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Bite (2015)

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 11:00

Starring Elma Begovic, Jordan Gray, Annette Wozniak

Directed by Chad Archibald

After all this time, I was fairly resigned to think that Jeff Goldblum’s man-to-insect metamorphosis in Cronenberg’s The Fly was one of the queasiest body transformations I’d seen. However, after laying eyes upon Chad Archibald’s Bite, I’d have to say that Mr. Goldblum might have a run for his money.

Coming off of two lackluster directorial entries (The Drownsman, Ejecta), Archibald reloads and this time delivers heavily with his look at a nubile young woman whose bachelorette party/vacation proves to be a real itch… see what I did there? Anyway, the bride-to-be is Casey (Begovic), and she is whisked off to Costa Rica by some alcohol-deprived bridesmaids for a little R&R, and from the film’s opening scenes, I was immediately getting that sick feeling in my gut. Was it from some unrelenting gore splashed across the screen? No! It was from my true-to-life arch-nemesis: first-person camera usage (a la found footage). At this point, the urge to dropkick my laptop across the room overcame me, but with some patented Lamaze breathing techniques, I simmered down and let the movie play on.

Thankfully, the shaky-cam vision was merely a tool to illustrate the ignorance of one of Casey’s bridal party members – shoot as much footage of inebriated, uncoordinated chicks attempting to dance in a club, while being pawed by some douchenozzles that probably have the words “dude” and “bro” tattooed somewhere on their persons. Movin on – after Casey is roofied and raped by some sleazy club-goer, then robbed of her possessions (including her very impressive engagement rock), the group decides to go for a little dip in a remote quarry the next day, and that’s where our story gets very interesting. Never mind the fact that Casey was sexually assaulted and had her booty burgled (in more ways than one) – good friends don’t let you sulk over a traumatic crime, at least not when there’s the opportunity to wade in some murky, disease-infested water in a third-world swimmin’ hole!

While floating about in the scummy lagoon, Casey is bitten on the leg by some unexplained critter, and after the vacation has come to a close, she realizes that this isn’t any old nip on the stem – this thing is throbbing, growing in size, and leaking fluid faster than a cracked radiator… silly me, not fluid – PUS. Large, discolored quantities of pus – it trickles, it seeps, it collects on the floor – and during one romantic rendezvous in the sack with her momma’s boy of a fiancé (Gray) – it literally gushes all over her lover’s hand and ceases coital activity immediately. As if Casey’s fiancé needed any more cause to stay away from his future bride, his incredibly venomous mother (Lawrene Denkers in a fantastically evil role) seems to bristle at the sight of his forthcoming mate – this woman is plain nasty, right down to her two-ply panties.

As the film rolls along, whatever the hell is overtaking Casey’s body composition is working overtime, and every time the poor woman shifts her legs, she seems to gush a cascading, orange-tinted crystalline gathering of globules out of her… fish shack, if you will – it covers the walls of her apartment and the floor, turning her entire crash-pad into some kind of cocoon.

I’ll simply leave the rest of this ultra-hygienic antiseptic-fest to your viewing pleasure, as the utter grotesqueness must be seen to be truly enjoyed – imagine Goldblum melting faces in The Fly times 10. Archibald takes a somewhat slow route to the golden ticket in the first half of the film, but after Casey’s bite has had its chance to infest the bloodstream, that’s when we shift out of first gear and into a very slippery overdrive. Performances are routine for those attempting to nail down a typical drunk young adult or a molting insect-type lady.

In all seriousness, Bite definitely has the chops to be the Fly of the new age and simply shouldn’t be missed, especially if you’re a gorehound on the prowl. Chew on, brothers… chew on.

The post Bite (2015) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Interview: Suicide Squad Creator John Ostander and Tom Mandrake on Kros: Hallowed Ground

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 10:30

Writer John Ostrander and illustrator Tom Mandrake are an established duo in the comic industry, and having worked together on multiple series including The Spectre, Batman and Martian Manhunter, they are now using KickStarter to bring their latest project, Kros: Hallowed Ground, to life.

Ostrander is also the creator of Suicide Squad, which unless you’ve been living in a cave on Mars, you will know is being turned into a film out next year. How satisfying it is to see such a great creator having his work receive such widespread recognition.

Dread Central: Firstly, what is Kros: Hallowed Ground?

John Ostrander: Kros: Hallowed Ground is a 128-page graphic novel by me and Tom Mandrake. We are legendary. Folks may know us from our work on GrimJack, Firestorm, The Spectre, The Kents, and Martian Manhunter, as well as a Batman or two. The story is set during the American Civil War at the Battle of Gettysburg. Two sets of battles are being fought: the battle between the armies of the North and South during the day and another at night, when vampires come to prey on the wounded. Blood calls to blood, and the vampires come like carrion predators to prey on the weak and dying. Opposing them is the vampire hunter, a damphyr, known as Kros. He has many of the vampires’ abilities and few of their weaknesses, but if he should ever taste human blood — the blood of the innocent — he himself could become what he hates. As it is, he is a man with an obsessive mission – killing vampires.

Tom Mandrake: Kros: Hallowed Ground is a horror story set during the Battle of Gettysburg, but our focus is on Major Kros and the vampires he has been drawn to this place to destroy. His past is complex—born nearly 200 years before the events of this story, Kros has been pursuing vampires for most of his life. He has seen many of the other damphyr he has known fall to the temptation of human blood. Intent on the mission that seems to forever be before him and drawn to this place by the same scent of blood as the vampires, Kros is on the verge of losing his own humanity. It is a struggle he might not win.

 

DC: Is crowdfunding the best way to get original independent comics off the ground?

JO: We think so. We hope so. We have a fan base, and we’re going directly to them to try to make this happen. I’ve worked for a lot of companies and I’ve enjoyed it, but for Kros we want to control the whole thing. With everything else we’ve done, it’s time Tom and I did a creator-owned story, and I’m very excited to be doing Kros!

TM: I’ve done all sorts of comics for established companies, horror, superhero, movie adaptations—everything—and I’ve had a blast drawing all of these books!  But Kros is the kind of story that you don’t see very often in mainstream comics. It’s an unusual meld of history and the supernatural. Mostly, we didn’t think that the story of Kros would fit well within any established universe, so we decided to strike out on our own. Given that both John and I have worked in mainstream comics for over 30 years, it’s probably the one big thing left on both of our creative bucket lists!

DC: Can you talk about the vampires of the world that you are creating?

JO: We’re old school. Our vampires are monsters; they’re predators. They suck the life out of you. Monsters are important; monsters show us the dark side of our own natures. Trying to soften that, to make them sexier or tragic romantic heroes, for me misses the point. The better the monster, the better we see ourselves in that dark mirror. Vampires are devoid of love; they know only feeding, what they want. We live with many vampires today; they just don’t all have fangs.

TM: The vampires in Kros are very traditional in the sense that their roots go back to when vampires, ghouls, werewolves and their kind were considered to be one and the same. All of them wanted to kill mortals and steal what makes you human. They’re the alpha predator – fierce, amoral killing machines. They take you away from yourself and leave a shell that seeks sustenance for it’s own survival.

DC: Is Major Kros more of an anti-hero?

JO: Kros himself, having vampire blood in him, is also a monster. He is hyper-focused on his self-appointed mission – all vampires must die. He is isolated from others and he’s done that to himself. He is in danger of losing the human side of his nature.

TM: I’d say that Kros is an anti-hero. He’s a monster fighting monsters. The war means nothing to him. Human beings mean little to him, and yet, he finds himself fighting to save humanity from more terrible monsters than himself. I’d say, in that respect, he has some of the true hero in his nature as well.

DC: How will the Civil War setting be utilized?

JO: As I’ve said elsewhere, all wars are horror stories. Brother was killing brother in the Civil War, and that’s nightmarish to start with. The battle at Gettysburg took place in several locations around Gettysburg and lasted three days. At different times Tom and I have both visited the battleground, and you get a sense of the size and the scope of the fighting. The place is haunting and haunted, and we intend to work that eerieness into the story.

TM: There are aspects to the Battle of Gettysbrug that really hit you at your core—like the choking amount of smoke from the gunpowder, the sheer number of dead, the streams that ran red with blood. That’s real horror. We Americans learn all about the events that took place at Gettysburg in history class—the names, the locations, the troop movements, but can we ever really understand the magnitude of what happened there? I don’t think most of us do.  In Kros we add a layer of supernatural horror which, for me, is a way of comprehending it all.

 

DC: Can you talk about the style of artwork?

JO: Tom’s artwork is creepy and spooky and eerie, but also downright beautiful. No one’s art in the comics field today looks like his. No one. It is elegant even when he’s freaking you out. It’s classic; you can go back to the masters of EC and Warren and see their artistic DNA in Tom’s work. The storytelling is concise, the characterization is profound, and the effect is incredible. Actually, just look at it, look at the sample pages, look at what he’s done in the past; and you won’t need me to tell you how wonderful it is. It’s right there on the page.

TM:  I traveled to Gettysburg for inspiration late this past spring. I want to be able to capture the misty quality of the light, the rolling fields, the harsh rock formations at Devil’s Den, the eerie quality the light has at sunset. My job is to translate all this into art. I am really excited about this challenge! My daughter, Sian, is doing the colors on Kros. We talked a lot about capturing the feel of the era by toning the color toward grayed out sepia tones with hints of color like old-time hand-colored photographs.

DC: The two of you are known for creating new series and characters that go onto become iconic, such as Grimjack. How do you approach an original idea and turn it into something that is bound to be memorable?

JO: The way Tom and I approach an original idea is to explore it. You kick it around and discuss the ramifications of what you’re establishing. Tom and I take our different strengths and talents and then pool them. You ask questions – how is this different. What tropes do we use, which ones do we downplay? Ultimately, why should it matter? Why should the reader care? Each answer begets more questions and you follow those answers as well. It can be a lot of fun and that’s important; if we aren’t having fun, it’s guaranteed that the reader won’t have fun. With Kros, Tom and I are having a lot of fun.

DC: Also, you’ve collaborated on many occasions so was it a natural decision for you to work together on Kros?

JO: I really enjoy working with Tom and jump at any opportunity to do so. We were actually looking for something to do together and wanted to combine two areas in which we are fascinated – the Civil War and horror stories. As these things sometimes do, we were talking together, and Kros eventually emerged as the result.

TM: Working on Kros was definitely a natural extension of our other collaborations—which were always exciting and a lot of fun!  Kros started out as a Western, but the more John and I explored the character, we determined that we wanted to place this story during an event that had historical importance. The Battle of Gettysburg came up, and we realized that what happened there would work incredibly well for the story.

DC: Can we expect to see more of Major Kros?

JO: There are other stories we can tell – assuming he survives this one.

TM: While Kros’ future isn’t guaranteed, we do have about 170 years of his past to explore. I would love to be able to tell those stories!

DC: As Suicide Squad, which you created, is headed to the big screen, is there any chance of Kros being turned into a movie?

JO: Oh man, I’d love that. Nothing planned at the moment, but we can hope. We always hope.

 

 

The post Interview: Suicide Squad Creator John Ostander and Tom Mandrake on Kros: Hallowed Ground appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

DVD and Blu-ray Releases: July 28, 2015

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 10:00

Well, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you clear your calendars for a huge release list this week, my friends. We’ve only got 7 releases to discuss, so I will make it quick. First, Eaten Alive had an initial release date scheduled for today but it has been pushed back to next week. Check back on the 4th of August for more info on that title.

As mentioned last week, the Tales Of The Supernatural Extended Uncut DVD is coming out this week, but not on the 28th. It will be released on the 31st, just as the Blu-ray was released later last week. So, be on the lookout for that on Friday.

The majority of our releases this week are pretty much classics, starting with some 1960’s German titles down in the Collections section. This week also sees the DVD release of Tango Of Perversion as well as the Blu-ray and DVD releases for 1972’s The Erotic Rites Of Frankenstein.

There is also a documentary, in the way of Lost Soul, which focuses on the extremely problematic production of 1996’s Island Of Doctor Moreau. With interviews from members of the cast, you can gain a new perspective on that adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells story.

That’s basically this entire week in a nutshell. Check back with us next week, as we’re looking at around 14 releases for the 4th. As always, pleasant viewing folks.

MOVIES

Dawn of the Crescent Moon (2014)

 

Starring:

Barry Corbin, Kurt Cole

Synopsis:

Friday Lunch Productions presents a supernatural thriller about five college students who travel to a small Texas town with hope of uncovering the truth behind an old Comanche legend. It’s not long before the students begin to realize that the legend is much more than local folklore when they come face-to-face with their own pasts and the legend itself.

Purchase:


The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (1972)

Starring:

Howard Vernon, Beatriz Savón, Britt Nichols, Anne Liberty, Alberto Dalbés

Synopsis:

After the death of Victor Frankenstein (Dennis Price), two figures vie for control of his metallic-skinned monster (Fernando Bilbao) and the radical technology that created him: the scientist’s daughter, Vera (Beatriz Savón), and the immortal wizard Cagliostro (Howard Vernon), who is assisted by a blind bird-woman with an unquenchable thirst for blood (Anne Libert).

With The Erotic Rites Of Frankenstein, controversial filmmaker Jess Franco merged his fondness for old-school horror with his unique and perverse tastes in sex and violence, partly inspired by the garish adult European comics of the early 1970s.

Purchase:



Ghost Town (1988)

Starring:

Bruce Glover, Catherine Hickland

Synopsis:

This interesting fusion of the horror and Western genres involves a modern-day sheriff (Franc Luz) whose search for a missing heiress leads him into the title locale, a frontier-age Arizona township whose residents are cursed with immortality. He eventually discovers that the abductee (Catherine Hickland) has been spirited off to the lair of an evil black-clad gunslinger (Jimmie F. Skaggs), who sees her as the reincarnation of the dance-hall girl he murdered a hundred years before.

Purchase:


Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau (2015)

Starring:

Richard Stanley, Fairuza Balk, Marco Hofschneider, Robert Shaye, Edward R. Pressman

Synopsis:

In 1995, visionary writer/director Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil) got the green light for his dream project: An epic adaptation of H.G. Wells The Island Of Doctor Moreau starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer. But only days into production, an unprecedented storm of natural disasters, monstrous egos and disturbing imagery along with chaos, insanity and witchcraft would trigger perhaps the most infamous behind-the-scenes catastrophe in modern movie history. Now director/producer David Gregory (The Theatre Bizarre, Plague Town) reveals the untold story behind one of the all-time greatest cinematic train wrecks (Variety) in this wonderfully weird and gripping (Entertainment Weekly) documentary featuring never-before-seen footage, startling new interviews with actors Fairuza Balk and Rob Morrow, studio executives, crew members and for the first time ever the notoriously reclusive Stanley himself, plus nearly 2 hours of exclusive Bonus Features.

Purchase:



Tales Of The Supernatural – Extended UNCUT Version (2014) (July 31st)

Starring:

Bruce Payne, Jon Campling, Patrick Rowe, Laura Penneycard, Giles Alderson

Synopsis:

The film consists of six supernatural tales (Disturbance, The Hike, Bryan’s Daughter, The Book, Naked and Paralysis) linked together by a demon who is intent on collecting human souls.

Purchases:


Tango Of Perversion (1973)

Starring:

Larry Daniels, Erika Raffael, Dorothy Moore, Vagelis Voulgaridis

Synopsis:

The Tango club is the favorite hangout for a group of swingers who live for nothing but pleasure. Rosita, a beautiful lesbian, seduces Joanna by giving her dope. Stathis, Joanna’s sleazy boyfriend catches the two women in bed together and takes his brutal revenge on them, ending in Rosita’s death. All this happens in the house of Joachim, a rich playboy who gets his kicks by secretly filming Stathis having sex with girls from the Tango club. Joachim believes he is impotent, until he makes love to Rosita’s dead body. After that, things start to get weird… Sex, drugs, necrophilia, voyeurism and a dose of Greek psychedelia, this film has it all.

One of the legendary exploitation films of the early 1970s now makes its US home video debut in a brand new print, complete and uncut.

Purchase:


COLLECTIONS

Strangler of the Tower / Monster of London City Double Feature

Starring:

Ady Berber, Birgit Bergen, Christa Linder, Robert A. Stemmle, Bryan Edgar Wallace

Synopsis:

We present a double-dose of German Krimi terror and mystery as Phantom Killers stalk the night! You’ll shudder in fear as Christa Linder (Miss Austria of 1962) is terrorized by a cult of masked villains in Strangler Of The Tower (1966), a chiller which follows the fate of those who desecrate a pagan temple; the price they must pay…is death! Then you’ll run for the hills as the spirit of Jack the Ripper seems to return to haunt the streets in Monster Of London City (1964, based on an Edgar Wallace story! Stars Marianne Koch, Hans Nielsen, Hansjörg Felmy. Mastered from a Progressive Scan HD Film Transfer.

Purchase:


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Categories: Horror News

Interview: Roger Conners – Director of Night of the Living Dead: Rebirth

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 09:00

The original Night of the Living Dead is without a doubt one of the most influential horror films of all time. All self-respecting horror fans have watched it multiple times and will still be awed by its sheer awesomeness. Roger Conners was such a huge fan that he is currently working on his own version, titled Night of the Living Dead: Rebirth. Check out our interview with him below and contribute to the film here.

Dread Central: So, why did you choose to remake Night of the Living Dead? Were you big fans of the original?

Roger Conners: To say I am a fan is a total understatement. Not only was Night of the Living Dead my first exposure to the horror genre, but it also remains my single favorite film to this day. It completely defined my taste in cinema and sparked my interest in being involved in the industry at a very young age.

DC: Is this a remake of the original or a new story?

RC: It’s a remake, but the storyline and the characters involved have been updated to feel a bit more contemporary. Fans are certainly going to see many of the classic moments recreated, but there will also be a multitude of new plot twists that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

DC: And what exactly is the “Rebirth” in the title referring to?

RC: I went with “Rebirth” for multiple reasons, but mainly it’s because it truly is a totally new take on the classic storyline. We’re not just dealing with a remake in the sense of retelling the story; we are completely updating it to make the whole thing feel relevant for today’s viewers. The original film, at its core, is so much more than an average zombie movie. From a filmmaker’s perspective, Romero’s masterpiece also succeeds as a highly advanced social commentary. The movie dealt with an array of issues that were prevalent at the time of its release, and we definitely wanted to tap into that aspect of the story. My goal with “Rebirth” is to recreate that element of the original, but for a modern audience.

DC: What stage of production are you currently in?

RC: We’re about 90% of the way through principal photography. We have a few scenes left, but they’re the ones that are really going to make or break the film. They are the ones that the fans really anticipate and they expect you to get it right or else they will hate you forever. I definitely don’t want to be known as the dude who ruined a classic. That’s a lot of pressure.

DC: Alvin Hudson plays Reverend Harold Cooper; is he the villain of the film?

RC: He definitely is! He still possesses many of the traits that the original Harry displayed in the original, but his religious extremist mentality definitely takes his personality to a far darker and more hateful place. He holds a lot of hostility in his heart, and he refuses to budge on his beliefs, which are cause for much tension with the other survivors.

DC: Can you talk about the rest of the cast?

RC: I’d love to. Many of the original characters return in some form. Ben is portrayed a bit rougher around the edges, much more along the lines of the original script before Duane Jones stepped in and polished him up. I don’t think anyone could truly recreate that performance, so I opted to take a different route and pay homage to the source material. So Ben is a truck driver, as he was originally written.

Another character who is very much a hat-tip to the original script is George, the caretaker of the cemetery who ends up joining the other survivors inside the farmhouse. I was hesitant to add a new character, but there needed to be some fresh elements to my story so I ended up getting a little creative. Anyone who has ever read the original script knows that the character of Judy was not part of it. She was written specifically for Judith Ridley, and the character of her boyfriend, Tom, was originally the elderly cemetery groundskeeper. So I figured, “What the hell,” and wrote that character into the story. And, in tribute, I named him George.

The only character who has been drastically restructured is Barbra. She is no longer part of the storyline. I know people are going to be upset with this, but I need to just get it out there. However, there is a new character that is heavily based off of her, down to the classic trenchcoat. His name is Adam, and he is a 23-year-old gay male. Now stick him in that house with Reverend Cooper, who has been completely based off of Fred Phelps, the former head of the Westboro Baptist Church. See where I’m going with this? Remember that “social commentary” aspect I was attempting to recreate? Well, there you. That is just one example of where we are going with this film.

DC: The original is in the public domain and has been remade many times; what makes yours stand out?

RC: I feel there are multiple aspects about “Rebirth” that set it apart from the rest of the remakes. First, before I go on any further about my own film, let me make it clear that I am oftentimes a supporter of remakes in general. If it’s handled properly, the movie can certainly become a classic by its own right! I mean, look at John Carpenters The Thing. That movie is a masterpiece on so many levels. Now, if the movie is handled poorly, what does that really do to diminish the quality of the original piece? If anything, does it not just bring a newfound attention and appreciation to the source material? I don’t know; clearly this is all just a matter of opinion, but that is my stance on the matter.

Now as for why I feel “Rebirth” deserves the attention and support of fans of the original film? To tell the truth, because I am one of you. I’m as diehard as they come. This movie defined my childhood and spawned my passion for cinema in general. I am doing everything in my power to respect the source material, breathe new life into the storyline, and overall make sure that I create the best film I possibly can. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This is my passion project. It was only a matter of time until I had my turn with it!

DC: Why do you think that zombies have achieved such huge cultural status recently?

RC: I feel everyone has their own reason for loving the zombie genre, but I think that there are a few universal reasons for why they’re so scary and continue to work in such a heavily saturated market. The idea of a loved one returning without absolutely any sense of reason or motivation aside from their desire to kill you is terrifying. There is no hesitation. No debating the matter. There is a complete loss of identity there, and that is horrifying! And let’s be real, what do we find more interesting and, in turn, terrifying than death? It’s scary as hell because none of us completely know what is in store! So then this whole zombie concept comes along, and it provides an answer to that. And that answer is scary as hell! The recently dead get up and kill! Those they kill get up and kill! Death equals more death! What is scarier than that?

The post Interview: Roger Conners – Director of Night of the Living Dead: Rebirth appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

UK Readers: Win Cub on DVD!

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 04:30

Sam, an imaginative but vulnerable twelve-year-old boy, heads off to camp with his Cub Scouts troupe. Mistrusted by the pack leader Peter and isolated by the other Scouts, he becomes convinced a terrible fate awaits them in the forest after he discovers a mysterious lair.

When Sam tries to warn the group, they ignore him, and his darkest fears soon come to life as one by one his fellow Scouts are hunted down, leaving him to fight back to survive.

Cub (Altitude Film Distribution) is unleashed in UK cinemas and On Demand 31st July. Own it on DVD from 3rd August.

To support the release, we have a copy on DVD to give away!

To be in with a chance of winning, simply send an email to contests@dreadcentral.com with the subject line “Cub UK DVD” and including YOUR FULL NAME AND POSTAL ADDRESS in the body of the mail.

We’ll take care of the rest.

Please note that this competition is open ONLY to UK residents and will end at 12:01 AM PT on 3 August 2015.


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Categories: Horror News

Eat (UK DVD)

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 04:00

Starring Meggie Maddock, Ali Francis, Maru Garcia, Jeremy Make

Directed by Jimmy Weber

Distributed by Monster Pictures UK

Life in Tinseltown is hard for struggling actress Novella McClure (Maddock). Feeling washed up before her career has even taken off, the ailing thespian struggles to land roles, avoid her friendly but pushed-to-the-limit landlord, and stay out of the clutches of time-wasting porno producers.

Her only solace in a world of daily stress is best friend Candice (Francis), a party girl who regularly takes Novella out on the town for a night of free drinks courtesy of any hopeful guys who fall under their flirtatious spell – but this isn’t enough to settle the daily stresses of Novella’s existence, and with her dreams crumbling around her, she develops a rather unusual coping mechanism…

She begins to eat herself.

Starting off with a rather over-enthusiastic nibbling on her thumb, Novella’s panic attacks soon see her chomping strips of flesh from her hand and completely mangling her own foot in one particularly gruesome bout of the munchies. Explaining her wounds as simple accidents in order to hide her activities from concerned parties doesn’t help the situation, but when a chance run-in at a club with the charming Dr. Simon offers the promise of a genuine romantic relationship, things seem to look up for Novella. Yet, Eat writer/director Jimmy Weber isn’t about to let his starlet off so easily.

Comparisons are easily drawn between Eat and the similarly-themed Starry Eyes, but Weber is less concerned with railing against the soulless nature of the industry than he is with simply watching the gruesome downfall of his leading lady. It keeps Eat a more focused piece, ultimately sporting less lofty ideals and ambitions than its current cousin – and that’s not a bad thing. Traversing the world of bitchy competition at auditions and promising referrals that turn out to be a complete waste of time and energy, it quickly becomes apparent that Novella is fighting a losing battle – ready to break, but determined to push herself to the last in order to achieve her dream.

Bringing the ill-fated protagonist to life is actress Meggie Maddock, whose own skills swing between the impressive and the not-particularly-convincing. Early dialogue exchanges feel amateurish (and especially so given the confidence with which the film begins – sporting a stylish and promising title sequence), but as the film progresses, Maddock’s performance becomes more often solid than waning. Novella’s character, herself, is a sympathetic figure – and remains so – even if her actions are so extreme that they aren’t particularly identifiable. If you ever find compulsive auto-cannibalism identifiable in some way, you’re probably going to want to get in touch with a therapist of your own – so that’s not much of a bugbear, there.

Weber’s direction throughout Eat is pro-grade, with a number of well conceived shots and sequences and a bright, colourful presentation that belies the grimness of the proceedings. Of particular note is the editing, which, alongside the soundtrack and some stomach-churning prosthetic work, makes for seriously wince-inducing moments when Novella’s anxiety kicks in and she decides to take a bite (or ten) out of herself. The shocks are highly effective, very well delivered and quite often grueling – this is one film you don’t want to watch if you’re already feeling nauseous!

Where Eat falls down lies solely on the script’s character elements. While it gets by just fine watching Novella go through the motions of her chosen career, there isn’t much else going on. A neat twist and some compelling unanswered questions in the finish notwithstanding, attempts to add deeper layers to the relationship between Novella and Candice fall woefully flat.

Still, the film moves along at a punchy pace that leaves these issues rarely able to come to the fore. A thoughtful character study this is not – but Eat is very much a strong contender for your time if you can stomach the grue. Despite a few problems, just like Novella herself, it’s hard to dislike.

Monster Pictures bring Eat to UK DVD sporting an audio commentary with James Weber and producer Annie Baker. It’s a decent listen, with plenty of anecdotes regarding the shoot. Weber actually makes reference during the commentary to a “making of” supplement, which unfortunately doesn’t appear on this disc.

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary


The post Eat (UK DVD) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Sinister 2 Returns to Original Release Date

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 20:56

Originally scheduled for release on August 21st, and then rescheduled for August 28th, word has just come that Sinister 2 is going back to its original release date of August 21st. That Bughuul sure is tricky!

Ciaran Foy (Citadel) directed Sinister 2. Scott Derrickson, director of Sinister, penned the screenplay with C. Robert Cargill, with whom he also wrote the original film.

Related Story: Sinister 2 Set Visit Report

Synopsis:
In the aftermath of the shocking events in Sinister, a protective mother (Shannyn Sossamon of “Wayward Pines”) and her 9-year-old twin sons (real-life twins Robert and Dartanian Sloan) find themselves in a rural house marked for death as the evil spirit of Buhguul continues to spread with frightening intensity. James Ransone co-stars.

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Categories: Horror News

The Visitors Releases Teaser Trailer and Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 19:47

As I’ve said many times in the past (and I’ll probably open several more articles with the declaration in the near future), I’m always in the market for a new monster movie. Creature features were a major part of my childhood so I’m often on the prowl for motion pictures featuring humans doing battle with all sorts of hideous monstrosities. To quote Emil M. Antonowsky, “I like it!”

According to director Jeremy Hull, his monster flick The Visitors is in the same vein as John Carpenter’s The Thing, which automatically sets the bar pretty high. The Thing is one of the best creature features on the planet, not to mention an exercise in unrelenting suspense. However, Hull seems to know what he wants to achieve with his project, and the teaser is definitely intriguing.

Check out this synopsis from the official Indiegogo campaign:

After settling into their new home in the country, the Cooper family’s night of peaceful relaxation is brought to an abrupt halt when two mysterious drifters come knocking on their door. As the drifters attempt to unleash a strategic plan of terror upon the unsuspecting family, their plan is soon foiled by a flesh-eating creature fixated on only one thing: survival. In order for the family to survive the night, they must trust in the one person who once sought to harm them, but as the events of the evening begin to unravel, it becomes clear that there is more to this situation than meets the eye and more than one monster lurking in the shadows.

Jeremy Hull and company will begin filming The Visitors in Carson City, Michigan, on August 28, 2015. Swing by the flick’s Facebook page for more info.

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Categories: Horror News

Tremors 5: Bloodlines – First Trailer Emerges!

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 19:04

For many months we’ve been covering the upcoming goodness that will be Tremors 5: Bloodlines. We’ve shown you image after image and poster after poster. Now it’s time to deliver something a bit more meaty – the first trailer!

The theatrical release of the original Tremors in 1990 combined suspense-filled action, sci-fi imagination, and witty humor in the tale of a tiny Nevada town terrorized by giant man-eating worms known as Graboids. The Graboids eventually morphed into even more deadly creatures known as Ass Blasters.

In this all-new adventure that travels halfway around the world to South Africa, the Graboids and the Ass Blasters are not only bigger and badder, but Tremors 5 introduces an additional unexpected surprise that raises the stakes in the battle for survival.

Michael Gross (“Anger Management,” “Suits,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Family Ties,” Tremors franchise) returns as weapons enthusiast and expert subterranean creature hunter Burt Gummer with Jamie Kennedy (“The Cleveland Show,” “Ghost Whisperer,” Scream series) as his new right-hand man, tech-savvy Travis. The pair are joined by an international cast as they mount a battle against the deadly creatures that turns out to be far more than they bargained for.

The film is directed by Don Michael Paul (Jarhead 2: Field of Fire, Sniper: Legacy) from a script by John Whelpley (Tremors 3: Back to Perfection) and produced by Ogden Gavanski (The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Fire, Warm Bodies).

Head over to the official Tremors movies Facebook page for more info.

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Categories: Horror News

Fox Digs into New Yorker Archive for New Haunted House Film

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 18:49

What’s old is new again. At least that’s the case when it comes to a story which ran in the May 16, 1936, issue of The New Yorker. Deadline is reporting that a nearly 80-year old article in the magazine about the first documented haunted house has scared up a deal at Fox Searchlight.

Searchlight will develop a movie from “Voices Through the Trumpet,” a two-part article written by Carl Carmer. JT Petty has been set to write, and Alison Greenspan is producing with Conde Nast Entertainment’s Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler. Denise DiNovi will be executive producer.

Conde Nast Entertainment was set up partly to cull through titles in the libraries of its many magazines, but you rarely see anybody going this far back in the archives to find movie material. Carmer, a journalist and author who wrote about myths and folklore, died in 1976, but the New Yorker piece he got published in 1936 has a chance to live on.

“Voices Through the Trumpet” takes place in the mid-1800s; the first haunted house was documented in upstate New York. Two young girls, the Fox sisters, were at the center of the haunting. They remained in touch with a spirit that haunted them as they grew up. When they reached adulthood, both girls disavowed the haunting, then promptly died mysteriously. Years later Carmer ventured back to the haunted house and the spiritualist community that sprung up around it to try to figure out what really happened and was met with terrifying answers.

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Categories: Horror News

Dark Comedy 30 to 45 Adds Tony Todd, Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 10:14

Mel House of Upstart Filmworks has spent more than a decade working in the world of independent cinema. As such, he’s acquired quite a few amusing anecdotes about his time crafting motion pictures on limited budgets. Instead of keeping all of these experiences to himself, House has decided to craft a semi-autobiographical tale with the help of a few genre vets.

In addition to Lisa Wilcox (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5), Richard Riehle (Office Space, Hatchet), and Debbie Rochon, Mel House’s 30 to 45 stars Fishbone lead singer Fishbone. However, House recently added horror vet and Candyman star Tony Todd to the cast. If that doesn’t get your inner horror nerd squaredancing, then I have no idea what else to do.

30 to 45 also stars Omar Adam, Jill Brumer, Chelsea McCurdy, and Tye Blue. The flick still needs some financial assistance, so if you have some extra cash to spare, consider stopping by the flick’s Kickstarter campaign and helping out. The site also features a handy pitch video, which should give you an idea of what House and company hope to achieve with their project.

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Categories: Horror News

Zombie Shark (2015)

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 06:12

Starring Cassie Steele, Sloane Coe, Jason London, Becky Andrews, Laura Cayouette

Directed by Misty Talley

It’s become apparent to me from watching the premiere movies of Syfy’s “Sharknado Week” that I am all sharked out. Sharks in the water. Sharks on the land. Sharks in the sky. Sharks in swamps. Sharks in the snow. Sharks in the sand. Sharks that are mutants. Sharks that are prehistoric. Sharks that are gigantic. Sharks that are tiny. Sharks that are ghosts. Sharks that are aliens. Sharks that are robots. Sharks that fight robots. Hybrid sharks that fight other hybrid animals. Sharks with Twitter accounts.

The Bigfoot genre called. Even it said the shark genre has been run into the ground.

As the stakes keep getting raised to come up with increasingly outlandish new entries in the sharksploitation genre you almost have to wonder how it took this long to get around to making Zombie Shark. That concept is a no brainer – in more ways than one.

Of all the “Sharknado Week” movies Zombie Shark; was the one I found myself most curious about because it seemed to be a total mystery. No trailer. No poster art. One lone production still. Next to zero promotion. Almost felt like the network was trying to hide this one. I can kind of see why now. Though I feel like I should give it some credit for being so straightforward at a time when Syfy’s shark movies have become increasingly meta and think they’re being witty by being as purposefully stupid as possible. Not that the premise of shark zombies isn’t loopy enough as it is. An argument can be made that this one maybe should have tried be more willfully stupid.

The tiresomely formulaic set-up has a boyfriend inviting his girlfriend and her sister and their bikini babe BFF to join them on a weekend island getaway in the Gulf of Mexico. The island is near a supposedly closed down research facility that’s actually still operating and working on “Project Bruce”, a top secret human regeneration experiment involving shark DNA. Bruce gets loose; begins infecting other sharks that then become zombie sharks, and the zombie sharks begin infecting victims that also come back from the dead as zombies to infect even more. A private contractor mercenary-for-hire joins forces with the girls to stop the Carcharodon/homo sapien zombie plague before it spreads to the entire world. Everyone has a hard-luck backstory in a noble but failed attempt to make us care about the fate of any of these people.

Most puzzling are the pointless scenes involving the parents of the sisters sitting at home lamenting the fate of their children based on weather reports of an incoming tropical storm that either never happened or just wasn’t in the film’s budget. Did I miss something regarding this storm they kept speaking of but never materialized?

Syfy movies aren’t exactly known for their high quality special effects but Mega Shark vs. Kolossus now looks like a Michael Bay production by comparison. A rubber severed shark head puppet proves a more special effect than anything computer-generated. The digital sharks look unfinished, mostly 2D, and lazily inserted into the film. Fins frequently cut through the water without even leaving a wake. Worst of all, the sharks rarely even look zombie-like.

Zombie sharks are paler, possess whiter eyes, sometimes display physical damage, and can only be killed by being blown up, shredded to pieces, or stabbed in the brain (just like any other shark). I suspect if The Asylum had been behind this one the only way to kill a zombie shark would have been to shoot it through the dorsal fin. As moronic as that sounds, at least it would have been something. There’s hardly anything that makes these zombie sharks distinct from ordinary sharks, and with one mildly amusing exception, the means by which they kill their prey proves equally unimaginative. Even the notion that they can survive on land goes absolutely nowhere. When your whole movie is based on a crazy gimmick and you fail to make any creative use of that gimmick…

The zombie sharks can also infect humans turning them into boring old lumbering Romero-esque zombies. I get that if a human zombie bite only leaves a small wound; shouldn’t people being infected by shark bites have more devastating wounds? Would it not be more amusing if the human zombies were savagely maimed shark attack victims reanimated as dripping wet (water and blood) zombies? Why not have some fun rather than just tossing in generic zombies in an already too generic film? Even sharkified human zombies with shark teeth and fins coming out of their heads would, as dumb as that sounds, been some welcome lunacy to break up the monotony of low budget shark b-movie #530593705.

Zombie Shark ends up feeling stale and played out on two levels.

I spent two hours at the gym on the treadmill while watching Zombie Shark. When it was over I had burned thousands of calories and probably even more brain cells.

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Categories: Horror News

Unhallowed Ground (UK DVD)

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 05:00

Starring Ameet Chana, Poppy Drayton, Marcus Griffiths, Thomas Law, Will Thorp

Directed by Russell England

Distributed by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment

A group of students from posh London boarding schools are tasked with patrolling the grounds of the historic Dhoultham School on the last day of term. In conjunction with the British Army, the students – a selection of male and female individuals from two different institutions – take on the responsibility of spending the night on the grounds and keeping watch over its valuables.

But in a twisted turn of fate, it becomes apparent that said grounds were once the site of a group of horrific deaths, all the way back at the time of the bubonic plague’s ravaging of England – and it seems that the spirits of the deceased have far from moved on.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that a pair of thieves, led by ex-military man Shane, have chosen this night to break in and bag themselves some swag. The groups are, of course, destined to come to loggerheads – but even with a gang of ghosts in the mix, things aren’t exactly what they seem.

And that’s probably Unhallowed Ground‘s strongest element. While most of the tension and scare setups are very much par for the course – jump scares, creepy figures moving in backgrounds and foregrounds, and hallucinatory shocks – Paul Raschid’s script uppers up a selection of varied and convicted characters, and a couple of uncommon approaches to the material. Where one would expect the kids and robbers to take the usual route of forming a reluctant partnership amidst the supernatural goings-on, for example, Unhallowed Ground keeps them firmly at each other’s throats – quite unmercifully so, in fact.

The same kind of positive surprise is to be found in the big reveal – which, even if director Russell England and his cast have trouble pulling it off with total confidence – is a pleasantly different shift in direction from what you may think the generic setup has been leading to. It plays out with far too much of a pantomime feel to it, though, rendering it as regrettably awkward as it is surprising.

Casting across the board is solid, with each of the players seemingly enjoying their time as intelligent characters in a stock horror setting. These are smart kids, and the robbers aren’t stupid either, so there’s little in the way of eye-rolling when it comes to their actions. However, there’s something of a negative trade-off there, with the reliability of the ghost fodder lumbering Unhallowed Ground‘s second act with very little of standout interest. Sometimes a little hysterics are exactly what you need to break the monotony – something that Unhallowed Ground just doesn’t manage to do.

Rather, it’s predominantly a re-tread down familiar haunted grounds with characters who naturally assess their situation instead of immediately running screaming into the nearest dead end to await their deaths – and honestly, the approach proves almost morose given the lack of genuine unexpected frights or extreme violence. It just kind of trudges along, offering up the occasional smart idea with a big smile on its face and confidence in its heart. But once the meeting’s over, there’ll have been little to be gained from it.

Unhallowed Ground is a competent, but largely uninspired horror jaunt that, in whole, proves just about worthwhile on the strength of its cast and a smattering of good ideas (not to mention the seriously cool plague doctor design). But you certainly needn’t kick yourself too hard if you give it a miss.

Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment’s UK DVD release of Unhallowed Ground holds only a trailer up its sleeve in terms of special features.

Special Features:

  • Trailer


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Categories: Horror News

Get Wrapped Up in Two New Lavalantula Teasers

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 20:10

Heading our way on Saturday night as part of Syfy’s “Sharknado Week” is Lavalantula from director Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!), and on tap right now we have two new teasers for the film.

Actually, you can only see one of them below (it’s for the Space channel in Canada); the other is on the Syfy website, which you can access by clicking here.

Lavalantula stars Steve Guttenberg (Police Academy), Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy), Michael Winslow (“Police Academy: The Series”), Marion Ramsey (Police Academy), Nia Peeples (“Pretty Little Liars”), and Ralph Garman (KROQ DJ). It premieres at 9pm on Saturday, July 25th, on both Syfy and Space.

Synopsis:
A volcano erupts in Los Angeles, spewing out lava-breathing tarantulas.

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Categories: Horror News

Pacific Rim 2 Shooting Under the Title Maelstrom

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 19:46

We told you during the San Diego Comic-Con that Guillermo del Toro’s sequel to Pacific Rim was to begin shooting in November, but now we have a couple of more minor details.

The Global News is reporting that the working title for the follow-up is Maelstrom. At this time we have no idea whether the title will stick, but for now it is what they’re calling it.

[Pacific Rim 2 is] starting shooting in November,” said del Toro amidst the chaos of the SDCC. “We are deep into designing the robots, the kaijus… having fun planning the battles. We have an epic battle at the end of this that we started to design a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been up for about three or four months designing, and we start shooting in November.”

Legendary’s Pacific Rim 2 will be released in 3D.

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Categories: Horror News

Meet Lucifer from Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 19:43

The time has come, Sinners and Saints, to choose sides!  In this latest introductory video for Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival, Lucifer (Terrance Zdunich) is calling us all into battle.

After triumphant collaborations on 2008’s Repo! The Genetic Opera and 2012’s The Devil’s Carnival: Episode One, cult filmmakers Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich are back with the second installment to their fantasy-musical film franchise. In Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival, Lucifer sets a plot in motion against Heaven, and all hell breaks loose.

The film, which stars Barry Bostwick, Ted Neeley, Adam Pascal, David Hasselhoff, Terrance Zdunich, Paul Sorvino, rapper Tech N9ne, Emilie Autumn, Briana Evigan, Marc Senter, and Dayton Callie plus musicians Chantal Claret, Jimmy Urine, Shawn “Clown” Crahan of Slipknot, and Kevin “Ogre” Ogilvie from Skinny Puppy, will kick off a traveling circus tour with its premiere in Los Angeles on August 11th before continuing in cities across the U.S. throughout the fall.

Zdunich wrote the script and co-wrote the musical numbers with Saar Hendelman. Producers are Chris M. Bonifay and Sean E. Demott. Brian Perera is executive producer.

Visit TheDevilsCarnival.com for more info.  Also be sure to check out The Devil’s Carnival on Facebook and follow The Devil’s Carnival on Twitter for TONS of behind-the-scenes images.

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Categories: Horror News

Fantasia 2015: Watch these Synchronicity Clips and Achieve Inner Peace

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 19:31

Synchronicity is a concept we could all use a bit more of these days, and if you’ll be at the Fantasia International Film Festival tomorrow, you can check out the World Premiere of Jacob Gentry’s film of the same name. Curious as to what it’s all about? Then check out this pair of new clips!

Synchronicity screens on Wednesday, July 22nd, at 7:15 PM at the J.A. DeSève Cinema. Director/writer Jacob Gentry, producers Alexander A. Motlagh and Christopher Alender, and stars Chad McKnight, AJ Bowen, and Brianne Davis will be in attendance for a Q&A after the premiere.

Synchronicity follows the story of a daring physicist who folds time to travel into the past, trying to stop a mysterious woman from stealing his invention. But once there, he gets caught in a love triangle that will fracture his reality and endanger his entire future.

The film stars Chad McKnight (“The West Wing,” Last Goodbye), AJ Bowen (The Signal, A Horrible Way To Die, You’re Next), Brianne Davis (Jarhead, Prom Night), and Michael Ironside (Top Gun, Total Recall).

Synchronicity is produced by Alexander Motlagh, known for The Signal and MTV’s breakout series “Finding Carter,” and Christopher Alender, founder of Soapbox Films. Worldwide sales are being handled by Preferred Content.

Synopsis:
From the creators of The Signal (Sundance 2007) comes SYNCHRONICITY, a mind-bending “sci-fi noir” in the tradition of Blade Runner, Gattaca, and Memento.

Daring physicist Jim Beale has invented a machine that can fold space-time, and ruthless corporate tycoon Klaus Meisner will stop at nothing to get it. When Jim uses the machine to tear open the fabric of the universe, a rare Dahlia appears from the future. But in order to keep the rights to his invention, he must prove that it works by finding the flower’s identical match in the present. Jim soon discovers that the Dahlia lies in the hands of the mysterious Abby, who seduces him into revealing his secrets. Convinced that she is in league with Klaus to take ownership of his life’s work, Jim travels back in time to stop the conspiracy before it can happen. But once in the past, Jim uncovers a surprising truth about Abby, the machine, and his own uncertain future.

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Categories: Horror News

Herald: Lovecraft and Tesla Team Up on the Small Screen

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 18:48

We feel like it’s been awhile since the last comic adaptation news broke, but then again, they all seem to blur together. Next up, though, is a real classic! THR is reporting that the rights to Action Lab Entertainment’s comic series Herald have been acquired by Romark Entertainment in partnership with Markerstone Pictures.

The deal will see newcomer Jared Battaglia adapt the comic for a TV series. Herald, created by writer John Reilly and artists Tom Rogers and Dexter Weeks, is an alternate universe story in which a time-traveling Nikola Tesla teams up with writer H.P. Lovecraft and other historical figures to save the world from various cosmic horrors. Historical characters appear throughout the storyline; the television series will largely stick to this premise.

“Herald” will be produced by Romark’s Rock Shaink and Markerstone’s Mark Lawyer with Joseph New overseeing for Romark.

More as it comes.

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Categories: Horror News

New Trailer Takes Bigfoot on a Kampout

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 18:39

Back in June we told you about the latest Bigfoot flick to stomp our way, Kampout (previously known as Campout), and believe it or not, we have a trailer already. Filmmaking gets speedier every day, I tell ya!

The film stars Zach Galligan and the much beloved Clint Howard, who are the next two to tango with the mythical beast for writer/director Glenn Martin.

Also starring will be Dave Sherrill (The Rookie, The Wraith), Jamie Bozian (Con Air, The Wraith), Johnny Lechner (Fraternity House), Stephanie Grote (Fraternity House, The Grudge Match), and Chris Nash (Mischief, The Wraith).

Synopsis:
Bigfoot, enraged by the murder of its offspring, rampages through the countryside of Southeast Ohio. A detective, a park ranger, and a Bigfoot researcher scramble to locate the legendary creature before it attacks a group of teenagers on a camping trip to an isolated place called Kampout.

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Categories: Horror News

The Horror Network Heading to DVD

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 18:28

Wild Eye Releasing has announced an October 27th DVD release date for the latest horror anthology on the proverbial block, The Horror Network. Read on for details, artwork, and more.

Brian Dorton and Douglas Conner have created the film with segments directed by Dorton, Joseph Graham, Manuel Marín, Lee Matthews, and Ignacio Martín Lerma.

Synopsis:
Serial killers, ghostly phone calls, inner demons, otherworld monsters, and creepy stalkers collide in this frightening anthology. Five of horror’s most promising new directing talents join forces to pay homage to classics like Creepshow, Tales from the Crypt, V/H/S, and ABCs of Death and weave an unforgettable, disturbing tapestry of terror.


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Categories: Horror News