Last night kicked off the 20th anniversary of the almighty Fantasia Festival in Montreal. I’ve been lucky enough to go for the past three years and every year it gets wicked tough to decide which week to go. Not many fests have “weeks” you can pick from, but Fantasia does. It’s the third oldest genre festival in the world and day-by-day the LONGEST film festival in the world. Covering the whole thing seems impossible and I wound up picking the first week again since I’m moving at the end of the month. 20 years down the line, it’s bigger and badder than ever.
For their big 20th birthday kickoff, Fantasia opened with King Dave, a French thriller shot in one take. I really wanted to see it, but was tipped off it was playing without subtitles, so I wound up sitting that one out. It looks awesome, but my college French has faded over the past decade. Fortunately, the next movie more than made up for it: the world premiere of Kickboxer: Vengeance. For a ’90s kid, getting to see a Kickboxer film in a theater with 500 or so rowdy people was the perfect way to kick off the fest.
Van Damme returns, but not as Kurt Sloane. He plays Master Durand, a muy thai instructor who goes full Miyagi on Canadian Alain Moussi (a seasoned stuntman). Moussia stars as Eric Sloane, a top kickboxer who’s invited to fight the vicious, undefeated Tong Po, played by mixed martial artist turned actor Dave Bautista. The dude is a monster in this role and at times reminded me of Mortal Kombat’s Goro, the way he stomps around the ring. Kurt’s brother Eric takes Po on first and is killed in the process, so now Kurt’s fight turns into a path for revenge.
To prepare, he tracks down his brother’s old trainer, Master Durand. Donning a fedora and shades, JCVD hams it up to high hell from the get go. His training methods are “unconventional” (hence the Miyagi connection) and leads to a bunch of comedic moments. Much like the original film, the comedy and action isn’t always balanced well – at times Kickboxer: Vengeance seems like a straight up comedy. Despite this, the fights are truly visceral and slickly shot. Director John Stockwell (Turistas) does an excellent job modernizing the series and for fans of JCVD’s infamous dance sequence, prepare to revisit that glory.
The film played really well to the crowd and cameos by Montreal hometown fighter Georges St.-Pierre had everyone cheering. There’s much more coming from Fantasia, including a slew of horror films I’ll be checking out. Check back for more coverage out of Montreal!
If you could build a Mount Rushmore of movie monsters, what mugs would you carve into those giant stones? Would you go the classic route, heavy on the Universal icons? Or mix it up with some eighties emblems like Freddie, Mohawk the Gremlin, and the Xenomorph? If you paused and gave these hypothetical questions serious thought, high five. Also, you’re going to flip for Creature Designers: The Frankenstein Complex, a broad, wickedly insightful documentary that highlights the madmen behind the monsters.
From primitive stop-motion to CGI, Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet’s doc tracks the history of the art form – with a heavy, heavy focus on flicks from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Which is great, because that’s when the whole glorious concept of “special makeup effects” really took the off. This was the era when guys like Rick Baker, Phil Tippett, Tom Savini, Stan Winston, and Rob Bottin were, as Steve Johnson (The Abyss) puts it, ROCK STARS.
And that’s how Creature Designers treats these guys. All of them – including Johnson, Phil Tippett, Rick Bakers, Alec Gillis, and Matt Winston, who carries on his father’s legacy – get to deliver their well-spoken two cents about the art. As you can imagine, some of them take issue with the CGI revolution that started with the digital dinosaurs that overshadowed Winston’s practical ones in Jurassic Park. It’s a debate that can go on forever, so it’s great to see old school revolutionaries like Rick Baker admit that, hell, practical effects can’t do everything and combining CGI with practical effects often leads to great results. Johnson, whose ground-breaking beautiful effects in The Abyss lost an Oscar to the film’s digital effects, takes great offense of the digital revolution. “Everyone got an Oscar but me,” he explains.
One interesting topic brought up in the film is that of artist Rob Bottin, whose effects in The Thing are unmatched to this day . After the unstoppable tidal wave of CGI hit Hollywood, Bottin went into exile. He was incredibly prolific in the 80s – The Fog, RoboCop, The Howling, Legend, it goes on and on – but since then, he’s worked only sporadically and refused to be in the documentary. The participants talk about Bottin like a god and lament his exile.
Filmmakers including Del Toro and the Chiodo Brothers express their deeply rooted love of the art form and for monsters themselves. Del Toro’s emotional connection to monsters is well known, and here he expresses that love on a deep level. That commitment that borders on obsession drives the beauty and dark compulsion of Creature Designers. This doc could’ve been three hours instead of 100 minutes and it would still be engaging throughout. Hearing these masters talk about what they love is truly an amazing experience
For genre fans, there’s going to be no revelation watching the film. There’s a lot we’ve heard before and seen in countless BTS special features. But I solidly think every genre fan is going to be in Heaven, watching folks like Joe Dante, Guillermo Del Toro, Greg Nicotero, and John Landis wax poetic about the monsters they made. If there’s one thing to take away from this doc, it’s that the art of monster design is not going anywhere. Computers be damned.
The film screened at the ongoing Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.
I can’t imagine that a being as incomprehensibly divine as SHODAN, the megalomaniacal artificial intelligence first introduced to us in the original System Shock, would approve of this impudent insect’s blasphemous attempt to honor such digital perfection, nor its strategic use of pipe cleaners. Unless SHODAN used her lengthy hiatus from video games to rethink her opinion that our very “flesh is an insult to the perfection of the digital,” then this talented cosplayer just doomed us all.
Thanks a lot, cosplayers. We waited over two decades for the opportunity to give an ambitious developer like Night Dive Studios more than $1.03M to remake System Shock, and now I’d be surprised if we get a half-assed thank you before SHODAN returns to force our extinction.
Go ahead and enjoy this cosplay by Carolina Trifoni, for it will very likely be our last chance to feel a spark of SHODAN’s infinite glory.
The Sundance horror film Trash Fire, which we stated in our review, “…will leave you shaken,” is releasing this year through Vertical Entertainment.
Trash Fire follows a man who confronts his past and becomes entangled with his wife in a web of lies, deceit and murder.”
The film was directed by Richard Bates Jr. and stars Adrien Grenier, Angela Trimbur, Fionnula Flanagan, AnnaLynne McCord, Sally Kirkland, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Ray Santiago.
“When Owen is forced to confront the past he’s been running from his whole adult life, he and his girlfriend, Isabel, become entangled in a horrifying web of lies, deceit, and murder. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll be scarred for life.”
It’s Friday and this week has been hellaciously hot. Since my A/C is broken, my place has been, on average, 85-87 degrees fahrenheit, leaving me to slowly cook from the inside out. And since I’m sitting here suffering in this unbearable heat, I want to give you a little taste of that using this edition of Twisted Music Video of the Week.
Enter Firespawn and their video for “All Hail”, which plays out almost like The Book of Eli meets Fallout 3 with a dash of cult worshippers. It’s all set in a post-apocalyptic world that looks like it’s been scorched by countless waves of flames (basically what my place currently feels like).
Check it out below and have yourself a great weekend!
Darren Lynn Bousman is building a new kind of horror with Abattoir, which will also screen at the forthcoming FrightFest this August.
How do you build a haunted house? The enigmatic Jebediah Crone knows how.
“Abattoir centers on a real estate reporter who unearths an urban legend about a house being built from rooms where horrific tragedies have occurred. The investigation ultimately leads to the enigmatic Jebediah Crone and the answer to the terrifying question, ‘How do you build a haunted house?’ ”
Bloody Disgusting’s Kalyn Corrigan caught the World Premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and wrote in her review:
‘Abattoir’ makes a name for itself for its premise alone, which separates it from nearly anything else in mainstream horror right now. It’s a terrific little idea that if executed correctly, could spans several sequels, as the house allows for many different types of backgrounds to be explored, and future rooms to be filled.
Dayton Callie, Joe Anderson (Hercules), Jessica Lowndes (Altitude, Autopsy) and Lin Shaye (Insidious) also star.
Bousman shot Abattoir in New Orleans from a script by Christopher Monfette.
We’ve moved in next door to Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton’s latest genre offering, The Neighbor, a crime thriller that reunites them with The Collector producers Brett Forbes and Patrick Rizotti, and star Josh Stewart.
The Neighbor, directed by Dunstan from a screenplay he co-wrote with Melton, is a crime thriller set in Mississippi where a man who discovers the dark truth about his secretive neighbor and what, or who, he may be keeping in the cellar.
When can you see it? Thankfully you won’t be waiting long as Anchor Bay has dated it for On Demand and Digital HD on September 6, 2016.
Check out the trailer that we’ve just added below!
Josh Stewart, who also starred in the duo’s The Collection, leads with Melissa Bolona (Shark Lake), Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes), Bill Engvall, Ronnie Blevins (Fear, Inc, Seven Psychopaths), Jaqueline Fleming and Luke Edwards (“True Detective”).
“In the town of Cutter, most people keep to themselves. But when John comes home to find his girlfriend missing, he sneaks into his neighbor’s house, finding his girlfriend and several other kidnapped people tied up in the basement. When the neighbor come home, John is forced to get out of the house alive and lead the group to safety.”
Shaun Redick and Ray Mansfield executive produce with Jason Egan and Tony Sygo.
Almost a year ago, we heard rumblings that CW was actively pursuing a TV adaptation of Friday the 13th, the long-running slasher franchise that created iconic killer Jason Voorhees. However, just a few months ago news broke that the idea seemed to have drowned before making it to the dock.
While for many people this was a welcome bit of news, others were left wondering, “What if?” For the latter, today gives you a little bit of campfire light through the trees* as sources have told FridayThe13thFranchise that CW is simply putting the series on hold and plans to revisit the idea next April. The site also explains that if not story is agreed upon, the show could potentially move to other networks, including larger streaming services.
Looks like we’re going to have to simply wait until next year to get an update.
*These references doing anything for ya?
Composer Cris Velasco is going to be presenting “Wunderkammer”, a solo exhibition of the works of noted filmmaker and author Clive Barker at the Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, CA this August.
Additionally, there will be another smaller exhibition titled “From The Depths”, which is a collection of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired pieces from artists such as Chet Zar, Menton 3, Laurie Brom, and a whole slew of other amazing people.
The exhibition runs from Saturday, August 6th through August 27th.
Velasco is the composer of such games as Bloodborne, Borderlands 2, Mortal Kombat 9, Darksiders, and Clive Barker’s Jericho.
Everyone is afraid of the dark and that’s what she feeds on. On July 22nd, don’t turn the Lights Out!
From producer James Wan (The Conjuring) comes a tale of an unknown terror that lurks in the dark. We now have two more clips that are as good as the last; one is absolutely frightening, while the other delivers a quality jump scare. Lights Out is looking insanely fun!
“When Rebecca left home, she thought she left her childhood fears behind. Growing up, she was never really sure of what was and wasn’t real when the lights went out…and now her little brother, Martin, is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that had once tested her sanity and threatened her safety. A frightening entity with a mysterious attachment to their mother, Sophie, has reemerged. But this time, as Rebecca gets closer to unlocking the truth, there is no denying that all their lives are in danger…once the lights go out.”
Here’s a bit from Kalyn Corrigan’s review out of the Los Angeles Film Festival premiere:
“Director David F. Sandberg actually understands how to send chills down an audience’s spine. His charcoal figure who basks in the darkness creates a petrifying atmosphere whenever she appears onscreen. Her crooked movements stand out like a stutter as she walks stiffly down the hall, making her appear less and less human every time she pops up in a quiet corner, or a whispers evil instructions from within a pitch black closet.”
Palmer, Alexander DiPersia and Gabriel Bateman topline Lights Out, which is produced by James Wan, best known for Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring.
David F. Sandberg directed from a screenplay by Eric A. Heisserer’s (The Thing, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Final Destination 5), which was based on Sandberg’s 2013 short film that went viral.
Catfish duo Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who are also behind the upcoming Nerve starring Dave Franco, will see the release of Viral on DVD August 2 from Anchor Bay Entertainment, Radius-TWC and Dimension Films and on Digital HD July 29 and On Demand August 2 from Starz Digital.
Penned by Barbara Marshall, Viral centers on two sisters, Emma (Sofia Black D’Elia) and Stacey (Analeigh Tipton), whose humdrum lives in a suburban neighborhood are upended when their county is gripped by a parasitic virus. They find themselves quarantined and must fight to survive as others around them become infected.
Check out this clip from inside a party where an infected partygoer is spotted through a door’s peephole.
This week has seen three new character posters for Rob Zombie’s upcoming horror film 31, all of which can be found through our 31 tag. Today, we can scratch that number and bump it up to four as a new poster featuring Sheri Moon Zombie’s “Charly” has just come out. You can see it below.
“Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.”
31 stars Sheri Moon Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween), Golden Globe Nominee Malcolm McDowell (“Mozart in the Jungle”, A Clockwork Orange), Jeff Daniel Phillips (The Lords of Salem) and Meg Foster (The Lords of Salem).
Zombie has been fighting to have this movie released to the public for a long time. He went through a strong crowdfunding campaign only to be hit twice with the dreaded NC-17 rating, which would’ve severely restricted the viewing potential. After some edits, it got dropped to an R-rating, but Zombie assures we’ll see an uncut version. The new edit still bears all the earmarks of a Rob Zombie film, as it features, “…strong bloody horror violence, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use.”
The film is going to be released on VOD platforms on September 16th and in limited theaters on October 21st via Saban Films.
Today saw the kickoff of “Star Wars Celebration” in London and the event brought with it a new poster and sizzle reel for the upcoming standalone film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, both of which can be seen below.
“Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With the aid of the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.”
Directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) and starring Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, and with James Earl Jones returning as the voice of Darth Vader, Rogue One soars into theaters on December 16th.
About a week ago Marcel Walz and I chatted about his upcoming Blood Feast remake. Today I talk with the film’s star, Robert Rusler, who plays Fuad Ramses, the man with plans to host the Blood Feast.
Fuad Ramses and his family have moved from the United States to France, where they run an American diner. Since business is not going too well, Fuad also works night shifts in a museum of ancient Egyptian culture. During these long, lonely nights he becomes allured by goddess Ishtar as she speaks to him in visions. Eventually he succumbs to her deadly charms. After this pivotal night, Fuad begins a new life, in which murder and cannibalism become his daily bread. As butchered bodies are heaped upon the Altar of Ishtar, Fuad slowly slips further into madness, until he is no more than the goddess’s puppet…
Bloody Disgusting: Blood Feast is a pretty iconic horror film being essentially the first “splatter” film. Were you familiar with Herschell Gordon Lewis’ original film before taking on this role? If so, did you look at Mal Arnold’s portrayal of Ramses for inspiration?
Robert Rusler: Yes, I remember seeing the original Blood Feast when I was a young boy at a Saturday matinee in Downton LA with my Grandpa. We used to love watching horror movies together. Blood Feast was playing with The Abominable Dr. Phibes and The Town That Dreaded Sundown. In those days you could see 3 movies for about $3.00 a person and kids were free with an adult. I remember not being prepared for the graphic blood and nudity. But loved it anyway. I did re-watch the film again when I got the offer to play Fuad Ramses and was definitely inspired by Mal Arnold’s performance in the original. As an actor, I knew right away that this was an opportunity to play homage to his portrayal, and also to give the character a fresh personal approach based on my creative ideas, along with the direction of the sharp minded Marcel Walz.
BD: What attracted you to the role?
RR: I loved the mindset of Fuad. I was inspired to delve in to his passion for what he believes is his personal salvation. Fuad’s obsession with the Goddess Ishtar could lead him to committing acts that he never deemed possible for himself. Love will make a man do anything it takes, in order to get what his soul desires.
BD: The film is very gory and you’re in the center of that action getting your hands dirty. Is that something you enjoy in a role?
RR: Absolutely. I like that the blood and violence in this film are never gratuitous. There is a reason Fuad is willing to shed blood. And the method to his madness, he believes in his heart and soul are righteous. As an actor, I’m down to shock the audience in a way that they can vicariously put themselves in the character’s situation and circumstances. Hopefully it will make a lasting impression on them like the many killer horror movie characters did for me throughout my many years as a horror fan.
BD: When people sit down to watch Blood Feast, what is your hope? What do you want them to take away from the viewing?
RR: I want them to empathize with all the characters. I want the audience to feel what Fuad feels in the justification of his madness. I also want them to feel what the family and the victims of his wrath feel, so that it may haunt them in their dreams. Fuad and I are sick and demented like that!
BD: You’ve had quite the career and you’ve appeared in a number of horror films. Is horror a genre you have a preference for?
RR: Hell yes! I love horror movies. I adore horror fans and I plan on always looking for future roles to play, where I can stretch and challenge myself creatively in order to scare the shit out of people who love horror as much as I do! Horror Fans Rule!
BD: What’s next for Robert Rusler? Any projects outside of Blood Feast fans should be on the lookout for?
RR: I have a few films coming out. Another horror film I’m appearing in along with Dina Meyer, David Lipper and Lance Henriksen is entitled ‘The Unwilling,’ which is directed by another very talented director by the name of Jonathan Heap…Gonna be dope! I’m starting production on a film next month in Mississippi. (More will be revealed soon) And I will be back on Showtime’s hit show ‘Ray Donovan’ next season!
But what I really want the fans to be on the lookout for, are the many projects that I plan to produce and direct under my Production Company ENTERTAINMENT PLAYGROUND. I have been writing and preparing for many years, in order to share my own stories and talents with the world. I have a ton of support from the many friends and colleagues I’ve accumulated over the 33 year span of my career! Oh…and of course, I want the fans to get ready for….BLOOD FEAST 2!!! Muhuhuhuhuhahahahaha!!!!!!!!
Yesterday saw a lot of new information come out regarding Stephen King’s novel-to-film adaptation of The Dark Tower, the dark fantasy Western that saw the first book come out in 1982 and has since seen seven further entries.
Today, several images have been released and they take you into the midst of Mid-World, the setting for Roland Deschain (played by Idris Elba), aka “The Gunslinger”, and Walter o’Dim (played by Matthew McConaughey), “The Man in Black”. You can check out all the images so far released below, courtesy of EW.
“Gunslinger Roland Deschain roams an Old West-like landscape in search of the dark tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world.”
The film will also star Fran Kranz, Jackie Earle Haley, Abbey Lee, and Kathryn Wiggins.
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel and produced by Akiva Goldman, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Erica Hughes, The Dark Tower will be released on February 17th, 2017.
The Tension Experience is finally arriving after months of underground hype.
This alleged new haunt/immersive theater/ARG event is opening to the public – and tickets are now on sale.
In the last few months, those whom have been involved have been thrust into a world much like David Fincher’s The Game; phone calls, strange emails, and in person events.
A trailer accompanies the ticket sale launch, which we hope Bloody Disgusting readers will attend and report back about. We are dying to know what the heck this is…
THE TENSION EXPERIENCE: ASCENSION is a fully immersive, site specific-journey of trust, betrayal and submission.
We invite you to enter the doors of the O.O.A. Institute, a mysterious organization that promises enlightenment, but at what cost? Nothing is quite what it seems and something sinister lurks behind every welcoming smile.
Participants deemed worthy enough to be permitted inside will discover fervent disciples, tasks that probe and chronicle the darkest recesses of their mind, and, sometimes, unexplainable terror.
Individual decisions will reveal whether this is a true path to enlightenment or merely an elaborate trap set by a dangerous cult.
Ascension is more than immersive theatre, more than a haunted house, and more than anything you could possibly imagine. It is a journey into darkness with the possibility of being reborn in the light.
You will be processed, tried and tested. But only if you succeed, may you find…
The 1987 vampire horror/comedy film The Lost Boys has seen two direct-to-video sequels and Corey Feldman, who played Edgar Frog in the franchise, recently spoke about his distaste for The Lost Girls, which isn’t anywhere near being a confirmed thing. However, his comments rekindled interest in seeing a return to Santa Carla, a venture that Vertigo Comics has announced they will be undertaking.
The comic publisher has announced that they are releasing a sequel to the film in comic book form later this year (the first issue drops October 12th, to be exact) with writing from Tim Heeley and art from Scott Godlewski and Patricia Mulvihill. The covers will be done by Tony Harris.
Santa Carla, California, is on edge. The eccentric coastal town and haven for the undead was finally returning to “normal” after its last supernatural scuffle left the local vampire coven’s leader dead and gave newcomers Michael and Sam Emerson a housewarming both violent and bizarre. Now the brothers must once again team up with militant vampire hunters Edgar and Allan Frog as a new gang of ruthless, stunning, life-sucking nightcrawlers known as the Blood Belles emerges from the aftermath to collect Michael’s love interest and their lost sister, Star.
Below are some pages from the comic, although they don’t have text.
This weekend is supposed to be muggy, hot, rainy and gross, which means you’re going to need an excuse to stay indoors. Thanks to Netflix, there’s more than one reason.
The streaming service has been updated with so many good pieces of genre entertainment that you’re going to have an issue deciding what to watch first.Stranger Things
The highly obvious one: “Stranger Things”, their Amblin-esque Spielbergian new series that sort of feels like a feature version of the new video game “Inside”. Watch the first 8-minutes of the show here. A love letter to the supernatural classics of the 80’s, “Stranger Things” is the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. It’s as if they put Super 8 in a blender with Goonies, E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Oh, it stars Winona Ryder and a terrible wig. The kids steal the show and are the most likable since The Goonies.Rebirth
Another Netflix original is Rebirth, which reminds us of The Game. “Get up. Go to work. Come home, dinner, bed, do it all again. That’s life, every day, every year, until you die — unless you’ve got what it takes to be reborn. Rebirth gives a new lease on life, but only if you’re willing to pay the price.” Netflix’s cast for Karl Mueller’s Rebirth features Fran Kranz, from Cabin in the Woods, as well as Adam Goldberg, Kat Foster, Nicky Whelan, Harry Hamlin, Andrew J West, Sheryl Lee, Pat Healy, Eric Ladin, Luis Geardo Méndez and Steve Agee.Ghostheads
“Ghostheads” is another new film to debut today, exclusively on Netlix. Superfans of the monster 1984 hit Ghostbusters indulge their passion by gearing up, congregating at conventions and even doing charity work. I hope it’s as good as the Back to the Future doc from earlier this year. Brendan Mertens directs the doc that features Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Tom Gerhardt, Paul Feig, and Peter Mosen.Darling
Mickey Keating’s Darling, a psychological horror story that stars up-and-coming genre titan Lauren Ashley Carter (Pod, Jug Face, The Mind’s Eye), is also now streaming.
“Darling begins as a lonely young woman (Lauren Ashley Carter) moves into an old, mysterious Manhattan mansion. Hired as a caretaker, it’s not long before she discovers the estate’s haunted reputation and troubling past. These stories slowly transform into a backdrop for her twisted and violent descent into madness…”Holidays (2016)
A collaboration of some of Hollywood’s most distinct voices, the directors include Kevin Smith (Tusk, Yoga Hosers), Gary Shore (Dracula Untold), Scott Stewart (Dark Skies), Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes), Sarah Adina Smith (The Midnight Swim), Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact) Adam Egypt Mortimer (Some Kind of Hate) and Anthony Scott Burns (Darknet). Read our review here.
The King Kong franchise has been rebooted with Kong: Skull Island, which is the film that sets up both the Kong and Godzilla universe.
Ahead of the San Diego Comic-Con next week, EW shared the first picture from the film that shows Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson exploring a boneyard. In the background is the biggest skull I’ve ever seen, and it’s not from a dinosaur…
Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed the feature that also stars John Goodman, John C. Reilly, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Wilkinson, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, Thomas Mann and John Ortiz.
Plot details are being kept secret but the film is based on the premise of a team of explorers venturing on an island inhabited by GIANT monsters.
“From the size of the skull, you can tell that things on this island are much bigger than audiences are used to with traditional Kong lore,” says Vogt-Roberts. “Our Kong is by far the biggest Kong that you’ve seen on screen, and that translates to a lot of different things on the island.”
Vogt-Roberts has studied the earlier films closely. When asked for clarification, he starts listing size estimates. “In terms of actual size, our Kong is by far the biggest Kong,” he explains. “Peter Jackson’s Kong was around 25 feet. The ‘33 Kong ranged between 25 feet and 50 feet, I want to say he was 50-plus feet when he was on the Empire State Building. He varied in size dramatically! The ’70s Kong was somewhere between them.”
Speaking of, Kong: Skull Island is period, and takes place in the 1790’s.
“The film takes place in the ’70s,” he continued. “The ’70s was a time where it was believable that we could still be confronted with myth. And there was still unknown in the world.” At the start of the decade, NASA launched a satellite program later known as LANDSAT, which involved satellites mapping the world from space – the end of that “unknown.” In the film, “this island pops up,” leading the characters to investigate.
On Hiddleston’s role and changing the character’s arcs:
Hiddleston plays an ex-British SAS tracker; Larson is a war photographer, “who’s seen all sorts of terrible, terrible things.” Vogt-Roberts avoids any specific details about what they find on the island, but he’s adamant about what they don’t find. “We’re very explicitly not telling the beauty and the beast story,” he says. “The original is a classic, the ’70s version is great for what it is, and Peter’s version is a great retelling of the 1933 film.”
On the new mythology of King Kong and becoming a God.
Instead, ‘Skull Island’ digs into the mythos of Kong’s homeland. And a key part of that mythos is, well, size. “The thing that most interested me was, how big do you need to make [Kong], so that when someone lands on this island and doesn’t believe in the idea of myth, the idea of wonder – when we live in a world of social and civil unrest, and everything is crumbling around us, and technology and facts are taking over – how big does this creature need to be, so that when you stand on the ground and you look up at it, the only thing that can go through your mind is: ‘That’s a god.’” Pretty big, we’re guessing? “You will see when we drop a trailer,” Vogt-Roberts teases.
Kong: Skull Island opens in theaters on March 10, 2017, followed by Godzilla 2 on March 22, 2019, and Godzilla vs. Kong on May 29, 2020.
Saibot Studios has revealed the launch date for the third and final act — “the bloodiest episode so far,” says the press release — in its episodic horror game Doorways: Holy Mountains of Flesh. When the free content update rolls out on Steam on August 10, it’ll unlock the final area of El Chacal, The Temple, where special agent Thomas Foster will finally confront The Roaster.
I’m digging the nickname. Personally, I would’ve gone with The Toaster so my victims could have a quick laugh before they’re flayed alive. It’s more humane that way.
When Holy Mountains of Flesh is made whole next month, it’ll cap off the series that first debuted back in 2013 with the original . With Doorways behind them, it’ll be interesting to see what the talented team at Saibot Studios does next.
Old-school style puzzles
First person and third person point of view
Minimalist HUD: no hints, no overlay texts. Immersion is the key
Atmospheric, psychological horror story with strong doses of gore
Featuring the voice of Sam A. Mowry (Alexander in Amnesia the Dark Descent) as Thomas Foster
Dark storyline set on a nightmarish place inspired in the real world town, Iruya, located in the North region of Argentina.