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Nightmare Presents: The Island by Desirina Boskovich

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 09:30

No April Fool’s Day jokes here! Nope, what we have here is some more brand new fiction from Nightmare Magazine. This month’s selection is “The Island” by Desirina Boskovich. We hope you enjoy it – please let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Desirina Boskovich

I was five when we moved to the island.

Mommy and Daddy knew that the end was near. There were harbingers, omens, and dire events: poisoned apples, collapsing buildings, broken sidewalks, and the ever-present idiot boxes, a parade of heathens that prayed in tongues. A riot over papayas and saddle shoes broke out in the fifth quarter, and half the city burned. In a far-off desert, our soldiers fought the sand worms; we sent them care packages, stuffed with candy and thick socks. A wicked witch built a palace made from shoes; when they dug her out with the business end of a stiletto heel, they found she’d been orchestrating the fate of the world from behind an emerald curtain. When the curtain fell, it all fell apart; there was nothing left but darkness and ennui. Then a hole tore itself in the ozone, and crazy dust fell through — whomever it touched lost the power of speech. The earth rent her garments, and a jagged satellite of land mass broke off the coast and floated away.

I was five when we moved to the island. My sister Thea was three.

We loaded our lives into a tiny ship and set sail. We sailed the seven seas; we sailed for forty days and forty nights. We were tossed by strange creatures: eight-legged squid with suction-cup fingers, and city-sized whales with flapping tails. Grinning dolphins swam in our wake, leaping to say hello. Mommy and Daddy sat on the deck and played cards, talking about the life we’d build when we reached land. Thea and I sat at their feet. They told us stories about everything we’d escaped in The Outside World, everything scary that lay far away.

Now we’d always be safe.

On the forty-first day, the island peeked its head over the calm blue line of the horizon: an uninhabited jewel no more than a couple miles across, covered with sloping hills, lush forests, sandy beaches, strange flowers. A jutting cliff led down to a bed of rocks where the sea foamed and leaped. A fresh water spring trickled from the island’s obsidian heart, turning into a creek that ran toward the sea.

We called the island Treasure. We were home.

• • • •

We dismantled the ship and built a house. We planted crops in the lush glades, and searched the island for things that were good to eat: luscious fruits, speckled mushrooms, hearty nuts, savory turtle’s meat, and smooth seagull’s eggs. Wild sheep roamed the island; we caught them, corralled them, sheared their wool, slaughtered their rams, and drank their mothers’ milk. We slept on beds made from grass. On the radio, we listened to the events of The Outside World: a spreading epidemic that turned its victims pink before they dissolved into dust and floated away. A suicide cult that tattooed its members with sinister symbols in languages we’d inherited from foreign stars.

“Turn off the radio,” Mommy said. “Turn off that silliness.” So we did, and she gave us chores.

My brother Rock was born. Rock belonged to the island; he’d never known another home. Whether under sunny blue skies or torrential summer rain, he thrived. He grew so fast it was uncanny. From the beginning, he followed Daddy everywhere. Together, they figured out how to catch the biggest fish, how to fell the widest tree, how to build the hottest fire that would keep us warm all night.

Thea and I wanted to go on forest expeditions, too. We wanted to capture the wriggling, rainbow-skinned gods that breathed their last on the beach. But Mommy needed us at home. We washed our clothes in the creek and beat them clean on the flat rocks. We sheared the sheep and spun the wool into thread and knitted it into cloth. We cooked fish and turtle legs together in stews that steamed and bubbled all day, seasoned with wild herbs.

My brother Leaf was born. He was a weird baby; the island was in his blood. He never laughed and never cried. He only surveyed his family with a placid contentment, as if to say, “I am here, you are here, everything is fine.” He would only eat fruit. As he grew, he tagged along with Rock, who was tagging along with Daddy.

My brother Bug was born. He was an angry baby; he screamed for hours on end. We did our best to entertain him, dangling charms of iridescent shells, tickling his toes with the fallen feathers of seagulls, singing him songs about the island, full of gibberish and nonsense words. He still screamed. Maybe he was just mad that his name was Bug. He grew fastest of all, and in no time at all he was tagging along with Leaf, who was tagging along with Rock, who was tagging along with Daddy.

Thea and I cooked fruit into jam, washed the clothes in the stream, sheared the sheep of their winter wool, scoured the iron cauldron with sand, and fought all the time, because she kept hanging her hammock too close to mine.

Our parents still said they loved each other, but Daddy spent all his time somewhere else, and Mommy kept waking up from nightmares to insist that it was all a dream, that we were not her children, and that she’d never lived on an island named Treasure. Daddy kissed her and brought her guava juice but she knocked it out of his hand. He shook his head, and walked away. He walked until he reached the other end of the island, where he sat at the edge of the cliff that looked down on the pointed rocks and the spraying sea. There, he thought about what would happen if he jumped.

Back at our home by the hammocks and the hearth, Mommy tore the low-hanging branches from the trees; she chased us with the branches, and she hit us as hard as she could, trying to turn us into the children she remembered.

When Daddy came back to camp, he saw our fresh bruises, our black eyes, our scratched and bleeding arms. He shook his head, and took Rock to the water’s edge to fish.

My sister Violet was born. I took her into my arms the way a younger girl would have taken a doll; I knew that in some way she would always be mine. Patiently, I turned the radio dials, looking for a song I knew, a song to sing her to sleep. Finally, out of the static and whine of the space between signals, a few strains of a familiar melody emerged: The Temptations, singing “My Girl.”

It was a sign. Thea and I hung Violet’s hammock between our own, even though she was too small to sleep in it.

“Turn that off,” Mommy said. “I hated that song.”

I turned off the radio and stroked the fine dark hairs on Violet’s sweet-smelling, satin-soft skull.

By this time, we all belonged to the island.

• • • •

But something strange happened the night that Violet was born.

It began with a storm. When you live on an island, you can see a storm coming from a long way off. All day, as Mommy writhed and cried and cursed and pushed, we’d seen the storm as it moved over the water and gathered strength. During the day it came as a dark cloud against the light-filled sky; during the night it came as flashes of lightning that cracked in jagged branches against the darkened clouds. At night, as we slept, the storm broke. It raged with such delirium, it seemed that our Treasure would break apart. Thunder louder than the Fourth of July fireworks I remembered from so long ago in The Outside World; lightning bright as a bonfire that illuminated the entire island for one razor-edged moment before the darkness returned with demonic depth. Wind screamed and howled through the trees. Rain poured down on us in buckets, thick as soup, teeming with small creatures from the shallow waters: plankton and krill.

A horned owl hooted mournfully in the distance, terror in his call. The sheep stampeded across the island and we could feel the vibrations of their pounding feet. Leaf and Bug climbed into my hammock and huddled against me. Violet cried. Thea buried her head under her pillow. Only Rock was unafraid.

Then the island shuddered and quivered and bucked. A crack rang out like cannon fire. And just like that, the winds died down, the rain faded away to a drizzle, and the storm was gone. My fitful sleep that night was filled with dark dreams.

The next day we woke to find the island changed. A lightning-struck tree at the highest point on the island had spread fire from branch to branch, burning a dark circle in the center of the forest before the heavy rains could extinguish the blaze. And a crevice had opened in the center of the island, ripping a chasm across a sunny meadow. Rock found it first, and came running back to tell us what he’d seen.

We stood on the edge, staring down. The crevice seemed to continue for miles. We could not see the bottom; it disappeared into darkness. If I squinted, I thought I could see the shadows squirm and shift.

“You should have known,” Mommy told Daddy.

“How could I?” he said. “How could I have known?” He shook his head and walked away. Rock followed him. Together they built a fire on the beach. They caught and killed a baby boar and stuck it up on a spit: a feast to celebrate the newest addition to our family.

All day we frolicked on the beach, basking in the sweet smells of fresh fruit and roasting meat. Thea collected shells. Rock poked and stirred the flames with a pointed stick. Leaf combed the tide pools for new species of crab. Bug mixed sand and dirt and water to make mud. I tried to build a palace out of sand. Together we held hands and waded out into the waves, against the incoming tide.

All day we watched a speck of darkness on the water. It grew and grew. It was coming closer.

It was another ship.

The ship made landfall as day turned to night. We sat on the beach, warmed by the rays of the setting sun, feasting on the rich meat of the roasted pig, and watched the ship as it cast anchor in our bay.

• • • •

They were travelers like ourselves, a family in search of their own small island to make a home. We informed them that our island was named Treasure, and it was ours alone, but they were welcome to stay for a night or three. They shared their story, and we shared our feast.

Their name was Robinson. They had four children; the oldest was younger than me, but older than Thea. The youngest was the same age as Bug. We’d never met children like us before. We ran wild, running in looping circles across the beach, inventing pretend games that no one else could understand, playing hide-and-seek in every nook and cranny. Thea told the newcomers a story about a pure white horse with a pink crystal horn, a beast of perfect nobility and grace. She said that if you glimpsed the white horse, you dreamed the most joyful dreams for a week. She said she’d only seen it once. The newcomers believed her; I think Leaf and Bug believed her, too, even though they knew it wasn’t true. The kids put together a hunting party to comb the island.

I felt much older than the rest. I knew that Thea’s story was fantasy, and I didn’t want to play make-believe. Instead, I sat on the beach, listening to the parents as they talked about the world beyond the seas.

A new epidemic raged; this disease turned its victims a pale yellow-green, then shriveled them like raisins until they were nothing but skin. The wars in the deserts continued, and they’d built a McDonald’s on the moon. The prophet my parents had once followed was now in prison for tax evasion and child rape. The sky was dead: aliens from Alpha Centauri had slipped through the hole in the ozone and injected a poisonous gas into the clouds.

Still, despite these setbacks, humanity survived.

“I thought by now they’d all be dead,” Daddy said, dejected.

“Any day now,” Mr. Robinson said. “Any day.”

“Maybe the quickening is farther off than we thought,” Mommy said, and went off into the darkness to let Violet nurse.

As promised, the Robinsons stayed for three days. Meanwhile, my parents whispered and hissed their way through a protracted fight. Mommy was lonely; she wanted the Robinsons to stay.

But Daddy had seen the way Mommy and Mr. Robinson looked at each other across the fire’s dying flames. He didn’t say anything, but he wouldn’t let the Robinsons remain here.

“I hate you,” Mommy said. “I hate you, and I hate this island.”

Daddy shook his head and walked away. He took Mr. Robinson on a tour of the island, showing him the structures he and Rock had built with a saw, a hammer and some nails.

Mommy and Mrs. Robinson stayed at the camp and made stew. I stayed too, while the rest of the kids played games with pebbles and sticks. With a dulled knife, I struggled to cut and peel an assortment of strange tropical fruits.

• • • •

On the third day we gathered on the beach to say goodbye. We gave them more food for their journey, and some seeds we’d saved from our island’s bounty of native fruits. In return, they gave us some things my brothers had never seen: a television and a phone. “It might get lonely on your island,” Mr. Robinson explained. “So here’s something. With this teevee, you can learn about what’s going on in The Outside World. It will tell you if everyone is dead. With this phone, you can call your friends.”

“We have no friends,” Mommy said.

“You can call your family.”

“We have no family.”

“Well, you can call us.”


We played with the teevee and the phone, and we watched as the Robinsons climbed into their ship and sailed away.

• • • •

Things continued as before, but the island had changed. The crevice at the center was growing; it got wider by the day. The bottom was still too far away to see. But the dark things, wriggling in that depthless gloom — they seemed to be growing, too. If I looked closely, I could make out tails, and eyes, and wings. Other times, I couldn’t see a thing. I thought my eyes were playing tricks.

The sheep were never the same after their panicked stampede. In the spring, six lambs were stillborn; only three survived, and they were sickly and weak.

The boars that roamed the island had also been spooked. One day, beneath a clear blue sky, a hawk wheeled too close to a suckling. The mother boar screamed in warning, and her shriek set off a riot. The boars ran as if the devil were branding their backsides; they ran and ran until they reached the cliff that overlooked the pointed rocks and the spraying sea, then kept running, and plunged off the edge, one by one. They died in a screaming nightmare below, and the waters foamed red with blood until their bloated bodies washed out to sea.

The blackened circle on the island’s highest point remained dead and charred. A poisoned fungus grew in the ashes and spread outward, infecting the trees; each autumn it gained more ground until the forest was nearly decayed.

Daddy and Rock had fished too much in the streams, and now the waters ran barren and clear; the only fish to be had were the canny, cunning ones that hid carefully in the sea.

It seemed the island was turning against us. It was staging a revolt; it was going strange. We had to work much harder to survive.

Luckily, we were older now; we could work as a team.

Thea could make anything; with her nimble fingers she crafted comfortable clothes and lovely necklaces and wonderful boxes full of shells. She’d developed storytelling into an art, and when we sat around the fire cracking nuts or filleting fish, her silly anecdotes and fanciful tales kept us entertained while our hands did tedious work.

Rock was taller than me, strong as could be, and good at everything he tried. He could leap farthest, run fastest, and climb the highest trees. His quick wit and clever mind kept us laughing all the time. Even when we were sad, or hungry, or fighting, Rock could always make us laugh. He taught Leaf and Bug all the things that Daddy had taught him; he wrestled them on the beach for the entertainment of their sisters, so that they might grow as tall and strong as he.

Leaf remained as even-tempered as he’d always been; it was impossible to make him angry. We teased him mercilessly, but he just laughed. He read all the books we’d brought from The Outside World. There were only a dozen, but he read them cover to cover. Through those books, he came to understand what made other people feel as they did. He watched and listened, as he always had, and soon he understood us all. He knew why Rock still got angry, even though he was the strongest. He knew why Daddy spent so much time sitting on the cliff’s edge, staring out at the sea. He knew why I went on longer walks every night, ranging ever farther from the hammocks and the hearth.

Bug still hated his name. Bug. Like Leaf, he read all the books cover to cover. But while Leaf learned about humans, Bug learned about the world. The books were his atlas, his dictionary, his encyclopedia. When he’d finished with the books, he surveyed the island. Soon he knew the location of every rock, every stream, every tree. He knew all the edibles — what they were called, and where they lived. He knew the history of The Outside World, and whenever we spoke of the things we’d learned from our parents, he corrected us: there had never been an emerald curtain, it was always made of iron. There had never been a disease that turned people into raisins or dust. We told him he was living up to his name, and he stalked off to fume by the fire.

Violet grew from a baby into a girl, and she was the sweetest child there could ever be. She was smart, and funny, and wise. She loved everyone, and there was nothing we wouldn’t do for her. Secure in the knowledge that she was adored by all, she had endless amounts of love to give.

But once, when we were gathering gooseberries on the hillside, I caught her staring into the crevice; it was wider than ever, and darker than night. And, from a place so far down it couldn’t even rightfully exist, I could hear the buzzing and humming of locusts, the croaking of odd and twisted birds.

Violet stood on the edge. She gazed into the blackness, twisting the curling tip of one pigtail around her tiny fingertip. Her look was far, far away.

“Don’t look in there,” I scolded her. “Come on. Let’s go home.”

I thought my brothers and sisters were the five most perfect people who ever lived.

• • • •

Mommy and Daddy were fighting all the time. They fought about the storm, about the earthquake, about the teevee, about the phone, about the radio, about the Robinsons, and they fought whenever there wasn’t enough to eat. They fought about the hammocks, which were falling into disrepair, and they fought when the fire went out.

Finally they agreed to disagree. Daddy went to live on the far side of the island, where the cliff overlooked the pointed rocks and the spraying sea. Mommy went to live on the near side of the island, where tall grasses grew and vivid flowers bloomed. Daddy took the teevee. Mom took the phone.

They left us the radio, the hammocks, and the hearth.

We would have lived like wild things except for Thea, who made sure we went to bed on time and woke with the sun. Thea gave orders to Leaf and Bug, who kept the fires lit at night and kept away the beasts. I swept the hearth and made the stews. Rock brought firewood and hunted the boars, which were surlier than ever. He seemed older now; overwhelmed with responsibilities, he was no longer so quick with a joke. Violet scavenged for berries and tried to make us smile. We did, but only because she asked. We were all tired, and we felt broken inside — our island was damaged, and so were we.

And the war between our parents raged on. Each tried to lure us to their side of the island. Daddy had the teevee; he invited us to his cliff to watch the game, even though the signal took six months to reach us, so the fate of the players was already long decided in The Outside World before it reached our shores. Mommy had the phone; she never called anyone, but she kept saying she might call the Robinsons. She said we could go live on their island and start a new life — so we should stick with her.

Back at the camp, we fiddled with the radio, but nowadays nothing came through but crackles and static and whispers. If I leaned in close, I could hear the same distended whirs and shrieks that came from the crevice in the middle of the island.

Mommy and Daddy sent Violet back and forth across the island, bearing messages between them. Violet told Mommy about the games we’d watched on Daddy’s teevee; she told Daddy what Mommy had been saying about the phone. She didn’t mean to stir up trouble, but she was still quite young.

One night, when the moon was no more than a sliver, Mommy crept over to Daddy’s side of the island, where he slept on the rocks in a shack made of driftwood. She tossed the teevee over the cliff, and its broken shards floated out to sea.

When Daddy discovered what she had done, he was very angry. He marched over to her side of the island, where she slept in the grass in a hut made out of sticks and leaves, and smashed the phone against the rocks.

Furious, she stormed over to our camp and smashed the radio to pieces, too. She said she didn’t want him to take it; she was getting to it first.

It didn’t matter, anyway; it had been a long time since we’d heard anything from The Outside World.

Bug and Leaf blamed Violet for making our parents fight; in turn she became sullen and cross. She refused to do her chores or eat her stew. She told Bug he was ugly, and when Rock told her to apologize, she said she hated us all and ran away. We stayed up all night looking for her. When dawn came, we found her curled inside the mouth of the island’s one small cave. Rock picked her up and carried her home.

• • • •

Creatures kept crawling out of the crevice. Things that made horrible noises in the dark; we could hear their poisoned laughter, just outside the ring of firelight. We could hear the screams of birds and the shrieks of piglets and the warning calls of owls as the things ranged across the island, feasting at will. And sometimes, as they rustled and scratched in the dark, we could smell them: an acrid stink, like rotting, burning flesh.

“If only we had that phone,” Thea said wistfully, as we sat around the fire one night. It was our nightly ritual. We watched the glowing embers and the flickering flames, and we talked about how to save our island. Occasionally we wondered about The Outside World.

“Maybe everyone’s dead,” I said.

“If only we had that phone, maybe we could find out.”

“Maybe it doesn’t matter.”

Of all of them, I was the only one who remembered The Outside World. I didn’t think it was the answer to our problems. I wanted to save the island, whatever the cost.

• • • •

A few nights later, as we sat around the fire, Violet announced: “I want to go live with Mommy.”

“You can’t do that,” Bug said.

“Why not?”

“Because that’s not how it’s supposed to be.”

“I don’t care,” Violet said. “I like it there. There are flowers. The things aren’t there. I want to go.”

“If you’re going to live with Mommy, then Leaf and I are going to live with Daddy.”

“You can’t do that,” Thea said.

“Why not?”

“Because we won’t have anyone to stir the fire or sit watch at midnight or throw rocks at the things to make them stay away. We won’t have anyone to help cut the branches to fix the hammocks. We won’t have anyone to bring seagull’s eggs,” Thea said.

“Because we’ll be all alone,” I said. “Three isn’t enough.”

“How much is enough?” Leaf asked, as if he was talking to himself. “How many, I mean?”

“Only six is enough,” I said.

“Only six is enough,” Thea agreed.

“Enough is enough,” Rock said. “I’m sick of all of you.” He got up and stalked away from the fire.

Violet started to cry. Leaf and Bug told her it was her fault, and she cried harder. Thea told them it was their fault, and Bug got mad, and Leaf got annoyed, which was the angriest he ever got. Their argument grew louder and louder until it filled the night, drowning out even the weirdest and cruelest noises from the dark.

“Shut up, all of you,” I shouted. “I’ll go talk to Rock.”

I wandered off into the darkness to look for him. I knew that whatever he said, he would never desert us. His loyalty to us was so fierce, his care so necessary, that it made him angry sometimes. He was bound by a desperate love that could never be ignored.

I found him sitting on the beach, watching the dark waves sliding quietly in and out, lit only by the brilliance of the full moon.

I sat beside him.

“I have a plan,” I said. So I told him. He listened. We were silent for a while, then we spoke for a while, and then we were silent again.

After a long time, we returned to the campfire. Violet had fallen asleep. We told Bug and Leaf to go away; we had something to talk about with Thea. They were upset all over again. They insisted they deserved to hear as much as anyone else. They asserted that they belonged to the island, too. We told them no, and they huffed away.

I had to speak, because I was the oldest, and besides, it was my idea.

“We must kill our parents,” I said.

• • • •

We did it that night, while Leaf and Bug and Violet lay in their hammocks asleep. Mommy first. We dashed out her brains with a rock. We dragged her body to the crevice and left it lying on the edge of the abyss. Daddy second. Before the rock fell, I felt a moment of pity; I was the oldest, so I remembered. I knew he’d never really wanted to come to the island. But then I remembered all the times he’d seen our bruises, our black eyes, our scratched arms, and looked away. The curse was half his. He let out a strangled snore, and we dropped the rock onto his skull.

We dragged his body to the other edge of the crevice. Then, we said the prayer that they’d taught us long ago. We sang a song we’d written about the island, one of those songs we used to sing to make Bug stop crying for just a minute or three. Then we tipped their bodies into the deep.

The sounds were appalling. Those sounds were not sounds made by our parents, who were already dead. Those sounds were the screeches and yelps of hideous creatures that fought over our parents’ bones and brains and blood.

I hoped we could appease the island. I hoped with this sacrifice, the curse would stray, and our island could be whole, the brilliant Treasure it had been when we were young. But when I heard the satisfied braying of creatures from another place, I was afraid I’d been wrong. Maybe we’d only fed them. Maybe they’d only grown stronger.

We returned to the shore, and in the early light of dawn, we cooked breakfast on the beach. When Leaf, Bug, and Violet woke with the sun, we beckoned them down and told them what we’d done.

They cried, but they understood, as we’d known they would. We belonged to the island more than we’d belonged to our parents. And we belonged to each other most of all.

“Now we can start from scratch,” I said. “No more overfishing. No more forest fires. No more stampeding sheep. No more haunted boars.”

Thea broke in: “And hopefully, no more of those . . . things.”

• • • •

After we killed our parents, the island began to recover. The small flock of sheep multiplied in the spring; the ewes all lived through birth and the lambs thrived to the last woolly one. The wild boars birthed kinder, calmer sucklings; they were becoming tame. The poison fungus on the mountaintop crept backward in the direction it had come.

Leaf found a few freshwater fish, stranded and sleeping in a shadowy cove in a trapped inlet of the creek. He caught and released them into the wilds of the stream, and soon they were doing what fishes do; in a season or two we could begin fishing again. Bug wrote a natural history of the island, cataloguing each of its myriad species for future generations. (Not that there would be any. We loved each other, but not like that.) Thea taught Violet to sew. Rock collected all the driftwood and lumber he could find, and began building a gazebo that we called “the church.” I dug deep into the pouches of preserved seeds, and cultivated a garden that was better than any we’d grown in years.

Best of all, the crevice began to close. At first it moved so slowly it seemed impossible; I dismissed it as wishful thinking. But then the movement became unmistakable. It moved by three inches; then five. The gash was healing.

But even as it creaked closed, something was growing inside of it. When the fissure was no more than three feet wide, it emerged. We called it the tree. It did look like a tree — from some angles.

Sometimes it looked like a tower. Sometimes it looked like a mushroom. Sometimes it looked like a giant. Sometimes it looked like the beanstalk that a boy once climbed, to meet a giant on the other side. Sometimes it looked like a skyscraper. Sometimes it looked like a monster.

But mostly, it looked like a tree.

By the time two summers had passed, the crevice had closed completely, and there was nothing left but the tree. In the third summer, it reached maturity. Hanging from the tip of each of its six branches was a cotton-wrapped sack, and struggling in those sacks were six sick creatures, cocooned but growing. Occasionally we could see their mouths, opened in hopes that an insect or a baby bird would blunder in.

Then another ship arrived.

It was the first ship we’d seen since the Robinsons had lifted anchor and sailed away. We were wild to meet them, and from the moment we spotted the ship, we waited on the beach, preparing a feast that rivaled all feasts before it. We lit a huge bonfire to draw them near. We danced and sang songs, even while Rock prepared a miniature arsenal, just in case they were enemies and not friends: we knew nothing now about The Outside World.

They made landfall as night fell. Two men and a woman: travelers like my parents had once been. They were my age. They were fascinated by us, and entranced by our island. We invited them onto the beach, and informed them that this island was called Treasure and it was ours alone, but they were welcome to stay a night or three. We shared our feast with them under the brightening stars. The roast lamb and grilled fruits tasted like the food of the gods.

As the visitors ate, they told us they were looking for some long-lost cousins of theirs: a family called Robinson.

“I thought you looked familiar,” I said. I remembered the Robinsons’ wide blue eyes and white blond hair.

“Is there still The Outside World?” Bug asked.

They said that there was.

After the food was finished, the man leaned forward, ready to ask what they’d all been wondering.

“You’re all so young,” he said. “How long have you been stranded here?”

Everyone looked at me, waiting for me to answer.

I laughed.

“We have always lived on the island,” I said.

• • • •

That night, we waited until the visitors fell asleep. Then we crept, slowly and silently, to the beach where they dreamed. We dashed out their brains with rocks and fed their bodies to the tree.


Nightmare Magazine is edited by bestselling anthology editor John Joseph Adams (Wastelands, The Living Dead). This month’s issue also features original fiction by Charles Payseur (“Spring Thaw”), along with reprints by Usman Malik (“Ishq”) and Nancy Kilpatrick (“The Age of Sorrow”). We also have Seanan McGuire penning the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with author and founder of Cemetery Dance Publications, Richard Chizmar. You can wait for the rest of this month’s contents to be serialized online, or you can buy the whole issue right now in convenient eBook format for just $2.99. You can also subscribe and get each issue delivered to you automatically every month, for the discounted price of just $1.99 per issue. This month’s issue is a great one, so be sure to check it out. And while you’re at it, tell a friend about Nightmare!

The post Nightmare Presents: The Island by Desirina Boskovich appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Rest in Peace: Robert Z’Dar

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 22:56

There’s nothing we hate to report more than the death of a horror icon, and unfortunately tonight is one of those nights where we come to you bearing bad news. There was truly only one Robert Z’Dar on this Earth, and we’re heartbroken to let you know that he has passed away.

The sad news comes courtesy of the Pensacola News Journal, who reported tonight that the 64-year-old actor lost his life on Monday night. He was in town to appear at Pensacon when he began experiencing chest pains over the weekend, and last night he went into cardiac arrest.

Born Robert J. Zdarsky, the instantly recognizable actor was most known for his starring role in the Maniac Cop franchise, portraying undead police officer Matt Cordell. Z’Dar’s acting resume includes well over 100 other film and TV credits, including Tango & Cash, Samurai Cop, and Easter Sunday.

We talked every day,” said Jim Decker, Z’Dar’s longtime manager. “We’ve been together through thick and thin. He was the first actor I took on in my career as an agent. We spent many weekends on the road together and a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. I miss him dearly.”

Those who would like to send condolences are encouraged do so through Decker’s email,

Rest easy, sir, and thank you for all the wonderful memories.

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Categories: Horror News

Producer’s Preview Goes Inside Supernatural Episode 10.17 – Inside Man

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 19:59

As longtime, diehard “Supernatural” fans, we’re really looking forward to Jim Beaver’s return tomorrow night in Episode 10.17, “Inside Man”; and if you are, too, here’s an inside look at the ep hosted by executive producer Jeremy Carver.  Heaven or Hell, the boys will always need their (and our) Bobby!

“Supernatural” Episode 10.17 – “Inside Man” (airs 4/1/15)
DEAN AND ROWENA FACE OFF AGAINST EACH OTHER — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Castiel (Misha Collins) follow up on a lead about the Mark of Cain. Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Rowena (guest star Ruth Connell) meet. Rashaad Ernesto Green directed this episode written by Andrew Dabb.

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Categories: Horror News

New Insidious Chapter 3 One-Sheets Arrive to Watch Over You

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 19:55

Two new one-sheets are here for Insidious Chapter 3: one is pretty good and the other has been done to death. Check ‘em out here to see if you agree.

Insidious Chapter 3 will be hitting theaters on June 5, 2015. It stars Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, and writer/director Leigh Whannell.

The newest chapter in the terrifying horror series is written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. This chilling prequel, set before the haunting of the Lambert family, reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

For more information visit the official Insidious website, “like” the Insidious Facebook page, and follow along on Twitter at @InsidiousMovie.

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Categories: Horror News

Godzilla – First Details and Image from the Next Japanese Film

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 19:34

Anyone who has visited this site at any time regularly can attest to one thing for sure… we are constantly on Godzilla watch. While the Gareth Edwards sequel is still far away, 2018 to be exact, right now we have the first bit of goods on Big G’s Japanese return!

We told you earlier that the King of the Monsters will be returning to his Japanese roots much sooner than anyone would have expected. Toho Company Ltd. will produce a new “domestic Godzilla” flick to be released in Japan in 2016.

Right now we can tell you that the director/screenwriter for the film is Hideaki Anno (Evangelion), and it will feature effects work by Shinji Higuchi, who worked on the Gamera trilogy of the 90s and 2001’s Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. Dig on the first concept image.

The decision to produce a new homegrown Godzilla flick was spurred on tremendously by the $500 million worldwide success of the big budget Hollywood reboot, particularly in the monster’s native stomping grounds of Japan.

Expect more details soon. Below you can find an announcement video.

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Categories: Horror News

It Follows Opens Even Wider

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:15

The indie horror juggernaut known as It Follows (review) is opening even wider this weekend as RADiUS and Dimension proudly announced today that they are further expanding their smash success into 1,655 theaters as of Friday, April 3rd.

One of the best-reviewed films of the year (95% on Rotten Tomatoes) has also been bolstered by strong word of mouth with audiences coming in droves – exemplified by its Top Five box office performance this past weekend.

It Follows was written and directed by David Robert Mitchell and features an up and coming ensemble cast that includes Maika Monroe (The Guest, The Fifth Wave) in the lead role.

Monroe plays 19-year-old Jay, who, after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions. She can’t shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind.

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Categories: Horror News

New Trailer Emerges From the Dark

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:01

The latest trailer for the new director of the cult killer clown film Stitches, Conor McMahon, called From the Dark (review) has arrived online and we have it for you right here. Dig it!

The film stars Niamh Algar, Stephen Cromwell, and Gerry O’Brien (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest). From the Dark will be released April 14th, 2015

Sarah (Niamh Algar) and Mark (Stephen Cromwell) are traveling through rural Ireland when car trouble strikes. The couple must head out on foot to find any sign of civilization. Eventually they come upon a lonely house – but the man inside is wounded, and when they try to help him, he attacks. Sarah and Mark manage to escape but soon they are confronted by something even worse.

A sinister being has awakened from a thousand-year sleep and it has set its sights on the stranded young couple. Deep within the dark bog, the two are faced with an unimaginable evil, but they soon realize that there may be one thing that can stop the creature: light. As the sun sets and light sources dwindle, the creature becomes more powerful, and Sarah and Mark find themselves in a fight for their lives where a gas lamp or even just the illumination of a single match may be the only thing that can save them.

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Categories: Horror News

The Strain Gets a To Die For Collector’s Edition!

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 16:44

You see, now this? This we don’t just like… We LOVE IT! Following in the footsteps of their stellar collector’s releases of Planet of the Apes and Predator 3D, 20th Century Fox has just unveiled a very special collector’s edition for their release of “The Strain” Season 1.

Look for it in stores on June 9th.

From the Press Release:
Experience the first season of TV’s hottest, most blood-curdling sci-fi series – from Executive Producers/Writers Guillermo Del Toro, Carlton Cuse and Chuck Hogan – along with behind-the-scenes special features that explore the story’s journey from bestselling novel to hit show.

When a freak virus kills most of the passengers on an airplane, Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), head of the Center for Disease Control’s “Canary Team,” is immediately called to the scene. The only way to stop the terrifying disease is to face its source – a sinister supernatural creature whose evil intent seems more powerful than any force on Earth – in this chilling series that also stars Mía Maestro, David Bradley and Sean Astin.

Special Features

  • In the Beginning
  • A Novel Approach
  • He Is Here
  • Setrakian’s Lair
  • Audio Commentary on Select Episodes
  • Deleted Scenes

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Categories: Horror News

James Gunn and Greg McLean Team for The Belco Experiment

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 16:34

Want to talk about a good reason to get really excited? This is it! James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Super, Slither, Dawn of the Dead) just announced via his Facebook page that he’s completed a script for Wolf Creek director, Greg McLean. Read on for details.

From James Gunn of Facebook:
I’m incredibly excited to announce that we’re commencing production on a new film, The Belco Experiment, from my own script. The story revolves around the American Belco company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day, and its employees are ordered to kill each other or be killed themselves. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belco employee.

The film will be directed by Greg McLean, who directed the Wolf Creek films, and it will be produced by myself, and Peter Safran, who produced Annabelle and The Conjuring. MGM will be financing. We’re in pre-production now and will be shooting in Bogota, Colombia in early June of this year.

I cannot tell you how passionate and excited I am about this project! It’s a script I wrote a few years ago, for which I have always had a deep love. Believe it or not, it’s a film that first came to me in a dream, and I woke up and wrote the first draft in a two-week fugue state binge.

One of the first people to ever read the script, Jonathan Glickman, carried it around with him for years until becoming President of MGM, when he approached Peter Safran and I about financing it. I was all for it, providing two things: 1) Although it has the heart and humor my films have all had, it is also the most intense and uncompromising script I’ve ever written. It would need to stay true to that. 2) I’d only do it if we found the right director – which, in some ways, I thought was unlikely.

Jon promised we’d make the film with full integrity – and, so far, MGM has – awesomely – been true to their word. And, after a long, concentrated search for a director we came to Greg McLean. Greg shares my philosophy about honesty in film, and his naturalistic style lends itself to Belco. The past few weeks we’ve spent working together have been a joy – I don’t know if I’ve ever related to another filmmaker’s sense of aesthetics and love of film more.

Say tuned for more as it comes!

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Categories: Horror News

What’s The Deal in These Images and Preview of Bates Motel Episode 3.05?

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 15:06

A small batch of images from and a preview of Episode 3.05 of “Bates Motel,” entitled “The Deal,” have arrived; and if you don’t want Mother mad at you, you better check ‘em all out right now!

Related Story:  Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 3.04 – Unbreakable

“Bates Motel” Episode 3.05 – “The Deal” (airs 4/6/15)
When Norma finds herself in a rare position of power, she appeals to Romero for guidance. Norman and Dylan both come undone at the fallout of a secret.  And Caleb considers an offer made to him by a surprising source.

For more info visit “Bates Motel” on, “like” “Bates Motel” on Facebook, and stop by “Bates Motel” on Instagram.

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Categories: Horror News

The House at the End of Time Lands on UK DVD in April

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 05:00

Alejandro Hidalgo’s acclaimed supernatural thriller The House at the End of Time (La Casa del Fin de Los Tiempos) will at last receive its UK DVD release, and we have the details and artwork for you here.

Look for it on April 27th through Matchbox Films.

Ruddy Rodriguez (The Living Daylights) stars as Dulce, a mother who lives in an old house with her young children and husband. After terrifying encounters with mysterious apparitions, the ghost of an old woman leaves Dulce a series of messages warning that her husband will kill their children. She desperately tries to avoid this prophecy but is helpless as the tragedy begins to unfold.

Dulce is sentenced to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for a crime she did not commit. Thirty years later, an elderly Dulce returns home on compassionate release. There, with the help of a priest, she will try to uncover the mystery and tragedy that has tormented her for so long.

The first horror film produced in Venezuela smashed box office records when it was theatrically released in its home territory and has since become the dark horse of the genre festival circuit, where its unique combination of jump-out-of-your seat thrills, pathos, and empathy has won over the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide, including Fantasporto in Portugal, Fantasia in Montreal, FrightFest in London, and Screamfest LA, where it won awards for Best Film and Best Director.

The House at the End of Time was previously released in the USA by MPI on its Dark Sky Films label, and a Hollywood studio remake is currently in development.

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Categories: Horror News

Exclusive: Michael Gross Talks Tremors 5

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 23:48

While walking about Monsterpalooza this past weekend in Burbank, CA, we came across Tremors franchise star Michael Gross, who spoke a bit about the movie’s creatures and the possibility of an all new monster.

Yes, there will be a new creature; it’s a variation of sorts on one of the existing ones… that’s all I’m saying, but trust me; it’s gonna be a whole lot of fun. With this sequel we’re hoping to reintroduce this franchise to a whole new crop of fans. I think fans of all ages are really gonna like it!

For the most part Gross was pretty tight-lipped, but he also confirmed that the beloved Ass-Blasters will be back along with the Graboids and that they’re hoping Tremors 5: Bloodlines will lead to a whole new franchise of films.

Tremors 5: Bloodlines will be coming out this October on Blu-ray Hi-Def, DVD, and Digital HD, marking the return of Michael Gross’ iconic character Burt Gummer.

Head over to the official Tremors Movies Facebook page to cast your vote for the artwork simply by leaving a comment and letting them know if you prefer Version 1 or the slightly modified Version 2. The fate of the Graboids (and Ass-Blasters) is in your hands, so be sure to choose wisely!

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

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

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

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

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Categories: Horror News

Josh Hartnett Taps Into His Dark Side in this Penny Dreadful Season 2 Promo

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 23:43

“Penny Dreadful” returns to Sunday nights on Showtime in just a few more weeks, and to make sure you haven’t forgotten, the network has released another new promo teaser, this time featuring Josh Hartnett talking about what’s ahead for his character, Ethan Chandler, who’s no stranger to the dark side.

“Penny Dreadful” begins its 10-episode second season run on Sunday, May 3, at 10PM ET/PT.

Related Story: Eva Green Paints a Bloody Picture in this Penny Dreadful Season 2 Promo

In the upcoming season Vanessa (Eva Green) and Ethan (Josh Hartnett) form a deeper bond as the group, including Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), and Sembene (Danny Sapani), unite to banish the evil forces that threaten to destroy them. Meanwhile, Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), the Creature (Rory Kinnear), and Brona (Billie Piper) are all waging battles of their own.

Patti LuPone will guest star as a mysterious character of great importance in Vanessa’s past. Helen McCrory returns as Evelyn Poole (a.k.a. Madame Kali), the seductive spiritualist who will pose a unique threat to our protagonists this season, along with Simon Russell Beale, who is back as eccentric Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle. Additional guest stars include Douglas Hodge as a Scotland Yard investigator; Sarah Greene as Poole’s powerful daughter, Hecate; and Johnny Beauchamp as a man with a singular past.

For additional info visit “Penny Dreadful” on Showtime, “like” “Penny Dreadful” on Facebook, and follow @SHO_Penny on Twitter. Be sure to also visit the website.

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Categories: Horror News

Eat Up This New Jurassic World TV Spot

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 23:33

A second TV spot for Jurassic World debuted during tonight’s season finale of “The Walking Dead,” offering up a few new teasers of what’s to come.  If you’re on the West Coast with us here in the Dread Central home office and are still waiting for the episode to air, you may be wondering what it showed… well, wonder no longer because Universal has posted the video online, and we have it for you right here.

Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, and Judy Greer star in the film, which will be released June 12th in 3D by Universal Pictures.

Related Story: Jurassic World – Meet Indominus Rex

Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) penned the script with Derek Connolly and directs. Steven Spielberg and Thomas Tull executive produce, and Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley produce Jurassic World.

This is a new sci-fi terror adventure set 22 years after the horrific events of the original Jurassic Park.


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Categories: Horror News

Box Office – Did Moviegoers Follow It Follows This Weekend?

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 23:32

A fifth place opening normally wouldn’t be considered all that impressive for a horror film, but in the case of the little horror movie that could, It Follows, that’s practically a revelation.

Though the top of the weekend box office may have belonged to an animated alien and a prison comedy, RADiUS-TWC and Dimension Films are the ones truly doing a victory lap today. The critically acclaimed teen horror flick It Follows, a movie originally destined for a handful of theaters and a VOD release until the distributors decided to roll the dice and expand it from 32 to 1,200 theaters this weekend, landed in fifth place with about $4 million.

According to Box Office Mojo, they’re so ecstatic they’re planning to expand it to even more theaters next weekend.

What makes the success of It Follows all the more astounding is how its success is due almost entirely to word-of-mouth. Print and advertising has been nominal, though I expect that will change in the coming week.

All the more surprising given this horror flick displays far more Sundance sensibilities than the typical jump scare heavy ghost/possession films we’ve been inundated with at the box office of late.

Whether moviegoers will continue to follow It Follows remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: We’re going to be seeing a whole lot more of burgeoning scream queen Maika Monroe in the near future.

Horror returns to the box office in late April with another film festival darling getting a wide release: Unfriended, which hopes to do for social media what Paranormal Activity did for found footage. At this point I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing.

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Categories: Horror News

See the First Teaser for AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 23:18

There’s a strange virus going around in this first sneak peek of “Fear the Walking Dead,” AMC’s upcoming companion series for “The Walking Dead.”  We still don’t have a firm premiere date other than the summer of 2015, but now that its predecessor has wrapped up its fifth season, we’re sure to be hearing lots more about “Fear” soon.

The new series will be set in Los Angeles and focuses on new characters and storylines. The show’s first season will consist of six one-hour episodes and premiere on AMC in late summer. The second season will air in 2016.

Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, and David Alpert from “The Walking Dead” are executive producers of the new series, which, like the original, is being produced by AMC Studios. Dave Erickson (“Marco Polo,” “Sons of Anarchy”), who co-created and co-wrote the pilot with Kirkman, is an executive producer and showrunner.

The series will star Cliff Curtis (“Missing,” “Gang Related”), Kim Dickens (Gone Girl, “Sons of Anarchy”), Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), and Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Storm).

The post See the First Teaser for AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Rob Zombie’s 31 Casts Sick-Head and Lucky Leo

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 13:46

Rob Zombie continues to slowly reveal the cast of his upcoming Halloween horror flick 31, which is currently in production. We round out the week with a couple new additions, so read on if you’re interested to find out who else Zombie has brought on board his latest ship!

According to the official Rob Zombie Facebook page, Pancho Moler (“American Horror Story”) and Tracy Walter (The Silence of the Lambs) are the newest members of the growing 31 cast. Moler plays “Sick-Head,” while Walter has been cast as “Lucky Leo.”

Moler and Walter join the previously announced Jeff Daniel Phillips as Roscoe; Jane Carr as “Sister Serpent”; Richard Brake as “Doom-Head”; Ginger Lynn as Cherry Bomb, a very special friend of the main man Doom-Head; Malcolm McDowell, who will play Father Murder, the owner of Murder World; Judy Geeson as “Sister Dragon”; David Ury as “Schizo-Head”; Daniel Roebuck as Pastor Victor; Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as “Panda Thomas,” the manager of a traveling roadshow known as “The Venus Lux Happy Time Fun Show”; E.G. Daily as the character “Sex-Head”; Torsten Voges as “Death-Head, as well as Sheri Moon Zombie, Lew Temple, Bari Suzuki, and Devin Sidell.

31 follows five carnival workers who are kidnapped the night before Halloween and held hostage in a large secret compound known as Murder World. Once there, they have 12 hours to survive a terrifying game called 31 in which “The Heads” – murderous maniacs dressed as clowns – are released to hunt them down and kill them.

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Categories: Horror News

Scream 4’s Aimee Teegarden Heads Down the Well for Rings

Sun, 03/29/2015 - 13:39

Filming has officially begun on F. Javier Gutierrez’ Rings, which was originally reported to be a prequel to the 2002 remake of The Ring but is actually a years-later sequel. On tap for you today is the latest casting news, so read on!

Best known to horror fans for her role in Scream 4, Aimee Teegarden has joined the cast of Rings, reports Deadline. The film will be set 13 years after the remake.

As previously reported, Alex Roe (The 5th Wave) has nabbed the male lead in the film, starring opposite Italian actress Matilda Lutz. He will be playing Holt, who is the boyfriend to Lutz’s character and becomes distant from her after watching the tape.

Related Story: First Look at Rings Shows Return of Samara

Rings will hit theaters on November 13, 2015.

Gutierrez is directing from a script written by Akiva Goldsman, David Loucka, and Jacob 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.

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Categories: Horror News

Go Inside iZombie Episode 1.03 – The Exterminator

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 12:00

Things get even more complicated for Liv in Monday night’s Episode 1.03 of “iZombie,” titled “The Exterminator.” It’s not just any murderer she’s trying to help find; it’s the murderer of a murderer!

Check out some cool promo art, a new clip, plus an inside look at the ep for an idea of what she’s up against.

Related Story: iZombie: Recap of Episode 1.02 – Brother, Can You Spare a Brain?

“iZombie” Episode 1.03 – “The Exterminator” (airs 3/31/15)
HIT MAN HIT AND RUN — As Liv (Rose McIver) and Detective Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) investigate a hit and run case, they discover the victim was a sociopathic hit man responsible for the murder of a tech entrepreneur, a case that Peyton (Aly Michalka) is prosecuting.

Liv and Ravi (Rahul Kohli) dig deeper into a supposed zombie sighting that was posted on line, which leads Liv to make a surprising discovery about someone from her past. Major (Robert Buckley) moves on with his life, and Peyton is shocked by Liv’s reaction.

David Anders also stars. Michael Fields directed the episode story by Rob Thomas; teleplay by Graham Norris and Lee Arcuri.

For more info visit “iZombie” on, “like” “iZombie” on Facebook, and follow “iZombie” on Twitter.

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Categories: Horror News

Dark Horse Comics Announces The Steam Man, Death Head, Negative Space, and More

Sat, 03/28/2015 - 11:00

Emerald City Comic Con is under way this weekend in Seattle, WA; and per usual, Dark Horse announced a slew of new projects – ten to be exact – heading our way later this year. Some are horror (including a series co-written by Joe R. Lansdale and Mark Miller), some are sci-fi, and some are for the younger set. There’s even a new Barb Wire tale ahead!

We’ve included them all here with the most Dread-worthy grouped together at the top.

The Steam Man #1
Mark Miller (W)
Joe R. Lansdale (W)
Piotr Kowalski (A)
On Sale in October
The Old West (but not as we know it): Giant robots that run on steam power are created to take down invading Martians and armies of killer albino apes in an all-out brawl. The Steam Man, a giant metal man operated by a team of monster hunters, seems to have the town protected and the West under control, until a crazed and powerful vampire comes to town to bring forth the apocalypse.

Death Head #1
Zack Keller, Nick Keller (W)
Joanna Estep (A)
On Sale in July
When Niles and Justine Burton go camping to get a break from their stressful lives, they expect to find peace… not an abandoned village hiding an ancient evil. In a turn of events ripped straight from a horror movie, a brutal killer wearing a plague doctor’s mask begins hunting Niles, Justine, and their two kids. Who is the Plague Doctor? What does he want? And how will the family survive?

Negative Space #1
Ryan K. Lindsay (W)
Owen Gieni (A)
On Sale in July
When one man’s writer’s block gets in the way of his suicide note, he goes for a walk to clear his head and soon uncovers a century-old conspiracy dedicated to creating and mining the worst lows of human desperation. A corporation has manipulated his life purely so they can farm his suicide note as a sadness artifact that will be packed and shipped to ancient underwater creatures who feed off our strongest and most base emotions. Our hero partners with a cult intent on exposing the corporation, and only a suicide mission can solve the whole mess.

King Tiger #1
Randy Stradley (W)
Doug Wheatley (A)
On Sale in August
Blood, death, and fire—the darkest kind of magic. A monstrous secret from King Tiger’s past has found the mystic warrior, but can Tiger’s skills and sorcery triumph against an unthinkable supernatural obscenity linked to his own destiny? If the Tiger falls, the Dragon will rise!

The Tomorrows #1
Curt Pires (W)
Jason Copland (A)
On Sale in July
A bold new speculative-fiction comic from the mind of writer Curt Pires, each issue illustrated by a different brilliant artist!

The future: art is illegal. Everything everyone ever posted online has been weaponized against them. The reign of the Corporation is quickly becoming as absolute as it is brutal—unless the Tomorrows can stop it. They told you the counterculture was dead. They were wrong. Welcome to the new reality.

Adam.3 #1
Scott Kolins (W/A)
On Sale in August
Award-winning writer and artist Scott Kolins (Past Aways, The Flash, The Avengers, Solomon Grundy) premieres Adam.3.

On a futuristic island paradise populated by talking animals and monitored by orbiting control satellites, the peaceful lives of Adam and his wife, Skye, are troubled by growing tension between Adam and his previous son, Beo. The situation goes from bad to worse when an alien invader infects the animals—turning them into aliens themselves. When Beo is captured, Adam must battle his transformed animal friends to save his son—and their island home!

Power Cubed #1
Aaron Lopresti (W/A)
On Sale in September
On his eighteenth birthday, Kenny’s inventor father gives him a phenomenal piece of matter-reinterpreting technology, attracting the attention of a bumbling Nazi scientist and an elite government agent. Aaron Lopresti delivers a comical coming-of-age tale in a fantastic sci-fi universe!

Chimichanga: Sorrow of the World’s Worst Face #1
Eric Powell (W)
Stephanie Buscema (A)
On Sale in late 2015
Wrinkle’s Traveling Circus’s most adorable bearded girl and her savory-named beast are back, and there is a new act in store! Come one, come all to the Sorrow of the World’s Worst Face! But beware: Those who look behind the curtain are in for an awful treat, and it’s not just his face we’re talkin’ about!

Barb Wire #1
Chris Warner (W)
Patrick Olliffe (A)
On Sale in July
Nail-hard tough and drop-dead gorgeous, Barb Wire is the baddest bounty hunter on the mean streets of Steel Harbor, where gangsters can lift bulldozers and leap rusting factories in a single bound. The hunting is stupid good, and the bounties are hella big—if Barb lives long enough to collect!

Zodiac Starforce #1
Kevin Panetta (W)
Paulina Ganucheau (A)
On Sale in August
They’re an elite group of teenage girls with magical powers who have sworn to protect our planet against dark creatures . . . as long as they can get out of class! Known as the Zodiac Starforce, these high-school girls aren’t just combating math tests. They’re also battling monsters—not your typical afterschool activity! But when an evil force from another dimension infects team leader Emma, she must work with her team of magically powered friends to save herself—and the world—from the evil Diana and her mean-girl minions!

From Kevin Panetta (Bravest Warriors) and Paulina Ganucheau (TMNT: New Animated Adventures, Bravest Warriors), this super-fun and heartfelt story of growing up and friendship—with plenty of magical-girl fighting action—delivers the most exciting new ensemble cast in comics!

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Categories: Horror News