[Exclusive] Top 5 Horror Movies I Wouldn't Want To Relive

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 15:00

Some horror films are great for parties because they’re perfect for commentary, mockery, jump scares, visual gags, and more. Some horror movies are meant to be watched and savored, each scene something offering something that requires attention to every microscopic detail so that a great discussion can be had afterwards. And then there are the horror films that are truly horrific, the ones that make you sit back and question what you’ve just seen.

Bassist/vocalist Christopher Cruz of New York based post-black metal band So Hideous decided that since his style of music had that kind of impact, that soul crushing darkness, that he would put together a list of his Top 5 Horror Movies I Wouldn’t Want To Relive along with some notable mentions. Having seen each of these films (and it’s a great list), I can agree that they are not for the faint of heart. If you have any amount of empathy in you, these films will have an emotional impact that can last for a long time. Head below to read the list but be warned of spoilers!

Make sure to pre-order the band’s upcoming album Last Poem First Light here. The album comes out April 29th via Prosthetic Records.

Last Poem/First Light by So Hideous

Christopher Cruz:
There are quite a few movies that resonate with me as being something I would not want to “relive.” When narrowing down this list, I thought to myself “what films are difficult for me to revisit and left me with a depressed “need to watch a comedy” feeling?” and I came up with these 5 films. Enjoy:
 
5. Kairo
Translated as “Pulse”, Kairo is without a doubt one of the creepiest films I’ve ever seen. The entire film is so eerie and everyone in the film seems like they are at the point of completely giving up. After one of their friends commits suicide, strange things begin happening to a group of young Tokyo residents. One of them sees visions of his dead friend in the shadows on the wall, while another’s computer keeps showing strange, ghostly images. Just wait for the “walking down the hallway scene”.
 
4. Seven
“WHATS IN THE BOX!?” What more is there to say?
 
3. Martyrs
I have a serious love/hate relationship with this movie. The beginning of this film has a supernatural element, which is excellent and the rest of the film is 45 minutes of a woman being beaten and tortured. The whole concept of the film is overreaching in concept (trying to contact the “other side”) but the journey there is brutality depressing as you live through this woman’s tortured last moments.

2. Jacob’s Ladder
Jacob’s ladder is not only an incredible film, but it has been the inspiration for various different franchises such as Silent Hill and Twisted Metal. The duality of reality that Jacob Singer has to go through between his happy life with his family and the hallucinations with suffering of cheating with another women and seeing horrifying images makes for a truly cerebral horror movie.

1. The Mist
A So Hideous trolling favorite. Stephen King and Frank Darabont came together to make a zombie-esque Alien invasion film, a mixture that would work for just about any horrorholic. This film was pretty standard from the beginning, supporting cast used for gore, religious bitch that creates mob mentality… However the ending of this film is what threw a wrench in the gears. David (played by Thomas Jane) is driving through the mist, eventually, they run out of gas and pull over to the side of the road, disheartened that they haven’t seen any other survivors. While David’s son is sleeping, the four adults discuss their fate, deciding that there is no point in going any further. With four bullets left in the gun and five people in the car, David shoots the three adults and his son to spare them violent death by the creatures, all to be saved by the military.
 
Honorable Mentions:
Serbian Film
Inside

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Categories: Horror News

Upcoming Anthology Will Send A Christmas Horror Story Down Your Chimney

Dread Central - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:56

Here on Dread Central we absolutely love movies that infuse a whole lot of horror into the holiday season, and though Christmas is a long ways away at the moment, it's never too early to take a peek under the tree.

Read on for details about an upcoming anthology flick that will bring blood, guts, and carnage to this year's holiday proceedings! As reported by our friends over on Bloody Disgusting, filming is currently under way in Toronto, Canada, on A Christmas Horror Story, an anthology comprised of three tales of yuletide terror.

Santa's trusty elves become flesh-hungry monsters in the first story, which centers on a mysterious disease that sweeps through the North Pole, transforming the elves into the ravenous undead. Santa and the Missus wage a desperate battle for survival.

The mythical demon Krampus comes to life in the second, with the wicked Bauer family discovering that the stories of an evil Santa Claus are all too real. And they will be punished for their dastardly deeds.

And in the third and final tale of this holiday horror anthology, a troubled cop takes his wife and young son out to pick up the perfect Christmas tree, which stands tall on land owned by the nefarious Big Earl. Daddy goes missing on Big Earl’s land, and when he turns up again, he isn’t quite himself.

A collaboration among writers Doug Taylor (Splice), Sarah Larsen ("Darknet"), James Kee ("Darknet"), and Pascal Trottier (Hellions), the film will feature segments directed by Grant Harvey (Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning), Brett Sullivan ("Orphan Black"), and Steven Hoban ("Darknet").

More as we learn it!

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Categories: Horror News

Stare Down Evil in this New Oculus Clip

Dread Central - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:49

The box office has been pretty light on horror this year, which is why we cannot wait for the arrival of Oculus, which has been doing a damn fine job of scaring audiences so far. On tap today is a brand new clip from the film, which will haunt theaters April 11th. Dig it!

Karen Gillan ("Doctor Who," Not Another Happy Ending), Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, The Giver), Rory Cochrane (Argo, Parkland), and Katee Sackhoff ("Battlestar Galactica," Riddick) star.

Oculus is directed by Mike Flanagan from a script he co-wrote with Jeff Howard, based on a short film Flanagan and Jeff Seidman made in 2005. Trevor Macy (Safe House, The Strangers, The Raven) and Marc D. Evans (Safe House, The Strangers, The Raven) produced the film, and Jason Blum, Ryan Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, Anil Kurian, D. Scott Lumpkin, Peter Schlessel, Dale Johnson, Glenn Murray, Julie May, and Mike Ilitch, Jr., serve as executive producers.

Synopsis
Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force­­ unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to prove Tim’s innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again…

For the latest news and updates, be sure to "like" Oculus on Facebook and follow @blumhouse on Twitter.

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Categories: Horror News

More Actor Flesh Munched on in iZombie

Dread Central - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:44

Ya gotta be careful with actor flesh. One wrong bite, and you're chewing on something silicone-based and that shit is nasty. That's why it's always best to get fresh meat on your menu which is untainted by Hollywood glam.

Variety is reporting that U.K. up-and-comer Rahul Kohli (pictured) has been set as the final series regular role in the Rob Thomas/Diane Ruggiero CW pilot “iZombie.”

Kohli will play an enthusiastic nerd who befriends the lead character in the show based on the DC Comics/Vertigo property about a medical student-turned-zombie. He'll star alongside David Anders, Rose McIver, Robert Buckley, Alexandra Krosney, and Malcolm Goodwin.

"iZombie" is a supernatural crime procedural that centers on Liv (McIver), a med student-turned-zombie who takes a job in the coroner’s office to gain access to the brains she must reluctantly eat to maintain her humanity, but with each brain she consumes, she inherits the corpse’s memories. With the help of her medical examiner boss and a police detective (Goodwin), she solves homicide cases in order to quiet the disturbing voices in her head.

Related Story: The Vampire Diaries' David Anders and More File into "iZombie"

Goodwin’s Clive is a detective who recently received a promotion from Vice to Homicide but has been floundering for his first two months and is in desperate need of making a case. Though dubious at first about Liv’s “psychic” powers, she demonstrates too much accuracy for him not to take her seriously.

Buckley's Major is Liv's former fiancé, who is trying to transition back to being her friend despite still being in love with her. He's a former college football player-turned-environmental engineer who is extremely likable.

Krosney plays Peyton, Liv’s best friend and roommate who is baffled by Liv’s recent behavior and feels like they’re drifting apart. Anders plays the show’s bad guy, Blaine, an entitled rich kid who bites off more than he can chew in the drug business.

We should have more soon so stay tuned!

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Categories: Horror News

New Quiet Ones TV Spot Believes in Ghosts

Dread Central - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:30

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I'm a sucker for a good ghost story, and that looks like exactly what we're gonna get once Hammer's The Quiet Ones comes haunting a theatre near you. Check out this latest TV spot!

The Quiet Ones is written and directed by John Pogue (Quarantine 2) and stars Jared Harris ("Mad Men," The Ward), Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Erin Richards ("Breaking In," "Being Human"), Olivia Cooke ("The Secret of Crickley Hall," "The Fuse"), and West End theatre actor Rory Fleck-Byrne.

It's produced by James Gay-Rees (Senna, Exit Through the Gift Shop), Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust, and Simon Oakes along with Steven Chester Prince and Ben Holden in association with The Traveling Picture Show Company (TPSC).

Look for The Quiet Ones in UK theatres on April 10 and US theatres on April 25, 2014, from Lionsgate.

Synopsis:
The Quiet Ones (inspired by true events) tells the story of an unorthodox professor who uses controversial methods and leads his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: to create a poltergeist. Based on the theory that paranormal activity is caused by human negative energy, the rogue scientists perform a series of tests on a young patient, pushing her to the edge of sanity. As frightening occurrences begin to take place with shocking and gruesome consequences, the group quickly realizes they have triggered a force more terrifying than they ever could have imagined.

For more info be sure to "like" The Quiet Ones on Facebook.







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Categories: Horror News

Trailer Begins Broadcasting for The Signal

Dread Central - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:19

Yesterday we brought you cats some new viral goodies for The Signal, a sci-fi thriller about three college students who take a dark road-trip detour. Today we have the trailer. The Signal will hit theaters on June 13 with Focus Features expanding the release on June 20 and again on June 27.

William Eubank directs The Signal from a script he wrote with Carlyle Eubank and David Frigerio. "Bates Motel’s" Olivia Cooke and "Hannibal’s" Laurence Fishburne star in the flick about group of college students who are lured to the middle of the desert by a hacker.

Brenton Thwaites and Beau Knapp co-star.

Synopsis
Three college students disappear under mysterious circumstances while tracking a computer hacker through the Southwest.




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Categories: Horror News

Maggie Q Joins Kevin Williamson's Pilot for CBS

Dread Central - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:47

The female lead in Kevin Williamson's still untitled pilot for CBS has been found, and it's the always kick-ass Maggie Q, best known for her title role in "Nikita."

Per Deadline, Q (Priest, Divergent) will play Detective Beth Davis, the opinionated and obsessive, workaholic Division Captain of LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit, who also narrates the story.

She joins the previously announced Dylan McDermott and Mariana Klaveno in the CBS/Warner Bros. TV project written by Williamson (Scream, "The Vampire Diaries," "The Following") and directed by Liz Friedlander ("The Secret Circle," "The Following").

The psychological thriller revolves around two detectives, Beth and Jack (McDermott), who handle stalking incidents for the Threat Assessment Unit of the LAPD. McDermott’s Jack Larsen is a recent transfer from New York. His healthy confidence and quick thinking have gotten him into trouble in the past — a past he hopes to leave behind.

Klaveno's Janice is underestimated in her unit because of her somewhat flashy appearance.

Look for more as it comes.

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Categories: Horror News

Review: “The White Suits” # 2

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:40

Lethal and visceral “The White Suits” feels like a whisky soaked love letter to violent international crime movies. The pages flow with a certain strangeness that Toby Cypress seems to revel in. His style is all over the book. The use of loose paneling and fast scratchy coloring compliments Frank Barbiere’s fever dream of a narrative. It all comes together to create an engaging momentum that still doesn’t concern itself with making too much sense.


WRITTEN BY: Frank J Barbiere
ART BY: Toby Cypress
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: February 19th, 2014

Prizrak has clearly seen some shit. The White Suits have torn through his psyche, and surely he was once one of them. What our plucky FBI Agent, Sarah, hopes to get from him is anyone’s guess. Yet, the two push forward to take on the unstoppable force that is The White Suits.

The disjointed narrative and art style lend to the Prizrak’s plight. If that seems like a negative, it’s totally not. This is a book that seems to plunge itself into the depths of a broken man against insurmountable odds, who fears what he may have been. The mythical White Suits cut through the pages just like they do their enemies.

Cypress is a little more subdued than the debut issue. It helps to convey some forward momentum that the story needs. Outside of the action his wild style can rest on his fantastic character designs and helps the script push the exposition out while still remaining visually engaging.

The use of only black, white, and red really helps certain elements of his style pop. The darkness of this book speaks just as much as its white counterparts, and the hand drawn sound effects lend to a visceral and gritty feeling in the action scenes. There is something about the oblong character designs, with the long limbs, the extended angles and the hard backgrounds that is irresistible.

Things actually end up moving extremely quickly in the later half of the issue. Barbiere wastes no time attempting to payoff the plot points he sets up only pages ago, and he does so in a pulse pounding race to the final page. When you finally get to the end, you’ll feel like you hit a wall and were forced to stop dead. You’ll want to keep flipping but there is no more fun to be had this month.

There really isn’t anything quite like “The White Suits” out there today. It is wholly unique and reading it provides a dynamically different experience than most comics. It’s wild, sketchy, and completely untethered. Yet, its moved along with brisk dialogue and larger than life criminal violence that never lets you catch your breath. You’ll still be trying to piece it all together by the time the last page hits but the mysteries brought on by the bigger picture should have you coming back next month.

Rating: 4/5 Skulls

Categories: Horror News

Review: “Five Ghosts” # 10

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:31

“Five Ghosts” does what it does best this month. It provides an action packed adventure, which further deepens its world, characters, and ideas while looking beautiful. The whole thing reads like silk. The main protagonist is noticeably absent throughout the bulk of the issue but that somehow doesn’t stumble writer Frank Barbiere for even a moment. Come away to a strange island and join “Five Ghosts” for some giant crabs, stay for the mysterious witch.


WRITTEN BY: Frank J Barbiere
ART BY: Chris Mooneyham
PUBLISHER: Image
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: March 19th, 2014

This comic exists in a league of its own. The storytelling is conveyed with such confidence that the larger world outside of the pages feels fully developed. The series has an incredible voice that manages to be unique and still drip with tribute. It never feels strained and it always feels unpredictable. Which is basically the highest praise I can give to a comic. If you can continue to surprise me, I’ll be back month after month.

So yet again, “Five Ghosts” surprises me. I find Fabian Grey to be magnetic, almost irresistible. His powers notwithstanding, he’s an enterprising and confident hero who is motivated for the wrong reasons. So extracting this magnetic force should create a lull in the book. Instead, it deepens the mystery.

We’re finally given some time to meet Sinbad (as she calls herself.) She has a dreamstone, and we learn what happens when dreamstones get too close. It’s not pretty, and it’s overwhelmingly ominous. Barbiere weaves the narrative around disorientation and makes Fabian all the more important by removing him. The action is still present, and the supernatural is everywhere. In fact we get a supercharged jolt of it with the introduction of a new character whose sure to mix shit up in all the wrong ways.

Chris Mooneyham and Lauren Affe are a match made in heaven. Their work compliments each other so well that the pulpy, washed out but colorful look to the paper has come to define the book as much as the characters. Mooneyham finds fantastic ways to keep the action exciting and overwhelming. The looming beasts at the beginning of the issue are only rivaled by the ship-destroying climax of the script. Everything is communicated with polish and poise.

It’s hard for me to find a fault in an issue like this. The voice is carefree, the action is heavy, and the implications for the future are far-reaching. The particulars of this book are made with such confidence that you could easily believe lifelong comics pros were behind everything. Instead it’s the commitment to creating a unique and developed world with complex characters that wins out over everything else. At the end of the day “Five Ghosts” exists in an endlessly complicated world that is communicated with relative ease. It’s not an easy task, but it sure looks that way.

Rating 4.5/5 Skulls.

Categories: Horror News

'The Sacrament' Stars Diagnosed with 'Dementia'

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:29

Raphael Margules and J.D. Lifshitz’ BoulderLight Pictures, who produced Contracted, begins production next week in Los Angeles on Dementia, which is said to be in the vein of Misery and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.

Mike Testin, cinematographer of Contracted, will direct Dementia, “about an elderly war veteran who is forced by his estranged family to hire a live-in nurse after finding out he has been diagnosed with Dementia, only to find that she harbors a sinister secret.

Gene Jones, who can be seen as the Father in Ti West’s The Sacrament, pictured above, stars with A.J. Bowen (pictured below; You’re Next, The Sacrament), Kristina Klebe (Proxy, Halloween), Marc Senter (Red, White, and Blue, The Lost), and newcomer Hassie Harrison.

The script was penned by Blood List writer Meredith Berg (Faceless).

Categories: Horror News

Trailer For 'The Signal' Heavy On Vibe, Low On Spoilers

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:27

Yesterday Focus Features started a viral campaign for their June 13 release of William Eubank’s thriller The Signal, which Ryan Daley reviewed out of the Sundance Film Festival. Today they’ve released the trailer, which does a nice job of hinting at the film’s tone without overexplaining its surprises.

Starring Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, Lin Shaye, Robert Longstreet, Jeffrey Grover and Laurence Fishburne, the pic follows a group of college students are lured to the middle of the desert by a hacker.

Head below to check out the trailer. If you’re into viral campaigns, go to RUAGITATED.COM to access important information about your condition.“

Categories: Horror News

Review: “Curse” # 3

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:15

A horror story never gets better for anyone involved. Michael Moreci & Tim Daniel are very aware of that fact this month as they push all of their characters to the brink. The small town politics erupt into chaos and the mythology of the werewolf is uniquely developed in another chilling chapter of “Curse.”


WRITTEN BY: Michael Moreci & Tim Daniel
ART BY: Colin Lorimer & Riley Rossmo
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: March 19, 2014

Finishing this issue actually had me utter the words “God fucking damn it.” I couldn’t believe how screwed things were for Laney, and how this guy believes he’s just trying to do the right thing.

Except he’s not. He’s a noble man with a seemingly noble cause, but he’s caught in his past. Moreci and Daniel remind us of this constantly. Yet, this month it becomes abundantly clear Laney isn’t acting with the best intentions. His motivations are selfish and blind. Within an issue of revelations the script makes an effort to put its own spin on werewolf mythology and succeeds admirably. I love the new approach and find it brings a new flavor something already so delicious.

The artwork is still dark, brooding, and gorgeous. In fact the hollow settings of the narrative actually pop off the page thanks to Colin Lorimer and Riley Rossmo. Again, Lorimer takes the duties for the bulk of the book, and manages to use hard angles to create a great sense of dread. His work in the latter half of the issue shows Laney in complete control and evokes a certain sense of domination. While Rossmo’s work in the past is completely different and stellar. He adds a layer of vulnerable reality to the character that I haven’t seen in a werewolf story. It makes the character of Anton a tragic and compelling asshole reminiscent of Cassidy.

“Curse” is one of the greatest looks at werewolf mythology there has even been. It doesn’t focus on the beast but instead opts to concern itself with the human side of the problem. The loss of being a werewolf coupled with the losses brought on by a werewolf and everyone in between. Within this balance it strikes a distinctly different chord with familiar stories and characters. It humanizes the beast and monsterizes the human.

You still root for Laney, but its becoming increasingly clear he’s not the best man that he could be. His mindless pursuit of the beast makes him unable to move on and care about the things close to him. He isolates himself in the cold in the name of some higher calling but he doesn’t manage to save himself or anyone else. It’s not even clear what his endgame is, it’s just blind pursuit at this point, driven by something he should have walked away from years ago. Yet, amongst all this he still remains compelling and sympathetic, because who among us would do anything different?

Rating: 4.5/5 Skulls.

Categories: Horror News

[Special Report] Epic Sets, Amazing Scenes, Brand New Creatures And A Sense Of Wonder On The Set Of 'Godzilla'!!

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:01

Back in July of last year I took a quick flight up to Vancouver to join some other journalists on the set of the new Warner Bros/Legendary film Godzilla, from Monsters director Gareth Edwards (you can read the entire on set interview with Evans here). Normally I walk away from these visits with a checklist of things I expect to go wrong and a checklist of things I expect to go right. But I typically never feel as bullishly positive as I did after this.

Not only did we see some breathtaking renderings of scenes from the film, we also got to tour the production’s war room – which gave us a vast understanding of the tone, flavor and designs of the new Godzilla. We also nabbed some killer on-set interviews and Bryan Cranston brought in an ice cream truck (complete with “Breaking Bad” and Godzilla themed concoctions) to round out the day.

The film, starring Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Johnson, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe and Richard T. Jones, is an epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, and Edwards seems to be paying respect to the past while making something very current.

Check out the whole report below!

Metaphors aside, the closest I’ll ever get to standing in the belly of the beast is right here on a soundstage in Vancouver. Here I am, walking around a highly detailed and slickly painted plaster spine. Giant – and I mean giant – ribs jut up all around me. If you’ve seen the trailer for director Gareth Edwards’ new take on Godzilla, and if you’re reading this I’m sure you have, then you’ve seen this massive ribcage (albeit with some of the corners of the room painted in a bit in post). Is this Godzilla? One of his ancestors? Another creature entirely? I have no idea.

But that’s not to say that we didn’t get any information on our trip to the film’s set last July. Not only did we see pre-viz of several astounding action sequences and chat with the cast and crew – we were also privy to the film’s war room. What’s the war room? More or less what it sounds like – an astounding space full of concept drawings, art, designs and models – most of which seemed to be laid out in almost chronological order. Even if what we saw in the room doesn’t tell the entire story of the film (and I’m sure it doesn’t), it gave us a nice comprehensive look at the overall flavor of the piece. And I gotta say, it looks pretty damn tasty.

One of the first things that’s made clear is that this isn’t necessarily a sequel, as some have been speculating. In fact, Edwards is keen to point out that it’s an origin story, “it’s supposed to be the beginning.” Nor is it in any way a comment or riff on Roland Emmerich’s 1998 version of the film. One of our guides explains, “The ’98 version was never even looked at. It looks like how Gareth would do Godzilla, but inspired by the classic Godzilla. I think it looks like it’s inspired by all the best classic versions of Godzilla. It has the DNA of Godzilla, but it’s how Gareth has interpreted it.

We continue our walk through the room, getting glimpses of sick bays, Hawaiian jungles, Japanese ruins, tsunami wreckage and more tantalizing visual information than we can even really process. It’s clear that something big did this. This version of Godzilla his downright huge. “Around 400 feet,” our guide replies. “At one point he was bigger, then he was smaller, but he’s big enough.” An additional piece of information to assuage any concerns? This Godzilla is 100% Toho [the studio behind the very first films] approved. “They were nervous going into it in the early days, just in how we would treat Godzilla and what he was going to look like. And honestly they embraced [both] the vision and Gareth the way we did and it’s been great.

Producer Mary Parent (who also worked on Pacific Rim – a film that this new Godzilla surprisingly has very little in common with tonally) addresses the style of the reboot amongst the art surrounding us. “It’s very ‘Close Encounters.’ That is a good tonal and visual [reference], if you had to pick a touchstone. It looks very different from when you go back and actually look at ‘Close Encounters’, but it has a 70s vibe.” Someone asks if Cloverfield had any kind of influence on Edwards’ vision, which is met with a resounding “no no no no” from just about everyone in the room. As far as the action in the film goes, Parent gives another encouraging touchstone, “There’s a ‘Black Hawk Down’ aspect to it. When you get dropped into this stuff, it’s all incredibly visceral because it’s so real. There’s nothing campy or heightened. It’s as though this is really happening. Gareth has done a really good job of making you believe that this could happen and, if it were to happen, how people would react and behave and what those set pieces would be like.

She’s not joking. Later on we sit down in an editing bay to watch a few extended pre-viz segments. In a film as large as this one and with as many intricate, expensive set pieces – it’s always a wise decision to make a detailed map of exactly what you’re going to be filming (and CGI’ing). It’s a rough form of computer animation, but it is an invaluable tool. Sometimes pre-viz looks blocky and ill-defined, a utilitarian approach just to get down the basic camera movements, edits and requirements for a scene. Other times – especially when you’re trying to sell the tone and mood of a set piece – they can be extremely detailed and fleshed out. The scenes we’re shown are most certainly of the latter, more detailed variety. In fact, it may have been the best pre-viz I’ve ever seen.

The first scene we see is an extension of what you guys saw in the teaser that hit a few months back. The one where the soldiers perform a halo jump from a plane high above San Francisco, the red streamers from their flares streaking across the sky as they cascade downwards toward the destruction below. As striking as the sequence appears in the teaser, the uncut sequence from the film is much longer and – when married to the polished look of the finished film – I expect it to be utterly breathtaking for a sustained period of time. You see the cluster plunge through more layers of atmosphere, and through significantly more frame space, to an incredibly dramatic piece of music from composer Alexandre Desplat. It’s jaw dropping and epic and I immediately got concerned that it was too good not to be meddled with.

The second scene involves a different group of soldiers navigating their way through some jungle terrain until they reach a train trestle high above a seemingly bottomless ravine. They cautiously branch out onto the tracks only to notice that they’re not alone. This sequence is fairly exemplary of that Spielberg/Close Encounters touch Parent mentioned earlier. We see the eye of a huge creature pop up over the track, below we see the legs of perhaps another creature. There’s no destruction here, and the emphasis isn’t just on suspense (even though there’s plenty of that) – it’s on wonder. That’s what Edwards really seems to be getting at with everything we’ve seen up to this point. Anyone can arrange a bunch of pixels and simulate the leveling of a city, but very few directors can make us engage with something so destructive in such an intimate way. This sequence is the cinematic equivalent of swimming next to a whale shark. It’s indelible.

But the film isn’t just about monsters. It’s about the people trying to fight, understand and perhaps even protect them. Later that day we watch Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, playing reunited father and son Joe and Ford Brody, film a scene. They navigate though the ruins of an office or lab. And I mean ruins, the place isn’t freshly pulverized – it’s grown over. Abandoned. A mystery at this point to even the man who designed it. At one point the camera lingers over the glass of a long empty terrarium, about the size of the average fish tank. A faded label on the glass reads “Mothra.”

Though we’re not exactly sure if that’s what they’re looking for (I’m betting “Mothra” is an easter egg joke since everyone else seems more focussed on creatures called “MUTOs”). On a break between set-ups, Cranston elaborates, “I go into my old office searching or something specific, something that’s alive.” Not much info, fair enough – it’s early in the game. He’s less cagey when it comes to explaining why he was eager to sign onto the film, “The reason I’m here is because this story in interestingly driven by strong character motivations. If you saw [Edwards’] movie ‘Monsters’, which is one of the things that got me involved in conversations, it was like a character-driven monster movie, and I’m much more attracted to character-driven pieces. There is very strong father-son component to this, and my character makes huge, sweeping decisions that reverberate throughout the rest of the story, that are emotional as well, which is really what brought me here.

What about all the talk about Frank Darabont (“The Walking Dead”,The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) being brought in near the end of preproduction to overhaul the script? Cranston admits he had some initial notes on the piece but what they were in regard to is “hard to say. As you know, there are a lot of writers on this. I don’t know who did what, and whose sensibility was woven through. There were some minor things, just points of view. For instance there was a thing where my character assumes that my son is going to go with me on this dangerous excursion, and I just thought that was wrong. It was an easy fix. Nothing that I raised was, ‘Oh no, we have to draw the line there!’

If there’s one thing Cranston is even more clear on, it’s the enormity of the new Godzilla design and his appreciation of it. “My god, yeah!  Actually, the new design is basically back to an old design, I think. The scale surprised me. The extreme size of it compared to the MUTO’s that they are fighting.  Even that! When you see the MUTO it’s enormous, but it’s not nearly as big as Godzilla.

After Cranston is pulled away for another shot we’re given a few minutes with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is looking pretty ripped for his role here as a Marine. He carries himself like one as well, explaining, “We have a Marine sergeant/major, Jim Dever, who has worked on many films before as well. He did ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Man Of Steel’. He does a lot of movies like that and works really closely with us. There’s a lot of military stuff going on throughout this so he keeps an eye on everybody and everyone. I spent a bit of time with him. It was really great fun. A new experience for me altogether. I play a lieutenant in the Navy, EOD which is explosive ordinance disposal so he operates bombs. They’re always onhand, we have Navy captains onset to approve things. And see how they go about doing things, if this was to happen the way they go about operations. Everything is as accurate as can be.

After the shoot breaks for lunch we all gather with director Gareth Edwards on the opposite end of the set. He’s obviously tired, but there’s a refreshing wide eyed quality to him – you can tell he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. He’s even excited about the added challenge of not having Godzilla be the only monster in the film. “I’m not sure what I can and cannot say, but I’ll say that it was really important that we didn’t do a Godzilla movie where it wasn’t just one creature because you can quickly run out of people pointlessly trying to fire and stop the thing storyline, which is why Toho movies were always him versus something else. The whole “franchise” or whatever you want to call it was involved in the creatures. So when you get into it, you have to make that choice that you mentioned and we made…a choice. But without giving too much away, it’s not as simple as that.

Perhaps most importantly to, someone asks what makes a Gareth Edwards Godzilla different than, say, a Michael Bay version of the same material. “I don’t know. I think something that’s coming through that I’m quite pleased about and I’m really proud of is that there’s a lot of scenes we’ve already shot that are quite engaging. Like you’re really pulled in with the way the characters are coming together and the actors. I can’t go into too much detail because it will ruin the movie for you, but we’ve watched dailies and teared up on a few occasions, so I’m really proud. Obviously, there’s a giant, epic spectacle to it as well. I think, for me, if I’m honest, I’m personally not a fan of some of the Hollywood blockbusters that come out, and we’re trying to hark back to the movies we all grew up and loved like early Spielberg stuff, and trying to get a bit more restraint and suspense, and not this cutting-every-three-seconds and explosions-every-two-seconds mentality. So hopefully we’ve been quite brave with the storytelling that we’re doing.

While this is the type of thing most filmmakers say on set – it’s rare that I actually see them back it up. But Godzilla really looks to be something special. A film that operates within the general parameters of the modern blockbuster, but offers up a sense of wonder and awe that we perhaps haven’t seen since Jurassic Park. Of course, it’s too early to tell if this really takes hold in the final product, but I’m seeing far more positive indicators than I’m accustomed to. And that’s not just because Bryan Cranston ordered an ice cream truck for us. That happened on the way out.

Categories: Horror News

[Interview] Gareth Edwards Gets In Depth On The Set Of 'Godzilla'!!

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:00

It’s hard to believe that the new Godzilla, from Monsters director Gareth Edwards, will be in theaters on May 16th. I mean, that’s less than three months away. Very rarely do I get excited for spectacle films, but I’m totally down with what I’ve seen from this Warner Bros/Legendary film so far. And I’ve seen a lot, having visited visited the set last July (you can read the ENTIRE SET REPORT HERE).

The film, starring Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Johnson, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe and Richard T. Jones, is an epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, and Edwards seems to be paying respect to the past while making something very current.

There are excerpts of this interview in that full report, but I found the chat (conducted by myself and other journalists) engaging and inspiring enough to reprint in full here.

Check it out below!

What distinguishes a “Gareth Edwards” Godzilla from Michael Bay or any other director?  How will I know this is a Gareth Edwards film?  Is there a signature you think you have?
 
I don’t know. We talked about it a little bit. I think something that’s coming through that I’m quite pleased about and I’m really proud of is that there’s a lot of scenes we’ve already shot that are quite engaging.  Like you’re really pulled in with the way the characters are coming together and the actors. I can’t go into too much detail because it will ruin the movie for you, but we’ve watched dailies and teared up on a few occasions, so I’m really proud. Hopefully, this will be a blockbuster where you really care about the people you’re following. Obviously, there’s a giant, epic spectacle to it as well. I think, for me, if I’m honest, I’m personally not a fan of some of the Hollywood blockbusters that come out, and we’re trying to hark back to the movies we all grew up and loved like early Spielberg stuff, and trying to get a bit more restraint and suspense, and not this cutting-every-three-seconds and explosions-every-two-seconds mentality. Like this fear people will get bored.  We’re trying to respect the audience, and hopefully they want to see a good story well told and not panic every minute that they might get bored.  So hopefully we’ve been quite brave with the storytelling that we’re doing.  But we’ll see. I say all this, and then we see the edit, and it reveals itself again to you. It’s really hard at this stage to be that definite about everything in the movie because we’re still finding it.
 
In the original film, the themes are so socially and historically relevant in terms of the atomic bomb. Is there any comparison in this film to social or historical themes?
 
There’s definitely a strong theme in the film, and in simplest terms it’s kind of “Man v. Nature.” And when we started off in the process of defining Godzilla, what is he about, what makes a Godzilla movie, what makes a monster movie, and we were brainstorming and watching all the old movies again, the thing that comes through is that in some movies, he’s slightly evolved and represents different things, but he’s always a force of nature like the wrath of God that comes to put us back in our place when we kind of thing we own the world.  I would go into more detail, but I’ve been told I can only say certain things, but there’s definitely a very strong themes that hark back to the original 1954 Godzilla.  It’s the “Man v. Nature” that comes through a lot.  It’s a recurring theme on the set today the way that nature always wins.  You can’t control nature. When we start thinking we can control nature, that’s when it all starts to go wrong. And that happens a lot in our movie. You see it quite a bit, that is our arrogance always comes back to bite us. 
 
What about the secondary threat? Does that turn the tables for what you want the audiences to feel towards Godzilla?  Because obviously, Godzilla is a threat, but does he take on a heroic aspect at some point in the film like in the sequels that we’ve seen?
 
I’m not sure what I can and cannot say, but I’ll say that it was really important that we didn’t do a Godzilla movie where it wasn’t just one creature because you can quickly run out of people pointlessly trying to fire and stop thing thing storyline, which is why Toho movies were always him versus something else, and the whole “franchise” or whatever you want to call it was involved in the creatures. So when you get into it, you have to make that choice that you mentioned and we made… a choice. But without giving too much away, it’s not as simple as that. It’s not as simplistic as “Is there a good or a bad?” Through the course of the movie it starts to form, and…it’s really hard to answer these questions.
 
Is anyone going to say the classic line, “It’s Godzilla!”
 
[laughs] For a long time, we liked the idea of never ever saying his name. And we had a million ideas of how you could say that name. And it might be that one of them ends up in the movie. We’re still playing with a couple of them. But I think it’s just as good to never say his name out loud. We’re going to have it on every single poster and every single everywhere. There’s something more ethereal about a person you don’t really label. It’s so obvious to say, “It’s Godzilla,” and we have the same problem in a lot of scenes. How do you talk about this thing? Is it a thing? Is it a creature? Is it a monster? Is it an organism? Is it an animal? And we kind of use all of those, and wait for the right moment to use the actual name gag. I saw [Man of Steel] last night and thought they were quite clever about it.
 
There are these different time periods that we’ve seen, so it seems like there’s an awareness of Godzilla existing in the past, or this creature existing in the past, and now it’s going to exist again?  Is it the idea that people are making the same mistakes again and again?  Is it finding different ways for him to rise?
 
It is an origin story. It’s not about having seen another film to understand this movie. It’s supposed to be the beginning. But it doesn’t just take place in modern times. There are other aspects to it. And in a way, the mistakes we made in the past come back to haunt us in the present, and that is something that the whole movie is driven by —whether you want to call them “mistakes” or “choices”— that now we pay the price for. Because for me, a monster movie just for the sake of being a monster movie can kind of become a pointless exercise, so it’s about finding the right symbolism in what he represents and trying to find a storyline that expresses that. And I’m really pleased with the playground we’re playing in because I think it’s very much on theme. And I hope that when people see it who are big Godzilla fans, they’ll be happy with the choices we made. We definitely tried to stay as true as possible to the original in terms of thematics. 

 
Does Godzilla have his own personality in the film? In Monsters at the end, you thought they were one thing and they turned out to be something else. Did you apply the same process to Godzilla?
 
I guess with all good characters, there’s some sort of arc to their character, and sometimes that’s not theirs; it’s our understanding of that character that changes. I don’t think we could be the best film we could be if there wasn’t a perception change in the movie. So it does evolve, but it’s not straightforward, and it’s not black and white. Hopefully, it’s subtle enough that people can watch it and have their own opinion of him and what was really going on. But amongst ourselves, we’ve made decisions and hinted at certain choices, but I like the idea that if someone people just want to come and watch a big, massive monster movie, they can and have fun watching things get smashed up; and other people can come and there will be another layer and a bit more meaning to some of the things that happen. Because at the end of the day, we’re not really going to have a giant monster attack the world.  It’s not something we need to worry about—
 
You say that now.
 
[laughs] The ramifications of the giant monster attacking the world—skyscrapers collapse, whole neighborhoods are trashed, radiation is left behind — they’re things we deal with all the time, and that’s probably why we invent monsters. It’s usually sci-fi and fantasy films that get to address modern day concerns quickest because they can kind of go under the radar, and more serious films have to kind of wait more in line.  So hopefully it’s not lightweight, popcorn fodder. I hope there’s a little bit more about it than just that.
 
As a personal journey for you as a filmmaker, from Monsters to Godzilla, what have you learned about yourself?  Do you have more patience now with a crew of thousands or is the smaller stuff easier to manage?
 
I wouldn’t call it a “journey”. It’s more like teleportation. It was like this instant, “There you go. You’re making a massive movie.”
 
Has it been overwhelming?
 
Yeah. Yes, it was in the early days.  But it’s so incremental; it’s like climbing a mountain. One step is not that different than the step before.  Pre-production took — we presented the film to the studio last year, and we started filming in March. That’s quite a long time to get ready for the fact that we were going to be making this. And no matter how much people warn you and tell you what it’s going to be like, it’s still sort of a culture shock. I’ve worked in TV, and it’s like a micro-version of this.  Yeah, I guess if the previous film is like riding a bicycle, this is like flying a 747. You still go left and right, and you’re going to a destination—
 
As long as you land, it’s all good.
 
Yeah.
 
Can you talk about Toho’s involvement? Has it been a licensing thing? Has there been active involvement with the structure of the film and story?
 
I went to Japan probably over a year ago, and went to visit them, and met with the heads of the studio and the president of Toho, and they were very generous. They released Monsters, my previous film, and they had the rights to that and when I arrived, they had the DVD and Godzilla merchandise, and they were incredibly welcoming. We went to dinner and they had a few questions about the story and what we planned to do, and then from that point on, we’ve been sharing all the scripts with them; sharing the concept art and the development of the film, and they were heavily involved in the design of Godzilla in terms of approvals and everything, so it’s very much been a Toho-approved Godzilla movie, which we wanted it to be, because for us it was very important that — it would be kind of pointless if Toho didn’t feel like it was a real Godzilla movie. So we were pretty keen to try and get that right.

Were you able to squeeze in any Easter eggs that harken back to Monsters at all?
 
There’s loads of Easter eggs in this film. Is there anything to do with Monsters?  What I’ll tell you — and it doesn’t really answer your question — but on Monsters, I had a bracelet that the girl in the film, Whitney, I made a charity bracelet for her character, and the idea was it was a pretend charity for people who had been displaced by the monsters. And everyone on that film wore it, and I wore mine from the day we started filming to after the world premiere. I was adamant I was going to do the same on this, but we had a minimum run of these of 400, so we gave one to the whole crew, and you’ll spot them around; people are wearing these. [Shows us his bracelet] This is a clue to the movie; something in the movie happens and this is a clue, and that’s all I can do. But you’ve been around the war room, right?
 
Yeah.
 
Okay, then. So you can figure everything out.
 
Well when you mentioned Easter eggs, what Easter eggs? Are you throwing Easter eggs in for the previous Godzilla films at all?
 
Yeah, there’s a few in there. There’s one right over in that room [gestures to the set where they've been filming] if you have a look.  You might see it in the shot we’re setting up later.
 
We saw the dinosaur and toy soldiers on the ground…
 
Yeah, there’s all that stuff going on, but there’s something actually more specific. You’re here all day, right? 
 
Yeah.
 
Okay, you’ll see it then.
 
Is there one memory of filming that stands out in your mind from this whole production? Perhaps when you look back at this movie ten years from now, and you’re watching it on television, one memory that comes from filming here.
 
I’ve purposely not processed any of it. I think if you really comprehended what we’re doing here, it would paralyze you. You just have to look at all the cars on your way in, down the street. That’s just the crew for this film. I purposely just bank it in box in my brain, and try not to think about it. It still hasn’t hit me. Like the other night, obviously, there’s marketing aspects and visual effects aspects that have all started to happen already, and I had to quickly look at some video that was an approval thing to me, and it was like, “Oh my God, that’s cool. That’s like something you’d see in the cinema!  Wow!” And there was this excitement over “Oh my God, this could go right in the cinema the way this looks. That’s fantastic!”, and then realizing, “Oh my God. That is going to go in the cinema.” And I still haven’t really let it set in because otherwise the pressure would be too much. It’s really hard to take risks, and in doing anything slightly creative, if you’ve got too much pressure on you, it’s not healthy. You don’t do your best stuff. So it’s been really hard to get rid of all those thoughts and not think of how much this is going to be around the world for a week or so next year.

 
Frank Darabont came in for a short but perhaps sweet time. Is there one story element that he was there to help crack?
 
He did a fantastic job. There’s a particular scene we finished filming the other day — I can’t talk about it — but it was very strong, and it was all his idea.  One of the actors that was in it, as we were just chit-chatting off to the side, said “This is the reason I took this job.” And everyone felt that way when we were filming it as well. He brought a very emotional, powerful series of ideas to the story.
 
The film has been described as a “road movie”. Would you agree with that in terms of how the journey takes place?  And what about that pertinently lends itself to a Godzilla story?
 
It’s a global journey. I wouldn’t say it’s a “road movie,” but it takes place around the globe, and there probably is a general “here and here”thing that’s going on. But… I don’t know what you do or don’t know. Tell me two countries you think the film is set in.
 
Japan, Hawaii, Philippines…
 
So it felt like what we were doing with the franchise was taking something that was very Japanese, that belongs to Japan, and bring it to America. And so from a very early stage, it was the journey of this movie was a journey from Japan to America. That felt like the heart of everything. It felt the most appropriate, so Hawaii’s in the middle of it, obviously. So we sculpted the story around that basic, global path. And it’s not as literal as “something from Japan comes to America”. It’s not that straightforward. But it felt like visually we wanted that transition to happen from a feeling of a very Japanese thing to become an American thing. 
 
This is certainly a character-driven piece to a large extent, but it’s also a summer tentpole feature with Godzilla. We saw the concept art with the Battle of San Francisco. Just how big is that going to be?
 
Well, obviously, the one downside to shooting this film is that we don’t have Godzilla on set. He’s too expensive, and in the trailer, and he has to do all of his stuff against green screen… well, blue screen, because green wouldn’t key very well. I, honestly, there are certain key words that you bring up over and over, like “It’s gotta be this,” and “It’s gotta be that.”  And, obviously, “emotional” gets in there, like you gotta care, but the other one by far is “epic.” I feel like if we haven’t made an epic movie by the end of this, if you haven’t felt like you’ve gone on a massive journey, and you’ve nearly tear up and the hairs on the back of your neck have been raised and at the end of you’re just, “Man, I want to see that again,” then I probably failed at what we’re trying to do. Because that’s definitely the goal.  Hopefully it’s not spectacle for the sake of it, and not “Let’s just throw every trick at the screen and try to distract the audience.” It’s more of a cinematic style like holding back and let the audience do the maths. Like a lot of our sequences, our set pieces, people don’t talk much through them. It’s all thoughts and visual storytelling. We’ll see how it pans out, but the films I love are those sorts of movies, and everyone knows that’s what we’re trying to do.

Categories: Horror News

Set Visit Coverage: Director Gareth Edwards Talks Godzilla from the Set!

Dread Central - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 13:00

With Legendary Picture’s upcoming feature Godzilla releasing wide on May 16, 2014, here’s the first part of our extensive coverage from the set: a lengthy interview with director Gareth Edwards.

Beware - this coverage is as full of spoilers as ‘the Big G’ is radioactive (oops, there’s your first one there), so if you’d rather remain in the dark, not unlike San Francisco after Godzilla rolls over it (oh, there’s number two!), stop right here. Otherwise, suit up and HALO drop with us into gargantuan mayhem.

Part reboot and part direct sequel to director Ishiro Honda’s 1954 original of the same name, the 2014 Edwards-helmed Godzilla features actors Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Juliette Binoche (The English Patient), David Strathairn (The Bourne Legacy), Elizabeth Olsen and Ken Watanabe, in a script by Max Borenstein, Dave Callaham and Frank Darabont, which pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence (as the film will apparently our pocketbooks, given the insane box-office buzz and merchandizing push surrounding it).

Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Brian Rogers produce, alongside executive producers Alex Garcia, Patricia Whitcher, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.

Arriving with considerable trepidation to the Vancouver set last June (given what transpired with the previous ‘Big G’ film attempted by an American production, namely Roland Emmerich’s deplorable 1998 flick, this was understandable), my concerns were quickly allayed, initially by a visit to the ‘War Room’ (which contained volumes upon volumes of absolutely awe-inspiring storyboards and conceptual art), then by a sneak peek of two entirely mind-blowing pre-visual sequences. Excitedly comforting interviews with actors Cranston and Taylor-Johnson followed (the pair’s sincere enthusiasm was contagious), and with my appetite whetted (stay tuned for all of the above in the coming days), we sat down with director Edwards on the mammoth sound-stage to discuss his vision.

Of note, and before I dive in, I am a huge, and rather discerning Godzilla fan. Of the twenty-eight films produced by Toho Co., Ltd. (and I’ve seen them all) featuring the titular character, the sheer impact the original had on me cannot be understated. While the metaphor of ‘Godzilla as Hiroshima/Nagasaki’ eluded me as a young boy, the tone of impending doom of Honda’s film did not, nor did the immensity of the force at its core.

My imagination was (and remains to this day) sparked, and Godzilla loomed in my psyche as real as did the Cold War threat of my childhood. Subsequent entries may have found him defending Tokyo from a comically wooden ape (1962’s King Kong Vs. Godzilla), toxic waste (1971’s Godzilla Vs. Hedorah) or effete aliens (2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars), and pop culture may have diluted him via the cartoon “Bambi Meets Godzilla” and the animated series “Godzilla” (seriously, ‘Godzooky?’) among others, but through it all, Honda’s original remained for me authoritative and omnipresent. In Honda’s film, Godzilla was clearly the ‘King of Monsters.’

I’m happy to report that from what I witnessed on set, Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla may very well be the definitive modern iteration of Honda’s classic, capturing not only the raw essence of the original but imbuing it with a needed modern sensibility.

“There's definitely a strong theme in the film, and in (the) simplest terms it's kind of ‘Man versus Nature,’” the soft-spoken Edwards, whose previous giant creature flick was 2010’s thoughtful Monsters, told us during a break in filming on the set, which had been constructed to represent an abandoned, irradiated Japanese structure.

“When we started off in the process of defining (the character of) Godzilla, what is he about, what makes a Godzilla movie, what makes a monster movie, and we were brainstorming and watching all the old movies again, the thing that comes through is that in some movies he's slightly evolved and represents different things, but he's always a force of nature, like the wrath of God, that comes to put us back in our place when we kind of think we own the world. I would go into more detail, but I've been told I can only say certain things, but there's definitely very strong themes that hark back to the original 1954 Godzilla. It's the ‘Man Versus Nature’ that comes through a lot. When we start thinking we can control nature, that's when it all starts to go wrong. And that happens a lot in our movie. You see it quite a bit; that our arrogance always comes back to bite us.”

Pertaining to Edwards’ reluctance to discuss certain topics, of note on-set security was entirely tight, and non-disclosure agreements were indeed signed by all journalists in attendance, a standard practice on films of such magnitude. With the embargo now lifted, I’ll try to fill in the holes for you as best I can.

Legendary’s Godzilla takes place in three separate time periods: the 1950’s (in which the U.S. Navy discovers the last surviving member of an ancient radioactive amphibious species surviving under the waters near the Marshall Islands and metes out a failed attempt to kill it with nuclear weapons), the 1990’s (in which the creature arises to smack the crap out of Japan and in the process destroys the childhood home of Taylor-Johnson’s character as well as that of his father, a scientist portrayed by Cranston) and in 2014, in which the appearance of creatures known as ‘Mutos’ (kaiju who look vaguely reminiscent of the creature at the center of the feature Cloverfield) appear, which in turn elicits the return of Godzilla from the depths of the ocean.

“It is an origin story,” Edwards illuminated.

“It's not about having seen another film to understand this movie. It's supposed to be the beginning. But it doesn't just take place in modern times. There are other aspects to it. And in a way, the mistakes we made in the past come back to haunt us in the present, and that is something that the whole movie is driven by. ‘Mistakes’ or ‘choices’ that now we pay the price for, because for me a monster movie just for the sake of being a ‘monster movie’ can kind of become a pointless exercise, so it's about finding the right symbolism in what Godzilla represents, and trying to find a storyline that expresses that. And I'm really pleased with the playground we're playing in because I think it's very much on theme. I hope that when people see it, people who are big Godzilla fans, they'll be happy with the choices we made. We definitely tried to stay as true as possible to the original in terms of theme.”

As for the secondary ‘Muto’ threat to mankind, “I'm not sure what I can and cannot say, but I'll say that it was really important that we didn't do a Godzilla movie where it was just one creature, because you quickly run out of the ‘people pointlessly trying to fire and stop-the-thing’ storyline, which is why Toho movies were always him versus something else, and the whole franchise or whatever you want to call it was involved in the creatures,” offered Edwards.

“So when you get into it, you have to make that choice, but without giving too much away, it's not as simple as that. It's not as simplistic as, ‘Is there a good or a bad?’ Through the course of the movie it starts to form, and… it's really hard to answer these questions.”

Genre journalists sometimes ask questions which to mainstream audiences may seem unimportant though to us, and to fans of the genre, are rather burning, so it was only inevitable that Gareth was queried on whether or not anyone (in the film) utters the classic line, “It’s Godzilla!”

Edwards responded with a chuckle, “For a long time, we liked the idea of never saying his name, and we had a million ideas of how you could say that name. And it might be that one of them ends up in the movie. We're still playing with a couple of them. But I think it's just as good to never say his name out loud. We're going to have it on every single poster and every single everything everywhere. There's something more ethereal about a person you don't really label. It's so obvious to say, ‘It's Godzilla,’ and we have the same problem in a lot of scenes. How do you talk about this thing? Is it a thing? Is it a creature? Is it a monster? Is it an organism? Is it an animal? And we kind of use all of those and wait for the right moment to use the actual name gag. I saw Man of Steel last night and thought they were quite clever (in how they referenced ‘Superman’).”

Of Godzilla’s ‘character,’ the 38-year-old British filmmaker stated, “I guess with all good characters, there's some sort of arc to their character, and sometimes that's not theirs; it's our understanding of that character that changes. I don't think we could be the best film we could be if there wasn't a perception change in the movie. So it does evolve, but it's not straightforward, and it's not black and white. Hopefully it's subtle enough that people can watch it and have their own opinion of him and (of) what was really going on. But amongst ourselves, we've made decisions and hinted at certain choices, but I like the idea that if some people just want to come and watch a big, massive monster movie, they can and (will) have fun watching things get smashed up, and other people can come and there will be another layer and a bit more meaning to some of the things that happen. Because at the end of the day, we're not really going to have a giant monster attack the world. It's not something we need to worry about.”

“But the ramifications of the giant monster attacking the world - skyscrapers collapsing, whole neighborhoods being trashed, radiation being left behind - they're things we deal with all the time, and that's probably why we invent monsters,” he continued.

“It's usually sci-fi and fantasy films that get to address modern-day concerns quickest because they can kind of go ‘under the radar’ and more serious films have to kind of wait more in line. So hopefully it's not lightweight, popcorn fodder. I hope there's a little bit more about it than just that.”

Questioned in regards to his journey from the independent Monsters to helming the summer tent-pole that is Godzilla, Edwards said, “I wouldn't call it a ‘journey’. It's more like teleportation. It was like this instant, ‘There you go. You're making a massive movie.’ It was overwhelming in the early days. But it's so incremental; it's like climbing a mountain. One step is not that different than the step before. We presented the film to the studio last year, and we started filming in March. That's quite a long time to get ready for the fact that we were going to be making this. And no matter how much people warn you and tell you what it's going to be like, it's still sort of a culture shock. I've worked in TV, and it's like a micro-version of this. Yeah, I guess if the previous film is like riding a bicycle, this is like flying a 747.”

As for Toho’s involvement (a company who was none too keen on licensing Godzilla once again to an American production following Emmerich’s 1998 ‘Not-zilla’ flick, as it’s known by fans), “I went to Japan probably over a year ago and went to visit them and met with the heads of the studio and the president of Toho, and they were very generous,” said Edwards.

“They released Monsters, my previous film, and they had the rights to that, and when I arrived, they had the DVD and Godzilla merchandise, and they were incredibly welcoming. We went to dinner and they had a few questions about the story and (about) what we planned to do, and then from that point on, we've been sharing all the scripts with them and sharing the concept art and the development of the film, and they were heavily involved in the design of Godzilla in terms of approvals and everything, so it's very much been a Toho-approved Godzilla movie, which we wanted it to be because for us it was very important. It would be kind of pointless if Toho didn't feel like it was a real Godzilla movie. So we were pretty keen to try and get that right.”

The question arose of the inclusion of ‘Easter Eggs’ within the film itself (which as of last week came to certain light in the film’s second trailer, which featured the ‘Mothra twins’ appearing on the floor of a destroyed high-rise), and Edwards responded, “There's loads of Easter eggs in this film. Is there anything to do with Monsters? What I'll tell you, and it doesn't really answer your question, but on Monsters, for the girl in the film, Whitney, I made a charity bracelet for her character, and the idea was that it was for a pretend charity for people who had been displaced by the monsters. And everyone on that film wore it, and I wore mine from the day we started filming to after the world premiere. I was adamant (that) I was going to do the same on this, but we had a minimum run of these of four hundred, so we gave one to the whole crew, and you'll spot them around. This is a clue to the movie. Something in the movie happens and this is a clue, and that's all I can do.”

“There's a few in there (too),” stated the director, gesturing to the nearby set. “There's one right over in that room if you have a look. You might see it in the shot we're setting up later. There's something actually specific.”

Writer’s Note: The scene in conversation found actor Taylor-Johnson revisiting his character’s childhood home, which he perhaps hastily abandoned during the film’s 1990-era attack by Godzilla. Positioned with intent on the set’s floor of his bedroom were a dozen or so toy tanks and plastic army men, squared off against a plastic dinosaur (undoubtedly a representation of the titular creature). To be more specific, however, written on an abandoned pet terrarium atop his childhood dresser was one word: ‘Mothra.’ (Lends credence to the inclusion of the giant moth in Edwards’ world, now doesn’t it?)

Talk turned to filmmaker Frank Darabont, who lent his considerable talents in a story capacity to Godzilla.

“He did a fantastic job,” Edwards gushed.

“There's a particular scene we finished filming the other day, and I can't talk about it, but it was very strong, and it was all his idea. One of the actors that was in (the scene), as we were just chit-chatting off to the side, said, ‘This is the reason I took this job.’ And everyone felt that way when we were filming it as well. He brought a very emotional, powerful series of ideas to the story.”

“It's a global journey,” Edwards offered of the narrative, which is reflected in the various shooting locales and set dressings of the film.

“It felt like what we were doing with the franchise was taking something that was very Japanese, that belongs to Japan, and bringing it to America. And so from a very early stage, it was the journey of this movie from Japan to America. That felt like the heart of everything. It felt the most appropriate. Hawaii's (geographically) in the middle of it, obviously (and we shot there). So we sculpted the story around that basic, global path. And it's not as literal as, ‘Something from Japan comes to America’. It's not that straightforward. But it felt like visually we wanted that transition to happen, from a feeling of a very Japanese thing to become an American thing.”

Given Edwards’ interest in character-driven pieces (as evidenced by his Monsters, which found some fans wishing for more of a creature presence), the following question was posed pertaining to the ‘summer tent-pole’ aspects of Godzilla: ‘How big is this film and the creature itself?’ (Writer’s Note: He’s a staggering 120 meters tall).

Joked the director, “Well, obviously, the one downside to shooting this film is that we don't have Godzilla on set. He's too expensive, and he’s in (his) trailer, and he has to do all of his stuff against green screen, well, blue screen, because green wouldn't key very well.”

“Honestly, there are certain key words that you bring up over and over, like, ‘It's gotta be this,’ and, ‘It's gotta be that.’ And, obviously, the term ‘emotional’ gets in there, like you gotta care, but the other one by far is ‘epic’. I feel like if we haven't made an epic movie by the end of this, and if you haven't felt like you've gone on a massive journey, and if you don’t nearly tear up, and if the hairs on the back of your neck haven’t been raised, then I probably failed at what we're trying to do because all of that's definitely the goal. Hopefully it's not spectacle for the sake of it, and not, ‘Let's just throw every trick at the screen and try to distract the audience.’ It's more of a cinematic style, like holding back and letting the audience do the math. Like a lot of our sequences, our set pieces, people don't talk much through them. It's all thoughts and visual storytelling. We'll see how it pans out, but the films I love are those sorts of movies, and everyone knows that's what we're trying to do.”

Edwards was queried on what he felt would distinguish his Godzilla from perhaps a Michael Bay-directed version of the same.

“I think something that's coming through that I'm quite pleased about, and I'm really proud of, is that there's a lot of scenes we've already shot that are quite engaging,” he replied.

“Like you're really pulled in with the way the characters are coming together and the actors. I can't go into too much detail because it will ruin the movie for you, but we've watched dailies and teared up on a few occasions so I'm really proud. Hopefully, this will be a blockbuster where you really care about the people you're following.”

“Obviously, there's a giant, epic spectacle to it as well. I think, for me, if I'm honest, I'm personally not a fan of some of the Hollywood blockbusters that come out, and we're trying to hark back to the movies we all grew up on and loved like early Spielberg stuff, and trying to get in a bit more restraint and suspense, and not this ‘cutting-every-three-seconds’ and ‘explosions-every-two-seconds’ mentality. We're trying to respect the audience, and hopefully they want to see a good story. So hopefully we've been quite brave with the storytelling that we're doing. But we'll see. I say all this, and then we see the edit, and it reveals itself again to you. It's really hard at this stage to be that definite about everything in the movie because we're still finding it.”

With Edwards called back to the camera, we asked him if there had been one particular memory of the production that stood out above all.

“I've purposely not processed any of it,” he answered.

“I think if you really (were to) comprehend what we're doing here, it would paralyze you. You just have to look at all the cars on your way in, down the street. That's just the crew for this film. I purposely just bank it in my brain and try not to think about it. It still hasn't hit me. Like the other night, obviously, there's marketing aspects and visual effects aspects that have all started to happen already, and I had to quickly look at some video that was an approval thing to me, and it was like, ‘Oh my God, that's cool. That's like something you'd see in the cinema! Wow!’ And there was this excitement over, ‘Oh my God, this could go right in the cinema the way this looks. That's fantastic!’, and then realizing, ‘Oh my God. That is going to go in the cinema.’ And I still haven't really let it set in because otherwise the pressure would be too much. It's really hard to take risks; and in doing anything slightly creative, if you've got too much pressure on you, it's not healthy. You don't do your best stuff. So it's been really hard to get rid of all those thoughts and not think of how much this is going to be around the world for a week or so next year.”

I have a feeling it’s going to be in theaters for a bit more than a week or so, Mr. Edwards.

Up next, our on-set interview with Godzilla star Bryan Cranston.

And oh, not to be remiss (burning fan questions and all), in this film Godzilla does indeed breathe nuclear fire.

Excited yet? We are!




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Categories: Horror News

Devi Snively Lends Her Voice to the World of Hurt's Ventriloquist

Dread Central - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:30

Another director has been added to the growing list of those who will be working on an anthology based upon the work of one of the most acclaimed writers on the horror scene right now, Thomas Tessier. Read on for the latest on World of Hurt!

From the Press Release
Devi Snively, a participant in AFI's Directing Workshop for Women, is set to adapt Thomas Tessier’s short story “The Ventriloquist” from his Remorseless (Sinister Grin Press) collection. Snively is the fourth of five directors signed to the THOMAS TESSIER WORLD OF HURT project.

“I’m a puppet enthusiast so I was expecting one thing from ‘The Ventriloquist’ based on the title,” Snively said, “and then discovered it was about an entirely different kind of puppet that proves far scarier than your average Charlie McCarthy or Chucky variety—I just adore surprises.”

“The Ventriloquist” is the story of Robbie, 21, who is in desperate need of a glimmer of hope after his girlfriend, Suzy, dumps him. He seeks out a gypsy card reader, and the cards reveal: “What you want most is unopposed.” The next day Suzy calls him…

Snively will write and direct the Tessier story in 2014.

Indiana-based Devi Snively was selected to participate in AFI's prestigious Directing Workshop for Women, where she helmed “Death in Charge,” which Dread Central praised as “an excellent filmmaker, one to watch for sure.” She teaches a course on horror films at the University of Notre Dame and has a strong record of festival showings and awards.

THOMAS TESSIER’S WORLD OF HURT is an anthology film consisting five stories published in his Remorseless and Ghost Music (Cemetery Dance Publications) collections. All Channel Films, Inc., will provide domestic (U.S.) and Canadian distribution.

Snively joins directors Raymond Carr, Mia Sorensen, and Darin Read in this anthology film.

For more information check out Thomas Tessier's blog, and "like" World of Hurt on Facebook!

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Categories: Horror News

Jeff Lemire Fills In For 'Batman/Superman' #10

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:25

There will be a brief blip in the Greg Pak/Jae Lee “Batman/Superman” storyline this April as Jeff Lemire steps in for a single fill-in issue with art by Karl Kerschl and Scott Hepburn and a cover by Cam Stewart. While I would love to see Lemire take on the super duo, Pak and Lee have been doing a stellar job and they do not have plans to leave us hanging any time soon. The originally solicited story for issue #10 will now hop over to issue #11.

In Lemire’s stand-alone story, a microscopic threat invades the body of The Dark Knight, and it’s up to The Man of Steel and Dr. Ray Palmer to shrink down and eliminate the danger. But what they find will shock you! Get ready for big sci-fi thrills and high-adventure fun as only BATMAN/SUPERMAN can present!

Categories: Horror News

[Visions of Horror] Jack Kirby

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:15

Keeping true to our ardent vow of honouring classic horror artwork and artists that have significantly impacted the comics industry, Visions of Horror is back to feature a massively popular creative force whose award-winning work has impressively spanned the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern ages of comic books. With a visually distinctive style, and a fiercely dynamic presence that still resonates within the comics community 20 years after his death, Jack Kirby’s legacy is very much the heart of the industry, and continues to grow with the increasing recognition of his extraordinary and influential career.

As one of the most innovative and prolific originators of his time, Kirby created, or had a hand in creating, some of the most iconic characters from some of the most popular titles to ever grace the comics world. And while his artistic vision paved way for such celebrated Marvel heroes and villains from the likes of the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four, it’s his lesser known, though still enduring, successes in the horror genre that naturally interests us here at Bloody-Disgusting.

In 1950, alongside notorious creative partner, and classic comics gem, Joe Simon — with whom he had co-created Captain America with 9 years prior — Kirby spearheaded an ambitiously risky, non-gore-infused, horror anthology called “Black Magic”. In fact, an anthologized story called “Beautiful Freak” from issue #29 (cover featured below), was used as a means to establish the Comics Code due to its supposedly controversial subject matter concerning human deformities and murder. The series lasted for an impressive 11-year-run before it was unfortunately canceled, but his unforgettable contributions to the book were reprinted as a nine-issue series published by DC Comics between 1973 and 1975. This, of course, occurred a few years after Kirby’s glaring disillusionment with Marvel regarding proper character credit, art ownership and payment issues, resulted in him abandoning ship and intensively negotiating a three-year contract with DC.

“Black Magic” #29 (Nov-Dec. 1953) / #17 (Oct. 1952) Original Art:

During this time, it was said that he was often forced to work on titles he held no real passion for. But even under these circumstances he managed to grace the horror genre with another significant character that has gone on to survive the competitive nature of the market, and remains a popular and reoccurring face in the DC Universe today. I’m referring to his contractually coerced creation of Etrigan the Demon, who was begrudgingly brought to life due to DC Comics’ demand for a brilliant new horror icon to set loose on the masses. For those unaware, though I imagine it is few, Etrigan is a demon from Hell, though usually prone to fight for the side of good thanks to being immortally bound to Jason Blood, a well-known ally of Batman and other DC Universe superheroes.

“The Demon” #1 (1972) – Cover Art:

“The Demon” #1 hit stands in August of 1972, and the response was so alarmingly positive that Kirby was ordered to focus all of his energy on the series, at the expense of his other unfinished titles. Since the character’s debut, Etrigan has gone on to fill many supporting roles in a number of DC Universe comic books, television programs, videos games, and movies. He made appearances in the Cartoon Network’s Justice League and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. He was even featured in widely popular award-winning titles like Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman”, Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing”, and Garth Ennis’ “Hitman”. Most recently, Etrigan appeared as the main character in Paul Cornell’s New 52 series “Demon Knights”, which concluded last summer.

“The Demon” #1 – Splash Page:

The fact that Kirby became a historically significant trailblazer of horror comics is both amazing, and hilarious, considering his alleged disinterest for the genre. Yet he managed to set a standard of excellence and achievement in the comics world that essentially remains unrivaled to this day.

Single Panel from “The Demon” #10 (July 1973):

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If you want Bloody Disgusting to cover one of your favourite horror artists, or a fantastic piece of horror-related comic book art, head down to the comment section, or hit up Farah or Lonnie on Twitter.

Categories: Horror News

Fractured Release News Comes Crashing In

Dread Central - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:15

Release news finally has come in regarding the latest film from Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson entitled Fractured (formerly Schism), and we have all the info you need right here.

From the Press Release
Adam Gierasch’s noir horror thriller FRACTURED (formerly known as Schism), starring Callum Blue (Dead Like Me), Vinnie Jones (Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, X-Men: Last Stand), Ashlynn Yennie (The Human Centipede, The Human Centipede 2), and Nicole LaLiberte (How To Make it In America), has a release date.

FRACTURED will be released day and date in theatres and everywhere digitally on Friday, April 11, 2014. Fractured is the first film being released under Seven Arts Entertainment's new genre label Dark Arts. The film will be available on all leading digital platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, and Xbox as well as cable and satellite VOD such as Comcast and other major providers.

The stylistically shot suspense thriller has received a tremendous amount of acclaim following its sold out screening at Screamfest LA.

FRACTURED tells the story of Dylan White. After awaking from a coma with no idea who he is, Dylan creates a safe and and normal life for himself. It doesn’t last long as horrifying visions start to interrupt his waking moments. Following clues that take him to the dark and blood-splattered underbelly of New Orleans, Dylan meets his arch nemesis, Quincy (Vinnie Jones), and soon finds that both his life and soul are in danger. FRACTURED is a trip to the dark side, noir-style: bad men, bad dames, bad sex, and bad intentions.

FRACTURED is produced by Gierasch, Jace Anderson, Kate Hoffman, Jay Firestone, Andrew Cohen, and Raymond J. Markovich. The film was shot by Scott Winig and is being released by Seven Arts Entertainment and Uncork’d Entertainment.

As writers, Gierasch and Anderson are currently developing the superpower film Split for CBS Films. Gierasch and Anderson are known for their horror fare, having worked with icon Tobe Hooper penning his film Toolbox Murders and co-writing Mother of Tears with horror maven Dario Argento.

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Review: 'American Vampire: Second Cycle' #1

bloody disgusting - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 12:05

After a long hiatus, “American Vampire: Second Cycle” #1 returns stronger and bloodier than ever. The artwork bristles with raw energy and the sharp writing hits its mark every time. This installment of “Second Cycle” is a great recap for newcomers and serves as a fantastic reminder why “American Vampire” is easily one of the best horror comics out there.

WRITTEN B: Scott Snyder
ART BY: Rafael Albuquerque
PUBLISHER: Vertigo Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: March 19, 2014

The times keep changing for Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones, especially now that they are in the ‘60s. Though they are connected by blood, Pearl and Skinner have bitterly parted ways, hoping to never see each other again. Skinner belongs to the open road as a terror bandit but Pearl struggles to find herself a new life. She has just lost Henry and prefers to keep to herself. But, something ancient and more terrifying than Skinner is hunting after these two vampires. The Gray Trader is coming and there is nothing they can do to stop him.

Writer Scott Snyder splits the narrative into two short stories. We get a chance to see what has happened to Pearl and Skinner since their last confrontation. Because these vampires can survive the sunlight, they are able move to forward with the times. Skinner is more violent now that technology and transportation has modernized itself. In his introduction, we see Skinner riding in his motorcycle and holding an Uzi in his hand.

What’s interesting with Snyder’s writing is how he is able to present Pearl as a fighter and be motherly at the same time. In the opening pages, Pearl comes to the rescue of a screaming little girl. At first, you think Pearl is pointing her gun at a group of perverts. But then, Snyder twists the suspenseful shootout and surprises the readers with a shocking revelation.

Readers will not be able to look away from Rafael Albuquerque’s gritty and vibrant artwork. My favorite of his illustrations is the splash page of Pearl’s introduction. Albuquerque puts in tons of detail to the worn-out and tattered clothing Pearl is wearing. It’s the perfect pose of a gunfighter as Pearl holds the shotgun steady with one hand.

Albuquerque has done something new and different to the character design to Skinner. When the “American Vampire” series first started, I always thought Skinner was a slimmer and tall version of rockstar Kurt Cobain. Now, Albuquerque illustrates the muscles in Skinner’s arms and chest, especially since he is only wearing a sleeveless and unbuttoned jacket. Skinner has also let his hair grow long and the new digs suit him well.

An excellent read, “American Vampire: Second Cycle” #1 delivers tons of bloody thrills that horror fans have been craving for. I am very happy “American Vampire” is back and cannot wait for the next issue to get here.

4.5/5 Skulls

Review by Jorge Solis

Categories: Horror News