I love coming-of-age stories, especially when they incorporate elements of horror. Because what’s more terrifying than transitioning from a child to an adult? Writer/director Akiz’s horror flick Der Nachtmahr tackles those troubling teenage years with a “psychophantasmagoric” slant. The icing on the cake: a creepy little creature that may be a figment of a young girl’s imagination.
The official synopsis puts a finer point on the plot.
Jarring, disturbing, and thoroughly disorienting, Der Nachtmahr is a psychophantasmagoric coming-of-age story about a teenage girl thrust into an unnaturally symbiotic relationship. Secret raves, drugs, and late nights are par for the course for sixteen-year-old Tina (Carolyn Genzkow) and her friends on the decadent Berlin party scene. When Tina passes out at a party one night, she assumes it was just a side effect of her wild lifestyle — that is, until a mysterious creature begins haunting both her dreams and her waking hours. Tina struggles to make those around her see the thing, but to no avail, and as she becomes ever more unsettled and manic, her parents are forced to get her psychiatric help. But as the little beastie seems to lurk around every corner, she is forced to overcome her fears and forge a bond with the monster.
The official press release also describes the aforementioned monster as a cross between E.T. and Belial from Franken Henenlotter’s classic Basket Case. Sold! If you’re attending this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, then be sure to catch the flick’s North American premiere.
P&I Screening: Friday, September 11, 9:30AM (Scotiabank)
Public Screening #1: Thursday, September 17, 9:00PM (Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)
Public Screening #2: Friday, September 18, 12:00PM (Scotiabank)
Public Screening #3: Sunday, September 20, 6:00PM (Scotiabank)
On your way out, check out the creepy Der Nachtmahr trailer.
Starring Iris Cayatte
Directed by Jeronimo Rocha
It just doesn’t get any simpler than this – for the better part of Jeronimo Rocha’s 10-minute Portuguese short Arcana, we see one of the MOST haggard looking witches (Cayatte) you’ll probably ever lay eyes upon (or not want to lay eyes upon) as she sits in a ceremonial circle, preparing to work some magic in order to escape her prison-like atmosphere.
This crone defines the word “unsightly” – with scabrous features, a hellish sneer, and some of the most frightening pupils that will sear through your soul, we spend our time watching her concoct a recipe of rat entrails, chewed-up bug bits, and her own bloody vomit; and you know what? It’s utterly fantastic to behold! Literally no words are spoken, and just her actions are enough to carry Rocha’s short film to the promise land.
Teeming with darkness, Rocha uses just the right amount of shadow and light act as an effective illuminating tactic so that we manage to see enough of this heretic work her evil spell. What’s her plan once she escapes? Well, I guess you’ll just have to surmise that for yourself, but in the meantime, it sure was a disgusting pleasure to watch her pass the time.
“From Dusk Till Dawn” made my list of the Top 10 horror TV shows you should be watching, and according to Ted’s Season 2 preview, things are really kicking into high gear in next week’s Episode 2.02, “In a Dark Time.”
If you’re curious about some of the series’ influences, then check out this new featurette in which executive producer/showrunner Carlos Coto discusses its “pulp” origins. In the below video Coto explains how the show’s foundation creates an actual crime drama.
“From Dusk Till Dawn” Episode 2.02 – “In a Dark Time” (airs 9/1/15)
Seth (D.J. Cotrona) and Kate (Madison Davenport) stage a heist, while Gonzalez (Jesse Garcia) endures frightening visions that lead to a grisly discovery. Back at the Twister, Malvado’s (Esai Morales) plans are set into motion by Carlos’ (Wilmer Valderrama) emergence from the labyrinth.
We don’t have a preview of the upcoming ep to share yet so how about an inside look at Episode 2.01, “Opening Night”?
The post From Dusk Till Dawn’s Pulp Origins Explored in a New Featurette appeared first on Dread Central.
Earlier this year at the San Diego Comic-Con, NECA provided us with a sneak peek of their upcoming Ultimate Jason Voorhees action figure, based on his look in Jason Lives. All they had to show off was an unpainted prototype at the time, but now a full gallery has been unveiled. Dig in!
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Friday the 13th Part 6, NECA presents the definitive collector’s version of Jason as he appeared in the 1986 film. This deluxe 7″ scale action figure features a gruesome, freshly unearthed sculpt and over 25 points of articulation.
The figure is loaded with accessories, including a removable mask, a machete and a knife that both fit into sheaths on his belt, the fence post that reanimated him, and his tombstone.
Shipping in late December, Ultimate Jason is packaged in a collector-friendly Deluxe 30th Anniversary window box.
Check out all the images below!
The post Ultimate Jason Voorhees Action Figure Slashes NECA to Pieces appeared first on Dread Central.
Next year’s Doom reboot is shaping up to be everything that we know and love about the franchise – brutal, fast paced sci-fi action at its best.
A new developer commentary video shows off the heights that the level of violence in the game, including ripping out a monster’s heart and shoving it down its throat. It really doesn’t get much better than this.
The long awaited reboot will be developed by series creators iD Software and published by Bethesda, and will be released in 2016.
The post New Doom Gameplay Video Takes Violence To A Whole New Level appeared first on Dread Central.
The moderately well received PC horror game Knock-Knock will be coming to PS4 on September 10, Developer Ice-Pick Lodge has announced.
Originally released for PC in 2013, the game follows a lodger in a creepy isolated cabin in the woods, where his nightmares literally come to life every night, with the goal being to make it until dawn without succumbing to insanity.
Look for Knock-Knock on PS4 on September 10.
It may not generate the attention or ratings that “The Walking Dead” and its progeny do, but Syfy’s “Z Nation” is a helluva lot of fun, and we’ll be tuning in for sure when Season 2 kicks off on September 11th. If you plan to be there as well, here’s a new trailer for the show that will help you get ready… with a song!
Excited for S2 but a little rusty as to what exactly went down in S1? Then be sure to scroll down below the trailer for a quick recap.
“Z Nation” starts three years after the zombie virus has gutted the country. A team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all. With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America.
With “Fear the Walking Dead” smashing a multitude of cable records, it’s not surprising that AMC is looking to bring more zombie-related programming to the forefront. According to Entertainment Weekly, AMC is producing a half-hour special that will tell a stand-alone story following a group of passengers facing a walker attack on an airline while in flight.
One character who survives that encounter will then join the cast of “Fear the Walking Dead” in Season 2. Previously AMC has had a stand-alone “The Walking Dead” online web series, but the network never used such content to introduce a new character before he or she joined the show.
The airline attack story will debut online and will unfold in chapters that will air during “The Walking Dead’s” on-air telecasts. In other words: You’re watching “The Walking Dead,” AMC cuts to commercial break, and then you get a chapter in the as-yet-untitled stand-alone airline attack drama.
Beyond that details are scarce. Stay tuned.
“Fear the Walking Dead” Episode 1.02 – “So Close, Yet So Far” (airs 8/30/15)
While Madison (Kim Dickens) struggles to keep Nick (Frank Dillane) from crippling withdrawal, Travis (Cliff Curtis) ventures out to find his son (Lorenzo James Henrie) before the city of Los Angeles falls.
The post Fear the Walking Dead Stand-Alone Special to Be a Flight of the Living Dead appeared first on Dread Central.
Though his stint in The Fantastic Four as The Human Torch fizzled, star Michael B. Jordan is still pretty hot in Hollywood and is ready to tackle yet another comic franchise.
According to The Tracking Board, Jordan’s in talks to nab the role of Tree, one of the key leads in the big screen adaptation of the horror comic Blood Brothers for MGM. The story follows two blood-sucking best friends whose relationship enters a crisis.
The pic’s based on the Dark Horse comic series of the same name written by Hit List, Black List, and Young and Hungry List alums Mike Gagerman and Andrew Waller. Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Entertainment is producing the action/comedy, with Keith Goldberg overseeing. Matt Dines, Adam Rosenberg, and Jonathan Glickman are overseeing for the studio.
Men in Black 3 scribe Etan Cohen recently took a crack at the script, as well as Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly before him. However, sources now confirm that the studio is looking for a new writer/director to approach the project with a more grounded vision, tonally in line with buddy films like Lethal Weapon and 48 Hours.
Pitched as Ghostbusters meets Men in Black, the story follows best friends Nick and Tree, two vampires that have been inseparable party fiends for over a thousand years. Together they’ve smoked opium with Genghis Khan, had orgies in Michelangelo’s studio, and even fronted a death metal band.
Now, after centuries together, a mid-life crisis threatens to send them on their separate ways. That is, until a megalomaniac with an apocalypse fetish threatens to end the human race, forcing the once BFFs to stick together to save the world.
An awesome new trailer for Sword Coast Legends, a fantasy RPG set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms setting, has been revealed at PAX Prime and can be viewed below.
The game will feature five playable races and a campaign created by team members from Dragon Age: Origins. Gameplay will be from an isometric perspective as you traverse the land of Faerûn with your companions.
We haven’t had many good D&D games for a while, but hopefully that will all change when Sword Coast Legends is released on September 29, 2015.
For more information visit the game’s website.
Scream Addicts Podcast #4 – Four-Color Frights: Walking Dead, Wytches, and the Wide World of Horror Comics
With this week gasping its last breath, the Scream Addicts have kicked back, invited a couple of fiends over, and decided to chat at length about a favorite pastime – reading horror comics.
Comic book gurus Seth Dixon and Lucas Harbolt sit down with your horror hosts to chat about their first exposure to comic book horrors, their experiences as comic shop clerks, and what scarybooks you absolutely must seek out at your nearest paper peddler. If it has panels, staples, and bloodshed – there’s a good chance it’ll get mentioned in this episode.
So get ready to welcome the weekend with the bloodiest, nerdiest possible talk you’re likely to find outside a comic shop under siege by a horde of flesh-eating zombies. Enjoy our newest episode – Four-Color Frights: Walking Dead, Wytches, and the Wide World of Horror Comics.
CLICK HERE for the podcast.
And if you missed our previous episodes, start catching up here.
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And be sure to scream away in the comments section below to tell us what you thought! Liked it? Hated it? Let us know!
There’s nothing we love more than a stacked release schedule, and as the summer comes to a close and Halloween season approaches, the horror releases are set to come our way hot and heavy. This weekend is particularly loaded, with four new titles now available for streaming!
First up is director Mickey Keating’s Pod (review), which comes recommended by our own Matt Boiselle. The film, arriving today via Vertical Entertainment, stars Lauren Ashley Carter, Dean Cates, Larry Fessenden, Brian Morvant, and John Weselcouch.
After receiving a troubling voicemail, estranged siblings Ed and Lyla travel to their isolated family lake house in Maine to hold an intervention on their increasingly paranoid, war veteran brother, Martin. But the situation rapidly spirals out of control when they discover the house completely ransacked and learn that Martin has constructed an elaborate and horrifying conspiracy theory surrounding a sinister entity that he believes he has trapped in the basement.
Up next is the Jason Eisener-produced Turbo Kid, a bloody blast of 80s awesome that we’ve been hotly anticipating for quite some time here on Dread. Directed by Anouk Whissell, François Simard, and Yoann-Karl Whissell, this one stars Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, and Munro Chambers.
In a post-apocalyptic future a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books must face his fears and become a reluctant hero when he meets a mysterious girl.
Danish filmmaker Jonas Alexander Arnby makes his feature debut with When Animals Dream (review), hitting Stateside theaters and VOD outlets today. The film is being described as Let the Right One In meets Carrie, and stars Sonia Suhl, Lars Mikkelsen, Sonja Richter, and Jakob Oftebro.
Marie is a beautiful and lonely 16-year-old who lives in an isolated village on a small island off the west coast of Denmark. Marie’s mother is seriously ill, suffering from an unknown disease – on medication, mentally absent, and tied to a wheelchair. Marie’s father, Thor, runs the small grocery store and tries to make life as normal as possible for the small family. On the surface, everything seems fine – and yet, Marie can’t help feeling that Thor is hiding something about her mother’s illness.
And finally, Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah is also available for instant streaming this weekend, in addition to hitting limited theaters. The post-apocalyptic thriller’s cast is pretty damn impressive, featuring Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
In a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when another survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman’s affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature.
The post Today on VOD: Pod, Turbo Kid, When Animals Dream and Z for Zachariah appeared first on Dread Central.
The horror anthology Volumes of Blood (review) is gaining lots of buzz and right now we have a gory exclusive clip to get you guys all sticky!
P.J. Starks, HorrorHound and Scream Factory artist Nathan Thomas Milliner, Jakob Bilinski, Lee Vervoort, and horror author John Kenneth Muir direct. Jim O’Rear (Days of the Dead), pinup model Vixxxen Lucy Lynn, Roni Jonah (The Zombie Movie), Jason Crowe (Easter Casket), and many more star. Lynn Lowry (The Crazies and The Cat People) is executive producing.
Five tales of dread are interwoven when a sociology student gathers several of his friends at the local library on Halloween night to help him create a new urban legend with deadly consequences.
Lily is in for a late night of researching and needs something to keep her going. It isn’t until she’s approached by a mysterious stranger that her luck may change… for the worse. A typical night of work for a librarian becomes a classic ghost story with a modern twist.
Sometimes you can’t keep a bad book down; Sidney is allowed to stay after hours to study for a test. It’s not until she suddenly awakens in the darkened library that she realizes the horrifying truth of what lurks among the stacks of books after midnight. She better pray she doesn’t become the prey.
Paige faces regrets that she’d do anything to take back. When an ancient and arcane spell book literally falls into her lap, she decides to make a grave decision. Be careful what you wish for; it might just kill you.
The post Volumes of Blood – Exclusive Clip Pencils in the Gruesome! appeared first on Dread Central.
We caught up with director Christopher Landon last year, right around the time his horror hit Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was out in theaters. Rather than basking in the box-office afterglow, Landon was hard at work on the set of Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.
Intense night shoots, working with child actors, dealing with elaborate makeups, overseeing stunts involving fire, cars, and cats, blood soaked strippers, plus zombie hordes, hadn’t flagged Landon’s enthusiasm one bit, even deep into the shoot – here’s what he had to say about all those things, and more.
Dread Central: How much fun can you have with horror style when you’ve got to take into consideration the comedy too?
Christopher Landon: It’s pretty stylized but in a way that it’s funny. We keep saying that we’re actually making an 80s movie. I describe it as a gory R-rated version of The Goonies.
DC: Did your young cast even know what The Goonies is?
CL: It was required viewing when we started out, and there were a few other things that I wanted them to watch. I think it just has that kind of old school quality to it, only we have those zombie strippers and stretched out old zombie dicks and all sorts of [crazy stuff].
DC: How did you come on board to direct this?
CL: I read the script and I automatically fell in love with the characters. What I loved about the movie so much was that even though it’s this big type of zombie epic, ultimately it’s really about friendship. It’s about these three guys who over the course of one night found out why their friendship means so much to them. Every movie that I write or work on, the characters always come first and if there isn’t some sort of relatable emotional story to connect with I’m not interested. I think good horror and good comedy works when you have characters that you care about, and so that’s what hooked me. Then for me it was just about the gore, because the older version of the script was really fun but they were trying to go PG-13 and it never going to happen. I’m a big horror fan and when I see a zombie movie I want to gore, I want to see guts and all that stuff because it’s fun. That was a big part of the challenge rewriting the script for me, it was just really like concentrating on aging it up that way, of sort of ramping up the set pieces because the other thing that I wanted to do when I read the script was, I wanted to make it an action movie. Now it’s a full-blown action movie; there is this wall to wall set piece, and they’re really fun.
DC: Should the genre fiends be looking for any type of Easter eggs as homages to other zombie movies?
CL: You know, it’s funny: I have one really fun Easter egg in the movie because John Carpenter is one of my heroes and there is a John Carpenter Easter egg in the movie. We talked about cameos and we talked about how do we invite a ton of different people to be in the movie, but a part of me was like, ‘No.’ I just wanted it to be its own thing because as much as I love a good cameo, it still takes you out of the movie no matter what; you stop and you go ‘Oh, there’s so and so’ and then you go back into the movie and I didn’t want that to happen.
DC: Can you talk about your decision to go primarily practical with the effects verses CG?
CL: It was again going back to the spirit of what we wanted; we wanted to do this old school, and for me that is practical. I just think practical effects are better, still, and I have so much respect for the digital world and how much they can do, but I feel like there’s just something really cool about going that direction. There’s stuff that people will see in this movie and I’m not going to be specific about it because I don’t want to spill anything, but there is stuff that people are going to see and go ‘Wow.’ It will clearly be a practical effect, but it’s on purpose. We want people to go to that Gremlins place and go to that old school vibe and so that was a big part of it for us; it was making sure that we had that. Our DP Brandon Trost was amazing. When he and I were working together and brain storming together, we kept talking about all this stuff and so literally the lenses that we’re shooting the movie on right now is awesome old effects lenses that they shot Poltergeist on.
DC: What’s your balance in the film between the horror and the comedy?
CL: The obvious one, because I just mentioned it, is I think Gremlins. Gremlins is kind of a cool reference because it had some fun with the scares but I think it is much more of a comedy. I think this movie is more of a comedy, but we have a lot of good scares and they come from the Paranormal Activity world; I’m still a big fan of still delivering some really good jump scares, stuff to really get people, and the great thing about humour is that it disarms people and so there’s some stuff in here that’s really unexpected in scares, but they just go hand in hand with the comedy.
DC: We know that you have zombies that are sticking to their former professions…
CL: Exactly. The strippers.
DC: …but do you have hero zombies; like, one zombie that is pursuing your leads throughout the film?
CL: We have one zombie who is actually the scout leader, David Koechner. He can’t get a break, but he keeps pursuing our characters over and over again. It’s kind of funny because it seems as if, yes, he’s out to eat them but I also have this weird thing in my head where he’s drawn to them because of his connection to these guys and so that’s how he keeps finding his way to them. He’s awesome in the movie. I can’t wait for people to see him.
DC: What is your approach to the zombies?
CL: There’s a couple things that I think we did differently in this movie. I think first and foremost is that we actually gave our zombies personalities. I wanted them to have ties to their former selves and not just be mindless wandering. We have those when it’s like horrid situations where obviously they’re being pursued by a lot of zombies, it goes to that which is traditional and it should be. But they have these one on one encounter with zombies that are completely original and funny; one of them is the stripper, and there’s the homeless zombie. They interact with the zombies in a way that is not typical and that’s one thing, and then we have zombie animals which is really funny.
DC: We’ve heard about the cats.
CL: Yeah, we have zombie cats. There’s a neighbour who lives next door to Carter, her name is Miss Fielder, played by Cloris Leachman, and Cloris ends up being attacked by the cats; they turn her into a zombie and then there is a whole zombie attack scene.
DC: Where do you shine in this film? Would people look at this and say there is Chris’s strength?
CL: Again, I think the strength for me is even if you go back and look at the Paranormal Activity (movies) especially the last one, I like humour, I love to bring comedy into my world. I just think that they go well together, and so I think that we really deliver. I feel like I’m bringing the humour but also I’m just proud of making a movie that feels like something that I watched when I was a kid. I’ve missed these movies; I feel like they’re not being made anymore and I think everything is either $5 million and small or its gigantic tentpole, and we’ve lost the spirit. I’m really grateful that Paramount wants to go back and to take this chance and to make a movie that I think that audiences really want to see but they are just not getting. I think we’re going to have a great time on this; it is really funny and scary.
DC: How was Tye Sheridan cast as Ben? And your other scouts?
CL: I saw Mud when I was on the plane, and really didn’t know much about the movie [but] I saw this kid, and so as soon as I got the script it was, like, ‘That’s person that I want to work with, and I was really nervous about casting him; not nervous about him, but more worried about him not wanting to do it because he does have these awesome indies with the finest directors on planet earth, and so I was like ‘Shoot, he’s never going to do this’. So he read it and he called me right away and said he loved the script and it was crazy and fun. I’m really grateful because he’s awesome and it’s so different, nobody has seen him like this, he’s so funny but he also brings an emotional depth that I know that Ben needed to have to anchor the movie. Then Logan Miller’s awesome; he’s just like a professional comedian, everything he does is funny but he does it with honesty. It’s not too over the top he just hits the right note, and Carter is such a tricky character because he’s a bit of an asshole but you don’t want to be too much of an asshole, you want to still like him and so he brings a certain kind of heart to it that’s critical. Then Joseph Morgan; he’s self-taped. He lives in Chicago, he’s never done anything and our casting directors said ‘Hey, you should check this kid out,’ and I watched him. I looked at the casting directors and I was like ‘This is the guy for sure’ and so we set up a screen test for him, and I was really nervous because he was going to be working with these other guys who were seasoned; they have done tons of movies and have been working their whole lives. We did the screen test with him and he just killed it. I showed it to the studio and they flipped out over him, so it was a no brainer for him and their chemistry is great. They’re best friends and I think that it really shows that they’re genuinely close off camera, which has been nice. I was nervous at first because you’re wondering, ‘What if they hate each other?’ but you’ll never know with people so, we started organising these little day trips and things for them to do together, and they just clicked and that was perfect.
DC: What are you thinking about for the score?
CL: I want something that’s kind of big and that does throw back to that old school style, because I think it will work. We have some scenes in the movie that requires 80s vibe to it, but yeah: big and loud.
DC: What’s the key to surviving all night shoots?
CL: It was just like urgency, on crack. It’s hard, it’s the transitioning in the beginning and it’s funny because we all became zombies, which is fitting. Then you start to get used to it and then you drink a lot of coffee, you don’t sleep a lot. I think we all operated on four hours per night, and it is what it is but the whole cast [is] so dedicated and I couldn’t be luckier in that right.
DC: How has it been to direct the zombie hordes?
CL: We have a zombie choreographer; Mark is awesome and he has been the one to really wrangle. It’s big because you’re working with extras, some are good and some have never done it before, and so it’s an education. I’ve got no worry. He had to teach me how to do a zombie walk so that I could get into it, and I had to go and get the contact lenses and put them in my eyes. I wanted to feel what everybody else was going to experience before they did it so that I could at least speak from a place of knowledge. I’m surprised that they weren’t terrible to wear, you just can’t see anything but it’s been funny working with them. They’re great, it’s amazing that these people would come out and spend all night with us and run around and fall down and do all kinds of crazy stuff and do it because they love being zombies. It’s kind of crazy to me. I’m a big fan of getting my hands dirty and when I get to smash things I try to smash them myself first and its fun. There’s a lot of blood in the movie, but its funny blood so it’s okay. I’m squeamish when it comes to the real stuff. I have horror movies that I’ve watched, and had to close my eyes because it’s too much for me.
DC: On that note, how hard an R are you hoping for?
CL: There’s so many tits and there’s so much blood and stuff in this movie, that there’s no chance that we are not a hard R. There’s a couple things in here that might get us in a little bit of trouble, but it’s good stuff.
Directed by Christopher Landon (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones), the film stars Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse), Patrick Schwarzenegger, Logan Miller (The Stanford Prison Experiment), Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont (Don John), Halston Sage (Neighbors), one of our all time favorites – Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein), and David Koechner (Anchorman).
Look for it in theatres on October 30, 2015.
Three Scouts and lifelong friends join forces with one bad-ass cocktail waitress to become the world’s most unlikely team of heroes. When their peaceful town is ravaged by a zombie invasion, they’ll fight for the badge of a lifetime and put their scouting skills to the test to save mankind from the undead.
The post Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse – Exclusive Set Visit Interview: Christopher Landon appeared first on Dread Central.
Directed by Jeremy Wooding
While some new blood definitely needs to be shed in order to spruce up the tired old werewolf format of horror, why not stick em in the Old West? Funny thing is, it works pretty damn nicely! Beware the Blood Moon.
Director Jeremy Wooding takes the hairy savage lycanthrope and drops it smack in the middle of a western, complete with bank robberies, stagecoach rides, shootouts, and MAYBE even an occasional lady of the night (but only if you’re lucky). The movie blasts out of the gate with a brazen heist at a local bank by the Norton brothers, Jeb and Hank (Raffaello Degruttola, Corey Johnson) – they’re short-fused and now on the run from the law, and with only one dependable man for the job (Fox), he decides against his better judgement to enlist the help of an Indian woman known as Black Deer (Eleanor Matsuura), whose biggest problem is not knowing when to put the booze bottle down. This is going to be an interesting pursuit, for sure. Her assistance in the chase is dropping some knowledge about the “skinwalkers” who were kicked out of their tribe for practicing such black arts, and when the moon turns red, they come out to hunt.
Enter Calhoun (Dooley), a steely-eyed, bad-ass cowboy with a quick draw and even quicker wit – he and a full stagecoach of travelers are taken hostage by the Nortons and held up at a deserted saloon, and it’s not too long (actually it is) before we get some werewolf violence, front and center. The film is fun as much as it is goofy and staged, but the idea of a rampaging beast tearing through a western town is interesting to behold, aside from the hokey dialogue and LONG stretches of it, by the way. When the final third of the movie gets rolling, it’s completely off of its wagon wheels, and that’s when the fun really begins.
Gore? Not too much to speak of, but when there is some bloodshed, it’s admirable in both presentation and production – bodies are ripped in half, and throats are slashed with some decent arterial sprays. Now, the werewolf on the other hand… I’m not going to leap so far as to say the look was cheesy, but I think the notion of NOT showing the full costume for more than a few seconds at a time was a wise one indeed.
Dooley is fun to watch as the tough-guy cowboy with a sharp tongue, and the work of Degruttola and Johnson as the bank-robbing Nortons is equally entertaining, even if it looked at times as if they were reading out of the rootin-tootin cowboy handbook for a more effective old west image. Nonetheless, I could recommend this for those who want a nice twist on their wolf-watching, and regardless of the lack of style and substance with Blood Moon, it’s a howling good time. Jeez, that was bad – my apologies.
With a title like I Can’t Escape: Darkness, do I really need to bother explaining what the game’s about? Well, I’ll do it anyway for you reading pleasure. You’re trapped in a spooky dungeon. There are things in the dungeon that want to kill you. You need to escape.
Perhaps the developer Fancy Fish Games can explain it better in their official description:
“I Can’t Escape: Darkness is a quicksand trap for the senses – the more you listen and look for clues, the deeper you fall into a damp, living dungeon. Plunge into the depths and scrape together whatever tools you can find, then try to escape one of the most diabolical puzzles of all time!”
A follow-up to I Can’t Escape, the game will be released on Steam on September 17, 2015 for $12. Watch the creepy as hell trailer below:
When a recent “Creepy’s Take” bemoaned “Hannibal’s” cancellation, a few readers took us to task, along with our peers on the other horror sites, for not doing enough to push people in the show’s direction. Perhaps, but I put the blame on NBC for not doing more to promote it and for not working with sites like ours to a greater extent so that we’d have info to “push” out in the first place.
But pointing fingers is… well, pointless. After Saturday night’s episode, it will all be Chianti under the bridge anyway.
So, what should replace “Hannibal” in your DVR’s rotation? We’ve compiled a Top 10 list of our current favorites – some new, some that will require a bit of catch-up – plus our best guesses of what’s coming down the pike that you should keep your eyes on.
Honorable mentions that just missed the cut include “Penny Dreadful” and “Sleepy Hollow,” two shows that have had rough patches but are primed for a comeback; “Westworld” and “American Horror Story: Hotel,” a pair that we just can’t predict with any real confidence; and no-brainer cross-genre phenoms “The X-Files” and “The Walking Dead” that surely need no help from us.
Of course this list isn’t one size fits all; some things will appeal more to women than men, the younger crowd versus those of a more advanced age like myself. But they all share a similar level of quality, and you should find at least a handful that are worth carving out two or three hours each week to keep up with.
We’ll kick things off with two oldies but goodies that both get a bit of a bum rap among people who haven’t watched them…
“Supernatural” (Season 11 begins October 7, 2015, on The CW)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Supernatural” described as “that dumb CW show with the pretty-boy brothers.” It certainly wouldn’t have lasted as long as it has if there wasn’t a lot more depth to it than that! It’s comparable to “Buffy” in that it treats its audience with respect and knows how to retain a loyal fanbase. While I would have been perfectly content to see the series end after Season 5 as originally conceived by its creator and first showrunner, Eric Kripke, I’m not averse to spending a few more years with the Winchesters as long as current head honcho Jeremy Carver can continue tweaking the formula enough to keep it feeling fresh. (Pro tip: If you do decide to give this one a shot from the beginning, watch the DVDs/Blu-rays rather than on Netflix so you can enjoy the soundtrack as it was meant to be.)
“Grimm” (Season 5 begins October 30, 2015, on NBC)
I’m not sure why the horror crowd hasn’t been more supportive of “Grimm” – it has an extremely likable cast (comprised of actual adults no less!), a trendy Portland locale, and some kickin’ monsters (aka Wesen). Granted, the transformation scenes are loaded with CGI and the gore factor is light (it is a network show, after all), but the characters and storylines are interesting and relate to those classic fairy tales and legends we all grew up on. Season 1 was a bit rocky, but over the past few years “Grimm” has more than hit its stride, and after the way Season 4 ended, our enthusiasm for it has been ramped up even higher.
With TV being the new vehicle for remakes of popular horror films, our next group fall in the category of shows that have made the transition from the big to small screen…
“From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” (Season 2 is under way now on El Rey Network)
When word first came that Robert Rodriguez would be re-imagining his universally beloved From Dusk Till Dawn as a series, fans weren’t sure what to expect. What we got was a helluva lot of fun so as we embark on Season 2, which promises more of the same and then some, we can’t help but wonder why we’ve heard so little from our readers about the show. Maybe El Rey Network isn’t available where you live? In any event, this is one that’s worth seeking out.
“Bates Motel” (Season 4 will air in 2016 on A&E)
“Bates Motel” has been met with a mixed response from the horror community (our own MattFini recently took a swipe at it while boohooing the recently announced “Friday the 13th” series on The CW), but for this writer, it’s been a winner from the start. A dream cast with incredible chemistry paired with imaginative, offbeat writing that’s both spooky and icky (the Norman/Norma relationship has certainly made us squirm more than once) has resulted in my second favorite show on this list. I can only echo Jinx, who wrote at the end of Season 3: “I, for one, cannot wait [for next season]. Hats off to A&E and the creative forces behind “Bates Motel” for making one of the best damned shows on television!”
“Ash vs. Evil Dead” (Season 1 begins October 31, 2015, on Starz)
We’re going to make our first prediction now and say you better mark your calendars to remind you to call your cable TV provider on October 30th to turn on Starz so you can watch the premiere of “Ash vs. Evil Dead” on Halloween night. The Comic-Con trailer blew our minds, and everything revealed since then has just gotten us even more excited.
The intimacy and immediacy of the television medium are a perfect match for depicting disasters, especially when they lead to the post-apocalyptic setting found in so many of our contemporary hits…
“The Strain” (Season 2 is under way now on FX)
If you’ve been part of the crowd who feel vampires have lost their bite lately, you should already be well aware of how great “The Strain” is at portraying them as the monsters we’ve always known they can be. The acting is all over the place, but despite that, the characters are developed just well enough to get you rooting for them as the story progresses. Flashbacks are used minimally but effectively. If you can soldier through Season 1 and get caught up to where they are now, the payoff is well worth it.
“iZombie” (Season 2 begins October 6, 2015, on The CW)
Another show people seem to have preconceived notions about is “iZombie.” I found it to be a true bright spot among the latest influx of genre-themed programming to hit the airwaves (and have happily heard from more than a few of our readers who agree with me). Rose McIver isn’t quite up to Tatiana Maslany’s level (if you don’t get the reference, stop reading right now, watch a few episodes of “Orphan Black,” and then come back); but her ability to “become” different people each week is pretty awesome. And David Anders is a blast as her nemesis, Blaine. Actually, everyone on the show shines; and the writing is sharp, snappy (in a good way), and smart. Wow – that’s a lot of alliteration so let me add one more “s”: See it!
“Fear the Walking Dead” (Season 1 is under way now on AMC)
Sticking to the zombie theme, “Fear the Walking Dead,” gives us the other end of the spectrum in terms of gritty realism. It just kicked off this past weekend, and with only six episodes in its freshman season, how can you not at least give it a shot? It’s rare we get the chance to watch society break down from Day 1 of the apocalypse. Plus, if you do like it, you’re already guaranteed more since Season 2 has already been confirmed.
Putting our wizard’s cap back on for a moment, we bring you our final prediction…
“Damien” (Season 1 will air in 2016 on A&E)
Glen Mazzara… Bradley James… Barbara Hershey… A&E. We really didn’t need to know much more about “Damien” than those four things to be excited about this direct sequel to The Omen, but after seeing the show’s marketing campaign at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con, we really fell in love with it. It could turn out to be a disappointment, but for the time being we’re staying cautiously optimistic and urge you to do the same. “It’s all for you, Damien!”
And now we end with our favorite currently airing horror TV show…
“Salem” (Season 3 will air in 2016 on WGN America)
What more can we do to convince you to watch “Salem”? Week in and week out when it’s on the air, we sing its praises. Talk about a show that pushes boundaries! It’s dark, it’s daring, and its production values are through the roof. The cast and guest star roster are second to none (both Lucy Lawless and Stephen Lang have given Emmy-worthy performances), and now that they’ve given Shane West’s character a haircut, even he blends into the times a lot better. You may not be a fan of period pieces, but if you’re a fan of horror, “Salem” should be in the same #1 spot on your DVR as it is on ours.
Agree with our picks? Think we’re off our rockers? Chime in with your favorite current horror TV shows in the comments section below!
The post Top 10 Horror TV Shows You Need to Have on Your DVR appeared first on Dread Central.
Edited by Andy Cox
Published by TTA Press
Issue 47 of Black Static hits the asphalt with James Van Pelt’s opening story, On the Road with the American Dead, wherein travelling salesman Jeremy Lowe finds his usual relaxing cross-country drives interrupted by the random appearance of ghosts in his car.
Some talk to him, revealing snippets of their past lives – regrets, successes and lasting grudges – while others remain silent… but they all come and go with equal abruptness. Initially shocked by this peculiar new routine, Jeremy soon learns to cope with it before one particular visitor refuses to be ignored – insisting on teaching Jeremy the importance of remembrance, and the stories of lives that need to be told.
At its core, On the Road with the American Dead is a simple tale, awash with sentimentality but assuredly not maudlin with it. A few nice touches of humour pep things up as Jeremy tries his best to blank out his unwelcome passengers and, ultimately, the central message is a worthy observation of the human condition.
Kate Jonez follows up with All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck. Here, teen Jessup is a girl apart from the normal world. She refers to herself as a shadow, an opinion formed from her role in her family’s ongoing trade – thievery and con-artistry.
As a group, Jessup, her mother and two younger sisters travel the US, occasionally settling town in small towns for a bit. In well-practiced form, the others create a distraction in crowds whilst Jessup, the pickpocket, moves silently amongst the marks, relieving them of wallets, purses and loose cash.
In this particular instance they’re in the backwater town of Frederick, Oklahoma, kicking off a job at the carnival. Things don’t go exactly to plan, however, and Jessup soon finds herself wandering the site accompanied by the local sheriff’s wayward son, Calvin. As events take a seemingly inevitable path given the setting and character types, Jonez brings us instead toward an ending that feels allegorical, perhaps mythical… but just a bit too perplexing to work.
The puzzling (and somewhat unbelievable, given the circumstances at the background of the story) ending notwithstanding, however, All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck is a wonderfully written tale with a dazzling sense of place about it. Jonez brings the sights and sounds of the carnival alive, and even the most minor of characters are ably brought to life through a perfect economy of words.
As mentioned, the path of Jessup’s evening feels predetermined as soon as she engages with Calvin, an element which Jonez uses to keep the reader firmly on track towards the inevitable train wreck – but the attempted rug-pull just doesn’t work as well as it should.
Next up is John Connolly’s Prohibition-era nightmare, Razorshins. Following a number of inconsistencies and missing product, bootlegger Tendell Tucker finds himself and his crew accompanied on their latest run by brutish enforcer Mordecai Blum. Reporting to gangster kingpin King Solomon, Blum is all business and all fury – a quiet, yet powerful and wholly unpredictable force of the criminal underworld.
When heavy snow sets in, Tendell opts to spend the night at the home of local moonshiner Earl Wallace, hoping to stash the cars and booze away from the potential eyes of the authorities while waiting out the snowfall. A violent disagreement over whether to leave an alcoholic offering for the mythical beast Razorshins sees events take a dark turn – and darker still when the penalty for failing to heed tradition raises its malevolent head.
Simply put, Razorshins is a stonking piece of work, holding just about everything it takes to keep yours truly wholly satisfied when it comes to fiction. Perfect pacing, a powerful sense of foreboding and the-worst-is-going-to-happen-but-when-is-that-going-to-be unpredictability pull you through every line until the bloody, monstrous climax. A thoroughly brilliant read.
The issue’s traction takes a slow with the next story, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s The Devil’s Hands, wherein a young woman named Cocoa lies awake at night, listening to the laboured breathing of the monstrous creature that lives in her bathroom at night. Rather than an outright monster piece, however, Stufflebeam’s story concerns itself with Cocoa’s own laboured existence.
Fractured from society, she’s an occasional prostitute of sorts for her roommate — slacker “artist” Vincent – and thoroughly unhappy with her lot. Taking drugs before family dinner and having to step away due to subsequently tripping balls isn’t quite as telling her mother’s nonchalant, semi-defeatist response to the situation – but by the end, the path to personal redemption becomes most definitely open to her.
The problem with The Devil’s Hands is that, whilst it’s an appreciably realist look at the frustrations of a life stuck spinning wheels in mud, it’s rarely unsettling and ultimately lacking in a sense of threat. The prose is perfectly toned in the same manner as Cocoa’s disheartened floatation through daily existence, but it’s difficult to find personal concern for her even as the final confrontation with the monster unfolds toward an ending which, admittedly, is nicely tuned to a reluctant sense of hope.
Ray Cluley takes things down a much more assuredly dark path with his grim character study When the Devil’s Driving. Teenager Lucy is a goth-like social outcast who spends her days lurking at the shore of Devil’s Basin – a fetid local pool nestled away in the woods – where she smokes cigarettes, offers silent worship to Satan and imagines all of the brutal killings she could enact on her preppy schoolmates.
One day, her lounging and fantasising is interrupted by the arrival of a younger schoolgirl, who takes an inquisitive liking to Lucy’s sarcastic, rebellious nature. Awful things await for the pair of them, however, and Lucy soon finds herself on a rapid ride into hell – literal or allegorical, you decide.
Cluley’s formidable skill at drawing well-rounded, but profoundly damaged characters is out in force in When the Devil’s Driving, painting a thoroughly disturbing and deeply shocking story of a lost cause run riot – someone so far removed from, and philosophically starved by, the norms of society that the most supreme kind of personal destruction feels more like a finish line than something to be afraid of.
Or perhaps, Cluley offers, it’s a starting line. Because when the Devil’s at the wheel, who knows where you’re off to next.
Finally, this issue’s fiction rounds off with Eric J. Guignard’s superbly realised post-apocalyptic yarn A Case Study in Natural Selection and How it Applies to Love. In a future scorched Earth, humanity is on a downturn. Settlements work to survive in camps surrounded by desert and desolation, carrying on with normal life in the hope that soon either the planet, or the efforts of human science, will find a resolution.
There’s another big issue, though. One that isn’t easily investigated…
Spontaneous Human Combustion… colloquially referred to as “fireballing”.
Without rhyme or reason, people pop, spark and burst into flame – immolated in moments due to some unknown combination of factors.
Amidst all of this lies schoolboy Kenny, who lives with his scientist father in the relatively civil settlement of Stockton. Navigating the general situation of humanity, Kenny also struggles with his place in a love triangle – hoping against hope to gain the affections of his crush, Liz… but she’s into their more physically capable friend, Ogre.
Guignard paints Kenny as a smart, reasonable kid, so while he laments the situation, he isn’t crass enough to do anything untoward about it. It makes for a pleasant read, following the cognisance of an intelligent youngster who more than understands the state of affairs around him. Whilst not pinned down by needless negativity, he also isn’t bound by foolish optimism – and all of this plays out within an excellent drawn world and central scenario that would easily lend itself well to fiction of a broader scope.
Meanwhile, Stephen Volk plays further with his knowledge of Alfred Hitchcock in his column (which he also ably demonstrated in the excellent novella Leytonstone) and Lynda E. Rucker continues her everlasting quest to dissect just what it is that makes horror so appealing to the human psyche.
On top of that, there’s an extended Q&A with author Ray Cluley and Black Static‘s usual quality lot of book, TV and film reviews. All in all, yet another excellent issue that is easily worth dedicating some shelf space to.
“Hannibal” may be ending, but Mads Mikkelsen’s career is certainly on the upswing. In addition to Star Wars: Rogue One, he could also possibly be appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Doctor Strange.
According to Variety, no offers are out to Mikkelsen just yet, but one is expected to happen shortly. No word on whom he’ll play, but presumably it will be a villain who menaces the Sorcerer Supreme.
Doctor Strange will be directed by Scott Derrickson and will also star Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, and Chiwetelu Ejiofor. Look for it on on November 4, 2016.
I’m not going to lie: I was ready to make fun of The Sand as soon as I read the description. Killer sand? Really? Throw in Jamie Kennedy and you have a surefire recipe for ridicule. Much to my surprise, I’m kind of looking forward to The Sand, which should arrive in time for Halloween.
The official synopsis reads, “After a raging all-night party, a group of hungover twenty-somethings awakens to a beating sun and a carnivorous beach that devours anything with a heartbeat.”
See? It shouldn’t look good, but it does. The film isn’t striving for originality, but it looks like a ton of fun. I suppose we’ll find out when The Sand hits DVD on October 13. At some point between now and then, check out the trailer below. Feel free to disagree with my amusement.