In this world, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s real… Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror” returns on Netflix October 21.
Netflix has sent us the official trailer, which boasts its “Twilight Zone” appeal, while also showing us what the future may hold. “Black Mirror” is one of the best television series on the planet, and tackles social issues in the digital space from Twitter to gaming and National Security. The original series was dark, and carried horrific finales (one episode had a political leader fuck a pig), while there’s rumors this new revival is a bit more light-hearted. I hope this isn’t true because the worst “Twilight Zone” episodes were the ones in the 1980’s that ended with a fucking rainbow.
There’s huge potential here, anyhow, with directors ranging from 10 Cloverfield Lane‘s Dan Trachtenberg (starring the infinitely awesome Wyatt Russell) to James Watkins, Joe Wright, Jakob Verbruggen, Owen Harris and James Hawes. The six episodes feature performances by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mackenzie Davis, Jerome Flynn, Alex Lawther, Bryce Dallas Howard, Alice Eve and James Norton and more.
MTV has put in development “Freaks of the Heartland”, a dark fairy tale drama series from Dark Horse Entertainment, the film and TV division of comic book publisher Dark Horse Comics, and Universal Cable Prods, Deadline reports. David Gordon Green is attached to produce and direct, subject to availability.
“Freaks of the Heartland” is set in a rural town in America’s heartland that has harbored a terrible secret. Trevor’s family had been hiding his deformed little brother Will in the barn, hidden from the world by their father. When the local sheriff discovers Will and kills their father in the subsequent struggle, the boys go on the run, framed for the murder, and uncover that Will isn’t the only one, that “freak” children were born to other families in this town, and that the sheriff killed many of them years ago. Now he wants to finish the job, and only Trevor stands in his way. Trevor will do whatever it takes to keep his brother – and all the other innocent freaks still in hiding – out of harms way.
Written by Geoff Davey and Peter Sattler (Camp X-Ray), the project is based on the Dark Horse Comics graphic novel by Steve Niles (“30 Days of Night”), with art by Greg Ruth.
Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson & Keith Goldberg executive produce along with Niles and the Gotham Group. Davey and Sattler co-executive produce.
New York-based arthouse distributor Film Movement has an exciting batch of releases in store for the month of October starting with a couple of films from Japanese actor/director Takeshi Kitano on October 11th. Kitano’s Violent Cop and Boiling Point are both arriving on DVD and Blu-ray for the first time and they’ll be loaded with bonus content included original artwork from comic book artist Ben Marra.
Film Movement will keep the good times rolling two weeks later on October 25th when they release Vampire Ecstasy and Sin You Sinners, both films from sexploitation pioneer Joe Sarno. The Sarno films will be available on DVD and Blu-ray and come as a double feature.
VIOLENT COP & BOILING POINT
In his breakthrough classic, VIOLENT COP, “Beat” Takeshi directs and stars as vicious rogue homicide detective Azuma who takes on a sadistic crime syndicate only to discover widespread internal corruption within the police force. Kitano’s debut feature marks his transformation from motor-mouth comedic star of stage and screen to art house auteur – consciously playing with the schizophrenic nature of his public persona, both in his films and in public. The San Francisco Chronicle called VIOLENT COP “exhilarating,” and Lawrence van Gelder of The New York Times said the film “packs a punch,” when it was released in the U.S. in 1999, ten years after it was made and following the success of Kitano’s other films, HANA-BI (FIREWORKS) and SONATINE. VIOLENT COP was in the official selection of the Yokohama Film Festival, where Kitano won the Best Director award; Karlovy Vary; and Moscow Film Festival.
BOILING POINT, the second film from Renaissance man Kitano follows two members of a junior baseball team who get mixed up with yakuza gangsters, haphazardly stumbling into a journey for revenge. For the first time Kitano wrote as well as directed, carving out his unique genre blend of crime, action and comedy. The Chicago Reader observed that “Takeshi Kitano’s handling of tones, which range from the grimly depressive to the irreverently hilarious, is amazing,” and Time Out called it “the funniest film to date from a key ’90s filmmaker.” BOILING POINT received a Special Mention at the Torino International Film Festival and gained recognition at Karlovy Vary and Mumbai International Film Festivals.
Blu-rays and DVDs of VIOLENT COP and BOILING POINT, which will be available on October 11th, will each include an essay by Tom Vick of The Smithsonian Institution, as well as a 20-minute bonus featurette. THAT MAN IS DANGEROUS: THE BIRTH OF TAKESHI KITANO will be paired with VIOLENT COP, and OKINAWA DAYS: TAKESHI’S SECOND DEBUT will be included with BOILING POINT. The featurettes will include interviews with the filmmakers, actors and producers; clips from the films; and a survey of graphic images and posters.
VAMPIRE ECSTASY & SIN YOU SINNERS
Called “an undercurrent of poetic melancholia and surrealism” (Offscreen.com) and dripping with gothic atmosphere, VAMPIRE ECSTASY is Joe Sarno’s mesmerizing foray into the horror genre. When a trio of beautiful young women journey to their ancestral home to claim an inheritance, they fall prey to a coven of witches, intent on trying to reincarnate their deceased vampire leader. Meanwhile, SIN YOU SINNERS, from the first wave of sexploitation films by Sarno, the “Chekhov of soft-core” (The Village Voice) is a hypnotic noir about a medallion forged in a voodoo ritual that preserves an exotic dancer’s youth and beauty. When the dancer’s jealous daughter and employer hatch plots to steal the amulet for themselves, it sets off a chain of events ending in murder.
“SIN YOU SINNERS….finds (Sarno) already occupying the unconscious position of a genuine grindhouse auteur,” wrote film critic Tim Lucas. This inaugural home video release will also include a bonus essay by Lucas.
The iconic science fiction monster Godzilla makes land fall in the U.S. and Canada this October with the North American theatrical release of Shin Godzilla (read our review) from Toho Company, Ltd.
Shin Godzilla will roar into theaters for a limited engagement on October 11 – 18. The movie will screen in more than 440 theaters across the U.S. and Canada. Here are a ton of official images, with only one showing Godzilla, but the others displaying his path of destruction.
Co-directed by Hideaki Anno (creator of “Evangelion”) and Shinji Higuchi (director of Toho’s 2015 “Attack on Titan” live action movies), Shin Godzilla is the 29th Godzilla film produced by Toho and represents a brand new chapter in the 62-year history of this celebrated movie monster. The film stars Hiroki Hasegawa and Satomi Ishihara – both also from the “Attack on Titan” live action movies – as well as Yutaka Takenouchi.
In Shin Godzilla (Godzilla Resurgence), “An unknown accident occurs in Tokyo Bay’s Aqua Line, which causes an emergency cabinet to assemble. All of the sudden, a giant creature immediately appears, destroying town after town with its landing reaching the capital. This mysterious giant monster is named “Godzilla”.”
To purchase tickets to or find more information on Shin Godzilla, visit the official site.
On the heels of sinking their teeth into a trailer, Screen Gems/Lakeshore Entertainment has shared four character posters for Underworld: Blood Wars, opening in theaters on January 6, 2017.
Kate Beckinsale once again returns as Selene with Theo James (Divergent) back as Selene’s ally David, reprising the role he played in Underworld: Awakening. British actors Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”, “Rome”) and Lara Pulver (“Sherlock”) take on the respective roles of a formidable new Lycan leader and a fiercely ambitious Vampire, and Charles Dance (“Game of Thrones”) again plays Vampire elder Thomas.
Rounding out the film’s stellar international cast are: James Faulkner (“Game of Thrones”), Peter Andersson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), newcomer Clementine Nicholson, Bradley James (A&E’s upcoming “Damien”) and Daisy Head (the upcoming Fallen).
Anna Foerster is the director of Underworld 5. Foerster, who previously directed episodes of the television series “Criminal Minds” and “Outlander,” is widely known for her work as cinematographer on epic blockbusters such as Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and White House Down.
The ten-week shoot took place entirely in the Czech capital and areas surrounding.
A “delirious blend of high-octane action, razor-sharp political satire and full-throttle mayhem”, Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 arrives on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and Digital HD January 17, 2017, from Universal Pictures Home chntertainment, Bloody Disgusting just learned.
A reboot of the cult classic Death Race 2000, the Universal 1440 Entertainment original production straps viewers into the driver’s seat of the ultimate auto showdown, a blood-splattered no-holds-barred virtual-reality show that gleefully pits hardened road warriors against each other — and their audience.
Legendary filmmaking icon, Roger Corman, is back with his most outrageous film yet in this sensational, action-packed and darkly humorous reboot of the original Death Race 2000! It’s the year 2050 and America is controlled by an all-powerful corporate government ruled by The Chairman (Malcolm McDowell). The masses have been brainwashed with violent virtual-reality entertainment. The event of the year is the Death Race, in which a motley crew of violent drivers compete in a cross-country road race, scoring points for shamelessly running people over and driving each other off the road. The reigning champion and fan favorite, Frankenstein (Manu Bennett), who’s half-man half-machine, wants to take the crown, but his rebel spy co-pilot threatens his legacy.
Produced by Roger Corman, the king of cult classics, Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 stars Manu Bennett (The Hobbit) as Frankenstein and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) as the Chairman. The cast also features Burt Grinstead (“NCIS”), Marci Miller (Viper), Folake Olowofoyeku (The Beaver), Anessa Ramsey (Footloose), Yancy Butler (Hard Target) and Charlie Farrell (Cantar).
The film is directed by G.J. Echternkamp from a script by Matt Yamashita (Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda) and G.J. Echternkamp, and produced by Roger Corman (Death Race 2000) and Luis Llosa (Anaconda).
Bonus features reveal how filmmakers transformed the deadliest competition on wheels into a hair-raising, savagely funny game of life or death.
BLU-RAY, DVD AND DIGITAL HD’s exclusive BONUS FEATURES:
- The Making of 2050 – This featurette goes behind the scenes of Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 to explore why, over four decades later, the original Death Race 2000 has been remade, including what made this project appealing to cast and crew, what changes have been made, and what fans of the original will still love. Discover the movie magic behind the deaths, stunts and of course — the cars! Includes interviews with stars, director G.J. Echternkamp and Corman himself.
- Cars! Cars! Cars! – Go on the set with the drivers of Death Race 2050 as they introduce their one-of-a-kind killing machines: Frankenstein and his Monster, Perfectus and his Piece of Art, Tammy and the Tank, Minerva and her Sound Box and ABE.
- The Look of 2050 – An insider look at how the film’s visual style came together, including how shooting in Peru helped set the tone of the picture and how the costumes became stars in and of themselves.
Last night, “The Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl, hopped on the stage of the Tabernacle in Atlanta to jam along with thrash metal legends Anthrax for their song “Indians”, which comes from their 1987 album Among the Living. Reedus played bass alongside the group, standing next to bassist Frank Bello.
The band is known to be big fans of the series, with Bello and guitarist Scott Ian visiting the set the night before the show. Ian has also been an extra on the show as a zombie.
You can see photos of Reedus rocking it up below.
Remaining tour dates:
6 Varsity Theatre, Baton Rouge, LA*
7 Gas Monkey Live, Dallas, TX
8 ACL at the Moody Theatre, Austin, TX
10 Fillmore, Denver, CO
11 The Complex, Salt Lake City, UT
12 Rev Hall, Boise, ID*
13 The Wilma Theatre, Missoula, MT
14 The Hill event Center, Idaho Falls, ID*
15 Revolution Concert House, Garden City, ID
16 Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA* (offer)
17 ENMAX Centre, Lethbridge, AB
19 S. Okanagan Cvents Centre, Penticton, BC
20 Abbotsford Centre, Abbotsford, BC
21 Hawthorn Theatre, Portland, OR*
22 Discovery Park, Elverta, CA (w/Aftershock)
23 Reno Events Center, Reno, NV
22 Aftershock Festival, Sacramento, CA
25 Orpheum Theatre, Flagstaff, AZ*
26 Top Deck, Famington, NM* (offer)
27 El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, TX**
* Anthrax & Death Angel
Next year, Swedish tech metal band Meshuggah celebrate their 30th anniversary. Few bands can lay such a claim. Hell, most give up before reaching a tenth of that. So I feel that some respect must be presented to any band that offers forth new music after such a career. The Violent Sleep of Reason marks the band’s eighth studio album, following 2012’s Koloss (review), and offers 10 new tracks of social, political, and religious commentary (more about that here) couched in blistering, disjointed metal that’s so fierce, it practically begs to rip and tear into your body.
“Clockworks” masterfully opens the album, immediately making it clear that fans are going to get what they want, which is masterful performances and deep, crunchy riffs. It mixes rage and technical mastery with the staggered dissonance that the band is known for, although it must be said that the chorus is surprisingly melodic and almost beautiful amidst the ugliness of the chaos that surrounds it, while also acting as the longest song of the album. From here on out, everything will be shorter but under no circumstances will it be forgiving.
“Born in Dissonance”, a song about religion taking the form of a massive asteroid that will eventually smash into Earth, destroying it, is a mid-tempo track that feels as huge as its topic. It simply thunders across your ears, laying waste to all in its path. “MonstroCity” brings forth a strange kind of groove, dare I say something almost funky? Let me be clear that there is no funk in the song. Rather, it simply has this swagger, this kind of attitude that I would call “funky” and goddamn do I love it. It’s the kind of track that will annihilate any unsuspecting soul who finds themselves in the mosh pit when this plays.
“By The Ton” feels as heavy as its name implies. There is an quality, an air about this song that sets it apart from the others. It’s still 100% Meshuggah but it feels different from the other songs, as though it’s its own beast.”Violent Sleep of Reason” opens with a psychedelic, swirling chaos before locking down into a vicious, snarling riff. Towards the end, vocalist Jens Kidman pulls back on the growls and recites vocals almost like some terrifying bedtime story, angrily whispering them into the mic before roaring back.
Throughout these tracks, I couldn’t help but notice that Kidman’s voice sounds different from Koloss. It’s a bit raspier, a bit more harsh. It’s not a bad thing because it matches the style of the album perfectly. He still sounds absolutely enraged when he sings, his growl not being used simply because the music calls for it. It’s also by this point that I realized that the album sounds glorious. The production is crisp and tight, each instrument clearly heard.
As the album progressed, I came to another realization: I was having a blast. Meshuggah have crafted an album that is just as much fun to listen to as it is heavy. It may be an assault on the senses but to paraphrase Frank from Hellraiser, “Meshuggah gave me an experience beyond limits… pain and pleasure, indivisible.”
I could go on about the rest of the tracks, such as the beautiful (no, I’m being serious) outro to “Stifled” or the sludgy, almost filthy tones used on “Into Decay”, but I feel like I’d be ruining the experience you’d get by listening to it yourself. Do yourself a favor and get this.
The Final Word: There is no denying that Meshuggah are trailblazers in the metal genre. They pave the way with each new release and The Violent Sleep of Reason only furthers this tradition, proving that there is no band that can write music like this except Meshuggah. Expect this to show up on nearly every “Best Metal Albums of the Year” list.
I had no idea what to expect when I sat down in the Egyptian Theater to watch a full screening of the three-part Shudder-exclusive French miniseries, Beyond the Walls (‘Au-Dela des Murs’ in its homeland). I knew it was French with English subtitles, that it was two-and-a-half hours long and that’s about it. As the credits rolled at the end of the third episode, I was completely blown away. Beyond the Walls is a confident, visually gorgeous and most importantly ruthlessly coherent adventure that mixes a Del-Toro-esque labyrinth, time travel and everything in-between.
The show follows Lisa (Veerle Baetens), a Speech Therapist in France who inherits the house across the street from her apartment despite never having met the deceased owner. After moving into the house, she hears scratching on the other side of the wall and breaks through only to find a dingy hallway that leads her to parallel universe.
Despite the language barrier, Beyond the Walls is easy to follow thanks to the incredible world-building at play. You’re never flat out told Lisa has had trauma in her life, but you’re certain of from the middle of the first episode thanks to a few factors.
Lisa lives alone in a tiny apartment that she hasn’t bothered to furnish or unpack. She wears a wedding ring despite not having a husband, and uses it as an excuse to avoid hanging out with her friends after work. Finally, she’s tormented by night terrors of a shallow pond that cause her to wet the bed almost nightly.
This almost definitely stems from the show’s co-writer and director, Hervé Hadmar, doubling as a graphic novelist. Each shot feels like a panel of a comic book, filled to the brim with details that give you insight into Lisa’s life. If something is in frame during a scene, it’s put there on purpose.
Soon after stumbling into the world within the walls, she gets horribly lost and meets a man roughly her age named Julien (François Deblock). He reveals that he’s been trapped in the house what he determines to be about three years. Their conversation is cut short by monsters that Julien calls ‘Others’ and they’re forced to hide in the floorboards
Others are men that have been lost so long in the house that they no longer require food or water. The animalistic creatures wander in packs, lead by men with glistening, oily black skin called the First Men. They search for those who haven’t succumbed to the house to finish them off.
The Others aren’t scary to look at, they actually look just like people except for their completely blacked out eyes. That’s what makes them creepy though. They’re so close to human it’s heartbreaking, They can speak and eat, and at times it seems like the only reason they became Others in the first place is that they just simply gave up on getting their lives back.
The labyrinth itself is one of the most beautifully designed worlds I’ve ever seen in film. It never lingers too long on a certain environment, and it’s not entirely made up up dark, winding hallways. Rooms shift from elaborate Victorian parlors, to chapels eerily reminiscent of the Undead Asylum in the video game Dark Souls, to a haunting forest shrouded in thick fog.
The plot never gets lost in the maze of its world, however since Julien has spent his time in the walls meticulously mapping them out. He knows exactly where to go when Lisa brings up clues she gleaned from the will of the man who left her the house. It never feels cheap either, because the places they’re forced to go are teeming with Others, so Julien never had reason to go there.
Beyond the Walls’ coherence lasts through the entire series, and despite dragging a bit at the beginning of the third episode, it luckily kicked into gear as soon as I started to get bored. I was genuinely surprised at how easily I was able to recite the entire narrative to my girlfriend a full 24 hours later and I don’t think there’s a better testament to a film that’s literally about being lost than that.
Finally, the finale is simple yet satisfying, and even though I caught little clues throughout the story, I hadn’t exactly figured it out by the end. Thankfully the it isn’t a cop out either. Without giving too much away, it’s definitive and emotional and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
Nearly everything about Beyond the Walls from the Others to Julien’s stagnation before meeting Lisa lends itself to the message that to have happiness in life, you can’t avoid pain and heartbreak. You need to face it head on and you’ll almost always come out a stronger, better person for doing so.
2016 seems like it’s the year of the horror film with standouts like The Conjuring 2 and Don’t Breathe, and Beyond the Walls effortlessly solidifies itself as one of the best. I’ll re-watching it when it launches on Shudder October 20th, and it’s more than worth the $5 dollars a one-month subscription to the service costs.
V/H/S breakout star Hannah Fierman is returning to her “Amateur Night” role in SiREN, our non-found-footage spinoff directed by Gregg Bishop (Dance of the Dead, The Other Side, VHS: Viral).
SiREN, executive produced by V/H/S director David Bruckner, is set for release in theaters on December 2, 2016 with a VOD, Digital HD and DVD date set for December 6, 2016 through Chiller Films. Here’s the first look at the poster that heeds a warning.
The film also stars Chase Williamson (The Guest, John Dies at the End, Beyond the Gates), Justin Welborn (The Final Destination, The Signal), Michael Aaron Milligan (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Hayes Mercure (Mascots), and Randy McDowell (Elvis).
Based on a short by David Bruckner, the feature was written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski.
“‘SiREN’ is a horror-thriller about Jonah, an apprehensive groom-to-be whose bachelor party turns into a nightmare when he frees a seemingly innocent victimized girl locked up in a supernatural sex club. Her ruthless handler and proprietor of the sex club will stop at nothing to re-capture his prize. Jonah struggles to rescue the girl only to discover it is he who needs to be rescued as he comes to the realization that she is a dangerous fabled predator who has chosen him as her mate.”
October is a pretty big month for us horror fans because of Halloween. We have our “31 Days of Horror” marathons, our horror challenges, and many more ways to celebrate the month. It is essentially gives all of us a reason to parade our fandom in front of everyone and it’s awesome. You would think that October would be filled with tons of horror releases, and usually you would be right. Unfortunately October of 2016 only has nine horror movies seeing the light of day.* Only one of them is a major studio release. What gives, studios?
*I only included films that were seeing some form of theatrical release. Films going straight-to-DVD were not included.October 7th The Greasy Strangler
Do you have a taste for the distasteful? Then The Greasy Strangler (review) may be for you! The film follows a father and son who compete for the love of the same woman while an oily serial killer stalks the streets. I’m hard-pressed to recommend the film unless you’re under the influence of alcohol and surrounded by a bunch of like-minded folk, but it does have its funny moments.Phantasm: Remastered
Don Coscarelli’s classic supernatural horror film gets the 4K treatment with Phantasm: Remastered. If you’re too young to have caught it on the big screen in 1979, now’s your chance!Phantasm: Ravager
The fifth and final installment of the much-beloved Phantasm franchise (to everyone except me, apparently) finally sees a release this month. After some positive festival buzz, fans are more excited than ever. Will Reggie Bannister be able to defeat the Tall Man and rescue his old pal Mike? You’ll find out soon enough!Under the Shadow
It would be a disservice to call Under the Shadow the Iranian Babadook, and that’s mostly because it’s a much better film (read my review). Set in 1988 Tehran, Babak Anvari’s supernatural spook-fest follows a mother and daughter during the Iran-Iraq War as they are haunted by a djinn that they believe was brought to them by an unexploded missile.October 11th Shin Godzilla
The 31st Godzilla film (and 29th Toho production) reboots the franchise once again, reimagining Godzilla’s origins as he emerges in modern Japan for the first time. Reviews have been mostly positive so far, so be sure to check this one out next week.October 14th Jack Goes Home
Thomas Dekker’s directorial debut features a star-studded cast (Rory Culkin, Britt Robertson, Lin Shaye, Daveigh Chase, Natasha Lyonne and Nicki Reed are all in the film). In the film, Jack (Culkin) returns to his hometown to help nurse his mother (Shaye) back to health after his father dies in a car crash. I wasn’t crazy about the film, but it is nice to see Dekker move behind the camera. It also features a powerfully unhinged performance from Shaye, which is reason enough to see the Jack Goes Home.October 21st Ouija: Origin of Evil
When it was announced that Universal Pictures would be making a sequel to one of 2014’s worst films, audiences were understandably skeptical. Then it was announced that Oculus and Absentia director Mike Flanagan would be directing and co-writing the film, interest was piqued. If anyone can improve upon the original, it’s Flanagan (though the bar isn’t exactly set very high). The film is set 50 years prior to the original and follows a young girl who gets possessed by a malevolent spirit after she finds a Ouija board.Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween
As dumb as it is, Boo! A Madea Halloween does contain horror elements. Plus, you’ve got to give the film some credit for those two undeniably hilarious posters. The film sees Madea (Perry) looking after her great-niece (Diamond White) while fending off killers, poltergeists and zombies.October 28th The Windmill
The only horror film to be released on Halloween weekend isn’t even getting a wide release here in the states (it actually hits VOD services three days before it’s limited theatrical release). It’s pretty depressing. On the bright side, it’s apparently pretty good. The film tells the story of a group of tourists whose bus breaks down near a windmill where a Devil-worshipping miller supposedly ground human bones instead of grains.
Which horror movie are you most looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments below!
On April 4th, 2013, NBC premiered the first episode of “Hannibal“, the Bryan Fuller developed series based on characters created by Thomas Harris in his novels “Red Dragon”, “The Silence of the Lambs”, and “Hannibal”. Starring Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Valhalla Rising, Clash of the Titans) in the title role, the series followed FBI special investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) as an empath who has the ability to investigate and understand crime scenes, and criminals, in startling, almost eerie ways.
I don’t have cable or basic TV channels. I haven’t had them for well over 20 years. When I moved into my own place and ordered internet, Comcast asked if I wanted TV, something I explicitly turned down. To this day, I still get calls asking if I want to upgrade my account to include even the most basic package, which, ridiculously, has something like 100+ channels. For those of you who have cable, that might seem like nothing. For me, that seems unnecessary. I remember as a child having 60-ish channels and that’s it.
I bring this up because “Hannibal” was the first show to make me seriously consider upping my package so that I could watch it as it aired. Something about it just drew me in, almost hypnotizing me with its gorgeous visuals and brilliantly built characters. It was a show where I would seek a fix once an episode ended because I wasn’t ready for it to be over. I needed more but had to be patient, much like Hannibal and how he was ever vigilant in selecting and ultimately dispatching his victims.
I miss “Hannibal”, which, as I’ve mentioned previously, “…was a gift from above for horror fans.” It featured some of the most gruesome and horrifying scenes I’ve ever witnessed, such as Hannibal making Dr. Abel Gideon (Eddie Izzard) eat his own leg or the people buried alive to act as fertilizer for fungi in “Amuse-Bouche”. Every episode expertly crafted a narrative around the crimes that delved further into the minds of each character, their own psyches the truly fascinating aspect of the series. For every moment we saw something nauseating, there was far more time dedicated to the haunting impact and toll these events had on those around them. Graham was breaking more and more with every episode, Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) desperate to come to his aid, Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) demanding control from his employees while desperately spiraling out of control with his wife and her illness. Hovering over them all, controlling them like a marionettist, was Hannibal, making them all dance on strings of his own weaving, his cold calculations deeply, intricately, and terrifyingly constructed.
As the show progressed, we only saw these relationships intertwine themselves further, becoming a web of distrust, suspicion, and unknowing betrayal, all according to Hannibal’s conniving plans. It’s only because of Hannibal’s affection for Will, and what he could potentially become, that the threads expose themselves, able to be pulled, unravelling the entire picture. It is because of this magnificent arrangement that the story was so enthralling. With every new revelation, with each new episode, the story moved forward and it felt meaningful, unlike shows where we have exciting premieres and finales but the middle feels lackluster. “Hannibal” was, in my opinion, a show that constantly progressed and evolved.
I miss the music, composed by Brian Reitzell. Yes, I can pop on my records anytime I wish or I can stream the soundtrack if I’m feeling lazy. But there was something delicious about hearing new music every episode that felt so disjointed and unsettling. It was dissonance of the purest form, the kind that mimics the tension on the screen as each layer of mystery is either added or unveiled, both fitting perfectly yet still feeling wrong and unwelcome. With a show so focused on intellectualism, introspection, and complex psychological patterns, there needed to be a soundtrack that aimed for those lofty heights. Reitzell met those heights and conquered them, week after week.
I miss the visuals, wonderfully brought to the screen by the directors and the show’s primary cinematographer James Hawkinson. Even in the first five minutes of the first episode, I knew that this was going to be a beautiful show and it never failed in that department. Every scene oozed beauty, even amidst the viscera. Splashes of blood arced gracefully through the air, bodies faded into nature, becoming one with the world around them, and even the food, which we knew was tainted and taboo, looked macabrely delicious. Some victims were transformed into angels, their majesty and horror vying for equal attention, while others were arranged in a gigantic eye, aimed to see a reflection that can’t possible be there.
I mourn the loss of a show that never hid from its horror foundation. Rather, it embraced it and aimed to elevate itself above all associated stigmas and preconceptions. It knew that horror could be smart, so it went there. It knew that horror could push boundaries, which it did. It knew that horror didn’t care about who or what you are, so everything was fair game. Being a witness to the craftsmanship behind “Hannibal” felt truly special as a horror fan. Rarely do we get something that looks and sounds so wonderful, that has such care and devotion given to every minute detail.
I could talk endlessly about my love of this series, but I feel that I need to come to an end and not overstay my welcome. So, to cap this off, I send these messages: To Bryan Fuller, thank you for developing “Hannibal”. To the cast and crew, thank you for bringing these characters and this story to life. To NBC, thank you for taking a chance and giving the show three seasons. To the fans of the series who so ardently and adamantly refuse to let go, thank you for your passion.
To “Hannibal” itself, thank you, I miss you, and I hope that one day we’ll see you again. Maybe for dinner?
When it comes to cult films Jim Wynorski is no stranger. A number of his films fall under the “cult film” umbrella and maybe none more so than his second directorial effort 1986’s Chopping Mall, a film about a state-of-the-art security system installed at a mall to cut down on theft and other criminal activity. The system includes security robots programmed to stop thieves and disable them via tasers and hold them until the proper authorities arrive. What could go wrong? Sounds like a fool-proof plan to me!
One Friday evening after the robots are installed four couples, three of which work at the mall, decide to have an after hours party in a furniture store. I think this sounds like a great idea because the mall has everything you need, especially in the 80’s, so why not party there? The couples are very much 80’s stereotypes – three are cool, jock-like party types and then the last couple are two outsider nerds their friends are trying to hook up. This is not a problem of course. We just need them to hit the usual notes while the killer robots provide the fun.
As the cool couples begin to have sexy time the not-so-cool kids hang out on a couch watching old monster movies. You know what, I kind of like these not-so-cool kids! What these kids don’t now is that due to a lightning strike the security robots have malfunctioned and are now cold-blooded killers!
It had been about 15 years since I had seen Chopping Mall and man do I love this movie. It’s such a wonderful B-movie and an absolute blast as a party movie. Throw this one on with some friends over and bask in the absurdity.
The cast is wonderful as features personal favorites Barbra Crampton and Kelli Maroney. Maroney is basically our lead and final girl and she’s so fantastic. She hasn’t had has many leading roles over the years as she’s deserved but this is certainly one of the highlights. Watch this back-to-back with The Zero Boys (read my review!) and that’s a fun three hours of Maroney-centric action.
One of the most interesting aspects of watching Chopping Mall now is the certain sense of nostalgia for malls it stirred within me. Malls have obviously changed drastically over the years with places like Amazon and other online retailers becoming our primary source for shopping but Chopping Mall came out during the heyday of malls. This is how I remember them as a kid. They’re was some big and grand about malls back then and going to one was almost like an event rather than merely a shopping experience. That really doesn’t exist, at least not on the same scope, today.
Also because the film takes place in a mall we get this wonderful pun for a title even though it’s a poor description of the film itself. I’m pretty sure there is zero chopping in Chopping Mall.
We all know about Chopping Mall though, so the real question is how did Lionsgate do with their Blu-ray release, which along with Bloud Diner, was one of two titles to kick off their brand-new Vestron Video Collector’s Series? I have to say they did a damn good job. This release of Chopping Mall is right up there with the quality of Arrow Video and Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition releases. Lionsgate did real good for all us Vestron Video fans out there.
The picture looks great, particularly when compared to the past DVD release. It’s not a pristine picture by any means but you have to consider what you’re dealing with here – this is a low budget film that was shot quickly at a shopping mall during the evening when it was closed, meaning the original elements are likely not the greatest to begin with. Grain is something you should want when dealing with movies shot on actual film, but Chopping Mall does appear to have more than you’d expect in a few scenes. This is a good thing though because Lionsgate could have taken the opposite approach and DNR’d this to death creating that horrible waxy image. Luckily they didn’t and what we have is a film that has never looked better.
When it comes to special features Lionsgate absolutely delivered on the goods. There are three audio commentaries – two with Wynorski and second unit director Steve Mitchell, one of which they are joined by Maroney and then a third with Nathaniel Thompson and Ryan Turek. I haven’t watched all these yet but I do enjoy the one with Maroney quite a bit. The other special features are as follows:
Isolated Score Track by Chuck Cirino
Back to the Mall
Chopping Chopping Mall
Talkin’ About. . .The Killbots
Scoring Chopping Mall
The Robot Speaks! Ten Questions with the Killbot
The Lost Scene
Army of One
Chopping Mall: Creating the Killbots
I’m not going to go over each one of these, but I will point out some highlights. Back to the Mall is basically a mini-documentary on the film featuring in interviews with the cast and crew. This is a lot of fun and gives a lot of insight into what the actors thought of the film, surprisingly almost none liked the final name of the film. The Robot Speaks is a fun interview with a killbot, which is the interview we’ve all been waiting for. Watching these special features all in a row they kind of bleed into one but they’re all worth your time. Most have a runtime between 5 and 10 minutes with Back to the Mall coming in at just under half an hour.
Chopping Mall is no Citizen Kane. It’s easy silly by B-movie standards in many ways. Still it’s incredibly enjoyable and to finally see Lionsgate not only release it on Blu-ray but to do so on a wonderful collector’s edition is a absolute dream. This Blu-ray is a must.
Chopping Mall is now available on Blu-ray from Lionsgate as part of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series.
We’re already four episodes in FX’s “American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare”, and even at a taught 10 episodes, there seems to be quite a bit of filibustering. The biggest momentum shifter in last night’s episode is that Lady Gaga made her first full appearance, and looks to be the series’ main antagonist. We learned a lot about the Roanoke people and the mysterious word “Croatan” that wasn’t so special after all.
Weirdly enough, I’m quasi-invested in the season and actually starting to enjoy it. I just wish they’d move the needle a little quicker, although it’s hard to complain when they condensed the season to half of its predecessors.
Here’s a look ahead in which the ghostly Roanoke people attack Shelby and Matt, only this time there’s a “blood moon”, which gives them the ability to actually do them harm. Again, with the duo speaking in the past tense during a documentary interview, it’s impossible to have anything at stake when you know they’re going to live. Let’s wait and see what this massive shock/twist is come next episode.
With A24’s The Monster (read my review) now available exclusively on DIRECTV – ahead of its theatrical/On Demand release on November 11th – the distributor has provided Bloody Disgusting with the film’s trailer.
Originally titled There Are Monsters, the film was directed by Bryan Bertino, who was the writer, producer, and director of The Strangers, as well as the criminally underrated Mockingbird.
Starring Zoe Kazan (In Your Eyes, Fracture), Ella Ballentine (The Captive), Scott Speedman (Underworld), and Aaron Douglas (“Battlestar Galactica”), The Monster focuses on a mother and daughter who are trapped and tormented by a ruthless creature.
The trailer boasts a ton of footage, including a few teases of the said monster, and an awesome homage to Predator.
“Acclaimed horror filmmaker Bryan Bertino (THE STRANGERS) directs this suspenseful and scary new film, in which a divorced mother (Zoe Kazan) and her headstrong daughter must make an emergency late night road trip to see the girl’s father. As they drive through deserted country roads on a stormy night, they suddenly have a startling collision that leaves them shaken but not seriously hurt. Their car, however, is dead, and as they try in vain to get help, they come to realize they are not alone on these desolate backroads – a terrifying evil is lurking in the surrounding woods, intent on never letting them leave…
A chilling and tension-filled experience, THE MONSTER pits two ferociously strong women against one of the scariest and most shocking monsters you’ll ever see. It will be a battle no one will forget.”
I remember in sixth grade English class, we were each asked to bring in a poem that we loved and read it to everyone. Everyone brought in something short, something fast that they’d found after a quick search on the internet or rifling through some book their parents owned. As for me, I brought in Edgar Allen Poe‘s “The Raven”…all 18 stanzas. I was already bullied pretty much non-stop and that certainly didn’t help my cause much. However, it never stopped me from loving that poem and its eldritch atmosphere.
Cadabra Records, the label that has been putting out those H.P. Lovecraft spoken-word records, is going to be releasing a 7″ of Anthony D.P. Mann reading Poe’s iconic poem. The record will feature music composed by Goblin’s Maurizio Guarini as well as absolutely stunning artwork from Sam Heimer.
Anthony D.P. Mann is a Canadian-based film-maker and actor with five feature films and a lifetime of stage and radio to his credit. In roles ranging from Count Dracula and the Phantom of the Opera, to Ebenezer Scrooge, his love of the classics is evident in his work. He is delighted to be lending his voice to a series of releases with Cadabra Records, indulging in his first passion – the theater of the imagination.
Guarini explains, “This was the first time I was involved in something like this, I mean it’s not a movie where you work basically on visuals, it’s not a stand alone studio project. Working with the spoken word lets the music play a stronger role, visuals are just on the imagination to the listener, so a different approach was needed.”
The 7″ is available for pre-order tomorrow at 12pm EST over at Cadabra Records. Only 300 are being made with 100 translucent red copies going to subscribers, so you’ll have to be quick to get yours!
The biggest genre news this year was when Bloody Disgusting discovered that Dimension Films/The Weinstein Company had lost the rights to the Halloween franchise, for which they had for decades. The second was that Blumhouse, Miramax, and Trancas International Films are partnering on the revival.
Right out of the gate we heard that Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush, Ouija 2) was approached to direct, while Adam Wingard (Death Note, Blair Witch, You’re Next, The Guest, V/H/S) had been publicly campaigning to remake John Carpenter’s slasher classic. From what we understand, neither came into fruition, and a few other genre directors have since passed on the opportunity to revive Michael Myers.
As of this moment, we literally have no idea what is happening with the new film, and there’s apparently a reason: Producer Jason Blum tells Cinemablend that they’ve had some setbacks and are, from what I’m reading, back at square one.
“We haven’t landed on an approach. We haven’t landed on a filmmaker, and we haven’t landed on an approach,” says Blum. “We thought we had a filmmaker and an approach, and we don’t. We’re talking to a handful of people about it — all of them have different ideas. I don’t believe in coming up with an idea and telling a filmmaker what to do. So we have three to five different people we’re talking with, and all of them have a different idea about what it should be. And we haven’t landed on a group, and as a result we haven’t landed on an idea.”
Franchise creator John Carpenter is set to executive produce the next sequel to his 1979 indie that launched the career of Jamie Lee Curtis, and introduced the world to the slasher icon known simply to horror fans as “The Shape.”
“38 years after the original Halloween. I’m going to help to try to make the 10th sequel the scariest of them all,” Carpenter stated in the initial press release.
Although unconfirmed, there are negotiations for Carpenter compose the film, which means we’ll hear his signature sounds gracing the screen while Michael goes on his new rampage.
Watch this spot for any updates as they come in. Hopefully there’ something exciting by, ahem, Halloween.
Warner Bros. Pictures just announced Blade Runner 2049 as the official title to their Blade Runner sequel that’s being directed by Sicario and Prisoners’ Denis Villeneuve.
The Domino dropped when Alcon Entertainment announced that Ryan Gosling would star with Harrison Ford returning to his role as Rick Deckard.
Then shit really got real when they cast Robin Wright, best remembered as the beauty in The Princess Bride, and now playing the powerful and gorgeous First Lady in Netflix’s blockbuster series “House of Cards”.
Then, another one of the best actresses on television was announced as part of this Ridley Scott film: Mackenzie Davis, who starred in Scott’s The Martian, as well as AMC’s astounding tech drama “Halt and Catch Fire”. Jared Leto was also recently attached to an undisclosed role.
The sequel is set several decades after the original. It is written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, and succeeds the initial story by Fancher and David Peoples based on Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.”
An October 6, 2017 release is planned through Warners.
It’s been known for a while now that Milan Records would be releasing Kaoru Wada‘s fantastic score to the 1993 action horror/thriller anime Ninja Scroll. However, details have been a little scarce in regards to an official release and packaging. Today, that changes as we’re thrilled to reveal the release date as well as show you the cover and what the record itself will look like!
Jubei Kipagami, a ninja mercenary, wanders the countryside in search of work. On his travels, he encounters Kagero, a female ninja whose poisoned blood causes her pale skin to be lethal to the touch. Jubei rescues the woman from Tessai, a creature made of rock. They later find that Tessai is one of the Eight Devils of Kimon, who are involved in a plot to overthrow the Shogun.
I remember buying Ninja Scroll on VHS and watching it so many times that the tape became almost pure static. There was a period where, no joke, I would watch it, rewind the movie, and start it over again. It became a constant background noise for a period of my life. Alas, it was so long ago that watching it now would probably seem almost new to me but back then, it was my jam!
Ninja Scroll will come out November 25th. Pre-orders are available here with an instant download granted after purchase. Additionally, copies will be made available at MondoCon, which takes the place the weekend of October 21st in Austin, TX.
Ninja Scroll vinyl details:
– The artwork of the LP has been designed by famed Japanese illustrator Yuji Kaida (very famous for his illustrations of Godzilla)
– The 180gm LP is pressed on red vinyl with black streaks.
– 500 units only.
– Original score by Kaoru Wada
A new poster for the recently delayed supernatural horror film Rings has been released and it shows Samara emerging from a TV and reaching towards you, the viewer. Hence my headline, which I’m rather proud of. I feel like a poet, except I don’t have a tall leather chair or a velvet robe. I’m really slacking on the important parts of being a writer, aren’t I?
A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…
Rings is the third film in The Ring franchise, which began with the 2002 J-horror remake that was directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean). A sequel was released in 2005.