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Poker Night Art Reveals a Hand to Die For

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 12:00

The latest masked maniac flick Poker Night is on its way to VOD and iTunes on December 5th via XLrator Media and right now we have the official artwork for you to dig on.

Greg Francis writes and directs. Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, Beau Mirchoff, Titus Welliver, Michael Eklund, Ron Eldard, and Corey Large star.

Synopsis
In this twisted thriller a young detective is caught in a sadistic game of cat-and-mouse when he is kidnapped and tormented by a masked serial killer. In order to survive, the rookie must use the wisdom imparted to him by senior detectives on their regular poker night.

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Categories: Horror News

Second Official Axeman 2: Overkill Still Puts You in a Stranglehold

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:30

The Axeman is getting ready to make his triumphant return to the screen, and right now we have the second official still from the production. Dig it!

From the Press Release:
#SinningWorks in association with Blood Red Films, the production companies behind AXEMAN 2: OVERKILL, the next installment in 80’s throwback slasher franchise, have released the 2nd official film still for the sequel that promises to deliver in a new chapter in the Axeman At Cutter’s Creek saga with the goal of making it darker, grittier and bloodier than the original.

The cast includes an all new actor (WWE’s Bryan Clark) in the iconic villain role of Bill “The Axeman” Talbert, as well as rising stars of film/tv including (“Teen Mom”) Farrah Abraham, (“Baywatch”) Angelica Bridges, (“Big Brother”) Rachel Reilly, (THE FOURTH KIND) Alisha Seaton, Monique Parent, Michael Foster and many more! The gory new installment is written and directed by Joston “El Rey” Theney.

About The Still

This still features WWE’s Bryan Clark as the titular character and Alisha Seaton as Maureen, the backwoods tour guide who begrudgingly finds herself in a town she knows all too well. Familar with the town’s legend and the secrets it’s trying to keep hidden, Maureen is not surprised by what she finds lurking in Cutter’s Creek. When asked why he’d release a still so soon that shows more of a character’s fate than he’s accustomed to, the film’s writer and director Joston “El Rey” Theney replied, “I assure you, Maureen is a bit more resourceful than she seems. You don’t survive the town of Cutter’s Creek and it’s secrets without being a part of them.” He further elaborated, “The Axeman is not some mindless beast, killing just for the fun of it. This town destroyed him and his life and he’s exacting a gleeful, gory revenge. Everything that’s happening – they deserve it. But he’s not the only bad guy in town.”

About The Film

The film is a collaboration between Christopher Otiko’s Blood Red Fims and Joston “El Rey” Theney’s #SinningWorks. Theney writes, directs and produces the film and Otiko executive produces. AXEMAN 2: OVERKILL will receive a theatrical release in 2015, release date and locations TBA.

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Categories: Horror News

Jessabelle (2014)

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:00

Starring Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, David Andrews, Joelle Carter, Ana de la Reguera, Larisa Oleynik, Chris Ellis, Fran Bennett, Amber Stevens

Directed by Kevin Greutert

Not since The Ring — or at least V/H/S/2 — have videotapes wrought so much misery and horror. Although Jessabelle (Sarah Snook) is a modern young lady living in our present day world, she communicates with her long-dead mother (Joelle Carter) through a series of clunky videotapes. You see, Jess doesn’t have many friends… not live ones, anyway.

After losing her fiancé and unborn baby in a killer car wreck, Jess is wheelchair-bound and forced to recuperate at the derelict, remote Louisiana homestead with her taciturn father, who is less than happy to have her back in the fold. This is where Jess unearths not only her superstitious mother’s visual letters to her, but also a secret that leads to the manifestation of a malevolent presence that is determined to destroy her.

There are quite a few elements crammed in here: a car crash, mysterious deaths, a deadly fire, lethal insanity, hallucinations, handicapped heroine, secrets in a swamp, voodoo spells, tarot card divinations of doom… and that’s just for starters! There’s also a ghost that’s all too corporeal – not only can the ghost physically lay hands on and harm people, it gasps with breath when startled and has a penchant for projectile vomiting in victims’ faces. (And at one point Jess says the ghost “doesn’t want to hurt us. She needs our help.” Hm. With friends like that…) It’s all just too much. Less is more!

Having said all that, I rather liked the film. It’s a great acquittal for director Kevin Greutert, whose other features were the penultimate and final installments in the diminishing-returns canon of Saw films. It’s always hard, if not impossible, to stand out as a director and filmmaker when square-pegged into the round hole of a franchise that’s so rigidly shaped and closely overseen by its producers. Jessabelle is completely original material (penned by the same screenwriter who did Hell Baby and wrote for “Reno! 9-1-1″), and for fans of mysterious stories steeped in old-fashioned gumbo and swamplands, there’s phantom fun-o-plenty.

While there is a touch of found footage (via videotape), mostly the cinematography is classic and quite lovely. DP Michael Fimognari (Oculus, “The Walking Dead”) does a great job of switch-backing between now and 1988 and blurring dream and reality (even underwater!).

The acting is aces across the board, but lead Snook is an especially good ingénue – she’s a lovely pale-skinned, red-haired, blue- and wide-eyed heroine slightly reminiscent of girls of horror yore a la Mia Farrow or Sissy Spacek.

In spite of the kitchen sink of clichés and a ghost that’s far too kick-ass, Jessabelle is a compelling, and fun, little horror-thriller with an absolutely perfect conclusion.

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Categories: Horror News

Celluloid Screams 2014: Reviews, Pics and More!

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 07:00

Just over a week ago we spent three days within the comforts of Sheffield’s Showroom Cinema for what turned out to be one of the most consistently solid weekends of any genre festival to hit the UK this year: Celluloid Screams.

Hosted by festival organiser Robert Nevitt and his team, Celluloid Screams dished out a weekend packed full of unmissable horror fare, punctuated with appearances by some very special guests including Astron-6’s Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy and Conor Sweeney, who were joined on stage by The Editor and The Human Centipede 2‘s Laurence R. Harvey for a few rollicking Q&A sessions.

Guest of honour Brian Yuzna proved an enthusiastic and energetic individual as he presented a 35mm screening of his classic film, Society, and kicked off the annual all-nighter with Bride of Re-Animator (which was followed by a perfect sequence of Maximum Overdrive, Night of the Creeps and Killer Klowns From Outer Space in a night themed on ’80s Sci-Fi/Horror). Hanging around to sign posters and chat with fans, Yuzna and the Astron-6 crew made sure that a spirit of camaraderie and appreciation was kept alive at all times. There’s no diva business or rushing off to green rooms at Celluloid Screams, horror fans!

Kings of the Q&A, though, were Spring directing duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, whose post-screening session evolved into a multi-act stand-up show which saw the duo take to the crowd, hopping back and forth from the stage and engaging in regularly hilarious interaction with the punters. A class act through and through, you’ll want to catch these guys wherever they pop up – and they’re no slouches when it comes to the filmmaking, either.

Other highlights included a surprise appearance via Skype by Twisted Twins Jen and Sylvia Soska following The ABCs of Death 2, as they drank Screwdrivers and engaged in lively, side-splitting conversation with Astron-6 and Harvey. Watching Laurence run, arms open, towards giant projected cleavage was like seeing someone’s wildest dreams come true. Highly entertaining stuff, and indicative of the feel-good atmosphere of the fest.

Special mention goes to the Celluloid Screams staff and assistants, who were constantly on-hand to deal with enquiries and keep audiences entertained in between films. The standout moment there was an impromptu Flash Gordon-themed poster giveaway (put your hand in the hole and see what come out… it might be shit, or it might be great!) while problems with the screen were resolved prior to the showing of Asmodexia (this year’s Secret Film). Bravo, guys.

The annual art gallery was also in full swing, with genre-themed art on show throughout the lobby areas and available for purchase. You can see some of the pieces in our Celluloid Screams 2014 photo gallery.
Moving on to the films, here’s a list of reviews for those which hit the main screen alongside Stuart Gordon’s fantastic Lovecraftian ditty Dagon, and Cool Guys: The Short Films of Astron-6:

Pretty much all killer, no filler, then!

A range of short films were also screened before a number of the main features, and while we didn’t manage to catch them all, here’s the lowdown on what you should be keeping an eye out for:

Timothy – Directed by Marc Martínez Jordán | Spain | 2013 | 9.5 minutes

When Simon’s babysitter, Sonia, interrupts his enthusiastic viewing of his favourite TV show, ‘The Timothy Show’ the boy retires to his room – only to be visited by the giant, giggling rabbit-headed mascot. That turns out to be bad news for Sonia, as it seems that Timothy gets his kicks through rather brutal means.

Jordán’s short is quick, bloody and rather predictable in the end – but it’s filled with enough energy and enthusiasm, mixed with dread and discomfort, to make it worthwhile. It looks excellent, with a twisted sense of humour that bodes well for future features from him.

3.5 out of 5

The Gas Man Directed by Matt Palmer | United Kingdom | 2014 | 14 minutes
A woman living alone answers the door to a man claiming to be from the gas company and needing to check her boiler. Disturbed his odd, lingering behaviour, she soon confronts him and he leaves. But later that night, events force her to consider whether he actually left the house at all…

Palmer’s The Gas Man is a highly atmospheric piece of work, ably playing with the sense of isolation and defencelessness that surrounds a lone woman in a big house at night. The dread is palpable, and there’s a sting in the tail that proves fittingly chilling and uncomfortable. On the downside, his lead character is difficult to connect with, seeming somewhat stuck up and privileged and there’s occasional trouble striking the balance between pacing and tension – but overall, it’s a fine piece of work.

3.5 out of 5

Dead Hearts – Directed by Stephen W. Martin | Canada | 2014 | 17 minutes
Milton Mulberry is a young mortician – a very odd little fellow who spends much of his childhood at the mercy of bullies… until Lola Littleton steps in and kicks their asses. After his death in later life, he rises from the grave to discover that his heart is missing… and heads off to find that certain special someone who now has it.

Dead Hearts has a very Wes Anderson meets Tim Burton feel to it, with the proceedings driven by its saccharine-voiced narrator. Saccharine, too, is the overall feeling of the story, which tells of undying love and the search for that emotional connection that makes us whole. Generally, it’s superbly shot, but the martial arts sequences are clumsy in comparison to what surrounds them.

It appears to have been an audience favourite at Celluloid Screams, but I simply found it much too twee and self-satisfied. Then again, I’m a grumpy, cynical bastard, so make of that what you will.

2.5 out of 5

Mr Dentonn – Directed by Ivan Villamel | Spain | 2014 | 9 minutes
It’s bedtime, and Laura is reading her brother the story of Mr. Dentonn – an entity that makes its way into homes through the mirrors to steal the souls of children. Almost immediately after finishing her tale, Mr. Dentonn arrives to seek the young boy, and the battle to save him begins.

Villamel’s short suffers from jumping straight into the action – the brief overview of the titular entity that we get simply doesn’t feel like enough before he’s wreaking havoc in the home. On the other hand, the production design and atmosphere here is absolutely fantastic. Shrouded in shadows, Mr. Dentonn sweeps across the home’s mirrors and glides down hallways, almost always out of focus, like a cross between the eponymous antagonists of Mama and The Babadook.

When the ending comes around, it’s fittingly bleak, but Villamel’s film just can’t manage to get around the feeling of a greater mythology behind it all, and thus it feels unfairly truncated and lacking punch. It’s a big idea struggling to fit into a small space, but here’s hoping it does its job as a calling card – there’s more than enough evidence here that he has the chops for a feature.

2.5 out of 5

Ghost Train – Directed by Lee Cronin | Ireland/Finland | 2013 | 17 minutes
Two friends reunite on their annual trip to an abandoned rural fairground to commemorate the disappearance of one of their childhood buddies in Lee Cronin’s short, Ghost Train. This year, however, one of the friends reveals a secret behind what happened… and the revelation leads them straight down a road of horror when the ghost train spits out what it took.

Ghost Train is one of the most impressive shorts in quite a while. Using its time wisely to reveal and build on character relationships, it tells a gripping story in both the modern day and the past, using a cast without a single weak link. Production design is top notch, especially the giant ghost train ride of the title, which is a hugely impressive, and ominous, piece of work as it quite literally seems to come alive as the ride powers up.

Magnificent stuff, full of classical dread, sympathetic characters and a horrific payoff.

5 out of 5

The Jigsaw – Directed by Basil Al-Safar, Rashad Al-Safar | United Kingdom/Portugal | 2014 | 9 minutes
There’s a mix of Clive Barker and H.P. Lovecraft in Basil and Rashad Al-Safar’s The Jigsaw, in which an old man visits an antique store looking for a new puzzle. There, he discovers a jigsaw stored in an unmarked box and, refusing to heed the warnings of the shop’s owner, purchases it.

Taking it home on a dark and stormy night, he begins to put it together… soon revealing an image of sheer terror.

Directing duo Basil and Rashad have a strong handle on pacing and tension, here, though the initial build-up is marred somewhat by a too-theatrical performance by Daragh O’Malley as the store vendor. Moving on, though, The Jigsaw manages to effortlessly keep you gripped, desperate to see just what the puzzle will reveal.

When it does dish up the goods in the final moments, it’s a bone-chilling moment that does exactly what it needs to.

4 out of 5

Ink – Directed by Andy Stewart | United Kingdom | 2014 | 20 minutes
A particularly disturbed individual follows people on the street and relieves them of their body art, sewing the pieces onto himself in gruesome fashion to satisfy his apparent complete obsession with tattoos, but lack of money (one assumes, given the squalor in which he lives) to get his own.

Narratively, Ink is a rather weak effort – there isn’t much time given to character study or attempting to understand just why this individual is as twisted as he is – but what it lacks in that department it more than makes up for in sheer disgust.

The physical effects here are excellent, and utterly, horrendously stomach-churning. I don’t think I’ve seen anything as convincingly, painfully repulsive since Hisayasu Satō’s Naked Blood. Eyes will be diverted from the screen – you can believe that.

3.5 out of 5

Emptied – Directed by David Ferino | USA | 2014 | 6 minutes
Seeking to make amends for his infidelity, a man makes an after-hours appointment with his dentist ex-girlfriend. Unfortunately for him, she doesn’t want to hear any of it – and his flippant dismissal of his actions lead her to take a particularly heinous form of revenge while he’s subdued in her chair.

Based on a real-life occurrence, Emptied is a quick and simple short that hopes to ride high on the back of just what happens to the cock-sure fella at the centre of it. Regrettably, it’s all presented too clinically, failing to use its own craft to push buttons or really extend into the realm of truly toe-curling mouth-torture that Brian Yuzna’s The Dentist set the bar for (almost 20 years ago!)

It all boils down to very little in the end. Capably shot and well lit as it is, it unfortunately never manages to make much of an impact.

2 out of 5

Canis – Directed by Marc Riba, Anna Solanas | Spain | 2013 | 17 minutes
In what appears to be some kind of post-apocalyptic landscape, a young boy lives with his father and canine companion in a house constantly besieged by ravenous stray dogs. When an innocent mistake sees the family’s chickens fly the coop and the father brutally consumed by the dogs outside, the boy discovers a strange girl living amongst the animals, clad in the skins of dead dogs and walking on all fours – seemingly feral in nature.

Soon, he develops a relationship with the girl – one that will soon be marred by the ferocious world that surrounds them.

Directors Riba and Solanas forge a strange, hideous universe from what appears to be clay. In animating the characters, the clay must be kept wet to avoid it cracking and splitting, and thus almost everything appears covered in a weird, slimy sheen that brings a severely uncomfortable visual element to the story. Running without dialogue, they deftly manage to build a believable relationship between the boy and his dog and, in turn, the boy and the feral girl – leading to some anguished decisions and gray-area morality. It’s a striking piece of short work that centres on survival, instinct and necessity in a grim world with a style that is most assuredly all its own. A beacon of hope shines at the close, lest the relentless gloominess overwhelm.

4 out of 5

And so that’s it for another, highly impressive year at Celluloid Screams in Sheffield. We’ll hopefully be back next year (and you should go, too!) – but for now, take a look at our photo gallery and continue wishing that you could buy that fantastic Killer Klowns From Outer Space art piece.

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Categories: Horror News

Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla (UK Blu-ray / DVD)

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 06:00

Starring Glenn Maynard, Kyrie Capri, Aston Elliot, Louise Bremner

Directed by Stuart Simpson

Distributed by Monster Pictures UK

Warren Thompson (Maynard) is a human doormat. Mild-mannered and meek to a fault, he scrapes together a living as the proprietor of an ice cream van on the outskirts of a run-down Australian town. Initial impressions of Warren as he prepares for his workday are of an affable sort – a man filled with positivity and love for the world… but then he backs over his cat when setting off for the day.

Thus begins a series of events that gradually tease at the lid of Warren’s bubbling rage and frustration. So shy is he that every put-down, every rip-off and every encounter with characters such as the aggressive local pimp, whose corner spot Warren’s van sits opposite, steadily packs more and more dismay into his being – visualised in Warren’s habitual topping up of his dead cat’s food bowl, far beyond capacity. A guy with no outlet for his frustrations but internalised anger, we know that it’s only a matter of time before poor Warren blows his top… and so we’re on the slow road to see whether that’s going to happen within the confines of Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla‘s narrative scope.

Well, saying that Warren has no outlet is perhaps disingenuous. Keeping him going on a daily basis is an obsession with television starlet Katey George – star of the hilariously realised TV soap “Round the Block”. Warren watches the show every night, occasionally masturbating to Katey’s image and declaring his love for her on his video diaries. Things start to look up when Katey appears at Warren’s van looking to buy some ice cream. Turns out she’s shooting an episode nearby, and an elated Warren soon decides that the time is right to ask her out on a date and fulfil his dreams.

Director Stuart Simpson (who previously helmed Monstro!) paces his story very well, painting Warren’s total breakdown as a consistently upsetting inevitability. While he may be unhinged, and in many ways the definition of a truly pathetic human being, Warren quickly manages to work his way into your heart thanks to a wonderful performance by Glenn Maynard. He never feels like an actor playing a role – immersed so deeply into the character that every word in his video diaries feels genuinely heartfelt, like a message from a friend. He’s a simple, confused and lonely soul just trying to get by in a world that has no space for him.

And thus Simpson teases both you and his protagonist as the film progresses – you just know that it’s headed, a la Taxi Driver, towards an explosion of violence. You know it won’t be pretty when Warren’s long, long fuse eventually runs out. But you’re always hoping that he won’t come off too badly in the end.

The almost constant downer of seeing the pitiable Warren being tortured by every large and small occurrence makes for a rough ride, but Simpson injects Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla with plenty of deliciously dark humour and funny asides, such as a series of mirthsome TV ads that Warren comes across, and a few rather funny names credited in the opening sequence of “Round the Block”. The soap itself is also a spot-on parody of prolific Australian soaps “Neighbours” and “Home and Away”. Blackly hilarious too is Warren’s main nemesis, in the form of Aston Elliot as pimp/drug dealer Rocko – foul-mouthed and full of swagger, he’s the kind of overtly aggressive and confident person that feels like he could only ever ride roughshod over the spineless likes of Warren; all mouth and no trousers, yet he’s a dominating presence in Warren’s misery. Sequences such as Warren imagining himself winning the day as a Wild West gunslinger, and calling a granny-sex line only to end up spending hours enthusiastically talking to what is obviously a bloke on the other end about “Round the Block”, also do their part to add a gleeful spark to the proceedings.

Maynard’s performance here really can’t be understated, and when Warren’s eventual breakdown hits, he makes the very moment that the rope snaps completely visible, and utterly devastating. There’s no going back, and while some may find the ending somewhat of a damp squib, what actually happens there hearkens back to much of what Warren has described about his problem with bullies and anger control in the past through his video diaries. It’s a clever, well constructed choice by writer Addison Heath, even if it won’t wholly satisfy in revenge terms, nor for those looking for a more bloodthirsty and cathartic killing spree.

Monster Pictures UK serve up Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla to DVD sporting a selection of cast and crew interviews, running around 13 minutes and peppered with behind the scenes footage; 7 minutes of deleted scenes that appear to have been wisely trimmed or excised for pacing reasons; the complete sequences of “Round the Block” episodes that Warren is seen watching in the movie, broken up by the hilarious fake ads and news reports also glimpsed; the short film Baby Did a Bat Bat Thing, which is pretty rough in terms of the filmmaking, but kitschy and crazy enough to make it worth a look; a full feature commentary with actors Glenn Maynard and Aston Elliot, writer Addison Heath and director Stuart Simpson. It’s four Australian guys sitting in a room talking about their movie – so of course it’s fun! Finally, a couple of trailers for the main feature and a selection of other Monster Pictures releases brings it to a close.

Special Features:

  • Feature Commentary with Stuart Simpson, Glenn Maynard, Aston Elliot and Addison Heath
  • Cast and Crew Interviews
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailers
  • Full Round the Block Episodes
  • Baby Did a Bat Bat Thing Short Film



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Categories: Horror News

Patrick Fugit Lands Outcast Lead; Adam Wingard Directing Pilot

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 20:08

We told you a couple of days ago that Cinemax would be adapting Robert Kirkman’s Outcast for the screen, and word has just broken that the project has landed its star.

Deadline is reporting that Patrick Fugit (pictured; Almost Famous, Gone Girl) has landed the lead in Cinemax’s new exorcism drama Outcast, from “The Walking Dead” executive producer Robert Kirkman.

The supernatural horror project is based on Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta’s comic series of the same name which hit shelves this summer. Joining Fugit in the cast are British actor Philip Glenister (Life on Mars) and youngster Gabriel Bateman (Stalker, Annabelle), while rising features helmer Adam Wingard (The Guest, You’re Next) has been tapped to direct the pilot produced by Fox International Channels.

Outcast was penned on spec by Kirkman for Fox International Channels, who developed it internally before Cinemax acquired the pilot script in November and greenlit the pilot this summer. Kirkman is exec producing with Chris Black, David Alpert of Circle of Confusion, Sharon Tal Yguado of FIC, and Sue Naegle.

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Categories: Horror News

Original Ghostbusters Cast Finally Reunite

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 19:18

Well, if this isn’t the tease of all teases. That’s right, kids! The gang is (mostly) back together for the new cover of Entertainment Weekly. Kind of makes you feel all funny in the pit of your stomach, right?

Director Paul Feig is officially going to be the man to bring Ghostbusters back to the big screen, in the form of an all-female reboot written by Katie Dippold (The Heat). It appears that his film will be taking place in a world where the events of the previous two films never happened, thereby ensuring that it’s not going to be any sort of sequel.

I love origin stories,” said Feig, when asked about the general direction he was going with the story. “That’s my favorite thing. I love the first one so much I don’t want to do anything to ruin the memory of that. So it just felt like, let’s just restart it because then we can have new dynamics. I want the technology to be even cooler. I want it to be really scary, and I want it to happen in our world today that hasn’t gone through it so it’s like, oh my God, what’s going on?

Then why even call it Ghostbusters? This whole direction seems odd to say the least. We shall see how it all pans out. In any event, yeah… here’s that cover we told you about.

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Categories: Horror News

AFM 2014: First Artwork For Shut In Armed to the Teeth

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 18:55

Another film that’s haunting the halls of the American Film Market is Shut In from director Adam Schindler (Delivery: The Beast Within). Read on for details and more concerning this upcoming low-budget spooker from the producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious.

Beth Riesgraf (“Leverage”), Rory Culkin (Scream 4), Martin Starr (Veronica Mars), and Jack Kesy (“The Strain”) star.

Steven Schneider is producing with Jeff Rice (Lone Survivor), Lati Grobman (The Iceman), and Erik Olsen (The Book of Eli). Executive producing are Christa Campbell, Matthew Lamothe, Tommy Vlahopoulos, Brian Netto, and Vicarious Entertainment.

Synopsis:
Anna suffers from agoraphobia so crippling that when a trio of criminals break into her house, she cannot bring herself to flee. But what the intruders don’t realize is that agoraphobia is not her only psychosis.

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Categories: Horror News

Red Band Trailer Asks Why Don’t You Play in Hell?

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 17:25

Dubbed the latest masterpiece from director Sion Sono (Cold Fish), Why Don’t You Play in Hell? was recently acquired for release by Drafthouse Films and today they’ve put out a new red band trailer. Dig it!

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? arrives in US cinemas on November 7th. It stars Jun Kunimura, Fumi Nikaidô, and Shin’ichi Tsutsumi.

Synopsis:
Two men, Muto (Kunimura) and Ikegami (Tsutsumi), hate each other. Muto desperately wants to help his daughter star in a movie. Meanwhile, Ikegami falls in love with her, knowing that she’s the daughter of his foe. Hirata, a filmmaker, and Koji, a young movie-lover, get dragged into this complicated situation that heads into an unexpected direction.

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Categories: Horror News

First Look at Infini Brings on the Creeps

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 17:19

We’ve been following the career of Shane Abbess since his 2007 film Gabriel, in which he proved he had a true eye for the camera. Fast forward seven years, and Abbess is back with a new horror/sci-fi hybrid called Infini, which looks pretty damned good. Read on for details, artwork, and a trailer.

Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Dwaine Stevenson, Harry Pavlidis, Kevin Copeland, Louisa Mignone, and Tess Haubrich star with Bren Foster and Luke Ford.

Synopsis:
Set in the 23rd century, a search and rescue team are sent to an off-world colony to rescue the sole survivor of a biological outbreak.

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Categories: Horror News

Universal Monsters Unite in 2017

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 19:29

Taking a page out of Marvel’s Avengers playbook, Universal is taking its rebooted monster franchises and bringing the all-new monster squad together for one Frankenstein-sized movie extravaganza!

Variety is reporting that Universal has dated an untitled monster movie for April 21, 2017. The film is the first to emerge from a planned series produced and overseen by the creative team of Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) and Chris Morgan (Fast and Furious series).

Universal has already set a June 24, 2016, launch for its reboot of The Mummy with Kurtzman producing along with Sean Daniel and Roberto Orci.

The studio announced plans in July to create a Marvel-like cinematic universe around the studio’s classic monsters the Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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Categories: Horror News

Lazarus Rises from the Dead for Blumhouse and Relativity

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 19:23

You just can’t keep a good (or evil) ghoul down as Deadline is reporting that Relativity Studios has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Lazarus, a horror film produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, and set a February 20, 2015, release date for it.

Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters, and Donald Glover star in the movie about a group of medical students who discover a way to bring dead patients back to life.

Um… Flatliners anyone?

David Gelb directed the script by Luke Dawson (Shutter) and Jeremy Slater (the new The Fantastic Four). Blum, Cody Zweig, Matt Kaplan, and Jimmy Miller produce and Luke Dawson and Gloria Fan executive produce. Lionsgate is handling international distribution.

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Categories: Horror News

Poker Night Plays Out on VOD

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 19:04

Though the title Poker Night doesn’t exactly scream horror movie, we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you that this tale of a masked maniac is indeed on its way to VOD and iTunes on December 5th via XLrator Media.

Greg Francis writes and directs. Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, Beau Mirchoff, Titus Welliver, Michael Eklund, Ron Eldard, and Corey Large star.

Synopsis
In this twisted thriller a young detective is caught in a sadistic game of cat-and-mouse when he is kidnapped and tormented by a masked serial killer. In order to survive, the rookie must use the wisdom imparted to him by senior detectives on their regular poker night.

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Categories: Horror News

Dry Bones (DVD)

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 18:55

Starring Michael O’Hear, Debbie Rochon, Paul McGinnis, John Renna, Kathy Murphy, Duane Smith, Kim Piazza, Amelie McKendry, Jessica Zwolak, Tammy Reger

Directed by Gregory Lamberson and Michael O’Hear

Distributed by Entertainment One

In the first few moments after you begin Dry Bones, you’ll become instantly aware that you are watching a micro-budget indie horror film. There is no slick filmmaking, no glossy special effects, nothing that screams any kind of budget at all. But the funny thing is, about halfway through Dry Bones I started to realize that it had drawn me in. This little indie turned out to be one charming and entertaining horror movie.

That’s not to say that we have the next coming of Halloween here, but Dry Bones does have charm. Lead actor Michael O’Hear plays down-on-his-luck sad sack Drew. He’s back in his hometown, where terrible things happened to him in his youth, to quickly sell his house and get back to trying to get his life back on track after an unfortunate stay in a nuthouse. Throughout his life he’s been haunted by something under his bed (haven’t we all?), and during the course of the movie we discover just what that something is… and how evil it can be!

Dry Bones features an appearance by one of my personal favorite actresses, Debbie Rochon. Rochon is like cheese; she just makes everything better. And Rochon appears as mysterious love interest Michelle. The appearance of Rochon in Dry Bones brought up an interesting comparison. Not long ago she was in a film entitled Nightmare Box, and it was another indie that, from the get-go, looked like it was going to be swallowed up into no-budget hell. But that movie, for as inexpensively as it was made, had a tremendous story (and finale) to it that really made it great. And Dry Bones is like that. But it’s not the story that does it this time; it’s actually the characters. The acting is, for the most part, pretty stiff, but you do fall in love with O’Hear’s lead character and many of the supporting cast as well.

Amongst those I really enjoyed were Drew’s best buddy, Tom, played by Paul McGinnis, as well as his love interest, Cindy (Jessica Zwolak). Also, the comedy brought to the film by John Renna (who played Officer Carl Denham) and the sultry allure of Amelie McKendry as Rachel cannot be understated. What this cast lacks in experience, they make up for with heart and magnetism.

There is some F/X work in this film that is really just bad (I’ve never rolled up a skeleton like a sleeping bag, but apparently it’s possible). But even as ridiculous as it was, it added to the charm of Dry Bones. Everything is pretty much “off” in this movie, but somehow the whole damn thing kinda works. I can’t explain it except to say it’s a fun movie. And isn’t that the entire point of filmmaking? Whether the budget is $200 or $200 million, the point is for the audience to be entertained. And Dry Bones is nothing if not entertaining.

The special features on the disk follow suit with the film itself. Basically they are some trailers, a commentary by the directors and crew, and a 22-minute behind-the-scenes feature that contains bloopers, outtakes, and a bunch of clips of cats walking into the shot. Yes, everything about this disk is entertaining!

Dry Bones… the acting is weak, the F/X are damn near laughable, and it seemed like most of the cast and crew were on their first project, but somewhere during this movie you’re going to find yourself drawn in. The characters are fun. The story is fun. And Debbie Rochon is fun, fun, fun as usual! Go into the movie with the understanding that it’s a micro-budget project that is doing its best to work around an extremely limited budget and come out with something enjoyable. They did it.

Dry Bones isn’t going to turn the Academy Award Voting Committee on its ear, but horror fans certainly may get a charge out of this one. We can only rate it so high because it does have plenty of warts, but if you can look past its imperfections, Dry Bones will give you something to enjoy.

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with cast and crew
  • Behind-the-Scenes featurette
  • Trailers


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Categories: Horror News

Bill Oberst, Jr. Receives Lon Chaney Award from FANtastic Horror Film Festival

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 18:42

We’ve been singing his praises for a couple of years now, and it seems as if the rest of the world is finally catching on. Horror favorite Bill Oberst, Jr., just received one hell of an honor! Read on for the details.

From the Press Release
Actor Bill Oberst, Jr., has received the “Lon Chaney Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Horror Films” at the FANtastic Horror Film Festival (FHFF) in San Diego, CA. Ron Chaney, the great-grandson of Lon Chaney and the grandson of Lon Chaney, Jr., was on hand along with Lon Chaney’s great-great-granddaughters Jaclynn and Jennifer to present Oberst with this first-ever award.

Festival organizers kept the award a secret to surprise Oberst, who has often cited Lon Chaney as a major influence and expressed a desire to play the “Man of a Thousand Faces” on stage or screen. The actor was nearly speechless as Ron Chaney called him forward at the FHFF Awards Banquet. “My inner 14-year-old horror kid is in overdrive right now,” he said. “Without the Chaney family there would be no horror genre.”

Ron Chaney, speaking for the family, thanked the FHFF crowd for helping to keep the Chaney cinematic legacy alive. “We are honored to be here tonight to present this first ever Lon Chaney Award in the spirit and in the memory of my grandfather and great-grandfather,” he said. Chaney is President & CEO of Chaney Entertainment, Inc., which manages licensing rights to the two Lons and maintains The Official Chaney Site and store.

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Categories: Horror News

Dead Snow 2 and The Babadook Take Top Honors at Toronto After Dark Film Festival

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 18:31

Our good neighbors to the North, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival organizers, have just finished tallying over 4,600 votes and are pleased to announce the winners in all categories. Dead Snow 2 and The Babadook took home top honors.

Dead Snow 2 won the big one, Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film-Gold. It also won Best Makeup, Best Film to Watch With a Crowd, Best Fight, and Best Gore. Where we come from, that is considered a haul!

The Babadook took home plenty of hardware itself, including Best Director (Jennifer Kent), Best Leading Actress (Essie Davis), Best Monster/Creature, Scariest Film, and Best Trailer.

There were plenty of other winners in specialty categories, such as the indie zombie-action favorite Wyrmwood, which took home the fans’ choice for Best Action and Film Most Likely to See a Sequel, and Predestination, which won Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film-Silver, Best Sci-Fi Film, and Best Screenplay.

To see a full list of all the winners from this year’s event, visit the official Toronto After Dark Film Festival website.

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Categories: Horror News

First Look: Kurt Russell in Bone Tomahawk

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 17:53

The first look at Caliber Media’s production of writer/director S. Craig Zahler’s brutally violent Western Bone Tomahawk is here, and it features star Kurt Russell. Check it out courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

Sid Haig (The Devil’s Rejects), David Arquette (the Scream franchise), Sean Young (Blade Runner), Lili Simmons (“True Detective,” “Banshee”), Geno Segers (“Banshee”), Fred Melamed (A Serious Man), James Tolkan (Top Gun), Raw Leiba (The Heat), Jamie Hector (“The Wire”), Jamison Newlander (The Lost Boys), Zahn McClarnon (“Longmire”), David Midthunder, Jay Tavare, Gray Wolf Herrara, Robert Mukes (House of 1000 Corpses), Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Patrick Wilson, and Brandon Molale round out the cast.

Synopsis
Four men attempt to rescue a group of captives from a band of cannibalistic troglodytes that live beyond the edge of civilization.

 

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Categories: Horror News

Lightning Entertainment Brings GirlHouse and The Blackout to AFM 2014

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 17:44

AFM is looming like a masked maniac over the shoulder of a nubile teen, and Lightning Entertainment is poised to bring two new horror projects to the big dance, one of which is from the director of Jack Brooks Monster Slayer. Read on!

From the Press Release
Adding to its robust international sales slate on the eve of the AFM, Lightning Entertainment announced today that it has acquired international sales rights to Louis Mandylor’s thriller The Blackout and Brookstreet Pictures’ horror thriller GirlHouse, directed by Trevor Matthews and Jon Knautz. The announcement was made by Lightning Entertainment EVP & General Manager Ken DuBow.

The AFM will serve as the market debut for both films with Lightning giving international buyers their first glimpse at each.

Directed by Louis Mandylor (In the Eyes of a Killer, Jimmy Bones) and written by Steve C. Yoon and Jordan Marder, The Blackout stars Lymari Nadal (American Gangster, “Battlestar Galactica”), Costas Mandylor (Saw film series, “Picket Fences”), Jordan Marder (American History X, Lord of Illusions), Ronnie Gene Blevins (The Dark Knight Rises, Joe, Seven Psychopaths), Bill Sage (American Psycho, Precious, Boiler Room), Abe Benrubi (U Turn, Wristcutters: A Love Story), and Grant Harvey (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” Save the Date, Geography Club).

Horror thriller GirlHouse is directed by Trevor Matthews and Jon Knautz (The Shrine, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer) and written by Gersh client Nick Gordon. The film stars Ali Cobrin (Neighbors, American Reunion) and Slaine (Killing Them Softly, The Town) and Adam DiMarco (Words and Pictures, Date and Switch), and features Chasty Ballesteros (Final Destination 5, The Internship, Casting Couch), and Erin Agostino (“18 to Life,” You Are So Undead).

Acquisitions and Sales Consultant Richard S. Guardian and Joseph Dickstein, SVP of Lighting Entertainment, negotiated the deal to handle international sales rights for The Blackout with executive producer and attorney Mark Halloran and for GirlHouse with Jay Cohen of Gersh.

About The Blackout
Martin and Julia (Lymari Nadal) leave New York City to return to the small town where Martin grew up. The house his father lived in hasn’t been touched since his passing. People in the town recognize the handsome man as his father’s son. Julia, his pregnant wife, likes the cozy countryside and makes herself at home.

Four college kids hike through the woods and camp at the top of a scenic hill. Jim (Costas Mandylor) has lived in the town for years, and since his wife’s passing he has built a comfortable life for himself, fishing and playing chess with friends over his shortwave radio.

Then the power goes out.

It doesn’t take long before food and supplies become scarce, fights break out, and people start to panic. The worst of humanity surfaces in only a few days. Things take a turn for the worse when a few men, lead by a convict named Lee (Ronnie Gene Blevins), decide to take what’s left for themselves. The Sheriff makes a stand to try to stop them and regrets it.

Jim gets his weapons ready and prepares for what’s coming. Martin tries to stay calm until his wife’s pregnancy is no longer at risk. The college kids come down from the peaceful woods into the middle of a whirlwind of fear and violence.

Everyone eventually crosses paths, and things come to a violent head. Some people live, some do not. It only takes a few days of living in fear, with no power or food or water, for humanity to unravel. There was light. Then there was darkness.

About GirlHouse
Kylie Atkins (Ali Cobrin) is a beautiful young co-ed with cover girl looks and a desperate need for money to pay her college tuition. Having convinced herself that Internet porn may be the answer to her financial problems, Kylie is recruited to join GirlHouse, a live web-feed broadcasting the sexy antics of a group of stunning young women living in a secluded – and highly secure – wooded mansion. One night while Kylie is out, one of the other girls insults an online client (Slaine), a deranged psychopathic computer technician, who then hacks in to determine the house’s location, seeking twisted revenge. Kylie returns to the house to find herself cut off from the outside world and in a terrifying fight for survival.

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Categories: Horror News

Tusk Sinks its Tusks into Home Video

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 17:36

Kevin Smith’s batshit nuts flick Tusk is getting ready to make its debut on home video, and if you missed it in theaters, this is one movie you’re gonna want to catch as soon as it’s available!

From the Press Release
From writer/director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma, Mallrats) comes Tusk, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) December 30th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Starring Michael Parks (Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Django Unchained), Justin Long (Live Free or Die Hard, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story), Haley Joel Osment (Amazon’s “Alpha House,” The Sixth Sense), and Genesis Rodriguez (Identity Thief, Hours), Tusk is being called “Kevin Smith’s very best work” (Variety). Tusk premiered to the world at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival as a part of the Midnight Madness program and was released theatrically by A24.

A podcaster (Long) looking for a juicy story is plunged into an unpredictable, unsettling, and absurd nightmare after he travels to the backwoods of Canada to meet an eccentric recluse (Parks) with a lifetime of adventures – and a disturbing fondness for walruses.

The Tusk Blu-ray and DVD include deleted scenes, multiple “making of” featurettes, a career retrospective featurette with Kevin Smith, an audio commentary with Kevin Smith, plus the original podcast that inspired the film.

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Categories: Horror News

Scott Ian’s Bloodworks Goes Behind the Scenes – and in Front of the Camera – for The Walking Dead

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 17:16

It’s not typical for us to cover a web series much beyond its first episode to make sure you guys are aware of it, but a new episode of “Scott Ian’s Bloodworks” arrived today, and since it features Scott getting made up as a zombie for “The Walking Dead” and appearing on the show, we thought we’d make an exception.

“Scott Ian’s Bloodworks” on Nerdist.com takes you behind the scenes for a look at the most impressive makeup and effects artists in the business, the A-list celebrities they work with, and the blockbuster films and TV series that benefit from their craft.

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About “Scott Ian’s Bloodworks”
There are two things almost impossible for visitors to do on the set of “The Walking Dead.” The first is get made up to be a zombie. The show’s hugely popular, and too many people request to appear on it now, so executive producer/director/makeup effects supervisor Greg Nicotero has to say no to just about every wannabe walker. The second is to share images from upcoming episodes — no matter how small the information discernible from them — months before they’re televised.

Anthrax’s Scott Ian manages to accomplish both of these things in the latest episode of “Bloodworks,” in which he not only goes behind the scenes of “The Walking Dead” and experiences firsthand what it’s like to be a walker, but he actually gets to attack star Andrew Lincoln in a scene directed by Nicotero himself!

Check out Ian’s account of the experience in the video below. You’ll find exclusive commentary from Nicotero as well as his colleagues at KNB EFX in Chatsworth, California, including shop-runner Carey Jones and sculptor Jeremy Aiello, all of whom offer a terrific overview of what it takes to create a zombie, from design to foam-latex appliance construction to the auditioning of actors.

Tune in every Tuesday on Nerdist.com for new episodes of “Scott Ian’s Bloodworks.”

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Categories: Horror News