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[FrightFest Review] The ‘Blood Feast’ Remake Delivers a Full Serving of Gore

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 13:22

In 1963 movie goers were treated to something they hadn’t really seen before when they settled in to watch Blood Feast from the director Herschell Gordon Lewis. Prior to this film violence and gore had never been depicted on screen in such an explicit fashion. The film isn’t particularly good; in fact I’d say it’s quite bad. Lewis himself has even said as much on multiple occasions. There is no denying the film’s importance, however, with some going as far to dub it groundbreaking. I’m not sure I’m willing to step out on that ledge, but it absolutely paved the way for the many splatter films to follow.

While Blood Feast is mostly bad, it’s important to note that Lewis and producer David F. Friedman were not taking themselves seriously when they made the movie. They saw an opportunity to exploit violence and ran with it. The film doesn’t contain much of a plot, but it does have a few fun ideas that could be expanded into something better. In 1987 director Jackie Kong attempted to play with those same ideas when he made a tribute of sorts entitled Blood Diner. This effort is much better and fully plays up the camp factor, but still doesn’t get it quite right. It is most certainly a loving tribute.

Now here in 2016 director Marcel Walz has taken a third crack at delivering a good Blood Feast movie and I was fortunate enough to take a sneak peak at the work print. Along with writer Philip Lilienschwarz, Walz builds on the original ideas Lewis created to give us not only an actual story, but a much darker and far more grim film.

Robert Rusler stars as Fuad Ramses and his family, wife Louise (Caroline Williams) and daughter Penny (Sophie Monk), recently relocated from the United States to France. The family now lives in a little town just outside of Paris where they run an American diner. The diner isn’t doing too great so Fuad has to pick up a second job working the night shift in a museum of ancient Egyptian culture.

After a few nights at the museum Fuad gets drawn to a statue of Ishtar, an ancient goddess who is basically the goddess of everything. Before too long Fuad begins to have visions of Ishtar speaking to him and eventually seduces him. Ishtar wants Fuad to deliver her an Egyptian feast, which is a lavish dinner where the main course is human flesh. Once the feast is complete Ishtar will be set free and she vows to spend eternity with Fuad.

So again this plot isn’t too far off from the original Blood Feast but there is some more depth and detail to it. We don’t know why, but Fuad is on medication. One morning he accidentally drops all his pills down the bathroom sink. Being off his medication coupled with the stress of running a struggling business and getting little sleep due to working two jobs, it’s very easy to see how Fuad would begin to get these visions and hallucinations. These are fairly little details but its gives us some more insight into where Fuad is currently at in his life making it much easier to buy this story.

Rusler easily gives the best performance of the film. He plays the role of Fuad very calm and mellow. At first he just seems like your typical dad and it’s whatever, but once he turns it feels pretty sinister. I mean the dude is chopping people to bits and hardly seems phased.

In addition to the beefed up story, the gore, which is the main reason we all tune into a movie called Blood Feast, is far better in this remake than the original. Naturally you would assume a film coming out today would have better effects than a film that is 53 years old, however we all know that’s not always the case. The filmmakers could have cheaper out and taken a digital approach, but they did not. Instead they brought in a special effects wizard in Ryan Nicholson and he did a wonderful job. There are a number of extremely gruesome scenes of basically just torture. Fuad captures unsuspecting victims and takes them to his basement and goes to town. And these are scenes of straight brutality. I don’t want to go into too much detail as to what you see because I think part of the fun is being surprised, but there’s a lot of stretching of skin before it rips that is quite gnarly.

In addition to the gory makeup effects the film is quite stylized. Roland Freitag, who also plays a cop in the film, served as the DP and does a tremendous job shooting the film. All the scenes with Fuad and Ishtar are especially strong. It’s something about the lighting. The scenes are actually quite dark, containing a lot of shadows and creating an ominous tone throughout.

The film’s final scene, which is the actual blood feast, is everything you could want. The entire movie builds up to this and it does deliver. One of my begin issues with the original Lewis film is that you never actually get the blood feast, but Walz wisely makes sure to include that in his version. This is another scene that highlights Nicholson’s great work and shows off the darker side of the remake while mixing in some dark humor. The music here is especially nice as it builds and builds, almost having a whimsical nature to it, which when played over this moment of extreme cannibalism is quite striking. There’s some nice juxtaposition between what we are seeing and what we are hearing.

There are a few moments of clunky dialogue and one scene that is a little awkward to watch, but those few moments are hardly a bother when considering the totality of this film. When it comes to a remake this is everything you could possibly want – there’s loving nods to the original that fans were surely notice and yet the film stands completely on its own. Blood Feast is a delicious splatter fest that will have horror hounds going back for seconds.

Categories: Horror News

Fox is Making a Comedy Version of “The X-Files”

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 13:07

Fox, the network behind “The X-Files”, is taking in “Ghosted”, Deadline reports.

In a very competitive situation with a slew of buyers, Fox has landed a single-camera comedy from Tom Gormican (That Awkward Moment) that has “The Office” alum Craig Robinson and “Parks and Recreation’s” Adam Scott set to star and executive produce.

Described as a sort of comedic “X-Files”, “ ‘Ghosted’ centers on Leroy Wright (Robinson), a cynical, hilarious skeptic, and Max Allison (Scott), a genius “true believer” in the paranormal, who are hired by the Underground Investigative Service to look into the rampant “unexplained” activity in Los Angeles — all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race.

Gormican will write the script. He executive produces with Robinson, Scott and 3 Arts’ Mark Schulman and Oly Obst. 20th Century Fox TV is the studio, producing with 3 Arts Entertainment.

Categories: Horror News

‘The Evil in Us’ Infects UK Home Video

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 12:48

On Blu-ray, DVD & Download October 10th from Studiocanal is the UK release of Jason William Lee’s The Evil in Us.

This blood-soaked Canadian horror is described as Cabin Fever meets Evil Dead, where a rowdy weekend getaway descends into madness and mayhem as a group of friends are gripped by an unexplainable psychosis and turned into drug-crazed zombies.

“Tense, frightening, and with gore literally dripping from the rafters by the end,” The Evil In Us, which just premiered at the 2016 Horror Channel FrightFest, is one unsettling chiller that you’ll want to sink your teeth into.”

Categories: Horror News

Nothing is as it Seems in the ‘Shut In’ Trailer

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 11:28

The upcoming horror/thriller Shut In has released its first trailer and it shows how a grieving mother (Naomi Watts) can see things that aren’t there…or are they?

Watching the trailer, I have to say that the opening sequence really sets an amazing tone for what’s to come. I won’t spoil it for those who don’t want to see it but it delves into some very dark yet difficult territories, ones that I could never fully understand and ones that I hope I never have to.

In theaters November 11, “A child psychologist living an isolated life in rural New England is struggling to put her life back together after the loss of her husband. She’s a strong woman whose courage is put to the test when she’s caught in a deadly storm, trapped in her home, and cut off from the world around her.

Watts is joined by Jacob Tremblay (Room), Charlie Heaton (“Stranger Things”) and Oliver Platt (Flatliners, Lake Placid).

Shut In was directed by Farren Blackburn and written by Christina Hodson.

Categories: Horror News

That Time Gene Wilder and Alice Cooper Made Sitcom Magic Together

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 11:01

If you need a pick-me-up today, Wilder + Cooper should do the trick.

In the wake of the legendary Gene Wilder’s passing, all of us here on Bloody Disgusting felt compelled to revisit classics like Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, and we know we’re certainly not alone in spending this week celebrating Wilder’s life and career. But we’re not here to talk about his brilliant portrayals of Dr. Frankenstein or Willy Wonka.

Back in October of 1994, the sitcom Something Wilder premiered on NBC, and it starred Gene Wilder as Gene Bergman, an ad man adjusting to life as the father of 4-year-old twins. The series, which ran for just one season and was cancelled before all 18 episodes even had a chance to air, never caught on with audiences and isn’t exactly fondly remembered like most of Wilder’s work, but there was one standout episode that is guaranteed to put a big ole smile on your face right about now. We promise.

The fourteenth episode of Something Wilder, which aired on March 14th, 1995, was titled “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” and it featured Alice Cooper in a guest role as himself. Presumably, Cooper was brought into the mix in the hopes that he’d help boost the show’s ratings, and in the episode he disrupts the Bergmans’ family life when he moves in next door to film a video. Gene begrudgingly pays his new neighbor a visit to tell him to turn his music down, humorously realizing just who his neighbor is.

Gene and Alice eventually become friends, and the duo teams up to create a little advertising magic in the form of a music video. Seeing the two legends play off one another is nothing short of a huge treat today, just as it was back in 1995, and Cooper has fond memories of the experience.

“I count working with Gene Wilder on his TV sitcom Something Wilder to be one of the most precious memories of my entire career,” Cooper wrote on his official Facebook page. “Doing ‘one on one’ comedy with Gene was like jamming with The Beatles. It doesn’t get any better. Gene Wilder is IRREPLACEABLE and will always be an American treasure. ”

Amen to that. You can watch the full episode below!

Categories: Horror News

IBM’s Watson Created This Trailer for ‘Morgan’

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 10:39

IBM’s Watson is kind of a marvel of technological achievements. It’s a computer that is basically programmed to answer questions, only it has years of programming and terabytes of data at its “fingertips” to generate the most accurate response possible. Hell, the little bastard won a million dollars on “Jeopardy!” back in 2011.

Since the upcoming film Morgan is being described by FOX as an “AI horror thriller”, they went to IBM to see if Watson could “watch” the movie and then generate its own trailer. The program responded and put together a final product, which you can watch below. Make sure to stay after the trailer ends as IBM explains exactly how Watson approached this task, which is a rather fascinating piece by itself.

Related: They Had Robots React to the ‘Morgan’ Trailer

In the film from director Luke Scott, “A corporate risk-management consultant has to decide and determine whether or not to terminate an artificial being’s life that was made in a laboratory environment.

Morgan stars Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Rose Leslie, Boyd Holbrook, and Paul Giamatti. Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, and Mark Huffam will all be acting as producers.

Morgan comes out this Friday, September 2nd, 2016.

Categories: Horror News

Get Hypnotized in This Clip From ‘The 9th Life of Louis Drax’

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 10:16

A new clip from the upcoming supernatural thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax has been released and it shows star Jamie Dornan getting hypnotized by Oliver Platt. The sequence is a bit disorienting and I should probably warn anyone with epilepsy that there’s a ton of flashing images being used.

After surviving eight near-death accidents throughout his unlucky life, Louis Drax [Aiden Longworth] plunges off a steep cliff on his ninth birthday. While police investigate the cause of Louis’ near-fatal fall and the whereabouts of his violent father Peter [Aaron Paul], acclaimed neurologist Dr. Allan Pascal [Jamie Dornan] uses unorthodox techniques to try to tap into the boy’s unconscious mind and reveal the truth about the events that led to his condition. But as he’s drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of Louis’ seeming ability to cheat death, the doctor finds himself falling for Louis’ mother, Natalie [Sarah Gadon]. As new clues emerge in the case, a shocking revelation changes the fates of Louis Drax and everyone around him.

Joining Dornan, Paul and Gadon in supporting roles are Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class, Chef, Frost/Nixon) playing Louis Drax’s psychologist, Dr. Perez; Molly Parker (House of Cards, The Road) as Detective Dalton; Barbara Hershey (Black Swan, Falling Down) who will play Violet, Louis’ grandmother; and Aiden Longworth (Hector and the Search for Happiness, A Christmas Story 2) in the title role of Louis Drax.

The feature screenplay, based on Liz Jensen’s best-selling novel of the same title, was written by Max Minghella. The 9th Life of Louis Drax was directed by Alexandre Aja (High Tension).

Categories: Horror News

‘Godzilla: Resurgence’ Gets a US Poster For Its Limited Theatrical Run

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 09:57

Yesterday, we reported that Toho’s Godzilla: Resurgence (review) would be coming to the US for a limited theatrical run under the original title Shin Godzilla. Now a poster for the event has been released with the tagline, “A god incarnate. A city doomed.

The film has been stomping its way all over the Japanese box office, attaining the status of the “top-grossing live-action film” of 2016, according to CrunchyRoll, so it was only a matter of time before FUNimation brought it overseas.

According to Fandango, theater bookings are beginning to show up as early as October 11th with an expansion ending on October 18th. A map is being compiled of all theatrical locations, while Astounding Beyond Belief has a breakdown of all theatrical showings across the country.

In Shin Godzilla (Godzilla Resurgence), “An unknown accident occurs in Tokyo Bay’s Aqua Line, which causes an emergency cabinet to assemble. All of the sudden, a giant creature immediately appears, destroying town after town with its landing reaching the capital. This mysterious giant monster is named “Godzilla”.”

Co-directed by Hideaki Anno (Evangelion) and Shinji Higuchi (Attack on Titan) with a script by Anno, the cast includes Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, Satomi Ishihara, Rando Yaguchi, and Ren Osugi.

Categories: Horror News

[FrightFest Review] ‘The Windmill Massacre’ Isn’t Your Average Slasher

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 08:56

I went into The Windmill Massacre hoping for a new old-school slasher franchise-starter, in the vein of something like Hatchet, say. But, director, Nick Jongerius, is playing a different game.

The film opens in Amsterdam with a fluid set of character introductions to establish our ensemble. We’ve got the young Australian with a dark past (Charlotte Beaumont), the workaholic father (Patrick Baladi) taking his son (Adam Thomas Wright) on holiday, a marine on leave with his unit (Ben Batt), and so on. As their stories start to interlock, they are brought together for a bus tour of some of Holland’s rural landmarks. But, when they break down near a dilapidated windmill, talk of the legend of a murderous miller doesn’t exactly calm the nerves.

It’s a solid set-up and the international roster of characters in a foreign land is a nice touch. Jongerius has likened his approach to the ensemble as that of a 70s disaster movie, which is case in point that he has more on his mind than just Freddy and Jason. The cast are strong and certainly stand above your generic slasher movie performances, partly because they’re actually given something to do.

There’s a lot of time given over to exploring each character and Jongerius and his writers, Chris W. Mitchell and Suzy Quid, avoid generic archetypes in favour of more layered creations. It works well, but it does distract slightly from the horrors to come. Which is a shame because Jongerius and the production team have got some neat ideas. The killer is well designed, and his specific profession makes The Miller stand out from other death-dealing big-screen brutes. The kills don’t quite do justice to the interesting villain, but there are still some squelchy treats to be had and they’re well spaced out amongst the more mundane kills.

Jongerius has spoken about his desire to avoid making The Windmill Massacre a straightforward slasher film, and to instead lean towards the supernatural in the character’s origin story. This also applies to the execution and, like I said, Jongerius doesn’t necessarily give us all the slasher tropes we may be waiting for. The characters take precedence over the kills and the film subverts the final girl tradition for something a bit less action-packed, although a cruel turn of fate means we’re not left short of splatter. There’s also an earlier twist that happily caught me off guard, and provided another interesting subversion of conventional slasher movie character dynamics.

There’s a lot to like about The Windmill Massacre, but it didn’t quite pull together for me. It’s more satisfying in hindsight than it was actually watching it, but that’s something I think a second watch may settle. But, until then, I recommend Jongerius’ film, just don’t go in expecting it to play by the rules.

Categories: Horror News

Breaking: Netflix Announces “Stranger Things” Season 2!

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 08:43

“Strangerer Things”?

Netflix is wasting no time is gearing up for a second season to their breakout summer series, “Stranger Things”.

Bloody Disgusting learned today that Netflix has ordered “Stranger Things 2”, with writers/creators Matt and Ross Duffer returning to the “Upside Down”.

Set to debut in 2017, there will be 9 new episodes that take place in the fall of 1984 (with titles like “The Pumpkin Patch,” I think we’re in for a Halloween-themed season!)

It will be produced by 21 Laps for Netflix. Executive Producers are Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and the Duffer Brothers.

[Related] Meet the Man Who Played the Demogorgon in “Stranger Things”!

Here’s what the Duffers had to say about returning cast members, which could include Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, Cara Buono, Charlie Heaton, and even Matthew Modine. But, is it possible we won’t see Eleven?!

Passing on the anthology craze, the Duffers opted to tell a continuing story in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. “I don’t think we ever thought anthology,” says Ross Duffer to EW. “I think we talked like a larger time jump where the kids are older now and it’s a different decade. That’s something we batted around from the very beginning. But for us, there’s still more story here, there’s still things that are unresolved.” So, expect to see the return of Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Joyce (Winona Ryder), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), etc. “We don’t know about Eleven,” says Ross Duffer. “We leave that up in the air.”

The kids will also be exploring the Upside Down even more.

“We kinda just peeled back the curtain and revealed a tiny bit of the Upside Down,” says Matt. “So we definitely want to explore a little bit more. There’s a lot we don’t know about the Upside Down at the end of season 1.” Adds Ross: “We obviously have this gate to another dimension, which is still very much open in the town of Hawkins. And a lot of questions there in terms of, if the Monster is dead, was it a singular monster? What else could be out there? We really don’t go in there much until they go in to find Will at the end. So we’ve opened up this doorway, and to us it’s exciting to talk about, like, what else is behind there? There’s a lot more mystery there to be solved.”

The Duffers also reveal James Cameron as a major inspiration for “Stranger Things 2” citing Aliens and Terminator 2 as examples.

A love letter to the supernatural classics of the ’80s, “Stranger Things” is the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.

Watch for more info soon. For now, below is the official announcement trailer.

[Related] Make Your Own “Stranger Things” Title Card

Categories: Horror News

‘Ghostbusters’ Gets Another Title For Home Video; Jam-packed With New Footage…

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 08:35

When Warner Bros. released Edge of Tomorrow on home video, in an unprecedented move, they changed the title. Now, Sony is hoping to find a new audience for Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters, which flopped at the box office, by releasing it with an additional subtitle: Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.

Fans of the film (that’s me!) should be pre-ordering immediately as it not only boasts an extended version of the film, but also carries multiple deleted scene and is jam-packed with hours of extra features.

Ghostbusters: Answer the Call debuts on digital September 27 and on 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray October 11 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Armed with more ghostbusting action and plenty of attitude, the new Extended Edition features more than 15 minutes of never-before-seen film footage.

Director Paul Feig brings his fresh take to the supernatural comedy, joined by some of the funniest actors working today. Academy Award nominee Melissa McCarthy (Best Supporting Actress, Bridesmaids, 2011), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Leslie Jones (“Saturday Night Live”), and Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”) comprise the team of four dynamic women, along with Chris Hemsworth (Thor), who prepare for an epic battle in Manhattan as mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.

The Extended Edition Blu-ray and digital releases come loaded with both the extended edition and theatrical version of the film along with an incredible treasure trove of bonus features, including 15 deleted, extended, and alternate scenes; gag reels; filmmaker commentaries; plus more than 60 additional minutes of extended and alternate scenes available with Ultraviolet download. Five featurettes give fans an inside look at the supernatural visual effects, the “making-of” the ghosts from the film, an in-depth insight into the team’s look, attitude, and weaponry, as well as the casting of Chris Hemsworth as the Ghostbusters’ new favorite receptionist. See loads of outtakes with six Jokes-a-Plenty alternate take reels, and get an inside peek at how the set was slimed, including a recipe to make your own slime at home!

The three-disc Extended Edition 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes the 3D theatrical version of the film in addition to all of the extras found on the Blu-ray. Ghostbusters: Answer the Call will also be released on stand-alone DVD October 11th featuring the theatrical version of the film along with select bonus feature content.

Directed by Paul Feig and written by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, Ghostbusters: Answer the Call is based on the 1984 Ivan Reitman film, written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. It is produced by Ivan Reitman and Amy Pascal and executive produced by Paul Feig, Jessie Henderson, Dan Aykroyd, Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck, Ali Bell, and Michele Imperato Stabile.

The franchise makes its long-awaited return with director Paul Feig’s unique and hilarious take on the classic supernatural comedy, led by the freshest minds in comedy today, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. Together they team up to save Manhattan from a sudden invasion of spirits, spooks, and slime that engulfs the city.

Special Features:

  • Ghostbusters Extended Edition and Theatrical Version
  • 2 Hysterically Haunting Gag Reels
  • 4 Unearthed Deleted Scenes
  • 11 Totally Possessed Alternate Scenes and More than 60 Minutes of Additional Extended and Alternate Scenes with Ultraviolet Download
  • 6 Jokes-a-Plenty Alternate Take Reels
  • Filmmaker Commentaries
  • Photo Gallery
  • 5 Supernatural Featurettes:
    • “Chris Hemsworth Is ‘Kevin’”
    • “The Ghosts of Ghostbusters”
    • “Meet the Team”
    • “Visual Effects: 30 Years Later”
    • “Slime Time”

*Digital Extras only available with iTunes, Vudu, and Comcast

DVD Special Features:

  • Filmmaker Commentaries
  • Jokes-a-Plenty: Free for All
  • Photo Gallery
  • 3 Spectral Making-of Featurettes:
    • “Meet the Team”
    • “Visual Effects: 30 Years Later”
    • “Slime Time”

Categories: Horror News

‘I Drink Your Blood’ Returns to Theaters Just in Time for Halloween!

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 08:21

Grindhouse Releasing is gearing up for the Halloween season by bringing David E. Durston’s I Drink Your Blood back to theaters, uncut and uncensored, to celebrate the film’s 35th Anniversary.

A band of satanist hippies roll into a town and begin terrorizing the local folk. They rape a local girl and her grandpa goes after them. He fails and is given LSD. This bothers his grandson and he gets back at the hippies by feeding them meat pies infected with blood from a rabid dog. They turn into crazed lunatics and begin killing and/or infecting everything in their path.

The film opens Friday, September 2nd at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema in New York City, with 20+ dates currently scheduled with more screening dates to be announced in the future. Take a look at the current screening dates below and be sure to check on a regular basis to be up-to-date on new screenings and for Blu-ray news coming soon!

9/2–9/4 – Landmark Sunshine, New York, NY
9/9 – Landmark Nuart, Los Angeles, CA
9/9 & 9/10 – Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN
9/16 & 9/17 – Coolidge Corner, Boston, MA
9/16 & 9/17 – Moolah Theatre, St Louis, MO
9/17 – Skyline Drive-In, Shelbyville, IN
9/24 – Midway Drive-In, Dixon, IL
9/30 – Filmbar, Phoenix, AZ
10/1 – Alamo Drafthouse, Omaha, NE
10/4 – Alamo Drafthouse, Yonkers, NY
10/5 – Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park, Houston, TX
10/7 – Frida Cinema, Santa Ana, CA
10/7–10/13 – Plaza Theatre, Atlanta, GA
10/14 & 10/15 – Landmark Main Art, Detroit, MI
10/14 & 10/15 – Landmark Inwood, Dallas, TX
10/14–10/16   – Gateway Film Center, Columbus, OH
10/19 – Alamo Drafthouse, Lubbock, TX
10/22 – Landmark Uptown, Minneapolis, MN
10/28 & 10/29 – Capitol Theatre, Cleveland, OH
10/31 –  Venue TBA, Jacksonville, FL
11/12 – Olympia Film Festival, Olympia, WA

Categories: Horror News

[Blu-ray Review] ‘Star Wars Rebels: Season Two’ is Fun for the Entire Galaxy

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 08:21

Season one of Disney’s Star Wars Rebels is wonderful. So wonderful in fact that I was a tad bit worried that season two would end up slightly disappointing since it had such large shoes to fill. Happily I can say that within the first few minutes of the opening episode of season two those worries were quickly put to bed.

For those of you that haven’t caught on to Rebels yet I have to say it’s a must-watch for Star Wars fans. The show is cannon and takes places 14 years after the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and five years before Episode IV: A New Hope. It’s similar to a lot of the franchise in that this particularly series follows a small group of Rebels attempting to do battle with the Galactic Empire. What makes Rebels so interesting is that this is still the fairly early stages of the Empire and they’re still in the process of gaining control over the galaxy. This doesn’t mean the Rebels are playing on even footing of course, they’re still a ragtag group consisting of misfits and outcasts, but it does make things a little less certain and a lot more interesting.

The first season of Rebels introduced us to our 5 main characters – Ezra, Kanan, Here, Sabine and Zeb – but it was more of a quick overview of each one. Yeah, we got to know little things about them, but the show never took a deep dive into the personality of each of them individually. This is because in season one virtually every episode features the team doing battle as a whole. All of this makes sense, of course. In season one the table was being set.

With an idea of what’s going on already established, season two gets to dig a little bit more into the rich backstories of characters and really let the world building take shape. There’s still plenty of episodes featuring the team as a whole fighting in epic battles, but a lot more time is spent giving characters their own episodes to shine. The show no longer has to make sure all 5 members of the Ghost crew get equal screen time per episode. Ezra, Sabine, Zeb, all get to go off on their own separate missions.

It’s that ability to create an entire universe in great detail and allow each character to have their shining moment that makes Rebels such a joy to watch. There’s a lot more freedom that allows the characters to breathe and grow organically in the television format that isn’t really available in the films, at least not to the same degree. And it’s not that stand alone episodes don’t further the overall story arc of the series, because they do, they just do so in a way that allows the focus from each episode to shift.

In addition to further building up pre-established characters from the first season, Rebels introduced a slew of new characters from all strokes of the galaxy, some of which Star Wars fans are very familiar with. The show stealer is without a doubt Darth Vader (James Earl Jones returning to do the voice!). Vader only appears in a handful of episodes but he is the primary villain out to capture and destroy our heroes. This is Vader at his darkest, his most sinister. There isn’t an ounce of good in this Vader.

The Blu-ray is fantastic. The 3D CGI animation and visual style inspired by the original Star Wars concept art by Ralph McQuarrie looks glorious. Before I got into the series I was actually a bit worried about how the animation would work out. Having CGI animation look this good for a television show is tricky business. There could easily be inconsistences from episode to episode with the timeframe to get things done, but thankfully that isn’t the case. Every episode is beautifully animated and the Blu-ray brings everything to life in a wonderful 1080p transfer.

The special features on season two aren’t as loaded as they are on season one, but there’s still plenty of bonus context to scratch your Star Wars itch. Much like season one, this season comes with all the Rebels Recon segments offering behind-the-scene looks at each episode. There’s a short, but really cool feature called Connection the Galaxy that lets the viewer know how Rebels connects with the rest of the Star Wars universe. And finally there is a little feature on the history between Vader and Ahsoka.

Star Wars Rebels is everything one could possibly want in a Star Wars television show. It’s fun and exciting but isn’t afraid to show the dark side of the force. I can’t recommend this enough and I cannot wait for season three!

Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two is available on Blu-ray from Disney now.

Categories: Horror News

“The Walking Dead” Director Joins Spike’s “The Mist”

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 17:49

Spike’s TV adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Mist” has locked down its producer/director in the form of David Boyd, who directed eight episodes of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. The series is currently in production in Nova Scotia with Spike aiming to premiere the show in 2017

The show, “…tells the story of a foreboding mist that arrives in one small town ushering in a terrifying new reality for its residents, putting their humanity to the test. What will people do to survive when blinded by fear?

The cast includes Morgan Spector, Frances Conroy, Alyssa Sutherland, Gus Birney, Dan Butler, Luke Cosgrove, Danica Curcic, Okezie Morro, Darren Pettie, Russell Posner, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.

Spike will be creating 10 one-hour episodes with plans to go into production later this summer. The show is scheduled to premiere in 2017.

Categories: Horror News

‘Insidious: Chapter 4’ Adds Four More To Its Cast

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 17:33

The Further grows ever larger as Kirk Acevedo (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Bruce Davison (The Lords of Salem), Spencer Locke (Resident Evil: Extinction), and Caitlin Gerard (Smiley) have joined the cast of Insidious: Chapter 4, according to Deadline. Who their characters are portraying has been left in the dark.

The film is written by Leigh Whannell, who has starred in each of the previous entries as “Specs”, and is directed by Adam Robitel, who directed the highly received The Taking of Deborah Logan. Lin Shaye will be reprising her role as the parapsychologist “Elise Rainier” and The Collector‘s Josh Stewart will also be in the film.

Insidious: Chapter 4 will be released on October 20th, 2017.

Categories: Horror News

You Should Be Afraid of This New “The Exorcist” Promo

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 16:11

A new 30-second teaser for FOX’s upcoming horror series “The Exorcist” has been released and it actually looks rather interesting. I know that many of us are thinking that a TV adaptation of the classic 1973 film is a big mistake but I’m beginning to think that this might be alright. Give it a view below and let me know your thoughts!

Alan Ruck will co-star alongside Herrera, Daniels, Geena Davis as matriarch Angela Rance, Brianne Howey as elder daughter Katherine Rance, Hannah Kasulka as younger daughter Casey Rance, Kurt Egyiawan as Brother Bennett.

“The Exorcist” pilot was written by Jeremy Slater and directed by Rupert Wyatt. The two executive produces with Rolin Jones, James Robinson, David Robinson, Barbara Wall and Roy Lee. 20th TV produces with Morgan Creek Prods.

“The Exorcist” debuts Friday, September 23rd at 9pm.

Categories: Horror News

‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ TV Spot Explodes With More Insane Footage

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 16:01

I seriously cannot believe how cool Ouija: Origin of Evil looks, although I am a huge fan of director Mike Flanagan (Absentia, Oculus, Hush).

The trailer was already brimming with insanity, but now a new TV Spot has even more.

The film appears to take a lot of inspiration from James Wan’s movies like The Conjuring and Insidious, but also gives nods to classics such as The Exorcist.

CGI can be killer, but in a film about a haunted Ouija board I think it’s fair game, especially if the filmmakers can pull it off without it feeling cheesy.

Your thoughts?

The sequel takes place in 1965 Los Angeles where a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their séance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home. The youngest daughter is overtaken by the merciless spirit, forcing this small family to confront unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.

[Related] Is Ouija An Anthology-style Franchise? (Exclusive)

Annalise Basso, Parker Mack (Divergent), Sam Anderson, Kate Siegel (Oculus), Doug Jones (Hellboy), Elizabeth Reaser, Henry Thomas, and Lulu Wilson star in the film, which comes from Universal Pictures, Platinum Dunes, Blumhouse Productions and Hasbro.

Ouija opens on October 21, 2016.

Categories: Horror News

Maniacal ’31’ Trailer Apologizes in Advance for its Nightmarish Brutality!

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 15:52

Rob Zombie’s 31 is having a one night only extravaganza on September 1st before arriving on VOD platforms September 16 and in limited theaters October 21.

We now have the final trailer for the Halloween-themed slasher starring Sheri Moon Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween), Malcolm McDowell (“Mozart in the Jungle”, A Clockwork Orange), Jeff Daniel Phillips (The Lords of Salem) and Meg Foster (The Lords of Salem).

The footage is nightmarish, jam-packed with brutality that’s never apologetic. If you’re a fan of Zombie’s films, 31 looks like it’s going to deliver.

We reviewed 31 out of its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where Fred Topel writes:

“’31’ is Rob Zombie’s ‘The Running Man’ and it works…It’s fast-paced, violent and fun.

“It is a harrowing ordeal and you know that anyone who even survives will be traumatized for life. It’s not hard to get behind a desperate fight for your life. Set on Halloween 1976, a classic rock soundtrack propels a lot of the violence. It seems Zombie found the sweet spot between his punishing aesthetic and letting the audience have a rewarding catharsis by the end.”

In the film, five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.

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Categories: Horror News

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Thriller ‘Creepy’ Gets a Subtitled Trailer

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 15:36

One of my absolute favorite J-horror films is Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s brilliant and terrifying Kairo (Pulse). It’s a movie that manages to leave me deeply unsettled every time I watch it, thanks to the bleak and depressive atmosphere that pervades throughout.

Now Kurosawa is back with a new psychological thriller by the name of Creepy, which will be coming out this Fall. The film stars Hidetoshi Nishijima, Yuko Takeuchi, Teruyuki Kagawa, Haruna Kawaguchi, and Masahiro Higashide.

Per AsianWiki:

Takakura (Nishijima) is a former detective. He receives a request from his ex-colleague, Nogami (Higashide), to examine a missing family case that occurred 6 years earlier. Takakura follows Saki’s (Kawaguchi) memory. She is the only surviving family member from the case.

Meanwhile, Takakura and his wife Yasuko (Takeuchi) recently moved into a new home. Their neighbor, Nishino (Kagawa), has a sick wife and a young teen daughter. One day, the daughter, Mio, jumps into Takakura’s house and tells him that the man is not her father and she doesn’t know him at all.

Creepy is based on a 2012 novel by Yutaka Maekawa.

Categories: Horror News

Can You Name the Horror Film Based Solely on the House?

Tue, 08/30/2016 - 15:00

How often do you feel safe at home? No, really think about it. Because I can tell you with 100% certainty that there are times when I get the heebie jeebies walking around my place. Whether it’s going up or down the stairs at night or hearing strange noises outside my window, there’s always this little niggling feeling that I’m not alone, even though I’m basically the “forever alone” meme come to life.

The reason I bring this up is because our homes are supposed to be safe, just like houses within horror are supposed to offer shelter. But we all know that’s not always the case. In fact, sometimes the house itself is the villain and it has zero care for your safety…or life.

But if faced with an iconic horror house, do you think you could identify it? Could you know what film it came from? That’s the question of this week’s quiz, which you can take below!

I got 9 out of 10, so let’s see if you can all get the one the managed to trip me up!

Categories: Horror News