This afternoon I will be hosting TWO Facebook Live streams on the Bloody Disgusting Facebook Page for the upcoming film Blair Witch.
The first is at 1:30PM ET / 10:30AM PT with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett; the second is at 2:20PM ET / 11:20AM PT with Callie Hernandez, James Allen McCune, Valorie Curry, Wes Robinson and Corbin Reid, all of who star in the film.
I’m taking questions early from you guys, and the best way to get them to me by either Twitter mention or commenting right here on this article.
Brad called the sequel a ” target=”_blank”>”horror game changer that will completely wreck you,” and it seems like making it was an insane experience, so this should be a lot of fun. Watch for several reviews this week leading up to the release in theaters this Friday!
There are some weird and idyllic trailers out there, and then there’s the trailer for Amethyst. Jared Maters’ silent horror fantasy film does not yet have a release date, so head over to Facebook to get your fix.
From the Press Release:
The 1st trailer for the upcoming feature film ‘Amethyst’ was released this morning. It is the latest from psycho-sensationalist Jared Masters of Frolic Pictures. It is a silent film, and the true story of a girl, who took too much (LSD), and went down the rabbit hole, never to return to this side of reality again.
After exceeding the recommended dose (by about 499 hits of liquid lysergic acid), Amethyst becomes consumed by its psychedelic properties and discovers a whole new existence above ours, a place beyond invisible mirrors. Although she must endure this tragedy, some good does come from it. She befriends a piccolo-playing eunuch, and follows magical orbs to their family cluster.
Will Amethyst’s best friend, Ember, find her … in time? Will Amethyst kill, or be killed, by the many strange beings that surround her? Will she devour the tempting fungi indigenous to the wood? Only you can tell, after baring witness, to the sights and sounds of this splendid, startling and spectacular motion picture event.
Don’t miss Grace Klich and Val Miller, out of the house, exploring the wonders of a secret world. Vampires, sea nymphs, gentiles, river fairies, butterflies and ghost children. Will the mysterious 100-foot obelisk, that Amethyst discovers, help send her home? She may even find sea nymph eggs, but what will she do with them?
This film is not recommended for the closed-minded, or persons with shallow cinematic taste. However, if you are someone who has ever dreamed of an oasis of joy and laughter, this side of Heaven, where goat-footed dwarves ride white pygmy ponies, then, this one’s for you.
Shot in historic Richmond, Virginia, in stunning 4K and Tripto-vision. Co-starring Derrick Biedenback, Vincent Joel and Olivia Yohai. Cinematography by Takede Osheame. Production assistance and continuity by Matt McPartland and Casey Plemons. Produced by Megan Clare Johnson and Andrew Wint. Music composed by Federico Ferrandina. Written and directed by Jared Masters (Slink, Ballet of Blood, After School Massacre).
Be sure to check out the trailer, and tell your friends, but remind them… One drop is enough… Amethyst is coming soon.
Last month, I posted about the new album from San Francisco horrorbilly/bluegrass group The Pine Box Boys, The Feast of Three Arms. Today, we’re going to give you a taste of that album with the track “Mighty, Mighty Preacher”, an upbeat song full of twang and mystery.
Vocalist/guitarist Lester T. Raww tells BD, “The Pine Box Boys have referenced this “Mighty, Mighty Preacher” in several songs – “56, AR”, “Prester John in Appalachia”, amongst others – but in this iteration we learn about where he settled and how he stays…solvent.”
“On their fifth album, The Feast Of Three Arms, the murder balladeers introduce us to Willie’s cousin, Jubal with No Last Name, and his quest to kill the man that did his mama wrong.”
The Feast of Three Arms comes out on October 21st. It can be pre-ordered right here.
Production has officially started on Creep 2, with actor-director Desiree Akhavan, pictured below right, signing on to star in the Blumhouse and Duplass Brothers production opposite Mark Duplass (above), Deadline writes.
A sequel to Creep, the cult horror film that debuted at SXSW 2014 and was a critical hit in 2015, Creep 2 will see the return of the original’s director Patrick Brice, who co-wrote the new script along with Duplass.
Best known for her feature directorial debut Appropriate Behaviour for which she received a Best First Screenplay nomination at the 2015 Indie Spirit Awards and also starred in, Akhavan appeared in season 4 of HBO’s “Girls” and is currently working on “The Bisexual”, a new comedy series for The UK’s Channel 4.
Produced by Carolyn Craddock, Blumhouse’s Jason Blum is executive producing Creep 2 alongside Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, Mel Eslyn, Chris Donlon and Josh Braun.
We told you last month that The Devil’s Dolls is being released in select theaters and on VOD/Digital this Friday, September 16th, via IFC Midnight Films, and we recently got in touch with horror filmmaker Padraig Reynolds to discuss his latest genre feature. Read on for the exclusive word on this voodoo-inspired shocker.
Reynolds, who wrote and directed the 2011 horror feature Rites of Spring, here co-produces and directs from a script by co-producers Danny Kolker and Christopher Wiehl (the latter of whom also stars). Here’s the official synopsis:
A serial killer’s curse unleashes a season of slaughter in the backwoods of Mississippi. According to an ancient Guatemalan tradition, parents teach their children to allay their troubles by telling them to handmake “worry dolls” just before bedtime. But when several of these talismans—which once belonged to a notorious mass murderer—find their way into the hands of unsuspecting residents of a small Southern town, it sets off a grisly wave of bloodshed.
Kennedy Brice (“The Walking Dead”), Kym Jackson (“NCIS: Los Angeles”), Tina Lifford, Samantha Smith (Transformers), Brea Grant (Rob Zombie’s Halloween II), and Yohance Myles (This Is the End) also star. Holly Amber Church provides the score, with cinematography by Adam Sampson.
Filmed over the course of twenty days in Canton, Vicksburg, and Natchez, Mississippi, on the Red Epic Camera, Reynolds says of The Devil’s Dolls, “I was sent the script and really dug the material. I met with the producers, and we got along great. They were really cool with the style I wanted to bring to the script and loved the fact that I had already shot a movie in Mississippi and was familiar with the area. We went location scouting and were shooting within two months. It all happened really fast.”
With the film’s original trailer evoking shades of Child’s Play and “true crime,” we asked Reynolds of any possible influence, to which he replied, “I really wanted to do a crime drama with shades of voodoo in it. I really liked that there aren’t many films in the voodoo genre. So it was a chance to do something fresh and different. There are hints of Child’s Play, but our film is different. The dolls in our movie cause people to become possessed upon contact and basically make them lose their shit and go nuts. The ‘true crime’ aspect is there as well cause we were in the Deep South shooting a detective story in the dead of summer. It was sticky, sweaty, and hot as hell. I think the locations in the film really add to the authenticity of the film and give it a unique look.”
As for Reynolds’ working relationship with co-writer, co-producer, and star Weihl, the director effused, “Chris and I worked every day and were on the same page from day one. He really let me run with my vision and supported every change I wanted to make in the script. I was really impressed with how many different hats he could wear on production. He was writer, producer, and actor all at the same time. We had such a great working experience that we are working on other projects together.”
Regarding the shoot itself, Reynolds said of principal photography, “My favorite part was shooting the opening. My DP Adam Sampson and I really set out to do something energetic. We wanted an action sequence to open the movie and introduce all the players in a unique, fast, and bloody way. Really try to grab you by the throat right away. Plus we shot in this abandoned mental institution in the woods that was pretty incredible.”
Reynolds, who is currently early in production on a new feature film called OPEN 24 HOURS, which is slated to go before cameras this fall, concluded of The Devil’s Dolls, “I’m really excited to be on IFC Midnight again. They released my last film, Rites of Spring, and they are one of the best indie distributors out there.”
The post Exclusive: Director Padraig Reynolds Talks The Devil’s Dolls appeared first on Dread Central.
Deadline reports that “The Outlander” and “Game of Thrones” co-star Tobias Menzies is set as a lead in “The Terror”, AMC’s anthology drama series based on the bestselling 2007 novel by Dan Simmons. Scott Free, Alexandra Milchan’s Emjag Productions, Entertainment 360 and AMC Studios are producing the 10-episode straight-to-series drama set to premiere in 2017.
Written by feature writer David Kajganich, who co-showruns with Soo Hugh, the series is set in 1847, when a Royal Navy expedition crew searching for the Northwest Passage is attacked by a mysterious predator that stalks the ships and their crews in a suspenseful and desperate game of survival. It is a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.
Menzies will play a member of the Royal Navy. It marks his reunion with AMC, where he recently co-starred in limited series “The Night Manager”, which is nominated for 12 Emmy Awards.
In features, he co-stars in Una, which premieres at the Toronto Film Festival, and the upcoming Underworld: Blood Wars.
So, a few weeks back, I covered the Weyland-Yutani Commando as part of Series 8 of NECA’s successful line of figures based off of the Alien franchise. Now I know some folks still hate Alien 3 with the fiery passion of 1000 suns, but come on, the figure looks pretty cool. And now that Series 9 has started to hit shelves, it makes sense to finish off Series 8, doesn’t it? For those who were lukewarm to having the Commando, NECA has stuck to the classic players for the rest of the line: Ripley and two variants of the Dog Alien.
All three figures come housed in the same standard clamshell packaging that the rest of the line has come in since its inception, sporting the “Alien 3” motif for the backdrop. The sides of the package have shots of the figures in various poses, while the back has a small synopsis of the film, with shots of the other figures in the series. Do note that both Dog Alien variations have the exact same packaging.
NECA keeps on pumping out some great sculpts, and Ripley is no exception. The figure’s likeness to Sigourney from the film is very close (not sure about the lips), but what’s even cooler is the texture applied to the figure’s head to mimic the stubble. This suble use of texture continues through the rest of the fabric in the clothing, along with all of the wrinkles, stitching, scuffs, rips and skin texture. The paint is also done really well. I love the wash used for the pants, as well as the bruising used on Ripley’s face. Great attention to detail, with no smearing or missed paint apps to speak of.
As for the Dog Alien, both figures are the exact same sculpts, and both are fantastic. Those who missed the earlier release of the Dog Alien way back in Series 3 will be happy to have a second chance to grab this guy. The biomechanical details of Giger’s famous sculpt are replicated here exactly, crammed with details of ribs, tubing and bone. As with the other Xenomorphs, the domes are a separate transparent piece, allowing you to see the underlying structures of the sculpted heads. The paint is where the two Dog Alien figures differ. One is painted in a more darker brown, while the other has a mix of light brown/grey shading. Both have some fantastic washes applied that bring out details, and depending on which one you decide to get, the way the light hits the figure will determine which details are more pronounced. It all depends on where/how you decide to display the figure. The dome is carefully airbrushed to give a nice gradient towards the front of the figure, completing its look.
Unfortunately, here’s where things start to fall down a bit. While the overall articulation of all three figures is nicely done, there are a few small (and one major) issue that I have to explain.
With Ripley, she features over 25 points of articulation. The head is on a ball joint, and can move up and down, side to side and left to right. The arms are on pin-and-socket joints, and can move outward and forward. Like other Ripley figures, she can’t move out to a perfect 90°, but it’s still good enough that you can get enough range of motion. The arms bend at the elbow, can bend to 90° and rotate. The hands are on balljoints, and while the figure’s right hand moves easily, there’s a problem with the left. The peg that holds the left hand is weak, and can snap off when you first try to move the hand. Putting the arm in the fridge can strengthen it enough so that when you first move the hand, it won’t break. Obviously, this is a major problem. If the hand on your figure does snap off, you can always contact NECA’s Customer Service through Twitter or their website. The figure has an upper torso crunch, as well as a ball joint at the waist. The pin-and-socket joints allow the legs to move outward and forward quite far, and rotate at the hips. The knees allow the legs to bend at 45°, as well as rotate. While there’s no boot cut joint, the feet are on balljoints, and can rotate all the way around and offer some pivoting.
As for the Dog Aliens, both variants feature the same 30 points of articulation. The head is on a ball joint, and can move all the way around, but is restricted by the sculpt for moving to look up. There’s another neck join that permits a bit more movement, but again, the sculpt limits how much you can do. The arms are on pin-and-socket joints, and can move up to around 90°, and move forward and back. The elbows are double-jointed, allowing you to almost fold the arms in two, as well as rotate them. The hands are on pin-and-socket joints, but still grant the hands a good range of up and down movement and rotation. The upper torso joint allows the figure to move all the way around, while the legs are on pin-and-socket joints that allow for the legs to move outward to around 45°, but move all the way around. Like the elbows, the knees are double-jointed, and can bend all the way in half. The lower legs have a pin-and-socket joint, allowing you to move them forward and back and rotate. The feet bend forward and back at the ankle, and the tail rotates at the base, while also having the familiar wire running down it to allow for infinite posing. Now while many of the joints on the Dog Aliens are nice and tight, the ball joint for the head and the upper torso are quite loose, and do have a tendency to flop. There are tutorials on YouTube and elsewhere that can help to remedy things, but it’s kind of a bummer that this slipped through.
For Ripley, she comes with the ability to pop her arms off at the shoulder (use a hair dryer to lessen the breakage potential), which allows you to slip off the jacket and pop the set of bare arms included with the figure. The bare arms have the same range of motion as the jacketed ones, and it’s one of those obvious inclusions that’s actually pretty cool. She also comes with a nicely-detailed torch and a flashlight. The figure’s right hand is best for holding either accessory. You’re not going to get much in terms of two-handed poses, but you can try.
As for either of the Dog Aliens, they come with a display stand that helps support the figure for your posing. Generally designed to go around the waist of the figure, you could also put the stand at the base of the tail if you so desire.
While NECA once again hits it out of the park for the details and paint, I’m slightly disappointed at the QC issues in the articulation. Again, some of them are minor (and can easily be fixed), but the issue regarding Ripley’s hand is troubling. Not everyone has had this issue, but it’s come up enough that you’ll want to exercise caution when trying to move it the first time. Other than that, these figures are a great compliment to the Commando, and really make Series 8 a great addition to your collection.
Big thanks once again to Northmen Collectibles for making this figure available.
When it comes to Australian genre films, or Ozploitation as they’re so often referred, I’m very much a novice. Yeah, I’ve seen all the Mad Max films and I’m a huge fan of Brian Trenchard-Smith (read my reviews of Turkey Shoot and The Siege of Firebase Gloria) but basically that’s where my knowledge ends. Fortunately Umbrella Entertainment releases a number of titles under a series they called “Ozploitation Classics” and as a result I’ve slowly begun to expand my knowledge. My latest journey down under was with 1993’s Body Melt!
Body Melt is the story of a small community called Pebbles Court whose residents are unknowingly being treated as test subjects for a new dietary pill. Pebbles Court is like your typical cookie cutter suburb. All the houses look the same and there is just a general fakeness to everything. The people are all kind of vain and so when free pills arrive in their mailbox promoting the ultimate healthy lifestyle they eagerly take them without hesitation. Unfortunately for the residents of Pebbles Court these pills come with some truly awful side effects.
The idea of the pill, I think, is to help you lose weight and in a way that’s what it does. But in losing weight it first causes hallucinations followed by mutations. So those that use it do lose weight, but it’s in the form of their skin melting off. And that’s with the lucky ones! One unfortunate chap has his penis enlarge (not so bad) until he gets the point of exploding and kill him (not so great). Some folks have tentacles come out of their mouth which is never fun. And let’s not forget the imploding heads. Basically, things get pretty messy in Pebbles Court.
The film was directed by Philip Brophy off a script he co-wrote with Rod Bishop. Both Brophy and Bishop were members of the Australian experimental band → ↑ →. I feel like when you’re dealing with a couple of dudes that named their band → ↑ → that you kind of know you’re going to be in for something very weird. Body Melt is definitely weird. It has that slapstick gore that Sam Raimi and early Peter Jackson had perfected with maybe a hint of David Cronenberg. It’s definitely never not interesting.
The film is a satire of extremely healthy living. It kind of makes fun of the stuff like those GNC shops and the people that shop there. I don’t know if this stuff was super popular in the 90’s in Australia, but I’m going to guess that it was which is probably how this film came about. I feel like stateside I remember seeing these stores all over the place and inside shopping malls and such. I don’t think you see them as much now or maybe I don’t notice them. But just because these health supplement stores may not be around as much, I think the satire still holds up. We’ve just moved on to a new health craze. And we’ll probably continue to move from one craze to another so in that way Body Melt will always be relevant. That’s not to say the movie isn’t dated with a 90’s feel. It very much is, but I loved the 90’s so I don’t mind.
Body Melt is currently available on DVD from Australia’s Umbrella Entertainment. Don’t let the Australia part worry you too much because this is region free, so wherever you are in the world you should be able to watch this. I did so on a standard American Blu-ray player without any issues. This is a DVD so don’t expect an HD picture or anything, but this still looks very good. This is a pretty bright film with a lot of colors and practical effects and they all look just fine here. There’s not a lot in the way of special features but you do get the trailer for the film and a behind-the-scenes featurette with cast and crew.
Body Melt is a great party film. Pop this one with some friends, order a pizza and sit back and enjoy a slapstick splatter fest!
Body Melt is currently available on DVD from Umbrella Entertainment.
Merely days after the announcement of the PS4 Pro, Tripwire Interactive revealed that Killing Floor 2 will be coming to the system, marking the series’ console debut – but there are a few strings attached. Read on for the details.
From the Press Release:
Tripwire Interactive, in collaboration with Deep Silver and Iceberg Interactive, is pleased to announce that the retail release of its highly successful co-op sci-fi horror FPS game KILLING FLOOR 2 will be available at launch, fully supporting the newly announced PlayStation®4 Pro computer entertainment system and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system exclusively at GameStop, the largest video game retailer, for $39.99 on November 18, 2016. Enhanced for PlayStation®4 Pro out of the box, the sequel to the 3+ million unit selling Killing Floor will be making its console debut with this release for the first time in franchise history with gory visuals, touting sharper and crisper textures, and overall increased fidelity.
”Partnering with companies like Tripwire and Deep Silver allows us to leverage our position as largest video game retailer in the world to deliver better experiences and opportunities to all gamers,” said Eric Bright, senior director of merchandising at GameStop. “Killing Floor 2 is a great example of how we can take AAA products and bring them to brand new audiences.”
In KILLING FLOOR 2 players descend into continental Europe, where the outbreak caused by Horzine Biotech’s failed experiment has quickly spread and gained unstoppable momentum, essentially paralyzing the European Union. Just one month after the events in the original KILLING FLOOR, the specimen clones are everywhere, and civilization is in disarray; communications have failed, governments have collapsed, and military forces have been systematically eradicated. The people of Europe know survival and self-preservation too well, and lucky survivors have gone into hiding.
Not all have given up hope, though… A group of civilians and mercenaries have banded together to combat the outbreak and established privately funded operation bases across Europe. Upon tracking specimen clone outbreaks, players will descend into zed-laden hot zones and exterminate them.
·Visceral Gore – KILLING FLOOR 2 ramps up the gore with a proprietary, high-powered persistent blood system bringing new levels of fidelity to the genre. Players will send entrails, severed limbs, and blood flying as they wade through hordes of enemies. But they need to watch out! If caught, enemies will rip them, and their entire party, limb from limb.
·6-Player Co-op or Solo Play— A multitude of varied playable characters await for players to choose from as they enter the fray in online co-op mode or solo mode for those willing to brave the horrific specimens alone.
·12-Player PvP Versus Survival Game Mode – Be the Zed! A 12-player PvP mode where two teams take turns playing Humans vs. Zeds in a pair of short matches. In the first match one team plays Humans and the other Zeds until the humans all die during a single round or they beat the boss. For the second match the teams switch sides, and when the battle is completed, both teams receive a score based on their performance, and the higher score wins!
·Terrifying Zeds – New enemies and fan favorites from the original game are back with expanded and smarter artificial intelligence, dishing out powerful attacks, working as a group to weaken the player’s party and pushing the challenge level and fear factor to new levels.
·Unique Blend of Weaponry – From modern militaristic assault rifles, brutal improvised makeshift weapons, classic historical guns, and off the wall “Mad Scientist” weapons, KILLING FLOOR 2 has a unique blend of killing tools that will satisfy any gamer.
·Expanded Perk System – Perks from the original game have been reimagined with more added to the fold. All perks now progress with meaningful talent choices that amplify different play styles, giving players a progression path that is expansive and full of rewarding milestones.
·Brutal Melee Combat – KILLING FLOOR 2 reinvents melee combat completely. Players now have control over the type of melee attacks they can perform, enabling them to deliver bone-breaking crippling attacks to Zeds.
KILLING FLOOR 2 is developed by Tripwire Interactive and will be published for retail by Deep Silver for the PlayStation®4 Pro and PlayStation®4 and published by Iceberg Interactive for PC. The game will be available globally on November 18, 2016.
Stay up-to-date with the latest KILLING FLOOR 2 news and information at killingfloor2.com. You can also keep track of Tripwire Interactive at any of these online channels: tripwireinteractive.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/tripwireinteractive, Twitter at twitter.com/TripwireInt and on YouTube at youtube.com/user/tripwireinteractive.
Starring Kevin Ryan, Jake Busey, Fiona Dourif
Directed by Patrick Rea
Screened at FrightFest 2016
Ex-paramedic Charles (Ryan) has quit his job in order to follow his dreams and join his bandmates on tour – and before he disappears for six months, he and wife Dana (Dourif) set off on a camping trip to spend some much-needed time together.
Unbeknownst to Charles, Dana has recently discovered that she’s pregnant – but she hasn’t quite worked up the courage to tell him, given that they’ve already agreed that they’re not the kind of couple who would do well with children.
Out in the woods, Charles and Dana find their stay interrupted by the actions of a bunch of local hunters, who spend the evening getting drunk, shooting guns and riding quad bikes all over the forest. That is, until something attacks them…
With the hunters wiped out except for the gravely wounded Sean (Busey) – rescued from the situation by Charles and dragged into the couple’s tent – the three survivors find themselves stalked from all sides by some kind of forest-dwelling creature… and it only seems to be a matter of time before the thing decides to make its way inside.
Yet the thing outside isn’t the only threat, as the smarmy, big-mouthed Sean seems to have ulterior motives of his own – quietly working his way into the minds of his two saviours as he tries to turn them against one another and secure his escape from the forest.
Primarily a character play, Enclosure relies heavily on its cast and – thankfully – everybody here is more than up to the task. Dourif continues her impressive streak within the genre and the interplay between her and Ryan ably generates the feeling of a loving relationship that’s just not quite in the best place right now. It isn’t overtly pointed out at any point, but the two of them manage to organically realise this subtext as a separate thread to Dana’s own worries regarding the pregnancy.
Next to them, Jake Busey inhabits the role of Sean almost entirely – he’s a perfect fit, leaving it difficult to picture anybody else in this position as he grins and weasels his way across each scene.
The drama of Enclosure does, however, outshine the horror as besides a couple of nicely timed scares, Rea overplays his monster hand with just a little too much early exposure given to the forest-dwelling beast(s). But these early shots don’t represent the quality of the impressive creature design once the last act reveals them in their full glory – adding another surprisingly effective creature to director Rea’s stable. His attraction to, and skill with, interesting monsters is just as apparent as it was in 2013’s Nailbiter – a film so inventively approached that most would never have noticed it was a werewolf flick until the reveal.
Here, we have something akin to a folklorish Native American Predator, with undertones of unpaid transgressions against Mother Earth and other antagonistic motives that might just spell the end of all three of our thoroughly modern civilisation dwellers.
Some cartoonish effects and digital compositing do let the side down, robbing chunks of fear factor from the tense, siege-like tent sequences and leaving the monsters lacking, but the dramatic threads playing out remain consistently compelling – and there’s certainly enough threat going on between the humans to get you through without much complaint.
Extra kudos to Rea for refusing to tie things with up with a nice big pretty bow, too – delivering an unexpectedly dark ending that hearkens to mythological and fairytale horror and reinforces his growing reputation as a filmmaker dedicated to finding new monstrous angles from which to come at you.
Starring Missi Pyle, Penn Jillette, Harry Hamlin, Hayes MacArthur
Directed by Adam Rifkin
Screened at FrightFest 2016
After donating enough money to the crowdfunding efforts of low-rent serial killer flick Knocked Off, weirdo Herbert Blount (Jillette) earns himself a Producer credit and the opportunity to be on set throughout filming.
This very simple situation leads to the film you now watch: Director’s Cut.
The concept here is that the footage from director Adam Rifkin’s “Knocked Up” has been stolen by the maniacal Blount and re-edited using a mixture of the finished film, deleted footage and Blount’s own on- and off-set recordings… most interestingly, those in which he records himself stalking, kidnapping and eventually shooting new scenes with film star Missi Pyle, with whom he is completely obsessed.
One of the most gloriously inventive film experiences in years, Director’s Cut plays out with the likeable – but quite clearly out of his mind – Blount providing an almost constant commentary over his edition of the film. He fills us in on his motivations, why certain shots were stylistically chosen, what to look out for in terms of product placement and even waxes lyrical on what he thinks certain filmmaking terms mean as demonstrated on-screen. Often he’s wrong; other times he’s right on with a little twist… and it makes for a seriously fun time for anyone with even a modicum of experience within the industry.
Director’s Cut tends to feel very lighthearted; and Blount, whilst obviously suffering from more than a few loose screws in the ol’ noggin, comes across as a harmless idiot. Yes, he’s creepy; yes, things eventually get dark when kidnapping and more uncomfortable situations arise – but you never get the sense that he would intentionally hurt Missi.
The manner in which Director’s Cut unfolds is borderline genius, getting everything a standard narrative would need to have – such as how Blount acquires the footage he’s using and how he manages to work himself into Missi’s life – through to the audience by having Blount himself include it in his edition of Knocked Off. These scenes are relevant to the story of Knocked Off in Blount’s twisted mind, and his commentary details the artistic and plot significance as relates to Rifkin’s original film. Some are even crudely edited with animation and Blount providing voiceover – turning, for example, a spied-on lunch between Missi and her sister becoming a hilarious, hard-boiled police discussion.
It’s quirky, it’s insane… and it’s riotously entertaining.
The cast are excellent across the board here, admirably managing the multiple layers necessary in terms of being an actor playing an actor playing a character whilst also playing themselves. The star of the show is most definitely Penn Jillette, however, and it’s unsurprising to see that he also wrote the film… because you simply won’t be able to imagine anybody else in the shoes of Herbert Blount. The voice, the enthusiasm, the playfulness… nobody could have nailed this like Jillette does, though he comes very close to being upstaged by the short appearance of his real-life on-stage showman pal, Teller – the usually-silent magician delivering a gut-busting (yes, spoken!) performance that you will never, ever forget.
Director’s Cut does suffer slightly from being a one-note joke, but the humour comes thick and fast and Jillette’s lovable psycho is a constant pleasure to listen to. There’s always the sense of a surprise waiting just around the corner, so even when Director’s Cut finds its grip on pacing begin to slip, your attention is unlikely to wander too far given how frequently things get crazy.
You’ll need a tolerance/appreciation of bad movies (Knocked Off is intentionally derivative, unbelievable and cheesy) and a dark sense of humour if you’re going to get the most out of Director’s Cut – but if you can personally mark those on your list, then get ready for one of the most unique, oddball, self-aware and eminently enjoyable dark comedies you’re ever likely to see.
Starring Natalie Burn, Ignacia Allamand, Ariel Levy, Bryce Draper, Luke Massy
Directed by Patricio Valladares
Screened at FrightFest 2016
Following up on his odious, horribly plotted disaster Hidden in the Woods, Chilean director Patricio Valladares returns to the genre with Downhill – a not-quite-as-odious but still horribly plotted disaster.
Couple Joe (Draper) and Stephanie (Burn) are downhill bike racing enthusiasts. Still reeling from the accidental death of one of their friends during a race, Joe and Stephanie are invited by old friend Pablo (Levy) to take part in a corporate-sponsored race in Chile that could make for a solid payday.
Accepting, the pair hop on a plane and head over, partying with Pablo before taking off the next morning for a practice run through the nearby forest. It’s all – *sigh* – downhill from here, though, when they discover an injured, and sick, man behind the wheel of a crashed vehicle. Desperate to find help for the wounded man, Joe and Stephanie draw the ire of a group of local hunters led by a ruthless brute ‘alpha’ (Massy) – all of whom appear determined to protect the secret behind whatever it is that’s wrong with the man involved in the crash.
Valladares’ Downhill has a pretty good setup: isolated location, fish-out-of-water protagonists, threatening adversaries of unknown motivation and some kind of freaky infection – but as the film progresses, it very much matches its namesake when it comes to quality. Once again, Valladares just can’t seem to help himself when it comes to his portrayal of women – whose only purpose appears to be running, screaming, shouting, stripping and dying. Every time it seems that Burn’s Stephanie is about to go ‘Ripley’ and demonstrate sufficient independent strength, she caves or folds time and time again… the switch serving no real character purpose – it’s merely to drive her from one point of conflict to the next. If things need to move, she gets strong for a moment; if Valladares wants the abuse to persist, she flops like a fish. It’s all over the bloody place and, ultimately, insulting to anyone of reasonable intelligence.
The villains are one-note but passable – which actually works given their shady nature – but Valladares has a tendency to wreck almost every encounter with them by overloading the scene with terrible CGI gunshots/bullets and the belief that shaking the damned camera every time someone pulls a trigger makes for a more impactful sequence. It does not.
Still, there’s a compelling mystery at the core of Downhill – possibly the only thing that will keep the devoted genre fan watching beyond the first 30 minutes – and the makeup effects used to demonstrate the mutations caused by whatever infection is ravaging these woods are superb. There’s also some creature action – the infection evolving into tentacles bursting from chests and other monstrous fun.
But even this is unfocused, unfulfilled and poorly handled. Some obscure answers are offered as the relatively poor ending comes around, but many are kept locked away – for example, what are the bags hanging in the woods for? What is the purpose behind all of the villains’ activity? Why is there only one single incident of apparently supernatural/mystical behaviour in between all the grounded body horror?
Realistically, these are questions that you’re likely to ask and immediately forget – because dissecting Downhill to such a degree simply isn’t worth the time nor the effort. If the filmmakers had felt differently, perhaps we’d have ended up with a more satisfying film but as it stands, Downhill is a dull, slapdash effort with very little in the way of redeeming qualities.
Director Greg McLean’s latest film, The Belko Experiment, which was written and co-produced by James Gunn, has landed distro following its Midnight Madness debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Fest. We have the early details for you right here, and we only have to wait six months to see it!
From the Press Release:
On the heels of a raucous debut screening at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness, Orion Releasing, a distribution arm of MGM, and BH Tilt announced today that they are partnering to release The Belko Experiment, directed by Greg McLean (The Darkness, Wolf Creek), written and produced by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), and produced by Peter Safran (The Conjuring and Annabelle).
The film will debut in theaters on March 17, 2017. BH Tilt is Blumhouse’s releasing company run by John Hegeman that takes advantage of new distribution and marketing strategies to release targeted films backed by digitally heavy campaigns. BH Tilt’s most recent release, The Darkness, starring Kevin Bacon and also directed by McLean, grossed over $10m in a targeted release; its next film, Incarnate, directed by Brad Peyton and starring Aaron Eckhart, will be released on December 2nd.
Hegeman said: “Greg, James, and Peter made a truly original and unique movie that we are excited to work with them and Orion on bringing to genre audiences all across the country.”
Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s President, Motion Picture Group, said, “Following a rousing debut here in Toronto, there is no better partner for this exciting film than in the talented hands of BH Tilt. We cannot wait for audiences to experience in what Greg, James, and Peter have created.”
Gunn said: “I can’t imagine a better home for us than BH Tilt – a movie as edgy and unique as Belko needs a deft hand for its release, and BH Tilt is the deftest of them all.”
McLean said: “I’m so proud of this movie and the amazing team of collaborators behind it and couldn’t be more excited about once more working with my friends at Orion and BH Tilt to bring Belko to audiences. Genre fans are in for an unforgettable ride!”
The Belko Experiment explores a twisted social experiment, in which a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogata, Colombia, and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
The film stars John Gallagher, Jr. (“The Newsroom,” 10 Cloverfield Lane), Tony Goldwyn (“Scandal”), Adria Arjona (“True Detective”), John C. McGinley (Stan Against Evil, “Scrubs”), Josh Brener (“Silicon Valley”), Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead,” Guardians of the Galaxy), Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station).
The post TIFF 2016: Orion and BH Tilt Team Up to Distribute The Belko Experiment appeared first on Dread Central.
I’m still disappointed that I missed out on Osgood Perkins’ directorial debut February (now retitled The Blackcoat’s Daughter) at last year’s TIFF. Bloody Disgusting raved about the Emma Roberts film), naming it one of the best films of the year, so I knew that this year I had to check out Perkins’ sophomore effort, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (hereafter I Am the Pretty Thing…).
The new film is a slow-burn haunted house story that’s a little reminiscent of The Others. Unlike other recent ghost films, Perkins eschews CGI completely, opting to use lingering off-centered static shots, silence and an unsettling soundtrack to create a moody, atmospheric tone. To suggest that the film is languid is an understatement; Perkins is less interested in a conventional narrative than he is in enveloping the audience in the timeless world filled with mystery novels, endless routine and constant ethereal banging on the walls.
Ruth Wilson (familiar to American audiences from The Affair) is the centerpiece of I Am the Pretty Thing… and the film lives and dies with her performance. As Lily, Wilson is in nearly every scene and the character provides not only the film’s voice over, she frequently dictates our point of view. Lily is an unusual character: she is almost child-like, talking to flowers and TV sets, but she is professional enough to be entrusted the role of hospice nurse for ailing mystery novelist Iris Blum (Paula Prentiss). The fact that the film is set at an indeterminate time (costuming and technology hint that it is the 1980s) is entirely deliberate.
In a boldly confident move, Perkins’ script lays out the entire film in Lily’s opening voice over and the opening images. As Lily intones about how houses that have had deaths in them can only be lent out by their ghosts, the opening images feature a dimly lit ethereal figure with a blurred visage and a slow pan over beds occupied by children as if glimpsed through a viewfinder. When we finally lay eyes on Lily as she enters Blum’s house for the first time, she confirms in voice over while seemingly breaking the fourth wall that she is the “pretty one” and that she will not live to see her next birthday. These disembodied images and spoilery proclamations both serve to introduce the film’s central mystery while simultaneously confirming that the destination is less important than the journey.
Thus begins a film that trades on its sound design (constant rainfall, dripping taps, the aforementioned banging) as well as its lingering, off-center shots to build tension. There are actually very few scares, but there is near constant tension. Perkins maximizes the fear potential in everyday occurrences so that the slow creep of mold on the wall and the flickering static on the TV become objects of unease. Throughout there is a constant suggestion that Lily is a stand-in or double for Polly (Lucy Boynton) the protagonist of Blum’s most famous novel. In addition to Blum’s refusal to call her anything but Polly, there are frequent shots of Lily’s face fractured in two in mirrors and TV screens, as though she is being split (in addition to the expected jump scare when Polly is briefly glimpsed over Lily’s shoulder in a TV screen).
This, as well as the film’s frequent use of slow fades to black to mark the transition of time and the casual reveal that much of Lily’s voice over dialogue is actually Polly’s from the novel, is a deliberate attempt to displace the film in time. The repetitive nature of images and dialogue, including the opening and closing scenes, infers that the events of the film are a cycle, a closed loop that ensnares its houseguests and traps them in perpetuity.
Despite a final climax that is a bit underwhelming, the preceding hour and a half establishes I Am the Pretty Thing… as a brazen, confident sophomore effort from Osgood Perkins. The film isn’t for everyone, but for those who can appreciate a slow-burn ghost story that relies heavily on tone and atmosphere rather than CGI and jump scares, this is one to seek out.
Very sad news as Alexis Arquette has passed away at age 47, according to a post made by her brother, Richmond. Arquette was an actress, a transgender activist, a musician, and a stage performer. Her transition from male to female was the subject of the 2007 film Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother.
Richmond posted, “Our brother Robert, who became our brother Alexis, who became our sister Alexis, who became our brother Alexis, passed this morning September 11, at 12:32 am. He was surrounded by all of his brothers and sisters, one of his nieces and several other loved ones. We were playing music for him and he passed during David Bowie’s “Starman”. As per his wishes, we cheered at the moment that he transitioned to another dimension.
I am feeling immense gratitude to have been afforded the luxury of sharing life with him/her, for learning from Alexis, for being given the gift of being able to love her/him and to be loved by him/her. He was a force.
He died as he lived, on his own terms. I am immensely grateful that it was fast and painless. It was an incredibly moving experience and I am humbled and grateful to have been able to have been with him as he began his journey onward.”
Arquette was a horror fan who appeared as “Damien” in Bride of Chucky, Tony in Sometimes They Come Back…Again, as well as Greg in Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror.
We send our condolences to Arquette’s friends and family.
The first major acquisition has been made out of the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival as Orion and BH Tilt nabbed Greg McLean’s The Belko Experiment, written by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn (also writer of Dawn of the Dead and director of SLiTHER).
The film, which just premiered at the film festival, will release in theaters on March 17, 2017.
Just how massive is the cast? It includes Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona (“True Detective”), John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane), John C. McGinley (“Scrubs”), Sean Gunn (Super), David Dalmastian, Michael Rooker (Henry, Slither, “The Walking Dead”), Steven Blakeheart, Owain Yeoman, Rusty Schwimmer, Melonie Diaz, Josh Brener, David Del Rio, Abraham Benrubi, Gail Bean, Joe Fria, Ben Davis, James Earl, Brent Sexton, Mikaela Hoover, Valentine Miele.
Back in May, McLean told us that Belko is “insanely violent and totally crazy…and total genius because of it.”
James wrote this amazing script full of heart, hilarious dark humour and amazing characters all wrapped around this wild concept (I won’t give away) so I cannot wait till it comes out and people see the movie.
“Belko revolves around the American Belco company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day,” Gunn explained when announced, “and its employees are ordered to kill each other or be killed themselves. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belco employee.”
On what appears to be a normal day at Belko Industries, Belko employees are horrified when they find out that they’ve become guinea pigs in a company-wide experiment which will lead them to either kill their fellow employees or be murdered themselves. The experiment is masterminded by a mysterious voice which is controlling the loud speaker and instructing the employees to slaughter each other by any means necessary.
McLean also directed The Darkness, Wolf Creek and Rogue.
Just over a week ago, we announced that we will be launching a Bloody-Disgusting Twitch Channel this coming Saturday, September 17th, from 1pm to 7pm EST. The channel will be hosted by my good pal Bill Frye, who will be playing horror games new and old several days each week.
Here’s the current schedule that we Bill will be following as often as possible (follow him on Twitter for any changes in schedule):
Tuesdays: 8pm to 11pm EST
Thursdays: 8pm to 11pm EST
Fridays: 8pm to Midnight EST
Saturdays: Pre-announced on Bill’s Twitter
Now, as promised in the announcement post, there will be prizes people can win during the live stream as a celebration of the launch of the channel as well as a way to celebrate Bloody-Disgusting’s 15th anniversary. For example, from Scream Factory we have Blu-rays of The Sentinel, Pumpkinhead, Garbage Pail Kids, and Phantom of the Opera (with Robert Englund), as well as several more titles that will be up for grabs. Additionally, we’ll also have one copy of the Gunship picture disc vinyl to give away! That’s not all the prizes we’ve got and we’ll be announcing more in the coming days!
Make sure to follow our Twitch Channel and turn on email notifications so that you always know when Bill goes live! We look forward to hanging out with all of you this weekend!
Capcom decided to take a vastly different approach in this latest promotional trailer for Dead Rising 4 ahead of the game’s December 6th launch, choosing to create a 2D animated video featuring anime-style visuals, complete with the creepiest rendition of “O Christmas Tree” that you’ll ever hear.
Dead Rising 4 Cinematic – “Black Friday”
It’s the holiday season in Willamette, Colorado, and a mysterious outbreak has overrun the Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall and surrounding town with dangerous and deadly predators. Join Frank West as you explore a vast, open-world sandbox filled with dangerous new zombies and a million ways to kill them as you seek to uncover the truth behind the outbreak – or die trying.
The post Dead Rising 4 Lets the Slay Ride Begin in 2D Cinematic Trailer appeared first on Dread Central.
The sixth season of American Horror Story premieres this week and for the first time we know almost nothing about it. It’s a great marketing strategy, since it’s practically guaranteed to have high ratings for the premiere. Whether or not the series can keep those ratings up for the entirety of the season is another matter. The show has declined in quality over the years (though I still think Coven is the worst season), so a little mystery is just what the show needs to bring viewers back to it. FX is notorious for releasing tons of teasers in the weeks leading up to the premiere, and Season 6 is no different. There have been a whopping 25 teasers for the season released since July.
Embedded below are all 25 teasers that FX has released for the upcoming season of American Horror Story starting with the most recent one titled “Illusion”, which features Lady Gaga’s new single playing over it. From there the playlist will take you through the remaining 24 teasers (with their titles in the header to help you vote). Let us know which teaser you find to be the scariest!
So which teaser do you think is the scariest? My vote belongs to “Bite Me” (I don’t do spiders), with “Bathing Beauty” and “The Mist” as close seconds. Mind you, I’m not asking which one is your favorite. Rather, I want to know which teaser really gets under your skin. Who knows? Maybe the executives over at FX could use this to influence future seasons (I’m only halfway serious).Which ‘American Horror Story’ Teaser is the Scariest? Illusion False Eyelashes Bite Me Tide Baby Face Backtrack Bathing Beauty Pitch a Fit The Lesson Blink Self Preservation Bite Sized Anthology The Visitors The Harvest Camp Sight The Shadow Wind Chimes The Mist Descent Lullaby Milli Crossing Post Op Sunset Stroll What’s Cooking?
Ever since Nacho Vigalondo’s debut feature film Time Crimes came out, he’s been a director to keep an eye on. Among TIFF festival guides, the director’s latest Colossal was frequently named as one of the films piquing people’s interests and after catching a screening today, it’s easy to understand why.
Colossal is a very unusual film. Frequently billed as a rom-com sci-fi, the film stars Anne Hathaway as a lovable drunk named Gloria whose life is basically in ruins when the film begins. After a seemingly out of place opening sequence involving a little girl and a giant monster in Seoul, Korea, the action jumps 25 years later to New York where Gloria returns home after a night of hard-partying to find her British boyfriend (Dan Stevens) at his wits end. He’s packed her bags and wants her gone. Cue the title card.
The proximity of that first scene to Gloria’s domestic problems isn’t revealed for a while. First she has to return to her abandoned childhood home upstate, encounter her old friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) who is clearly still harbouring a crush, and continue getting loaded. One great aspect of the film is the fact that it doesn’t take shortcuts when it comes to Gloria’s alcoholism. She frequently wakes up in odd places, in uncomfortable positions, with little to no recollection of what she said the night before. She’s a character worth rooting for because she is a realistic human being with faults and Hathaway, also a producer of the film, gives Gloria an easy charm that helps carry the film through some of its shakier moments. The less said about her atrocious wig, however, the better – that thing may be the most horrific thing I’ve seen at TIFF this year.
The plot kicks in when Gloria wakes up to the horrifying news that a monster (the same one glimpsed in the opening scene) has gone on a rampage through the streets of Seoul. Eventually it is revealed that there is an unexpected connection between Gloria and the monster in a scene that is played for delightfully wacky laughs by Hathaway. In this first half there’s a fun, almost childish enthusiasm to the proceedings that someone on Twitter rightfully suggested is a combination of Rachel Getting Married and Pacific Rim (picture that if you will).
It’s when things take a dark turn in the second half that Colossal loses its footing. Gloria and Oscar’s relationship to the monster is further complicated and the film eventually slides into a murky examination of gender, power and responsibility. While there are still amusing moments, the latter half of the film doesn’t have the same balance of tone and the result is a grim, abusive turn for the worst. Credit Sudeikis (who, full confession, I’m not a huge fan of) for nailing Oscar’s evolution from nice guy to asshole, even if the nature of his insecurity is a little too simplistic to satisfy.
It’s undeniable that Colossal is a more complicated and messy film in its second half, particularly the last act, which overstays its welcome by delaying the dramatic confrontation for far too long. The result is an interesting, albeit very divisive genre mash-up (several members of my audience walked out, which is something I hadn’t seen before). It would be disingenuous, however, not to praise Vigalondo for being ambitious. Colossal is an imperfect film, but it’s unlike anything I’ve seen and among a sea of sad imitations, the film is a refreshing attempt to do something new. When the comedy, sci-fi and the social commentary are aligned, the film is an unexpected treat and even when things go off the rails a bit, the film is eminently watchable, especially for Hathaway’s dedicated performance (albeit not her atrocious wig).
* It should be noted that Colossal is much better suited for audiences who like character driven comedy/dramas with a sci-fi twist rather than hardcore genre fans of Time Crimes or Vigalondo’s contributions in ABCs of Death or V/H/S.