Norwegian director Roar Uthaug, best known for Cold Prey and Escape, is preparing Scandinavia’s first disaster movie, The Wave (Bølgen).
The film, writes ScreenDaily, budgeted at $7.9m (NOK50m), will depict a tsunami that is predicted to hit Norway at some point in the future.
There was a previous instance in 1934 when 2 million cubic metres of rock fell into Norway’s Tafiord, triggering a 85-metre wave, which left 40 people dead.
Currently, a 700-metre crevice in the Åkneset Fjell, aka the Fjell of Death, expands by 10-15cm annually. This will eventually result in a rockslide, creating a tsunami in the fjord and destroying everything in its path before it reaches land in Geiranger.
Filming on Norwegian locations and in Romanian studios, the cast include Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Eili Harboe and Jonas Hoff Oftebro.
The script, about an experienced geologist (Joner) who finds himself separated from his family 10 minutes before he knows the disaster will take place, has been written by John Kåre Raake and Harald Rosenløw-Eeg.
The Wave will be released in August 2015 by Nordisk Film Distribusjon.
Apparently Universal is cleaning house of old Blumhouse films as they’ve dumped not only Mockingbird direct-to-VOD, but now Stephen King’s Mercy. Yes, both can be rented or purchased on various VOD platforms, right now with absolutely zero press. This makes you wonder if we’ll finally see Blumhouse’s Area 51, on shelves since pretty much a year after Paranormal Activity released (although, that’s released through Paramount Pictures)…
Anyways, we now have the trailer for Mercy, directed by Haunting in Connecticut‘s (yuck) Peter Cornwell. It looks sort of like an Evil Dead ripoff, without all the cool deadites.
In Mercy, “Two young boys (“The Walking Dead’s” Chandler Riggs and Super 8‘s Joel Courtney) who move with their mother to take care of their dying grandmother at her decrepit farmhouse. When they suspect that the elderly woman they love has encountered a dark spirit, they fear she might not be the only one who won’t make it through the summer alive. Once George (Riggs) and Buddy McCoy (Courtney) arrive at their Gramma Mercy’s (Shirley Knight), what they find inside her 150-year-old home is nothing short of terrifying. As the brothers experience deeply disturbing phenomena they believe to be the work of an ancient witch, they must fight for their lives and overcome the evil forces threatening their family.”
The film stars Dylan McDermott, Frances O’Connor, Chandler Riggs, Joel Courtney, Shirley Knight, and Chris Browning.
Ever since we were teased with a “BioShock” movie, I’ve been dying for Gore Verbinski to return to horror. His The Ring remake is of huge inspiration for me, and is part of the genesis of the V/H/S films.
Verbinski is getting paranoid with comedian Steve Carell in an untitled thriller that New Regency will put in production in March. But that’s not all, Deadline reports that the plan is for Verbinski to follow this one by shooting back-to-back projects for New Regency. Those films will be A Cure For Wellness, an elevated horror film written by Revolutionary Road scribe Justin Haythe, and the comedy Passengers.
Verbinski, who signed the deal in April, is coming off The Lone Ranger and before that the Oscar-winning Rango and the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films.
With the amazing announcement that Showtime has secured a third season of the cult murder mystery TV show Twin Peaks, I thought I would bring back this old interview where composer Angelo Badalamenti discussed how he sat with creator David Lynch and came up with the infamous “Love Theme” that has haunted and entranced listeners for almost 25 years.
What I love about this clip is how passionately Badalamenti recalls the exact circumstances when this piece was composed. His story conveys a deep appreciation of the power of music and how it can be used to enhance what is happening on the screen.
Much of the audio was used as the introduction to this free electronic mix.
With Magnet Releasing and Drafthouse Films’ ABCs of Death 2 now on various VOD platforms, Bloody Disgusting caught up with Dennison Ramalho, who directed one of my favorite of the 26 short films.
In his “J is for Jesus,” a man is kidnapped by his own father and given an exorcism to cleanse his soul only to learn he’s not the demon.
We talked to Ramalho about the genesis of his short, his hatred of religion, and whether or not he fears backlash for spiritual horror fans.
BD: You surprisingly share a very similar view on religion we me, I was wondering what promoted such, hatred?
Dennison Ramalho: “Most religions use fear as a prime tactic. I was raised in a churchgoing environment and saw how huge of a toll the maintenance of dogma made lives horrible for many people around me. So far, that’s ok. Some people choose that lifestyle, all difficulties included. But then things get hairy when extremists articulate themselves in whatever manner — from “politics-politics” to “sexual politics” to “home politics”, and so on… — to impose their beliefs and lifestyle on others using, guess what? Yes. FEAR TACTICS. And LIES. In comes the fear of Hell, the fear of being morally or mentally anomalous, the fear of not having acceptable moral good-standing… That’s where I tell (extreme) religion to fuck off, and make movies against it. To expose all that cruelty. It’s not about spirituality anymore. It’s about mind control, and it’s unacceptable. Brazil is a particularly cruel country when it comes to not being religious, or being gay, or being a humanist or a free-thinker. It’s a mostly-conservative society pretending to be cool and progressive. It’s not my first movie on the subject, btw.”
BD: Are you afraid of any sort of backlash from religious folk?
Dennison Ramalho: I’m damn hungry for it!
BD: Can you talk about the genesis of the short, and the affects of social commentary on film?
Dennison Ramalho: “I can talk about the genesis of the short. About the affects of social commentary on film, well… I don’t feel I know, historically that much about it. Suffice to say Romero is my great idol on this strategy, in all his zombie films. He uses Horror and Death as metaphors of ethical subjects going rotten in American Society. I try to do the same. In my previous short film (NINJAS, 2010) I unleashed a vicious attack against the Brazilian Military Police, showing them as the sadistic monsters they really are. As for the genesis of the short, I created a number of possible stories for the anthology. Some of them with my dear friend, Screenwriter Jeff Bühler (of INSANITARIUM and MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN fame). I was pretty outraged at a few evangelical politicians in Brazil at the time (basically media preachers who used their popularity to become congressmen). These fellas proposed a project of law that revoked a decision of the Superior Federal Council of Psychiatry, which banned the treatment of homosexuality in Brazil as a mental disease. In other words, if that law passed (which it didn’t!) gay people would be legally considered mentally-ill and, thus, eligible for psychiatric treatment — a human rights catastrophe!”
BD: Religion and horror always seem to hit the spot, it’s like peanut butter and jelly, can you speak more to this…
Dennison Ramalho: “As I said: it’s all about fear of a deep Evil lurking right around the corner, or inside your mind. Religion, with ethical and compassionate approaches, always zealed for the human soul. Then fanaticism took over, and turned this zeal into hysterical dictatorial lust — you see it from ISIS beheadings to my neighborhood’s chapter of the Assembly of God. But in movies the uses of the religion-horror combo are not that immoral. After all, the Devil — you beautiful! — was always there as a villain to inspire stories about possessions, the Occult, etc. But in movies there is pure evil — and I don’t believe in pure evil in real life. Even Satan was an angel once, after all… However, it’s one thing is to invent a black-metal demon named Baghuul for your movie, or come up with Satan, the absolute evil one, possessing little girls. The other thing is to use Fiction and the mass-media to demonize minorities, which is what these fuckers do. Well, this little movie is my personal answer to that.”
“ABCs of Death 2 is the follow-up to the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning from Nigeria to UK to Brazil and everywhere in between. It features segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. The film is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free rein in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and at times confrontational, ABC’s of Death 2 is another global celebration of next generation genre filmmaking.”
Bloody Disgusting was excited to share with you the first ever review of Mockingbird, directed by The Strangers‘ Bryan Bertino.
The direct-to-video Blumhouse production is now on VOD platforms, which means we now have a trailer for the found-footage thriller starring Todd Stashwick (“Justified,” “Heroes”), Audrey Marie Anderson, and Alexa Lydon.
“Three individuals each receive an anonymous, unmarked video camera and a horrific ultimatum to continue filming… or die. Experience the terror through the eyes of these unsuspecting victims, with a chain of found-footage events so real and absolutely dreadful, you’ll have to watch it again to believe it.”
Check out these awesome effects-heavy first images from Wolves, X-Men and Watchmen writer David Hayter’s feature directorial debut.
The pic, starring Lucas Till, Merritt Patterson, Stephen McHattie and Jason Momoa, will be released VOD on October 16th and opens in theaters on November 14th.
“Popular high school student Cayden Richards wakes from a horrific nightmare, only to realize that he’s living it… He is changing into something vicious, unpredictable and wild. Forced to hit the road after the brutal murder of his parents, Cayden tries to hunt down the truth of what he is. In the remote, mountain town of Lupine Ridge, he discovers others like him — Including the beautiful Angelina, a young woman caught between two ancient clans of “wolves”. And when he finally discovers the shocking truth behind his ancestry, Cayden realizes there is only one way to save the woman he loves… A grisly fight to the death, against forces more savage than he could have ever imagined.“
There’s a new film coming out that nobody is talking about, but should be. It’s Dark Sky Films’ absolutely hysterical Summer of Blood (read our review), arriving on VOD and limited theatrical October 17.
Written, directed by and starring Onur Tukel, I call the vampire comedy “hipster-horror” – so the film may not connect with every viewer. I think this new exclusive clip is a great way to find out whether or not you should be circling October 17 on your calendar (you should). Below we have an exclusive new look at the film in which Tukel becomes a vampire. Another vampire stops him in the street and quizzes him before putting the nail in the coffin. The scene is not only gut-bustingly funny, but also has deep-seeded social commentary, something that I believe makes a movie great. Summer of Blood is easily one of the best films of the year.
“Writer/director Onur Tukel turns in a hilarious performance as the monumentally lazy, socially oblivious and commitment-shy Erik Sparrow, who is dumped by his career-woman girlfriend (Anna Margaret Hollyman, White Reindeer) when he rejects her rather charitable marriage proposal. Feeling lost, he turns to a disastrous string of online dates that successively eat away at his already-deteriorating confidence until a lanky vampire turns him into an undead ladykiller. Soon, Eric is prowling the streets of Brooklyn in search of anything to satisfy both his maniacal sex drive and his hunger for blood. A collision of absurd, self-deprecating wit and existential curiosity, Summer of Blood is a hilarious horror-comedy with a clever bite all its own.”
Onur Tukel (Septien, Red Flag), Alex Karpovsky (Girls), Anna Margaret Hollyman (Gayby, White Reindeer), Dakota Goldhor (Thumbsucker), Dustin Guy Defa (Bad Fever), Keith Poulson (Hellaware, Listen Up Phillip) all star.
It’s no secret that the 1979 sci-fi/horror film Alien is one of the greatest genre films ever released. The amount of films, characters, and creatures that it has inspired is unfathomable. Plus, it’s scary as hell and the Xenomorph has become an icon of fear, terror, and strangely beautiful horror.
Now, when it comes to the original film, each character was important and had a significant reason for being there. From Dallas, the ill-fated captain, to Ash, the treacherous android, each character brought purpose and developed the story.
In most horror films, characters are disposable, meant to be killed as quickly as possible to keep the action going. But in Alien they took their time and let the viewer see these people, see how they interacted, saw their friendships and their annoyances. They were human, they were real, and their loss was palpable. God, I love this movie…
If you’ve ever asked yourself which character you would be in Alien, look no further as you can test yourself and get the answer below! I took it and got Parker. Now, who’s going to be the Lambert that I sacrifice myself for, huh?
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of The Blair Witch Project, this new “Academy Originals” clip features the untold story of how one small horror film became a worldwide phenomenon overnight.
“Academy Originals”, the Academy’s first official web series that launched in May – examines everything from the creative process, to the moments that changed the course of filmmaking, to the artists who are charting its future. New episodes post every Monday, and the series has already generated over a million views.
In the below behind-the-scenes, they take look at the making of The Blair Witch Project and its impact on the future of movies – from sparking a found footage genre boom to its innovative use of Internet marketing.
Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with Bristol goth punk band Ashestoangels to bring you the exclusive music video premiere for “Run”, the group’s upcoming single!
The band states:
We set out to just make a straight performance video for this song, but when we arrived at the location it just spiraled out of control. Before we knew it we were sharpening sickle and chasing the residents around the farm with an axe. As you do. Maybe we watch too many horror movies….
Head below for this exclusive video premiere and make sure to pick up “Run” when it comes out October 16th!
Thursday 16th – Pontypridd – Clwb Y Bont
Friday 17th – Cheltenham – Hillview Commie
Sunday 19th – Tunbridge Wells – Forum
Monday 20th – Manchester – Satan’s Hollow
Tuesday 21st Leeds – Key Club
Wednesday 22nd – Sheffield – Corporation
Thursday 23rd – Glasgow – Shadow Sound Live
Friday 24th – Dundee – The Shore
Saturday 25th – Newcastle – Think Tank
Sunday 26th – Doncaster – Diamond Lounge
Monday 27th – Plymouth – Tiki Bar
Thursday 30th – Bristol – Tunnels
Friday 31st – Coventry – The Arches
Saturday 1st Nov – London – The Dome W/Fearless Vampire Killers
Sludge psych rockers Monster Magnet have released an official music video for “The Duke”, the latest single from last year’s release Last Patrol. Directed by Phil Mucci (Opeth, High On Fire), the video tells the story of a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing who then undergoes years of scientific experiments. However, there is far more going on and things don’t end the way you’d think.
I personally love Mucci’s style and work. It’s always incredibly unique and visually arresting while telling a story that demands thought and attention. “The Duke” is no different and I know that you’ll love the hell out of it if you give it a chance!
Make sure to preorder the band’s upcoming album Milking The Stars: A Re-Imagining Of Last Patrol via Napalm Records.
This one goes out to all of the guitarists who enjoy AMC’s The Walking Dead!
If you’re a diehard fan of the zombie horror drama and you also happen to be a guitarist, there are several official guitars crafted by Artist Series Guitar that feature character artwork from the series as well as brand new designs. Several of the guitars are sold out but a few of them are still available and are in highly limited quantities. So, if you want one, you better act fast and head on over to The Walking Dead Shop to snag your axe.
Check below for a gallery of some of the guitars.
Scott Snyder is a man who needs no introduction. Over the past few years he’s become one of the most prolific writers in comics due to his work on “Batman.” But, his heart lies with horror, and now for the first time in years he’s returning to where he’s most comfortable with “Wytches.” A horrific reimagining of the age old terror, brought to horrible life by Jock and Image Comics.
The absolutely terrifying book launches tomorrow, but in advance of the book’s release we caught up with Scott to talk about the core elements that make up the horror of the book. This is a man who knows and loves the genre.
Bloody-Disgusting: There is certain rawness to “Wytches” that provokes you to read further, to test the limits of your own reason, and introspection. I find a lot of good horror stems from what the creators are most afraid of themselves, for you, it seems the quick transition from sympathy, to loss of control, to chaos?
Scott Snyder: I think in some ways each character in the story is trying to keep something under control for themselves. Something that’s either buried in their past or that they feel guilt over, something that they’re not sure was the right decision. For Charlie there’s things that he’s done, both involving his wife’s accident and in general decisions he’s made in life that he has qualms about.
He’s a character that’s built very personally from Jock and me. We put a lot of ourselves into our work, sometimes at the expense of family time. There is always a sense when you’re a father or a parent of this push and pull of you love that time you spend with your kids so much, and love them more than your capable of loving anything and then at the same time that desire to not be worried about them, to not have that sense of total concern. It’s completely out of your control.
There’s suddenly a thing walking around the world that you would die if something happened to it. That can inspire bad decisions.
Similarly, Lucy has things she feels bad about with her accident. Things she hasn’t told Charlie, and the same goes for Sailor. She’s trying to keep things under control for herself. I think the best horror at least for me, is about things spinning out of control not just in a plot way where monsters break into the house, but the things that you’re afraid those monsters represent or the things your afraid will come out about yourself under the pressure of attack from some monster eventually do. That’s when the real terror manifests itself.
BD: Speaking of that chaos, I found something in the pages of the first issue is that overwhelming first exposure to true terror as a child. Sailor has an experience that haunts her everyday, I remember my child-life descending into madness after watching Stephen King’s IT, for the first time. I slept in my parents room for a year, what is about that that you wanted to explore, and what defined terror for you as a child?
SS: The movie that did it for me, was Night of the Living Dead. I mean I had already seen a ton of horror movies at that age, I must have been twelve, there was this infamous video store near my house that wouldn’t rent to kids, but would deliver to your house if you ordered them. I had seen all kinds of slasher films I shouldn’t have. With Night of the Living Dead, I was disappointed it was black and white when it began. But, I was so unsettled by the end. It was the only movie to really give me anxiety and nightmares.
Looking back it was for much the same reason that you’re talking about with IT. There is this sense that no one is going to help you, that when everything that should go well, when you go “I’m going to stick up for myself,” and pull out this knife and say “You’re not bully me anymore!” The young couple should win, but when those things go bad and you see that sense of inescapable terror, where there is no way out, the thing that you originally saw as your salvation becomes almost doubly bad.
That is sort of the terror of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, where the sheriff takes you back to the house you just escaped from. That sense of nightmare circularity, where there is no way out. That was definitely the feel we were going for, in that scene you mentioned and in the construction of the town, the woods, the home that they move into, and the strange way that the story begins to become more claustrophobic. There is this sense that everything they do to get away doesn’t work.
BD: It’s intensely personal and you’ve talked about comics being a singular experience, is it important that horror comics be more engrained in the characters rather than the situations?
SS: Yeah very much so. Reading a comic you wind up animating the characters and create a very personal investment. You don’t hear their voices, actors do not play them, and you still supply that life that you do when you read prose. Putting characters in emotional jeopardy is comics’ advantage over film or television.
Witches are considered a standard in the world of horror, hell, apart from Suspiria I can’t even remember the last time I found them scary before reading this book, what was it about them, in particular that you found to be the draw especially in a book you wanted to be your scariest thing yet?
BD: I love reimagining age old creatures, and you seem to be following that thread in Wytches and American Vampire, there must be a challenge to that, because can so easily be visually bankrupt characters, and conversely you can define them in whatever way you like, what’s the draw for you?
SS: The challenge is making them scary to you personally. I like doing something that hasn’t been done before. The thing that’s scary about the wytches for me, there’s a physical monstrousness that Jock has developed. When you see them they’re very striking chracters. The placement of their face and eyes, all that kind of stuff is unlike anything you’ve seen before. They don’t look like witches.
But what makes them genuinely scary is they don’t come after us, they wait for us to come to them, because we want what they have: this incredible knowledge of their own, this ancient primal science. No spells or anything, but what they’re able to do through that science is far beyond the reaches of our own modern medicine. They can cure cancer, extend your life, make you forget things, so if you want your kid healthy you can pledge someone else to them, and the wytches know they’re meant to come to them.
They’re a dark mirror to human nature, I knew this would be a reinvention that would be really exciting to write. They have a degree of emotional and psychological terror that allows us to explore the nature of the characters involved, and not to sound corny but more largely human nature.
BD: It’s a huge element to horror, and it feels like the wytches are this form of escapism, a way to regain control, a conduit to avoid dealing with what we’re most afraid of about ourselves.
SS: Very much, absolutely. They are this very scary primal force, they are these naked cannibalistic things that live in these burrows out in the woods. They’re very alien, they don’t whisper to us, they’re this really odd reflection that just waits for us in the woods to offer them someone to get what we want.
You offer someone to them because you want to escape your fate. Ultimately you owe them more than you think, and things are going to spin further out of control for you than you thought. It’s really a fun book for me.
The Wytches are so elementally scary because they are so unknown and unfamiliar. Even their eyes are designed to be these large black reflective pupils that hide in trees and look at you through holes in trees. They have no sympathy and no mercy, they give you what you want to get what they want.
BD: Is there an element of sexuality to them and the idea of pledging?
SS: Not really, no. I wanted to move away from a more gendered design for them. There has been a gendered stigma attached to witches, it felt odd to make monsters that were specifically women. There are very androgynous, when you see the design I think that makes them doubly scary. They are unfamiliar, asexual, and predatory. So in that regard you don’t even know how they reproduce. We know, we have a whole guide, but everything they do is part of the mystery.
It’s really more of a pledge because they have a very particular process of eating you.
BD: In it’s most chaotic moments, JOCK’s style becomes loose and energetic, it’s unpredictable, and part of the terror, how tight we’re your scripts, and how much do you dictate what’s on the page?
SS: The scripts were really tight, actually. I write other books a lot more loosely. Greg enjoys the latitude on “Batman.” An action sequence is described in a paragraph or two that lays out the major beats and I’ll let him go for a few pages. Jock enjoys having a map, so that makes these scripts much more robust. All of the dialogue is pretty much where it is, but he knows from working on “Detective Comics” together, that I’ll have a note at the beginning of my scripts, at this point out of habit, that he is encouraged to change anything at all to be more effective storytelling.
For example in issue #2 there’s a scene where Charlie is fixing the chair along the stairs while talking to his friend Reg. It’s the electric chair for Lucy to carry her up. In the end the chair starts working despite Charlie not being able to get it to work, and Jock did this great sequence where his friend and him are sitting on it while it starts to move. He let it go on, to the point where they rise up out of the panel, where they’re feet rise out with this witchy quality like floating on a broom.
He always adds something else that isn’t in the script, but I love it. That’s what makes writing for him, and playing to his strengths so enjoyable. There’s another scene in issue #2 that takes place in a cafeteria, the cafeteria would have been great for Sean because he loves all the world building with the characters in the background. Jock is more atmospheric; I thought that would be more constrictive, so I set it in swim class, in a swimming pool.
To see what he’s doing with it, with the crazy blues and the reflections of the light, so I try to do things that reflect the artist that I’m with but it doesn’t change the meaning of the scene whatsoever. I give Jock full scripts and them come back then times better.
Matt, the colorist, oh my God. His style is genius, he tells a real story through color. The scenes that are violent get pixelated and painterly, as opposed to the scenes that are quiet and calm.
BD: I saw a lot of Argento lighting in Matt’s color, it felt odd and otherworldly, like much of Susperia, was that part of your design or Matt’s happy accident?
SS: For the back matter for issue #1, we’re including that color pallet. We want to show how much work goes into the coloring process. He’s really an integral part of the team. Coloring is such an important part of comics that is often neglected. He’s the third part of the team.
Colorists contribute so much to these books. Matt has a real primal emotionality to the color, that tells a story. I dictate the feel of it. For this we wanted the creepiest progression of color he could think of, but with Charlie we wanted this sense of tenderness. I try and dictate the feel of it, but I avoid the technical aspects of what they do. For me, I never would have thought of it the way it usually comes out, but it always looks so much better because I let Matt do his thing.
BD: Charlie’s got a real tough choice to make, if this comes down to his pledge. Between Lucy and Sailor, he’s dealing with a lot of problems he can’t fix, what’s in store for Charlie, and how is he going to make this choice?
SS: There’s a lot of terrible choices Charlie is going to have to make, and a lot of terrible reflection he has to deal with. In issue #2 you start to see that he may have been responsible for some of this. Part of the mystery of the book is what happened, why are these wytches after him? Who pledged Sailor?
As soon as you start meeting people in town, you’ll start to wonder, part of the fun of the book is to trying to figure out who made them the target.
This is pure black psychological and emotional terror. This to me, is getting back to my roots, and where I’m most comfortable. I can’t watch anything where a kid is getting hurt upsets me too much, but I can write it all day.
Wytches #1 hits tomorrow from Image Comics.
In theaters and on VOD nationwide November 7th from IFC is Hanger 10, which we now have the first ever still from.
“Experience the horrifying new British sci-fi thriller from director Daniel Simpson, based on spine-chilling true events!
33 years after the infamous Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, three metal detector enthusiasts hunting for Saxon gold in the same region capture incredible footage of UFOs whilst filming their expedition. As night falls – and with their navigation equipment failing – the trio finds themselves facing a terrifying encounter with an unforgiving alien presence.”
Watch this spot for a trailer when is crash lands.
BREAKING: Days away from its season five premiere, AMC announced today that it has renewed “The Walking Dead,” the #1 show on television among adults 18-49 for the last two years and most highly-rated show in cable television history, for a sixth season.
The season five premiere is this Sunday, Oct. 12, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
“We could not be more excited for October 12th as we share new episodes of ‘The Walking Dead’ with fans around the globe,” said AMC President Charlie Collier. “In advance of Sunday’s season five premiere, AMC proudly confirms a sixth season order of this extraordinary series. Thank you to Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, the terrific executive producers, and the entire team who brings this compelling world and these rich characters to life. There’s plenty more Dead ahead thanks to their impressive, collective effort.”
Social media activity and interest around “The Walking Dead” is up significantly from the same period a year ago. For several weeks leading up to the season five premiere, the show has been #1 in digital engagement of all returning fall cable series, as measured by the ListenFirst Digital Audience Rating. The show’s social media following and fan engagement are at an all-time high with more than 30 million Facebook fans and 2.7 million Twitter followers, while video views of scenes and trailers for the upcoming season are well outpacing last year’s results.
For season six, Scott M. Gimple will return as the series’ showrunner and executive producer along with executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Tom Luse. AMC also recently announced that it has ordered a pilot for a potential companion series to “The Walking Dead,” based on a new story and new characters from Robert Kirkman.
In this world, there are some films that can only be described as pretentious. You know the ones: the art-house films that try to be more than what they really are by appealing to a certain niche, but in reality are so full of themselves that they fool everyone (including the director and writer) into thinking that they should be shown in film schools for all eternity. And yes, I’ve seen more than a few of these films. I’m not one to rant about them, but needless to say, some art films rub me the wrong way. So when writer/director Shane Ryan’s My Name Is ‘A’ By Anonymous showed up on my doorstep, I was a little apprehensive about watching the film. But, having an open mind is kind of a requirement for this thing called reviewing, so I gave it a shot.
Loosely based on an actual murder case, we follow four girls, each with their own dark secrets. Alyssa (Katie Marsh) and her friend identified as “The Sidekick” (Demi Baumann), in between tormenting Alyssa’s younger brother, videotape themselves in angry teen moments, which include instances of self mutilation. “The Angst” (Alex Damiano) is a painfully skinny young woman struggling with the torture of bulimia. “The Performer” (Teona Dolniova) frequently confides to her camera phone of her aspirations to be a pop star, all the while suffering from bouts of self-harm and abuse from her father. This all culminates in the murder of Alyssa’s 9-year-old neighbour, Elizabeth (Kaliya Skye).
The film pulls very little when it comes to it’s realism. It’s very believable thanks to the cast. Being a low-budget affair doesn’t seem to be a problem, as for the most part the cast delivers their lines in a frank and genuine way. That’s only part of it, as the acting also feels natural. It makes you appreciate the performances more when you realize the gravity of the situations each character is in, and the subject matter. Abuse and mental illness aren’t feel-good topics, and this isn’t your typical Hollywood gussying up. From The Angst storing her vomit in jars, to the cutting of wrists while fantasizing of suicide, it’s very raw and not at all easy in numerous ways to realistically portray on camera.
Speaking of which, the camera work in My Name Is ‘A’ also helps to give the film a heavy does of realism. Making frequent use of handheld shots using smartphones and other cameras, as it’s primarily supposed to be one of the characters doing the filming, the shakiness of the image really at times helps convey the immediacy of each situation. Remember, these are basically teens just doing their thing, and so again, the rawness is very much there, just as you are very much there watching the events unfold.
As I mentioned, I’m not the biggest fan of art films. And while there was a lot to like about My Name Is ‘A’, there were moments where things dipped into the art-house realm which had me doing a few eyerolls. The music video-style interludes and the video diary vignettes started to aggravate. The same goes with the handheld shots. I understand the purpose, but moderation isn’t in the cards. It all just came across as a very disjointed slow burn (an understandably necessary slow burn for this film), and coupled with the subject matter, I just didn’t have the patience.
This is one of those weird situations. You acknowledge that there’s some truly great stuff involved in a film, but you didn’t like it in the traditional sense. And really, that’s what I have to say about My Name Is ‘A’. It’s not a horror film in the traditional sense, and it really is an art film. The acting and dialogue is very much real and integral, as is the look of the film. However, the subject matter will turn off folks, as well as the sad and harsh feel of the film. It’s beautiful, but at the same time hits every synapse in your brain with a “don’t watch” signal. Polarizing in every sense of the word, I’d recommend watching it for the realism and the non-traditional story, but everyone else will probably want to pass it by.
Shot using a variety of cameras and formats, the film is primarily framed in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colours are for the most part consistent across the various formats, though details can vary. There is some edge enhancement and chromatic aberration with some shots, though it’s not distracting. There’s no print damage to speak of (save for any post effects), and overall, the quality of the footage is consistent with the tone and the style of the film.
Like the video, the quality of audio varies. Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, there are some scenes where the audio sounds tinny due to the source being a smartphone, while in other scenes it sounds much better. Dialogue is for the most part fairly clear, although there as moments where low-level speech makes it difficult to hear what’s being said. It doesn’t help that there aren’t any subtitles included. Again, the audio matches the tone and style Ryan was going for with the film.
Not content with having just one version of the film, we’re given two additional cuts of the film. The first one, The Columbine Effect, crunches My Name Is ‘A’ into a twenty-minute short film that contains the most effective scenes from the original cut. The second alternate, I Hate Me, Myself, And Us, clocks in at 57 minutes and is credited to the Katie Marsh’s character, Alyssa.
Following that are two more short films by Shane Ryan, Oni-Gokko and Isolation. Oni-Gokko is a 5-minute short in Japanese involving a girl tormented by her sister after a game of tag went seriously wrong. Isolation is a 2001 15-minute primarily black-and-white film that features Ryan drifting through a town after the murder of his girlfriend.
Also included are a deleted scene which has more of Teona Dolnikova singing, an alternate scene focusing on Teona Dolnikova, an alternate music scene that features scenes with Elizabeth from the beginning of the film with alternate music, a music video which features Teona Dolnikova once again singing while clips of the film are shown, a Teona Dolnikova Music Video Spotlight, and finally several trailers (including one for My Name Is ‘A’) for other releases by Wild Eye.
While the alternate cuts of the film make for interesting extras, it would’ve been nice to have had some input from Shane Ryan in the form of an interview or commentary. As it stands, the extras are more arty than informative. I know that’s probably what Ryan’s objective was, but even David Lynch explained his stuff.
Syfy has announced the pulpy adventure comic “Five Ghosts” is in development as a TV series to be produced by Universal Cable Productions, Black Mask Studios, and BenderSpink.
“Five Ghosts” is an ongoing comic book series created by writer Frank J. Barbiere and illustrator Chris Mooneyham. The tale of a 1930s-era treasure hunter possessed by five literary ghosts (Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Musashi, and Dracula), the comic was launched as a successfully self-published Kickstarter in April 2012, picked up by Image Comics at New York Comic Con in October 2012, and debuted in comic shops in March 2013 where it sold through multiple printings of its initial 5-issue mini-series.
The pilot is being written by Evan Daugherty (Snow White And The Huntsman, Divergent, TMNT) based on the critically acclaimed comic series by Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, about a 1930s era treasure hunter possessed by five literary ghosts (Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Musashi, and Dracula) whose unique abilities he can draw on during his adventures.
The series will be executive produced by BenderSpink and Black Mask. Black Mask’s Matt Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz will co-executive produce with BenderSpink’s executive producers Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and producer Jake Wagner.
Milan Records has cryptically announced via Twitter that they will be releasing the soundtrack to the 2000 cult classic Battle Royale. The soundtrack, which was composed by Masamichi Amano, will be seeing a release in 2015. No other details have yet been released.
Milan Records is the company behind the Dexter soundtracks as well as several other TV shows and films, including Chronicle, Beneath, Dawn Of The Dead (2004), and more.
Head below for the trailer to the film.
We are seeing a #BattleRoyale vinyl release in our crystal ball for 2015…
— Milan Records (@MilanRecLabel) October 6, 2014
What percentage of the running time is scary? How much has exposition dump? How many people does Michael Myers – aka “The Shape” – slay?
All will be answered by heading over to The Dissolve where you’ll find a really cool article that breaks down all 10 Halloween movies, in charts and percentages!
Surprisingly, The Curse of Michael Myers has the most kills in it. Too bad the peeps behind the article seem to think Rob Zombie’s Halloween was inventive and cool. Naw.
Get more Halloween Treats here.