Amok Time just injected green life into the New York Comic Con with the reveal of their next “Monstarz” action figure – Dr. Herbert West from the cult classic film Re-Animator.
Figure.com writes that the 7 inch figure features a great likeness to actor Jeffrey Combs and includes a plethora of movie extras, including:
-Dr. Hill severed head (open eyes and angry face)
-Interchangeable hand holding Dr. Hill’s head. Hill’s head features closed eyes ( pre-re-animation)
-Dissection tray, to put Dr. Hill’s head in
-Jar of Re-Animator Agent
-Hypodermic needle of Re-Animator agent
-Removeable glasses for Dr. West
Amok Time aims to have him released by December.
13 Days of Hellboy continues today at Bloody-Disgusting as we have the exclusive announcement of “Baltimore: The Cult of the Red King” from Dark Horse comics. The next arc in the dark adventures of Lord Henry Baltimore, the continuation of Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola’s vampire slayer story, past the novel they wrote together a few years ago.
Novel? You say. Yes, they wrote a novel, and it’s getting reissued!
We spoke to Dark Horse Editor in Chief – Scott Allie about the reissue.
Bloody-Disgusting: What do fans of Mignola’s previous work, have to look forward to with this novel?Scott Allie: Baltimore has certain similarities to Hellboy, but significant differences, so for me as a fan of Mike, I appreciate both. We all like a hero with a dark side—Hellboy is very goodnatured, but he is half demon, after all … Baltomore is so driven by revenge and bitterness, as well as guilt, he’s much more monstrous than Hellboy, despite being an actual human. However, at the point we’ve now reached in the comics, Baltimore is barely human—that is, he’s lost some part of his humanity—but that’s in the comics … When Mike created Hellboy, you could see he was less interested in drawing the modern world than all the crumbling castles and witch caves and whatnot. He wasn’t interested in portraying a world with cars driving around in it. With Baltimore, Mike and Chris Golden developed a setting made up of only those things, and they populated it with monsters. So it started as a novel, but it had to lead to comics, because Mike wanted people to see that world.And before Baltimore, Mike had collaborated with Chris on a couple illustrated Hellboy novels. But Chris wrote those on his own, with Mike and me just serving as editors. With Baltimore, Mike and Chris really worked on the story together, really cowrote it. So much of what Mike does in comics comes from his reading of old folklore and old horror and gothic fiction—so Baltimore was his first great chance to really DO that himself. Also, on the Hellboy novels Mike had developed ideas about how to do an illustrated novel with the drawings really complementing rather than simply decorating the text. And the Baltimore novel that we’re bringing out now in paperback is the best version of that he’s done.
BD: How much will fans of the comic series get out of the novel?SA: Well, the novel is genuinely a must read for the readers of the comics, and the timing couldn’t be better. The novel spans a very long time in Baltimore’s life, and when we started the comics, they were all meant to take place within that timeframe–that is, between the beginning and end of the novel. But now, in the comics, in BALTIMORE Volume 4: Chapel of Bones, we finally brought the character of Baltimore full circle to resolve the quest that ran through the previous comics and through the novel. The vampire he was hunting for revenge, Haigus, who killed his family, was destroyed in the Chapel of Bones, just like he was destroyed in the novel. The comics and the novel have finally dovetailed, and you have the complete picture now—which, incidentally, beautifully sets things up for the next phase of Baltimore’s adventures.
In the novel, we followed Baltimore’s quest to kill Haigus—Baltimore was hellbent on revenge against the vampire who killed his family. He devoted years of his life to that, in a tragic, epic saga—three words often misused, but totally applicable here. Between the novel and the four existing graphic novels, readers finally have the complete saga of Baltimore’s bloody and self-destructive quest for the vampire Haigus, which costs Baltimore his own humanity.
With volume 5, out soon in hardcover, we begin the post-novel stories, which actually represents a sea change in the story. Volume 6, BALTIMORE, CULT OF THE RED KING is a terrific jumping on point, because now we find Baltimore, a monster fighter who’s lost touch with his humanity, pursuing a mythic being who may be responsible for all the horror in his world. Baltimore has built a company of damaged allies to pursue the Red King, but is the Red King even still in existence…?
BD: How is Sofia joining Baltimore’s company going to change things?SA: Well, she is the first woman to join Lord Baltimore’s merry band of monster fighters, but this is a Mignola comic, so she’s not introduced just to be a love interest, that’s for sure. The terrible stuff that happened with her husband, she’s signed on board to be part of Baltimore’s team to fight the monsters overrunning the world, more, to figure out what the hell is happening. On a personal level, though, Sofia’s been through the ringer, and she’s not afraid to call out exactly what’s going on with people. She sees through Baltimore, and is a little less awed by his gloom than his male companions. This will help push him to proper action more than once.
BD: What is it like having Peter Bergting return to draw this newest arc?SA: When I read the scripts, I see how Ben would draw it, and I have to reset my brain, think about how Peter will do it. Peter provides a fresh set of eyes on this world, at just the right time—it really is a new book, sort of starting from scratch with this arc. Baltimore’s solo adventures are behind him, he succeeded in his original quest to kill the vampire that killed his family. That’s over. Now he’s got a much bigger quest—to find the greater evil behind the vampires and the witches and all this horror. So he’s building this coterie of monster fighters, and Peter gets to introduce these characters as his. We hired Peter based on past work of his that we liked, that did some of these same things, like The Portent. He helps make Baltimore feel like a brand new series for all of us. And Peter is so attuned to the folklore of Europe, which is a key aspect of the series, that he’s really bringing a great mood to the proceedings.
BD: How does Lord Baltimore begin this newest arc, and what is he struggling against this time? SA: His quest is far more complex now. Hunting down and killing that vampire was child’s play compared to this—he’s looking for the sleeping or dead entity behind all this evil, bigger than the vampires, bigger than all of it. He’s not looking for a man on the move—he’s hunting for an idea, a myth. He’ll start by going after the devotees of that myth. It leads to much more complex operations—in fact, this book splits his merry band in two, on separate missions. He literally never could have undertaken this mission the way he did things before.
BD: How far has Mike planned out Baltimore’s story, and can we ever hope for him to fully atone for his sins? SA: Mike and Chris Golden have it pretty well worked out. There’s room to expand or contract along the way, but they know how it ends, they know how they’re gonna get there. And I don’t know thatBaltimore hasn’t already atoned, but I don’t think he’ll ever think that he has.
Scott Tipton, Jonathan MaBerry, Joe Harris, Sarah Gaydos, Kete Leth, Gabriel Rodriguez, and Jim Zub gathered yesterday at NYCC to talk about 2015.
Star Trek Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive. Scott and David Tipton writing, and they wanted to ensure that it made sense to both worlds. The optimism of Star Trek meets the nihilism of Planet of the Apes. Starfleet arrives in hopes to fix the planet, they want to help, but the apes aren’t ready to accept. They have the approval of the Heston estate, so Charlton vs Shatner.
The X-Files catches everyone up on season 10. Harris talked about wrapping up his latest myth arc, and teased the arrival of a special guest star. The special guest will tie into a new project, “Millennium.” Harris is taking the reigns on Chris Carter’s other series, and he wants to improve on the ending that spins out of The X-Files. Menton3 on covers and Colin Lorimer on interiors.
Kate Leth talked about “Edward Scissorhands.” Her first ongoing project with IDW, she grew up on the property, called the movie perfectly complete. She called it a Nancy Drew teen girl mystery project that also stars Edward Scissorhands. The series takes place years later staring the granddaughter of the original protagonist.
Gabe Rodriguez talked briefly about Little Nemo. Wants to help people recover their inner child and enjoy whimsy again. He believes they captures the magic of the original strip. They showed off some of his art, and his perspective work is staggering.
Jonathan Maberry is about to start his second arc on V-Wars. It’s bloody and completely based on science, it has nothing to do with the supernatural, and he spoke really highly of the incredible visual team. The character Joe Ledger from Maberry’s novels is crossing over into his series, and V-Wars is currently in development for TV with the head writer of Dexter behind the project.
Rot and Ruin is a series of four novels from fourteen years after the zombie war. The comic series takes place between novel two and three in the series, but you don’t need to know the novel to write about the series.
Zombies Vs Robots is coming back in January with art by James Stokoe teased. The first issue will have short stories by Ryall, Steve Niles, and Brian Wood. They nuked the entire planet in issue #2 and the series takes place in the aftermath of that. New robots, new humans, and a new reason for being.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency comic series was announced, Tony Akins will be taking the reigns of the art. The initial sketches are incredible and have a feeling of Doctor Who. Ryall says it’s a huge writing challenge, the loose non-traditional elements do come around.
IDW is moving to expand their relationship with Marvel to bring huge rereleases of the artist editions. They want make huge strides in their releases with the mega publisher, they want to bring older books out of print.
By now I’m sure you’ve seen some press for 20th Century FOX’s Birdman but I assure you, the less you know the better. I was on-hand at NYCC to catch the first ten minutes of the film, along with an assortment of scenes, and the panel with Edward Norton and Michael Keaton. This is is seriously, going to be the best, and trippiest movie of the year. It’s a personal descent into madness or enlightenment, depending on how you look at it, but it’s going to one hell of a horrific ride. This is Keaton going full Beetleguese, and perhaps the performance of his career.
Chris Hardwick started off the panel by talking about how amazing the movie is. He showed us the first ten minutes of the film. It’s an incredibly surreal ten minute shot that showcases Michael Keaton’s character and his disillusionment. It’s a powerful visual feast.
Keaton read the script and discovered really quickly that he wanted to be in the film. Norton was determined to get into the film at any cost.
Hardwick revealed that the entire movie looks like one continuous shot. It’s something they want to keep a little close to their chests, but Norton said they had unbelievable determination to create a visual masterpiece. He says film schools will deconstruct it for a long time to come. We shouldn’t be too quick to unpack it, but the entire crew was heavily involved in every moment of the filming process.
Keaton pitched the film as unlike anything you’ve seen before, literally. That’s no glib expression. He doesn’t often watch his films anymore, but he’s seen this film 2 and a half times, he’s blown away by the intricacies of the film. It’s about an actor who goes to New York and has a breakdown about the play being made from a short story. That’s all they’d say, they want to stay secretive on the film.
Norton says you have to see it to believe it. He hadn’t done a movie with FOX since Fight Club. And it was the second time in his career that he left the first screening not even knowing what he watched. It bends your mind with the technical quality and meta humor. Just go experience it.
Keaton has never backed off his love for Batman. Birdman is a different type of movie, it’s not a superhero movie. But, he approached it like any other role. They left the superhero baggage at the door. He called the film “uncompromisingly bold” and you can smell it in the trailer.
Norton said everyone in the film is the director Alejandro González Iñárritu. It’s a twisted reflection of himself. It has a lot of fun sending up everyone. Norton and Keaton need each other in the film, a hate/love/hate relationship.
Hardwick and the guys talked about the cinematography at length, and they described the entire movie as that shot from Goodfellas but for the entire thing. It’s not a superhero film, but its about the superhero genre, and Birdman takes the hero’s journey. The film hits October 17th, and while it may not be traditional horror, I sincerely recommend you go see it.
Birdman is Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Written by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr and Armando Bo. It stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts. With
music by Antonio Sanchez and cinematography Emmanuel Lubezki.
Released on October 17, 2014
Let’s take it back to the early 90′s tonight and have ourselves a marathon! After all, what Halloween isn’t complete without a journey back to the days when we would actually get scared of horror, right?
For many of us, that journey began on Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid Of The Dark?, a show where several friends called The Midnight Society would gather around a campfire and tell stories to try and scare each other. In the process, we, the viewer, got to see their story come alive, watching the horror that was “The Tale Of Locker 22″, “The Tale Of The Super Specs”, “The Tale Of The Dark Music”, and many, many more.
If you’ve been aching for a trip down nostalgia lane to revisit this show, now is the time! Reddit user R2Teep2 has compiled a full episode guide that you can check out right here.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go and kick off the weekend with a bunch of scary tales!
Buy Costumes has put together a new infographic that takes a look at the 10 most successful horror movie villains…by kill count, of course.
Is Pennywise really number ten? How about ol’ Leprechaun at the 3 spot?
Take a look and tell us, is this list accurate?
Another Blumhouse title now on VOD (iTunes) from Universal Home Entertainment is Stephen King’s Mercy, directed by Haunting in Connecticut‘s Peter Cornwell.
Bloody Disgusting was able to score the official one-sheet to go along with the first ever stills. Also added again is the trailer.
In Mercy, “Mercy is a supernatural thriller of family secrets and suspense. Two mischievous young brothers accompany their single mother to take care of their grandma in her remote and lonely house. What begins as an innocent gesture, leads to the discovery of terrifying secrets about Gramma’s true nature.”
The film stars Dylan McDermott, Frances O’Connor, Chandler Riggs, Joel Courtney, Shirley Knight, and Chris Browning.
Play the game. Loser will die.
Bloody Disgusting was excited to share with you the first ever review of Mockingbird, directed by The Strangers‘ Bryan Bertino.
The direct-to-video Blumhouse production is now on VOD platforms (get it this weekend on iTunes), which means we now have the first ever stills from the found-footage thriller starring Todd Stashwick (“Justified,” “Heroes”), Audrey Marie Anderson, and Alexa Lydon.
“Three individuals each receive an anonymous, unmarked video camera and a horrific ultimatum to continue filming… or die. Experience the terror through the eyes of these unsuspecting victims, with a chain of found-footage events so real and absolutely dreadful, you’ll have to watch it again to believe it.”
Metal band Slipknot has released a new track by the name of “Custer”. The song comes from the band’s soon-to-be-released album .5: The Gray Chapter, which comes out October 21st via Roadrunner Records. You can listen to the album below.
Personally, the song reminds me a little bit of material from their self-titled debut but I can absolutely hear the elements that tracks like “The Devil In I” and “The Negative One” have brought forth.
What do you think of the track?
With the upcoming release of The Endless River, the first new Pink Floyd album in 20 years, I wanted to venture into the band’s past to their 1975 album Wish You Were Here and to its second track, the gorgeous yet haunting “Welcome To The Machine”. Tackling the subject of the music industry and its focus on money rather than artistic expression, it’s a timeless song, one that resonates today, nearly 40 years after its initial release.
The video, which was animated by Gerald Scarfe, is just as eerie as the track itself, featuring a lumbering mechanical beast, an ocean of blood where waves resemble arms, and a rather shocking decapitation.
Give it a view below and make sure to leave some recommendations for next week!
Here’s the official image gallery for Universal Pictures’Ouija, in theaters October 24. The movie looks nice and polished, but I wish there were some exciting stills. There’s really nothing here but kids with flashlights…
The pic stars “Bates Motel” and The Quiet Ones‘ Olivia Cooke, with Douglas Smith and Bianca Santos.
“In Ouija, a group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.“
Stiles White directs the supernatural thriller that is produced by Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller (The Purge, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th) alongside Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Insidious series, The Purge), Bennett Schneir (Battleship) and Hasbro.
We now have a fresh images from Wolves, X-Men and Watchmen writer David Hayter’s feature directorial debut.
The pic, starring Lucas Till, Merritt Patterson, Stephen McHattie and Jason Momoa, will be released VOD on October 16th and opens in theaters on November 14th.
“Popular high school student Cayden Richards wakes from a horrific nightmare, only to realize that he’s living it… He is changing into something vicious, unpredictable and wild. Forced to hit the road after the brutal murder of his parents, Cayden tries to hunt down the truth of what he is. In the remote, mountain town of Lupine Ridge, he discovers others like him — Including the beautiful Angelina, a young woman caught between two ancient clans of “wolves”. And when he finally discovers the shocking truth behind his ancestry, Cayden realizes there is only one way to save the woman he loves… A grisly fight to the death, against forces more savage than he could have ever imagined.“
This morning we shared the teaser, next up is the UK quad poster for Relativity’s The Woman In Black 2: Angel of Death, the sequel to the hit 2012 haunted house film that starred Daniel Radcliffe.
In theaters January 30, 2015, the fright sequel directed by Tom Harper stars Jeremy Irvine and Helen McCroy, and takes place in the same house 40 years later when a group of children who are evacuated from London during World War II come to stay and awaken the house’s darkest inhabitants.
“As bombs rain down on London during the Blitz of World War II, a group of school children are evacuated with Eve, their young and beautiful schoolteacher, to the safety of the English countryside. Taken to an old and empty estate, cut-off by a causeway from the mainland, they are left at Eel Marsh House.
One by one the children begin acting strangely and Eve, with the help of local military commander Harry, discovers that the group has awoken a dark force even more terrifying and evil than the city’s air raids. Eve must now confront her own demons to save the children and survive the Woman in Black.”
Whew! I never thought this day would come! Scream! Factory has already proven itself to be the best spot for getting older horror films but they really hit the jackpot here. Clive Barker’s 1990 cult classic has finally been released in it’s entirety within a pretty bad ass box set on Blu-ray. The new Nightbreed release comes with the original theatrical cut and the brand new director’s cut which Clive Barker himself always wanted (note: this is not the Cabal Cut).
It’s a damn shame that Barker doesn’t direct anymore, it really is. Nightbreed was his second to last commercial directing effort (last being Lord of Illusions) and since then he has gone back to writing various short stories, video games and screenplays. While I’m excited he is writing the remake of Hellraiser and Jacqueline Ess (based on his short story by the same name), I just can’t help but miss his vision especially after watching the complete badassery that comes from this new Director’s Cut …there’s even a musical number!
As always with Scream! Factory the transfer quality is amazing, particularly with the Director’s Cut given they had to piece it back together from previously “lost” footage. But what really makes this Limited Edition set triumph over anything Scream! has previously produced is the amazing box it comes in. You won’t find a flimsy paper box arriving in the mail, you get a hard sturdy case with original artwork seamlessly printed on it. You also get both versions of the artwork created for Nightbreed on the Director’s Cut and the original poster art on the Theatrical Cut. Last but not least the set comes with a nice collector’s booklet explaining the story behind reviving The Cabal Cut as well as glossy pictures featuring all of the main characters. You can pre-order a copy of Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut – Limited Edition at Scream! Factory for $79.97 and it is WELL worth the money. If it’s out of your budget you can order Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut for $23.95. Both editions come with one version of the posters created for this item.
It had been awhile since I had seen Nightbreed so it was a pleasure to get to watch both the theatrical and director’s cut back to back. Nightbreed is such a stylish flick and it’s a real bummer that it bombed in the box office because Boon’s story is unlike most leading character’s. Boon is such a tragic character because from the word “go” he is doomed and by the one person who is supposed to be helping him! Now one problem I always had with the original cut is that it didn’t really seem to flow well, it paced along fine in the beginning and then all of the sudden everything involving Midian just seemed rushed.
In the Director’s Cut we get a lot more involving the romance between Lori and Boon, which is actually pretty cool because we get to see more of Lori becoming a stronger character while she searches for Boon. I don’t want to spoil the alternate ending but it was a much better and more fulfilling one than the theatrical ending. I was sort of bummed that Decker seems to be less of the focal point in the Director’s Cut, not that he is there less it just seems like he is because of all the extra footage added.
But really the best part of the Director’s Cut is the expansion of the “Nightbreed vs Human” aspect, which goes back to what I was saying about the end of the film being rushed. It really doesn’t make sense for this aspect to be cut down so much because the movie is titled “Nightbreed” but it always confounded me as to why there wasn’t more monster action. Well now I know and boy is it every glorious and tragic! Morgan Creek really dropped the ball by initially cutting over 40 minutes of footage because Nightbreed becomes an entirely different movie, a better one actually even though it is a bit long in the tooth.
Nightbreed: Director’s Cut will be available October 28th, just in time to host a Halloween party with it! So what’s everybody’s favorite part of Nightbreed? Personally I love anything to do with Decker (David Cronenberg) because it’s fucking Cronenberg being a sadistic freak!
Multimedia horror maven Clive Barker followed the success of his feature directorial debut, Hellraiser, with this equally surreal effort, based on his novella Cabal. The story involves the plight of Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer), a young man tormented by visions of monstrous, graveyard-dwelling creatures. Seeking the aid of his clinically cold therapist Dr. Decker (played by Canadian horror auteur David Cronenberg) in deciphering his nightmares, Boone becomes convinced that his frequent blackouts are linked to a recent spate of mutilation murders in the area. His frantic search for the truth leads him to the subterranean city of Midian, the dwelling place of a mythical race of undead nocturnal monsters known as the “Nightbreed.” But it is only after he is cornered and shot dead by police that Boone’s real journey begins — he finds himself resurrected as one of the Breed. Though Barker‘s unique and graphic vision is somewhat blunted by choppy editing (thanks to relentless tampering from the studio), this is nevertheless a fine sophomore project from a talented storyteller; the central conceit of presenting the monsters as the “good guys” — at least compared to the gun-and-bible-toting lunatics who hunt them — is handled with verve and originality. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi
It’s October. I like October. Halloween’s in October. I like Halloween. Halloween means witches. I like witches; their history, their depictions in media, culture, and fiction – it’s all good creepy fun. With that said, at this point, it’s tough to take something as established as “the witch” and do something new with it. I applaud Scott Snyder for trying with “Wytches” #1.
WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ART BY: Jock
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: October 8, 2014
Reviewed by Nick Brehmer
The first few pages containing the prologue of “Wytches” issue #1 had me pretty intrigued. A mother in the early 1900s has been “pledged” and finds herself trapped inside a knotty tree. After her son bashes her face in with a rock, she’s pulled into the tree’s roots by pale, long-fingered hands. In the back matter of this issue, Snyder divulges to his readers the inspiration for this comic. “Forget everything you know about witches,” he writes – the creatures who the aforementioned hands belong to are something else entirely. Don’t get me wrong, reinvention is great, but “forget everything you know” statements make me nervous. Granted, Snyder’s childhood encounter in the woods does sound like it merits a good story.
The artwork by Jock is exceptional. If you’re reading this review and saying to yourself “what was this guy expecting?” I’ll answer by saying “darkness.” I’m surprised to see the amount of color used in a witch or witch-y themed comic. And I say that with respect. I think it would be “easy” to use dark coloring to help convey elements of horror – expected. Using brightness and pastels as a juxtaposition is a very smart aspect of the collaboration between Snyder, Jock, and colorist Matt Hollingsworth.
Maybe I’m being slightly too simplistic, but the dynamic artwork and coloring of this series seems to be playing off the “everything isn’t so bad” idea – that is until a deer vomits up something on your living room floor and that girl you thought was dead has actually just been trapped inside a tree…waiting.
If you’re looking for a Halloween-timed comic that features a lot of familiar spooky motifs, then you’ll probably enjoy “Wytches” a lot. There’s a weird girl who’s moved schools because of a violent history, trees that hold some pretty dark secrets, and some seemingly inexplicable natural phenomena. “The chosen one”, bullies gettin’ their comeuppance, and loving but powerless parents all have roles to play in this series. Does it work to make something gripping and fresh? Maybe?
I like witches – not too sure if I like Wytches. We’ll have to wait and see what Snyder has in store for us.
A product of the harsh lands of Northern Ontario, Nick Brehmer is in fact a sensitive flower currently blooming in the GTA. He spends his downtime wishing he was British. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @nicholasbrehmer
Finnish metal band Children Of Bodom were planning on bringing their unique brand of melodic death metal to the States this fall on a tour with Machine Head. Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of their control, the tour was cancelled and the band will not be coming to our neck of the woods.
However, they want the fans to know that they are just as bummed about this and want to make it up by giving one lucky winner the chance to win an LTD ALEXI-200 guitar! Simply fill out the form below and you’re all set!
Details on the guitar can be found here.
Laiho will be hosting two guitar clinics in early November for those of you in the SoCal region. The first will be November 1st at Pitbull Audio while the second will be November 8th Guitar Center in Hollywood.
Make sure to pick up Bodom’s latest album Halo Of Blood via Nuclear Blast.
IF YOU CANNOT SEE THE FORM, CLEAR YOUR CACHE AND COOKIES AS WELL AS TRYING A NEW BROWSER
Directed by Gary Shore
Situated somewhere in the no-vampire’s land of Gothic romantic saga and PG-13 supernatural horror, Dracula Untold is a story that’s actually been told many, many, many times. Its blueprint seems most strongly etched in the 1993 Francis Ford Coppola version – at least, the origin story bits do. The flashbacks of battles, the moments of immortal angst, and even the bride’s far fall into the ravine are all pretty palpably lifted from the visuals of that film.
But we also get some cool twists, like Vlad dissolving into a murder of crows whenever he needs to fly. Or is it bats? I must say, the CGI is pretty shaky and things are dark. Fortunately, the computer-generated crock is shored up by otherwise lovely cinematography that’s brought to us by actual 35mm film.
Here’s what’s at stake in this version: It’s the 15th century and Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans) — aka The Prince of Wallachia, aka The Impaler — is living happily with his sexy blonde wife, Mirena (Sarah Gadon), and an adoring prepubescent son, Ingeras (Art Parkinson). Things are going great until the almighty Turks demand that Wallachia give up 1,000 of their young boys – including Ingeras — to fight as bodyguards to the Sultan Mehmet (Dominic Cooper). This, Vlad cannot abide.
So to stave off the terrible Turks, Vlad strikes a Faustian bargain with a local cave-dwelling demon (Charles Dance). Vlad is given invincible power for three days and… a craving for human blood he’s powerless against. But, says the demon, if he can somehow refrain from bloodsucking for three days, Vlad’s a victor and a free man. If not, then he changes places with the cave-dwelling demon and takes up the torch of awful immortality (not unlike the fable of the Grim Reaper – one person holds the position, until the next one can be fooled or cajoled into taking it).
There are many visually dazzling moments, but that a movie does not make. Luckily, most of those are bound together with the occasional morsel of emotional resonance (one does believe Vlad really loves his wife and son – the family has chemistry) and suspense (there’s a gripping scene between Vlad and Mehmet, in which Mehmet has discovered Vlad’s weakness and taunts him with it).
Clocking in at 90 minutes, Dracula Untold lasts just long enough to not overstay its welcome. Thin plot aside, the actors are all well cast, each of them looking as though they’ve just stepped out of a Late Renaissance painting. The craggy faces and lived-in expressions of Evans, Cooper, and Dance are especially convincing and bring to mind a time when men in vampire movies were not all blonde and sparkly. What’s more, the attention to detail in their armor, weaponry, and accoutrement is impressive and appreciated.
It’s good, but hardly destined for classic status, nor is it library-worthy. But if you’re looking for just a quick, fun, and forgettable vampire bite, then Dracula Untold doesn’t disappoint. At least it has more blood and gore than the R-rated Annabelle.
October is upon us, and the annual Rock and Shock convention is quickly closing in with a dizzying cast of horror all-stars ready to greet you; vendors, games, contests, and kids’ activities available all day, every day, from every corner of the show; and a packed schedule of Q&A’s with horror insiders alongside a must-see lineup of films representing local and international talent, film festival favorites, and a cult classic returning from beyond!
Today we have the full rundown of this year’s film screenings so you can start making your schedule and not miss a thing. The event kicks off Friday, October 17th, and runs through Sunday, the 19th.
Related Story: Rock and Shock Draws Near! Full Details!
A Challenge in the Haunted Asylum: (Short) Three arrogant teens get more than they bargained for when they follow three girls into an abandoned insane asylum. Directed by Frederica Carlino.
Almost Mercy: (Sneak Preview) The latest release from Woodhaven Films and Director Tom DeNucci, releases in 2015 – Jackson and Emily aren’t like the other kids. Two burgeoning sociopaths on the brink of total meltdown. Ticking time bombs seeking revenge. Who will unravel first? Starring Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley and Tommy Dreamer. Introduction by Writer and Director Tom DeNucci!
Blood and Guts: Celebrating the art and pure awesomeness of monster makeup and gore effects, Scott Ian has teamed up with the Nerdist Channel to bring you “Blood and Guts,” showcasing a behind-the-scenes look at how some of the greatest FX artists of today pull off their amazing work. Introduction by Director Jack Bennett!
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead: Martin (Vegar Hoel) hasn’t had the best vacation. He accidentally killed his girlfriend with an axe. He cut his own arm off with a chainsaw. And his friends STILL got devoured by a battalion of Nazi Zombies. This morning, he woke up in a hospital bed with a new arm – but it’s a super-powered Zombie arm that wants to kill him, and anything else it can reach. Martin’s PISSED. And with the help of his new Zombie Squad pals (Martin Starr, Jocelyn DeBoer, Ingrid Haas), he’s gonna deliver some payback to Colonel Herzog and his precious Nazi gold – by raising an undead army of his own. Intoduction by Derek Mears!
Dead Therapy: (Short) What would happen to the survivors in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak? Apparently, they go to therapy. A look into what happens after the “Resurrection Event”.
Fodder: (Short) In a post-apocalyptic world, humanity’s survival lies with Trelas, a secret military research facility. Buried deep underground, Trelas is developing a new weapon against the undead, or is it for the undead? But, just how effective their new efforts are lies with Gloria. Freshly captured, and just as mysterious a figure as her surroundings, she’s about to make the ultimate sacrifice: her flesh and blood. Directed by David Dollard.
Killer Mermaid: Two young American women go on a Mediterranean vacation and uncover the watery lair of a killer mermaid hidden beneath an abandoned military fortress. What was once a carefree adventure becomes a deadly fight for survival. Introduction by Kristina Klebe!
Penance: (Short) Confessionals are places of sanctuary and solace. But one woman has something else on her mind to divulge. Directed by Nick Principe; Introduction by Nick Principe!
Picket: (Short) A cult leader gets more than she bargained for when she makes a deal with a corrupt lobbyist. Directed by Izzy Lee.
Play Time: (Short) The winning submission for the Bloody Cuts – Who’s There Film Challenge (2013), starring Anjella Mackintosh and Belle Mary Hithersay. Packed with atmosphere and succeeding in delivering genuine creeps where most big budget films fail, all in under 4 minutes! Directed by Ryan Thompson.
Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut: Boone (Craig Sheffer) may be a troubled young man, but his troubles are just beginning. Set up as the fall guy in a string of slasher murders, he decides he’ll hide by crossing the threshold that separates “us” from “them” and sneak into the forbidden subterranean realm of Midian. Boone will live among the monsters. Hellraiser creator Clive Barker writes (adapting his novel Cabal) and directs this vivid leap into horror that asks: in the battle of man vs. monster, who’s really the monster? The answer supplies flesh-crawling suspense, sudden fear, a colorful Danny Elfman score and a creepy array of shape-shifting beings. They are the Nightbreed, denizens of a world beyond death, beyond the imagination, perhaps beyond anything you’ve seen. Screening courtesy of Scream Factory. The Blu-ray & DVD release of Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut is available on 10/28.
Sick At Heart: (Short) All relationships have problems. For Matt and his wife, those problems are insurmountable. They’ll have one last dinner and say goodbye…forever. Starkly quiet, delightfully quirky and fantastically morbid. Directed by Jarret Blinkhorn.
Silk: (Short) After acquiring a jar of rare silk from the vast desert expanse of Afghanistan, a CIA field operative becomes impregnated by the desert spider hidden inside. Directed by Rob Himebaugh.
Summer of Blood: Writer/director Onur Tukel turns in a hilarious performance as the monumentally lazy, socially oblivious and commitment-shy Erik Sparrow, who is dumped by his career-woman girlfriend (Anna Margaret Hollyman, White Reindeer) when he rejects her rather charitable marriage proposal. Feeling lost, he turns to a disastrous string of online dates that successively eat away at his already-deteriorating confidence until a lanky vampire turns him into an undead lady-killer. Soon, Eric is prowling the streets of Brooklyn in search of anything to satisfy both his maniacal sex drive and his hunger for blood. A collision of absurd, self-deprecating wit and existential curiosity, Summer of Blood is a hilarious horror-comedy with a clever bite all its own.
The Creed: (Short) Horror strikes when a young woman accidentally wins a pair of tickets for an embarrassing band’s concert. When Linda realizes she can’t destroy the tickets without them coming back to haunt her, she’ll soon have to face her past and confront her deepest fears in order to survive The Creed. Inspired by Stephen King film adaptations and late night horror television for children, The Creed is a horror comedy that confronts horrible adolescent tastes long thought buried. Directed by Kevin James.
The Killer and I: Horror can be hilarious! The World Premiere of the reality web series following the crazy adventures of Kane Hodder and Mike Aloisi. Introduction by Kane Hodder and Mike Aloisi!
The Last Showing: Writer-director Phil Hawkins tells the story of a young couple, Martin (Finn Jones) and Allie (Emily Berrington), who have a night out at their local cinema. They become unwitting stars of their own horror story at the hands of Stuart (Robert Englund), a disturbed projectionist. Trapping them in the cinema complex, Stuart uses hidden cameras to play his two victims off against one another, directing them to a finale where there can only be one survivor.
Web of Deceit: (Short) Charlotte has been working double shifts just to make ends meet. Meanwhile, her jobless husband spends all of his time trolling the internet looking for casual encounters to fulfill his perverse fantasies. In the end, his lies will come back to bite him as he becomes entangled in Charlotte’s own web of deceit. Directed by Michael Kyne.
WolfCop: Officer Lou Garou isn’t the best cop in small-town Woodhaven – in fact, he’s probably the worst. He mostly just looks to avoid anything that could possibly interfere with his goal of getting wasted. One evening during the night shift, Lou investigates a mysterious disturbance at the edge of town and wakes up with a pentagram carved in his chest, heightened senses and body hair that’s growing at an alarming rate. To solve the mystery of his transformation, he’ll have to take on a case no normal cop would be able to solve, but this half-man, half-beast is not just a cop…he’s a WOLFCOP. Directed by Lowell Dean.
Wolves: Cayden Richards, 18, has it all: Captain of the high school football team; straight-A student; gorgeous girlfriend. But when he wakes one dark night to find his parents brutally murdered, he is horrified to realize that he is turning into an animal: a wild, savage wolf. Cayden runs, determined to find out what is happening to him. His quest leads him to the strange, isolated town of Lupine Ridge, where two clans of wolves are on the brink of war. David Hayter (X-Men, X2 writer) makes his directorial debut. Starring Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class), Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones”) and Stephen McHattie.
Three days of movies! Three days of bands that will melt your ears off! Three days of horror fun with all your favorite people! Don’t miss this show!
Visit RockandShock.com for further info, schedules, and tickets.
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Electronica legends Depeche Mode have announced that they will be releasing a live DVD/CD entitled Live In Berlin on November 17th via Columbia Records. Directed by Anton Corbijn, who has directed multiple videos for the group as well as for bands such as Metallica and U2, the DVD features two hours worth of never before released footage.
The concerts were filmed on location at the O2 World Berlin on November 25th and 27th as the band was on their world tour celebrating the release of last year’s Delta Machine. The tour saw them play to over 2.4 million people in 32 countries.
A second DVD will include Alive In Berlin, which features the full show inter-spliced with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews.
Alive in Berlin is a record of Depeche Mode visiting Berlin for two concerts and the impact it has on fans following the band. Berlin has a special place in the hearts of Depeche Mode. Likewise, Depeche Mode has a strong following in the German capital and the film tries to capture the highlights of these concerts as well as that special connection through interviews with fans and bands alike.
Head on below for the full specs of the release. Also, make sure to check out my review of their Delta Machine show in Detroit last year right.
Live In Berlin DVD
Welcome To My World
Walking In My Shoes
Should Be Higher
Policy Of Truth
The Child Inside
But Not Tonight
Soothe My Soul
A Pain That I’m Used To
A Question Of Time
Enjoy The Silence
Shake The Disease
Just Can’t Get Enough
I Feel You
Never Let Me Down Again
Alive In Berlin DVD
Full live show + 15 interview pieces
Bordello Acoustic Session: Condemnation and Judas
Live In Berlin Soundtrack (2 CDs)
1. Welcome To My World
3. Walking In My Shoes
5. Black Celebration
6. Should Be Higher
7. Policy Of Truth
8. The Child Inside
9. But Not Tonight
11. Soothe My Soul
1. A Pain That I’m Used To
2. A Question Of Time
3. Enjoy The Silence
4. Personal Jesus
5. Shake The Disease
7. Just Can’t Get Enough
8. I Feel You
9. Never Let Me Down
Delta Machine 5.1 Audio (Blu Ray CD – Deluxe Edition only)
1. Welcome To My World
4. Secret To The End
5. My Little Universe
8. The Child Inside
9. Soft Touch/Raw Nerve
10. Should Be Higher
12. Soothe My Soul
14. Long Time Lie
15. Happens All The Time
17. All That’s Mine
Renew your faith in “Found Footage”
By Zack Andrews & Bobby Roe
Horror already has an advantage over any other genre: you don’t need an A-List star to have a successful movie. Now because of “found footage” you don’t need a studio sized budget either. But have we pushed this 1-2 punch too far? Let’s nip this in the bud right now: people are tired of found footage. The subgenre is watered down, and it’s been abused…maybe even raped. Shooting in this style is a cheap way to make a movie that fits nicely into the low budget horror model.
I know we may come off as Cine-ics, but we’re actually believers. So don’t lose hope in the first person perspective just yet. Story is story and shouldn’t be dictated by camera style. There are many movies out there that have properly used this technique, and it enhanced the overall visceral experience.
Hopefully our execution in The Houses October Built (in theaters, on VOD and iTunes this Friday, October 10th) keeps or renews your faith. We shot this way to keep true to the organic feel of the movie. We used real scare actors and real haunted houses. It would have been a disservice to film it any other way. We’re not saying a movie centered around Halloween haunted houses HAS to be found footage, but a movie that’s actually based in reality…well POV was the only way to get the audience to walk through the haunts and be on the journey with us. Our eyes are now your eyes, and you’re with us in the dark surrounded by all those clowns, too.
Here is a list of found footage movies from the pioneers that started it all to present day interpretations that we believe used the style innovatively to tell a compelling story:
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
This was before them all. They used real natives and went into the heart of darkness for their story. What is staged is for you to decide. Ruggero Deodato, the film’s director, was arrested after the premiere because people thought the murders on screen really happened. And, frankly, after seeing the film, I don’t know if I blame the authorities back then for coming to that conclusion.
The Last Broadcast (1998)
Not saying the movie is by any means perfect. The end falls apart. That said, the filmmakers tried something new and bold. We bring them up because they were nine months before Blair Witch, but disappeared into the ether. This was actually the first movie to be digitally streamed to theaters. If you want to dig deeper, read the chapter on this film in the book Brand Hijack. It’s very interesting and controversial.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
It’s easy to pass over because of the financial success, but PA was a game changer. Specifically, the use of the home camera and the time-lapse made this “ghost” movie feel very authentic. Oren Peli never took it too far which allowed the audience to live through the moment with Katie and Micah. The use of shadows and sounds helped you immerse yourself in some apparition ambience that challenged and frightened your imagination.
Welcome to the Jungle (2007)
Definitely influenced by Cannibal Holocaust, it’s directed by Jonthan Hensleigh (writer of Jumanji, Die Hard: With a Vengeance). The problem with many of these movies is not letting them breathe. For the story to unfold and feel real, moments should be captured that may not necessarily drive the story, but they remind you real life is taking place. WTTJ did this effectively and let the characters develop; because you need to care about someone before you watch them die.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)
The rawness of this film sticks with you. A serial killer documenting and stalking his prey. The tapes themselves seem to each have a life of their own. As we discussed before in allowing a scene to breathe, this film allows the killer to flesh out all of his weird and demented fantasies.
Lake Mungo (2008)
An Australian made movie, which really capitalizes on the found footage idea. Probably one of the best looking films in the genre as well. The filmmakers really captured an authentic missing persons story that will keep you guessing until the end.
This anthology is the definition of found footage. Literally hundreds of found VHS tapes give every reason in the world to have POV. Regardless of the content of these tapes, from psychotic to supernatural, the movie stays grounded, gritty, and feels like you could find really these tapes in some guy’s basement.
The Remaining (2014)
We haven’t seen it yet, but as fans of “The Leftovers,” the idea of people documenting firsthand the Rapture is very topical and a smart way into the genre.
Lastly and the most effective use of actual found footage:
Dear Zachery: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)
Disclaimer: This is not a horror film. It’s definitely more doc, but the reveal is definitely worthy of putting this in a suspense category. Dear Zachery really shows how impactful found footage can be. It’s a composite of home movies that tells a story you have to see to believe. Try not to read a synopsis before viewing. We don’t want to give too much away, but we can’t stress enough how powerful this movie is.
Let’s face it. Commercially, found footage movies began with Blair Witch and died with Paranormal Activity. That is to say these movies were probably the first and last times the audience really believed the movie could have possibly been made from literal found footage. So presently, the phrase “found footage” is a misnomer. Now, it should more accurately be called “1st person POV” (although it definitely doesn’t have the alliteration nor the ring of the phrase “found footage”). With that in mind, we chose to shoot The Houses October Built this way, not because we think you will believe someone found our tapes, but rather to give you the perspective and experience only first person camera can do. As we mentioned before, would you rather watch someone walk through a haunted house or be the person walking through?
The Houses October Built
Halloween maze fun turns into slasher horror?
The super fun and unique The Houses October Built is getting a limited theatrical run through Image and RLJ Entertainment October 10, and it may just be the perfect Halloween-time indie to seek out.
“Beneath the fake blood and cheap masks of countless haunted house attractions across the country, there are whispers of truly terrifying alternatives. Looking to find an authentic, blood-curdling good fright for Halloween, five friends set off on a road trip in an RV to track down these underground Haunts. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening and it becomes clear that the Haunt has come to them…”
Bobby Roe directs this new spin on found-footage that stars Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe, Mikey Roe and Jeff Larson.