This coming Saturday, February 22nd, at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, there will be a signing of the book Out in the Dark, a compilation of interviews with gay horror filmmakers, including writers, directors, and actors.
A Facebook event page has been set up with all the details, but here's who is expected to be there so far, with more still to come: Editor Sean Abley and contributors Jeffrey Reddick, JT Seaton, Mark Bessenger, Armando Munoz, Tim Sullivan, and Jeffrey Schwarz will be signing Out in the Dark: Interviews with Gay Horror Filmmakers, Actors & Authors.
The event runs from 2-5 PM PT. Dark Delicacies is located at 3512 West Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, California 91505.
Gay men have a decades-long, complicated history with the horror genre. While working behind the scenes to create some of the most iconic terrors on film (such as James Whale's Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man), they watched themselves portrayed on screen with sinister subtext, or ''the best friend who dies first''; victimhood.
But in the last twenty years there has been a significant shift in the horror world courtesy of a growing number of out authors, screenwriters, directors, and actors working to scare you. Out in the Dark: Interviews with Gay Filmmakers, Actors and& Authors introduces you to many of these men with interviews and insights into their work and their lives. From mainstream Hollywood filmmakers (Don Mancini, Child's Play and the Chucky films) to indie exploitation mainstays (Joshua Grannell aka Peaches Christ, All About Evil); prolific authors (Douglas Clegg, The Children's Hour) to small press niche writers (Alan Kelly, Let Me Die a Woman); recently out teen idols (Wesley Eure, Land of the Lost) to gay indie staples (Matthew Montgomery, Socket), Out in the Dark offers new perspectives on the interstitial realm of the queer and horrific.
A couple more photos from the May 11th premiere of "Penny Dreadful" have come in, which give us our first look at Danny Sapani as Sembene along with an up-close peek at Eva Green as Vanessa Ives.
Timothy Dalton, Reeve Carney, Josh Hartnett, Harry Treadaway, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, and Eva Green star.
"Penny Dreadful" is created, written, and executive produced by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Hugo, The Aviator, Gladiator) and executive produced by Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall) and Neal Street's Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road, "Call the Midwife"). Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage, The Impossible) directs the first two episodes.
"Penny Dreadful" is set to premiere on Showtime on Sunday, May 11th, at 10PM ET/PT. But if you're attending the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, you can catch it early on Sunday, March 9, 2:00-3:00 PM at the Vimeo Theater, 201 Trinity.
Some of literature's most terrifying characters, including Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula, are lurking in the darkest corners of Victorian London. "PENNY DREADFUL" is a frightening psychological thriller that weaves together these classic horror origin stories into a new adult drama.
From his modest start in that ramshackle cabin in the woods what must seem like a lifetime ago, Sam Raimi has become one of the more versatile and beloved directors in Hollywood. With Scream Factory's Blu-ray release of Darkman today, we bring you our Top 9 Sam Raimi Films - Horror and Otherwise.
We're going to keep this list to films directed by Raimi. If we were to include the movies he's acted in, or god forbid produced, we'd be here all night. But a few of his production credits like 30 Days of Night, both of The Grudge films, Boogeyman, The Possession, Timecop and of course the Evil Dead remake are noteworthy.
Some honorable directorial mentions include his most recent, Oz the Great and Powerful. It might not have been the epic it was billed to be, but it looked fantastic; and when you manage to haul in half a billion dollars at the box office worldwide, then you must be doing something right. Other notables are The Gift and, for you hardcore Raimi/Bruce Campbell fans, Crimewave.
Now on to our Top 9:
The Evil Dead (1981)
No sense in fooling around. We may as well start this list right off with the film that got the ball rolling for Sam Raimi, and that is, of course, The Evil Dead. More than a cult classic, The Evil Dead is a cornerstone of the horror genre. Launching the careers of Raimi and frequent collaborator Bruce Campbell (not to mention Joel Coen of the famous Coen Brothers, who was an editor on the film), The Evil Dead is the cabin in the woods film. The one that set the standard that is imitated to this day. As amusing as it is gruesome, what The Evil Dead lacked in budget, it more than made up for with personality. Seen as Raimi's rite of passage film, The Evil Dead would go on to be so much more than just another horror flick. It spawned sequels and a remake and absolute legions of fans. If there was a Mount Rushmore of horror, The Evil Dead would be on it.
Drag Me To Hell (2005)
After doing a trio of Spider-Man movies, Raimi decided to return to his horrific roots with a dastardly film entitled Drag Me to Hell in 2005. And, even though it had been 17 years since Army of Darkness with only thrillers and no real horror movies in between, Raimi came back strong. It was hailed by audiences and critics alike, which was reflected at the box office. The movie brought in over $100 million on a $30 million budget. It also brought us one of the more memorable new horror characters in a long time. Not an oversized monster or blade-wielding psycho, not this time. The creepiest character in Drag Me to Hell was an elderly Hungarian woman named Sylvia Ganush (played marvelously by Lorna Raver), who just happened to have the ability to lay one helluva curse on you.
MORE of our TOP 9 SAM RAIMI FILMS on the NEXT page!
If you can't land the rights to direct a big-time superhero movie from an established icon of the comic book world, what do you do? If you're Sam Raimi, you just create your own character and go from there! Raimi attempted a film adaptation of The Shadow but could not secure the rights. (Also, before he became Mr. Spider-Man, Raimi lobbied to take the Batman reins after Tim Burton was booted but was passed over in favor of Joel Schumacher. Nice move, Hollywood.) So, unable to move forward with an established hero, Raimi dreamed up Darkman, and a cult hero was born. This was Raimi's first big studio Hollywood film. Played originally by Liam Neeson, Darkman (or Peyton Westlake for those with a penchant for alter-egos) set out to avenge those who wronged him, burned him alive and basically destroyed all he lived for. A heroic monster risen from the ashes. "I am everyone and no one. Everywhere. Nowhere. Call me... Darkman."
A Simple Plan (1998)
One of the most underrated films you'll ever stumble upon, A Simple Plan seemed to come and go ever so silently with just a $16 million take at the box office. Based on the book of the same name by Scott Smith, A Simple Plan starts out quietly enough, but when a crashed plane containing nothing but a dead pilot and a bag containing $4.4 million is found, things begin to get very exciting very quickly. The outstanding cast of Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda bring this tale of lies, greed and deceit to life; and the result is a dark film that makes the audience unable to think about anything but what they'd do in the same situation. A stellar example of things going from good to bad to oh shit, A Simple Plan is stripped down movie-making at its best. Thornton was nominated for both the Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role of slightly dim Jacob Mitchell. One of Raimi's most brilliantly woven tales.
Army of Darkness (1992)
"This is my boomstick!" The third and final installment in the Evil Dead trilogy took everything that was great about Evil Dead 2 and went even further with it. Originally in Evil Dead 2, Raimi wanted Ash to be thrown into a time portal and be whisked back to the Middle Ages. Due to budget constraints, that angle had to be scrapped, but when it came time to dust Ash off one more time, Raimi went right for the portal, and we got Army of Darkness. In this one Campbell ramps up the smarmy cheesiness to 11, and the humor is off the charts. (Dig Raimi's love for "The Three Stooges" in the clip below.) More physical laughs accompanied by fantastic special F/X work made Army of Darkness the perfect way to wind up the series. We see our hero, Ash, return to his normal job at S-Mart ("Shop Smart! Shop S-Mart!"), but as we know by the high-octane final scene, life will never be the same for him again. "Groovy."
For Love of the Game (1999)
I thought maybe if I buried this one in the middle of the list I could slide it by you Dreadies. Honestly, I know this is a completely self-serving entry to the list, but there is something about this film I adore. After horror, my next true love is baseball, and although it's cheesy and sappy and predictable, For Love of the Game managed to get me a misty in a Rudy kind of way. However, it was after that misty emotional well-up that I vowed never to watch another film that doesn't have at least one character meet their untimely demise at the hands of some kind of beastie or baddie. Thank you, Sam Raimi, for that! And I appreciate you Dreadies' forgiveness and allowing me to place For Love on the Game on this list of Raimi's best.
MORE of our TOP 9 SAM RAIMI FILMS on the NEXT page!
The Quick and the Dead (1995)
Raimi showed just how versatile he could be as a director upon the release of The Quick and the Dead. Because after directing Evil Dead 2, Darkman and Army of Darkness, what would be the next logical step but a western starring Sharon Stone as a female gunslinger? Somehow, the movie actually kicked ass, and Raimi could add another genre to his directorial cap. Filled with an outstanding cast in addition to Stone, which included Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio starring and Lance Henriksen, Tobin Bell and Gary Sinise in smaller roles, The Quick and the Dead definitely had the acting talent to succeed. Unfortunately, due to heavy competition at the box office and any number of other reasons, it struggled to find viewers, even with Stone's performance being praised by critics. Although it will never be hailed as the greatest Sam Raimi film, The Quick and the Dead showed the versatility of the director and his fearlessness to dive into any project at all.
Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Along came a spider. Raimi was certainly a successful director before the summer of 2002 rolled around. But after the release of Spider-Man, he became a box office superhero himself. Spider-Man became the first film to break $100 million in its opening weekend and for over four years held the record for largest opening weekend gross before being topped by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. And, aside from the hype and money haul, Spider-Man was a great film. With an amazing villain (Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin), a super hero (Tobey Maguire as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man) and superb supporting cast and cameo appearances (Kirsten Dunst, James Franco in supporting roles and cameos by Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Stan Lee and Lucy Lawless), Spider-Man was fantastic. Spider-Man 2 returned with the cast intact and brought an even better villain to the table with Alfred Molina playing Dr. Otto Octavius (Doctor Octopus). Doc Ock looked amazing when brought to life on the big screen, as if he had just stepped out of the pages of the comics. Both films grossed around $800 million each. Spider-Man 3 was the biggest earner of the trilogy at nearly $900 million, and it would have made this list, and perhaps headlined it, if only they had moved the action along a bit better and used the beloved character Venom a bit more diligently. But for superhero movies, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 are top-notch!
Evil Dead 2 (1987)
This is horror's The Empire Strikes Back, horror's The Godfather Part II. This is the sequel that outshined the original. And to one-up something as beloved as The Evil Dead was no easy task to accomplish. But Raimi did it. By adding slapstick comedy to the mix, Raimi brought an entirely new element to the film. This time it was Bruce Campbell who absolutely ran away with the film and solidified himself as a horror star. Campbell's outrageous physical comedy in Evil Dead 2 was outstanding. He was doing the stuff that made Jim Carrey a star while Carrey was still doing standup at Yuk-Yuks in Toronto (reality check: by 1987 Carrey already had six films under his belt, but the writer could not resist the Yuk-Yuks reference). Loaded gore and guffaws, Evil Dead 2 is just about the best time you can have with a horror movie.
Scream Factory releases the DARKMAN COLLECTOR’S EDITION Blu-ray (review here) today, February 18th, featuring all-new interviews with Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand, Larry Drake, Danny Hicks, make-up effects artist Tony Gardner, production designer Randy Ser, art director Philip Dagort and much more! This definitive collector’s edition also contains a collectible cover featuring newly rendered retro-style artwork, a reversible cover wrap with original theatrical key art.
In the darkest hour, there’s a light that shines on every human being, but one...
Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand star in this explosive, action-packed thriller from director Sam Raimi. Dr. Peyton Westlake (Neeson) is on the verge of realizing a major breakthrough in synthetic skin when his laboratory is destroyed by gangsters. Having been burned beyond recognition and forever altered by an experimental medical procedure, Westlake becomes known as Darkman, assuming alternate identities in his quest for revenge and a new life with a former love (McDormand).
We're back with another installment of Radio 66.6! This week features the latest news, music, videos and tour dates from the likes of Tool, Black Label Society, My Chemical Romance, Down, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mushroomhead, Devil You Know, La Dispute, Midtown, Fishbone, Energy and more. Don't touch that dial.
Devil You Know will release their debut album, The Beauty of Destruction, on April 29 via Nuclear Blast. The band is fronted by former Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones.
Mushroomhead will release their eighth album, The Righteous & The Butterfly, on May 13th via Megaforce Records.
A New Jersey woman who sued Fishbone after frontman Angelo "Dr. Madd Vibe" Moore landed on her while stage diving has been awarded $1.4 million for compensatory and punitive damages.
Listen to My Chemical Romance's "Fake Your Death" here. It appears on the bands posthumous greatest hits collection, May Death Never Stop You, which comes out March 25 via Reprise Records.
Grab a free download of Energy’s A Tribute to the Misfits here, where you can also stream it. The brand new Misfits covers EP is self-released by the band.
Listen to a new Killwhitneydead song titled “Tyrant Enthroned” here. Their new album, Suffer My Wrath, is due out on June 10 via Tribunal Records.
Watch Palms music video/short film for "Mission Sunset" here. The band features members of Defontes and Isis.
Watch Demon Hunter's lyric video for "Artificial Light" here. It's a new track from Extremist, which comes out March 18 on Solid State Records.
Watch La Dispute's music video for "For Mayor in Splitsville" here. Their forthcoming Rooms of the House streets March 18 via Better Living.
Tool have announced new shows for March. Dates are here.
Dates for the "Revolver Golden Gods Tour" with Black Label Society, Down and Devil You know can be found here.
The Dillinger Escape Plan upcoming tour dates can be found here.
Reunions from Midtown and Saosin are among the acts confirmed for this year’s Skate and Surf. The festival will take place May 17-18 in Middletown, NJ. Dates are here.
Be sure to check back every Tuesday for the latest music news!
Sex. It's our favorite 3-letter word, and we're sure that many of you echo that sentiment. Humping and horror movies go together hand-in-hand like a perfect marriage of sorts. And if you like both of 'em as much as we do, then you're gonna love Kevin Kangas' new flick... Garden of Hedon.
From the Press Release
Garden of Hedon, the noir-horror movie from the creator of Fear of Clowns and Hunting Humans, gets its Blu-ray release on February 17, 2014.
The movie starts with a classic mystery open: Owen wakes in a room with a dead body and no memory of how he got there. Where the movie differs is the supernatural element as he discovers there’s no way out of the mansion he finds himself in, and with no way to contact the police it’s up to Owen to find the killer… and the murderer’s only just begun.
Like all of director Kevin Kangas’ films, Hedon was shot entirely in Maryland (Annapolis/Baltimore/Hanover), and much of it was filmed at the famous Cloisters Castle. It’s been called “fresh and exciting” by Ain’t It Cool News, “a genre-bending journey into debauchery and murder” by Horrortalk, and “a twisty thriller” by Night of the Living Podcast. The film also won four awards including Best Picture at the Terror Film Festival in Philadelphia.
The film stars veteran actor Richard Cutting (National Treasure 2), Danielle Lozeau (Black Water Vampire, Legion), John C. Bailey (Fear of Clowns 2), Manuel Poblete, and Andrew Ely (American Scary). The film was co-written and produced by Luke Theriault and was shot by Maryland cinematographer Jared Noe.
Currently available on VOD platforms, Big Bad Wolves (review) is coming to Blu-ray and DVD and we've got your artwork and details right here.
The flick will be released by Magnolia Home Entertainment on Blu-ray and DVD April 22nd.
Directed by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (Rabies), Big Bad Wolves stars Lior Ashkenazi (Footnote), Tzachi Grad (The Flood), Rotem Keinan (The Exchange), and Dov Glickman.
A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: the father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings – a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.
Now this? This we like. This we really like. Goal of the Dead - a soccer movie... with zombies. Read on for all the flesh-ripping, goal-kicking details and the newly released trailer!
Films Distribution enlisted a flurry of buyers for the undead soccer film, who will release it around the globe this summer.
The flick was acquired by Metrodome (U.K.), Core Media Group (Germany), Korea (Line Tree), Hong Kong (Sundream), Turkey (Bir Film), Belgium (Cineart), as well as the Netherlands and Austria. It was previously acquired by Nikkatsu for Japan.
Directed by Benjamin Rocher (The Horde) and Thierry Poiraud, the two-part film centers around a French Olympic football team that visits a small village in Northern France to play a crucial game in the run-up to the World Cup. But as the Apocalypse looms, an epidemic quickly spreads and transforms the players, spectators and inhabitants into strange and enraged creatures.
The international distributors are aiming for a day-and-date release in theaters and on VOD in time for the soccer World Cup in June. In France, where the release window schedule is the strictest, the film will roll out first in theaters and then become available on VOD for the World Cup kick-off. Lastly, it will be released on DVD and air on pay TV in December.
We've seen a LOT of Ghostbusters 3-themed collectibles over the years, but we gotta say, this could very well be the coolest of them all. If you're a fan of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, you're about to lose your shit!
Toy Ark revealed Diamond Select Toys’ Ghostbusters collectible that’s a “Battle Damaged Stay Puft Bank,” all burnt and toasty. It's available in two styles, the burned up one you see below and a non-damaged one.
Between this and the official LEGO Ghostbusters announcement, there's never been a better time to be Ghostbusters fan... unless of course you're waiting for the third flick, in which case, yes, things still suck. In any event... happier times!
The Predator continues to one of the more popular creatures to ever grace the silver screen, and you cannot deny its badassery. Even in those crappy AVP movies they kicked mucho ass, and NECA is certainly making the most of the franchise's license.
From Figures.com comes a look at a slew of upcoming predatory goodies. Arriving this June are both the “Bad Blood” and “Enforcer” figures (both based on the “Bad Blood” comic) along with a new version of the “Predator 2 Elder” that’s massively improved with new sculpted materials, articulation, and accessories.
Series 13 will be here late summer and features “Cracked Tusk,” “Renegade,” and “Scavenge,” all based on Kenner designs.
Even before those we’ll see a “NES video game Predator” celebrating the 1989 classic in May!
In addition, the site reports that NECA isn’t just sticking with figures, but expanding the lineup with a huge new vehicle! Based on the original Kenner design but massively upgraded and updated to modern sensibilities, the “Blade Fighter” is coming in August. The huge two-foot long fightercraft is visually striking with tons of weaponry, and the underslung cannons are removable and can be used as hand-held weapons by the included pilot, the “Viper Predator.” Also based on the original mini-comic, this orange, black, and yellow themed Predator has a removable mask, short dreadlocks, and blade gauntlets.
The "Hannibal" Twitter and Facebook pages have released some new antler-themed poster art for the show's Season 2 premiere along with a creepy photo with the tagline "I know who you are" and the promise of some big news tomorrow.
Related Story: See all of our "Hannibal" coverage here.
Fannibals, keep your eyes peeled [literally if you'd like] for a BIG announcement tomorrow. #Hannibal
— Hannibal (@NBCHannibal) February 17, 2014
"Hannibal" Episode 2.01 - "Kaiseki" (airs 2/28/14; 10-11PM)
WILL'S INNOCENCE CONTINUES TO BE TESTED AS CYNTHIA NIXON AND GILLIAN ANDERSON GUEST STAR -- Will (Hugh Dancy) is determined to fight for his innocence as Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) and Jack (Laurence Fishburne) try to wrap their heads around the fact he’s behind bars.
Meanwhile, Alana (Caroline Dhavernas) faces a strained relationship with Will while Kade Purnell (Cynthia Nixon) with the FBI pays him a visit.
Also starring Hettienne Park, Aaron Abrams, Scott Thompson, and Gillian Anderson.
We told you a few days ago that the geniuses behind the Super7 line of Alien figures were hard at work creating similar figures based on popular movie characters from the horror genre, and now we have a gallery and a half for you.
Get ready to feel your wallet start burning! I know ours is!
Each figure is stylized exactly as items from the “golden age” of action figures with approximately five points of articulation, accessories, and period-authentic blister card packaging.
The ReAction line was introduced to great excitement at Comic-Con 2013 with action figures from the film Alien. Their popularity led Funko and Super7 to expand the product line to many more great licenses.
Release dates range from April to October of this year so be sure to click the pre-order link below for additional info.
When I was growing up, my children's books consisted of Creepy, Eerie, Fangoria, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and The Savage Sword of Conan. Yep, I grew up kind of strange, but hey, if someone would have shown me these, I wouldn't have argued at all!
Below you'll find a gallery of images from artist Josh Cooley, who has taken some of the most memorable scenes from horror history and otherwise and transformed them into what they would have looked like if they were children's stories. You want cool? These are pretty damned cool. Even better, if you really like 'em, you can own 'em as they're all for sale! Just click here.
Enough talk... dig!
It's Monday, which means a lot of our headlines involve a certain zombie-themed show that happens to be the most popular thing on TV right now. Of course it's "The Walking Dead," and up next are the first photos of next week's Episode 4.11, "Claimed," along with another sneak peek.
The new clip is the third video below - just beware that the size and quality leave a bit to be desired. It focuses on Michonne, as does one of the new photos. The other gives us a better look at Josh McDermitt as newly introduced character Dr. Eugene Porter.
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, "The Walking Dead" stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira, Chad Coleman, and Sonequa Martin-Green.
The series is executive produced by Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Tom Luse, and Greg Nicotero.
"The Walking Dead" Episode 4.11 - "Claimed" (airs 2/23/14)
Just when Rick (Andrew Lincoln) thinks he's going to be able to relax, he's faced with multiple immediate threats. Other members of the group deal with their past. Written by Nichole Beattie and Seth Hoffman; directed by Seith Mann
To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit "The Walking Dead" on Facebook. For more be sure to hit up the official "The Walking Dead" page on AMC.com.
They're finally here! Just in time for Toy Fair 2014, we have your first look at the official LEGO Ghostbusters set, and it is pretty friggin' amazing. Thank Zuul for the riches he hath bestowed upon us!
The line was original conceived by fan Brent Waller.
"We’re thrilled to take the ECTO-1 and minifigure characters from Brent Waller’s Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary project..." said the company in a prior press release. "This is an amazing model, and the set will be a fantastic representation of the cult classic film."
The LEGO Ghostbusters will make their debut in early June. Fans will have the chance to build brick versions of Ecto-1, the ghost-fighting team's classic vehicle, and play with minifigure versions of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore.
What happens when the opening credits of the hit Netflix series "House of Cards" collides head on with the opening credits of AMC's "The Walking Dead?" You're about to find out. Politics and the zombie apocalypse? That just sounds so right.
It arrived via Drew Geraci (District 7 Media), who writes:
"House of Cards" meets "The Walking Dead" intro. What could be better?! We decided to combine our two favorite shows with an overhaul of their intros and showcase them with this parody video.
We combined the theme of "The Walking Dead" and incorporated as many elements from "House of Cards" that we could. Since the original "HOC" intro is nearly 90 seconds long and "TWD" intro is only 35 seconds, it was quite the challenge fitting in all of the credits and choosing the best scenes that represent the darker side of the show.
To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit "The Walking Dead" on Facebook. For more be sure to hit up the official "The Walking Dead" page on AMC.com.
Thomas J. Churchill's ambitious new zombie/period feature Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead has scored itself some distribution, and we have all of your details right here. Read on for the latest on this zombie-filled opus.
From the Press Release
Writer/director Thomas J. Churchill's (Syfy's Monster Man, Emerging Past) 1957 styled zombie film Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead tells the story of the beginning of the zombie apocalypse and is scheduled for a July 2014 summer release through Origin Releasing.
Established in late 2012, Origin's team of executives have over 100 years of experience in distribution, production and acquisitions for disc distribution, VOD, television and theatrical. “We are very excited to be working with Thomas and his team at Church Hill Productions and look forward to being a part of the distribution of his films,” stated Brian Jaynes, COO at Origin.
"The film will be available everywhere, including but not limited to Redbox and all wholesale stores such as Walmart and Best Buy and will also be available on all major cable and satellite providers for VOD, including Netflix, iTunes and more," stated Churchill.
Produced by Churchill and David M. Parks with cinematography by Wolfgang Meyer, Lazarus revolves around the character of George Lazarus (Ray Capuana), an insurance investigator who schedules routine interviews with twelve employees of the Deadly Sin Cigarette Company upon the receipt of a rather suspicious insurance claim. In the process, he learns that all twelve had recently been fired for being sick at the job, and then subsequently and without a trace, they disappeared. Two weeks later, with Lazarus now a missing person, his heart-sick fiancée Bethany Loomis (Natalie Victoria) and Chip (Kevin Franklin) undertake the task of finding him. While retracing his steps, they learn that what was initially regarded as a simple fraud investigation case may actually be the beginning of the end of the human race.
Set in Hollywood in 1957, the film also stars Stephen Geoffreys (Fright Night), Brooke Lewis (iMurders), Josh Hammond (Jeepers Creepers 2), James Duval (Sushi Girl), Brian Andrews (Halloween), Janet Tracy Keijser (House on Haunted Hill), Kenneth J. Hall (The Puppet Master), Krista Grotte and Taylor Morgan Lewis. Roy Knyrim’s SOTA FX provides the special effects, with Clayton Brickert and Robert Giddens assisting.
"What we are hoping for audiences to take from their viewing experience of the film," explains Churchill, "is that we want them to say, 'If Hitchcock told a zombie film, this would be it.' I think it's a very intense, graphic and fresh entry to the zombie genre, and we want them to want more as this is the first in a proposed Lazarus trilogy."
There are so many sub-genres in horror. The vampire movie, zombie apocalypses, torture porn. But there's nothing more classic and purely fright-inducing than the things that go bump in the night. To celebrate this week's release of The Invoking, we bring you our Top 13 Favorite Haunted House Movies.
Is anything creepier than when your own house turns against you? You can (theoretically) get away from zombies, vamps, slashers and werewolves. But when your own home sweet home is the enemy… it's tough to recover from that.
We have some great Honorable Mentions to start off with. Fantastic director James Wan really seems to have a knack for the haunted house movie as he has one entry on the list itself and also gets a nod for Insidious, a creative look at the inner, an outer, workings of a haunted house. A Haunting in Connecticut was impressive as, in addition to the actual haunting going on, the audience was forced to question if the paranormal events were real or a hallucination from medicinal side effects.
Additionally we must mention the underrated The Sentinel as well as The Haunting, Burnt Offerings, Shutter Island, The Legend of Hell House and, for the kiddies, Monster House.
Related Story: Win a Copy of The Invoking and a $50 Amazon Gift Card
And now, on to the Top 13 Haunted House Movies!
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Paranormal Activity got movie theaters screaming again. With a razor-thin budget, director Oren Peli took Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston (who played Micah and Katie... the budget was so small they couldn’t even afford to change their names!) and about $15,000 and created a movie that knew how to get under an audience's collective skin. Shot in the found-footage style, Paranormal Activity went from its meager beginnings to eventually earning over $200 million and spawning four sequels, all of which were huge box office earners themselves. But it wasn't the box office take that was the most impressive thing about Paranormal Activity, it was the ability of the film to make the audience afraid, not just with jump scares, but with brilliantly built tension. The movie gives you just enough to keep you interested until the next big scream. A wonderfully frightful experience.
The Changeling (1980)
While perusing titles in a video store (remember them?), I once asked a clerk, "What's the scariest movie you ever saw?" His answer was quick and sure: The Changeling. George C. Scott plays John Russell, a character based on real-life writer Russell Hunter, who claimed to have experienced paranormal events while staying at the Henry Treat Rogers mansion in Denver, Colorado. The story is a fantastic tale heavy on the scares and full of mystery. Although not a huge box office smash, the film was widely honored, including winning the first Genie Award for Best Canadian Film. Scott won the Genie for Best Foreign Actor, and female lead Trish Van Devere took the honor for Best Foreign Actress. Highlighted by an impressive séance scene, The Changeling is powerful enough to still scare the bejesus out of audiences today, nearly 35 years after its initial release.
MORE of our TOP 13 HAUNTED HOUSE MOVIES on the NEXT page!
Session 9 (2001)
Sound is such an integral part of making something scary. Mercedes McCambridge's voiceover work in The Exorcist is every bit as important in making Regan into the incredibly scary monster that she was as any prosthetic or makeup. And in Session 9, so much of what is frightening is on cassette tapes. And, of course, the voice we keep waiting to hear in Mary Hobbes' sessions is Simon's. And Simon turns out to be just the malignant, malicious force he is billed as by Mary's other personalities. Now, whether you believe Simon was actually one of Mary's personas or a genius loci (spirit guardian) of the Danver's State Mental Hospital, one thing is certain: some vicious and vindictive entity was exerting its will on the workers in that hospital, and director Brad Anderson did a fantastic job bringing it all to life in the outstanding Session 9.
A less famous Stephen King-penned haunted hotel jaunt, 1408 was adapted from a short story with the same name. It seems that King just has a knack for dreaming up haunted locations. Starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, 1408 is the kind of movie that gets into your mind and grows roots, especially if you're a parent. The scenes of Cusack's character, Mike Enslin, with the ghost of his deceased daughter are absolutely haunting and are, without a doubt, the most powerful parts of 1408. The manic, disjointed dream/haunting sequences of the movie really draw the viewer into the story and create an atmosphere where you can believe you are watching a man actually experiencing a true haunting and losing his mind. Powerful and memorable.
What Lies Beneath (2000)
Michelle Pfeiffer was unforgettable in that Catwoman getup, but her performance in What Lies Beneath was quite impressive as well. And the film itself takes audiences by surprise. How scary can a movie starring Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford be? Turns out the thing was pretty damn scary. Brilliant director Robert Zemeckis seemed to know exactly what buttons to push to build tension and suspense. The telltale doorknob opening on its own repeatedly signaled to viewers that it was time to sit up because something scary was coming. And how great was Ms. Pfeiffer delivering that classic line, "I think she's starting to suspect something." "Who?" "Your wife."
William Katt was "The Greatest American Hero," and he was a damn fine ghost hunter as well. Katt starred as Roger Cobb and headlined House, a film with a cast of crazy characters, ghosts, beasties, and baddies. Additional cast members included George Wendt and Richard Moll, but the real thrill of House was in the creatures doing the haunting. Moll's Big Ben was great, but it was Sandywitch that really stole the show. She was one of the more gruesome supernatural beings you'll ever find, but check out the clip; she definitely had the bosom to fill out the skimpy lingerie she wore. Horror-comedy has been all the rage lately and many filmmakers are now doing it well. House was a successful horror-comedy in 1986 when good films in that sub-genre were hard to come by.
MORE of our TOP 13 HAUNTED HOUSE MOVIES on the NEXT page!
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
We certainly would be remiss if we didn't turn back the clock to 1959 and include House on Haunted Hill, directed by memorable horror personality William Castle and starring one of the original masters of the macabre, Vincent Price. House on Haunted Hill had a fantastic story about an eccentric millionaire (really, is there any other kind?), Frederick Loren, and his wife, Annabelle, who invite a group of people to a haunted house party, which, if they stay the night, will earn them $10,000. Kind of like "Survivor" in a ghost-filled mansion with death, murder and destruction going on all around them. Good times, good times. The film was remade in 1991 starring Geoffrey Rush in Vincent Price's role, but this version failed to stir audiences the way the original did. In fact, the original was so impressive that it inspired Alfred Hitchcock to make his own low-budget horror film… and Psycho was born.
The Others (2001)
It's not every day that Nicole Kidman shows up on a 'Best of…' horror list, but when it comes to haunted house movies, you've got to give it to her for The Others. The real power of this movie is the fantastic twist ending that turns the entire film on its ear. When you realize that Kidman's character, Grace, and her children are actually the ghosts in the house, the whole thing becomes like a very dramatic version of Beetlejuice. Among the other accolades the film collected, Kidman won the Golden Globe and Saturn Awards for Best Actress. A well-paced and brilliantly suspense ghost story.
Can you really have a haunted house list and not include Beetlejuice? In Tim Burton's house loaded with ghosts, including those played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, Beetlejuice himself (Michael Keaton) managed to upstage the entire production as "The Ghost with the Most." Running the gamut from childish to NSFW, Beetlejuice is not only a haunted house film, but it provides a comedic look into just what happens when we die. Filled with classic lines and hilarious scenes, Beetlejuice is a treasure of texture and color and entertainment. At times fall down funny, sometimes loving and even a little scary here and there, Beetlejuice scores on all points. As for Baldwin and Davis, if your house has to be haunted by supernatural entities, these are the folks you want doing it. Good times all around. Shake senora!
The Amityville Horror (1979)
As far as iconic haunted house movies go, there may be none that stands out more than The Amityville Horror. The film (and novel) are based on the story of George and Kathy Lutz and their three children, who claim to have been terrorized by paranormal forces for 28 days after moving into the house where Ronald DeFeo, Jr., shot and killed six members of his family just 13 months earlier. The first thing we have to ask ourselves is: How tight was the real estate market in Amityville when a home that was the location of six murders only stays on the market for 13 months? That's hot property! Indeed, The Amityville Horror sits as one of the most memorable haunted house films ever made. And the prolific filming of sequels and remakes only helps keep the name alive.
MORE of our TOP 13 HAUNTED HOUSE MOVIES on the NEXT page!
The Conjuring (2013)
It seems fitting to follow The Amityville Horror entry with that of The Conjuring as the two are tied quite closely together. Featuring Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were best known for investigating the Lutzes' story, which became The Amityville Horror. Audiences flocked to The Conjuring and made it the most popular new haunted house film in recent memory. Director James Wan scored big with Insidious and Insidious 2 and the creepy ghost in those films, but with The Conjuring he absolutely knocked it out of the park. The film was hailed by critics and fans alike and was an absolute monster at the box office. Sequel and spin-off to follow.
Tobe Hooper's haunted house masterpiece, Poltergeist is perhaps the only film franchise about hauntings that may very well be haunted itself. Of course we've all heard the stories of how Poltergeist is cursed. (Apparently Hooper forgot to move the bodies when he cleared tombstones off the land for the Sawyer home in Texas Chain Saw, and he's been paying for it ever since!) Co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist was the ultimate haunted house movie for those who grew up in the late 70's/early 80's. There were so many iconic moments and scares… the parapsychologist hallucinating that he's tearing his face off after eating a chicken leg covered in maggots, Carol Anne's line "They're heeere!" and that goddamn clown. Poltergeist handed out nightmares aplenty which still reside in our psyches to this day. Why didn't you just move the bodies?!
The Shining (1980)
Okay, this one is an obvious no-brainer for the list. Adapted from one of the all-time scariest novels ever, The Shining was simply the perfect haunted house film. With extremely freaky ghosts, plenty of blood, a great backstory and a legendary performance by Jack Nicholson, The Shining is the perfect storm of horror. From the grotesque woman in the bathtub (that's Mrs. Massey for those of you keeping score at home) to the utterly creepy sisters (the Grady girls… and although the actresses who played them were twins, in the story the Grady girls were not) to Jack marauding around the hotel swinging an axe like Mark McGwire in his prime, The Shining was incredible. A horrific tale with an interwoven mystery as to just what the hell was going on. This is how it's done.
Need more haunted house histrionics? Don't miss The Invoking TOMORROW, February 18th, available on DVD, digital download, and VOD. The film is directed by Jeremy Berg and stars Trin Miller, Brandon Anthony, Josh Truax, and D'Angelo Midili.
After inheriting a house from the family she never knew, Samantha Harris (Miller) and three friends head to rural Sader Ridge to inspect the property. Soon after arriving, Sam begins to experience horrific visions of savage brutality and unspeakable evil. Plagued by the sinister forces closing in around her, Sam descends into a waking nightmare when the demons from her past refuse to stay buried any longer.
Fan of both The Walking Dead comic series as well as the AMC TV series "The Walking Dead"? Then you, oh purveyor of everything that shambles and eats the living, are about to be one happy camper. Lock and load for some new eye candy from Toy Fair.
We're talking statue protoypes, figures based on both properties... hell, even your first look at the upcoming special edition "The Walking Dead" Season 4" Blu-ray set made an appearance. Check them out. Drool. Wipe your mouth. Drool some more!
To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit "The Walking Dead" on Facebook. For more be sure to hit up the official "The Walking Dead" page on AMC.com.
A pair of sneak peeks have arrived from tonight's Episode 2.05 of "The Following," entitled "Reflection." Lily asks Luke to keep Emma occupied while she tries to finagle some alone time with Joe; meanwhile Max injures her hand punching a suspect but also gets a rush out of the experience.
"The Following" Episode 2.05 - "Reflection" (2/17/14, 9-10PM; repeats 2/22/14, 9-10PM)
In an attempt to learn new information, Ryan and Max capture a suspect. But complications lead to a game of dangerous cat and mouse.
Also, Joe grows accustomed to his surroundings and establishes a plan of his own, while Emma realizes she is in dangerous company.
Cast: Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy; James Purefoy as Joe Carroll; Shawn Ashmore as Agent Mike Weston; Valorie Curry as Emma Hill; Connie Nielsen as Lily Gray; Sam Underwood as Luke; Jessica Stroup as Max Hardy; Tiffany Boone as Mandy Lang.
Guest Cast: Valerie Cruz as Agent Gina Mendez; Camille De Pazzis as Giselle; Bambadjan Bamba as Sami; Wendy Hoopes as Bella.
Related Story: New Stills from "The Following" Episode 2.05 - "Reflection"
Helix Q&A: Jeri Ryan and Steve Maeda Talk Forthcoming Answers, Upping the Gore, Season 2, and Lots More
Syfy hosted a Q&A with "Helix" guest star Jeri Ryan and exec producer/showrunner Steve Maeda last week, and they revealed quite a bit about what's ahead now that Constance Sutton (Ryan) has arrived in the Arctic.
Things kick off with some discussion about Sutton, who she really is and her motives, and then we hear about topics ranging from the likelihood of a second season, Jeri's love of gore, how long they can keep up the series' intensity, Hatake’s obsession with Walker, the current state of genre TV, and much, much more.
If you're a fan of the show and/or Ryan (whose appearance as Ilaria's corporate "face" first occurred this past Friday night in Episode 1.07, "Survivor Zero," and will continue in future eps), you'll want to grab your morning coffee or tea and settle in for a bit.
It's President's Day; you don't have to work anyway, right? There's a lot of good stuff here!
Q: When we first see Sutton, she pretends to be this nice woman who’s there to help, and we learn pretty quickly that's not true. Can you talk about playing the more cold, calculated side of the character?
Jeri Ryan: She was just fun. This was a really fun role to play because it’s... she’s kind of out there. You know, she’s not subtle, which I love. So it was fun to just sort of let go and just really play and let her go to those places... that was a treat as an actor.
Steve Maeda: Sutton for us was someone who put on a very sort of benign and corporate face, which is why she does a lot of corporate speak, but then underneath there’s obviously a lot more going on, and Jeri just ate it up. It was fantastic.
Q: This is more for clarification. We see obviously that Julia has the silver eyes, and now your character has the silver eyes. Does that mean possibly she’s had the virus, or is it something else completely, entirely different that has nothing to do with the virus or the cure? Or can you not tell us that?
Maeda: You're asking all the right questions.
Ryan: Well, that’s part of the mystery, isn’t it?
Maeda: Yes. You're asking all the right questions, and answers will be forthcoming, I promise. It’s going to be answered really quickly. But, yes, those are the questions we want you to be wondering about.
Q: Steve, are you completely done with Season 1? Is it totally out of your hands now?
Maeda: Not totally. We are locking our last episode, Episode 13, today [February 10th], and then we are actually on the mix stage right now. We are watching a playback - a sound playback of Episode 8, which is the second episode that Jeri is in, and we’re working through those. So that’ll be going on almost until... a couple weeks before we air this last episode.
Q: Are you waiting to finalize this finale until after you hear about a Season 2 pickup?
Maeda: You know what? We’re locked into our finale. We don’t have the luxury. So we are cautiously optimistic on a Season 2 pickup, and [Episode] 13 is going to lock today, so we’re crossing our fingers and toes.
Ryan: I'm not cautious. I'm not cautious. I'm going out there. They’re picked up… I'm making the prediction right now.
Q: Whose idea was it to have Constance have to file her teeth down? And is that a hint that maybe she has to keep doing that or otherwise they’ll grow longer and longer?
Maeda: That’s absolutely the hint, and that idea… I think that was something that came from Cameron [Porsandeh]'s original script. It may have actually been in the original pilot. I don’t remember, but it’s something that we always liked because it was so freaking weird. And we just had to put it in. It’s just the best so yes, it was there originally. It was something that fell out of the pilot I think, and then we ended up finding a nice place for it.
Q: This show can be very tension-filled, but you guys always break it up. Either with Alan and Sarah being unsure of themselves after having sex in this Friday’s episode or the music. The music has been really great. Like "Fever" being used in this episode. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Maeda: We decided from the get-go that we wanted to do some things a little bit differently and be unsettling not only in, you know, storytelling and how we were shooting the show, but also in post and in how we cut the show and in music… "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?," which started the whole thing, came from Ron [Moore] when we were sitting in post on the pilot. And... one of our other producers… we bought it on iTunes and watched it just kind of temped in, and it was like, “Wow. That works really well.” So it was something we had talked about. When we saw it, we thought it was great, and so that’s why we continued to do it. And "Fever" is the perfect one. That’s probably the best song we’re using in the entire show.
Q: Jeri, how would you best describe Constance and what motivates her?
Ryan: She’s kind of a ball-buster. I think that’s the best way to describe her, which I love. What motivates her? Well, I can’t - see, I can’t really tell you exactly what motivates her. That you sort of find out.
Maeda: She’s a company employee, and so I would say she is trying to be loyal to the corporation and to the folks that she has been working with and been developing this whole plan with. And once she finds out that Hatake has since been working on his own agenda, she gets pretty damn angry about that. And it’s an interesting thing… I thought Jeri walked that line really well, that line between the corporate kind of niceties and the polite things that you say versus the things that you actually do. And once the fangs came out, it’s all over. So it was a lot of fun to watch.
Ryan: It was a lot of fun to play. And I also love, as you'll see without trying to give too much away, she’s definitely, as Steve said, in the corporate world and very much looking out for the best interests of Ilaria, but you find out that there’s a little more personal issue for her at stake as well, which I really loved...
Maeda: We tried to do with characters, even if they seem to be - both with Hatake and with Sutton - even if they seem to be very kind of on point and you know their agenda comes first, we try to infuse them with some emotion down the road so you understand where they’re coming from, and it’s not just about money. It’s not just about greed or this sci-fi illness of the show, but there’s an emotional component as well.
Ryan: And I love that.
Q: Jeri, what was it like to work on a series that’s sometimes kind of gory and gross?
Ryan: Oh, I love the gore. Are you kidding me? Oh, God, more gore. I love it. The goo and the guts and all of it. I love it. So much fun. Come on. I observed autopsies when I was on "Body of Proof"! I love this stuff. I love the science of it. I love the gore. I love all of it.
Q: Steve, "The X-Files" was very dark [Ed. Note: Maeda served as writer, story editor, and executive story editor on the show] and certainly a pioneer in that sort of vibe, and "Helix" has a really dark edge. But "The X-Files" had at least a little humor with the interplay between Scully and Mulder, but this one is just relentless. Do you plan to keep up this intensity, or are you going to maybe let us breathe every now and then somewhere in the series?
Maeda: No. We want to keep up the intensity. There are light moments coming, but they tend to be kind of in the service of… it's black humor definitely, and they tend to be in service of keeping everything moving. and just sometimes you find those moments in the worst situations. So yes, we have 13 episodes and we really want to… our mantra was to keep the show moving, and so we want to have down time, we want to have character time, but we definitely want to keep everything twisting and turning and keep you coming back for more hopefully.
Q: You got to kind of get rough with Hatake there when you were mad at him. Would you like to maybe explore some more action and physical roles after getting a little taste of that?
Ryan: Oh, yes. It’s not my first taste of it either. I did Mortal Combat, and I've done some other roles with a little bit of action here and there. Yes, it’s a lot of fun. I always enjoy those scenes. But I have to tell you, I have to brag about Hiro [Sanada] for a minute. That man is unbelievable. I was in awe of him. I still am in awe of him. He’s… the man is a ninja. The scene where I had to throw the book at his head, and I have to throw it directly at his face…it’s on me. I can’t like pretend to throw it. I have to wail it at him, and he’s standing like six feet away from me. And I was a wreck shooting the scene. I was so nervous. I was like, “Dude, I have no aim. I can’t.” He was like, “Just throw it. Just do it. Just right at my face. Just go.” And there’s cameras set up right behind him, and so he has to knock the book away, and we’re worried about hitting the lens and all this expensive equipment. He never even blinked. Never flinched. Never breathed heavy. Nothing. Every take, he just batted it out of the way like it was nothing in the exact spot that it was supposed to land so it didn’t hit any equipment. He is amazing. He is amazing.
Maeda: Yes, he pretty much didn’t flinch for the entire series… everything he was asked to do, yes. He really is amazing. And just… Was he dancing on set at all?
Ryan: No, I didn’t see the dancing.
Maeda: Because the last time I was there, he’s also really graceful. I mean, he can dance and sing. It’s unbelievable. He’s really talented.
MORE about "Helix" from Jeri Ryan and Steve Maeda on the NEXT page!
Q: Jeri, could you tell us who is this character? How would you describe Constance for those people who have just met her for the first time?
Ryan: I'm not trying to tiptoe the line about not giving too much away, but she’s certainly driven, and she definitely has an agenda that she is there to do. Hatake has gone off the rails. He is supposed to be finding them a virus and a cure, and he’s screwed up. He’s messing around and doing his own thing, and that’s not okay so she’s there to fix it, and whatever she has to do to make that happen is what has to happen.
Maeda: Yes. She’s a fixer. She comes in and she takes care of things. And you know under the guise of corporate benevolence, she really has this very, very clear agenda, and you know if Hatake has gone off the rails a little bit, Sutton has not gone off the rails of this. Firmly on the rails and is trying to make sure that everything happens the way it’s supposed to be happening and try to figure out what Hatake’s game is.
Q: Steve, what can you tell us about Ilaria?
Maeda: Well, they’re a pharmaceutical giant. They are - you know, they do good work and they make lots of drugs…their public face is actually benevolent. But behind the scenes there’s a lot more going on than what you might expect. And I can’t tell too much more than that, but the foundation of Ilaria, the origin story and how all that happened and how the company became what it is, is something that we’re going to see over the back half of the season.
Q: Do you know exactly where Constance's arc is going?
Maeda: Oh, yes. We know where she’s going. We know exactly… Sutton was a character who we knew very early on that we wanted to get into the show, that we wanted to have someone come from the corporation. And then the idea of Sutton was something that we talked about very early on. And then the rest of it just sort of came in kind of discussing and breaking stories with her.
Q: Steve, do you see what gets posted to "Helix’s" Access Granted website? And how consequential or crucial do you think the content of that site is to understanding what’s going on with the show?
Maeda: It’s not critical to understand the show, but we do try to add some value to that experience… I did not do all that material myself, but I certainly saw all of it and approved it all. But it’s something that if you watch the show, if you really like the show, the Access Granted stuff is something that can add a little more insight… it’s planting clues and little things. If you don’t watch it, you're still going to enjoy the show I think, but if you do, you'll get other little hints of things and get a little more background. [But] the answers will all be in the show.
Q: Answers like why Hatake’s so obsessed with Walker? Will that be fully explained this season, or is it a mystery that might carry over until the next season if there is one?
Maeda: It will be fully explained this season.
Q: How do the other characters react to Sutton’s arrival?
Maeda: Oh, gosh… I think that they are all sort of dismayed… for their own reasons because I think very quickly, very early on you discover that Sutton is putting on a performance for the gang. And so Hatake certainly knows who she is and where she’s coming from. I think that Daniel has an idea. And I think that Alan and company learn very quickly what’s going on… what appears to be, you know, “Oh good, help is here,” is really not help at all. Look, she arrives with gun-toting soldiers, too. She comes loaded for bear.
Q: And will this also kind of shift some of the bad guy image away from Hatake? So far he’s seemed like our villain, but will he be teaming up with the CDC now?
Maeda: Absolutely. One of the things we wanted to do was take our characters who seemed to be villains and try to humanize them and create some kind of unlikely pairings. And also take our characters who seem to be on the side of the angels and turn them a little bit and twist them and give them some unsavory motives perhaps. And so yes, we’re trying to find those balances, and I think you'll see them.
Q: Steve, obviously "The X-Files" was iconic for the 1990’s, and here we are in 2014. How has the state of genre TV changed in your opinion? It seems to have almost gotten to the point where it’s now the mainstream.
Maeda: Yes. I think it definitely has gone more mainstream, and there’s so much good stuff out there I think both in TV and movies. It’s so great... I've done genre shows and shows that are not genre, and I just love these because of the storytelling; you get to first off come up with whatever you can imagine and put it out there. But then also when you do want to get a theme in, it’s so much easier to couch that in science-fiction or in genre because for some reason it just doesn’t feel as heavy-handed, and you can tell stories that are much more… you can layer in something without feeling preachy because you have the genre kind of as your shield and still do a really entertaining [show] but have something to say. So it’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy it.
Q: The themes of "Helix" are very much a cautionary tale about where we’re going with genetic research and medicine and pharmaceuticals. Where do you mine the science for the show? Do you have science advisors?
Maeda: We do, and we’ve done a lot of research ourselves. We do have an advisor who reads all of our scripts. We have an advisor on set as well, but we have a CDC doctor who reads all our scripts and then comes back to us with, “You know what? It would really be this way, guys, and not that way,” and we try to take those cues when we can. Dramatically, we’re always trying to tell the best story, but we also want to be as grounded as possible. And yes, sometimes we take flights of fancy, but in doing so… it’s something I actually learned on "X-Files," which is the more you tie your fantastic story, your science-fiction story, into actual science, the easier it is to buy. And so, that’s what we’re trying to do. You know, we may not hit it all the time, but it’s something we certainly are mindful of.
Q: Dr. Hatake stabbing himself was one of the many shocking things that have happened on the show, and the idea of this virus being a delivery system or something genetic leads us to wonder what that has to do with Hatake’s ability to heal quickly and his own chromosomes and what experiments he’s been doing on himself. Can you shed some light?
Maeda: I would say it very much has something to do with that, without giving too much away. It’s part of just who he is and what will be revealed in later episodes. But yes, we delved as deeply as we could into [the] research and into trying to take a lot of really arcane science and make it understandable to us, understandable to the audience. And without dumbing it down too much, to get in as much real stuff as we could.
Q: Jeri, any chance you'll be out hitting the convention circuit again?
Ryan: I have been. I wasn’t able to do them for a few years because I have stalkers, and so I had security issues. And then Creation Entertainment, who organizes most of the "Star Trek" conventions, got a really great security detail for me, and so I was able to start doing them again, and it’s a lot of fun. That’s a great way to see the fans and to meet them. It’s fun… it’s a great treat to get to meet the fans. They’re a very enthusiastic, very loyal, very passionate group of people, and they’re amazing. And you know, none of us would be anywhere without the fans. It’s another reason why I love social media so much now. It’s another way to safely interact with your fans.
Maeda: Yes. I would second that. The sci-fi fans are so passionate. I mean, that’s the really great thing, too, about the response we’re getting. Science-fiction fans either love you or hate you, but very, very passionate. And you know, going after those fans is… it’s a great fan base.
Q: Lastly, can you tease how many episodes Constance will be appearing in? Will there be a chance for the character to return in future episodes or seasons?
Maeda: This is Syfy; there’s always a chance. Yes. Without giving too much away, she’s… I don’t want to say how many episodes or the why or the why not; all that will come to bear, but we love having Jeri. She’s in a number of episodes, and we’ll just leave it at that.
Our thanks to Jeri and Steve for their time, moderator Stephen Cox, Garrott Smith, and everyone at Syfy.
"Helix" is executive produced by Ron Moore, creator of “Battlestar Galactica." The 13-episode series stars Billy Campbell, Kyra Zagorsky, Jordan Hayes, Catherine Lemieux, Hiroyuki Sanada, Meegwun Fairbrother, Mark Ghanimé, and Neil Napier.
"Helix" Episode 1.08 - "Bloodline" (airs 2/21/14)
The vectors attack and take Peter's (Napier) body; Walker (Zagorsky) is held prisoner by Sutton (Ryan) after the true nature of Sutton's relationship with Hatake (Sanada) is revealed. Meanwhile, Daniel (Fairbrother) gets closer to the truth about his past.