The wait for Among the Sleep on Xbox One just got a wee bit longer. In a recent update, developer Krillbite Studio confirmed the latest port of their first-person psychological horror game had run into some minor technical issues related to the Unity 5 engine.
— Krillbite Studio (@krillbite) March 2, 2016
Krillbite’s been quietly supporting the game since its arrival on Steam nearly two years ago. A prequel chapter was added to the game, for free, at the end of 2014, and the version PS4 owners got in December overhauled its visuals by replacing its dated engine for the new-and-improved Unity 5. The Steam version was brought up-to-date last month.
Among the Sleep has been a moderately polarizing game. Its been criticized for its relatively brief running time, clumsy controls and a general lack of scares. Those flaws are absolutely worth enduring, in my opinion, for its wonderful atmosphere, gorgeous art style and clever platforming.
While we’re waiting for its Xbox One port to get here, check out our post-mortem for an in-depth look at how Krillbite turned a novel idea for a story about a curious two year-old into a promising concept for a game that would go on to raise a quarter of a million dollars on Kickstarter.
Alt-rockers Garbage have announced that they will be releasing their sixth studio album Strange Little Birds on June 10th through their own record label Stunvolume.
Vocalist Shirley Manson explains, “The guiding principle was keeping it fresh, and relying on instinct both lyrically and musically. To me, this record, funnily enough, has the most to do with the first record than any of the previous records. It’s getting back to that beginner’s headspace. In part that’s a result of not having anyone to answer to.”
Drummer Butch Vig simply adds, “We fell in love with immediacy.”
The band released the title and track list today but haven’t released a single. That’s why I put “Automatic Systematic Habit” above, because it’s from their previous album, 2012’s Not Your Kind of People, and because it’s catchy as hell!
4. If I Lost You
5. Night Drive Loneliness
6. Even Though Our Love Is Doomed
8. We Never Tell
9. So We Can Stay Alive
10. Teaching Little Fingers To Play
Above you can watch a second trailer for Wolf Creek director Greg McLean’s supernatural horror, The Darkness, which stars Kevin Bacon and reunites McLean with Rogue star Radha Mitchell.
In theaters May 13th, “A family returns home from vacation at the Grand Canyon and innocently bring home a supernatural force that preys off their own fears and vulnerabilities, threatening to destroy them from within, while consuming their lives with terrifying consequences.”
This version of the trailer really sets up the story of how this entity ends up tormenting the family, which is quite similar to The Exorcist. The footage makes me believe the kid thinks it’s initially cool, while Bacon apparently is mortified (rightfully so). I love all of McLean’s previous works and this looks like a lot of fun, too.
David Mazouz, Lucy Fry, Matt Walsh and Jennifer Morrison also star.
This is a good day. It’s good because I finally have something positive and hopeful to write about the Dead Island series, after about a year’s worth of cancellations, shut-downs, abysmal spin-offs and HD re-releases I’m still not sure are necessary.
But today is different. Today I get to say something nice about Dead Island 2, which seems to be back on track and in the very capable hands of developer Sumo Digital.
— Sumo Digital (@SumoDigitalLtd) March 10, 2016
“Sumo showed so much understanding of the brand, had creative ideas and an excellent, vision that was aligned with our own,” explains Koch Media head honcho Klemens Kundratitz in a chat with MCV. “It just made perfect sense for us to move the project to them. We will reveal more details at a later stage, but for now I’d like to say that we are obviously super excited about the progress that we are making with them.”
This isn’t the first time Sumo has put their mark on an established franchise — the studio has previously contributed to the LittleBigPlanet, Disney Infinity and Forza franchises, and they were recently enlisted by Microsoft to reboot Crackdown, again.
“It’s an honour to be charged with the evolution of such an important franchise in Deep Silver’s catalogue,” adds Sumo boss Paul Porter. “We’re looking forward to exceeding fan expectation with an ambitious design that we’re confident will take bone-crunching, visceral, zombie action to a whole new level.”
That’s all we know right now. Stay tuned for more details.
Developer IMGN.PRO’s first-person horror game Kholat has finally crept onto the PS4. Steam users have had the game since last June and they haven’t come any closer to solving the terrifying real-life mystery that inspired it. Dummies. Now it’s time for console gamers to have a go at it, and go at it they shall, once they’ve been lured to it by the Siren’s song that is Sean Bean. That’s right, the velvety vocal melodies of The Bean — my spirit animal — can be heard in Kholat.
Let his voice guide you, protect you, and bring you warmth. All praise The Bean.
Back in 2002, Joel Schumacher gave us Phone Booth. Despite its simple premise, the film put you through the wringer with some great tension and acting by Colin Farrell, who was essentially forced to remain on the phone. 14 years later, writer/director Levan Bakhia gives us another chance to revisit that familiar tension and situation with Landmine Goes Click, with some I Spit On Your Grave thrown in for good measure. The film made its debut at last year’s FrightFest, and is now headed to FrightFest Presents March 7th. Once again, a simple premise holds potential.
On a hiking trip through Georgia (the country), Daniel (Dean Geyer), Alicia (Spencer Locke) and Chris (Sterling Knight) decide to take a moment for a photo. Unfortunately, Chris steps on a landmine, presumably left over from the area’s recent war. After Daniel disappears, Alicia and Chris are left to wonder what to do next. Help seemingly appears in the form of English-speaking Ilya (Kote Tolordava). Soon after, however, things again turn ugly.
For a film with a minimalist cast, it’s expected that the group are strong in their acting to pull off what’s required. Thankfully, the cast turn in a great performance, hammering home the dire situation as well as the depravity. Knight, Locke and Tolordava share the bulk the screentime together, and are able to use the tension to play guessing games with the audience in actions and dialogue. Granted, the film ventures into the depraved area (part of that previously-mentioned I Spit On Your Grave reference) that may not be to everyone’s liking, nor does it totally justify the aftermath (more on that later), but it does do the job of getting the audience to pay attention.
Another aspect of the film that feeds into the tension is the environment. You can’t argue with Bakhia’s decision to have the film in Georgia. Right from the start, with its opening Bokeh photography, you definitely get the beauty and the isolation that the Georgian landscape holds for Landmine. The shot of our trio protagonists on top of a rock formation as the camera pulls back shows again just how far out this group is in the wilderness.
Despite the potential fun time to be had with Landmine as a revenge thriller, it falters in rather big ways. The story starts out great, but falters soon after. Bakhia paints a certain character as the obvious antagonist (and jerk), but instead switches it up for Ilya. This might not be so bad had the character not been dragged down by appearing as a bumbling annoyance, instead of something to be feared. The dialogue and tension do make up for this decision in character, but removing the tension shows that irksome character trait. Also, as alluded to, the film does go down the road of using the rape-and-revenge cliché that I Spit On Your Grave made famous. And as expected, the scene in question is a very hard to watch two and a half minutes. With no cuts. What follows next is the revenge, but even that eludes satisfaction. The final scene of the film pleases no one, which may be a statement on the whole idea of revenge in general. That, I can understand. However, it’s not really clear that’s what Bakhia was aiming for. Also, the rape in the film is seemingly included solely for shock, and really could’ve been left out of the film entirely for the revenge theme to work. But most frustrating is that the character that got Chris and Alicia into this mess gets away and is never seen again. Where’s the revenge in that instance? Adding to it all is the film’s 100 minute runtime, which given the story, drags on for far too long.
Landmine Goes Click is an appropriate title. While the setup does indeed click, the aftermath of what follows doesn’t exactly go bang. The idea of having a Phone Booth type scenario of a character being forced to remain in one spot lest they die does open up a potentially tension-filled film, and the merging of a revenge portion appeals even more. The execution, however, is unfortunately lacking thanks to the runtime and the clumsy story. Had the story been given more of a concise polish, things probably would have been better. Regardless, if you fancy a bit of I Spit On Your Grave revenge with your thriller, Landmine Goes Click acts as an okay way to satisfy, even if the revenge doesn’t go as planned.
If you were ever worried that the competitive multiplayer offering in the new Doom wouldn’t stay true to the frantic, fast-paced what-the-hell-is-going-on multiplayer insanity that turned the mid 90s into one long all-nighter, than don’t. Because id Software has updated the classic arena-style combat for a new generation of gamers who are about to learn that you only stop moving if you’re looking to get your balls blown clear off.
And into the open mouth of a player-controlled demon, because Doom wants to remind us of Evolve so we can forget about it, again, when this game arrives on May 13 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
For those of you who still have your copy of Wolfenstein: The New Order, the Doom beta access that came with it is about to be relevant. It’ll run from March 31 to April 3.
And finally, congrats to the 42,000-ish people who voted for the retro-inspired reverse sleeve, as that will be the one I’ll be using, even though I’ll probably just keep my copy in a drawer somewhere. This game looks far too badass to have such painfully uninspired cover art.
Things are moving at locomotive pace for the film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower (barring unsubstantiated rumors) with both Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba having confirmed roles as “The Man in Black” and Roland, respectively. Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road) also has a confirmed role, although it’s not clear what it is.
Now there are rumblings over at Variety that Tom Taylor, a newcomer to the scene, has been cast as Jake Chambers, the spiritual son of Roland.
The Dark Tower will be released on February 17th, 2017 and is being directed by Nikolaj Arcel based on a script from Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner.
The love triangle thriller You Get Me has landed its two female leads in the forms of Bella Thorne (Amityville: The Awakening) and Halston Sage (Goosebumps, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse). The movie, which is being produced by Awesomeness Films’ Brian Robbins and Matt Kaplan, is being directed by Brent Bonacorso.
The synopsis for the film sounds kinda like the 2002 film Swimfan:
Tyler — fresh off an argument with his perfect girlfriend, Ali (Sage) — lands in the arms of sexy out-of-towner Grace (Thorne). The morning after, he finds that not only does Ali agree to take him back, but Grace is a new student at their school and is dead set on getting her new man.
Filming for the movie beings in April and will mainly be done in Los Angeles.
Join the resistance.
Check out this new image from Beyond Skyline, the sequel to Colin and Greg Strause’s Skyline that’s directed this time by Liam O’Donnell, who worked on some effects in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem and Iron Man 2. He co-wrote the screenplay with Joshua Cordes. The duo wrote the first film, too.
Frank Grillo (The Purge: Anarchy) stars in the film as a tough-as-nails detective who embarks on a relentless pursuit to free his son from a nightmarish alien warship.
The full cast, which has just been revealed, includes Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic (Drag Me to Hell, Devil), Jonny Weston (Under the Bed, Project Almanac), Iko Uwais, Callan Mulvey, Antonio Fargas, Pamelyn Chee, Yayan Ruhian, Jacob Vargas, Valentine Payen, Betty Gabriel, Jack Chausse, and Kevin O’Donnell.
The sequel’s storyline allegedly takes place at the same time the first one did.
Hydraulx Entertainment is behind Beyond Skyline, and do some seriously badass effects work.
Thanks to Fabien M. for the tip!
Here’s some previously released images and art that carry a Predator vibe.
We’ve got something really special and fun for you today. I want to introduce you to German rocker/songwriter Laura Carbone, whose music has drawn comparisons to artists such as Marilyn Manson, PJ Harvey, and Hope Sandoval.
Carbone is gearing up for tomorrow’s North American release of her debut album Sirens, which features 11 tracks of dark wave brooding rock. And to help hype that release, we’ve got not one but two awesome features that we’re cramming into this piece!
First of all, we got Carbone to share five of her favorite David Lynch films and music from each one that stands out. Carbone is a huge fan of Lynch and it’s obvious in her her music, which is as surreal and entrancing as the director’s offerings. Below are her choices with explanations for each.
Secondly, above is an exclusive first listen to the track “Heavy Heavy”, which sounds like it’d fit perfectly into a David Lynch film, bringing everything full circle. With driving drums and an almost macabre intensity, the song exudes mystery with a sexiness that cannot be denied.
From Laura Carbone:
‘Mulholland Drive’ is definitely my favorite Lynch movie. It’s like almost every other Lynch movie being very dreamlike, mysterious and takes places in a super unreal universe. It was the first Lynch movie i watched and i fell in love with the way he described his main female characters. My favorite scene is when “La Llorona“ performs at Club Silencio and then collapses, probably to death. Her singing is so intense, haunting and overemotional that I teared up when I watched it for the first time.
I love the way Lynch gives you always time to soak up performances that happen in his movies.
Wild at Heart
“This whole world’s wild at heart and weird on top.“ So true.
I do love this bizarre road trip of the two romantic outlaws through the south of the US. One of my favorite songs “Wicked Games“ by Chris Isaak is playing in the background when they both are driving through the night and some witch from ‘The wizard of Oz’ rides next to them. Truly bizarre and very “Lynch” how this romantic scene ends and turns the tables on the movie.
The Lynch movie with the most impressive soundtrack curated by Trent Reznor includes Bowie, Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, Lou Reed, Rammstein and, of course, Reznor himself.
I cannot decide which scene is the creepiest. When the Mystery Man wants Fred to call his home or what’s on the first cassette. However, I always love how his movies leave you with the option to fill in the blanks – to use your own creativity and reality. ‘Lost Highway‘ is a perfect example for that. What has happened? Is there an ending? Is there a morphing?
Isabella Rossellini as nightclub singer Dorothy is pure beauty and so it happens my favorite scene is Dorothy singing “Blue Velvet“.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Or ‘The last week of the life of Laura Palmer‘. You’ll get a brief introduction to the “Twin Peaks” series and of course it makes sense to first watch the series, then the movie. Don’t think chronological – Lynch wouldn’t do that either. Chris Isaak plays FBI agent Chester and it’s delicious to watch him and not only listen to his music in Lynch movies and, of course, the grand Angelo Badalamenti opens the movie with the infamous “Twin Peaks Theme“.
I love the scene when Laura and her friend Donna are in this surreal, blurry sex club. The music is so loud, psychedelic and full of warm tremolo and it’s super hard to understand the conversations. But that’s the best thing about it – you don’t have to understand and analyze everything to fall into a Lynch movie.
“Hey bro/sis, I know that we’ve had some sibling rivalry over the years and maybe we didn’t always get along. But listen, I want to make it up to you! So I got little Jimmy and Suzie a new toy set! I just figured that it’d be nice for them to get something fun that will possibly help SELL THEIR SOUL TO THE DEVIL! THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR TELLING MOM ABOUT THE TIME I SNUCK OUT OF THE HOUSE, YOU TATTLING ASSHOLE!”
AHEM! Sorry about that!
Below is a charming little video from YouTuber Stinkhead who created a playset inspired by Robert Eggers’ critically acclaimed period horror film The Witch! The faux-set comes with the whole family and the now wildly popular goat Black Phillip! Because when it comes to playing with toys, who can resist headbutting the SHIT out of the parent figures, am I right?
Below is the “commercial”, which is rather endearing and darkly comical!
I’ve been going back and forth, deciding how exactly I would review Severin Films Kung Fu Trailers of Fury. I’ve never reviewed just a set of trailers before. I love them. Some of my favorite Blu-ray and DVD releases are trailers only. I could watch trailers all day. In fact, I’ve spent some days doing just that!
But how do you review a collection of them? I thought about reviewing each individual trailer, but that seems like a mess. There are way too many trailers on this set to go over them all. Plus that would take some fun out of others watching Kung Fu Trailers of Fury. What makes this set enjoyable are all the little surprises.
The trailers look pretty good. These are all 2k scans from the original 35mm reels that Severin recently stumbled upon. Obviously there are some rough patches, given that these reels have probably seen better days, but all things considered they look very good. The audio has all been kept in the original language which I think is great and English subtitles have been added. The subtitles are a little hard to read at times, but that’s hardly relevant. I don’t need the subtitles to enjoy this. I just want to see three minutes of exciting kung fu action!
The real kicker is that these trailers look to all be new for the most part. And what I mean by that is they don’t appear to have been released elsewhere or just a re-hash of previous trailer sets. I can’t confirm this for sure, but I have a fair number of trailer releases and this release wasn’t a bunch of trailers I have previously seen. Now sure, it’s possible a few have been released before and I’ve just forgotten, but there are definitely a lot that I had never seen before. That’s a big plus!
My personal favorite trailer on the set is for Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow which is a Jackie Chan movie from the late 70’s. I’ve never seen the movie, but this trailer has me all in. It’s definitely a movie I’d like to track down. It looks like there are a few DVD releases out there, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that a Blu-ray release will pop up someday. Not likely, I know, but one can hope. Other trailers that are extremely memorable include Return of Bruce, Chinese Kung Fu Against Godfather and Kung Fu vs. Yoga, amongst many others.
The set also includes some really great special features. There’s ‘A Brief History of Kung Fu Cinema’ which chronicles kung fu from its early stages. ‘The Way of the Cube’ tells the story of how these trailers were found, which is worth a watch. And finally there’s a commentary track which gives a lot more info on not only the history of kung fu but the specific movies the trailers are for.
If you like kung fu, martial arts, or just crazy trailers, get this. I’m fairly confident you’ll enjoy it!
Kung Fu Trailers of Fury is now available on Blu-ray from Severin Films.
In Hush, World Premiering at the SXSW Film Festival this weekend, a deaf woman is stalked by a psychotic killer in her secluded home.
It was announced today that Netflix has acquired the film, from Oculus director Mike Flanagan, and will release it globally on the streaming service beginning April 8th.
“After losing her hearing as a teenager, author Maddie Young (Siegel) has lived a life of isolation fully retreating into her now silent world. When the masked face of a psychotic killer appears in the window of her secluded home, she must push herself beyond her mental and physical limits in order to survive the night.”
Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr, Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan star in Hush, which should have a trailer soon.
Watch for our review out of the festival.
“Is man indeed a walrus at heart?”
That is the question that Kevin Smith posed to audiences in 2014 with his body-horror-comedy Tusk. Apparently, no one wanted to know the answer because the film flopped in theaters. When Tusk premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in Septembe of 2014, it actually received mostly positive word-of-mouth from viewers. Once it saw a wide release two weeks later however, people couldn’t seem to stop shit-talking it.
It’s no secret that hating on Kevin Smith seems to be the cool thing to do nowadays (even more cool than hating Eli Roth). Many of his “fans” claim he hasn’t made a legitimately good movie since Chasing Amy in 1997. I would argue that Dogma, Clerks II and Zack and Miri Make a Porno are all winners, but what do I know? Hell, I even like certain things about Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Jersey Girl (it’s really not that bad).
Smith would make his first foray into horror with Red State, a political crime-horror film with an admittedly fantastic cast (how he managed to nab John Goodman and Melissa Leo I’ll never know) that sparked controversy from the get-go when Smith chose to self-distribute the film under the SModcast Pictures banner with a traveling show in select cities. It divided critics (though it’s got a better-than-you’d-expect 58% Rotten Tomatoes score) and audiences alike, but I personally think it’s pretty great, save for that tacked on after-school-special ending. The polarizing reviews that film received would not hold a candle to those of his next film: Tusk, the first installment of his “True North” trilogy that continues with this year’s Yoga Hosers (read our review) and next year’s Moose Jaws, which I am particularly excited for.
As someone who has either loved or really liked most of Smith’s work (save for Mallrats and the atrocious Cop Out, which wasn’t even his script so I can’t really hold him responsible for that one), it makes perfect sense to come to the defense of Tusk, which sees quite a bit of hate here in Bloody Disgusting’s comments section. Even Mr. Disgusting loathes the film. I may not be able to make any converts, but my hope is that this post will serve as a safe haven for those of you who do like the film and feel like you can’t come clean for fear of an online verbal bashing. Let it be known that I am here for you! Tusk is actually a pretty great movie, Guy LaPointe and all!***SPOILERS BELOW***
The plot of Tusk is a timeless one: an elderly man (Michael Parks, who owns the movie) wants to turn another man into a walrus so that he can be his companion for life. The whole film essentially plays like a pseudo sequel to Quint’s USS Indianapolis speech from Jaws.
The story behind the film’s creation is an interesting one. From Wikipedia:
The idea for the film came during the recording of SModcast 259 The Walrus and The Carpenter. In the episode, Smith with his longtime friend and producer Scott Mosier discussed an article featuring a Gumtree ad where a homeowner was offering a living situation free of charge, if the lodger agrees to dress as a walrus. The discussion went on from there, resulting in almost an hour of the episode being spent on reconstructing and telling a hypothetical story based on the ad. Smith then told his Twitter followers to tweet “#WalrusYes” if they wanted to see their hypothetical turned into a film, or “#WalrusNo” if they did not. A vast majority of Smith’s following agreed that the film should be made. The post on Gumtree was in fact a prank post by noted Brighton poet and prankster Chris Parkinson, who upon hearing of the planned film said he was a big fan of Smith and that he would love to be involved. Smith eventually hired Parkinson as an associate producer in November.
So really, if anyone is to “blame” for Tusk, it’s Smith’s followers (many of whom apparently went on to hate the film), but I digress. Many people seem to dislike Tusk based on the plot alone, but if that’s the case, why did they watch it in the first place? Clearly the film wasn’t meant for someone who doesn’t want to see a movie about a man turning another man into his walrus friend.
Let’s get this out of the way: lead character Wallace Bryton (Justin Long) is a huge asshole. Nothing about him inspires sympathy for what happens to him later in the film. This may pose a problem for some viewers, especially those looking for legitimate horror. You can’t have horror without a character to care about, amiright?
That being said, the scene where Wallace discovers that his leg has been amputated is easily the highlight of the film (unless the walrus suit reveal is your favorite, I go back and forth). It is reminiscent of Misery, but it’s possibly one of the most unsettling scenes put on film in recent memory.
Even if you can’t stand Long’s character, you have to admit that no one deserves that fate. Long’s reactions to his missing limb are haunting, and almost (almost) make you forget what a terrible person his character is. Once he is in his full walrus suit, Long is essentially relegated to just hopping around and grunting for the remainder of the film. Still, he makes for a pretty convincing walrus. That reveal is equal points humorous and shocking though. Kudos to Smith for not holding back with that creature design. The quick-zoom-out of the camera when Walrus Wallace first makes his appearance adds to the hilarity of the situation.
As mentioned previously, Parks owns Tusk. He gives such a compelling performance and really just falls into the roll. After his performance as Pastor Cooper in Red State, it’s easy to see why Smith wanted to cast him as the villainous and completely unhinged Howard Howe in Tusk. Even if you hate the film, you’ve got to admire Parks’ commitment. He legitimately sells his characters obsession with a walrus named Mr. Tusk, and actually makes you feel a little bad for him when you learn that he had to eat him to survive (though, in a very The Mist-like twist, help arrives just moments after he has finished his meal).
One aspect of the film that doesn’t entirely work is the character of Ally, played by Génesis Rodríguez. Her willingness to help Wallace after admitting to Teddy (and the audience, in a scene that practically breaks the fourth wall) how awful he treats her and how terrible he makes her feel is confounding. Maybe it’s just because I lack the empathy that the character does, but it just doesn’t seem believable that she would fly to Canada to rescue someone who makes her happy that her dad isn’t alive to see her. Her monologue at the midway point of the film is exceptional though. It’s just a shame that all of the character development built up during it is ruined when she decides to go rescue Wallace.
Even Teddy’s (Haley Joel Osment) motivations aren’t entirely clear, since he’s the one having sex with Ally, (though Smith does hide his identity for a good five minutes before revealing who it is Ally is talking to). I get it: they’re best friends, but Wallace is a huge douchebag and Teddy must not like him too much if he’s having sex with his girlfriend. Teddy and Ally’s unclear motivations for wanting to save Wallace are really my biggest complaints about Tusk. Osment is pretty fun in the role though, and it is nice to see him back on the screen, even if he spends the first half of the movie laughing obnoxiously.
Humor plays a big part in Tusk, and Smith’s frat-boy humor is present throughout the film, although not as prevalently as it is in something like Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. From the constant mentions of walrus penises to the fact that Wallace’s podcast is named “The Not-See Party” (Teddy is afraid of flying so Wallace goes to interview their guests and during the podcast he tells Teddy about his experience since Teddy hasn’t seen he interview subject), it’s all a little juvenile, but most of it works in the context of the film.
Let’s get to the walrus elephant in the room: Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Guy LaPointe. If anyone was on the fence about Tusk at this point in the film (he show up exactly 63 minutes into the proceedings), Depp undoubtedly managed to knock them off of it. While he is only present in the final 40 minutes of the film (and not even all of it), he is a bizarre character that turns Tusk into a completely different film than what it once was before. Horror comedy is a tricky thing to nail with audiences. The main reason for this is that what scares one person may not scare someone else and what one person finds funny may induce eye-rolls from another person. When you combine two polarizing genres into one, it further narrows your audience.
Guy Lapointe is the turning point of Tusk, and I am apparently in the minority of audience members who finds him to be absolutely hilarious. From the moment he did his impression of a crucified T-rex (“It is one fuck of a bummer to look at I will tell you that!”), I was sold. It completely offset any of the horror that came before it, and that’s alright! Smith opted to turn his truly disturbing body-horror film into a straight-up comedy, and it does work. It just doesn’t work if you didn’t shift tone/genres with the film when he appeared.
Depp shares only one scene with Parks, and it is truly a wonder to behold. It’s only four and a half minutes long, but Smith successfully manages to blend humor and tension fairly well in this battle of wits stupidity between the two characters.
LaPointe is a quirky character, and the fact that he’s got a leading role in Yoga Hosers makes me even more excited to see it (and if you were on the fence about that film, you probably just decided whether or not you want to watch it).
Smith does attempt to infuse some political commentary in Tusk, which comes across as a little ham-handed. LaPointe’s insistence that “The real savage animals are the human beings” feels shoe-horned in and unnecessary. Maybe I’m just overthinking it (or did Smith just under-think it?), but it’s worth mentioning.
From a technical standpoint, Tusk is fairly competent. The budget seems a little too small to make use of a good cinematographer. It’s not that the cinematography is bad, per se, it’s just that Tusk is a very contained film. Most scenes take place in a room, though Howe’s mansion is glorious to look at. The music is also appropriately creepy, though the use of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” in the film’s climactic battle, while fitting, is a little too on the nose. “Tusk” is one of my favorite songs though so I can’t complain about that too much, but I can just see the eye rolls in the audience the second those drums started playing.
Adding to my affinity for the film is the fact that I really do like Kevin Smith. I even like the way he sneaks his love for Canada in his films (“How’s everything over at Degrassi? You kids still getting knocked up and shot at?” and “I told him Canada doesn’t have any serial killers!” are the standouts in Tusk). I may have never met him, but he is always comes across as a pretty decent guy in his interviews. His reluctance to follow the majority has always been one of his most endearing qualities, no matter how many time it gets him in trouble. He just doesn’t give a fuck and he does whatever he wants. Not many Hollywood directors can say that about themselves.
Look, no one would accuse Tusk of being high art, but it knows exactly the kind of film it’s supposed to be, which is a silly, disturbing body-horror film. Tusk may not be your Mr. Tusk (and really, don’t we all want to find our own Mr. Tusk?), but it’s certainly not the train-wreck so many people make it out to be.
SCREAM FACTORY™ PRESENTS
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 [COLLECTOR’S EDITION]
ON BLU-RAY APRIL 19
Back in October Scream Factory announced that they would be releasing Tobe Hopper’s horror/comedy classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 on Blu-ray. They promised this would be the ultimate collector’s edition, jam-packed with hours of extras. Now they’ve released the official bonus features and they weren’t lying! This 2-disc set includes over 5 hours of bonus content with a slew of it being brand-new! I’m pretty stoked for all of this, but that behind-the-scenes footage from Tom Savini’s archives has me salivating! As an added bonus, the April 19th release date happens to be my birthday, so just an FYI for anyone looking to get me a gift.
In 1974, horror fans rejoiced upon the release of Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The movie raised the stakes of in-your-face filmmaking and changed the face of horror. Twelve years later, Hooper and the Sawyer clan are back with this deviously entertaining sequel, starring Dennis Hopper in one of the most deliciously crazed performances of his career.
For a decade, Texas Ranger Lefty Enright (Hopper) has sought to avenge the brutal murder of his kin by the cannibalistic Sawyer family – Leatherface, Chop-Top, The Cook and Grandpa. With the help of a radio DJ (Caroline Williams), who’s also bent on putting an end to the terror, Lefty finds his way to the Sawyers’ underground slaughter shop, where a battle of epic proportions will soon rage… and the line between good and evil gets chopped to bits!
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 [Collector’s Edition] Bonus Features:
Disc 1: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part Two (New HD Transfer)
- NEW 2016 2K HD scan of the inter-positive film element
- NEW Audio Commentary with director of photography Richard Kooris, production designer Cary White, script supervisor Laura Kooris and property master Michael Sullivan
- Audio Commentary with director Tobe Hooper
- Audio Commentary with actors Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams and special effects makeup creator Tom Savini
- NEW Extended Outtakes from It Runs in the Family featuring L.M. Kit Carson and Lou Perryman (30 minutes)
- NEW Behind-the-Scenes Footage Compilation from Tom Savini’s archives (43 minutes)
- Alternate Opening Credit Sequence
- Deleted Scenes
- Still Galleries – posters and lobby cards, behind-the-scenes photos, stills and collector’s gallery
- Theatrical Trailers
- TV Spots
Disc 2: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part Two (Original HD Transfer)
- MGM’s original HD Master with color correction supervision by director of photography Richard Kooris
- NEW House of Pain – a interview with make-up effects artists Bart Mixon, Gabe Bartalos, Gino Crognale and John Vulich (42 minutes)
- NEW Yuppie Meat – a interview with actors Chris Douridas and Barry Kinyon (19 minutes)
- NEW Cutting Moments – a interview with editor Alain Jakubowicz (17 minutes)
- NEW Behind the Mask – a interview with stunt man and Leatherface performer Bob Elmore (14 minutes)
- NEW HORROR’S HALLOWED GROUNDS – revisiting the locations of the film – hosted by Sean Clark plus a special guest (25 minutes)
- It Runs in the Family – a six part feature-length documentary featuring interviews with screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson, actors Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams, Bill Johnson, Lou Perryman, special makeup effects artist Tom Savini and more… (84 minutes)
We’ve teamed up with UK post-metal band Sumer to bring you the exclusive music video premiere for “The Animal You Are”, the title track from their latest album. The video shows an older man (played by punk legend Bruno Wizard) waking up in a disoriented state. As he wanders through the city, he uses seemingly supernatural powers to accrue a gathering of people who attend a concert with him. What transpires afterwards is the mosh pit of a lifetime…literally.
Sumer explains the video:
There is a lonely and troubled man, lost in a power stranger than he can fathom, yet such a part of him he cannot escape it. He feeds on guilt, ecstasy, confusion and remorse, his victims become lightning rods for their own emotions in exhausting and sometime deadly episodes. By day, he controls his power by escaping to the wilderness to sleep, far away from people. At night, it becomes too much. He must consume us, he must release us.
We feel very lucky that we have been able to work with such talented people on this project. Our lead man Bruno Wizard has been a creative force for many years as one of the pioneers of the punk movement and Will Ambler-Shaw as director has realised our vision from napkin concepts to his dark, brooding, outside of the box imagery.
If you’re a fan of Tool, A Perfect Circle, Soen, or bands similar to that, I think you’re really going to dig Sumer!
The band is doing a 15% reduction on all merch & albums via their Bandcamp.
Check out the above exclusive IMAX featurette for J.J. Abrams-produced 10 Cloverfield Lane, slated for release through Paramount Pictures this Friday, March 11, 2016.
In the video, director Dan Trachtenberg talks about the mystery film, which he likens to Die Hard, Crimson Tide and Hunt For the Red October, with Red State‘s John Goodman, The Thing‘s Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher Jr..
The film is presumably about the aforementioned being trapped in a bunker while the world is in flames. Nobody knows what’s outside, and Winstead fights to find out.
Monsters come in many forms, apparently.
“The lucky ones die first.”
Man, what a tagline. And how true it is. Ten years ago today, Alexandre Aja unleashed his remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 horror masterpiece The Hills Have Eyes upon the world. With all do respect to the late Mr. Craven: I’ve never been a huge fan of his original film. Don’t get me wrong. I think that it was probably very effective at the time of its release, but it was only his second film (and he made it five years after The Last House on the Left) and in all honesty, it has not aged very well. That is not a popular sentiment, but I stand by it. None of that is meant to criticize Craven’s film, but more so to lean into my next point on the subject of remakes: a remake’s purpose should be to take what doesn’t work in the original film (and maybe hasn’t aged quite as well) and improve upon those things or at least make some new choices with them to see if it works better. All too often, remakes take the easy route and just become a watered-down carbon copy of the original.
The Hills Have Eyes is not a watered-down carbon copy of the original. It is a relentless assault on the senses that doesn’t pull any punches. It amps up the tension and the gore, creating one of the most visceral filmgoing experiences that you’ll ever have. The Hills Have Eyes is a mean, nasty film, and I mean that as a compliment.
After seeing the success of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 2003 (it made $80.7 million on a $9.5 million budget, thus starting the horror remake craze of Hollywood), Wes Craven went on the hunt with his frequent collaborator Marianne Maddalena for someone to remake his classic film. After seeing Haute Tension, Alexandre Aja’s third shot at directing, Craven was captivated. He picked up Aja and his longtime collaborator Grégory Levasseur, who served as screenwriter on Haute Tension and the soon-to-be remake of The Hills Have Eyes. It would be their first English-language film.
While the film does stick fairly close to Craven’s original, it does update the plot in a few ways. Namely, the film is set in New Mexico rather than Nevada (though it was filmed in Morocco), and the mutants are victims of nuclear testing as opposed to just an inbred hill family. The subtlety in the film’s political statements is lost by the time Doug (Aaron Stanford) makes his way to the nuclear test site modeled after an actual small town, but it’s still an effective update on the plot. Also new to the remake is the multitude of trials that Doug is put though in the final act of the film. It all requires a large suspension of belief (seriously, he would have died at least 10 minutes before the credits rolled), but it serves to make the audience just as exhausted as he is by the film’s end.
One thing many people may remember about the movie is its fantastic trailer:
For some reason, horror remakes have a knack for having a great marketing team. This trailer came after the famous (at least in my eyes) Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake trailer and, like that trailer, also utilized music to great effect. This time it was “California Dreamin'” by The Mamas and The Papas.
Of course, the trailer alone wouldn’t be able to get everyone in the theater. Aja had to assemble the perfect cast, and boy did he get one. How he was able to get the likes of Ted Levine (Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs), Kathleen Quinlan (who at the time was most well known for her role in Apollo 13 or the CBS TV series Family Law), Aaron Stanford (Pyro from the X-Men movies), Vinessa Shaw (Allison from Hocus Pocus), Dan Byrd (known at the time for A Cinderella Story but now famous for Cougar Town and Easy A) and Emilie de Ravin (who was making a name for herself on Lost as the pregnant Claire), I will never know. These extremely talented actors and actresses came together to make one of the most memorable and likable families in horror movie history.
Fun random factoid: I was fortunate enough to meet Dan Byrd back in 2012 at a promotional event for Cougar Town here in Austin (What? It’s a great show.). He’s a super nice guy and had (mostly) fond memories of filming The Hills Have Eyes. I may or may not have drunkenly asked him his opinions on all of his female co-stars (Hillary Duff, Emilie de Ravin, Emma Stone, etc.), but that’s a story for another post.
Surprisingly, The Hills Have Eyes wasn’t panned by all critics upon its release. Sitting at a comfortable (for a horror movie, anyway) 49% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film had it’s supporters. As good as the film is, it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. It features some of the most brutal deaths seen on screen, and they are made all the more difficult to watch because these characters feel like they could be a part of your own family. The film had to be cut to get an R rating (it was originally branded with the notorious NC-17), but luckily the unedited version can be purchased on Blu-Ray.
Aja certainly has the makings of an auteur. His distinct directorial style is noticeable just by the amount of carnage shown on screen. The man has an affinity for gore and brutality, and that is never more apparent than in the trailer attack scene, which he somehow makes even more harrowing than it was in Craven’s original.
Once can’t discuss The Hills Have Eyes without mention of the Jupiter family. The makeup effects were created by Gregory Nicotero’s K.N.B. EFX Group Inc. over the course of six months. Using a mix of practical and rather convincing CGI effects, the mutants were brought to hauntingly realistic life for the screen. Until doing some research, I really had no idea that CGI was even used (it was mostly with Ruby), which shows just how much effort went into the making of the film.
The Hills Have Eyes opened at the number three spot with $15.7 million, behind the Sarah Jessica Parker/Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy Failure to Launch and the Disney reboot of The Shaggy Dog. It went on to gross $47.7 million domestically and $27.8 million internationally for a worldwide gross of $69.6 million, quadrupling its $15 million budget.
Something I like to do in these anniversary posts is recount my first time viewing the film I am discussing, and turning the discussion over to you, dear reader. So here is my account of my first viewing of The Hills Have Eyes.
I was just 17 when the remake opened in theaters on March 10, 2006. At the time I had just discovered the beauty of entering contests for advanced screenings of movies. You know, the ones where seating is not guaranteed and is provided on a first-come-first-serve basis so you have to get to the movie an hour or two early just to wait in line? Yeah, those screenings. I had to leave school and drive to a theater in downtown Houston during rush hour in order to meet my dad (who was and will forever be my R-rated horror movie buddy) so we could stand in line. I lived in the suburbs at the time so that was actually an hour-long drive in the traffic. This outing was sort of a big deal for us because I wasn’t allowed to watch most R-rated movies until I was 17, and The Hills Have Eyes came out almost two weeks after my 17th birthday. Needless to say, we were excited. We also thought we were hot shit since we were sitting right by the press rows. I don’t think I have to tell you that sitting right by the press rows does not make one “hot shit.”
Anyway, both of us adored the film and I spent the next several days trying to convince people at school to go see it, to no avail. The remake caught on though, as evidenced by its impressive box office take. It was no Texas Chainsaw Massacre (which is one of the best remakes out there, horror or otherwise), but it remains one of the best horror remakes out there today.
What are your thoughts on The Hills Have Eyes? Are you a fan? Or do you think it pales in comparison to the original? What was your first viewing of it like? Let us know in the comments below or shoot me a Tweet!
In Simon Rumley’s supernatural vengeance thriller Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word, when a young man is executed for committing murder, he leaves behind a curse letter in which he promises to take vengeance on all those connected to his trial.
The thriller, starring Green Lantern‘s Mike Doyle, Bitch Slap‘s Erin Cummings, Devin Bonnée, and The Boondock Saints‘ Sean Patrick Flanery, is set to have its World Premiere at this weekend’s SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas.
Ahead of the premiere, Bloody Disgusting has the exclusive debut of the film’s one-sheet promising that revenge is a dish best served cold (as a spirit).
“Based on true events. Amarillo, Texas, Halloween, 1968, Sister Tadea Benz, a 76 year old nun is raped and murdered in her bedroom in her convent. A teenager from the wrong side of the tracks, Johnny Frank Garrett, is arrested but claims innocence. His trial is a farce and he is sentenced to death. On the day of his execution, Garrett writes a curse letter saying his spirit will return and kill not only those involved with his sentencing and death but the members of their families too. Sure enough, soon after, those involved in the execution start dying and it is left to one of the jurors to try to solve the riddle of who actually killed Sister Tadea Benz to save his son.”
Simon Rumley is one of the UK’s leading independent directors and has been making genre films for the last 10 years, explains the SXSW program. His films include The Living and The Dead, Red White & Blue and The Abcs of Death. He is currently in post on Crowhurst and in prep in Austin for his next film, Fashionista.Midnighters, World Premiere
Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word
Sunday, March 13, 12mid, Alamo South Lamar
Tuesday, March 15, 11:45pm, Stateside
Saturday, March 19, 4:30pm, Alamo South Lamar