Advance Book Review: “Beyond Fear: Reflections on Stephen King, Wes Craven, and George Romero’s Living Dead.”
An interesting and insightful examination of the horror genre itself, Beyond Fear: Reflections on Stephen King, Wes Craven, and George Romero’s Living Dead is an ambitious historical textbook of the visionaries who created the most memorable nightmares in our society . This is a great follow-up from the creative co-writer of the epic comic masterpiece, “To Hell You Ride.” This is the book you want to read in the middle of the night.
Written By: Joseph Maddrey
Cover By: Tom Mandrake
Publisher: Bear Manor Media
Release: July 10, 2013
Review by Jorge Solis
No one can deny that the three masters of horror, George Romero, Wes Craven, and Stephen King, are responsible for making the genre what it is today. Through interviews, critical analysis, and in-depth research, we discover what made their nightmarish works a living legend. How did “Night of the Living Dead” become a staple in the zombie norm? What was it about Craven’s sense of spirituality that inspired the resurrection of child-killer Fred Krueger? Why are King’s ordinary characters revered so much by many readers? Maddrey asks these questions and finds his answers through his cinematic breakdown.
What’s really impressive about Maddrey’s writing is how he makes you, the reader, feel for the material. I’m not a huge fan of King’s “Danse Macabre” but I have a better appreciation of the nonfiction book because of Maddrey’s well-developed viewpoints. I was able to see “Danse Macabre” through different eyes because of the evaluation. As the text continues, there is such an underlining passion about each of the three subjects being critiqued.
Just like the events in “To Hell You Ride” were a metaphor to Hurricane Katrina and post 9/11 mentality, Maddrey’s analysis comes from a historical viewpoint. The ’60s were a major influence on Romero when he was starting his first “Living Dead” film. You have to understand more about art house cinema before realizing their significance on Craven’s “Last House on the Left.” I have a better understanding of what it takes for a filmmaker, through their social class and economic standpoint, to make their dark vision come true. You’ll notice that with the first draft of Romero’s “Day of the Dead.”
Saving the best for last, Maddrey dissects King’s growing line of successful books. Each novel gets a spotlight, even the more recent ones. Our author hits on the right spots, discussing the political overtones of “Under The Dome.” I never knew there was connection between Paul Edgecomb of the “Green Mile,” to Johnny Marinville in “The Regulators.” The short story, “Rage,” which is about a school shooting, is even more relevant because of Maddrey’s introspection.
I am such a huge fan of Tom Mandrake’s artwork in “To Hell You Ride.” To see Mandrake’s gritty illustration again on the cover is so worthwhile. This is another reason why you should buy the “Beyond Fear” book.
Readers will definitely have a lot of fun going their favorite subjects in “Beyond Fear: Reflections on Stephen King, Wes Craven, and George Romero’s Living Dead.” I even found myself rereading Craven’s sections the most in the book.
Masked metal band Slipknot will be headlining their very own Knotfest, a three day heavy music festival that will also see such acts as Danzig, Five Finger Death Punch, Volbeat, Killswitch Engage, Anthrax, and many, many more. The event will take place October 24th through the 26th in San Bernardino, CA at the San Manuel Ampthitheater & Campgrounds.
Slipknot will be closing the festival on the second and third nights, each having their own unique set. Every ticket purchase will also receive a digital download of the band’s new album, which doesn’t yet have a release date.
Slipknot’s Shawn M. “Clown” Crahan states:
Knotfest is a chance for Slipknot to bring the sensory-overload of a wild European festival–and now we’re coming for you, California. Playing two different sets over two nights at one location is a new experience in the history of this band. This year’s Knotfests in the U.S. and Japan are going to be on another level.
Directly from the press release:
In addition to performances from more than 60 of the heaviest bands on the planet, attendees will descend into an apocalyptic underworld featuring over 20 festival attractions including a Slipknot Museum (curated by the band), carnival rides, a zip line across the festival grounds, drum circles, pillars of fire, freaks, fire-breathers, stilt-walkers, and so much more.
Full information for the festival, along with the full lineup and schedule can be found here.
American death metal band Cannibal Corpse has written some of the most violent and terrifying lyrics throughout their history, tackling topics of necrophilia, murder, and worse. Hell, they have a song called “Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s Cunt”. Need I go on any further?
So with a band that is so intense and controversial, they can’t POSSIBLY be scared of anything, right? Well, it turns out the singer George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher still has nightmares and they’re actually about werewolves and bigfoots!
I’m doing a side band with Shannon Lucas, who plays in Battlecross and used to play in The Black Dahlia Murder, and Adam [Dutkiewicz], from Killswitch Engage. I was up at Adam’s recording vocals for the project, and he has woods on the edge of his house…They kept telling me I’m gonna see a bigfoot near the woods, or something. And that night, after we were done with the recording, and everyone went to bed, I had these dreams.
I was in between the deck and the woods, like in no-man’s land, and I could see all these glowing eyes coming, like all these werewolves and bigfoots and just fucked up shit coming at me, and I was like, “Oh, fuck! I’m gonna have to sit here and fight!” And I remember I was fighting them. Then I woke up…I didn’t get eaten or nothing. But I wasn’t running from them. I was standing my ground.
You can read the full interview with Corpsegrinder at LA Weekly.
Live in Orlando, FL? The New Founders of America have provided B-D with screening passes to check out The Purge: Anarchy for FREE before it hits theatres on July 18th!
The advance screening will take place at AMC Altamonte 18 (433 East Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701) on Tuesday, July 15th at 7:30 PM.
If you want to watch twelve hours of anarchy unfold, all you have to do is email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org with The “Purge: Anarchy” in the subject line.
The tickets will be supplied on a first-come, first-served basis and given to the winners in front of the theater on the day of the screening starting at 6 PM. Good luck!
IN THEATERS FRIDAY, JULY 18
Rated R for strong disturbing violence, and for language.
Arriving in UK cinemas on July 18 is Killers, a stylish thriller from The Raid‘s Gareth Evans and directed by the hugely talented ‘Mo Brothers’ (V/H/S/2, Macabre).
The film sees the explosive meeting of two serial killers with contrasting, and sadistic, styles of murder.
It will then arrive on Blu-ray and DVD September 1.
Here’s the cover art and image gallery, to go with a lengthy synopsis.
“Nomura is a good looking and stylish man in his early thirties who lives a successful life in Tokyo, Japan. Girls are drawn to him, something he uses to his advantage as none of them realise the sinister truth behind the clean-cut façade.
Nomura has been leaving a legacy of violent murders that he immortalises through video clips posted on a public video website. He thrives off of the fact that millions are witnessing his work through the virally spread videos.
Thousands of miles away from him, in a whole different world, lives Bayu, a disgraced investigative journalist living in a violent and unstable Jakarta, Indonesia. As Bayu’s life is hit by the nadir of failures, Nomura’s videos trigger his dark side as he starts to record his own brand of “justified” killings. Nomura’s seemingly confident and controlled charm starts to peel when his ego is wounded by the fact that Bayu’s videos have reached a significant numbers of followers that could rival his own.
Complicating matters further is Nomura’s bizarre attraction towards a traumatised young florist Hisae. Bayu himself starts to sink deeper into a spiral of violence; obsessed with bringing down one of the country’s biggest and most corrupt politicians, but during his bloody rampage he doesn’t realise the repercussions towards his young daughter, Elly.
When the rivalry between Nomura and Bayu becomes an uncontrollable psychosis, the two of them must face each other in one of the most exhilarating film finales in years.”
Right now this is only in Toledo but it offers a unique experience. Less freaky (and more sanitary) than Blackout, “Trapped” offers a teamwork and cognitive function exercise that could be super fun or really frustrating depending on who you’re trapped in the room with.
Per ABC, “<I>it’s a high-stakes scenario where the pressure is intensified with a countdown and your only means of escape is to solve the clues. You’re trapped in a room and the only way out is to solve puzzles in the room. The interactive experience is part theater and part video game. You’re trapped in a room with up to 11 other people and you have 60 minutes to get out alive. Players can choose either a lab with zombies or a mayor’s office with a bomb.</i>”
You can check out a trailer below.
I like this new guy, Pope Francis. I’m not really religious but I like the overall direction he seems to be taking things in, he seems like a compassionate guy. And now, according to this report he has approved exorcisms as a viable solution to, well… possessions I guess. He has officially made the International Association of Exorcists legitimate (this reminds me of when the Young Guns were deputized).
The Association has over 250 priests in 30 countries ready to battle evil. “Exorcism is a form of charity that benefits those who suffer,” the head of the association, Reverend Francesco Bamonte, said.
Hey, if it works!
Devil’s Mile is a crazy ambitious movie. Which is and isn’t a compliment. It’s a hybrid film, one that attempts to blend a crime thriller with supernatural horror in the vein of Lovecraft. While that sounds like a tantalizing proposition, Devil’s Mile is bogged down by miserable pacing, flaccid scares, and an exaggerated sense of importance. Nearly half the film is consumed by the leads arguing with each other, spouting expletives like it’s going outta style. The few moments of horror are borderline intense, but there’s too much narrative vacancy to make Devil’s Mile worth the watch.
The story revolves around three criminals driving through the Bermuda Triangle of highways, with two kidnapped girls in the truck. Their pseudo-ringleader Toby (played by X-Men screenwriter David Hayter) is a hothead, which leads to some of the film’s most miserable moments. There’s a scene where he says “fuck you” about a dozen times. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be funny, but it’s just comes off dumb. I’m all for hamming it up, but Devil’s Mile‘s acting is just plain terrible.
It takes a long time for the meat of the story to kick in. Meanwhile, flashbacks/flash-forwards serve to make the narrative interesting enough to keep watching. But the pay-off at the end isn’t worth it. There are some terrificly scary moments with fantastic ghost designs, but in the grand scheme these are mere jump scare moments that any casual horror audience would laugh over. They feel intense, but there’s nothing to really get under you skin or stay with you after the film.
The term “Lynchian” has been perverted over the years and gets thrown around a lot, usually when a filmmaker is trying to be weird for weirdness sake, without any real thematic or pulpy endgame in mind. Devil’s Mile certainly falls in this category. It’s like filmmaker Joseph O’Brien is pounding you over the head with his alleged self-importance without having anything to back it up. It’s a frustrating experience.
Back in April I gave Denis Villeneuve’s psychological thriller Enemy a glowing review. I was downright seduced by the film’s eerie atmosphere and ambiguous plot, which has viewers delivering a large variety of theories concerning just what the hell is going on with doppelgangers and spiders. I speculated an Invasion of the Body Snatchers type of deal, but Villeneuve truly leaves it wide open for interpretation. Anyone who’s into dark and twisting mysterious should not sleep on this movie.
Now that the film’s on Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate, the film is game for even further analysis from viewers. After my second viewing, I still stand by my initial interpretation of the film. Scouring the internet, it really is amazing how many different explanations viewers are offering up. The film is loosely adapted from José Saramago’s 2002 novel “The Double,” and in the disc’s behind the scenes feature, it’s interesting to note that Jake Gyllenhaal and the rest of the cast had several questions concerning the plot, so Villeneuve asked them to write down questions for the author. Sadly, the day when Villeneuve was going to send the questions, Saramago passed away.
That’s just one of the tidbits of informtation discussed in the feature, which runs about 18 minutes long. It’s a really great feature (and the disc’s only one), containing in-depth and insightful talks with Villeneuve, Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Isabella Rossellini, and Sarah Gadon, as well as screenwriter Javier Gullón, cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc, production designer Patrice Vermette, and producers. So yeah, this bitch is thorough.
For such a brief feature, they manage to cover a lot of ground. Like a lot of viewers, the cast is also unsure what the film means. Villeneuve talks about how he always intended to leave it up for interpretation and that Saramago was cool with the major diversions they made from the book. They also detail some of the filmmaking techniques they used to make the illusion of two Gyllehaals believable. One major trick to pulling it off was making sure his eye line was correct, which they did with the practical use of a tennis ball on a pole. It’s really simple but clever filmmaking.
The Lionsgate 1080p transfer is full of fine details and textures. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is also strong.
Enemy is a hit or miss movie. That being said I suggest renting or streaming it before dipping in for the purchase. I highly recommend it though if you dig ambiguous, mysterious movies that stay with you long after viewing.
It’s Monday, and for many of us, that means a reluctant return to our weekly routine. It’s always especially difficult returning to normal after a long holiday weekend, but we do it because we must. If you need a little help finding your groove, I think these amazing digital paintings by artist Borja Pindado will do the trick. They’re inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and everyone knows a dose of Cthulhu can remedy most problems, even Mondays.
For more of Borja’s work, check out his gallery.
Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with heavy metal-inspired EDM artist Savant to bring you the exclusive music video premiere for “Derby”, which features JELO! The video, which you can see below, comes with the release of the track itself, so make sure to pick up a copy!
This is one of those tracks that you need to breathe after you listen to it. Super hard, super fast and not what you would expect from JELO and me. Had a blast making this happen.
You can purchase “Derby” via Bandcamp.
July 16 // Celebrities // Vancouver, BC
July 17 // Yost Theater // Santa Ana, CA
July 19 // Kansas City, KA
July 22 // Emmaboda, Sweden
Aug 29 // Slake // New York, NY
Picturehouse has announced a September 17 release for the Sundance hit The Guest (read our review), from the visionary team behind You’re Next: director Adam Wingard, writer Simon Barrett and Snoot Entertainment’s Keith Calder and Jessica Calder.
From the director and writer of V/H/S and V/H/S/2, “The film tells the story of a young soldier who arrives on the doorstep of the Peterson family, claiming to be a good friend of their beloved son who died in action. The Petersons welcome David into their home and into their lives, but when people start mysteriously dying in town, mayhem ensues as their teenage daughter Anna starts wondering if David is responsible.“
The Guest stars Dan Stevens of “Downton Abbey” fame, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer, Sheila Kelley, Leland Orser, and Lance Reddick (“American Horror Story” and “Intelligence”).
We’re really excited about Lee Hardcastle‘s future in the horror world.
While he’s mostly known for his claymation insanity (he won the ABCs of Death contest with his “T is for Toilet”), we still think he’s going to break out one of these days, and create a horror film for the ages.
His early crack at the genre is an impressive one, with the following short film “Fun With Black Bulbs.”
Inspired by V/H/S and the short film “Lights Out”, the short builds suspense with the use of a backlight.
“A simple trick you can do yourself but one you might regret because it can be pretty creepy what you find around the home. Try it, you’ll be surprised,” jokes Hardcastle.
While the world shits on Michael May’s fourth Transformers movie, YouTubeer Harrisloureiro creates his own fan film using stop-motion animation.
Below you can watch this shockingly entertaining “Battle Tanker VS Giant”, which uses the “Transformers” action figures as props.
When a film like 2007′s Grizzly Rage roars right out of the gate with a car filled with some of the most annoying people ever put to the screen, and you find yourself in excruciating pain – your skin crawling with repulsion for low IQ immaturity – the only thing left that might be redeeming is seeing them all torn to graphically, violent pieces. Maybe watch them suffer, or get reduced to shredded limbs. Or meat, just danging in the choppers of a pissed off bear.
So is there any bloody redemption here for your time spent?
Its about four kids who hop into a rover that they completely abuse and beat the shit out of in film historic proportions, before breaking down on their way to Saranac Grotto – an abandoned, chain link fenced, toxic waste dump. Its a barren stretch of woods with, of course, no cell service. Before crashing like idiots for no reason but stupidity, they run over and kill a baby grizzly cub. Momma grizzly immediately gets pissed and the froth mouthed, TV-movie caliber chase is on. All the while, back home, I’m sure whatever parent that owned the truck is hoping they die horrible deaths.
OK, I added that part in there. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they were. I was.
Your bottom line is, there’s a lot of emo goin around here, while they run aimlessly through the woods, reviving their land rover over and over so they can roll it over the next cliff. A LOT of emo. They brood and pout and argue and pace, wrestling with their ruffled emotions, disturbed by sparse stock footage clips of a bear. Add in a lot of stupid decisions and high fives, guys fighting and rebonding with bro-fists, an independent soundtrack of songs that sound hand picked from American Idol… and supportive hugs. (Is this guy gonna cry!??) I’m telling you, because somebody has to warn you of this shit.
This is an early Sci-Fi production helmed by David DeCoteau (The Brotherhood series), a modern day Roger Corman who, in the last three years, has cranked out more cheese than Wisconsin – so whats to expect? Not much, and you don’t get much. Such an effortless spectacle of young adults attempting to define their feelings amidst their flight to survive. This is why it’d recommend it as intro-horror for younger ones – it doesn’t go over the top in any offensive departments. No nudity, no bad language, no sex, no graphic violence. There’s no visual stimulation here, aside from mud stained shorts and red lines on their faces from accidents in their tortured truck. CGI or otherwise.
The best I can formulate from this 90 minute coping test is that it might be a good intro to horror for the smaller ones, if you have kids. Its energetic, silly, shiny, and edgy, if nothing else. But when the kills go down, its mostly just cheap 70′s style blood splatter stills on the camera lens. For serious horror film goers, don’t go near this. Its like the kid next door got a hold of a camera and went in the woods to make a “run away!” movie with his friends. If that really happens, have mercy and sit thru it, for them. But if you’re gonna choose to watch this after everything we just went through, damn, you’re a self abusive son of a b – and I’ve failed in my efforts to defend your tastes.
P.S. If you’re not a youngster wired to be prejudice against anything pre-2000, I highly recommend seeking out John Frankenheimer’s Prophecy (1979) for some adult caliber, violent, inside-out, monster bear, decapitation action.
If this horror map of the United States wasn’t already the coolest thing all year, the Dorothy Collective has for sale the ridiculous “Horror Star Chart,” which maps 135 genre films (and TV shows) as constellations!
Here’s information from the product page (it’s also available in glow-in-the-dark!!)
Horror Star Chart – Original Open Edition
2 colour litho print on 120gsm uncoated art paper
H80 x W60cm
The Horror Star Chart is based on the night sky over Berlin Zoological Gardens on 4th March, 1922 during the premier of F.W. Murnau’s silent vampire film ‘Nosferatu’, which is recognised as a masterpiece of cinema, inspiring film makers and directors for generations to come (including Hitchcock).
The star chart features the films (and a few of our favourite TV shows) that are culturally significant to the genre and plays homage to the actors, directors, producers, graphic artists, authors and writers whose work has been pivotal to the enduring popularity of Horror.
The 135 titles featured include those chosen for preservation in the US National Film Registry due to their cultural, historical, or aesthetic significance and a few personal favourites including: early silent films (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Nosferatu and The Phantom Of The Opera), Universal Monsters from the 30′s featuring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff (Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy), Hammer classics (Dracula and Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter), forerunners of the slasher sub genre in the 60′s (Peeping Tom and Psycho), supernatural thrillers of the 70′s (The Exorcist, The Omen, Carrie), video ‘nasties’ vilified by the media in the 80’s (Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Evil Dead) through to the recent Zombie revival (28 Days Later).
An A-Z key lists the films (and their actors) included on the chart along with the year of release.
Original open edition litho print for £25 plus P&P
Alternatively buy the Glow in the Dark Limited Edition print for £125 plus P&P
Image Source: The Dorthy Collective
Although he’s “threatened” to retire, polarizing filmmaker Kevin Smith has a slew of projects in development. His body-horror film Tusk is set for release this fall and now Screen Daily is reporting that a spin-off called Yoga-Hosers is due to start filming later this year.
“Like Tusk [Yoga-Hosers] sparing out of a podcast,” Smith told Screen.
“There are two characters in a convenience store in Tusk that you see for five minutes, very much like Ronsencrantz and Guildenstern.*
“I’ve built a whole movie around them and I have brought one of the other characters from Tusk back.”
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny the balls on Smith. He’s planning a follow-up to a film that hasn’t even come out yet – that takes stones.
Smith also has a “Creepshow-like horror anthology” called Come To The Krampus in the works, which has already been pre-sold by distributor XYZ Films.
What say you, readers? You guys into Kevin “Snootchie Bootchies” Smith getting all up in the horror genre?
* the two courtiers sent by the king to spy on Hamlet.
Magnet Releasing and Drafthouse Films keep teasing ABCs of Death 2 on their Facebook page, releasing a grotesque behind-the-scenes look at Jen and Sylvia Soska’s (American Mary, See No Evil 2) segment in the anthology.
While we don’t have release details just yet from the anthology sequel, which delivers 26 new dark tales from the industry’s most celebrated genre directors.
ABCs of Death 2 is produced by Ant Timpson and Tim League, in conjunction with associate producers Todd Brown, Marc Walkow, Mitch Davis, and Ted Geoghegan.
FULL DIRECTOR LIST:
Julian Barratt (THE MIGHTY BOOSH)
Todd Rohal (THE CATECHISM CATALYSM)
Steven Kostanski (MANBORG)
Alejandro Brugués (JUAN OF THE DEAD)
Jim Hosking (commercial director)
Hajime Ohata (HENGE)
Chris Nash (SKINFECTIONS)
Álex de la Iglesia (THE LAST CIRCUS, DAY OF THE BEAST)
Rodney Ascher (ROOM 237)
Bill Plympton (Animator)
Erik Matti (ON THE JOB, MAGIC TEMPLE)
Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper (VANISHING WAVES)
Sion Sono (COLD FISH, SUICIDE CLUB)
Vincenzo Natali (SPLICE, CUBE)
Larry Fessenden (THE LAST WINTER, HABIT)
Marcus Dunstan (THE COLLECTION)
Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (INSIDE, LIVID)
E.L. Katz (CHEAP THRILLS)
Jen and Sylvia Soska (AMERICAN MARY, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK)
Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (RABIES, BIG BAD WOLVES)
Julian Gilbey (A LONELY PLACE TO DIE)
Dennison Ramalho (NINJAS and LOVE FOR MOTHER ONLY)
Lancelot Imasuen (Nollywood director)
Jerome Sable (THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM, STAGEFRIGHT)
Robert Morgan (BOBBY YEAH)
Netflix just sent us four official stills from “The Killing,” which premieres exclusively on Netflix on August 1.
Joel Kinnaman will return for a final season, along with his partner, Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos).
In the slow-burn series, a police investigation, the saga of a grieving family, and a Seattle mayoral campaign all interlock after the body of 17-year-old Rosie Larsen is found in the trunk of a submerged car.
“The fourth and final season of ‘The Killing’ picks up right after the season 3 finale. As Detective Linden (Mireille Enos) and Detective Holder (Joel Kinnaman) struggle to manage the fallout from their rash actions at the end of last season, they are assigned a new case — a picture perfect family is murdered, survived only by the son, Kyle Stansbury (Tyler Ross), who was shot in the head during the massacre. Joan Allen guest stars this season as Colonel Margaret Rayne, the headmaster of the all-boys military academy where Kyle attends. The new season also stars Gregg Henry, Sterling Beaumon and Levi Meaden.”
Variety reports that Toma Ikuta, who starred in the hit Takashi Miike gang actioner The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji, has been announced as the lead in the revenge thriller Grasshopper.
Based on a novel by Kotaro Isaka (“Golden Slumber,” “Fish Story”) that has sold 1.27 million copies in Japan, the picture stars Ikuta as “a junior high teacher who quits his job and infiltrates the underworld to find the killer of his lover.”
Also in the main cast are Tadanobu Asano (47 Ronin, Thor), playing a killer-for-hire who drives his victims to suicide and Ryosuke Yamada of the Hey! Say! Jump! boy band, playing a knife-wielding hitman.
Directed by Tomoyuki Takimoto, who worked with Ikuta on the 2013 sci-fi thriller “Brain Man,” the pic starts shooting today (July 7) and will be in theaters in 2015, with Kadokawa producing and distributing.