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7 Days to Die – Developer Diary and Walking Dead Pre-Order Goodies!

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 12:30

With the survival horror game 7 Days to Die hitting shelves next month, publisher Telltale Games has released a new developer video interview, and best of all… if you pre-order, you’ll have access to Walking Dead character skins.

From the Press Release:
Telltale Publishing has announced that the hit survival horde crafting game 7 Days to Die will release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for the first time on June 28th as both a digital and retail product in North America and digitally in Europe; it will be available on July 1st for the first time at retail in Europe. The recommended retail price is $29.99 USD or equivalent, and the game is currently available for pre-order at GameStop, Best Buy, GAME, and Amazon. 7 Days to Die is published in collaboration with the Dallas-based independent developer The Fun Pimps.

Set in a brutally unforgiving post-apocalyptic world overrun by the undead, 7 Days to Die is an open-world survival game that is a unique combination of first-person shooter, survival horror, tower defense, and role-playing games. It presents combat, crafting, looting, mining, exploration, and character growth in a way that has seen a rapturous response from fans worldwide, generating hundreds of thousands of hours of community content on YouTube and other streaming video platforms.

Fans of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series in partnership with Skybound will be excited to learn that pre-ordering 7 Days to Die will give them exclusive access to 5 character skins from Telltale’s hit series, including Michonne and Lee Everett.

The console version of 7 Days to Die adds a new multiplayer mode supporting local split-screen for couch play; additional online multiplayer modes and features will be revealed in the coming weeks. The game will be supported by exciting DLC content, with details to be revealed in the near future.

This new interview with 7 Days to Die developers gives insight into what inspired the immensely popular “survival horde crafting game” as well as what players can expect in the console version.

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Categories: Horror News

Trailer Shows Mercy for Netflix

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 12:00

The new film from Chris Sparling, Mercy, was picked up by Netflix back in November; and right now we have the trailer for you to check out! Dig it!

Written and directed by Chris Sparling, Mercy stars James Wolk, Caitlin FitzGerald, Tom Lipinski, Dan Ziskie, Michael Godere, Michael Donovan, Dion Graham, and Constance Baron.

Before hitting Netflix later this year, the film will be having its premiere at the LA Film Festival on Saturday, June 4th, at 11:30 pm.

Synopsis:
When four estranged brothers return home to say their last goodbye to their dying mother, Grace, hidden motivations reveal themselves. The family’s already tenuous bonds are tested when secrets from Grace’s past resurface, causing a restless night to go terribly awry as the brothers are thrust into a fight for their own survival.

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Categories: Horror News

Lucky Girl (Short, 2016)

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 11:30

Starring Geza Benko, Nikolet Dekany, Barbi Horvath

Directed by Demeter Lorant

Brutal, unflinching in subject matter… and an all-around fun watch for fans of mindless violence, Demeter Lorant’s short film Lucky Girl tosses us directly into the lair of a man who “rescues” three girls after a horrific automobile accident and puts them through more trauma than they could have ever hoped to experience… get out your splash guards cause this one’s gonna get messy.

Geza Benko plays a no-name serial killer (or so we’d imagine) who is seen ransacking said accident and taking the three female victims in his vehicle back to his little “playhouse” if you will. What happens next to the very unlucky trio isn’t something that I’d be willing to jot down in detail form, especially with a short runtime of less than 15 minutes in length, but rest assured that if you were to play this one on your work computer, you’d be out of work fairly quickly.

The complete inanity of the premise is outweighed by the actions of the killer – no one witnessed the accident in a span of time where this killer could ravage the scene? I guess it’s just me over-internalizing the backbone of this quickie, but Lorant more than makes up for it with a blistering display of aggression against the female form.  While this might not sit well with many an audience, just remember: “It’s only a movie.”

If you have the time (and with only a quarter of an hour to offer up, you should), I highly recommend checking this one out.

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Categories: Horror News

Today on VOD: Meet The Ones Below

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 11:27

Long holiday weekends make for the perfect time to sit on the couch and watch a whole bunch of movies, and VOD outlets provide the best way to do that without having to so much as leave the house. Sure, we miss video rental shops and all, but nothing beats renting movies without even putting on pants!

Out today, in limited theaters and On Demand, is The Ones Below (review), the debut feature from writer-director David Farr (screenwriter of Hanna and AMC’s “The Night Manager”). Hailed by our own Matt Boiselle as “very eerie,” the film stars David Morrissey (“The Walking Dead”), Clémence Poésy, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Laura Birn.

Whet your appetite with the plot crunch and trailer below!

Synopsis:
Blending an element of urban dread with an edgy sense of paranoia, The Ones Below follows Kate (Poésy) and Justin (Moore), a young couple in a tiny London suburb eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child. But when the enigmatic Teresa (Bim) and Jon (Morrissey) move into the apartment downstairs, the parents-to-be soon become involved in a psychological battle of wills with the new tenants.

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Categories: Horror News

Mister J’s Sense of Dread 5/27/16

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 11:00

When it comes to delivering you the goods on a daily basis, we strive to stay both fresh and as far removed from what people refer to as “normal sensibilities” as possible. That’s why were always looking for fun ways to celebrate the genre! Enter the recurring feature Mister J’s Sense of Dread.

Each week Mister J will dive deep into his psyche to provide you with a new comic of the dreadful variety. From the horror genre to real-life events that tie into it, our new contributor will bring his insane brand of artistry to you, dear reader, with enough reckless abandon and obscurities to make the legendary Charles Addams proud!

Mister J has been drawing cartoons and watching terrible movies for as long as anyone can remember. His work appears in a variety of places but can be seen online daily at mrjcomics.com. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @misterjcomics.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the chuckles. Look for more soon!

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Categories: Horror News

Cemetery Tales: Tales from Morningside Cemetery (2016)

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 10:30

Starring Joy Kathleen Wood, Misty Moon (no relation to the ex-Misty Mundae, I don’t think), Stephanie Stevens, Vince Vaughn

Directed by Heather Christopherson, L.C . Cruell, Andrew Featherstone, Dayna Noffke

Cemeteries. Let’s face it; they’re an evocative lightning rod for every emotion known to the human race: fear of death, loneliness, missing friends or family or lovers, historical fascination, vertigo at peering over the edge of death’s cliff and seeing where we will all fall sooner or later… and on and on. There is no way to walk round a cemetery and not feel anger or pain at the grave of a baby taken too soon, with teddy bears and sad, agonized, teary-eyed farewells to a child who “fell asleep” permanently. Or a young murder victim with wailing, broken-heart-drenched high school notes from friends dotted around and flowers eaten by the local deer. Or some football supporter who died in an accident, their grave draped in their team’s colors. Or a middle-aged housewife who just dropped dead, eternally missed by her numb, disbelieving family and friends.

Georgia-lensed Cemetery Tales: Tales from Morningside Cemetery certainly knows this fun-damn-mental fact of human life and death and exploits it to creepy, genuinely unsettling effect during its under-the-skincrawler running time. Unusually for Georgia, there is no air of religious extremism here – just a human, despairing, rotting one. Which works fine for me.What we have here are four separate stories about the aforementioned silent-air bucolic boneyard, buried deep in the American South, linked with an interlocking series of skits about a young couple who go camping in the middle of anywhere but where they should be. They end up bumping into a fear-tour guide, in the guise of an enigmatic, buxom young woman who tells them could-be tall tales of the cemetery’s dead denizens, inciting the couple on into drunkenness and potential sexual excess… and a non-sexual ending I did not (cough) see coming.

“The Living End” is the first tale from the dark side we see when the coffin lid of the film is prized open. Taking place in a funeral home, it presents us with the story of a young woman named Joanie (Madeline Brumby), who wakes up, well… dead. She’s lying on a mortician’s table being prepared for her funeral after her murder, and she’s none to happy about it, losing the plot as she’s about to be lowered into it. She argues with the philosophical, comforting-cum-violating mortician (Josh Lowder) prodding and probing her and refuses to believe she’s actually dead. But is she? Or is the guy just a lunatic torturing her? You know, we’ve all had mo(u)rnings when we’ve woken up in a similar predicament, and it can go either way, really. Well, we find out eventually, and I won’t spoil the ending for you. You’re welcome.

I confess that I really found this story genuinely dispiriting and unnerving – exactly what you want in a horror film, really. The woman’s strange, surreal plight bore all the hellmarks of waking up from a bad dream to me, the ones where you find yourself briefly paralyzed, unable to move for no clear reason, time is elongated and any scream would be nothing but a wasted, exhaled, shaky, loud-yet-silent breath. Her pain and confusion as she is penetrated by the clinical mortician (a low blow pun, sorry) with a huge needle to suction her blood and has her lips sewn together (a scene which made me cringe), then slowly starts inexorably to accept her inescapable fate, howling out to be saved by her boyfriend when she hears him next door… it just got to me, is all. I must say one thing I really liked about this film is that it is a straight horror film, not some modern schlocky torture porn (though it does have certain gory elements akin to that stuff very occasionally) or wacky-hyuck-fest. It didn’t choose to use a bad metal soundtrack and post-modern wisecracking teens talking about horror film character behavior, and it’s all the better for that. Indeed, this film is so bereft of the Net and cellphones and modern everyday gadgets and mindsets that, apart from a couple of technological mentions, it could have been made any time last century.

“It Takes One to Know One” is next up on the blood feast buffet. It concerns enigmatic angel-of-life-and-death Sera (Joy Kathleen Wood), a young woman with the power to kill or cure, seemingly on a whim; anybody she touches either is cured of disease or dies on the spot. The increasingly troubled nurse with wounds visits the graves of those she has killed, brooding darkly over her supernatural assignation (a metaphor for the incomprehensibility of life and death in general, who gets to live and die) and is accosted by the prying, morose, suspicious Groundskeeper (Rick Bedell), who wonders why she knows so many people who died. A fair enough question, really. Pushed to go and speak to one of the people she has saved by her concerned confidant Chuck (Joey Shealy), Sera seeks out a woman whom she cured of a terminal disease… and the reaction she gets is not at all what she expected. This oddly reminded me of the old Harlan Ellison story “Paingod,” from his 1975 short story collection, Deathbird Stories, but that is surely coincidental.

I have to say, apart from the general downtrodden atmosfear, one perfect for melancholicoholics, one of the main things I will be taking way from Cemetery Tales is the performance of young, attractive actress Joy Kathleen Wood. By turns intense, introspective, angry, hopeless, helpless, confused, philosophical, and coldly calculating when in who-knows-why execution mode, she imbues her preternatural female Grim Reaper with exactly the right amount of resignation and just-following-orders character and personality. Her dark-and-lighter-shades-of-dark interior moanologue are even mirrored in her arresting hair color, red-on-black-on-purple striations. I guess I just really liked her extremely contemporary, tattooed but vulnerable character and the existential implications implicit in her merciless, dichotomous existence. Wood is, to me, the stand-out actor in a film full of warm, accommodating performances. Those may be slightly varying in quality, but none of them ever sink into parody or knock you out of the film, being at least serviceable and/or very good, and it’s a joy to watch the young cast earnestly putting their all into what is clearly a low-budget film with lots of heart. And guts. And kidneys. And…

…Anyway. You get the groan-worthy, viscera-viewing idea.

Moving swiftly along, we encounter “I Need You,” the third tale of terror clanking along in this chainwaving-spooks cinematic ghost train. Owing a debt to Poltergeist and Beetlejuice, here we are treated to a vignette about a young quarrelsome couple who go out on a rainy night, leaving their son, Lucas (Darby Long in a performance belying his tender age), and his babysitter, whilst the boy pleads with them not to go out. Their car ends up in a ditch, and they raggedly stumble back home soaking, arguing, fit to bust about who was responsible for the accident. Wife Kim (Stephanie Stevens in a fine, emotive performance, even though the script doesn’t give her much more to do than scream hideously and cry piteously) reckons it’s her husband Ted’s (Rob West) fault, and vice versa. But things soon get worse when they realize their son is missing, seemingly kidnapped by this haunted house, and they have to somehow get him back from beyond.

It’s funny. This section deals with every parent’s worst nightmare, that of losing a child, but it’s also, more specifically, a very female fear, of losing a part of themselves. The first three films do come across as being very estrogenerated, being, as they are, all directed and written by women. I do like this because it plays around with the sometimes dickswinger braggadocio and misogyny some male directors can bring to horror films and serves up a more quietly philosophical, introspective, existential fear feast, with strong female characters who don’t just exist as male horror-canon cannon fodder. To me, “The Living End” is partly a female vanity piece, about a woman wanting to go out of this world looking her best, and “It Takes One to Know One” is partly about the often-unexplored female will or power to kill, to be a life-taker as well as a life-giver. We’re served three slices of modern skull-under-the-queasily-smiling-skin Southern Gothic that Flannery O’Connor would have felt totally at ease with, and it’s nice to have this sort of equality happening in a part of the USA far too often coming off like a woman’s worst nightmare. These are talented female filmmakers we’re dealing with here, reader, and they’re just as harsh and gut-grabbing as any male would be in the genre.

This is not, however, to deride the fourth and final film, “Nekro-fancy,” written by another woman, Nikkia Lovejoy, and directed by Andrew Featherstone, the lone man ranging amidst the female wild bunch here. The title, I would imagine, is a pun on “necromancy” (Americans don’t use the word “fancy” for finding someone attractive, so you know there’s a European sensibility on display here!) or, more specifically, the Nekromantik films, with Featherstone clearly influenced by Jorg Buttgereit’s infamous groundbreaking necrophilia films, with a side salad of Deranged and an Ed Gein chaser. His is a melancholy, strange tale of a mentally haunted mamma’s boy cemetery groundskeeper called Marcus (James Ellis) looking for a replacement for his deceased mother’s love among the dead young women who come into the funeral parlor he works in (amusingly, all the corpses he is working on appear to be attractive young females in their 20s!), whom he talks to and has sex with whilst his mother’s voice berates him in his head. But his world is rocked when the beautiful young Amity comes a-knocking on his door and he finds true love with a (gasp!) real live woman, one with desires just as insatiable as his at that. But is Amity a vile horror? Well, you’ll have to see the film for yourself to find out…

Which, ultimately, I would confidently advise you to do. This is a quiet, sometimes-understated, sometimes-ultraviolent, solid wee horror film, and all involved should congratulate themselves on getting it done and dusted. The cinematography, by Jessica Gallant and William Schweikert, is crisp, robust, sometimes poetic, perfectly capturing the look and feel of a lonely, melancholic, creepy countryside cemetery (brought back memories for me of taking Jorg Buttgereit to Ed Gein’s grave, which is another story), with many a morbid and macabre tale to be told from dead, truth-itching lips. Any fan of the genre will know what they are getting with this Atlantic-hopping shocker: something one part Amicus, one part EC Comics (the stories often had an EC twist in their tales, and were, it has to be said, pretty downbeat), one part Creepshow, and one part “Tales from the Crypt,” a real heart-attacking, tomb-raiding Crypt Kicker 4.

I have to admit, whilst watching the film, with its stabbing, decapitation, evisceration, lip-sewing, necrophilia, blood-draining, etc., I did wonder, for obvious reasons, just what kind of cemetery would allow itself to be associated with this sort of material. Having a glance at the credits, I could not see any mention of a real cemetery, though the story “I Need You” did thank Gus Thornhill’s funeral home. So unless the disparate filmmakers filmed in some god-forsaken countryside cemetery on the fly, they just mocked up a fake dirt-nap dormitory, and I must say it worked fine for me. And if they did film in a real final rest-in-peace place, I just hope they cleaned up after they finished their zombie rising and murder scenes. I hope Gus Thornhill did a full head and body count after the production vacated the premises… just in case. I’m joking, obviously. But whatever the truth of real-life death-internment camps, cemeteries, funeral homes, whatever, the quartet of scare story recorders and countryside horror exorcists certainly left with the best possible thing they could have: this fun, sick, poignant, unsettling, disturbing film.

Enough said.

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Categories: Horror News

Gnaw Wraps! Exclusive Photos and Chat with Director Haylar Garcia

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 10:00

With 2014’s An American Terror filmmaker Haylar Garcia having completed principal photography on his latest feature, Gnaw, we chatted with the Denver-based director regarding the paranormal horror flick, which stars Penelope Mitchell of “The Vampire Diaries.”

Having directed from a script he co-wrote with Kathryn Gould and Jim Brennan, Garcia said of the shoot (a joint production of Unreal Media and Wrecking Ball Pictures), “It was grueling, amazing, exhausting, and satisfying. We had such a great crew and top-level talent, both from Los Angeles and Colorado, that despite the hardcore schedule, we pulled off some really great stuff.”

Of the cast, Chris Johnson (xXx: State of the Union) and Kyle Gass (Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny) join star Mitchell for the proceedings, which revolve around a small-town girl (Mitchell) who, after fleeing an abusive husband (Johnson), tries to make a new life for herself in the big city. But it’s hard to start over when something is eating you alive… one painful bite at a time.

Glowed Garcia of his lead actress, “Penelope is a charming actor with a true passion for character. I found us laughing and getting along famously most of the time, while other times challenging each other on deep and stern levels that brought her performance itself and our overall collaboration to even more dramatic and powerful places than we’d imagined. She lights up the screen in many ways: physically, emotionally – but it’s far more than just being photogenic. Penelope’s presence seems to belong innately on film, and not just by virtue of her well-prepared dedication to her craft. Simply put, she fills and inhabits the frame like a movie star.”

As for Gass, who’s predominantly known for his comedic roles, Garcia offered, “I think many people will be surprised by Kyle’s dramatic chops. He took our character of Terry to such a wonderful and balanced place. The way Kyle was able to sculpt this character into such an anchor point for the film just floored us from the very first scene he did. On set he is a total pro, so collaborative and easy to work with, and then ‘Boom!’ He brings magic so effortlessly. I can’t even really explain how fortunate we feel to have gotten him on the project.”

With Garcia currently in post-production on the film, we asked him if there were any plans for Gnaw on the film festival circuit, to which he replied, “I would imagine that going right to a good distribution deal and/or making a sale would be amazing, but we also love horror fans and know how important the grassroots connection that is cultivated in the festival world can be. I can’t speak for the producers’ plans, but I don’t think anything is off the table at this point. I also believe that if we concentrate on making a great film that horror audiences will love, the film will find its own way.”

For more on Gnaw, “like” the film on Facebook here!

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Categories: Horror News

Conjoined Movie Getting a Game Adaptation

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 09:30

The horror film Conjoined was an instant classic (watch it here), so we’re both baffled and delighted by the news that it’s getting a game adaptation. And a retro game, no less.

Yep, director Joe Grisaffi and programmer Jason Santuci are working together on a Conjoined game for the Atari 2600. Now I really have seen everything. Check out the official website, with a countdown to the Kickstarter campaign, here.

About the Conjoined Game:
Filmmaker Joe Grisaffi of Starship Films (Dead of Knight, Lars the Emo Kid, Laughing Boy, Death and a Salesman) has teamed up with video game programmer Jason Santuci of Gemintronic to produce an Atari 2600 video game based on the surprise indie horror/comedy hit Conjoined, directed by Joe Grisaffi, written by Chuck Norfolk and Tim Norfolk.

The film synopsis is as follows: When a lonely man (Stanley, played by Tom Long) finds out the love of his life has a conjoined twin, who happens to be a serial killer, he must take drastic measures to keep his love life intact while keeping himself out of big trouble.

The Atari 2600 game follows the concept of the movie. Stanley must catch the hearts that his love Alina is throwing to him while avoiding the broken hearts and daggers that her maniacal conjoined twin sister is throwing at him. After collecting all of the surgical items that appear after successfully catching a series of hearts, Stanley advances to the operation level, where he must separate the twins.

“I grew up with the Atari 2600,” says director Grisaffi. “I am thrilled to have produced a fun game with programmer Jason Santuci for the video game console that meant so much to me as a child. I am incredibly grateful to Jason for helping me realize a childhood dream of designing video games.”

The first run of the game, including a numbered limited edition, will be available through the Kickstarter campaign.  The limited edition will include a classic Atari-style box, the game cartridge, a DVD of the film, a limited edition lapel pin, and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by programmer Jason Santuci, director Joe Grisaffi, and AtariAge’s Albert Yarusso, who will be manufacturing the cartridges.

Programmer Jason Santuci and filmmaker Joe Grisaffi also teamed up to create Atari 2600 games for the films Dead of Knight and Laughing Boy, both produced and directed by Grisaffi.

Conjoined has been a surprise hit for the filmmakers, with screenings at festivals and conventions all over the world, gaining new fans for both the film and the filmmakers.  Viewers can find Conjoined on Amazon Instant Video and on the Independent Network Channel (INC) on Roku, with availability on other outlets coming soon.

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Categories: Horror News

Take a Peek Inside Insight Editions’ The Art of The Strain

Fri, 05/27/2016 - 09:00

With the third season of “The Strain” premiering on August 28th, fans of FX’s hit TV show will be looking for the perfect way to get ready for the new season, and we have your hook-up!

On June 28th, Insight Editions is releasing The Art of The Strain, which offers a  look at Seasons 1 and 2 and features exclusive interviews with most of the series’ talent – both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

The Art of The Strain (pre-order from Amazon) was written by Los Angeles-based film critic and journalist Robert Abele with a foreword by Guillermo del Toro.

From the Press Release:
Discover the secrets of FX’s hit TV show “The Strain” in this deluxe book, which delves into the twisted imagination of creator and producer Guillermo del Toro, co-creator Chuck Hogan, and showrunner Carlton Cuse to deliver a jaw-dropping insider’s look at the scariest show on television.

Covering both Seasons 1 and 2, The Art of The Strain features exclusive interviews with del Toro, Hogan, Cuse, and a wealth of behind-the-scenes talent, who reveal the full story of the creation of the show. From the challenge of adapting the original novels to the work that went into designing a uniquely terrifying vampire race, The Art of The Strain gives in-depth insight into all aspects of the production.

Packed with a wide range of stunning visuals, including concept art, candid on-set photos, and illuminating VFX breakdowns, the book showcases the wonderfully macabre vision that drives “The Strain” and explores the genesis of fan favorites like The Master, the Sun Hunters, bloodworms, strigoi stingers, and other eerily unforgettable elements of the show. Also featuring profiles of the show’s central characters and interviews with the cast members who play them, including Corey Stoll, David Bradley, and Richard Sammel, The Art of The Strain is packed with bloodcurdling images and razor-sharp revelations that will thrill fans everywhere.

 

 

 

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Categories: Horror News

DC’s The Devil’s Muse: Artist Spotlight – Jessica Van Hulle

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 19:40

Welcome back to Dread Central’s The Devil’s Muse, where we take a look at great artists who focus on the dark, the macabre, the dreadful.

This week we’re spotlighting Jessica Van Hulle.

Jessica is a California native who focuses on creating story and emotion in her artwork. Most of her handiwork involves sci-fi and fantasy elements, but she also does realistic figures/portraits. Jessica has had her work exhibited in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.

Past her illustration and fine art career, Jessica also added fashion design to her repertoire. Since 2007 she has designed sexy Halloween costumes, lingerie, and high heel shoes.

Head to Jessica Van Hulle’s website to view more of her artwork, or click through to her social media accounts. And don’t forget to watch out for the next Devil’s Muse!

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Categories: Horror News