After the World Premiere of Deathgasm (review) went over like an out of control round of pyrotechnics at SXSW, the cast and crew sat down with us to discuss how winning a contest led to a grassroots effort to get the heavy metal horror comedy off the ground and into cinemas.
Producers Ant Timpson, Andrew Beattie and Sarah Howden were on hand as well as stars Milo Cawthorne and Kimberly Crossman. Last but not least, a hoarse Jason Lei Howden told us a little bit about how much fun it was to direct his dream movie.
DC: Some comedians have said they wouldn’t have come up with certain bits if it wasn’t for pot. Do you think Deathgasm would exist if it wasn’t for alcohol?
Jason Lei Howden (director): I’ve never touched a drop! Yeah, it’s funny you say that. The first draft was written over nine days and I was pretty drunk for most of that. Obviously, except for the rewrites. Sarah put some of it together as well.
DC: That’s a good method.
JLH: I think I was also trying to channel the teenage stoner mentality, the sort of stuff that would’ve cracked me and my friends up when we were sixteen. It sounds like it worked from the feedback that I’ve heard.
DC: It does have that vibe where you want to be back in your room as a teenager again with your posters.
JLH: A lot of it was based on my middle childhood apart from the demons and the girls, probably more demons than girls.
DC: And Milo, when I was a kid that’s actually how I did sound on guitar, just like you in the beginning of the film. Do you actually play?
Milo Cawthorne (Brodie): I play a little bit of acoustic but so badly. I play the drums a little bit. It was great because we’re all supposed to be a little bit awkward.
DC: Did you guys ever jam?
MC: We did have one jam and it sounded absolutely amazing.
JLH: We gave these guys a crash course in metal. It was like a Metal 101 class. I think it was good for these guys to meet some real hardcore metal heads that were actually sort of analyzing the way that he stands.
DC: How many bands were you aware of before as opposed to them submitting?
JLH: I hand picked the bands myself so as a metal fanboy it was the biggest honor. Especially, my favorite, Emperor, who were my favorite when I was thirteen or fourteen, this Norwegian black metal band that were involved in some of the church burnings. They’re on the straight and narrow now.
DC: The bands makeup is an homage to them.
JLH: Exactly. So, getting them on the soundtrack was amazing. Emailing some of my heros blew my mind.
DC: So Ant, would you talk a little bit about the Make My Movie Contest and how everything got developed.
Ant Timpson (producer): Yeah, it was a competition that’s the second time around, the first time we came out with a Rom-com. Then, I thought it would be kind of cool to do a horror version of that same scheme so we talked to MPI and the Commission and they were both into doing it again so we did another round. We just wanted a logline synopsis and a poster that encapsulated your vision so we got a really quick sense of what your project would be about. But really we just made it completely open to try and enthuse anyone to say, ‘Hey, I could actually make a movie. I’ve got a chance.’ Jason’s project Deathgasm was really one of the hot picks.
JLH: I was just stalking metal heads. I even contacted metal sites and got interviews.
Andrew Beattie (producer): It’s actually a good policy to do what Jason did and put heaps of projects in because the guys that won last time put in four or five projects also.
DC: About the effect, even though it looks like there was a batshit energy on set, did you plan everything out because of your effects background?
JLH: It did change, we had to tone some stuff down and figure out what we could do with what we had. Some stuff changed just before we called ‘Action’ where we literally just said, ‘Let’s do this instead.’ My background is visual effects and I messed around with practical effects when I was really young.
DC: Do you remember the first gag you did as a kid that you were really proud of?
JLH: I remember when I was thirteen at boarding school stuffing this school uniform with other clothes and throwing it off a building. It was based on a true story actually about his deranged psychopath who murders all these kids at a school. My teacher said I could borrow this video camera so I handed it in this thing but no camera ever came. But, yeah, I got into visual effects which has helped a lot. Actually Andrew is behind a lot of the physical makeup, he has a makeup effects background.
Mary Howden (producer): Most people on set the complexity of saying ‘We’ll fix it in post’ but with some of the effects we had to fix it in post.
Andrew Beattie: That’s not a unique experience for a horror film, that’s every film. One of the things you don’t think about is if you splatter a room full of blood, you’ve got to clean the blood up and that takes an hour and you don’t have that kind of time. Blood is just like water, it finds a way.
DC: Kimberly, was there way too much blood and testosterone for you on set?
Kimberly Crossman (Medina): I loved it. It was all a new experience for me dealing with all of those practical things. Everything else I’ve worked on hasn’t had the gore so I was really excited to work with the blood. I loved going home and showing my family at 3 a.m. because I would just get bloodier and bloodier over the twenty days.
DC: Were they proud?
KC: They were concerned but that’s okay. They knew I was having a ton of fun.
Ant Timpson: Kim doesn’t have blood, she has Red Bull.
KC: I love that what I thought about [heavy metal] has been completely contradicted. When these guys are talking about the unity and how everyone in the genre has been helpful and compassionate and generous with their time, those aren’t really qualities that I would’ve have thought, oh, the heavy metal genre is like this. I love that it’s really challenged me on that. Everyone gave more than they were required to give and I think that’s why this film will be a success because it doesn’t fall short anywhere. You’ve got a great soundtrack, you’ve got a great script, you’ve got comedy and talent …
Andrew Beattie: And nudity!
Written and directed by Jason Lei Howden, Deathgasm stars Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, and Stephen Ure.
New kid in town Brodie and bad-boy Zakk quickly bond over their mutual admiration of heavy metal. But when these two metal thrashing losers unwittingly summon malevolent forces, their dreams of stardom may just have to be put on hold.
Another horror anthology of the indie variety is headed our way, and right now we have your first look. Ever wonder what goes on In the Dark? Wonder no more!
From the Press Release:
The trailer and poster for the new feature film In the Dark, written and directed by Chris St. Croix and David Buchert, are here. The horror/thriller will be released on DVD exclusively at Family Video stores on Tuesday, March 24th.
The filmmakers have chosen to release the feature at Family Video first, before digital, to honor the films that inspired them and help keep the video store tradition alive. In the Dark centers around two killers hiding out in a rundown motel who discover a bag of videotapes. They soon realize the horror isn’t only on the TV screen. An axe-wielding maniac, a murderous matchmaker, and a sin-slaying creature from Hell wait for them… In the Dark.
The film features FX work by Rick Prince (Syfy Channel’s “Face Off”) and stars Katie Groshong (Jugface), William J. Harrison (Lawless), Leslie Mills (“Nashville”), Clay Brocker (D4), Tristan Jackson (“Dawson’s Creek”), and Olivia Bishop (Zombie Warz).
After a solid response for Ted Geoghegan’s directorial debut, We Are Still Here (review), the cast was in a great mood as we sat down with them at the historic (that means haunted) Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin during SXSW.
Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Lisa Marie, Monte Markham and Andrew Sensenig all joined in for a fun discussion about the film and the possibility of delving even further into its dense story in the future.
DC: Did everyone have fun at the premiere last night? I know it was a little weird with Fast & Furious 7 playing next door. I’m glad that there weren’t explosions rattling the walls.
Larry Fessenden: That would’ve been a big problem. It was fine. In fact, it got our indie ire up.
DC: Why are you going to wait in line to see that when it’s about to come out?
Lisa Marie: Why would you go see it anyway? I wouldn’t.
LF: Yeah when there are all these undiscovered gems potentially hiding in every crevice of the city and instead you’re going to that.
DC: Barbara, have you been enjoying your return to genre in recent years. You’re really a part of this new family of filmmakers that grew up with you and they’re wanting you to be in their films.
Barbara Crampton: It’s been a shockingly wonderful experience that I never thought I’d have. I moved up to San Francisco with my husband a number of years ago and had two kids back to back. I left L.A. and I thought I would have to live in L.A. to make movies and to get jobs and audition for things. One day I got a call from my agent and I said I was surprised he still had my number because he hadn’t called me and I hadn’t phoned him in 6 or 7 years. He said you’ve just been offered a part in a film called You’re Next and I said, ‘Who are these people? Do they want me to come in and audition?’ He’s like, ‘No, they just want to offer you the part. It’s a horror movie and they need a Mom.’ I read the script and I thought it was great and I said yes so I have Simon Barrett to blame and thank for having be back in this new horror renaissance that we seem to be having. And, yes, since that movie came out people have been calling me who grew up watching some of these movies I was in with Stuart Gordon, so it’s really wonderful to now come back and work with some of these young filmmakers.
Ted [Geoghegan] I actually met on You’re Next because he was the publicist and now he’s making movies. So, it’s been really fun to coming back and working with this new crop of horror directors.
Technically, you and Larry were in You’re Next together but now you get to appear on screen together. How was it working with each other? Have you heard anything so far from fans that are excited to see you together?
BC: We haven’t really seen too many people because the movie played last night at midnight and we were so tired we went back to our hotels and then got up this morning to meet you!
Andrew Sensenig: There’s been a lot on Twitter, lots and lots of tweets like ‘Fessenden and Crampton on screen together, my dream come true!’
DC: It is a bizarre dream, admittedly.
AS: Someone who needs to get help.
DC: Has it been rewarding to see Ted being this vision to the screen after knowing him awhile in different circumstances.
LF: It was startling when he said, ‘Do you want to be in my film?’ and that MPI was behind it and behind the financing. I just thought that’s great because they do actually write a check and a movie gets made. I know he worked for them as a publicist and when I heard Travis [Stevens] was involved I was excited because he’s got his own cred going on. It happened really fast. I know Barbara was talking to him for a much longer time about the ramp up into the film but with me it was like, ‘Do you want to do this in a month?’ I’ve known Ted socially and semi-professionally all these years and he produced my segment of ABC’s of Death 2 along with Mark Walkow.
DC: Is it ever hard to take off your directing hat and just act? I’m sure you gave a lot of advice.
LF: I gave advice. To anyone who will listen! My whole time doing movies, I love the Chekhov idea that one day you’re the lead and the next day you’re carrying the spear. It’s an old tradition from theatre that we’re really all in this group together and we’ve got to pitch in wherever’s appropriate. Of course you make suggestions but you know your place, you’re there to support the vision and you’re there to support the guy who’s got the vision. I feel this very strongly, it’s how I run my company. Sometimes I’m editing special effects for Ti West when he made a movie back in the old days. I was happy to cut in the bat shots and he was a young kid and telling me what to do and that was the role at that time.
DC: Sure, for The Roost.
LF: Then, of course, other times (with German accent) I expect people to listen to me! Ted, Travis Stevens and the DP formed this great group of very smart, enthusiastic, efficient creators and then we were able to fill in from there.
Andrew Sensenig: The three of those always seemed to have each other’s back which was very refreshing to see on the set. They shared ideas, they would get to a point where they might have different visions but they’d say well two out of three wins. When Ted said he really wanted to go one direction they all backed him.
DC: Monte, I know you’ve returned to acting again too. Why did you decide to come back after being in the documentary world for so long?
Monte Markham: Well, I’ve done it.
DC: You’ve been around the world enough at this point.
MM: I can’t even begin to describe to you. People say to write a book but I don’t want to spend the next ten years of my life reliving what I’ve just done in the last five. A&E was a good time but it devolved into Dog the Bounty Hunter and just crap. It’s cable. I had a great time. But then, I called my agent and he said, ‘You’re alive!’ It’s a whole different world, everyone I know now is either dead or out of the business or running it. This is a thrill for me, last night was great.
DC: Well, I know, Lisa, it’s kind of fun for you I would think in this role to let out your hippie side and do a look that people aren’t accustomed to seeing you in.
Lisa Marie: Yeah, I loved it. I loved every minute of it. I mean, I still, I’m loving it now.
DC: Was it maybe the most blood you’ve been around in a while?
LM: Oh, I’ve been around blood. It’s so much about this cast and crew and it was really fun from the beginning and it continues to be. It’s like this gift because it doesn’t always happen when things just come together in a magical way. On this project I really felt that.
DC: I could see a prequel possibly happening. Could does you see yourselves involved playing different roles perhaps like in “American Horror Story”?
LF: That’s a crazy good idea, throw that at the producers. That would be fun to do so that there would be a connection especially if this movie does continue to inspire.
AS: There were many conversations about what really went on thirty years ago. There’s a story about how things started but we still don’t really know what happened.
DC: I want to see the credits sequence again.
LF: Maybe this is revealing too much but that was originally at the beginning of the film as you can well imagine. It sets something up with these evocative, old-timey images. I think to Ted’s credit he wanted there to be a lot of questions in play and the audience is really trying to catch up. Of course, the people don’t really know what’s going on either. Ted insists that you could write a detailed account of what happened if you watch the movie a couple of times.
In the cold, winter fields of New England, there sits a house that wakes up every 30 years and demands a sacrifice.
Back in January we learned that F. Javier Gutierrez was working on a reboot of The Ring, though recent clarification has revealed that the film is actually a prequel to 2002’s remake. It will tell the infamous tape’s origin story, and on tap today is your first look at Matilda Lutz as the new Samara!
The sneak peek comes courtesy of Gutierrez’s Instagram, where the director has been sharing all sorts of behind the scenes goodies. So be sure to follow him for the latest updates.
Rings will hit theaters on November 13, 2015.
Gutierrez is directing from a script written by Akiva Goldsman, David Loucka, and Jacon Aaron Estes.
Based on a Japanese cult success, the first U.S. film went on to gross $249 million at the worldwide box office. That was enough to justify a sequel, which didn’t match the first one’s B.O. power but still grossed $160 million worldwide.
A photo posted by F. Javier Gutierrez (@fj6utierrez) on Mar 17, 2015 at 6:19am PDT
A photo posted by F. Javier Gutierrez (@fj6utierrez) on Feb 4, 2015 at 4:06pm PST
In our relentless pursuit to bring you all that is cool and macabre on the world weird web, we’ve been alerted to another artist who creates custom dolls that are deadly cute! Check out your first look at Teri Long’s Long Gone Dolls!
“I take unloved, unwanted, and sometimes damaged dolls and give them a new life (or death in most cases),” says Long on the official Long Gone Dolls Facebook page. “Each doll is signed and dated by me and will be one of a kind unless stated otherwise.”
“About 3 years ago – I decided to paint a few dolls to decorate my house for an annual Halloween party my husband, Chris, and I host,” Long tells us. “Soon, friends and family saw them and started asking if they could purchase them. Then, after I started selling them locally, I noticed there was a huge interest in them! I then opened an etsy.com store back in October of 2013 so they could be seen by more than just the locals. Luckily, it didn’t take long, and they started to take off!”
Long continues, “I truly put my heart and soul into all the dolls I create. My mother, Janet Campbell, will create any clothing I need if I am making special characters. She is an amazing seamstress with a knack for perfection. I believe it has rubbed off on me! I absolutely love creating these dolls and watching them come to life (or death in most cases) under my hand. At this point, I have sold a couple thousand dolls as I have since lost count!! My dolls are attempting to “infect” the world!”
Click on the link abov,e which has direction on just how you can score one of these creepy must-have creatures that are pretty much guaranteed to disturb those around you!
Think you’ve got what it takes to deliver a really solid horror screenplay? Well then, the ScreenCraft Horror Screenplay Contest is a great place to test your mettle. Read on for the details.
From the Press Release:
ScreenCraft has unveiled the jury for its third annual ScreamCraft Horror Screenplay Contest. This competition seeks fresh voices in horror film screenwriting – a genre with a rabid fan base and a proven track record for establishing new voices in filmmaking.
The competition is open for entries until July 1st. Winners receive cash prizes and access to Hollywood industry executives who specialize in horror filmmaking. The grand prize winner will also get a phone call with acclaimed horror screenwriter C. Robert Cargill, whose credits include SINISTER, SINISTER 2, and the highly anticipated DEUS EX feature film.
The 2014 jury includes Hollywood’s top representatives and producers of the genre:
- Scott Henderson, Agent at Paradigm Talent Agency, represents renowned horror filmmakers James Wan and Leigh Wannell (SAW, DEAD SILENCE, INSIDIOUS)
- Andrew Wilson, Literary Manager at Zero Gravity, represents acclaimed horror writer Clive Barker (HELLRAISER, NIGHT BREED, THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN) among many others!
- Ryan Turek, VP of Development at Blumhouse Productions (company credits include PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, INSIDIOUS, SINISTER, OCULUS, THE PURGE, Academy-award nominee WHIPLASH and the upcoming UNFRIENDED).
- Miles Fineburg, Development Executive at Terror Films (TRACE, THE CHOSEN)
“We look forward to discovering new screenwriting voices in this unique contest for horror film screenwriters,” said Cameron Cubbison, ScreenCraft co-founder.
The competition is operated by ScreenCraft, a Los Angeles-based media consultancy dedicated to helping screenwriters and filmmakers master their craft and connecting them with industry executives who need viable scripts.
Submission and eligibility info can be found here!
To close out our set visit reports for The Chair, Kyle Hester, one of the stars and producers of the new horror-behind-bars thriller, sat down to talk with us exclusively about his creepy new project.
“I became involved,” he said, “when I saw a post on Facebook by Ezra Buzzington. I saw that he and Bill Oberst, Jr., were in this movie, and I just had to be involved. I then ran into Ezra at the Hollywood Horror Film Festival, and he pointed me in the direction of Peter Simeti. I sent my acting reel over to him, and the rest is history! I came on as an actor and ended up producing the film. I am so proud of everyone that helped make this film a reality.”
He plays a prison guard named Bowen, who’s pretty sadistic and at times downright evil. So it’s interesting to learn from Hester that in the beginning “Bowen was actually a guard with no lines. I was told that I would have the opportunity to imrov so I said, ‘What the heck – let’s do this.’ But by the time we started shooting, Bowen had plenty to say so it developed as we went along. Bowen is actually solid in his convictions. He believes that an eye for an eye is the way it should be so that is how he lives… sometimes taking it to the extreme.”
We wondered what it was like to create and build an entire prison set, and whether it felt as claustrophobic as it looked. “Funny thing about the set,” Hester says. “When we were doing the location scouting, we were looking for actual prisons and jails to shoot at. But nothing was available. We were three weeks from filming with no prison set. Some people wanted to push the shoot, but actor availability would have made that very difficult. So I said, ‘Let’s build the set.’ Our production designer, Anthony Pearce, went about designing it, and it was on! I have lots of experience in that area so we made the decision to build it. We only had three weeks so we were still finishing the set even as we started filming. I would come in and work on the set for a couple of hours and then get into makeup for Bowen. It was crazy for the first few days.”
After taking such a proactive stance and pursuing The Chair because of its cast, we had to know if his co-stars lived up to his expectations. “The actors really hit it out of the park!” Hester enthused. “Bill Oberst, Jr., was amazing. Ezra is a joy to work with and a true professional. We had a very intense scene together. Tim Muskatell did a wonderful job as Sullivan. Roddy Piper was mesmerizing to watch. Noah Hathaway and Zach Galligan were awesome and intense. Total pros! Derrick Damions great to work with. I don’t want to leave anyone out… I was really impressed with the entire cast.”
Directed by Chad Ferrin, The Chair stars Bill Oberst, Jr., Timothy Muskatell, Noah Hathaway, Zach Galligan, Naomi Grossman, Derrick Damions, Ezra Buzzington, Susan Eisenberg, Kin Shriner, Jacob Banser, Kyle Hester, Robert Rhine, Tomas Boykin, Christian Hutcherson. and Roddy Piper.
Richard Sullivan (Timothy Muskatell) is an innocent man struggling to escape his fate on Death Row. Witnessing the murders of his fellow inmates at the hands of the prison’s sadistic and psychotic Warden (Oberst) and his crew of guards, Sullivan decides that the only way to survive is to fight back. With the body count rising, the Warden and his guards close in on Sullivan. As he matches the brutality occurring in the prison, Sullivan starts to lose his grip on reality. Memories of the childhood abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother combine with vivid hallucinations which push him to the very edge, forcing him to question his sanity at every turn.
Starring a ton of people
Directed by a ton of people
Distributed by Monster Pictures UK
The first The ABCs of Death was an admirable experiment – line up 26 filmmakers to create a horrific presentation of short films, each themed on a single letter of the alphabet. Unfortunately, save for just a few entries, it was primarily an exercise in boredom and missed opportunity. Not be dissuaded from their Big Idea, however, series creators Tim League and Ant Timpson decided to take a second run with the concept.
And it’s a good thing that they did – because The ABCs of Death 2 is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor.
Going into extreme detail with every short would be a herculean task, but suffice it to say that for every poor (or outright terrible) entry into this anthology, there are two more that more than easily make up for the shortcomings with their quality. Director E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills) opens the show with a bang with the excellent ‘A is for Amateur’, perfectly marrying elements of excitement, grimness and black humour to great effect in setting audience expectations for the rest of the anthology.
On top of that, other standout entries include Alejandro Brugués’ desert island drama ‘E is for Equilibrium’, which winds up being another darkly funny feel good entry for men; Robert Boocheck’s utterly fabulous slow-motion slice of insanity ‘M is for Masticate’ (which sports a gut-busting punch line in the finish); Juan Martínez Moreno’s brutal ‘Split'; Steven Kostanski’s wild and just plain wrong ‘W is for Wish’ (which also prompts a severe hankering to go and watch Manborg again); Inside directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s highly disturbing ‘X is for Xylophone’ and Robert Morgan’s stop-motion animated ‘D is for Deloused’ – one which is so full of gruesome, weird atmosphere that you’ll feel like taking a shower afterwards.
That isn’t to discount the rest of the entries that don’t quite reach those heady heights, as there are plenty more worthwhile shorts from directors such as Julian Gilbey (whose short, ‘C is for Capital Punishment’, contains one of the most upsettingly horrendous decapitations to hit the screen in years), Jim Hosking, Julian Barratt, Larry Fessenden and Vincenzo Natali to be had during The ABCs of Death 2‘s 2-hour runtime.
Those that fail to impress, such as Bill Plympton’s ‘Head Games’ (superbly animated in his unique style, but feeling totally out of place in this anthology) and Lancelot Imasuen’s ‘L is for Legacy’ (a confused narrative mess laden with poor effects that simply pales in comparison to its brethren here) generally do so because they simply don’t stand up to the quality of other shorts surrounding them – something which certainly couldn’t be said about the first ABCs of Death.
And so with the quality remaining consistently high, The ABCs of Death 2 gives the audience little to worry about but sitting back and enjoying the eclectic selection. By the very nature of filmmaking, not every viewer is going to feel the same about every short – but there’s more than enough here, at a reliable level of value, for everyone to enjoy. With this release, League and Timpson have undoubtedly pulled off what they had hoped to in the first place – and if they can keep the quality control up to this level, there’ll be plenty of welcoming anticipation for a third run.
Following that overview, special mention has to be given to The ABCs of Death 2‘s closing short, ‘Z is for Zygote’. Chris Nash’s short film stands head and shoulders as the anthology’s most riveting, disturbing and absolutely horrifying piece of work. Expectant mothers will look away; childless couples will glance at each other in mutual affirmation and absolutely everyone will gasp in shock at the ghastly climax of this tale. Kudos also goes to the anthology’s opening and closing score, which is quite possibly the most unsettling “la la la”-themed musical number ever to defile one’s ears.
Overall, The ABCs of Death 2 pulls the admirable feat of flipping the quality stack in comparison to the previous entry, offering a great mix of the horrendous and the humorous with only a few duds to be had – and those that are good, are really good.
Monster Pictures deliver The ABCs of Death 2 to UK DVD sporting the trailer as the sole special feature, which is very disappointing considering there is most likely a wealth of behind-the-scenes material to be had from even a few of the shorts involved.
Starring Manuela Velasco, Ismael Fritschi, Paco Manzanedo, Héctor Colomé
Directed by Jaume Balagueró
Distributed by Entertainment One
Writer/Director Jaume Balagueró, co-creator of the [REC] franchise, hops back behind the wheel to bring the mythology to a close with [REC] Apocalypse. Heading back to the building where the demonic outbreak thrilled us all in the first two movies, Apocalypse begins with a team of military personnel climbing the stairs in a search for survivors and with the intention of planting explosives on the way that will completely level the site.
With time running short before the building is destroyed, the team are just about to evacuate when a scared and shaken Ángela appears, and rescue seems certain. Of course, known only to the audience at this point is the fact that Ángela now carries the parasitic source of the infection within her.
Abruptly, the setting shifts to an unknown location where Ángela and her rescuer, Guzman (Manzandeo), awaken from sleep to discover that they are now held captive aboard a massive freighter in the middle of the ocean. Said freighter is a research vessel, aboard which a gaggle of scientists hope to discover the mystery behind the virus and develop a vaccine.
Naturally, things are due to go very wrong – and when the parasite is discovered to no longer be inhabiting Ángela’s body and virus-infected monkeys start turning the crew into super-fast, monstrous zombies, the search for a cure shifts to second place behind basic survival for all on board.
In keeping with Paco Plaza’s previous entry, [REC] Genesis, Apocalypse takes a standard cinematic approach to its visual narrative, abandoning the thrill-ride found footage take of the first two films (the footage that forms those initial entries, however, is used as a plot device here). In a nod to Plaza’s film, one of the denizens of the ship is the sole survivor of Genesis‘ ill-fated wedding party – a confused old lady who still believes that she’s attending the happy event.
Cutting straight to the point: [REC] Apocalypse is not the balls-to-the-wall finale that every fan of the series wanted to see after Genesis‘ more comedic approach. It takes much too long to get going and, more crucially, makes the crime of giving series stalwart Manuela Velasco next to nothing to do for most of the runtime. For more than half of the film, Ángela is little more than a bewildered victim, offering very little to the story given that her hosting of the ancient entity behind the infection has absolutely no effect on her character’s behaviour whatsoever. It isn’t until much later in the game that she starts the ass-kicking – but for many, it’s too little, too late. Those expecting to see her spend some time as the ultimate evil (given [REC] 2‘s wonderfully wicked finale) are also going to be very, very disappointed.
And speaking of the evil itself – the demonic parasite that hid within the Madeiros girl and spread its unearthly influence into the souls of the infected? Well, Balaguero also makes the decision in Apocalypse to completely abandon the religious and supernatural aspects that made the series’ antagonist so interesting, in favour of a purely biological approach. It’s thoroughly bland and incongruous with what came before; at this point, we aren’t coming to a [REC] film just to see more running zombies and infected monkeys. But that’s what we get.
Yet despite this core disappointment, there’s no denying that Apocalypse, when it gets going, is a thoroughly thrilling and effective horror flick. It looks great – Balaguero is a director with a dependably striking eye – and the claustrophobic corridors of the ship make for a palpably tense atmosphere. Appreciably, Balaguero isn’t afraid to crank out the high-impact action, brutal violence and splashy gore, but needed to rein in the shaky cam antics a little more – after all, this is no longer hand held found footage.
Ismael Fritschi steals the show as supporting character Nick, techie nerd and self-professed biggest fan of Ángela Vidal, and it’s in the latter stages where the two join forces in their attempt to escape the boat alive that Apocalypse soars – throwing threat after threat at the pair with relentless intensity and a sense of true danger.
And yet, while those later scenes begin to make the rest of the project seem worthwhile, the entire series is brought to a close with a copout ending that promises more to come while merely delivering an insult to the viewer’s intelligence in itself. [REC] Apocalypse is a hugely frustrating piece of work – on one hand, we have a capable and intense zombie flick (with a bit of creature feature thrown in) let down by its early pacing, but on the other we have one of the most disappointing finales to this particular series that fans could ever have expected. Despite the moniker, there’s nothing apocalyptic about it – in fact, the scale could hardly have been smaller.
There’s enough to like here on a general level, but as a [REC] film – and especially as the closing chapter to what is a phenomenal series – Apocalypse drops the ball on far too many mythological elements to be truly worthwhile. So while you’ll enjoy it for the visceral thrill, you’ll still feel cheated when the credits roll. Sorry guys… but this isn’t the climactic finish that we needed.
Entertainment One brings [REC] Apocalypse to UK DVD sporting a 25-minute ‘Making of’ featurette that actually delivers the goods that one hopes to see in this kind of thing. Tons of on-set footage is coupled with short interviews with plenty of people involved in the creation of the film, and Manuela Velasco sticks on her reporter’s hat once more to lead a camera around the set and point out various features of the shoot. It’s good stuff – but that single extra is all you’re getting on this particular release.
It’s time to close out this long, busy day with yet another teaser trailer for an upcoming TV show, and up now is Fox’s “Wayward Pines.” In this new video Terrence Howard teases his character, Sheriff Arnold Pope, and what lies ahead in “Wayward Pines.”
About “Wayward Pines”:
Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) and Fox International Channels present the 10-episode, intense psychological thriller “WAYWARD PINES.” The highly anticipated event series, based on a best-selling novel and brought to life by suspenseful storyteller M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Signs) and executive-produced by Shyamalan, Donald De Line, Chad Hodge, and Ashwin Rajan, will premiere Thursday, May 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), on FOX, while also debuting simultaneously in more than 125 countries across Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and Latin America. The global “WAYWARD PINES” debut will be the world’s largest day-and-date launch for a scripted series ever.
Related Story: Enjoy Life and This New Teaser for Fox’s Wayward Pines
The series stars Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon (Crash) as a Secret Service agent on a mission to find two missing federal agents in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID. In addition to Dillon, the stellar cast includes Academy and Emmy Award winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard (Crash, Hustle & Flow), Carla Gugino (“Entourage”), Shannyn Sossamon (“How to Make It in America”), Toby Jones (Infamous, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Reed Diamond (“24,” Much Ado About Nothing), Tim Griffin (“Prime Suspect”), Charlie Tahan (Charlie St. Cloud), and Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear).
“WAYWARD PINES” is a production of FX Productions. The series was developed for television by Hodge (“The Playboy Club,” “Runaway”) and executive-produced by De Line (Green Lantern, The Italian Job), Rajan (Devil), Hodge, and Shyamalan. Hodge wrote and Shyamalan directed the premiere episode. “Like” “WAYWARD PINES” on Facebook at facebook.com/WaywardPines. Follow the series on Twitter at @WaywardPinesFOX and join the discussion using #waywardpines. See photos and videos on Instagram by following @Wayward Pines.
The post New Wayward Pines Preview Makes Some Tough Choices appeared first on Dread Central.
Curious about when your favorite shows on The CW will be airing their season finales? Well, thanks to the network, we have a nifty little graphic to share that lists them all out for you.
As for what we care about the most, “The Originals” Season 2 concludes on May 11, 2015; “The Vampire Diaries” Season 6 wraps up on May 14, 2015; and “Supernatural” Season 10 winds down on May 20, 2015.
You’ll also find the finale dates for “Arrow” and “The Flash,” two shows you should be watching, along with “Reign” and “Jane the Virgin.”
The post The CW Announces Season Finale Dates for The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural appeared first on Dread Central.
We’re now less than a week away from the premiere of “iZombie” on The CW, and yet another trailer has arrived to whet your appetites for this show’s new flavor of zombie mayhem. Liv, our main character, may be a zombie, but she’s never been more alive!
Episode 1.01 – “Pilot” (airs 3/17/15)
A NEW SERIES FROM THE BRAINS BEHIND “VERONICA MARS” — Olivia “Liv” Moore (Rose McIver) was a disciplined, over-achieving medical resident who had her life path completely mapped out… until she is turned into a zombie. Now stuck somewhere between half-alive and undead, Liv loses her drive and ambition. She breaks off her engagement with charming soulmate Major (Robert Buckley), fearful of infecting him with her condition. Liv transfers her medical residency to the city morgue in order to access the only form of sustenance left available to her – the only thing that allows her to maintain her humanity – brains.
There are side effects to Liv’s new diet: With each brain Liv consumes, she experiences “visions” – flashes of the corpse’s memories – which often provide clues as to how they were killed. Her boss, the brilliant but eccentric Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli), encourages her to embrace this gift and to work with unproven homicide detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) to help solve these murders. In doing so, Liv finds a measure of peace and a new sense of purpose in what her “life” has now become. David Anders also stars. Rob Thomas directed the episode written by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright.
“The Vampire Diaries” returns tomorrow night with the Ian Somerhalder-directed Episode 6.16, entitled “The Downward Spiral.” Today we have a clip from the ep which asks: Can Stefan save Caroline’s humanity before it’s too late? Place your bets now!
“The Vampire Diaries” Episode 6.16 – “The Downward Spiral” (3/12/15)
After shutting off her humanity following the death of her mother, Caroline (Candice Accola) gives her friends an unexpected ultimatum. Not knowing how to handle the new Caroline, Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) attempt to intervene sets off a dangerous chain of events, leaving him and Elena (Nina Dobrev) in a race against the clock.
Meanwhile, after seeking answers from Kai (guest star Chris Wood) about the prison world, Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) world is turned upside when he learns some devastating news about his mother, Lily (guest star Annie Wersching).
Elsewhere, Enzo (Michael Malarkey) finds himself becoming increasingly intrigued by Sarah Salvatore (guest star Tristin Mays), and Bonnie (Kat Graham) begins to struggle with the effects of being back in the real world. Ian Somerhalder directed the episode written by Brian Young and Caroline Dries.
The post Get a Sneak Peek of The Downward Spiral in The Vampire Diaries Episode 6.16 appeared first on Dread Central.
Can’t say we didn’t see this coming, but our main question is… What took so long?!?!? Danny Trejo is once again ready to put the bite on in Robert Rodriguez’s reimagining of his feature film From Dusk Till Dawn along with the newly cast Briana Evigan.
From the Press Release:
El Rey Network and Miramax announced today that Danny Trejo (Machete, Machete Kills) has joined the sophomore season of Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.” Trejo has been cast in the roll of “The Regulator,” a horrifying agent of evil who has been summoned to perform a deadly errand. Trejo appeared in the From Dusk Till Dawn film franchise as “Razor Charlie.”
Trejo has had a prolific career in the entertainment industry; yet, his road to success has been hard earned and anything but typical, spanning imprisonment to helping young people battle drug addiction to acting and producing. Trejo has starred in dozens of films including Desperado, Heat, the From Dusk Till Dawn film series, Con Air, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the Spy Kids movies, Grindhouse, Machete, Machete Kills, Dead in Tombstone, and Muppets Most Wanted. He can be heard as the voice of “Skeleton Luis” in The Book of Life. Danny’s recent television work includes his first series regular role on the FX show “Saint George” as well as an appearance on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” He has had recurring roles on “Sons of Anarchy” and “King of the Hill” and has appeared on episodes of “Franklin and Bash,” “Bones,” “Modern Family,” and “Breaking Bad.” He has also voiced characters for Cartoon Network’s “Young Justice” and “The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange.” He can currently be seen in the Super Clio Award-winning Snickers commercial where he plays blonde high school student Marcia Brady.
Briana Evigan (Step Up 2) has also joined the cast of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” as Sonja – an American expatriate working as a tattoo artist in a Mexican Mercado – who also has a sideline forging papers and passports out of her back room.
The returning cast includes: D.J. Cotrona, Zane Holtz, Jesse Garcia, Eiza González, Wilmer Valderrama, Madison Davenport, and Brandon Soo Hoo
Season One of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” centered on bank robber Seth Gecko (Cotrona) and his violent, unpredictable brother, Richard “Richie” Gecko (Holtz), who were on the run to Mexico when they encountered former pastor Jacob Fuller (Robert Patrick) and his family, who were taken hostage. Using the family RV to cross the Border, chaos ensued when the group detoured to the Titty Twister, a strip club populated by culebras, snake-like ancient creatures who survive by drinking human blood. They were forced to fight until dawn in order to get out alive.
Season Two explores a new chapter in this supernatural crime saga that travels from Mexico to the edgy, tricked-out Texas of Robert Rodriguez. It also deepens and complicates the core relationships between the characters, while adding new faces and new dynamics. Season Two begins with our characters in their separate worlds – Santanico (Gonzalez) and Richie (Holtz) are outside Houston, living like Bonnie and Clyde; Seth and Kate (Madison Davenport) are scraping by South of the Border; and Freddie Gonzalez (Jessie Garcia) is protecting his wife and young daughter in a Houston suburb. And Carlos Madrigal (Valderrama) and Scott Fuller (Brandon Soo-Hoo) emerge from the Titty Twister changed men. They will all come together once again – this time facing off against an even bigger threat.
“From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” is a Miramax production in association with Rodriguez International Pictures, FactoryMade Ventures, and Sugarcane Entertainment. Executive producers are Robert Rodriguez, Carlos Coto (also showrunner), Diego Gutierrez (also writer), and FactoryMade Ventures and El Rey Network co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa.
Miramax is distributing “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” internationally in all territories.
The post Danny Trejo and More Join From Dusk Till Dawn the Series appeared first on Dread Central.
Our friends at Nerdist.com are always up to something cool and fun, and today they have just the perfect thing to spice up any “iZombie” or “The Walking Dead” viewing parties you might be hosting over the coming days: the Easy Brains Oven!
They say that you are what you eat, and if that’s true, your little zombie must be one smart cookie. Surely there has to be an easier way to satisfy your insatiable hunger for human flesh than chasing down survivors! Now there is, thanks to the all-new Easy Brains Oven! This hot, new kitchen playset is so simple that even shambling corpses can use it. Read on for more details…
About the Easy Brains Oven:
Are your little ones feeling a little sluggish? Have they lost that just-bitten pep in their step? Are their eyes glazed over from boredom instead of the otherworldly power that brought them back to life? If your tiny undead monster has an insatiable hunger and only freshly baked brains will do, we’ve got the playset for you.
Introducing the Easy Brains Oven, a brand new kitchen set that will help you whip up delicious, piping hot, gourmet grey matter when live humans are scarce! Simply insert the Easy Brain™ human brain mix, wait 60 minutes, and voila! Fresh… braiiiins. Some adult supervision required.
Remember that bat-shit-crazy sounding flick Tokyo Tribe we told you about a while back? Well, strap in, kids, because we have some good news for you! It now has domestic distro!
From the Press Release:
XLrator Media (Jimi: All Is by My Side, The Machine) has acquired North American distribution rights to the street-gang/martial arts action/hip-hop musical epic TOYKO TRIBE, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). XLrator Media will release the film in fall 2015 on its “TURBO” action label.
TOKYO TRIBE was written and directed by Sion Sono, whose previous film Why Don’t You Play in Hell? won TIFF’s People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award. TOKYO TRIBE stars Ryohei Suzuki and Young Dais and is based on the manga by Santa Inoue. It was produced by Yoshinori Chiba, Kinya Oguchi, and Nobuhiro Iizuka.
“Audiences have never seen anything like TOKYO TRIBE and will be blown away by its originality, energy, and mind-blowing action and musical sequences that pay homage to everything from Quentin Tarantino to Scarface to West Side Story,” said XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon.
In a futuristic, alternate Tokyo made up of ghetto slums and nightclub playgrounds, territorial street gangs rule the city. The opposing factions – each with their own distinctive style — control different neighborhoods, and crossing territorial lines leads to riots and rumbles. When a megalomaniacal gang leader tries to invade the other gangs’ turf, the city explodes into an all-out war.
The deal was negotiated by XLrator Media’s Barry Gordon with XYZ Films’ Nate Bolotin for Nikkatsu Corporation.
Charles Manson. For as long as there’s air to breathe, his name will rightfully live in infamy. The latest film based on Charlie’s exploits, Manson Family Vacation, is getting set to have its premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival (March 13-21, 2015, in Austin, Texas), and right now we have a look at the official artwork.
From writer/director J. Davis, The Manson Family Vacation stars Jay Duplass, Linas Phillips, Leonora Pitts, Tobin Bell, Adam Chernick, and Davie-Blue. It tells the story of two brothers: one who’s devoted to his family, the other who’s obsessed with the Manson Family.
The post SXSW 2015: Poster for the Manson Family Vacation Stares Right Through You appeared first on Dread Central.
Back in January we learned that F. Javier Gutierrez was working on a reboot of The Ring, though recent clarification suggests that perhaps “reboot” isn’t quite the proper term for this one. Is Rings actually more of a prequel? Read on for the latest!
Our good pals over at Bloody Disgusting just scored an interesting little morsel of exclusive news about the project, titled Rings, revealing that the 2002 remake’s continuity is most definitely not being thrown out the window in favor of an entirely new tale.
“Our sources tell us that the new The Ring is actually a prequel and takes place before the 2002 remake that starred Naomi Watts as a woman uncovering the mystery behind a haunted VHS tape,” writes BD’s Brad Miska. “Rings will take place years before the creation of said tape and tell the origin of Samara’s reign of terror.”
Rings will hit theaters on November 13, 2015.
Gutierrez directed from a script written by Akiva Goldsman, David Loucka, and Jacon Aaron Estes. Italian actress Matilda Lutz stars.
Based on a Japanese cult success, the first U.S. film went on to gross $249 million at the worldwide box office. That was enough to justify a sequel, which didn’t match the first one’s B.O. power but still grossed $160 million worldwide despite sucking CG deer dick.
We told you back in January that “The Walking Dead’s” Lauren Cohan (Maggie) signed on for a slight reprieve from the zombie apocalypse in the film The Boy, and now word has come that production has begun.
Cohan stars in the horror thriller from Lakeshore Entertainment and Vertigo Entertainment. William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) is directing the project, which is aiming for a January 22, 2016, release.
The script, written by Stacey Menear, centers on a nanny (Cohan) who is tasked with overseeing a lifelike doll by a bizarre couple who treat it as a real child. The couple use the doll as way to cope with the death of their young son, but the nanny becomes increasingly convinced that it is alive.
Producing are Lakeshore’s Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg, Vertigo’s Roy Lee and Adam Stone, along with Jim Wedaa.
The post Production Begins on The Boy with The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan appeared first on Dread Central.
Eli Roth is spinning a handful of plates at the moment with both directorial efforts and production ventures soon headed our way. This week he’s provided big ole updates on a couple of those projects so read on for the latest in the world of Eli!
In an interview with IGN, Roth first opened up about cannibal flick The Green Inferno, revealing that it’s pretty damn close to release, though legal issues are still being ironed out.
“Trust me when I say there are no less than four lawyers from different companies on conference calls and email chains every single day trying to work this out,” said Roth. “I was hoping to have it resolved today or by Monday so we could do something to hopefully have it out this summer. That’s what everyone’s working towards. To have it out August or September. But I was 90 days out from a release, there was a trailer and posters in theaters, and it got pulled. So please don’t hold me to anything, but trust me when I say everybody is all over it working it out.”
“We’re at the one-yard line, but I’ve also been there before so I don’t want to say anything, but I just thank everyone for their patience and understanding,” he continued. “And it really helps when people tweet ‘Please release it, please release it’ – it keeps the fire burning, but everyone is working to resolve it.”
Roth also spoke about the upcoming Cabin Fever remake in the same interview, clearing up the rumors that it was going to be a shot-for-shot affair.
“They came to me exactly a year ago and said, ‘We want to remake Cabin Fever using your original script,’” he noted. “You’ve got to realize that from an egotistical point of view, I wrote Cabin Fever when I was 22 years old. Right out of university. And for six years everyone told me, ‘This is an un-makeable piece of shit.’ So the fact that the same script would get made twice and that 20 years later, 20 years after I originally wrote it, it got sent around Hollywood and people were reading the same dialogue. I looked at it as like staging a play – as an experiment I just wanted to see how it would turn out. So I came on as one of the executive producers.”
“I saw the cut and thought that what Travis [Zariwny] did was so smart – he kept the original script, but he changed the deaths so all the kills are different. You don’t know how they’re going to come. I was watching it and he didn’t tell me that he did that and I was so happy he did – because nobody wants to see a re-do that’s the same thing that they already know. So he leads you in one direction with the audience thinking that they know what’s coming, then puts a fantastic spin on it. And it looks awesome – it’s a really fun movie. I’m happily surprised at how it’s turned out.”
This unique Cabin Fever remake is finished and presumably ready for release, though a date hasn’t been set. So for now, as with The Green Inferno, we sit back and wait.
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