A trailer for the comic-to-film adaptation of Officer Downe has been released and it’s a doozy! Full of violence, strange villains, and big guns, this looks like it’s either going to be helluva good time or a helluva WASTE of time. Obviously, I’m hoping for the former!
Adapted from the 2010 graphic novel by Chris Burnham and Joe Casey, “Officer Down takes you into a hyper-real Los Angeles for the story of a savage LA policeman who is repeatedly resurrected and returned to active duty via dark science technology. When a rookie officer named Gable is recruited as back up, he discovers there’s much more to the titular super-cop than a mindless law enforcement drone warring against a twisted rouges gallery of over-the-top super-villains.”
Directed by Slipknot’s M. Shawn Crahan and starring Kim Coates, Alison Lohman, Tyler Ross, Lauren Luna Velez, Meadow Williams, and Sam Witwer, the pulp-esque Officer Downe will hit VOD platforms on November 18th through Magnolia’s Magnet Releasing.
The first still from Mathieu Turi’s Hostile has been released (see above) and it shows Brittany Ashworth sitting on the hood of a large car, one that has obviously seen better days. The movie is currently in production, although it will finish shooting in the coming days.
After a worldwide epidemic, most of the planet’s population is killed. Only a few thousand have survived and are struggling to find food and shelter. But they’re not alone: They have to hide from strange creatures that go hunting at night.
Juliette, a young woman whose life has taught her to handle things on her own, is the only one in her group to have the guts to go anywhere near cities to find food. But on her way back to the camp one afternoon, she loses control as she’s driving. She wakes up upside down, stuck in her car with a broken leg, in the middle of the desert, and it’s nighttime.
Directed by Turi and produced by Xavier Gens (The Divide, Frontier(s)), Hostile stars Brittany Ashworth, Grégory Fitoussi, and Javier Botet, who we’ve written about previously.
A clip from the upcoming zombie horror/thriller It Stains the Sands Red has come out of Sitges, where it will be making its world premiere, and can be seen below. It shows Molly (Brittany Allen) facing off against a lone zombie who is chasing her in the desert. As she tries to defend herself, the zombie only gets closer and closer.
This clip calls to mind Night of the Living Dead because it reminds me of the opening scene where the cemetery zombie is chasing Barbara, only this time Molly doesn’t turn and run, at least not anywhere in this clip.
Directed by The Vicious Brothers (Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz), “‘It Stains the Sands Red’ begins following a zombie apocalypse, when Molly finds herself lost in the desert with one of the rabid living dead hot on her trail. Although at first she finds it hard to give him the slip, the situation gets even more complicated when the girl realizes that, unlike her, her pursuer has no physical need to stop and rest.“
Family drama and horror are a surprisingly effective combination, despite sounding like antagonistic concepts. From classics like Poltergeist to more recent examples like The Conjuring, there’s nothing that brings a family together like a good old-fashioned horror story. Caradog W. James’ Don’t Knock Twice is the latest in this long line of dramatic scary movies, though it offers a few unique twists along the way.
Don’t Knock Twice stars Katie Sackhoff as Jess, an artist looking to reunite with her estranged daughter Chloe, played by Lucy Boynton, nine years after having been forced to place her into foster care. However, Chloe has been marked by a sinister force thought by many to be just an urban legend, which, alongside her mother’s troubled past, threatens to destroy their chance of becoming a family again.
Plot-wise, the film feels slightly derivative, with many aspects having been borrowed from similar horror movies like Mama, specifically the themes of motherhood and the portrayal of the antagonist. Despite this, Don’t Knock Twice does have a few surprises in store for patient viewers, not to mention some legitimately scary moments featuring a certain child-stealing witch.
Although I certainly appreciate the connections to Russian folklore, the supernatural mystery is easily the weakest part of the movie. Sackhoff and Boynton’s performances, on the other hand, are what really make the experience worthwhile, as their mother-daughter relationship adds another level of drama to the film. You’ll find yourself rooting for these characters as they face this seemingly unbeatable entity, while also caring when one of them makes a mistake.
Beyond the characters, Caradog also has a good eye for visual storytelling, and his direction certainly elevates some of the more generic parts of the film. While visual flair is obviously no substitute for a good script, the presentation here almost makes up for the story’s lack of creativity. It would have been great to see a better version of the antagonist, though, as tall, slender figures crawling down from the darkest corners of the screen have sadly become commonplace in mainstream horror.
Even with its unsurprising narrative and creature design, Don’t Knock Twice is definitely worth the price of admission. The characters are extremely well developed, their interactions are believable, and there’s something instinctually compelling about seeing how far a mother is willing to go in order to protect her child. It might not be the most original family-oriented horror movie ever made, but Don’t Knock Twice is still a charming and well-crafted thriller.
Don’t Knock Twice premiered at the UK-based Raindance Film Festival!
I feel like I’m watching the news report on a wildfire that’s out of control and it’s spreading across the country, only the fire in this case are morons dressing like clowns.
By now you’ve read about the numerous cases of clown sightings from California all the way to North/South Carolina. It’s a meme gone wild, or gone real if you will. In a living bit straight out of The Strangers, boys/girls/teens/men/women/who knows are dressing as clowns and stalking random people in various towns. There appears to be no motive other than to join the terrifying flash mob that’s only fun for whomever is under the mask.
It’s become so prevalent that there’s even a mythology growing in my own hometown, the ‘burbs of Chicago. Here, kids believe that the clowns aren’t just sightings, but an actual cult murdering people and that “many people have died.” This is just touching on why this is turning dangerous – and it will be funny to a lot of people, at least until someone gets hurt.
Today I learned that the clowns have come out to play here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, this time allegedly harboring weapons outside of a school.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
The creepy clown phenomenon that has recently swept the nation hit Lake County Tuesday as police departments in Round Lake, North Chicago and Waukegan reported clown threats made on social media, and in person at one Waukegan school during lunch recess prompting that school to briefly be put on lockdown.
Waukegan police reported that children at Greenwood Elementary School at 1919 North Avenue came in from recess just before 2 p.m. and reported seeing three clowns at the edge of the property taunting them, Comdr. Joe Florip said.
Students reported that one had a knife, one held a briefcase and the third appeared to have a nn in his pocket, but it was not clear whether the weapons were real.
“The school was briefly locked down,” he said.
“The children also reported that the clowns threatened to return Friday to kill them,” before they left in a black sports utility vehicle, Florip added.
“This incident is being taken seriously,” he said. The gender and race of the suspects is unknown.
Waukegan police plan to provide extra watches during patrol shifts at all area schools for the time being.
Nick Alajakas, spokesman for Waukegan Community Unit School District 60, posted on the school’s and district’s website that students reported seeing “three people dressed as clowns, carrying weapons at a home near the school during recess. Waukegan police were called to the school to investigate the incident, and provide increased patrols during dismissal.
“We will continue to work with police as they investigate this reported sighting,” he wrote, noting that Waukegan schools have recently been mentioned in clown-related social media messages.
“Please know we, along with Waukegan police, have been made aware of these messages,” the post said.
“It’s all part of this national thing going on with creepy killer clowns,” Alajakas said, referring to recent news reports from around the country. There is a website called Clown Sightings USA where people post their clown sightings and creepy pictures.
“But we always take threats, whether clown-related or not, very seriously,” he said.
In Round Lake, the Police Department posted on its Facebook page a notice that it was aware of the school reporting clown-related threats on social media and it also referenced a story listing clown sightings by state.
“As we enter October, please be aware that communities all over our area are seeing a resurgence in the number of messages received regarding concerns about ‘clowns,’ specifically individuals dressing up like clowns and walking around in an attempt to draw attention or scare individuals,” the post said.
“This has been a frequent national news item over the years with reports of clowns showing up and behaving in a manner that can be described as ‘creepy.’ We believe these behaviors are intended as a joke to scare individuals,” it read.
“The Round Lake Police Department and School District 116 have learned of social media postings … that indicate the clown may visit the Round Lake High School campus. While we believe this posting is part of a prank, we do thoroughly investigate all potential safety concerns,” the statement said.
In North Chicago, Police Chief Richard Wilson said the school district also notified his department of social media postings mentioning clowns and threats to the school.
“We will have extra patrols out at the schools. Better safe than sorry,” he said.
While this is the first time this tornado has touched down near my home, there have been several arrests over the past few weeks, while Stephen King, who penned the terrifying coming-of-age clown story, “It”, felt obligated to respond to the growing trend.
Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria–most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 3, 2016
It’s a stronger stance for King, as Time explains, who first spoke out about the clown hype early last month, telling his hometown newspaper, The Bangor Daily News, that “the clown furor will pass, as these things do.”
“But it will come back, because under the right circumstances, clowns really can be terrifying,” King said at the time.
I think what’s truly frightening is that there’s no apparent motive, yet, and that there are people out there without enough free time and negative energy in their lives to make the effort to bring this into fruition. Shit, it’s October, which means it’s beyond simple to go and fetch a clown costume and his the streets within minutes…
Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2004 novel Let the Right One In was adapted into a film in 2008 and was then remade for US audiences in 2010 as Let Me In. Now, in 2016, there is a TV version coming from TNT that’s being developed by Jeff Davis, the creator of “Teen Wolf” and “Criminal Minds”.
It’s been announced that “Doctor Who” and “Happy Valley” director Euros Lyn has been locked to directed the pilot of the show, according to Deadline.
““Let The Right One In” is an eerie drama about a young boy, long tormented by his classmates, who finds solace in a friendship with a charismatic female vampire who appears to be near his age. The vampire settles into the boy’s small Vermont town with her mysterious caretaker, just as a series of bizarre murders begins attracting the attention of law enforcement.”
Davis penned the pilot and will serve as an executive producer with Marty Adelstein (“Aquarius,” “Prison Break,” “Teen Wolf”) and Becky Clements (“Aquarius,” “Last Man Standing”) of Tomorrow Studios, plus Simon Oakes (“Women in Black,” “Let Me In”) of Hammer Films, Carl Molinder who produced the original screenplay and Alex Brunner (“Dark Places”). Turner’s in-house studio, Studio T, will co-produce with Tomorrow Studios.
Those of you who have seen Comedy Central’s hilarious “Key & Peele” know that the duo are huge horror fans. So, when it was announced that Jordan Peele would be directing a genre film, it wasn’t all that surprising. In fact, seeing the commentary they made on the genre (their Gremlins 2 skit is out of this world) made me believe he could kill it as a horror director.
Now, Universal Pictures has unveiled the first trailer for Get Out, which begins when a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate and becomes ensnared in a more sinister reason for the invitation.
In theaters February 24, 2017, the trailer is astoundingly timely, and looks to carry heavy social commentary (something I believe is integral in quality horror). It’s also absolutely bonkers, reminding me of John Carpenter’s underrated classic, In the Mouth of Madness. The hypnotizing angle is pretty dope, too, giving the trailer an Evil Dead moment teased in the above image. Also, I’m really hoping that the editing in the trailer is also the same in the film – it’s jarring, disorienting and sorta scary. Seriously, this movie looks amazing.
Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, Girls), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy (Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods).
At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.
The film also stars Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men series), Milton “Lil Rel” Howery (The Carmichael Show), Betty Gabriel (The Purge: Election Year), Marcus Henderson (Pete’s Dragon) and Keith Stanfield (Straight Outta Compton).
[Interview] Don Coscarelli and David Hartman on the ‘Phantasm’ Legacy, Loving Explosions, and Losing the Tall Man
It happens all too often. A brand new entry in a beloved franchise is announced, the press release hits the web, and it turns out that the studio heads have placed the future of a popular horror series in the hands of a filmmaker who’s never seen a single entry. Luckily, when it came time for renowned filmmaker Don Coscarelli to pass on the torch to an upcoming director for a new Phantasm installment, he wisely chose a man who has been a fan since the beginning: David Hartman.
“I got Fangoria Issue #2 when I was seven years old and it had these two pictures inside, the Tall Man’s finger inside the box with the yellow blood, and Michael Baldwin floating in this red background, and it just blew me away” recalls Hartman. “I had to show it to friends because it scared me, and I wanted to share. I didn’t want to be the only one that was scared. I can honestly say that was one of the most guiding moments that even turned me into a fan of horror”.
The last entry and a long awaited finale to the franchise, David Hartman’s Phantasm: Ravager finds new ground by delving deeper into the Tall Man’s world, while still finding footing in the familiar by harking back to all the familiar Phantasm elements. The muscle car, the deadly flying spheres, Reggie’s tendency towards romancing whatever lady he comes into contact with – it’s all here, and for head honcho Coscarelli, it’s been an exhilarating ride. Looking back over the past thirty years however, the original creator of the series has realized that it wasn’t necessarily he who pumped life into the films, but rather the magnificent actors he hired, whom he only guided to greatness.
“I think I’ve found the mythic and heroic qualities in each of these actors” reflects Coscarelli. “I’d like to take credit for that. I was just thinking about the very first time I met Reggie Bannister, and I put him into my very first movie, and I’m a teenager, by the way, I was like nineteen and we’d heard about this guy in college, over in Long Beach, California, and he was this musician-actor and he was really cool. So, I went out to a beer bar where he was performing and he got me in the bar and I watched him play music. He had this unique personality which is the Reggie in the movies, but what’s cool about him though is that he kept surprising me. He was in this movie, Jim, the World’s Greatest he played this quirky character, but then I brought him my second film Kenny & Company and he was great in that, this little kids movie. But then, when it came time for the third movie, Phantasm, I figured he would make this great sidekick and loyal friend and brother, but really, I can’t take credit for his performance, but it’s like I kind of steer these people. Like, I had this idea in the script in Phantasm I where he would jump out and finally take this moment where he says ‘I know what we’ll do! We’ll take that tall dude out and lay him out flat and drive a stake right through his goddamn heart!’ And there’s this moment where you go, ‘Holy shit! This old ice cream man is an actor star!’ but I don’t have any of that in the first Phantasm (laughs). You know, in the end, he tries to save the day but it doesn’t work. So, cut to Phantasm II, and then it’s like, okay, Reggie goes with them on this road trip and now he’s a little bit more of action star, and we give him that gun, and then by Phantasm III he’s this complete antihero action hero dude, and yet in each one Reggie rises to the occasion. So, I had something to do with it, but it was more me seeing what these actors had in them. Bill Thornbury, the older brother, I see he had qualities as a musician, and that he’s a good natured person, and then Michael Baldwin had this steely resolve which evolved and flourished as the movies go on. In a way I was kind of guiding it, but a lot of it had to do with their inner core, just who those people really are in real life”.
Aside from the more well known trademarks of the Phantasm universe, one of the most important through lines in the series is the use of balls-to-the-wall, outrageous practical effects. Considering the relatively limited budget and other obvious restrictions that Coscarelli and company had to face with the original 1979 film, what they managed to pull off in the final product is a feat, to say the least. However, as accomplished as their product turned out to be, Coscarelli can’t deny that he is overjoyed to trek back to the movie that made him the man he is today, and give it a brand new beautiful finishing touch in the updated version Phantasm Remastered.
“I love practical effects, but the fact is that in the first Phantasm, there was no possibility of visual effects because they had not been invented yet” points out Coscarelli. “The only way we could do these things was, you know, paper clips and tape, so I’m just there trying to find some ingenious way of making spheres fly. But now, one of the greatest joys of my life was him doing this restoration. Thank you J.J. Abrams for Godfathering it. We were finally able to go through and remove every piece of fishing line in Phantasm, and it looks great”.
When it comes to Phantasm: Ravager, the fifth installment in the franchise headed by Hartman, he chose to combine the legacy of the past with the improvements of the future, by combining the infamous practical effects with the more advanced visuals made available in today’s world.
“The trailers show a lot of the cool digital moments, digital spheres doing this and that, and I know a lot of people were like ‘Oh, it’s all digital’. It’s not, it really isn’t. It’s a mixture of digital and practical it’s just with practical we’re doing a lot of cool blood stuff, and you can’t put that in the trailer!” laughs Hartman. “We’ve worked very closely with Gigi Bannister, who is our special effects coordinator, in working with the spheres, we worked very well together just to creatively figure out when to use digital and when not, and we got to do some really cool things. You see spheres in daylight, chasing a car, I mean how cool is that?”
Still, at the end of the day, as Don lovingly points out, you just can’t beat a good old fashioned explosion.
“It seems like the explosions cure all ills” coos Coscarelli. “There’s something about those explosions, I just love them. I was watching the [Phantasm] remastered the other night, and I had forgotten about you know we uh just blew the hell out of that first hearse in this massive fireball, and this roaring inferno on it. I just love these gasoline fireballs you know it’s a thing from the ‘70s, and maybe you’re not seeing them as much anymore because people are using more digital type stuff, but there’s a funny story from the first movie. The great special effects guy from the time, Roger George, I didn’t know his history, but the day he showed up I was a little taken aback because he had been in a fire explosion so the side of his face was kind of scarred and I thought wow, this is gonna be interesting! So he’s coming out of his truck and he has this box and I said, ‘What’s that?’ and he said ‘This is a neck flame bomb I had it left over from my last movie, I’m just gonna put it on the front seat of the hearse and see what happens’. (laughs) So he did it, and wow! It was awesome!”
From massive fireballs to flying spheres, to four barreled shot guns, there’s definitely a lot to love and cherish from the Phantasm franchise. However, arguably the most important component of the wild universe that Coscarelli wonderfully built is the character of the Tall Man, played by none other than the legendary Angus Scrimm. Sadly, the man who depicted one of the most memorable villains of all time passed away last January, but Coscarelli and Hartman will never forget what it was like to work with the man himself, or the inconceivably important role that he played in the success of the series.
“I’ll tell you about the first time I showed him the finished Phantasm: Ravager” Hartman says with a hint of fond reflection in his eyes. “So, I had Don’s approval, but I needed Angus’ approval. So, I picked him up at his house to go to a screening room to watch it, and Angus is like, ‘David, who’s going to drive me home after the movie?’ I was like, ‘Well, Angus, if you like the movie, I’ll drive you home. If you don’t like the movie, Don’s driving you home’. And the whole movie I’m waiting, I’m watching Angus, just the Tall Man, sitting there, stoic, and I’m like ‘Ah man, I can’t read this guy!’ and I don’t know if he’s liking it or not. When the movie ends, he comes up to me and says, ‘David’ and I’m just shaking and I say, ‘Yes?’ and he says, ‘You will be driving me home’. I mean that was one of my happiest, greatest moments, just getting his approval. Watching some of these scenes now, though, is very difficult for me, and I’m sure for Don. Don has known this guy for decades, I’ve only had a short time with him and he’s impacted my life. Being able to watch those scenes and some of the dialogue Don and I wrote for him, and the mortality he’s dealing with in the film, is, to me, is a very poignant and very emotional moment to watch in the movie, and I hope so for the fans as well”.
As for the man who arguably knew him best, director and friend Don Coscarelli, the one thing that keeps entering his mind is how sad it is that Scrimm couldn’t be at Fantastic Fest with the rest of the team, basking in the glory of all of their years of hard work, and ushering in the latest entry in the treasured franchise.
“He loved to work, he loved to play the Tall Man, and the saddest part is, he just loved to meet the Phantasm fans, and he would’ve just loved to be here for this” says Coscarelli with a mixture of pride and sorrow. “These last two days, he should’ve been here, it’s just a crying shame that he isn’t”.
Phantasm: Ravager hits theaters everywhere on October 7th, 2016.
In October of 2005, UK electronic group Depeche Mode released their 11th studio album in the form of Playing the Angel. Featuring 12 brand new tracks and coming four years after their previous release Exciter, Playing the Angel was the #1 album in several countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden, peaking at #7 in the United States.
I love Depeche Mode and while I knew of many of their songs before I listened to this album, Playing the Angel was my gateway into their discography. Furthermore, I have absolutely no qualms or hesitations in saying that it lands high up on my personal Top 10 Albums of All Time list. So, for no reason other than the fact that I love this album, let’s dive headfirst into Playing the Angel.
The first track I heard from the album was the single “Suffer Well”, which hooked me through its infectious beat and strangely disjointed synths. Dave Gahan swoons and careens his vocals, hypnotizing and entrancing with every syllable. From there, I somehow stumbled across a stream of “Macro”, which I have to admit made me feel uneasy and almost afraid. It was this track that made me realize Playing the Angel was a different kind of beast, something I wasn’t used to hearing from Depeche Mode. So, in the spirit of it being 2005, I went and bought the CD. Being able to hear the album from beginning to end is what ensured that this album would remain a favorite of mine.
From start to end, the album has no filler tracks. It’s one of those albums that you put in, hit ‘Play’, and let it play from beginning to end. For me, it’s a journey of beautiful tones, unsettling melodies, and flat out excellent music. It’s one amazing song after another, from the shocking, almost abrasive opening of “A Pain That I’m Used To” to the pulsating “Precious”, the ethereal instrumental “Introspectre” to the haunting “The Darkest Star”, which, side note, was featured in the Alan Wake DLC “The Writer”.
Speaking of creepy games, one of the things I notice every time I listen to Playing the Angel is how much “horror” is in each track. There are these subtle tones and sounds in the background of every song that creates an air of unease, permeating the track from within. It takes multiple listens to begin peeling back these layers and exposing the darkness contained inside but the trek is a magnificent one. There are few albums where I feel that I hear something new every time I pop it on but Playing the Angel is certainly one of those.
The album is known by many for seeing the band utilize a more organic, analog sound, which I can agree with. There is a depth and texture to the music that feels warm and safe. Many electronic albums have a very harsh air about them, making them difficult to listen to for long periods at a time. I don’t feel this is present at all with Playing the Angel. Rather, once I put it on, I find that I have issues shutting it off. I put the album on repeat and let it go, sometimes for hours at a time.
Depeche Mode have a long and storied career. When this album came out, it was nearly 25 years since the release of their first album Speak & Spell and a dozen years after their wildly successful Songs of Faith & Devotion. For many bands with that amount of time behind them, it’s easy for fans to question if anything new is going to actually be interesting or if it will be rote and predictable.
For me, I say that Depeche Mode released an album that will become the dark horse of their career, one that people will look back upon and recognize its genius. Until that day, I’ll sit back and enjoy it in my own way, darkly and fully.
Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece of psychological terror The Shining will be coming to limited theaters in a few weeks for two days, allowing people to see the 1980 Stephen King adaptation on the big screen. The film will screen on Sunday, October 23rd and Wednesday, October 26th, both days at 2pm and at 7pm local time. To find screenings in your area, just head over here to find ticket information.
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and his son, Danny (Danny Lloyd), who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.
All screenings will include exclusive commentary by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz.
In my review of Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s Blair Witch, I explained that I thought the movie was incredibly tense but ultimately left me wanting, the story and execution all to familiar.
However, Barrett dropped a bombshell last week that has gone largely unnoticed, one that completely changes how many might view the film as well as adding a new layer of depth and intrigue to the story.
Beware reading ahead if you haven’t seen the film as there are spoilers being discussed!
In my review, I made note that the third act was, “…magnificent in so many ways, [but] it’s also where it reveals a bit too much,” explaining that I felt them showing the Witch as a gaunt, spindly-limbed entity was a visual we’ve seen a few too many times. Barrett’s big reveal, however, is that we never actually saw the witch in the movie! The strange humanoid creature towards the end of the film isn’t the Blair Witch, meaning we have yet to get any idea of what she looks like!
Here’s where things get rather interesting: in the film, Lane and Talia talk about Elly Kedward, an Irish woman who lived in Blair in the 1700’s and was accused of witchcraft. She was tortured and left in the woods, supposedly hung from a tree with rocks tied to her limbs, stretching them out from her joints and sockets. Throughout the films, we’ve been led to believe that she was the Blair Witch.
But if who we’re seeing in the film isn’t the Witch, does that mean Elly isn’t the Blair Witch? There are theories on old message boards from The Blair Witch Project days that suggest she was actually innocent and only when she was enduring her horrible fate did she swear allegiance to the power residing deep within the woods.
If you want to have your mind REALLY blown, here’s another potential theory: Remember at the end when James and Lisa are standing in the corner and James thinks he hears the voice of his sister, Heather? What if the creature we’re seeing at the end of the movie actually IS Heather, now fully converted into a servant of the Blair Witch? After 20 odd years of being in the woods, who knows what Heather went through, what kinds of horrible things she was a part of and witness to?
No matter what, Barrett says that his and Wingard’s, “…DVD commentary will explain a lot, but hopefully without ruining anything…”
@idiot_teen don't want to get too spoilery but it's just the root moving deeper, and you don't see the witch onscreen, that's someone else!
— Simon Barrett (@Simon_Barrett) September 20, 2016
@vinsclortho our DVD commentary will explain a lot, but hopefully without ruining anything, as do we want to leave some elements mysterious
— Simon Barrett (@Simon_Barrett) September 20, 2016
[Interview] Nicolas Winding Refn Talks ‘Maniac Cop’, Dark Rituals and the Plus Side of Polarizing Your Audience
“Polarizing is the greatest achievement in any art form, even in cinema” exclaims Nicolas Winding Refn, the always controversial Danish filmmaker who brought us such niche gems as Drive and Only God Forgives. His latest foray into the cinematic world is a film called The Neon Demon, a highly divisive project about a girl named Jesse who comes to Los Angeles in search of a modeling career, only to be devoured by her jealous peers as she struggles to claw her way to the top. Some call it brilliant, some call it hollow, but one thing’s for sure – everyone who has seen this visually stunning little movie has felt some sort of strong reaction, whether it be love or hate.
“Artistically you can’t ask for anything higher in a way because it’s very difficult to polarize, you know?” Some directors may be offended by the backlash of one of their features, but Refn doesn’t shy away from the fans and critics who have so harshly judged his journey into the mindset of a narcissistic sixteen-year-old girl. He believes it only proves that he’s doing what he set out to do as a filmmaker – touch people. “You have to penetrate a lot of brains to either be excited or hateful, so of course, I always believe that creativity is about a reaction” Refn says happily. “You know, it’s the reactionary medium”.
Speaking of eliciting a reaction, Refn’s next film seems like it’s going to cause just as much outrage as his highly stylized model movie. The only difference is; this time he’ll be offending viewers from the producers’ position as opposed to the director’s chair.
It’s been fairly well known for some time now that Refn will be producing the upcoming remake of Maniac Cop, the sleazy exploitative thriller originally helmed by William Lustig and starring Bruce Campbell from 1988, but whereas the original sought mainly to excite and shock audiences, the remake will serve as more of a commentary on modern day society and the ever debatable actions of law enforcement in today’s corrupt world. Reimagined by director John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Regeneration and Universal Solider: Day of Reckoning), it will be fascinating to see what his politically-charged version of the cult classic will look like once it hits the big screen.
“My goodness, the election in the U.S.” sighs Refn with an air of exhausted distaste. “I think that one of the point of views that was very important to both John and I, and also Ed Brubaker who wrote the script, was to really find a zeitgeist, you know mirroring the times that we’re living in in the U.S. and what’s happening all around us in the world in a way. So I think that my Maniac Cop should be much more reflective of what’s around us. Again, you know, it’s John Hyams movie, he’s the one who’s directing it, but I also know that he’s very much involved in politics, and so to incorporate that into an action film, or a horror film, thriller, whatever, the mix of that genre is just going to make it more exciting, I feel. You know it’s what’s happening in law enforcement, you know, it’s very terrifying for both sides, and I think there’s a great movie in that”.
Maniac Cop may have gained a reputation as Refn’s most notorious upcoming producing project, but it’s not the only title on his already overworked slate. He’s also producing the remake of the beloved Witchfinder General, also known as The Conqueror Worm, a 1968 splatterfest originally starring Vincent Price and directed by Michael Reeves. Much in the same way that Maniac Cop will be updated with the same sense of shock but a wholly new modern day twist, Witchfinder General will seek to capitalize on the already present paranoia embedded within the original film.
“Well I think with the three films that I own, I kind of, they came to me in strange ways, I never seek them out but they kind of came to me as opportunities” explains Refn carefully. “I felt that each film had a very interesting premises that could be reinterpreted, like Maniac Cop. You know Witchfinder General, which is a very in a way, what we’re experiencing today in our society, the paranoia just to have a conversation, and I think that was the original movie that I think Massimo was very good at catching, the counter culture vehicle, so it’s finding that new version of that, and a gory horror film about religion, and it’s certainly a good time to do that (laughs) with the way the power plays in the United States, it seemed like something very important to touch upon”.
It seems only right that Refn would be behind the scenes on an upcoming film about witches when his most recent endeavor, The Neon Demon, focuses on the dark arts as well – at least according to him. In the film, both the moon and the eye act as recurring motifs throughout the feature. When asked about the symbolism behind their linked presence, Refn explained how his rutilant spectres are derived from Pagan roots.
“The moon is a very important symbol when it comes to anything ritualistic, whether it’s the blood or the cycle or menstrual blood, the moon is very much defined by that, that deity, there is an alien force around us, and kind of supernatural ability. And of course, the eye is also round, and when Jesse tells her boyfriend about how she would always talk to the moon, asking if it saw her, of course the eye is round and it sees, and it’s very much embedded in witchcraft, so the whole film in many ways can be seen as a ritual”.
It’s a fascinating way of looking at things, this unholy perception of the cutthroat world of modeling in Los Angeles. Refn then goes even further to connect the dots of his analysis.
“For example, in the coven there are three women, which makes up the triangle in each corner. Also, the one that sees [Jesse] first is the Ruby character, Jena Malone, and her first words in the film are ‘Am I staring?’ And you see that they see her as something that is an ingredient to their witchcraft, and that the two other models are kind of the lower rank of witches, where you know, Jena Malone is the queen witch, and they all have to go through a process of devouring Jesse, and each one has a different reaction to it”.
From there, considering the notion that the three main girls, Ruby, Gigi, and Sarah, make up the three members of the coven, who then is Jesse in this scenario? According to Refn, she is actually the ‘Neon Demon’, in all her gold-coated glory.
“Jesse is in a way both the innocence and the beauty and the purity that they so desire but at the same time she’s also the force that they need to complete the ritual, so it’s almost like parallel worlds that collide. Because you see, Jesse is herself an entity that has through her own evolution of a ritual of beauty, becomes the ultimate narcissist claiming that she’s dangerous and that her mother always said that she was dangerous. She’s virginity, she’s youth, she’s beauty, she’s all the things that slowly or rapidly disappear as we grow older, and at the same time, she’s also very manipulative, almost like she’s playing everyone against each other. She insults Gigi by asking if she had plastic but when Gigi reveals it, she asks if that’s a good thing. She denounces Jena Malone’s love, she pushes it away even though in a way she’s also very flirtatious with her, so there’s a part of Jesse that’s a deer in headlights, and there’s a part of her that is a demon”.
The Neon Demon hits Blu-ray and DVD everywhere on September 27th, 2016.
AMC shared with Bloody the first official image gallery and synopsis for the highly anticipated “The Walking Dead” Season 7.
The first half of Season 7 sees the group fractured, broken, bereaved, and picking up the pieces while living under the thumb of oppression. Negan will have successfully brought the survivors under his will, brutally convincing them to live under his rules with a deadly and horrific example of what happens if they don’t.
Here’s the lengthy plot just released:
Up until this point, our characters have lived through conflicts… Disease, hunger, scores of the undead, tragedy, betrayal, and unthinkable loss. Through this, they’ve become formidable. Powerful. Unstoppable.
To start Season Seven, that power is taken away. They had found safety and stability. They had created a home. They thought the world was theirs. They thought they knew the world. They were wrong.
The first half of Season Seven sees our group fractured, broken, bereaved, and picking up the pieces while living under the thumb of oppression. Negan will have successfully brought the survivors under his control, brutally convincing them to live under his rules with a deadly and horrific example of what happens if they don’t.
Other characters are unaware of what’s happened, but have become separated from the group either by incident or choice — they will learn that they can’t escape this new turn of their world, either. This half season is about these characters starting over.
The overall theme of the season is beginning again. The world isn’t what they thought it was. It’s bigger and it’s even more dangerous.
“The Walking Dead” is executive produced by Robert Kirkman, Showrunner Scott M. Gimple, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Tom Luse.
Don’t miss the Season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead” on Sunday, October 23 at 9/8c on AMC.
BloodList, the popular screenwriter-discovery platform, is now open to submissions from emerging horror and dark-genre writers.
Writers are encouraged to submit a screenplay, pilot, book or short film to BloodList.com for consideration in this year’s Fresh Blood section. Content must be uploaded by Oct. 7. Subissions to BloodList.com are free. The list will be announced on Halloween, Oct. 26, 2016.
“Our business isn’t physically accessible to everyone, and there are plenty of talented writers and creators looking for new ways to get discovered in the horror, thriller and sci fi space. I want BloodList to be their platform,” says Kailey Marsh, founder of BloodList.com and Kailey Marsh Media.
The annual BloodList was founded in 2009 and has become the industry standard in recognizing “dark” voices in the screenwriting world. Working Hollywood executives vote on the list, with an eye toward finding their next project. Produced scripts featured on BloodList include the absolutely phenomenal The Blackcoat’s Daughter, the raved about Arrival, as well as Stoker, The Boy Next Door, Patient Zero, The Voices, Warm Bodies and even Maggie!
“BloodList shines a light on exemplary genre writing, which is where some of the most innovative and challenging work is being done. But like comedy, horror and science fiction are often overlooked as categories for sublime writing. Without this curated list, buyers would miss on writers who’ve built the rare breed of a well-crafted story wrapped in a commercial package. Each year’s top entries are like a masterclass in storytelling” – Eric Heisserer, writer and Executive producer of ‘Arrival’ (FKA ‘Story of Your Life’ from BloodList 2014) and writer/producer of ‘Lights Out’.
Here’s last year’s hype trailer.
Horror icons Kane Hodder (Jason Goes to Hell) and R.A Mihailoff (Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) join Michael McCarthy and Jordan Elizabeth in “the wickedest and bloodiest revenge thriller since The Crow,” Bloody Disgusting learned.
On digital October 4 and DVD on November 8, “Crazed is a pulsating tale of justice from the dark alleys of Harbor City, with crazed vigilante cop Ronan Pierce(McCarthy) out to avenge the loss of his family to the evil Luna Cartel. Responsible for both his daughter’s death and his wife’s abduction, the Cartel enslaves thousands of young women from around the world and harvests organs from its other victims. Pierce delivers horrific punishment to an assortment of psychotic criminals on his way to bloody justice.”
Scripted by Kevin A. McCarthy and Michael McCarthy and directed by Kevin McCarthy (with guest director Edward Payson), Crazed pierces this October from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Here’s the trailer and some stills.
Thommy Hutson‘s The Id is arriving on home video October 25, Bloody Disgusting learned.
Produced by Thommy Hutson and Amityville: The Awakening‘s Daniel Farrands, the pic stars Amanda Wyss of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Better Off Dead and even Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
“Meridith Lane is truly her father’s daughter. Doting, attentive, obedient. But after years spent confined together in a claustrophobic house, middle-aged Meridith’s relationship to her increasingly cruel and sadistic elderly father is veering toward disaster. When a figure from her past suddenly re-enters her life, Meridith is confronted with the harsh reality of her father’s monstrous nature. Deciding she must set herself free from his dominion, Meridith descends into a terrifying world of horrific visions, after one impulsive and irreversible act plunges her into a waking nightmare of her own making. And she is about to find out that, no matter what, the most important man in a girl’s life… is her father.“
Special Features Include:
- Needs, Wants & Desires: Behind the Scenes of The Id – Featurette
- Audio Commentary with Director/Producer Thommy Hutson and Actress Amanda Wyss
- Deleted & Alternate Scenes
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage
- Audition Clips
- Photo gallery
Each week here at Bloody Disgusting we like to highlight some of the new Blu-ray releases hitting shelves across the world. Please note that this isn’t every release for the week, just a few of the ones that jumped out at us.
Finally week of September is here and it’s a good one for the home video crowd. Lots and lots of good stuff hitting shelves this week. Some exclusive stuff coming from both Vinegar Syndrome and Shout Factory that you’ll want to get quick because they’re limited. The Vestron Video Collector’s Series debuts with Blood Diner and Chopping Mall, both wonderful releases. Over in the UK 88 Films kicks off their 88 Asia collection with Hex. And that’s just scratching the surface! All the heavy hitters have new releases this week, so get to shopping!
An American Werewolf in London – 35th Anniversary Edition (Universal, Region A)
The tale of a tourist from the U.S. whose stay in London is disrupted when, after being bitten by a wolf, he turns into a werewolf.
Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection (Shout Select, Region A)
Bill & Ted’s Excellect Adventure
Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) and Alex Winter (The Lost Boys) deliver “spirited performances” (The Hollywood Reporter) in the original righteous comedy about the two ditzy dudes from San Dimas, California. Also starring George Carlin, this hysterically funny historical comedy is a “snappily directed” (Time), “bouncy good time” (The Boston Globe) and a party that goes on and on! Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) have spent so much time forming their rock band, The Wyld Stallyns, that they’re flunking history. Whoa, duuuude! And when Ted’s dad threatens to send him away to military school, Bill and Ted realize it could mean the most heinous end of The Stallyns! Luckily, a guardian angel from the future, Rufus (Carlin), has come to them with a most bodacious solution: a time-traversing phone booth to take them into the past to learn about the world from some of history’s most influential personalities.
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey
A tyrant from the future creates evil android doubles of Bill and Ted and sends them back to eliminate the originals.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign – Complete Series (FUNinmation, Region A)
In 2012, the world allegedly comes to an end at the hands of a human-made virus, ravaging the global populace and leaving only children untouched. It is at this time that vampires emerge from the recesses of the earth, likely followed by age-old horrors of the dark thought only to be myth. The vampires sweep the earth and claim it in a single violent stroke, subjugating the remnants of humanity and leading them beneath the surface to safety. This “protection” comes at the price of donating blood to their captors. At the age of twelve, Yūichirō and his friend and fellow orphan Mikaela plotted to escape along with the children in Hyakuya Orphanage. However, this resulted in their deaths and Mikaela sacrifices himself in order for Yūichirō to escape and be saved by members of the Moon Demon Company, an extermination unit of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. Four years later, Yūichirō dedicates his life to destroy vampires and seek revenge against them for murdering his “family”.
Patterns (The Film Detective, Region A)
Fred Staples, the newest executive in a large firm, strikes up a friendship with the vice president to whom he reports and who has devoted his entire life to the company at the expense of his family. Staples is good at his job and the company’s hard-nosed president is pleased with his choice. But Staples finds his ethics and ambition at odds, when the president tells him he’s been recruited to replace the VP.
Kamikaze 1989 (Film Movement, Region A)
In a totalitarian society of the future, in which the government controls all facets of the media, a homicide detective investigates a string of bombings, and finds out more than he bargained for.
Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom (Shout Factory, Region A)
After visiting his father in Arkham Sanitarium, young Howard Lovecraft ignores his father’s ominous warning and uses the legendary Necronomicon to open a portal to a strange, frozen world filled with horrifying creatures and grave danger. Alone and scared, Howard befriends a hideous creature he names Spot who becomes his companion throughout their treacherous journey across the Frozen Kingdom.
Francesca (Unearthed Films, Region A)
Two detectives must catch a serial killer, but their only chance to find him, is to solve the case of missing girl who disappeared 15 years ago.
Corpse Party (Switchblade Pictures, Region A)
Facing goodbyes and graduation, Naomi Nakashima, her childhood friend Satoshi Mochida, and their classmates, are clearing up after their last ever cultural festival, when horror buff class representative Ayumi Shinozaki decides to perform Sachiko Ever After so they will stay friends forever. Instead, they were whisked away to a haunted graduation ceremony for Heavenly Host Elementary School, forced to close after a series of gruesome murders. What fate awaits Naomi and her friends at the cursed school…?
Cabo Blanco (Kino Lorber, Region A)
Offshore near Caboblanco, Peru, an explorer of sea wrecks is murdered. However, local authorities decide that the official cause of death is “accidental drowning.” Among the skeptical is Giff Hoyt, an expatriate American, longtime Caboblanco resident and popular innkeeper. Giff’s interest is further piqued when Marie arrives in town. Her passport is confiscated by the corrupt authority, and Giff protests. Furthermore, a Nazi named Beckdorff lives in a well-fortified compound near town, and he might be responsible for the explorer’s death. Beckdorff himself seeks sunken treasure in the area, as well as protection from local interference. Can Giff Hoyt stifle the evil Beckdorff, save the lovely Marie, and possibly even locate sunken treasure?
Valley of the Dolls (Criterion, Region A)
Straight from the best-selling pages of Jacqueline Susann’s audacious novel comes the unforgettable tale of three glamorous women who will stop at nothing to get to the top. Oscar winners Patty Duke, Lee Grant and Susan Hayward team with Sharon Tate and Barbara Parkins for this spectacular, satisfying and well-before-its-time tale of hedonism and one-upmanship on the road to fame! When a small-town beauty arrives in New York, she becomes instant friends with a struggling singer, Neely, and an actress, Jennifer. Together these headstrong, career-driven gals embark on a roller coaster ride of fast-talking men, endless nights of partying, booze…and pills that they call “dolls.” But as they careen down the path to superstardom, one of them may face more self-destructive behavior than she can handle in this riveting and acclaimed hit film!
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Criterion, Region A)
Fun-loving bombshells Kelly, Casey and Pet have a rock band, and they’re headed to Hollywood to make it big. Thanks to Kelly’s well-connected aunt, they soon find themselves at a hedonistic love-in thrown by eccentric music promoter Ronnie “Z-Man” Barzell. He takes them under his wing, and a new world of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll unfolds. Superstardom is within reach, if only their newfound distractions don’t get in the way!
Slugs (Arrow, Region A)
People are dying mysteriously and gruesomely, and nobody has a clue what the cause is. Only health worker Mike Brady has a possible solution, but his theory of killer slugs is laughed at by the authorities. Only when the body count begins to rise and a slug expert from England begins snooping around does it begin to look like Mike had the right idea after all.
Warcraft (Universal, Region A)
An epic fantasy/adventure based on the popular video game series.
Lady in White (Scream Factory, Region A)
Locked in a school closet during Halloween 1962, young Frank witnesses the ghost of a young girl and the man who murdered her years ago. Shortly afterward he finds himself stalked by the killer and is soon drawn to an old house where a mysterious Lady In White lives. As he discovers the secret of the woman he soon finds that the killer may be someone close to him.
Blood Diner (Lionsgate, Region A)
Two cannibalistic brothers kill various young women to make their flesh part of their new special dish at their rundown restaurant while seeking blood sacrifices to awaken a dormant Egyptian goddess.
The Neon Demon (Broad Green Pictures, Region A)
When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
Chopping Mall (Lionsgate, Region A)
Eight teenagers are trapped after hours in a high tech shopping mall and pursued by three murderous security robots out of control.
Highlander: 30th Anniversary Edition (Lionsgate, Region A)
During a fierce sword battle in the 1500s, Connor MacLeod, a simple Scotsman known as a poor fighter, is mortally wounded — but he does not die. MacLeod learns from the mysterious Ramírez that he is of a race of immortals. These rare knights never age and never reproduce, they can only meet death by the blade of another of their kind. Leaping back and forth through the centuries, MacLeod once again meets the evil Kurgan who nearly killed him 500 years ago. There can be only one.
The Shallows (Sony, Region A)
When Nancy is attacked by a great white shark while surfing alone, she is stranded just a short distance from shore. Though she is only 200 yards from her survival, getting there proves the ultimate contest of wills.
Count Dracula’s Great Love (Vinegar Syndrome, Region A)
Paul Naschy as the Amorous Dracula sets out to seduce his one great love with the help of his trio of sexy Vampiric Mistresses. In this tale, four young women, who seek refuge in a castle on a rainy night, only to find themselves in the lair of the vampire king. The great beauty of one of the women leads him to take her as his mate, using the other three as servants to acquire blood for them…
The Shape of Things to Come (Blue Underground, Region A)
Planet Earth is a devastated wasteland, and what’s left of humanity has colonized the Moon in domed cities. Humanity’s continued survival depends on an anti-radiation drug only available on planet Delta Three, which has been taken over by Omus, a brilliant but mad mechanic who places no value on human life. Omus wants to come to the Moon to rule and intends to attack it by ramming robot-controlled spaceships into the domes. Dr. John Caball, his son Jason, Jason’s friend, Kim, and a robot named Sparks embark on Caball’s space battlecruiser on an unauthorized mission to Delta Three to stop Omus.
Grimm: Season Five (Universal, Region A)
In modern day Portland, Oregon, a police detective inherits the ability to see supernatural creatures.
Message From Space (Shout Factory Exclusive, Region A)
In this Star Wars take-off, the peaceful planet of Jillucia has been nearly wiped out by the Gavanas, whose leader takes orders from his mother (played a comic actor in drag) rather than the Emperor. King Kaiba sends out eight Liabe holy seeds, each to be received by a chosen one to defend the Gavanas. Each recipient, ranging from hardened General Garuda to Gavana Prince Hans to young Terrans Meia, Kido, and Aaron all have different reactions to being chosen.
Cell (Lionsgate, Region A)
When a mysterious cell phone signal causes apocalyptic chaos, an artist is determined to reunite with his young son in New England.
Up from the Depths (Shout Factory Exclusive, Region A)
A series of mysterious aquatic attacks indicate the presence of some huge, previously unknown giant species of shark that has risen to the surface and is preying on tourists, fishermen, researchers, etc. A local beachcomber and scam artist, Sullivan, will have to put out to sea to defeat it.
Horror House on Highway 5 (Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive, Region A)
A van full of college students traveling down a highway is terrorized by a psycho killer in a Richard Nixon mask.
Hellbent (Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive, Region A)
An evil black-clad manager claims the soul of a would-be rock star whose life spins out of control, heading toward heavy-metal doom and folk-rock purgatory
The Velvet Vampire (Shout Factory Exclusive, Region A)
A couple accepts an invitation from the mysterious Diane LeFanu to visit her in her secluded desert estate. Unaware that Diane is actually a centuries-old vampire, the couple soon realize that they are both the objects of her seduction and cravings…
Time Walker (Shout Factory Exclusive, Region A)
An alien, buried in King Tut’s tomb, terrorizes a college campus.
Hex (88 Films, Region B)
A woman, who believes she has murdered her abusive husband, then sees him return as a vengeful ghost.
Slugs (Arrow, Region B)
People are dying mysteriously and gruesomely, and nobody has a clue what the cause is. Only health worker Mike Brady has a possible solution, but his theory of killer slugs is laughed at by the authorities. Only when the body count begins to rise and a slug expert from England begins snooping around does it begin to look like Mike had the right idea after all.
Hannibal (Zoom Steelbook, Region B)
Years after escaping custody, the brilliant but psychotic Dr. Hannibal Lecter settles in Italy and becomes the curator of an art museum in Florence, even learning to curb his appetite for human flesh. Back in the States, FBI agent Clarice Starling has been discredited by the bureau and her nights have been haunted by dreams of her past conversations with Lecter. Mason Verger, a twisted pedophile whose encounter with Lecter left him disfigured and paralyzed, places a bounty on Lecter’s head. When Clarice gets word, she goes in search of Lecter to warn him and unwittingly becomes a pawn in Verger’s plans for revenge.
Death Note: Complete Series and OVA Collection (Manga Home Entertainment, Region B)
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal…or his life?
River of Death (88 Films, Region B)
In 1945, with the Allies approaching, two German officers ransack a monastery in Greece and make plans to escape with the loot. However, one of the Germans is left behind by his partner, while the other escapes by submarine from Wilhelmshaven. Forty years elapse, a wealthy millionaire, Smith, hires Hamilton, allegedly an expert on the jungle, to lead him to the ruins of a lost Indian civilization recently discovered in the wilderness of the Amazon jungle in Brazil. The entourage faces giant anacondas, giant spiders, cannibalistic natives, and so on, discovering a settlement of Nazi war criminals and their descendants, living as if the Third Reich had never ended. It is soon clear that Smith’s real purpose has little to do with archaeology, and more to do with revenge.
Back in August Mondo Macabro announced a few new Blu-ray releases one of which was Suddenly in the Dark. No official release dates were given then but the titles were expected to come out in late 2016 or early 2017. We can now happily announce that Mondo Macabro will be releasing a special limited edition release of Suddenly in the Dark on October 31st! This will be the world exclusive Blu-ray debut of the 80’s Korean horror classic and will be limited to 500 copies. The release will include a numbered red case and an exclusive booklet.*
Fans of Mondo Macabro will no doubt be familiar with these limited edition releases. This is something the company does quite often and to much success. The red cases are always very sleek and the booklet is a nice touch. If you’re a collector this is something you’ll want. The release will be available directly from Mondo Macabro.
Full release details below!
A woman’s idyllic middle-class life is disrupted when her husband brings home a beautiful young orphan to be their maid. At first she welcomes the pretty girl, in fact seems oddly fixated on her, but soon comes to suspect the girl of having an affair with her husband. At the same time odd, unexplained incidents – most involving the maid’s mysterious wooden doll – began to make her question her own sanity. Soon it all spirals out of control as the film climaxes in a fever pitch of sexual jealousy, murder, and supernatural vengeance, all set to a pounding synth score.
Almost completely unknown outside of its home country, SUDDENLY IN THE DARK is one of the best examples of pre-millennial K-horror. It was made at a time when censorship law were being liberalized, igniting a boom in both horror and erotic films. Elements of both are present here, directed with bizarre flair by Go Yeong-nam in a style often compared to the wilder Italian films of the 70s and 80s.
Mondo Macabro is proud to present this classic of Korean horror on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world. Our presentation has been restored from the best available elements from the Korean Film Archive, and features brand new extras produced exclusively for this release.
-Interview with producer Suh Byung-gi
-Interview with critic Kim Bong-seok on the history of Korean horror films
-Classic K-Horror VHS Cover Art Gallery
-Mondo Macabro Promo Reel
-Limited edition booklet with brand new essays on the film by Grady Hendrix and Christopher Koenig
-New Cover Illustration by artist Naomi Butterfield
*A retail release in a standard case without the booklet will be available sometime Spring 2017. If the LE sells out quickly it’s possible that we will do another limited red case run, but no more another 500, and probably un-numbered.
Wayne Berwick’s Microwave Massacre isn’t a good movie. It’s just not. There’s just not a lot that it does well. The script is pretty thin, the acting is so-so at best and the jokes often miss the mark. With that all being said, there is something charming to it and there is some fun to be had as long as you know what to expect.
Comedian Jackie Vernon stars as Donald, a construction worker with a wife who is desperately trying to force him to have more refined taste buds. May (Claire Ginsberg), his wife, wants the two of them to eat what she considers to be healthier and fancier dishes. This dishes are cooked in a comically large microwave that May recently purchased.
I have to talk about this microwave for a moment. It’s massive, basically the size of a small oven. It’s so large that the appliance store has to deliver it. Not only is it comically large, but once May has it all installed and ready to go she uses it to cook all her meals. In and of itself, this isn’t too weird. There’s plenty of people that cook all their meals via microwave – they’re called college students. What makes May’s use bizarre is that she’s apparently cooking healthy, fancy foods and she considers what she’s doing to be slaving away. Say what now?
Donald wants no part of this. He’s a man after all and he wants to eat man food! He comes home drunk one evening and he cares not to eat what May has cooked up. The two getting into a huge argument that ends with Donald bashing her over the head with a pepper grinder until she’s dead. Donald then passes out and when he awakes the next morning he has no idea what happened the night before. He finds May’s dead body in the microwave and this only slightly freaks him out. The moment quickly passes and he goes to work, happily telling his co-workers that he and May split up and now he’s a free man to do as he pleases.
When Donald gets home from work that night he chops May’s body up, cover the pieces in tin foil and places them in the freezer. Later that night he heads to the freezer for a late night snack and ends up eating May’s hand. Much like when he found her dead body this only briefly shocks Donald. He quickly realizes this is the best thing he’s ever had. He soon becomes addicted going on a murderous spree in search of fresh meat.
Microwave Massacre is so slapstick and silly. It aims to grab a lot of the low-hanging fruit. Right from the opening credits (which you can watch here) the film goes for the sleaze factor as the camera is focused dead-center on a girl’s chest as she walks down the street. When it’s not on her chest it switches things up by moving to her butt. She then sticks her chest through a whole in a fence at a construction site to flash some construction workers. Welcome to the 80’s, folks!
If gore is what you’re looking for Microwave Massacre does offer up some but it is of a very low quality. There’s a number of dismembered limbs, but they’re kind of like what you would find at a Spirit Halloween store rather than in a special effects warehouse. So don’t expect to be blown away, but if you are looking for a version of gore it does exist within in this film.
There’s nothing wrong with a film like Microwave Massacre of course. These films serve a purpose and have their place, but they’re just not very good. You could pair this up with something like The Refrigerator and that would be a very enjoyable double feature of bad movies that are fun.
As recently as five years ago I would have said a film like Microwave Massacre would never makes it’s way to Blu-ray, well Arrow Video sees things differently than I. They’ve given this film a gorgeous Blu-ray release. This is an extremely low budget movie and it shouldn’t look this good, and yet it does. The film is a 2K transfer using the original 35mm negative and it looks really great, particularly in scenes that are well lit. I’m guessing the darker scenes didn’t have the best on-set lighting and thus don’t look as good on Blu-ray.
The special features are actually on the low end with regards of what we’ve come to expect from Arrow. Still this is a pretty obscure 80’s movie so the fact that there are any special features is a plus. There’s an audio commentary with Craig Muckler, the man who conceived of the story for Microwave Massacre, and it’s hosted by Mike Tristano. In addition there is a short documentary entitled “My Microwave Massacre Memoirs,” that features interviews Berwick, Muckler and actor Loren Schein. This is a cool little feature that offers some good insight to this low-budget oddity.
Like I stated up top, Microwave Massacre is not a good movie, but it is fun. You’ll know if this movie is for you and if it is you’ll want this Blu-ray.
Microwave Massacre is available now on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.
They’re everywhere! On every street corner, in every store, all over your house, even in your pocket! Video cameras have become a part of our every day life, capturing some of mankind’s best and worst moments to be immortalized digitally. Filmmaking duo Shelly and Michael Doss take a stab at the medium with their short film “Ca$hed”, showcasing an unfortunate individual who chooses the wrong time to make a withdrawal from the local ATM.
Our second tale is one of vengeance, served piping hot! A young couple looking to spend a nice night out on the town is accosted by a disgruntled mariachi who has a guitar and a bone to pick in Oliver Izquierdo’s “El Mariachi Loco”.
World of Death is the web series that fans of independent horror have been waiting for. Featuring short horror films from all over the globe created by the largest variety of talent that a collection has ever been able to boast, WOD provides plenty of blood, guts, screams and laughs for all fans of the macabre. And with episodes averaging around eight minutes in length, WOD is the perfect entertainment for a fan base constantly on the go. Watch it anywhere, at any time, for FREE! New episodes premiere every Monday and Thursday at 7pm CST.
Shelly and Michael Doss from Denver, Colorado started making films in 2012. They’ll be working on some new shorts soon before they tackle their first feature length project. Keep up with Shelly and Michael at www.facebook.com/bloodyhandstudios & www.bloodyhandstudios.com
Oliver Izquierdo of México, México City started working in film in 2003 after graduating college with a major in film directing. Oliver is currently writing the script for his second feature “Axolotl” and is just about to start shooting a new short film titled “The pleasure of the flesh”, written by Manuel Ortega. See more of Oliver’s work at https://vimeo.com/oliverizquierdo