Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with UK rockers Heaven’s Basement to bring you an exclusive acoustic performance video for “Fire, Fire”, the hit track from their debut album Filthy Empire (purchase on iTunes). On top of that, we’re also giving you a free download of the track! Just head on down to check out the video and pop your email into the widget to get your free download! These guys are badasses and I cannot stop listening to them. Make sure to check out my review of Filthy Empire here where I call the band, “…the new Guns N’ Roses of the 21st century“.
Heaven’s Basement is currently on tour with The Pretty Reckless and will be touring Europe with Black Veil Brides. All tour dates can be seen below.
10/9 – San Diego, CA @ House Of Blues
10/10 – Anaheim, CA @ House Of Blues
10/11 – Los Angeles, CA@ House Of Blues
10/12 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
10/14 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
10/15 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
10/16 – Vancouver, BC @ Rio Theatre
10/18 – Edmonton, AB @ The Starlite Room
10/19 – Calgary, AB @ The Den
10/20 – Saskatoon, SK @ Louis’ Pub
10/21 – Winnipeg, MB @ West End Cultural Centre
10/23 – Minneapolis, MN @Varsity Theatre
10/25 – Orlando, FL @ WJJR’s Halloweenie Roast
10/26 – Tampa, FL @ 98 Rock’s Halloweenie Roast
with The Pretty Reckless
10/27 – Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
10/29 – Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
10/30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
10/31 – Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues
11/1 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
11/3 – Washington, DC @ The Fillmore
11/4 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theater
11/5 – Quebec City, QC @ Le Cercle
11/8 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Corona
11/9 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
11/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre Of Living Arts
11/11 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
with Black Veil Brides
11/23 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg
11/24 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega
11/26 – Helsinki, Finland @ Nosturi
11/27 – Tampere, Finland @ Klubi
11/29 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Klubben
11/30 – Gothenburg, Sweden @ Sticky Fingers
12/1 – Hamburg, Germany @ Gruenspan
12/2 – Poznan, Poland @ Eskulap
12/3 – Berlin, Germany @ Columbia Club
12/4 – Vienna, Austria @ Arena
12/6 – Munich, Germany @ Theatrefabrik
12/7 – Cesena, Italy @ Vidia Club
12/8 – Rome, Italy @ Init Club
12/9 – Milan, Italy @ Factory
12/10 – Zurich, Switzerland @ The Komplex
12/12 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Trix
12/13 – Paris, France @ La Cabert Sauvage
Dread Central hopped a flight to Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday, October 3, in order to cover the opening of the haunt attraction Fright Dome at Adventuredome at Circus Circus, and we came back with not only a celebrity-filled gallery from the black carpet but also a report!
Arriving to the gusty Fright Dome carpet, we were beset by a menagerie of scare actors hired by Fright Dome creator and owner Jason Egan, who in true Tod Browning fashion had employed (among the requisite clowns and chainsaw-wielding madmen) individuals with actual physical anomalies, which were accentuated by entirely professional makeups. In addition to the duo of Johnny Eck-like young women with truncated torsos (who were made up as zombies and dashed about the carpet using their hands as locomotion), another actor sported a gruesome facial makeup which served to highlight his entirely empty optical orb (the result of sinus cancer, I was later told), as did the green chemical light which had been unnervingly inserted inside.
Of the celebrities attending the carpet, Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 actress and Motley Crue back-up singer Allison Kyler made an appearance, as did Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil, who seemed generally enthralled with the oddities about him. Joining them were actor Sid Haig (The Devil’s Rejects), Playboy’s 2011 ‘Playmate of the Year’ Claire Sinclair (airbrushed to undead vamp’ish perfection), Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist Dj Ashba, rock star artist Michael Godard, comedy hypnotist Marc Savard, comedian Matt Black, celebrity magician Murray SawChuck, Fright Dome head Jason Egan, Circus Circus President Don Thrasher, and the belles of the ball, The Collector and The Collection director Marcus Dunstan along with series co-writer Patrick Melton.
Joining them were series lead Josh Stewart and The Collection co-stars Emma Fitzpatrick and Randall Archer, as well as camera operator (and director) BJ McDonnell, FX artist Adrienne Lynn, and producers Brett Forbes and Patrick Rizzotti of Fortress Features, all there to celebrate the attraction’s maze recreations of their films (‘The Collector’ haunted house is based on the 2009 film of the same name, and ‘Hotel Argento’ the 2012 flick The Collection.)
General admission tickets start at $32.95, and fast pass tickets are available for an additional $15 to $20, which allows express line entry for all six haunted houses. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit Fright Dome online.
With the carpet wrapped, we entered the sweeping, fog-filled 250,000-square-foot facility and were happily marauded by monsters the second we stepped in. (Did I mention the level of makeup expertise on hand? If not, let me be clear: It is stellar.). Following a VIP reception and open bar (which served cleverly named concoctions based on The Collector film series) with the filmmakers, we set off with Dunstan, Melton, Kyler and crew to partake in the mazes offered.
First off was ‘The Collection,’ and if Dunstan and Archer’s giddy response was any indication (it was unsurprisingly an absolute joy for them to venture through the physical recreation of their cinematic effort), park-goers can indeed expect a similarly thrilling journey.
‘Hotel Argento’ (based on The Collection) was the maze which intrigued us the most, however, given its ‘enter it alone’ motif, and we quickly made our way there. Gathered outside, we enjoyed watching the CCT feed on the suspended flat panel above us of other attendees as they made their way alone through the maze, but not nearly as much as we did venturing into it ourselves. With effects supplied by the series’ FX lead designer Gary Tunnicliffe, the ghastly production design of ‘Hotel Argento’ and the scares subsequent lent to an entirely chill-inducing journey into the cinematic killer’s lair.
A tour through the maze ‘Clownophobia 3D’ was next, and once again we were met with a lengthy, engaging and fear-inducing excursion. The maze was so long, in fact, that if seemed an endurance test, particularly for this writer. At one point the words “FML, I need a drink,” came from my lips, to which Dunstan responded by magically producing a cold beer from his suit jacket. (I’m still not sure how you did that, Dunstan, or what a ‘three-legged Clydesdale’ means, but thanks!)
While we didn’t hit the other three mazes (‘Camp Chainsaw,’ ‘Zombie Quarantine’ and ‘Thi3teen’), we did take an adrenaline-fueled ride on Adventuredome’s roller coaster ‘Canyon Blaster’ (it’s a short trip but an entirely effective one, with two back-to-back loops sure to please coaster enthusiasts). Hopping into a limo afterward, Dunstan and I and The Collector crew closed the night out at a whiskey bar over drinks and conversation, much of which centered on the entertaining experience we’d just partaken in.
Said Dunstan regarding Fright Dome, ”I expected to be scared, and Fright Dome delivered that in spades, but what I didn’t expect was to get choked up! The attention to detail was astounding! There was a moment in the middle of the ‘The Collector’ and ‘Hotel Argento’ mazes where Brett, Rizzotti, Patrick, Emma and Josh and I all looked at each other with beaming smiles, thrilled to see our collaboration come to life. Our parents and siblings were there to make it a traumatizing family affair to boot! It was a marvelous experience.”
Writer’s note: I’ve hit the majority of haunts in SoCal this season, and while I haven’t had a bad time yet, Las Vegas’ Fright Dome was the most enjoyable by far.
When a haunt begins with you walking up to a giant pair of legs and squeezing your way into an oversized vagina, you know you’re in for some serious shit. That’s what Dread Central is greeted with when we step foot on the FEARplex to preview Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare!
Zombie is no stranger to haunted attractions, having ironically worked with Universal the past several years on House of 1000 Corpses mazes for Halloween Horror Nights. But for this event, he’s gone off on his own and teamed up with producer Steve Kopelman to create three mazes based on his films: House of 1000 Corpses, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, and Lords of Salem.
Greeting us at the construction site, Zombie and Kopelman elaborate on the differences between this new House of 1000 Corpses maze compared to previous years:
“Universal was great to work with, too,” Zombie says, “Since it’s based off the movie, I guess it’s always my vision, but in both cases they chose to take different elements and run with it. This is more taking The Murder Ride and expanding it into its own big attraction, so it’s kind of different than Universal.”
Stepping through the Corpses maze, the biggest surprise is how large and graphic it is. Along with several set pieces from the movie, viewers get to experience a massively expanded Murder Ride that contains depictions of Elizabeth Bathory, Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz and the Manson/Sharon Tate murders – with no disgusting detail spared. The amount of gore and nudity packed into this event would never fly at a big theme park like Universal, and it’s clear that Zombie is throwing everything he has at these mazes.
Equally vile is the cartoon sex world of El Superbeasto, which is designed in psychedelic 3D, complete with devil strippers and party demons. But the biggest endurance test for visitors will be the Lords of Salem maze, which is a complete sensory deprivation experience that attendees will endure with a bag over their head. “About 50 percent of the people who enter will chicken out,” claims Kopelman.
Even touring the half-constructed mazes in broad daylight, there’s a definite feeling that the Great American Nightmare is a new Halloween staple in the works. If its inaugural year is successful, Zombie says he’d like to expand the attraction to different places across the USA: “That’s the plan, to do it every year and to do it in more markets next year, take it to other states… perhaps other countries.”
Tickets for Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare are available now starting at only $30 at the Great American Nightmare Website. Each ticket includes access to all haunted house attractions, concerts, and Bloody Boulevard activities. VIP packages will also be available for purchase at the Great American Nightmare Website.
On tap right now is an exclusive clip from Warner Bros.' 40th Anniversary Exorcist Blu-ray, and with it we go a little bit behind the scenes. Check it out, and look for more on this badass home video package soon!
From the Press Release
When The Exorcist was first released in 1973, viewers were frightened out of their wits - and literally out of their seats. Now Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Academy Award® winning director William Friedkin’s suspense masterpiece that haunted and intrigued the world with a new Blu-ray release featuring the Extended Director’s Cut and Theatrical Version with new special features and premiums ($49.99 SRP). Available October 8, just ahead of Halloween, this 40th Anniversary Edition will include two new featurettes: “Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist” and “Talk of the Devil,” as well as an excerpt from Friedkin’s book The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir.
A true cinema landmark, the theological thriller is one of the top ten box-office performers of all time. The Exorcist took 10 Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture, and won two Oscars® for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as winning for Best Sound. Subsequently, the film went on to become a multi-million dollar franchise. Directed by Friedkin (Oscar®-winner for The French Connection - Directing 1971) and written by William Peter Blatty, the film is based on his best-selling novel, which sold nearly 13 million copies domestically and was the #1 book on the New York Times Best Seller List for 57 weeks, 17 of them at #1.
Regarding the Extended Director’s Cut, Friedkin says, “After my initial cut, I took out 12 more minutes before we released it in theatres. Years later, Bill Blatty asked if I’d review some of that rejected footage (which he always felt should have remained) with an eye towards putting it back in a new version. In so doing I believe we strengthened the spiritual aspect of the film.”
Celebrated for his directorial role in this seminal film, Friedkin is still very much in the limelight. His new book, The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir, recently published by HarperCollins, extensively discusses the background and casting of The Exorcist. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films will honor Friedkin this month with their Lifetime Achievement Award for his continually influential work in genre entertainment at this year’s Saturn Awards. In August Friedkin will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, where he will present the restored version of Warner Bros.’ Sorcerer. And Friedkin and author Blatty will attend a special 40th Anniversary screening of their film at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., on October 30. The film will also have an exclusive theatrical engagement October 31 through November 7th at the AMC Georgetown.
The Exorcist tells the now-famous story of a girl’s demonic possession, and a gripping fight between good and evil. Linda Blair, in a breakout role, plays Regan, a young girl who starts to exhibit strange, arcane behavior. Her mother (Ellen Burstyn, Oscarâ-winner for Best Actress Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) calls upon a priest, Father Karras (Jason Miller) to investigate. But Karras, who has a spiritual crisis of his own, is suddenly confronted with the unimaginable evil of Regan’s possession. Father Lankester Merrin (Max Von Sydow), an archeologist-priest, is called to help, and a horrific battle for her soul begins.
With Patricio Valladares' Hidden in the Woods remake of his 2012 Chilean horror film of the same name now in post-production, a few more behind-the-scenes stills from the set have come our way.
Hidden in the Woods is a remake of Patricio Valladares' En las afueras de la ciudad with Valladares back at the helm. The story follows two sisters raised by their abusive father in a remote locale who must answer to their drug baron uncle when their father is imprisoned.
Michael Biehn stars alongside William Forsythe. Jennifer Blanc-Biehn produces with Loris Curci and Hackybox Pictures. The film's co-stars include MMA fighter Krzysztof Soszynski, Chris Browning ("Sons of Anarchy," The Book of Eli), Ricco Ross (Aliens), Jeannine Kaspar (“House of Lies,” “Nip/Tuck”), Andy Mackenzie (Sushi Girl, "True Blood"), Electra Avellan (Grindhouse, Machete Kills), Mark Burnham (Wrong, Wrong Cops), Jennifer Blanc (The Victim, Wrong Cops), and Richard Gunn (“Granite Flats,” “Dark Angel”) along with Caitlin Keats (Broken English, Kill Bill Volume 2, Treachery), Mark Gantt (The Night Visitor, Among Friends), Evie Louise Thompson (The Call, Heebie Jeebies), Nick Bateman (Hobo With a Shotgun), Cody Hackman (Tapped), Grace Powell (Jacob), Larry Carroll (Dark Horse, Jacob), Cheryl Hawker ("My Name Is Earl"), and Greg Ingram (Machete).
Hidden in the Woods tells the story of two sisters who have been raised in isolation, subjected to the torment of their abusive, drug dealing father. When they finally decide to report him to the police, he kills the two officers and is put in jail. But things go from bad to worse when the girls must answer to their Uncle Costello, a psychotic drug kingpin, who shows up looking for his missing merchandise which is hidden in the woods.
Three new clips for the horror comedy Ghost Team One have made their way to the Interwebs, and we have 'em for you right here. Pull up a chair and try to be quiet enough so that the people around can't hear you chuckle.
Ghost Team One, directed by Scott Rutherford and Ben Peyser, stars Carlos Santos, J.R. Villarreal, Fernanda Romero, Tony Cavalero, Meghan Falcone, and James Babson. It's produced by Hernany Perla Films in association with Flying Monkeys Entertainment and Foresight Entertainment.
The film will be released theatrically and on VOD on October 11th; for more details see the below press release.
From the Press Release
Film Arcade and Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) have announced that the independent film Ghost Team One will be released day-and-date in select theaters, on VOD, and on Digital on October 11th. Film Arcade will distribute the film in top markets with plans to focus heavily on college and Latino audiences. PHMD will handle VOD and Digital distribution for the hilarious and subversive horror send-up, which was an official selection at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival.
Ghost Team One follows two friends who are both trying to impress a girl who believes the spirit of a vengeful madam is haunting their home. They set out to make a documentary about a murder that took place in their house decades ago and, much to their surprise, soon capture some terrifying—and uproarious—supernatural activity that leads them to believe that the ghost is not only real…she’s also into them.
Ghost Team One is produced by Hernany Perla (My Bloody Valentine) and Adam Mutchler, directed by Ben Peyser (Sucks Less with Kevin Smith) and Scott Rutherford (writer on “Workaholics”), and stars actor and comedian Carlos Santos (host of MTV Tr3s’ “Mi TRL”), J.R. Villarreal (Akeelah and the Bee), Tony Cavalero (Son of a Pitch), and Fernanda Romero (RPM Miami). PHMD acquired the worldwide rights to the film in a deal that was brokered by Nate Bolotin and Aram Tertzakian of XYZ Films and Chris Sablan of Original Artists.
When roommates Brad and Sergio accidentally arouse the dead, they team up with a sexy amateur ghost hunter, Fernanda, to expose the evil inside their home. But just as the guys start to get close to their hot new partner, they discover that a horny demon wants in on the action. Now, cameras are up and more than fear is rising in this outrageous romp where only one thing is certain: Someone is gonna get screwed.
This week on Visions of Horror, Bloody-Disgusting’s Farah Al-Hakkak (ShadowJayd), spotlights one of Creepy’s most classic comic book covers, illustrated by legendary artist, Frank Frazetta. Specifically, “Creepy” #7, which features Frazetta’s vampire vs. werewolf painting as an accompanying piece to Archie Goodwin and Angelo Torres’ “The Duel of the Monsters” tale.
Frank Frazetta is one of the most emulated and influential artists of the 20th century, predominantly known for pioneering the fantasy and pulp sci-fi art genres. His high concept, signature style — which features heavily muscled, loincloth wearing men, naturally curvaceous, scantily clad women, and hideously detailed, oversized creatures — continues to inspire an entire generation of artists to this day.
In the 1960s, while his illustrated fantasy book covers were gaining wide popularity — especially those depicting the iconic and seminal, Conan the Barbarian — Frazetta had his hands full with painting covers and contributing a few black and white, pen and ink stories for various Warren Publishing horror magazines. His love for the genre really shined through his work for “Creepy”, “Eerie”, and “Vampirella”, as he impressed readers with his stunning renderings of classic monsters like Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Dracula, etc. Not only had he produced some of the most recognizable covers to come out of the Silver Age, but he initiated a ground-breaking standard for illustrators’ rights to own their original artwork, as well.
On the first of February in 1966, “Creepy” #7 was published, and Frazetta’s painting was his sixth consecutive cover for the magazine. This specific piece was chosen, not only because it’s one of the most recognizable pieces of art “Creepy” has ever featured, but because it represents Frazetta’s significant — though short — foray into classic horror comics territory. Furthermore, it has gone on to inspire numerous creative works, spanning a variety of different mediums from a comic book collaboration between Steve Niles and Francesco Francavilla, to wickedly awesome hand-crafted statues, and more.
In August of 2008, Image Comics released Frank Frazetta’s “Dracula Meets the Wolfman” as a limited edition graphic novel, with Steve Niles writing the script, and Francesco Francavilla providing pencils. While the story is based on Frazetta’s original cover art, it’s more than just an iconic clash between two legendary monsters. The writer manages to bring a level of modern significance to a classic tale, that’s very much inspired by those old black and white films of the past, with a strong element of romance at its core. Channeling a time-honoured EC Comics feel within the pages, Francavilla establishes a stunning and traditional gothic-horror setting, that’s both grim and beautiful to the eye; effectively presenting a fantastic period piece on paper, and bringing life to Frazetta’s original artwork.
Featured below, is the original renowned cover by Frazetta for “Creepy” #7, which showcases some of his distinguishable style qualities of that era. He used a common dark and moody colour palette, and incorporated areas of well-placed lighting to create dramatic effect, emphasize space, and magnify time. Frazetta’s werewolf, like most of his characters, is typically brawny. And while seemingly on the losing end, there’s evidence of the vampire’s strength marked all over the ripped fur and skin on the werewolf’s arm. Frazetta had a habit of rendering mossy trees and landscapes in his paintings, and there’s a tiny hint of that here as well.
Also featured below is ReelArt Studios’ amazing Dracula Meets Wolfman statue, which immortalized the iconic moment between vampire and werewolf. Troy McDevitt sculpted this beautifully, with subtle paint mastering by Joy and Tom Studios.
We told you about John Darko and John R. Leonetti's new series "Nowheresville" a while back, and now you can sample a song from its soundtrack from the band On Being Human entitled "Flesh on Fire." Greg M. Johnson of the band has been chosen to compose for “Nowheresville.”
The show is being shopped around to various networks, though nothing has been set in stone in terms of when or where we'll be able to see it.
Check out the synopsis below to find out what we're in store for!
The pilot episode of the show will be directed by John Darko and John R. Leonetti and written by Darko and Anthony Cincotta.
In the rural community of “Nowheresville” two brothers named Steve and Steve fight to protect themselves and their senile uncle from an apocalypse that never happened.
Keeping the farm operational and safe from the “infected populous” isn’t their only problem. Set on an ancient Indian burial ground, their war against supernatural beings and other mythical creatures that haunt the plantation proves to be as difficult as learning what a computer is and does.
From hundreds of VHS tapes left behind by their religiously insane father, this is their only database for knowledge. That and the small amounts of underestimated help they get from their two childhood sweeties in a neighboring estate and a very unsuspecting film crew on assignment to document their antics.
Amidst the chaotic evil spirits that terrorize these idiots, the boys struggle to defend what’s theirs, while their survival depends on the one thing they have no idea about: the world outside of nowhere.
A few weeks ago we told you about an online course that uses themes from "The Walking Dead" to teach about science and survival, and with its launch date approaching, we have more info in case you're interested in checking it out. It is free after all!
AMC, Instructure, and the University of California, Irvine, have announced the joint production of a massive open online course (MOOC) exploring a broad range of scholarly topics through the lens of a hypothetical zombie apocalypse.
The free, eight-week MOOC, titled "Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC's 'The Walking Dead'," will be offered on Instructure's MOOC platform, Canvas Network, and will be taught by a multidisciplinary team of UC Irvine faculty: Zuzana Bic, public health; Joanne Christopherson, social sciences; Michael Dennin, physics; and Sarah Eichhorn, mathematics. They were handpicked based on experience in teaching MOOCs, history of using pop culture in the classroom, and strong curricular alignment with case studies from the TV series.
Enrollment in the course is currently available to anyone in the world. The first class is scheduled for Monday, October 14, the day after the Season 4 premiere of AMC's "The Walking Dead." The course will run for eight consecutive Mondays through December 2. Because the series will air at different times around the world, Canvas Network will put in place provisions to help international participants avoid spoilers.
Click here or on the below graphic to enroll today for what promises to be the most fun learning experience you've ever had!
TWD Module Descriptions: (Click here for the full syllabus)
Module 1: Foundation of Survival
Abraham Maslow ushered in humanistic psychology when he studied the lives of healthy, accomplished, and creative people. He believed that people are motivated internally and externally by their needs ranked from basic survival needs such as food, love, and respect, to higher order growth needs such as understanding what life is all about. This first module will help us use Maslow’s theory to analyze the behavior of the characters of "The Walking Dead" and to answer questions such as:
• How do we decide what is important in our own lives? How would we decide in a post-apocalyptic world as depicted in "The Walking Dead"?
• What happens when we are threatened with our very lives as many of the characters are in show?
• Do we move up or down levels in response to major events in our lives? Do the characters move up or down levels in the show? Why or why not?
• As we enter into the new season of the show, are the characters faced with new life experiences that lead them more towards the top of the hierarchy to self-actualization? Why or why not?
Module 2: Public Health & Infectious Diseases
In "The Walking Dead" there is a tragic absence of any semblance of public health agencies, expertise, or communications for the surviving members of society. In this second module, we will learn just how vital those services are to a functioning society and we will introduce the major concepts and principles of public health. Questions that will be covered include:
• What is the role of the CDC (the Centers for Disease Control) and other public health agencies in the functioning of society? How have these agencies been present or not present in "The Walking Dead"?
• Do people choose their own health? How do the seven dimensions of health impact one’s own health? Can the characters choose their own health in the show? If so, do they choose to? Why or why not?
• What examples from history can we draw upon to understand the causation and spread of infectious diseases? How do these examples parallel the spread of the zombie infection in the show?
We will also have a guest speaker, Dr. Brandon Brown, of UC-Irvine, who will discuss his recent article Zombies—A Pop Culture Resource for Public Health Awareness.
Module 3: Deconstructing Society
Human beings cannot live in permanent isolation. Our need for connection with others and our mutual dependence necessitates cooperation and structure. But what happens when the world as we know it ends? Then what? This third module will discuss six distinct models of society and how they apply to the various communities within "The Walking Dead," from the camp in the early seasons to the prison in the most current season. Through this discussion, we will address questions including:
• How do we define society particularly in an emerging world such as "The Walking Dead"?
• What role does government play in emerging societies? How has it affected the characters in the show living in Woodbury? In the prison? Are you more likely to survive if you belong to a group with some sort of government structure?
• Why do leaders emerge in societies? How have they emerged in the show? Do they improve the chances of survival for their followers? What role does trust play in leadership especially as seen in the show?
• What is our responsibility to the collective? Should the characters in the show be responsible for more than just themselves? Why or why not?
Module 4: Social Identity and Survival of the Fittest
The twin notions of social roles and social identity govern our perceptions and interactions in social settings. They influence how we see others and how we see ourselves. We often rely on stereotypes for reasons of efficiency so that we can easily organize our social world. But when we become too judgmental, we risk making inaccurate conclusions about others. Through this fourth module, we will explore how, when we are threatened or stressed as the characters often are in "The Walking Dead," these automatic responses come to dominate our reactions. Together, we will address the following questions:
• How are roles defined? By ourselves? By others? How are they defined in "The Walking Dead"?
• In what ways do threat and uncertainty impact our definitions of these roles? How are the roles of the characters on the show reflections of the threat and uncertainty they face?
• What are the positive and negative aspects of stereotyping? How have the characters in the show stereotyped one another? Does this impact their chances for survival?
• As we mature, are we willing and able to inhibit automatic judgments and see individuals as unique? Have any of the characters in the show demonstrated this willingness and ability? In what ways?
Module 5: Modeling a Zombie Outbreak
In "The Walking Dead" the world is faced with a zombie disease epidemic. In this fifth module, we will explore how mathematics can be used to help study the dynamics of disease spread within a population. Using the walker world as an example, we will begin by dividing the population into different groups (Human, Zombie/Walker, and Permanently Dead) and then use the interactions among these groups to formulate and utilize our mathematical model. During this module, we will address the following questions:
• In what ways can mathematical equations be used to predict future populations? How rapidly do you think the zombie disease will spread in the show based on your own mathematical analysis?
• How can mathematical equations be used to study the efficacy of various disease interventions, such as vaccinations, quarantine, cures, etc.? Have they been used in the past to evaluate disease interventions? Can we learn anything from these examples to apply to the rapid spread of the zombie infection in "The Walking Dead"?
• How can mathematical models be used by the characters in the show to evaluate various methods for eliminating the zombie disease altogether?
Module 6: Thriving on a Post-Apocalyptic Diet
Food and nutrition play a minor role on screen in comparison to killing zombies in "The Walking Dead." Yet, we know that in the case of a true epidemic or major natural disaster, food and water would be essential for survival and would occupy our daily activities. In this sixth module, we will explore healthy nutrition versus malnutrition, specifically in the wake of major disaster, as well as discuss how people’s behaviors may directly reflect the type of nutrition available. We will explore the following questions:
• What are the nutritional risk factors associated with the development of diseases? Are the characters in "The Walking Dead" exposing themselves to other deadly diseases based on the diets they must maintain in a post-apocalyptic environment such as that depicted on the show?
• Does a vegetarian diet, especially as witnessed in the show, provide a true health advantage for the survivors? Or a disadvantage? Why or why not?
• How can nutrition improve our immune system? Our mental health? Does this affect the chances of survival of the characters on the show?
We will also hear from guest speaker Allison Hickey, Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), this week about nutrition and the spread of disease.
Module 7: New Materials and the Science of Damage Control
Throughout "The Walking Dead" survivors are faced with two basic issues of physics: protecting against damage and causing damage. How realistic is the depiction of the causes of damage and protection in television, movies, and video games? Asking this question allows us to explore in this seventh module some of the most fundamental ideas in the description of the physical world: energy, momentum, and forces. Related questions will be discussed including:
• How can we describe materials using a scientific understanding of strength and elasticity? How does this impact the ability for characters to kill zombies and protect themselves in "The Walking Dead"?
• How can we utilize a scientific understanding of the relationship and interactions between objects, from weapons to flight, to increase our chances of survival in the world depicted in the show?
• In a post-apocalyptic world, how is energy generated? How can left-over, foraged, and even newly-generated materials be used to fuel the emerging society in the show?
• What role do the scientific concepts of precision and accuracy play in protecting oneself from damage and inflicting damage on others? How can the characters use this to their advantage on the show?
Module 8: The Science of Hope
In "The Walking Dead" signs of stress, anger, anxiety, sleeplessness and various stressors associated dealing with catastrophic situations occur on a daily basis. In this last module we will learn how stress management and emergency preparedness would be essential for survival. We will investigate such questions as:
• What is stress? What are stressors? What are three stages of GAS (General Adaptation Syndrome)? What are the major signs of stress and how do the characters display these signs of stress on "The Walking Dead"?
• What occurs in the body during and after stress? What types of behavior do we typically display during and after highly stressful situations, especially interpersonal behavior? Is there a correlation between stress and disease? How does stress impact the interpersonal relationships of and chances of survival for the characters in the show?
• How can we best manage stress in disaster situations? What is the long-term effect of always sleeping with one eye open? Do you think certain characters are more likely to survive than others in the show based on their stress management techniques? Why or why not?
• What role does hope and/or positive emotions play in managing stress? How can we use coping and relaxation techniques to manage stress? How do these techniques specifically apply to disaster situations such as that depicted by the show?
During this last module, we will also have a guest speaker, Dr. Lisa Grant-Ludwig, of UC-Irvine, who will discuss preparedness for major disasters, such as earthquakes and other natural catastrophes.
To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit "The Walking Dead" on Facebook. For more be sure to hit up the official "The Walking Dead" page on AMC.com.
Yet another teaser video for "American Horror Story: Coven" is here, and it comes with a warning that the witches... they are among us. Also be warned that you'll likely be getting ten more video promos by the end of the day. Seriously, who's pumping these things out so fast?
The full "Coven" cast includes Frances Conroy, Taissa Farmiga, Jessica Lange, Alexandra Breckenridge, Kathy Bates, Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, Jamie Brewer, Evan Peters, Gabourey Sidibe, Angela Bassett, Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole, Danny Huston, Alexander Dreymon, Leslie Jordan, James DuMont, and Denis O'Hare.
"American Horror Story: Coven" Episode 3.01 - "Bitchcraft" (airs 10/9/13)
A young girl, Zoe (Taissa Farmiga), is shattered to discover she possesses a strange genetic affliction tracing back to the dark days of Salem. Zoe is whisked away to Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a mysterious school in New Orleans devoted to safeguarding the few remaining descendants who share this unique bloodline. Harboring a secret agenda, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange), the most powerful witch of their generation, returns to town, reigniting old rivalries with the Coven’s deadly enemies, the Voodoo.
The night that Miller’s Comet passes over Earth, four couples who seem like they don’t really like each other that much get together for a dinner party. On her way to the gathering, Emily’s cell phone screen cracks as she’s talking on it. That’s Coherence‘s first warning sign, and one of its many recurring clues, that this comet is seriously going to screw up everyone’s dinner plans. Stupid outer space crap and its crummy orbital periods.
Co-written and directed by James Ward Byrkit, Coherence is a high-concept/low-budget sci-fi thriller that gets off to a shaky start. We’re introduced to eight characters rather quickly – none of them all too interesting or indelible. They convene at the home of struggling actor Mike, played by Nicholas Brendon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. Besides him and Emily, the rest of the characters are pretty unremarkable. The entire cast is uniformly excellent though and the urgent, hand-held camera work help make up for the underdeveloped characters. And honestly, who the hell cares about poorly fleshed-out pawns when you’re watching a genuine mind-bender like Coherence. Think Primer, only set in one night with more cheese and wine.
Once the film does find its footing it knocks the wind outta ya with its barrage of mysteries and dark twists. Shortly into dinner, the power goes out. The candles and glow-sticks (that Mike oddly enough has a surplus of) are busted out, then they notice that one house down the street still has its lights on. When two of them go investigate, they make an alarming discovery: it’s Mike’s house.
As Coherence gets more and more complicated, several clues are presented to help the audience keep track of what the hell is going on: band-aids, hand-written notes, numbered photos, and the aforementioned cell phone screens. These small, repeated visual indicators work wonders in a film devoid of any special effects. It’s infinitely more effective too. Just seeing a different band-aid on someone’s brow elicited me pointing at the screen like some excited toddler watching Blue’s Clues. The more you pay attention to these clues, the more enjoyable the “oh shit!” experience will be in the end.
The film thankfully doesn’t get too tied up in its discussions of quantum mechanics and Schrodinger’s cat, which pops up in a lot of media nowadays, huh? It is weird that one of the characters conveniently happens to have a book on the subject in the trunk of his car. As their paranoia increases, interpersonal relationships start to crumble under venomous accusations of infidelity, jealousy, and body-double-switcheroos. There’s something being said about human nature here and the way we react when our entire existence is threatened. As one character says, people are always talking about how they want to “find themselves.” Now that these eight characters literally found copies of themselves, they realize it’s not exactly the enlightening experience they expected.
These heady subjects are thinly examined though. What the film boils down to is a clever little thriller with a solid cast. Leave that stupid cat in the box, look past the drab characters, and approach Coherence like an extended Twilight Zone episode and you’ll have a good time.
Film Arcade and Paramount Home Media Distribution have announced that the independent film Ghost Team One will be released day-and-date in select theaters, on VOD, and on Digital on October 11. Check out three clips from the laughter that Bloody’s Patrick Cooper sorta enjoyed.
“Ghost Team One follows two friends who are both trying to impress a girl who believes the spirit of a vengeful madam is haunting their home. They set out to make a documentary about a murder that took place in their house decades ago and, much to their surprise, soon capture some terrifying—and uproarious—supernatural activity that leads them to believe that the ghost is not only real…she’s also into them.”
Ghost Team One is produced by Hernany Perla (My Bloody Valentine) and Adam Mutchler, directed by Ben Peyser (Sucks Less with Kevin Smith) and Scott Rutherford (writer on “Workaholics”), and stars actor and comedian Carlos Santos (host of MTV Tr3s’ “Mi TRL”), J.R. Villarreal (Akeelah and the Bee), Tony Cavalero (Son of a Pitch), and Fernanda Romero (RPM Miami). PHMD acquired the worldwide rights to the film in a deal that was brokered by Nate Bolotin and Aram Tertzakian of XYZ Films and Chris Sablan of Original Artists.
“When roommates Brad and Sergio accidentally arouse the dead, they team up with a sexy amateur ghost hunter, Fernanda, to expose the evil inside their home. But just as the guys start to get close to their hot new partner, they discover that a horny demon wants in on the action. Now, cameras are up and more than fear is rising in this outrageous romp where only one thing is certain: Someone is gonna get screwed.”
Once again this year, Rock and Shock will turn over its main event Saturday night film spot to Woodhaven Production Company, who will deliver the worldwide debut of Army of the Damned with the entire star-studded cast in attendance!
We had a visit to the Army of the Damned set earlier this year (Part 1 and Part 2) and were stunned by the eclectic and diverse cast. Rock band Godsmack's frontman Sully Erna was there as well as horror icons Tony Todd and Michael Berryman, 'N Sync's Joey Fatone, wrestlers Tommy Dreamer, Maria Kanellis and Thea Trinidad, David Chokachi from "Baywatch" and veteran horror star Nick Principe. As fans of horror and entertainment in general, we thought our readers would appreciate meeting these cast members, and now producer Chad A. Verdi is making that a reality at this year's Rock and Shock convention.
"I'm excited that the whole cast is going to be there," Verdi said. "It's going to be huge. It's the first time the actors from all my films are going to be there together. Eric Roberts (who starred in Woodhaven's Self-Storage) is coming to do a sneak preview of Self Storage. I usually don't get too excited about it, but this is going to be pretty amazing." And Verdi has a great deal for fans seeking autographs. For the price of what one signature normally costs, fans are going to have the chance to get an Army of the Damned item signed by the entire cast. Now that's a sweet deal
Army of the Damned will be making its worldwide premiere on Saturday night. We'll get you the official time as soon as it's announced. Before the film, Verdi is bringing all his Woodhaven family together for a Q&A panel (hosted by yours truly, Doctor Gash!). "I don't know how many people we can get on that dais, but there's going to be a lot," Verdi said. "With Army writer/director Tom DeNucci and Sully and Tony Todd and Joey Fatone, Nick Principe, Chokachi…we're going to really have to squeeze them in there."
Fresh off the buzz that his producing partners, Martin Scorsese and Bruce Cohen, were scouting Rhode Island for locations for their next film Bleed For This, Verdi comes to Rock and Shock bringing an entire entourage and meeting up with some old friends. "It'll be great to see some of the actors who starred in my other films," Verdi said. "Robert Englund will be there and William Forsythe. Rock and Shock has really done an amazing job for this 10th Anniversary Show."
As they are still adding names to the guest list, we'll keep an eye out for Rock and Shock updates and give you all the information on the celebrity guests, film festival and music line-up later this week. Also, you can visit the official Rock and Shock website, "like" Rock and Shock on Facebook and follow Rock and Shock on Twitter (@rockandshockusa).
Needless to say, if you're a fan of horror, rock music or just fun in general, be sure to get your buns to Worcester, Massachusetts, on October 18-20. See ya there!
Marvel Comics and Disney announce that this January, “Seekers of the Weird” will be there very first comic series under the new Disney Kingdoms banner. The new branch was created in order to bring to life attractions and characters from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
The series, written by Brandon Seifert (“Witch Doctor”, “Hellraiser”) with art from Karl Moline, will explore the Museum of the Weird, as I suspected a few months back. The Museum of the Weird was an amazing concept dreamed up by Rolly Crump in 1965 that was meant to compliment the Haunted Mansion, but unfortunately was never built.
Marvel & Disney are proud to present your first look at Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird #1, the first comic series published under the all-new Disney Kingdoms banner! Created in close partnership with designers, producers, and creative directors from Walt Disney Imagineering, the Disney Kingdoms line promises new and exciting adventures expanding upon already beloved lands, attractions, characters, and worlds of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
This January, experience the first all-new adventure inspired by Disney’s legendary – but never constructed – Museum of the Weird! Dreamed up by famous Imagineer Rolly Crump in 1965, the Museum of the Weird was home to a collection of mystical curiosities said to have been unearthed from all corners of the globe. Originally conceived as a spooky walk-through attraction connected to the Haunted Mansion, Crump’s innovative designs were left on the drawing board following the passing of Walt Disney….until now!
“We’re thrilled to be part of this historic launch that taps into the immense creativity of Walt Disney Imagineering to create background stories for so many beloved attractions,” said SVP of Marvel Publishing David Gabriel. “Grounded in rich Disney history, Disney Kingdoms is a great way to link Disney fans and Marvel fans!”
“Disney Kingdoms is the ultimate team-up for fans of Disney and Marvel,” said Editor Bill Rosemann. “Working hand-in-hand with the world-famous Walt Disney Imagineers, Marvel’s best and brightest creators will unleash entire worlds inspired by and built around the attractions and characters that you’ve always known—but will experience for the very first time!”
Written by Brandon Seifert (Witch Doctor) and drawn by Karl Moline (Avengers Arena) – when their parents are kidnapped, teens Maxwell and Melody are thrust into a thrilling race through the world’s strangest – and most dangerous museum! Together, they must join forces with their mysterious and swashbuckling uncle as they attempt to rescue their family and save the world from an evil secret society! And they just might discover the truth behind their wild and weird destiny along the way!
What terrifying secrets lie inside the mysterious Museum of the Weird? Find out this January as the harrowing journey begins in Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird #1!
Plus, don’t miss this Saturday’s fan-favorite Cup O’ Joe panel at New York Comic Con (4pm in Room 1E) for an exclusive, first ever look at Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird!
DISNEY KINGDOMS: SEEKERS OF THE WEIRD #1 (of 5)
Written by BRANDON SEIFERT
Art by KARL MOLINE
Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
Variant Cover by WALT DISNEY IMAGINEER BRIAN CROSBY
On-Sale In Print & Digital This January!
Founded in 2007, the B-Movie Celebration is just what its name says: a weekend to applaud the best of the B's. Historically held in Indiana, this year the fest is moving to the Hollywood Boulevard Cinema, Woodridge, Illinois, from October 25-27. Read on for the details.
This year’s B-Movie Celebration will feature screenings of 68 films, including 26 features as well as 42 cutting edge shorts. Among the special guests will be none other than Robert Englund hosting a screening of A Nightmare on Elm Street. There will also be personal appearances from B-Movie staples like director Jim Wynorski, Fred Olen Ray and Kevin Tenney. New digitally re-mastered versions of Wynorski’s The Lost Empire and the original Chopping Mall will be launched. Fred Olen Ray will attend the world premiere of his film After Midnight, and Kevin Tenney will be present during a screening of his opus Witchboard.
For a full list of films, ticketing information and anything else you need to know, visit the official B-Movie Celebration website!
Last night I attended a Blu-ray/DVD release event for “American Horror Story: Asylum” at the legendary (and supposedly haunted) Linda Vista Hospital in Los Angeles. We saw some special features from the Second Season set that looked pretty in-depth (given the location of the event, a lot of what we saw focussed on the sets for Briarcliff Asylum) and were treated to a lengthy Q&A with Asylum regulars Naomi Grossman (“Pepper”) and Barbara Tarbuck (“Mother Superior Claudia”).
As interesting as that stuff was, my most anticipated moment of the evening was the premiere of the first episode of “American Horror Story: Coven“. I was a huge fan of the first season of Ryan Murphy’s out-of-its-mind anthology series but my enthusiasm cooled somewhat during the first couple episodes of Season 2. Obviously the good news in regard to this show is that, unlike “Homeland”, its literally impossible for them to write themselves into a corner for too long. Each season is a fresh reset button, something “Coven” takes great advantage of.
In hindsight, I think the reason I ultimately tuned out of “Asylum” was the setting. The characters Murphy comes up with are so insane it’s a shame to put them in a context that so openly reminds the viewer of the divide between “AHS” and reality. They work much better in the real world, where they contrast with and rub up against normal people, normal settings and normal societal conventions. Consciously or not, “Coven” recognizes and rectifies this.
Fans who loved Taissa Farmiga in Season 1 will be happy to know that she’s front and center here, the world here seems to be as much through her eyes as the world of Hogwarts is through Harry Potter’s. That’s not an accidental analogy either -Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies Farmiga stars as a Zoe Benson, a young witch who is only beginning to be clued into her powers (via a scene that echoes Rogue’s self discovery in X-Men with the sexuality turned up to 11). She’s sent to Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, a “finishing school” for young witches in New Orleans, and we’re off to the races.
Murphy makes an excellent move here by keeping the number of students at the school to a bare minimum. There are only three other attendees – Emma Roberts (“Madison Montgomery”), Gabourey Sidibe (“Queenie”) and Jamie Brewer (“Nan”) – and it’s refreshing to see the show focus on a few well-drawn characters rather than populating the house with half-baked stereotypes. The Academy is run by Sarah Paulson’s Cordelia Foxx, a kindly witch who tries to rule with a benevolent hand but is often stymied by the mischievous, and perhaps villainous, Jessica Lange (playing the vampier than thou Fiona Goode). There are two different side stories that feed into the narrative at the Academy (one featuring Kathy Bates, the other focussing on Lily Rabe), but it’s better if you discover for yourselves how they tie in.
The great pleasure of “Coven” comes from watching all of these personalities collide with each other (and the surrounding world) in inventive ways. As dumb as “American Horror Story” pretends to be, its incredibly smart about the business at hand – which is entertaining and shocking its audience. And make no mistake, I was shocked by a lot of it. There’s some subject matter here that I might have expected to see on HBO (albeit, I’ve never seen an HBO show take a similar tonal approach to this kind of material), but not on FX. Still, once I got past my own moral queasiness, it was easy to dive back into being enthralled with the program.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you guys, so I’m going to have to end it here. Just be sure to check into FX tomorrow night at 10PM. “American Horror Story: Coven” is bloody, sexy, hilarious, gloriously tacky and out of its f*cking mind – just the way we like it. It’s wrong in all the right ways.
ComiXology is having a massive digital sale on all issues of “The Walking Dead” from Oct 8th thru Oct 14th as a means of celebrating the milestone 10th Anniversary of the series. The first 114 issues, including most recent issues, are all up for for .99 cents each, plus Volumes 1-18 are on sale too. If you have been a bad zombie fan and haven’t read a single issue, you can snag “The Walking Dead” #1-114 Bundle for only $99. That is a helluva good price.
Official Press Release:
October 8th, 2013 – New York, NY – In celebration of The Walking Dead’s 10th anniversary and the premiere of Season 4, here’s your chance to see how the worldwide phenomena all began with a week-long The Walking Dead sale on comiXology – the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform available across iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and the Web at comiXology.com.
Watching the show, but never read the comic series? You now have no excuse with every issue of The Walking Dead comic on sale at .99 cents. You’ll also find collections Volume 1 through Volume 18 on sale at a reduced price. In addition to these great savings, comiXology will be offering a “web-only” bundle of The Walking Dead issues 1-114 for only $99. These special discount offers run from today, Tuesday, October 8th, through midnight EST Monday October 14th. The sale gives fans a chance to experience the original The Walking Dead comic series that inspired it all—the show, the novels, the games and the entire universe of The Walking Dead.
Once you catch up, jump on board with the new highly anticipated The Walking Dead issue #115 – which hits comiXology this Wednesday marking the 10th Anniversary of The Walking Dead comic series. It also marks the beginning of bi-weekly releases as new issues start to arrive every other week—one more The Walking Dead comic every month for fans to enjoy.
“ComiXology is a perfect way to experience The Walking Dead comic series and a great way for fans of the TV show around the globe to experience my original vision,” said Robert Kirkman, creator and writer of The Walking Dead and writer/Executive Producer of The Walking Dead AMC TV show. “We’re super excited to offer the entire run of the comic series for half-off to new comic readers eager to get into the stories, as well as provide value to our existing, rabid Walking Dead fans with comiXology’s great digital comics platform and awesome reading experience. It truly is going to be an epic sales event”
“No fan of The Walking Dead TV show should wait another day to experience the comic,” said David Steinberger, co-founder and CEO of comiXology. “There’s no better way to gear up for the premiere of Season 4 and celebrate the 10th anniversary than reading the comic series that started it all.”
Based on one of the most successful and popular comic books of all time, written and created by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead captures the ongoing human drama following a zombie apocalypse. The series follows a group of survivors, led by sheriff Rick Grimes, in search of a safe and secure home. However, instead of the zombies, it is the living who remain that truly become the walking dead.
Even after becoming a cop, Eve can never forget what happened that night in the woods. Eve and her best friends performed a dark ritual, unknowingly unleashing an evil presence in the town of Coffin Hill. Eve thought she could outrun her past, but now she has been forced to return home in Vertigo Comics’ “Coffin Hill” #1.
Caitlin Kittredge (author of the “Black London” series) talks about making her comics debut with “Coffin Hill,” making the leap from fiction writing, and the consequences Eve will have to face for playing around with black magic.
Bloody-Disgusting: Tell me how the inspiration behind “Coffin Hill” came about?
Caitlin Kittredge: I grew up in New England, where the book is set. I have always been fascinated with the history – the Salem Witch trials – all this really spooky historical stuff that happened. I always really wanted to set a horror story using that history. I started playing with the idea as a novel. I am a novelist. This is my very first foray into comic books. It never quite came together. Then I heard from Shelly Bond, from Vertigo. She was looking for a horror story. I thought this would just work as a comic. I came up with Eve Coffin, the heroine and I just kinda ran with all the stuff I wanted to write about. The witchcraft was a natural addition. The story is mostly tied to the Salem Witch trials. It’s a story I’ve always wanted to write.
BD: Eve Coffin is rebellious to her own police superiors as well as to her high society family. Tell me what interests you about her.
CK: She’s really interesting to me in terms of the characters I’ve written. Eve is not really a hero if you really think of one in comic books. She’s more of a person who does bad things for a good reason. She’s that kind of morally flexible. She’s more of a gray area. As we come into her story in the first couple of issues, she was a cop but she’s been disgraced. She’s been really badly injured. She comes home to Coffin Hill but finds much darker, much worse things going on, in terms of witchcraft and black magic, all the stuff she tried to get away from by moving to Boston to become a cop. She was the powerful witch who wasn’t afraid to use black magic to get what she wanted. I’m really fascinated with stories of characters who deal with the darker side of themselves. Eve’s very much doing it to protect the people she cares about. There’s a lot of bad stuff going on in Coffin Hill. She’s the only person who can put a stop to it and she started it in the first place, when she performed that ritual when she was a teenager.
BD: Was it a challenge transitioning from fiction writing to comic book writing?
CK: It was a challenge! It was a great challenge and it was a very fun challenge, but it definitely had moments where I thought, “What am I doing! This is so completely the opposite than what it’s like to write a novel!” Once I got through the personal learning curve in the first script, I actually had a great time. I love writing in script format. It really just required a little bit of a shift in my thinking because I am working with the artist in the art. I’m one half of a whole instead of having it all spelled out on the page, like it is when I’m writing novels. It’s really been a rewarding experience so far. I really relish to get into this medium that I’ve always wanted to work in, but never had an opportunity before now. It’s been an experience, even while I’m working with my editor. I’m still working on my first couple of issues.
BD: What’s your collaboration like with artist Inaki Miranda on this project?
CK: He’s been fantastic to work with! It’s better than anything I could have ever imagined! His art in the look is still aligned to what I imagined for the way the story is going to go. It’s exactly what I was trying to evoke with my script and dialogue. His artwork is such a perfect match for the story that I’m trying to tell. We had this big discussion before I actually started working on the script; the mood we were trying to convey. There’s going to be a lot of dark forests, a haunted mansions and I wanted the characters to look a little bit different. They’re inhabiting a world that’s a little bit dreamy. With that discussion, he went away and came back with the first issue, and it was just spot-on. I really don’t have to give him more than a few lines for anything. He comes up with these beautiful, tight layouts. I feel very lucky he was the first artist I got to work with.
BD: Did you feel your writing style changed knowing your prose was going to be illustrated?
CK: In terms of dialogue that I’m working with and things like that, I actually don’t really. In my opportunity to work in comics, I feel my style of writing works with a visual story. Once I got over the learning curve in the first issue, I felt it really clicked. It’s been an incredible experience! I love the dialogue between Eve and the other characters. There’s a character in the second issue who you will meet is the Chief of Police in Coffin Hill. I had so much fun writing that dialogue for them in that issue. It’s been a great fit!
BD: The story shifts between Eve’s past and present. Tell me about the use of flashbacks as a storytelling technique.
CK: I love a good flashback, I will freely admit. I love a good dream sequence. I love anything that holds both the reader and character out of the linear narrative. I think of the story of “Coffin Hill” specifically as more a labyrinth that circles back on itself, rather just a straight course between past and present. She keeps going back to that night of the ritual. There is a black magic ritual that went wrong, which basically turns her life upside down. She sees different pieces of it. She needs to see it as a whole. I go way back in time to Salem, when she was an officer in the Boston PD. It all kind of circles back on itself to what’s actually going in Coffin Hill. I had a really fun time playing with the structure of that. I really do love writing nonlinear storytelling where you piece everything together, that’s the kind of stuff I enjoy reading. It’s been a lot of fun to be able to layer so many different times, so many different pieces. Once you start piecing together what Eve is seeing, it’s not what actually happens.
BD: Eve has a punkish style haircut and a tattoo of a feather on her arm. Tell me about Eve’s look in her character design.
CK: I gave Inaki very loose descriptions of all the characters. My only real note about Eve is that she should be dark-haired and kind of small, petite. He came out with several designs. “Let’s give some tattoos.” He showed me a cool design. They were all fantastic. “Let’s run with these.” Inaki’s great! He comes up with these wonderful designs. I had a vague idea of how each character looked when we first started. I just referred to him because I knew he’d do an amazing job!
BD: What can you tease about the second issue?
CK: I can tease a little bit. Eve meets the Chief of Police, who was also one of the kids in the woods, the night of the ritual. He’s still there. Their meeting again touches off the story that will run for the next couple of issues. Eve figures something is off in Coffin Hill ten years later. She’s probably responsible for it because of what she did that night in the woods.
BD: What other projects are you working on now?
CK: I’m working on a new fiction series for Harper Collins. That and “Coffin Hill” have been in my life. I’ve been working on it since January. It’s been great and intense. I’m up against the deadline right now!
“Coffin Hill” #1 hits comic shops on Oct. 9th. Writer Caitlin Kittredge will be at New York Comic Oct. 10-13th.
Interview by – Jorge Solis
Progressive metal mastermind Ihsahn (ex-Emperor) has released a lyric video for “NaCl”, which comes from his upcoming album Das Seelenbrechen (out October 21st via Candlelight Records). It’s a fun track, one that’s playful but also builds in very interesting ways. I highly recommend checking it out!
Das Seelenbrechen can be pre-ordered here.
The Seventh Annual B-Movie Celebration takes place at the Hollywood Boulevard Cinema in Woodridge, Illinois (Suburb of Chicago) from October 25th-27th.
From their press release, founded in 2007 by Franklin Indiana resident and genre producer, Bill Dever whose goal was to celebrate the diverse and artistically vital segment of cinema known as “B’s”. Often the term B-Movie is thought carry an attitude of derision and scorn. Low budget “B” or Genre filmmakingis considered to be second class or in some way inferior to Hollywood’s slick corporate product. They know otherwise. They know that for the most part the grand American cinematic tradition has evolved from origins in B-Movies. The weavers of images, whom they as a collective culture deem as masters of the cinematic arts; Scorsese, Coppola, Kaufman, Demme, Leone, Bogdanovich, Lucas, Spielberg and Tarantino. All either toiled in the fields of B-filmmaking or consider themselves primarily influenced by this cinematic tradition.
The B-Movie Celebration realizes that Hollywood has taken the stock-in-trade of B-Movies and subverted the exploitation aspect of it for its own ends, often ignoring the passion and the creativity of the B-Movie auteurs, and have created mega- budgeted flicks which have no heart and do not move the art of cinema further. The product Hollywood now produces often acts as a kind of celluloid Eurasian Milfoil, crowding all other of forms of cinema off the viewing public’s radar and demanding that only they have the right or ability to bring entertainment to the world. They take deep exception to this and intend to offer an alternative.
The B-Movie Celebration recognizes that most of the innovation and indeed the very definition of the cinematic arts came as a result of B-Movies. There is a tradition and legacy here that should not be forgotten. Filmmakers like Oscar Micheaux, Ida Lupino, Samuel Fuller, Jacques Tourneur, Lloyd Kaufman, Robert Lippert, Roger Corman and Jim Wynorski have all contributed significantly to the tradition and the emerging art form that is Movies. Some of them still do.
This year they are showcasing a global overview of emerging genre filmmakers as well as reminiscing by screening classics. The slate of films has been curated by Avery Battles and Bill Dever. These filmmakers are from around the globe and are responsible for creating what they at the B-Movie Celebration know will influence and impact the next generation of movie fans. These people have taken on the banner of advancing the art of the motion picture and they like their predecessors must be celebrated. Come and share their works with them this October when the B-Movie Nation comes together to celebrate Everything B in Woodridge, Illinois at the Hollywood Boulevard Cinema.
For further information please go to Bmoviecelebration.com.