing about the Cult of Thorn arc while I watch watching Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. The biggest issue with the Thorn trilogy is that it ruins/destroys any fear the audience once had for Myers. The “blackest of eyes” – this soulless killer – is actually a dog on a leash, and that sucks. It’s essentially the same mistake Zombie makes by trying to add a deep-seeded meaning behind Michael’s madness.

Michael’s not just a psychopath – as Loomis keeps screaming through two Rob Zombie films – he’s a murderer molded by the abuse and neglect of his family. Michael was created by nurture, not nature – his dad’s a deadbeat, his mom’s too busy stripping to take him trick-or-treating, much like his older sister would rather fuck (a super ugly dude) than hang out with him. “Love Hurts” blasts across the screen because, well, Michael is a sad, sad boy. Cry me a fuckin’ river, I said in my review. Humanizing Michael is the biggest mistake ever made in the franchise. Even worse than the Cult of Thorn. What’s even more interesting is how Zombie works feverishly to give you a reason for Michael’s madness, even though the movie literally opens with him killing an animal. Him being evil – or “born bad” so to speak – is plenty (it was enough for Carpenter) reason for someone to become a mass murderer.

After seeing Rob Zombie’s reboot twice during its theatrical run, I swore I would never watch it again – but this wouldn’t be an epic binge-viewing party if I didn’t revisit this shit-fest as well. It was so tedious that I had to fast forward through some of the second act because I was losing my mind. I have reassured myself that I hate this movie as I nearly pulled the Blu-ray out of my Xbox drive just to crack it in half to avoid further temptation. The saddest thing about this muddled mess is that Michael Myers looks fuckin’ awesome, and I loved the concept of him making various masks, but ultimately it’s not fun to watch. In fact, it’s agonizing.

This is where I shake an old-man angry fist at Anchor Bay and Scream Factory, who have NOT released the complete collection. What’s missing are the theatrical cuts of both Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. These versions are shorter and way better, in my opinion. I prefer the theatrical ending of the remake to what’s on this bloated director’s cut mess. The same applied for Zombie’s Halloween II, which runs about 30 minutes too long.

Thankfully – and I know this will shock a lot of you – I love H2. I mean, I really, really, really fuckin’ love it. It’s madness caught on film. It’s pure insanity that felt like Rob Zombie’s “fuck you” to everyone who ever stood in his way. The Halloween franchise is bizarrely not as bloody as I recall – that is until Zombie gets his hands on it. H2 is an earthquake of terror and gore, and is completely unapologetic. It’s clear that Zombie, as much as he denies it, listened to critics. And while the final product is by no means a perfect movie, it’s one that (so far) stands the test of time.

The above is how I felt after watching 12 Halloween movies in 4 days, although it was nothing short of horror nirvana. With the films looking so fucking good on my TV, the experience had a rare “first time viewing” vibe. After all of these years, it was exciting to revisit some sequels I had thought I would have never watched again, and it took me back to a place in my youth where I would have waited in line for days to catch a new Halloween film – even if it were to star Busta Rhymes.

What Anchor Bay and Scream Factory have pulled off is a horror miracle, an experience that may very well be the last. Halloween 2014 should be known for the release of this epic Halloween collection, and each and every one of you should take the time to relish in its glory in any way you know how. While physical media may be dying a slow death, the power of Michael Myers is infinite, and he will return once again.

Categories: Horror News

[TV] Maria Bello Stars In Lifetime’s “Big Driver” (Trailer)

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 11:01

Bloody Disgusting reader ‘Cory G-M’ just tipped us over to Epoch Times who shared the following first teaser trailer for “Big Driver,” the latest Stephen King adaptation that stars the absolutely awesome Maria Bello.

In Big Driver, Tess Thorne (Bello), a famous and revered mystery and thriller writer, faces a long drive home following a book-signing engagement. But while driving on a lonely stretch of New England road, her tire blows out, leaving her stranded. Relieved when another driver stops and offers assistance, Tess quickly discovers her savior is actually her assailant, a serial killer who repeatedly assaults her. Left for dead in a drainage pipe to rot with the bodies of his other victims, Tess escapes and makes her way safely home. With her fragile mind beginning to unravel, she is determined to find her rapist and seek revenge, as payback is the only thing holding her together.

Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett, Ann Dowd, and Will Harris also star.

The movie will air on October 18 at 8 p.m. EDT.

Categories: Horror News

[TV] Even More “The Walking Dead” Season 5 Beauty Shots; New TV Spot!

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 10:59

AMC shared a another TV spot and massive batch of zombie beauty shots for the fifth season of “The Walking Dead”, which premieres on Sunday, October 12 at 9:00pm ET/PT.

It stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chad Coleman, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira and Sonequa Martin-Green.

Season Four of “The Walking Dead” ended with Rick and the group outgunned, outnumbered, and trapped in a train car awaiting a grim fate. Season Five picks up shortly thereafter. What follows is a story that weaves the true motives of the people of Terminus with the hopeful prospect of a cure in Washington, D.C., the fate of the group’s lost comrades, as well as new locales, new conflicts, and new obstacles in keeping the group together and staying alive.

Stories will break apart and intersect. The characters will find love and hate. Peace and conflict. Contentment and terror. And, in the quest to find a permanent, safe place to call home, one question will haunt them… After all they’ve seen, all they’ve done, all they’ve sacrificed, lost, and held on to no matter what the cost…Who do they become?

It is based on the comic created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard.

Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Categories: Horror News

New ‘Exists’ Image: Bigfoot’s Bloody Leftovers

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 10:51

Bigfoot has leftovers in this bloody new still from Exists, the new found-footage movie from the co-director of The Blair Witch Project and V/H/S/2.

Exists will be discovered on various VOD platforms and limited theaters on October 24.

In Bigfoot’s bold return to the big screen, “five friends on a camping weekend in the remote woods of East Texas struggle to survive against a legendary predator that is stronger, smarter, and more terrifying than anything they would have ever believed exists.

The film stars Chris Osborn, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards, Samuel Davis, Denise Williamson and Brian Steele and is produced by Jane Fleming, Mark Ordesky, Robin Cowie and J. Andrew Jenkins.

Categories: Horror News

Fresh Look at Vin Diesel In ‘The Last Witch Hunter’!

bloody disgusting - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 10:44

Here’s a new look at Vin Diesel as 13th century Kaulder…

Diesel has shared two new looks at himself in Lionsgate/Summit’s The Last Witch Hunter, which is in production under the direction of The Crazies helmer Breck Eisner.

Diesel leads the fantasy actioner as an immortal witch hunter who teams with his natural enemy, a witch, to stop the covens of New York City from unleashing a plague on humanity. Julie Engelbrecht plays the Witch Queen.

Michael Caine, Elijah Wood, and Rose Leslie also star.

Summit will release in 2015.

“Five hundred years ago, war raged between humankind and witches, vicious supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world. Armies of witch hunters battled the unnatural enemy across the globe, including KAULDER (Vin Diesel), a valiant warrior who managed to slay an all-powerful QUEEN WITCH, decimating her followers in the process. In the moments before her death, the Queen exacted her revenge by cursing Kaulder with immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Kaulder has spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones.

Today, he is the only one of his kind–the last witch hunter. With the help of FATHER DOLAN, a Catholic priest, and a mystical arsenal hidden beneath New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he continues to pursue the renegades and outlaws who endanger humanity. Chief among their adversaries is BELIAL, a powerful rebel witch who Kaulder believes has found a way to restore the Queen Witch to power and reignite her campaign to destroy the human world.

With the help of CHLOE, a goodhearted young witch, Kaulder sets out to stop Belial before he can set his plan in motion, but allies in unexpected places keep the evil witch one step ahead in a cunning cat-and-mouse pursuit that will determine the survival of the human race.”

Categories: Horror News