USA’s “Mr. Robot” may not necessarily fall under the normal Bloody-Disgusting coverage umbrella as it’s not horror. But from what I hear (Full disclosure: I haven’t seen the show), it’s a tense thriller with stellar acting and an engaging storyline that has gone on to receive critical acclaim.
One aspect that has garnered much appreciation and adoration from fans is composer Mac Quayle‘s original score, which not only embraces the technological foundation of the show but also takes strong influence from the humanity, combining both into a warm yet calculated and claustrophobic electronic wave.
Today, we’re thrilled to premiere the cover artwork for Invada UK’s upcoming vinyl pressing, which will be released on July 29th, as well as stream two tracks, all of which can be viewed below. The album is currently out on digital via Lakeshore Records.
Invada will be releasing the score on two 2xLP volumes, much like how they did with “Hannibal”. Additionally, the Invada webstore will have an exclusive mail order variant that features a 12″x12″ lithograph.
Both volumes will be available for pre-order next Friday, June 17th, through the official Invada webstore.
HBO’s horror anthology series Tales From the Crypt premiered 27 years ago today. It would be selfish to solely credit the HBO series for it’s footprint in the horror genre, so to truly understand the legacy that Tales From the Crypt has left behind, one must go all the way back to October of 1950, when the first issue of Entertaining Comics’ (formerly Educational Comics) Tales From the Crypt (then known as The Crypt of Terror) was unleashed upon the world.
In 1950, William Gaines, son of EC’s founder Maxwell Gaines, realized that he and his editor Al Feldstein both sought to create the same type of horror fiction in a post-World War II era when male readers had grown weary of the standard detective comic books that were being released at the time. Readers were demanding something more risqué. They wanted something with lots of gore. Gaines and Feldstein begane to inject elements of horror into their crime stories, and thus paved the way for Tales From the Crypt. No issue was more important than Issue #15 of Crime Patrol, titled “Return From the Grave!” This particular issue, which was the December 1949/January 1950 issue, served as the introduction of the Crypt Keeper, functioning as the host of the story. By the time issue #17 rolled around, Gaines and Feldstein had changed the title of the series from Crime Patrol to The Crypt of Terror. After three issues of that had been published, the series was renamed Tales From the Crypt in the October/November 1950 issue. The series would go on to publish 27 issues before ending in 1955. The final publication was the February/March 1955 Issue (#46).
Of course, Tales From the Crypt wasn’t the only horror series for EC Comics (It doesn’t make a lot of sense does it? That expands to Entertainment Comics Comics.). EC also had The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear to keep up with. Each series had their own host: The Crypt Keeper for Tales, the Vault Keeper for Vault and the Old Witch for Haunt. Each host would invade the other series and trade barbs with the other hosts, while constantly trying to one-up each other. Their sole purpose was to add some levity to juxtapose the sheer horror of the tales being told within the comics.
The Crypt Keeper didn’t always start out as the emaciated skeleton we know today. Hi initial appearance was that of a man in a long robe. He eventually grew more and more grotesque (and more humorous) in the comics before being portrayed by British actor Ralph Richardson in the 1972 film adaptation. It wasn’t until 1989 when HBO premiered their anthology series Tales From the Crypt that the Crypt Keeper took on his now iconic look.
In the mid-50s, horror comics were criticized by authority figures and were thought to have caused delinquency among minors, which was becoming more of a problem in America. As a result, many restrictions were placed on comic books (they were forbidden from depicting zombies, vampires and other monsters), thereby making it nearly impossible to maintain the creative liberties they had once held. Gaines cancelled Tales From the Crypt and EC’s other horror series, releasing a final issue for February/March 1955 (Issue #46).
The world would go without another taste of Tales From the Crypt until 1972, when the aforementioned British film adaptation was released. Two of the five stories included in the film were adapted from Tales From the Crypt while the other three from from Vault of Horror and Haunt of Fear. It received moderately positive reviews and was able to earn back its budget of £170,000. The following year saw the release of Vault of Horror, which served as the sequel to Tales From the Crypt. Oddly enough, none of the vignettes in Vault of Horror actually came from the Vault of Horror . Four of the vignettes were adapted from Tales From the Crypt, with one coming from Shock SuspenStories. In a questionable creative decision, the Vault Keeper was left out of the film.
On June 10, 1989, HBO premiered its adaptation of EC’s Tales From the Crypt, simply titled Tales From the Crypt. To fully understand the cultural significance of Tale From the Crypt, one must realize that in 1989 HBO was primarily known as a premium cable channel where you would watch uncensored movies. The channel didn’t have the amazing lineup of television series that it has right now. When Tales From the Crypt premiered, it was the first show put on television that was able to escape the censorship put in place by the network standards and practices and put as much profanity, gore, sex/nudity and drugs as they wanted on the screen. Because of this, it put HBO on the minds of television viewers everywhere. Not everyone was in love with the series, but enough viewers watched it to make it one of HBO’s biggest hits (which makes it even more depressing that it isn’t available on HBO Go due to rights issues). The pedigree of the show’s executive producers is quite impressive, made up of several talented film directors and producers: Richard Donner, Robert Zemeckis, Joel Silver, Walter Hill and David Giler.
In this adaptation of the EC Comics series, the Crypt Keeper was a ghastly skeleton puppet voiced by the superb John Kassir and operated by the late Van Snowden (who did the puppetry for Chucky in the original Child’s Play). Since the series premiered 27 years ago, HBO’s incarnation of the Crypt Keeper has become the definitive version of the character, with Kassir’s memorable high-pitched cackle permanently ingrained in people’s memories. As for the episodes themselves, the stories were taken not just from EC’s Tales From the Crypt, but their entire collection of horror comics (the aforementioned Vault of Horror, Haunt of Fear, Shock SuspenStories, as well as Crime SuspenStories, and Two-Fisted Tales).
My association with Tales From the Crypt is that of it being a taboo. Tales From the Crypt, Married….With Children and The Simpsons were the main three shows I remember my parents forbidding me from watching as a kid (I was born in 1989). Hell, I wasn’t even allowed to watch the animated series Tales From the Cryptkeeper and that show was made for kids, but I digress. Before I became more seasoned in the horror genre, I had actually thought that the television show was an adaptation of the films Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood (they used to play on Syfy, formerly Sci-Fi Channel, all the time). Silly me.
As many of you may know, a reboot is being planned for TNT under the supervision of M. Night Shyamalan. While that may sound like a terrible idea, anyone who watches Wayward Pines knows that Shyamalan can actually do very good television. Everyone had an initial scare when it was announced that the reboot would not feature the Crypt Keeper, but luckily those worries have been alleviated by Shyamalan himself.
Take some time today to celebrate the 27th anniversary of HBO’s Tales From the Crypt! The DVDs are selling for affordable prices on Amazon so there’s really no excuse not to! Don’t forget to share your memories of the series in the comments below. To read more on the subject check out our own Daniel Kurland’s 15 Best Episodes of the series,a television show he is extremely passionate about, since he so rudely stole writing duties from our own Jess Hicks. Have fun, kiddies!
Starring Christopher John Jennings, Candice Nunes, Jack E. Curenton, Bianca Haase, Jason Tobias
Directed by Don Bitters III and Geoff Reisner
When a meteor shower rains rocks down outside Los Angeles, Jonas (Jason Tobias) and Lars (Christopher John Jennings), two friends stuck in tired, boring lives as gardeners, head out to find a meteor stone in hopes of selling it and striking it rich. After recovering one, they become Terrordactyl targets – “Terrordactyls” are the ancient flying reptiles that launched a full force assault on the city of angels and they are NOT happy about Jonas and Lars’ find.
Trying to survive long enough to sell their stolen treasure, the two schmoes go on the run. Along for the ride are Candice (Candice Nunes), a tough-but-cute bartender, Valerie (Bianca Haase), her oversexed roommate, and Sampson (Jack E. Curenton), a drunken and brash ex-marine. The gangly group soon discovers that there’s more to the meteor than meets the eye.
Terrordactyl is directed by newcomers Don Bitters III and Geoff Reisner, working from a script by Bitters who has previously worked as a visual effects artist on television shows such as “Betas,” “House of Cards,” and “Quantico”. Reisner previously worked as a cinematographer on features including Crossroad and No Greater Love. They both bring a lot to the table in their respective visual talents – the cinematography is above average for the genre, and so are the special effects and GCI.
Unfortunately, the acting from the lead “hero” is not above, or even, average. His stilted, awkward performance might jar some, but then again it’s in line with schlock such as this. (And Terrordactyl is way better than Birdemic!) The other actors aren’t going to be accepting an Oscar anytime soon either, but they seem more charming than clunky – along the lines of something you’d see in a low-budget 1980s horror or sci-fi flick.
When it comes to the feature-feature aspect, the monsters are menacing indeed. Fans of fright flicks ranging from Godzilla to golden-age Harryhausen to Sharknado will also find something to like about the terrordactyls.
Terrordactyl is a timewaster, fun for the right mood on a lazy TV night at home when there’s nothing better on the SyFy Channel.
When it comes to Indonesian action movies, Welsh director Gareth Evans’ The Raid films immediately spring to mind. Rightfully so, as they’re incredible movies that showcase the action genre at its finest.
But they aren’t the only Indonesian exports that’ll blow your mind into smithereens. If you traverse the decades, explore its recesses, willing to inhabit its cheapest dwellings, you might just find a new home you didn’t know you were looking for.
One such treasure waiting to be rediscovered is the outrageous Lethal Hunter; and now, thanks to the fine folks over at The Gentleman’s Guide to Midnight Cinema, an Indiegogo campaign has been launches to release it on DVD.
During the 1980’s, the Indonesian film industry experienced a boom period, and some of its success can be attributed to one of its most prominent directors: Arizal. Though his most successful features were his forays into comedy and drama, his true talent lay in low-budget, over-the-top action movies which thrived on unbridled lunacy. Unfortunately, the majority haven’t been released on DVD yet, but the GGTMC community has already taken steps to right that wrong in recent years, having also released the director’s insane Final Score in 2015. The release of Lethal Hunter is a natural successor for those already acquainted with his work, but it’s also the perfect introduction to these trashy delights for newbies.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Midnight Cinema is a wonderful community of genre aficionados with a deep-rooted devotion for cult cinema. Through their podcast, discussion group, and DVD releases, they ensure that the forgotten gems of yesteryear get the love and appreciation they deserve.
This pick-up is a must-have for collectors of rare cinematic treasures. If you don’t believe me, check out the trailer below and see for yourself.
A little more than 2 years ago we ran a campaign to get the Indonesian action Final Score released, which was a success. The campaign was fully funded with 117% and we (re)introduced the world to this crazy action movie that wasn’t officially available since the VHS days.
Now it’s time for the follow-up, and our (OMG Entertainment and the GGTMC podcast/community, more on that later!) second release. For that we chose a quite logical movie: Lethal Hunter, aka American Hunter (1989), another Arizal-directed action movie starring Chris Mitchum. And not only are Mike Abbot and Ida Iash returning; this time they are joined by Peter O’Brian and Bill “Superfoot” Wallace!
Don’t just see this as helping us release a DVD; instead see it as a pre-order (with a few campaign exclusives).
As you can see, we don’t need a whole lot of money so how can we release a DVD with such a small amount? The key here is the GGTMC community; it’s filled with enthusiastic and talented movie freaks with an affection for crazy action movies (but not limited to those). Among its members are designers, writers, label owners, etc. (and of course the founders and podcast hosts!), who help get these movies back out for everyone to enjoy…
The post Indiegogo Campaign Launches to Release Outrageous Indonesian Action Movie on DVD appeared first on Dread Central.
Directed by James Wan
While James Wan has dipped his feet into other genres – like vigilante thriller Death Sentence or blockbuster Furious 7 – he always feels most at home with horror. It’s the genre that lets his imagination run free, where he gets to be inventive with his camera and put his own stamp on it. Hell, even the underwhelming Dead Silence had moments of genuine suspense and craftsmanship.
The Conjuring 2 finds the helmer back on home turf, and in many ways it feels like he’s cooling down from the gauntlet of making Furious 7. This “true story” again involves paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively) as they’re sent to England to investigate a poltergeist terrorizing a family. They soon learn this pesky spirit isn’t going to stop without a fight and also discover an old case is coming back to haunt them… quite literally.
Wan has such a command of the genre at this point he can do a simple haunted house tale – and recycle tropes that have been used a million times – and somehow he’s still able to unnerve you. His deliberate pacing is the key. He lets the tension build and build, and when you think a jump is coming, he’ll hold back. Added to that, when the shocks finally do come, they usually subvert expectations and rarely feel cheap.
It’s impressive that in a film that runs 134 minutes, the pace rarely drags; and The Conjuring 2 is relentless with keeping the setpieces coming. It rarely pauses for breath, and while this approach gets a tad samey, it still holds together. The tone is set early with an atmospheric recreation of The Amityville haunting – a setting they surprisingly didn’t save for a future sequel – where Lorraine encounters a nightmarish demon that continues to plague her. This demon is a classic unsettling design from Wan, and a later scene involving a painting of the creature might be the best sequence in the film. Not all the scares work, though; a brief scene involving a CGI creature is downright silly, and the moment a character is temporally blinded drags out too long.
While Wan obviously wants to scare you, he also wants you to have some fun, too, so The Conjuring 2 isn’t some po-faced exercise in terror. It’s really funny at times (check out Wilson’s sweet Elvis impression), and there’s a warmth to the characters, especially the loving relationship between the Warrens, that keeps you invested. Madison Wolfe steals the show as the young girl the poltergeist enjoys tormenting, Simon McBurney has a blast playing the most British British person to ever British, but Franka Potente is sadly wasted as a one-dimensional skeptic.
Visually the film is gorgeous and displays Wan’s technical prowess, with the camera often gliding around the haunted house like a roaming spectre itself. A couple of shots are a little show-offy, but often any flash is in aid of the story. That said, unfortunately, the finale devolves into noisy chaos and bizarrely recalls the ending of Exorcist II: The Heretic. Tension and story get lost in the bombast, and the movie really should have dialed the noise levels down a notch or two.
The Conjuring 2 isn’t especially groundbreaking, but it’s a creepy ride with a surprising amount of heart. It’s great to see a mainstream horror that’s genuinely scary, and long may the series continue if it can keep the quality up.
Earlier this week we found out what Kino Lorber has in store for July and now we know what they’ll be releasing under their Kino Lorber Studio Classics line that same month. It’s a good mix, offering up some action, thrillers, westerns and sci-fi! I can’t wait to get my hands on a number of these titles, but The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and Invisible Invaders are at the top of my must-have list. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is a classic and Kino Lorber looks to have some interesting bonus content lined up (PAT HEALY COMMENTARY!!!). Invisible Invaders I’ve actually never seen yet, but I really enjoyed Edward L. Cahn’s Curse of the Faceless Man, which KL Studio Classics also released on Blu-ray, so I’ve got high hopes for this one.
Full details on Kino Lorber Studio Classics July releases below.
THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE (1974)
42nd Anniversary Edition
Blu-ray & DVD Street Date: July 5, 2016
Director: Joseph Sargent
Starring Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Hector Elizondo, Jerry Stiller
Screen legends Walter Matthau (The Laughing Policeman) and Robert Shaw (Figures in a Landscape) team up with Martin Balsam (After the Fox) and Hector Elizondo (Cuba) to deliver a sure-fire entertainment that’s gripping and exciting from beginning to end and is guaranteed to give you the ride of your life. A gang of armed professionals hijack a New York subway train somewhere outside the Pelham station threatening to kill one hostage per minute unless their demands are met. Forced to stall these unknown assailants until a ransom is delivered or a rescue is made, transit chief Lt. Garber (Matthau) must shrewdly outmaneuver one of the craftiest and cruelest villains (Shaw) in a battle of wits that will either end heroically or tragically. Featuring masterful direction by Joseph Sargent (White Lightning), gorgeous widescreen cinematography by Owen Roizman (The French Connection), a classic rousing score by David Shire (The Conversation) and top-notch editing by Jerry Greenberg (Apocalypse Now) and Robert Q. Lovett (Cotton Comes to Harlem).
-Interview with star Hector Elizondo
-Interview with Composer David Shire
-Interview with Editor Gerald B. Greenberg
-Audio Commentary by Actor/Filmmaker Pat Healy and Film Programmer/Historian Jim Healy
-“Trailers From Hell” with Josh Olson
-Animated Montage of Stills and Posters
-Original Theatrical Trailer
Brand New 2K HD Restoration!
Blu-ray & DVD Street Date: July 5, 2016
Director: Anthony Page
Starring: Richard Burton, Dominic Guard, David Bradley, Billy Connolly, Andrew Keir, Willoughby Gray
Screen legend Richard Burton (Where Eagles Dare, The Desert Rats, Candy) stars in this suspenseful thriller written by Anthony Shaffer (Sleuth, Frenzy, The Wicker Man) and directed by Anthony Page (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden). A confession at a Catholic School turns to a real murder mystery! In confession, a student tells Father Goddard (Burton) that he has accidentally murdered his friend and buried him in the forest, when Goddard investigates the matter all he finds is a scarecrow buried in the woods. Goddard is outraged, but due to the seal of confession he cannot punish the kid and have him expelled. Shortly after, the boy once again enters the confession booth, telling Godard that the previous confession was a practical joke, but this time he’s really gone and done it. In disbelief, Goddard once again goes to the forest to investigate the matter, but this time, he discovers a dead body one of the students. The strong cast includes David Bradley (Kes) and Billy Connolly (The Boondock Saints).
INVISIBLE INVADERS (1959)
Newly Re-mastered in HD!
Blu-ray & DVD Street Date: July 12, 2016
Director: Edward L. Cahn
Starring: John Agar, Jean Byron, John Carradine, Philip Tonge, Robert Hutton
Cult director Edward L. Cahn (Curse of the Faceless Man) wonderfully directs this sci-fi shocker about invisible body snatchers invading earth to conquer humanity one corpse at a time. There’s not just one man or even an army of men can do to stop them, but a scientist, a sergeant and a sexy gal figure out a way to destroy these invading grave robbers and defeat their transparent plot? The wonderful cast includes John Agar (Journey to the Seventh Planet, Miracle Mile), Jean Byron (The Patty Duke Show), Philip Tonge (Witness for the Prosecution), Robert Hutton (The Steel Helmet), Paul Langton (The Incredible Shrinking Man) and the great John Carradine (House of the Long Shadows).
-Audio Commentary by Film Historians Tom Weaver and Dr. Robert J. Kiss
THE OX-BOW INCIDENT (1943)
Brand New 4K Restoration!
Blu-ray Street Date: July 12, 2016
Director: William Wellman
Starring: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Anthony Quinn, Harry Morgan, Mary Beth Hughes, William Eythe, Jane Darwell, Matt Briggs, Harry Davenport, Marc Lawrence
Gil Carter (Henry Fonda, My Darling Clementine) and Art Croft (Henry Morgan, Dragnet) ride into a town frustrated by the prevalence of cattle rustlers. Suddenly, word comes that a popular rancher has been murdered, which puts the already enraged town over the edge. When the spiteful mayor forms a posse, Gil and Croft are swept up in their mission – to seek vengeance – even upon those innocent of any wrongdoing. As it becomes clear that bloodlust may win out over rationality, the tension mounts in this masterpiece with its timeless message about the dangers of mob mentality. The great William Wellman (Yellow Sky) directed this classic western, which was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award® and featured a stellar cast that includes Dana Andrews (Boomerang) and Anthony Quinn (Across 110th Street).
-Audio Commentary by Western Scholar Dick Eulain and William Wellman Jr.
-Henry Fonda: Hollywood’s Quiet Hero” as seen on Biography on the A&E Network
YELLOW SKY (1948)
Blu-ray Street Date: July 12, 2016
Director: William Wellman
Starring: Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, Richard Widmark, John Russell, Harry Morgan, Robert Arthur
Screen legends Gregory Peck (On the Beach) and Richard Widmark (Road House) co-star in this brilliantly cast western epic featuring an unusually fine story and magnificent direction by the great William Wellman (The Ox-Bow Incident) – unleashing dramatic power seldom found in this type of film. A band of outlaws, led by tough, gruff Stretch (Peck), find themselves knocking at death’s door after becoming lost in the treacherous western Badlands – only to find their salvation in a lonesome town called Yellow Sky, where the only inhabitants are a doddering old man and his mysterious alluring daughter. But their deliverance from danger is short-lived when the gang discovers a fateful secret hidden within the dusty, rotting walls of this ghost town – one that will turn brother against brother in a desperate battle to the death! Beautifully shot in glorious black-and-white by Joseph MacDonald (My Darling Clementine) and features a splendid cast that includes Anne Baxter (The Blue Gardenia), John Russell (Fort Massacre) and Harry Morgan (TV’s Dragnet and M*A*S*H).
-Audio Commentary by William Wellman, Jr.
Blu-ray & DVD Street Date: July 19, 2016
Director: Richard Lester
Starring: Sean Connery, Brooke Adams, Jack Weston, Hector Elizondo, Denholm Elliott, Martin Balsam, Chris Sarandon, Lonette McKee
Screen icon Sean Connery (The Offence, Meteor) and leads an all-star cast that includes Brooke Adams (Man on Fire), Jack Weston (Fuzz), Hector Elizondo (Taking of Pelham One Two Three), Denholm Elliott (The Wicked Lady), Chris Sarandon (Fright Night) and Martin Balsam (After the Fox) in this sweeping story about two old flames who become caught up in the turbulence and exhilaration of Cuba’s 1959 revolution. Robert Dapes (Connery), a cynical British mercenary, comes to the country at the request of one of country’s most corrupt functionaries, General Bello (Balsam). But once there, Dapes finds himself unable to ignore the brutality and depravity of the regime – and unable to resist Alexandra Pulido (Adams), an old lover now married to a wealthy Cuban landowner (Sarandon). Surrounded by volatile guerilla fighters and the human vultures present at all coups, he must come to terms with his shifting views if he has any though of getting out… alive. Wonderfully directed by Richard Lester (Juggernaut, How I Won the War) with stunning cinematography by David Watkins (Out of Africa, Chariots of Fire).
FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT (1962)
Newly Re-mastered in HD!
Blu-ray & DVD Street Date: July 26, 2016
Director: Anatole Litvak
Starring: Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins, Gig Young, Jean-Pierre Aumont
Screen icons Sophia Loren (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow) and Anthony Perkins (Psycho) star as a poor Parisian couple who embark upon a simple get-rich-quick-scheme… only to find themselves hurtling blindly down a winding road of desperation, deceit and madness. In the grand tradition of Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, Five Miles to Midnight weaves a constantly tightening web of suspense that grips the viewer by the heart and doesn’t let go until the final frame. Filmed entirely in Paris in the stark contrasts of black and white, Five Miles to Midnight is a psychological suspense thriller of the highest order. Two of the film’s best features are the stunning photography by Henri Alekan (Wings of Desire, Topkapi) and the haunting score by Mikis Theodorakis (Serpico, Z). Stylish direction by Anatole Litvak (Sorry, Wrong Number) and featuring wonderful performances by Gig Young (City That Never Sleeps) and Jean-Pierre Aumont (Hotel Du Nord).
-Alternate French Scene
Blu-ray & DVD Street Date: July 26, 2016
Director: Richard Brooks
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore, Kim Hunter, Ed Begley, Warren Stevens, Paul Stewart, Martin Gabel, Jim Backus
Screen legend Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca) stars as a fictional newspaper editor Ed Hutcheson of “The Day”, which will be folding in three days. Even though he and his staff will be out of work within days, he intends to expose the criminal activities of vicious crime boss Tomas Rienzi (Martin Gabel, The Thief). An abundance of subplots are expertly woven together by legendary screenwriter/director Richard Brooks (Elmer Gantry) in Deadline – U.S.A. This classic film noir features stunning black-and-white cinematography by the great Milton R. Krasner (23 Paces to Baker Street) with an uniformly excellent cast that includes Ethel Barrymore (Portrait of Jennie), Kim Hunter (A Streetcar Named Desire), Ed Begley (12 Angry Men), Warren Stevens (Forbidden Planet), Paul Stewart (Kiss Me Deadly) and Jim Backus (Gilligan’s Island).
-Audio Commentary with Film Historian Eddie Muller
What would a great horror movie be without a great soundtrack? Unfortunately, many people still don’t realize just how vital music is when it comes to creating the story that the filmmakers want to tell.
The new book Scored to Death: Conversations with Some of Horror’s Greatest Composers by J. Blake Fichera features a rare insight into the process being the creation of all those classic themes that helped to make the films that they belonged to so damn terrifying. Sounds like it’s a must read for both horror and music aficionados.
Look for it July 1st from Silman-James Press (pre-order here).
Film music is a magical phenomenon. It can create and enhance the sense of life and emotion and pacing in a film. It can also clue us in on the dark secrets hidden in a character’s soul and suggest what might be awaiting us a few frames later.
Music is particularly important to the horror film experience. It can (and often does) put us on the edge of our seats, trick us with red herrings, and propel us on a wild ride from shock to shock to shock. It is an unseen hand, subtly directing our reactions and building our anticipations.
Scored to Death: Conversations with Some of Horror’s Greatest Composers is the first book to delve specifically and deeply into the minds of noted horror genre composers—the musicians who make us tremble and jump out of our seats.
Scored to Death’s author/interviewer, J. Blake Fichera, both a film editor and a musician himself, has been fascinated by the music for horror films since his youth: “Film music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember… I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, during a time when the music of John Williams was shining a spotlight on the artistry of film scoring, Danny Elfman was shifting gears from pop star to film music royalty, and composers like Vangelis, Giorgio Moroder, John Carpenter, and the band Tangerine Dream were providing an electronic alternative to the traditional symphonic score…. Horror films played a significant role in my upbringing. For those of us who grew up as part of the video-store generation, easy access to hundreds of movies allowed genre icons like Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Pinhead to become cinematic rock stars…. My parents were not ones to regulate my viewing…and I was exposed to things that probably wouldn’t be considered ‘appropriate’ for a child today. My real obsession with the genre, though, began while I was in high school, when renting horror movies with my friends became a regular occurrence. Coincidentally, it was also around this time that I began playing the guitar and discovered the music of heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath. All these things converging on my impressionable teenage brain at the same time made my falling in love with horror film music inevitable.”
So it was all but inevitable that Fichera would undertake Scored to Death, a fascinating and entertaining investigation of the dark recesses of the film music world where terror lurks. Interviewed are 14 renowned film composers who have provided music for some of the horror genre’s greatest films and franchises, including Halloween, A Nightmare of Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, Maniac, The Fog, Prince of Darkness, Cujo, Dawn of the Dead, Deep Red, Suspiria, Santa Sangre, Zombie, The Beyond, Insidious, The Conjuring, Hostel, The Strangers, House of the Devil, and many more.
The book introduces us to director/composer John Carpenter; sound designer/composer Alan Howarth; Italian composers (and members of the band Goblin, known for their scores for Dario Argento films) Claudio Simonetti and Maurizio Guarini; Hollywood composers Christopher Young, Tom Hajdu (of the composing team tomandandy), Charles Bernstein, Jay Chattaway, and Nathan Barr; as well as such other horror notables as Fabio Frizzi, Simon Boswell, Joseph Bishara, and Harry Manfredini.
Pre-publication comments about Scored to Death from the horror film world have been very good: filmmaker Stuart Gordon writes, “Fichera…introduces you to some of the genre’s greatest composers as they explain the process of creating unforgettable nightmares of sound.”
Filmmaker Tom Holland observes, “This book is the best opportunity you will have to peek behind the curtains of those people who create the soundtrack of your life!”
Filmmaker Larry Fessenden comments, “The musicians in this generous volume are given the time to reveal themselves and their processes.”
And B-movie aficionado, critic, and author Joe Bob Briggs writes, “Horror films live and die with their musical scores…. If you claim to know how horror movies work, this book is a must-read.”
Don’t venture again into a dark theater until you read it!
The post Learn the Stories Behind Classic Horror Soundtracks in Scored to Death appeared first on Dread Central.
While he also talked a bit about event-izing the franchise, and shooting for the stars (he wants to create the same sense of wonderment and newness that Close Encounters had when it came out), there was a pretty huge piece of news that most outlets overlooked.
Black, who cleaned up the original Predator screenplay and co-starred, revealed that he’s been tinkering with time travel, but ultimately kept tripping into plot holes.
“It’s still in the hopper, I never finished it,” Black explained of the film’s specific genre. “It was supposed to be time travel done as horror, and I couldn’t figure out the time travel of it, it got too confusing for me. But I’ll still go back to it. I love the idea of time travel as horror, but I can’t keep my head straight when I’m trying to write it. I keep violating my own rules.”
Back in April we reported that Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is telling people that he’s probably going to star in the Predator followup, being penned by Fred Dekker.
“I’ll be doing some new feature films and stuff like that too. I’ll do Predator,” Jackson told Sirius XM’s Shade 45. He confirmed this in a second interview, this time with 99 Jamz UnCensored: “I’m working on some new projects. You heard of the movie Predator? I might be a part of that project this summer.”
Jackson already has a relationship with Arnold Schwarzenegger (rumored to appear) as he co-starred in Escape Plan with Sylvester Stallone.
Producer John Davis recently exclaimed that the next Predator would reinvent the franchise, while we’ve been told by insiders that it’s a direct sequel to John McTiernan’s 1987 Predator. Most recently, Black stated that The Predator will be an expensive “spectacle”!
At this point genre fans are started to get a bit spoiled. 2015 was a tremendous year for Blu-ray releases of the genre variety and somehow it looks like 2016 may top that. We’re not even halfway through the year yet and we’ve already enjoyed a number of wonderful releases – The Mutilator, Pieces, Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, Bride of Re-Animator, etc. Severin Films is getting in on the action July 26th when they release Doctor Butcher MD AKA Zombie Holocaust on a 2-disc Blu-ray set that is going to be stuffed with extra. And better yet, first 5,000 orders get an official barf bag! I love it!
Full details below.
It sparked riots on 42nd Street, spawned a generation of gorehounds on VHS, and forever set an insane standard for Italian mad doctor/zombie/cannibal carnage worldwide: Ian McCulloch (ZOMBIE), Alexandra Delli Colli (THE NEW YORK RIPPER), Sherry Buchanan (TENTACLES) and Donald O’Brien (EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS) star in this blood orgy of gut-munching, eyeball-gouging and face-chopping originally known as ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST, which a notorious American distributor would then re-edit, re-title and re-release as a certified grindhouse masterpiece. Severin Films now presents both films fully restored for the first time ever from original vault elements discovered in Manhattan and Rome, and loaded with all-new Bonus Features that finally reveal the unbelievable truth behind its bizarre history, infamous marketing and still-deviant legacy.
DISC 1 DOCTOR BUTCHER MD
• Featurette: Butchery & Ballyhoo: Interview with Aquarius Releasing’s Terry Levine
• Featurette: Down On The Deuce: Nostalgic Tour Of 42nd Street With Temple Of Shock’s Chris Poggiali and Filmmaker Roy Frumkes
• Roy Frumkes’ Segment Of Unfinished Anthology Film ‘Tales That Will Tear Your Heart Out’
• Featurette: The Butcher Mobile: Interview with Gore Gazette Editor & Butcher Mobile Barker Rick Sullivan
• Featurette: Cutting Doctor Butcher: Interview with Editor Jim Markovic
• Illustrated Essay: Experiments With A Male Caucasian Brain (…and other memories of 42nd Street) by Gary Hertz
• Theatrical Trailer
• Video Release Trailer 1
• Video Release Trailer 2
DISC 2 ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST
• Featurette: Voodoo Man: Interview With Star Ian McCulloch
• Featurette: Blood Of The Zombies: Interview With FX Master Rosario Prestopino
• Featurette: Filmmaker Enzo Castellari Remembers His Father Director Marino Girolami
• Featurette: Sherry Holocaust: Interview With Actress Sherryl Buchanan
• Featurette: Neurosurgery Italian Style – Interview With FX Artist Maurizio Trani
• Featurette: New York Filming Locations Then Vs. Now. A look at the Big Apple locales as they are today
• Audio Bonus: Ian McCulloch Sings “Down By The River”
• International Trailer
• German Trailer
The gorgeous looking horror comic series Monstress kind of slipped under our radar, but with the first collected edition being available next month, now seems like the perfect time to give it a look.
Marjorie Liu weaved the fantastical tale of a girl living in a world reminiscent of 1900’s Asia, who forms a strange psychic bond with a creature of unimaginable size and power. Sana Takeda created the dreamlike illustrations.
Astonishing X-Men and Black Widow writer MARJORIE LIU returns to comics with artist SANA TAKEDA (X-23) for an all-new ONGOING SERIES! Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces. The adventure begins in a spectacular TRIPLE-SIZED FIRST ISSUE, with SIXTY-SIX pages of story and no ads.
Derek Mungor’s POV thriller You Are Not Alone will be arriving on June 23 on popular VOD platforms including VHX, Vimeo, and Amazon. Special Edition DVDs, enamel pins, tshirts, stickers, and more will be available by direct order via the film’s official website.
“An idyllic summer day turns into a living nightmare …
With school finally over, college graduate Natalie Wilner returns to her hometown to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend. But beneath the flags and fireworks lurks a dark, malevolent figure. After a night of drunken parties, she stumbles home and drifts off to sleep, only to be woken moments later by a loud knock on the door.
Experience one night of terror, through Natalie’s eyes as she fights to escape a relentless, knifewielding maniac …”
Krista Dzialoszynski, David O’Brien, Mary Mikva, Keenan Camp, Nikki Pierce, and Eric Wood star.
During the July 4th holiday, the film will be available in select theaters. Touring information will be available noting cities, dates, and ticket availability.
James Wan is a modern day master of horror. A director, producer, and screenwriter, Wan has made a name for himself amongst genre fans with such standouts as Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring, but he also serves to be a rare example of a filmmaker who consistently improves with every project he puts out. This is probably why when it came time for Universal to fill the highly coveted position of director of the mega summer blockbuster Furious 7, they snatched up Wan in a hurry.
Wan had already dedicated over a decade of his career to making horror movies, and now the time had come for him to venture out and take on the challenge of conquering another category of cinema. Wan took a brief hiatus from the genre he held dear to his heart just long enough to come face to face with one of his most daunting challenges yet: deliver an impressive and profitable new entry of a beloved franchise created by someone other than himself. It would be a difficult feat for anyone to accomplish, but the obstacle he faced grew even more daunting when the news came out that the heart and soul of The Fast and The Furious franchise, Paul Walker, had unexpectedly passed away. Tragedy and terrible odds permeated the series, and for a while it seemed that the crew would never ride again. However, with time, discipline, and a lot of love, Wan steered the film in the right direction, and landed an opening weekend worldwide gross that exceeded the whole profit that the first film made in its entire run. Wan’s Furious 7 not only became the only entry in the franchise thus far to reach one billion dollars at the box office, but it also was so well received that it became a favorite installment for many of its hard-to-impress loyal fans.
Now, after proving that he is capable of tackling any genre he pleases, Wan is back where he belongs, hanging with the horror kids, as he releases his newest fright flick, The Conjuring 2. Since he’s been off exploring new territory, both by making an action movie, and by working on a top tier, huge Hollywood budget production, one can only assume that his creation of The Conjuring 2 was approached with an entirely different perspective than that of The Conjuring, back in 2013. According to Wan, he wasn’t expecting making the sequel to feel any different than the first time around, but to his surprise, it was a fresh new experience.
“You know, I thought it would be a lot easier. I thought like, ‘Oh you know, I’m gonna come back to Conjuring 2, it’ll be a walk in the park’, but it wasn’t” remembers Wan. “It was very difficult, partially because I really felt the pressure of the first movie, and the first one is so beloved, and so making number two, I just felt that the bar was set so high with the first one, it was really hard trying to live up to that. But, the upside to that was I just ended up putting a lot of pressure on myself to try and push myself, go as far as I could, you know don’t settle for anything less in the storytelling of the script, in the designing of the set pieces, in the filmmaking, the camerawork, the music, everything, so every step of the way, I kept pushing myself and pushing myself to try to make the best film I could”.
Although Wan didn’t necessarily set out to learn something on the set of Furious 7 that he would take back with him when he made The Conjuring 2 the following year, he found an old lesson which he had only touched on in the past being highlighted and emphasized in a new and important way.
“I think, ultimately what I learned from F7, and something that I’ve learned from my previous movies as well, but F7 just really hammered it home for me, is it kind of doesn’t matter how crazy and over-the-top your film is, if people love your characters that you create and you make, they will come with you” Wan explains as his excited grin begins to grow. “They will follow you, and you can just go driving cars out of the back of a plane, jumping from building to building, and people will go along with it if they like your characters, and that is something that I really took to heart after making Furious 7. Then, when going into this one, I really put so much more emphasis on the characters of the Warrens, and also on the characters of the Hodgsons family as well”.
It’s fascinating how working on an action movie could teach someone so much about how to handle his future horror projects, but that’s what happens when a brave filmmaker like Wan takes a chance and steps out of his or her comfort zone to try something new and gain a new perspective on their passion.
The notion that the characters are the most essential part of the scares is an idea that obviously stemmed with Wan long ago, but really hit home after his time on Furious 7. If you think about it, The Conjuring series is one of the only horror franchises to follow the heroes instead of the villains, and The Conjuring 2 is the most terrifying one yet because the characters are so well developed that the audience cares about whether or not they are attacked by the evil spirit in their house. Not only is the family fleshed out and relatable, but our heroes, Ed and Lorraine Warren, remain two of the most likable horror movie characters in recent memory. Going against the popular opinion that it’s the scares that make the first film so compelling, Wan argues that it’s actually the characters that keep fans coming back for more.
“Besides the fact that [the Warrens] are real people, I think they’re really intriguing and fascinating people” says Wan. “The fact that they’re real people and they real do do these things, you know whether or not you believe in what they do, that’s another side of the story there, but I do think the way myself and Vera and Patrick portray the Warrens in the cinematic Warren-Conjuring universe, I think they’re very likable characters. I think that’s why people actually like The Conjuring films. They may come for the scares, but they stay for the characters”.
The Conjuring 2 hits theaters everywhere on June 10th, 2016.
When a young woman returns from her tropical bachelorette party getaway, she begins to succumb to an insect bite in the palpably disturbing film Bite. The skin-crawling chronicle of one woman’s truly terrifying descent into madness makes its Blu-ray and DVD debut August 2nd, 2016 from Scream Factory. Directed by Chad Archibald (The Drownsman), Bite had a sensational premiere at the 2015 Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, where it won an Audience Award, before sinking its teeth into audiences during its theatrical run earlier this year. This visceral body-horror feature also includes an audio commentary track from writer/director/producer Chad Archibald, as well as five behind-the-scenes documentary shorts about the special effects makeup, creating the set, and more! Fans can order their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com.
While on her bachelorette party getaway, Casey, the bride to be, gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect. After returning home with cold feet, Casey tries to call off her wedding but before she’s able to, she starts exhibiting insect like traits. Between her physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, Casey succumbs to her new instincts and begins creating a hive that not only houses her translucent eggs, but feeds on the flesh of others. As her transformation becomes complete, Casey discovers that everything can change with a single bite.
Starring Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Denise Yuen, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers, Barry Birnberg, Daniel Klimitz, Tianna Nori, and Caroline Palmer. Bite is directed by Chad Archibald and produced by Black Fawn Films.
Bite Bonus Features
- Audio Commentary from writer/director/producer Chad Archibald
- Five Behind-The-Scenes documentary shorts featuring looks at special effects makeup, creating the set and more!
Frances Ha actress Mickey Sumner has joined April Pearson (Skins), Cian Barry (pictured in Nina Forever) and Ruben Crow (Austenland) in horror Caught, which is currently shooting in the UK, reports ScreenDaily.
The film tells the story of a journalist couple who invite a man and woman into their idyllic village home, but what begins with an informal interview descends into a nightmarish fight for survival.
Jamie Patterson (City Of Dreamers) is directing the script written by Dave Allsop and Alex Francis, from a story developed by Allsop and Clint Langley.
Robert Halmi Jr (Olympus) and Jim Reeve (Foyle’s War) are executive producers for Great Point Media, which will also handle world sales. The film is a Gael Films, Dandelion Productions and Castleview Films production, produced by Jeremy Davis, Christina O’Shea-Daly (The Fixer) and Francis. The feature marks the first for former Maven Pictures senior vice president of development and production Alex Francis – a co-producer on Filth and Moon – under new banner Castleview Films.
Producer Francis is currently in development on thriller Emergence, which has Troll Hunter director Andre Ovredal attached to direct.
Popcorn Frights Film Festival, Florida’s leading international genre film festival, celebrates its 2nd year in Miami this August 12 through 18, 2016, presenting a record 16 features and 17 short film premieres at the landmark O Cinema Wynwood theater.
The line-up for the second annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival serves up a fearsome feast with the monstrous, the macabre, and the must-see. Opening Night features a spine-tingling double-bill presenting the Florida Premieres of the critically-acclaimed films Fear, Inc. (review), a fiendishly twisted and deliriously fun love letter to genre movies, and The Blackcoat’s Daughter (review), starring Kiernan Shipka (“Mad Men”), Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story”), and original music composed by the legendary Elvis Perkins.
Other buzzy titles in the lineup include Evolution, an astonishingly beautiful and mesmerizing blend of body horror and surreal fantasy, the genre-bending shocker I Am Not a Serial Killer (review) starring Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are) and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) in a tour de force performance, the nightmare fueled Antibirth (review) that features dynamite roles from Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is the New Black) and Chloe Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry), Under the Shadow (review), a tense and atmospheric thriller set in a haunted Tehran apartment during the terrifying final days of the Iran-Iraq War, and the East Coast Premiere of Abattoir, Darren Lynn Bousman’s (Saw II) unsettling new nightmare centered on a mysterious haunted house.
Encompassing the ever-burgeoning independent arena, this year’s increased number of films straddle the arthouse and grindhouse, including The Mind’s Eye (review), a mainlined shot of hyper-violent-telekinetic-carnage reminiscent of David Cronenberg’s Scanners, the East Coast Premieres of Beyond the Gate (review) starring the First Lady of Fright Films, Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), and the audaciously twisted and shocking Pet (review) that features a remarkably dark turn by Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings), and Mickey Keating’s latest descent into insanity, Carnage Park (review), that braids crime caper and survival story into one demented thrill ride.
Rounding out the program is the US Premiere of the gripping found footage thriller Man Vs, the North American Premiere of the supernatural horror thriller The Devil’s Doll, the action-packed post-apocalyptic vampire tale Daylight’s End, the visually stunning homage to the famed Italian Giallo genre, Francesca, and the retro throwback to classic 80s VHS horror flicks, The Barn.
Popcorn Frights prides itself on providing a fertile ground for new and exciting filmmaking talent, and this year will present 17 extraordinary short films, including SXSW award-winners Manoman and Night Stalker, as well as The Puppet Man starring John Carpenter, and Portal to Hell, which features one of Roddy “Rowdy” Piper’s (They Live) final performances.FULL FESTIVAL LINEUP
ABATTOIR Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman US | 98 minutes | 2016 EAST COAST PREMIERE. Seven meets Dark City meets Hellraiser in Darren Lynn Bousman’s (Saw II) startlingly unsettling new horror film that centers on a mysterious house that’s been constructed wholly from rooms where deaths have occurred. An investigative reporter with the style and confidence of a young Lauren Bacall is the first to stumble upon these series of gruesome murders as she is helplessly led into the belly of this hellish and haunted beast. Starring Lin Shaye from the Insidious franchise.
ANTIBIRTH Directed by Danny Perez US | 94 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. What if the Dude from The Big Lebowski somehow ended up in David Cronenberg’s The Brood? Danny Perez’s nightmare fuel film strangely answers this long thought question by mixing one part horror homage and three parts anti-drug PSA with an offbeat kickass cast in a story that includes a monster pregnancy, alien abductions, covert operatives, and dynamite performances from Natasha Lyonne (Orange is the New Black) and Chloe Sevigny (Zodiac).
THE BARN Directed by Justin Seaman US | 96 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. Almost certainly destined for cult classic status, The Barn is a perfect retro throwback to classic 80s VHS horror flicks like The Monster Squad, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, and Full Moon’s empire of direct to video features. It’s Halloween 1989, and best friends Sam and Josh are trying to enjoy what’s left of their final Devil’s Night before graduating high school. But the two pals and a group of their friends get more trick than treat when they take a detour on their way to a rock concert, finding an old abandoned barn and awakening a trio of Halloween demons inside. Now it’s up to Sam and Josh to find a way to protect their friends and defeat the flesh-hungry creatures that lurk within The Barn. Featuring Ari Lehman, the first Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th.
BEYOND THE GATES Directed by Jackson Stewart US | 84 minutes | 2016 EAST COAST PREMIERE. A throwback flick in the spirit of horror faves such as Phantasm, The Beyond, and Poltergeist, this endearing instant-classic is filled with unique, personal, witty, and utterly terrifying imagery as it pays loving tribute to the VHS format, video stores, and board games of the 80s era. Co-written by Stephen Scarlata (Jodorowsky’s Dune) and starring the First Lady of Fright Films, Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator), Beyond the Gates centers on two estranged brothers who unearth an old VCR board game that acts as an inter-dimensional hub to a nightmare world where their Father’s soul is trapped and can only be saved by playing the game.
THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER Directed by Osgood Perkins US-Canada | 93 minutes | 2016 SOUTH FLORIDA PREMIERE. In this atmospheric, brutal, and darkly beautiful film, two young students at a prestigious prep school for girls are assailed by an evil, invisible power when they are stranded at the school over winter break. Easily one of the most brilliant horror films you’ll see all year, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is frightening with razor-sharp tension and a suffocating, intense atmosphere which grips from the first frame and doesn’t let go. Starring Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), Emma Roberts (American Horror Story, Scream Queens) and featuring original music composed by the legendary Elvis Perkins.
CARNAGE PARK Directed by Mickey Keating US | 90 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. A treat for lovers of the bloody grindhouse cinema of the ’70s, this harrowing psycho-thriller stars Pat Healy (Cheap Thrills) as an unhinged sniper who terrorizes a bank-robbing duo and their beautiful hostage (Ashley Bell of The Last Exorcism) after they stumble into his desert killing fields. Thrust into a wicked game of cat and mouse with a highly trained and mentally imbalanced killer, they begin a harrowing fight for survival. Mickey Keating’s latest descent into insanity has him braiding crime caper and survival story into one demented thrill ride. Ashley Bell quickly turns the role of damsel in distress into that of a badass, “don’t fuck with me” female lead traversing the horrors of Carnage Park.
DAYLIGHT’S END Directed by William Kaufman US | 106 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. Starring Lance Henriksen (Aliens, The Terminator) and Johnny Strong (The Fast and the Furious), Daylight’s End is an action-packed post-apocalyptic vampire tale that is pure carnage and white-knuckled powered adrenaline! After a mysterious infection transforms people into blood-thirsty creatures, a drifter bent on vengeance comes across a band of survivors desperate to escape the city. The ammo is in stock, the adrenaline is high, and time is of the essence, because in this world, things go more than bump in the night!
THE DEVIL’S DOLL Directed by Padraig Reynolds US | 85 minutes | 2016 NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE. In this supernatural horror thriller, a brutal serial killer is finally gunned down in the middle of carrying out one last heinous act of bloody murder. In the maniac’s possession is a box of Guatemalan talismans, which mistakenly end up being sold as charm jewelry in a thrift shop. Soon those who bought the ‘worry dolls’ begin to act strange and begin a plague of mindless slaughter and carnage.
EVOLUTION Directed by Lucile Hadžihalilovic France | 81 minutes | 2015 French with English subtitles FLORIDA PREMIERE. In this astonishingly beautiful and mesmerizing blend of body horror and surreal fantasy, a young boy living in a mysterious, isolated seaside clinic uncovers the sinister purposes of his keepers. Evocative, enthralling and unnerving in equal measure, Evolution is a provocative fairy tale that beckons you deeper and deeper into an unforgettable domain filled with stunning cinematic imagery and stylistic nods to David Lynch and David Cronenberg that will seduce and repulse in uncanny harmony.
FEAR, INC. Directed by Vincent Masciale US | 92 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. Your worst fears realized…for a price! Fear, Inc. is a fiendishly twisted and deliriously fun love letter to genre movies that’s a mind-blowing horror-show cocktail of blood, guts, and screams. When a horror junkie and his friends sign up with a company that brings their customer’s greatest fears to life, they must quickly determine if its demented employees are there to scare them, or make them pawns in their own sick and deadly game. Like Wes Craven’s Scream, Fear, Inc. inspires outsized frights and dread even as it hilariously skewers and splatters horror movie cliches in funny, spirited ways. Featuring a special appearance by Abigail Breslin (Zombieland).
FRANCESCA Directed by Luciano Onetti Argentina-Italy | 79 minutes | 2015 Italian with English subtitles FLORIDA PREMIERE. Fans of Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Goblin, and Lucio Fulci dare not miss Francesca, a visually stunning homage to the famed Italian Giallo genre that so faithfully and lovingly reproduces its seductive and perverse forms that it feels like it was literally plucked from the era! A dazzling combination of menacing Grand Guignol atmosphere, brilliant cinematography, gory violence, lush décor, and pounding soundtrack, “Francesca” tells the tale of a psychopath who uses the “Divine Comedy” as a clever reference to rid the city of impure souls through a series of gruesome murders. This audacious film synthesizes all the familiar Giallo motifs (psycho killers, blood violence, convoluted plot twists, pulse-pounding music) into an almost perfect symphony of fear that’s unlikely to ever be repeated on screen.
I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER Directed by Billy O’Brien Ireland-UK | 104 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. Just imagine if David Cronenberg slipped into a fever dream while binge-watching Dexter, Fargo, and Six Feet Under, in one go, and you’ll have just a shade of what I Am Not a Serial Killer has on offer. A darkly heartfelt, astonishingly foreboding, and imaginatively sinister tale of a likable teenager (Max Records of Where the Wild Things Are), raised by a mortician family, whose own nascent sociopathic tendencies make him a perfect amateur sleuth when a serial killer strikes his folksy Midwestern town. Take it from us, the film is far, far more unique and fantastically bloody than the premise might imply, helped in no small part by an Oscar-worthy performance by Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future).
MAN VS. Directed by Adam Massey Canada | 87 minutes | 2016 US PREMIERE. Man vs Wild vs Predator, need we say more? In this gripping found-footage horror thriller, a reality TV star of a survival show is forced to fend for himself in the remote woods for a routine episode, until he’s awoken by an earth-shaking crash that unleashes a series of weird and eerie events ultimately forcing him to come face to face with his deepest fears and the otherworldly. THE
MIND’S EYE Directed by Joe Begos US | 87 minutes | 2015 FLORIDA PREMIERE. For gorehounds who like the early films of David Cronenberg (spotlight Scanners) but secretly wish their themes and subtext didn’t get in the way of the exploding heads, Joe Begos’ The Mind’s Eye presents a mainlined shot of hyper-violent-telekinetic-carnage that you won’t soon forget. Pitting telekinetic savants against a mad doctor keen on siphoning their power, this giddy ’80s throwback stages a psychic war zone complete with bulging cranium veins, exploding heads, and a visceral kick of brainiacs willing each other into mind-melting, bloody oblivion. Cronenberg, Carpenter, Romero, and can all be found in the cinematic impulses of this unrelenting scream fest.
PET Directed by Carles Torrens US | 90 minutes | 2016 EAST COAST PREMIERE. You can’t escape the bonds of love in the shocking Pet. Starring Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings, Lost) and Ksenia Solo (Black Swan), this audaciously twisted story centers on an introverted loner who imprisons a woman he’s obsessed with, only to find the tables turned on him. Like the dark and daring Hard Candy and Gone Girl but with more trashy fun, Pet will have you both squirming in your seat and teetering on the edge, but you won’t want to look away.
UNDER THE SHADOW Directed by Babak Anvari Jordan-Qatar-UK | 84 minutes | 2015 Farsi with English subtitles FLORIDA PREMIERE. Those cracks in the ceiling are hiding a lot more than dry rot in Under the Shadow, an astonishingly tense and atmospheric thriller set in a haunted Tehran apartment during the terrifying final days of the Iran-Iraq War. A grim allegory of female oppression, this brilliant feature debut grounds its premise in something ineluctably sinister: imagine a cross between The Babadook and The Conjuring and you’re halfway there. Set in 1988 Iran, a mother trapped in her apartment during the chaos of the war worries that malevolent spirits have taken possession of her daughter, leading to a bone-chilling horror tale of paranormal and real-life terrors.
THE BIRCH Directed by Ben Franklin UK | 5 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. A bullied teenager, fearing for his life, turns to an ancient creature of the forest for protection…and revenge.
BLIGHT Directed by Brian Deane Ireland | 15 minutes | 2015 FLORIDA PREMIERE. A young priest is sent to a remote island off the Irish coast to help protect an estranged fishing community from dark supernatural forces but nothing is as it seems.
DEATH METAL Directed by Chris McInroy US | 5 minutes | 2016 WORLD PREMIERE. A practical effects driven splatter comedy featuring a metalhead, his guitar and carnage.
DISCO INFERNO Directed by Alice Waddington Spain | 12 minutes | 2015 English and Spanish with English subtitles FLORIDA PREMIERE. A black-clad vixen infiltrates a sumptuous mansion overrun with cultists in what begins as a rescue mission, and then deliriously descends into an eerie musical reverie, before finally arriving at a most unexpected conclusion.
FUCKKKYOUUU Directed by Eddie Alcazar US | 8 minutes | 2015 FLORIDA PREMIERE. With the ability to travel in time, a lonely girl finds love and comfort by connecting with her past self. Eventually faced with rejection she struggles with her identity and gender, and as time folds onto itself only one of them can remain. Featuring music by Flying Lotus.
GWILLIAM Directed by Brian Lonano US | 6 minutes | 2016 SOUTH FLORIDA PREMIERE. A recently released criminal is looking for a good time. He can forget his sins but he can never forget…Gwilliam.
HADA Directed by Tony Morales Spain | 9 minutes | 2016 Spanish with English subtitles FLORIDA PREMIERE. Tonight Hada comes to visit Daniel because he his last baby tooth has fallen out. What Daniel doesn´t expect is that his worst enemy is the light.
IRIS Directed by Richard Karpala US | 11 minutes | 2015 FLORIDA PREMIERE. What starts as a familiar tale of a criminal driving to the middle of the woods to bury a dead body, ends with a bloody twist of karmic justice thanks to his Siri-esque smartphone app.
THE MAIDEN Directed by Michael Chaves US | 9 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. As a real estate agent goes about her business to close a sale on a dilapidated house, she begins to discover that the property is inhabited by an evil presence working against her.
MANOMAN Directed by Simon Cartwright UK | 11 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. When an office clerk attends primal scream class, he releases something from deep within that knows no limits.
MAYDAY Directed by Sébastien Vaniček France | 13 minutes | 2016 NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE. A passenger subject to violent hallucinations must overcome the imminence of his death during a trans-Atlantic flight.
METUBE 2 Directed by Daniel Moshel Austria | 5 minutes | 2016 Spanish with English subtitles FLORIDA PREMIERE. The biggest, boldest, and sexiest operatic flash mob the internet has ever witnessed!
NIGHT STALKER Directed by New Image Ltd US | 10 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. A horror love story with tunes by the band Fort Lean presents bite-sized bits for all of your sex, gore, and hilarity cravings.
PIGSKIN Directed by Jake Hammond US | 14 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. When a high-school cheerleader accepts a date from the football team’s star quarterback, a grisly manifestation of her own bodily insecurities pushes her into a self-destructive nightmare.
THE POND Directed by Jeroen Dumoulein Belgium | 16 minutes | 2015 Dutch with English subtitles FLORIDA PREMIERE. Breathtakingly beautiful and sharing an artistic vision with Guillermo Del Toro, “The Pond” is set in the early 1900s and follows a young girl who tries to unravel the mystery of the dark pond behind her family’s mansion.
PORTAL TO HELL Directed by Vivieno Caldinelli US | 12 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. A crusty and recluse superintendent is thrown into the ultimate fight against evil when a couple of cultists open a portal to the ancient and mysical city of R’lyeh, awakening slumbering god. Starring Roddy “Rowdy” Piper (“They Live”) in one of his last onscreen performances.
THE PUPPET MAN Directed by Jacqueline Castel US | 9 minutes | 2016 FLORIDA PREMIERE. A supernatural killer stalks a young woman and her friends in a seedy, neon-lit dive bar in this short film featuring horror legend John Carpenter.
Festival Premiere Badges are on sale for a limited time for $120 per person and $180 for couples, and single screening tickets are available for $12. To purchase badges or tickets and view the Festival schedule, visit www.popcornfrights.com
LOCATION: All films will screen at the O Cinema Wynwood (90 NW 29th Street, Miami, FL 33127).
Follow the Popcorn Frights Film Festival on Facebook (/popcornfrights) or Twitter (@popcornfrights) for updates with the latest information about the Festival. Join the conversation using the hashtag #popcornfrights on social media.
With their previous film Lead Me Astray receiving overwhelming acclaim at festivals (star Alannah Robertson even won Best Actress at the Independent Horror Movie Awards), we’re couldn’t be more excited for Bendy Spoon Productions’ latest effort, Remember Redfield.
The whodunit murder mystery flick takes place in a secluded estate, where an assailant begins picking off the bickering guests one by one. Logan Webster directs.
Old loves, rivalries, and vendettas resurface at a high school reunion party held out on a reclusive estate, but the evening takes a deadly turn when one of the guests begins systematically killing all the estranged attendants, leaving the group to try to decipher who, of all their friends, has the potential to be a murderer.
Directed by Logan Webster, the film welcomes back Jace Pickard, Alannah Robertson, and Tom Danger with an ensemble of familiar faces as well as some new ones ready to be killed!
WildEye Releasing has announced the July 26 DVD and VOD release for Brandon Scullion’s debut feature, Consumption. Since the world premiere on the festival circuit, Consumption has been praised by critics. Famous Monsters described the feature as “gruesome goulash of ghosts, cults, and good ol’ demons”.
A group of friends travel to the snowy Utah mountains for a weekend retreat. One brings with him a dark secret that could destroy their lives forever. As they prepare to face an ancient secret buried in the woods outside their winter resort, an unstoppable evil begins to grow, consuming them one by one.
Developed by IO Interactive
Published by Square Enix
Available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One
Rated M for Mature
With the release of “Marrakesh,” half of the currently scheduled Hitman content is now out. I enjoyed the previous two episodes, but haven’t really been impressed yet. It was all technically solid, but lacked the punch to really draw me in. I’ve outlined what I was hoping for in my previous reviews (link here), but to briefly recap I feel like the game lacks identity and flavor. These games have always been about pitch black comedy and creative killings, and while Hitman has so far definitely delivered on being a great sandbox, it’s lost some of the polish in the process.
I also predicted that as the episodes came out, they would probably address these problems to some degree. Episodic releases are tricky, since games require a difficulty curve to stay interesting. When all you have is a trickle of content every month or so, it’s hard to judge each individual piece as part of a whole and not its own isolated package. I expected that with time the guided “opportunities” would be more vague and less immediately lethal, and that the larger and more open level design would necessitate more creative thinking.
“Marrakesh” kind of proves me half right. It’s a step in the right direction to be sure, but doesn’t go quite as far as I want it to. I say this keeping in mind that there are still three episodes left. If the build stays this slow, it either won’t reach the peak it needs to get to or do so jarringly quick.
What the episode nailed was establishing its own tone. It wasn’t the iconic “Hitman” gruesomely quirky, but rather went its own direction by being considerably more grounded and serious. Typically, assassinations were always more obtuse in effect and scale. Sure, nuclear launch codes would be exchanged and international drug cartels disrupted, but all of that was narrative fluff behind garroting a couple dudes in a few rooms. No matter what was at stake in the story, the reality of the level was a few guards, a target that needed murdering, and a few flavor events in between.
Episode 3 drops you off in the middle of a brewing revolution about to boil over. Swedish banker Claus Strandberg stands convicted of murder, but during transit was freed by a group of unknown gunman and now sits safely in the Swedish Consulate. The breakout, meant to appear to be foreign orchestrated, was actually the work of General Reza Zaydan. An associate of Claus, Reza hopes to use the event to stir distrust in the current president, and give justification for a military coup. You must eliminate both targets to quell the unrest and bring stability back to the country.
For a game that generally has you assassinating colorful characters in charge of various shadow governments or linchpins in grand conspiracies, seeing Hitman take notes from the Arab Spring is surprising. Targets tend to be flavored with a pinch of goofy, but there’s very little to laugh at between the tortured prisoners held in the General’s camp stationed in an abandoned school and the distant, aloof calm of the Swedish consulate. This is the blackest I’ve seen a “Hitman” game, bordering on almost losing its comedy. It’s a tight line to walk, but one that it did so well. It doesn’t try to replicate the charming elements of previous games, but creates its own tone that is just as compelling. It was a bold move that made the episode better than the sum of its parts.
However, the actual assassinations were too strict. The map itself is very large, but the targets are constrained to two tight and very well guarded areas. Most of “Marrakesh” revolves around figuring out how to get in. Once inside, the job is basically done. Getting them alone is pretty easy even without scripted events, and even if you don’t hide the body the two locations are separate enough that the alarms don’t really affect one another.
The “opportunities” have changed as I predicted, but I’m on the fence as to how much I like it. They are now less specific, guiding you towards key locations/events without giving you all the steps. Most of time, you’ll go towards an opportunity only to find that you can’t get through the door. This is where the creative thinking should come in. Unfortunately, the solutions are often very linear. Getting into a club, wear a waiter uniform. After finding a key, climb down a pipe to get to the door. There are certainly more obtuse ways to do it, but the obvious solution is too immediately useful to pass up. I appreciate not being given all the steps, but I wanted that to be because of freedom in completion.
I think that there is still a bit to go in making this a great game, but I’m pleased with the steps they have taken. I just wish that these bright bits didn’t shine a light on the flaws in the rest of the system. The next step is going to be crucial, as we’re rapidly approaching the point where the identity of Hitman will be established. Don’t take this as doomsaying, as I’m actually quite hopeful. The way that this innovated was good, and the level of improvement it brought over “Sapienza” as bigger than the one “Sapienza” brought over the “Intro Pack.” I hope they keep this curve of build, raising the bar even more in the next episode. With 6 episodes, they really don’t have any room to stumble, and Hitman hasen’t really hit its stride yet. It’s been jogging up to a run, and hopefully will finish with a solid pace.
Comedian Jordan Peele has joined the cast of the puppet horror film Abruptio, which comes from writer and director Evan Marlowe.
In the film, all of the characters, “…will be performed by life-sized, realistic latex puppets“, in a nod to the films of Jim Henson, such as Dark Crystal.
“Les Hackel is a guy down on his luck who wakes to find an explosive device has been implanted in his neck. He must carry out heinous crimes in order to stay alive while trying to identify the mastermind manipulating the now twisted and strange world around him.
Peele joins Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Sid Haig (House of 1000 Corpses), Hana Mae Lee (Pitch Perfect), Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore) and James Marsters (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), who plays “Les”.
The film has an undetermined 2018 release date.
James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious, Saw, Dead Silence) is back with The Conjuring 2 (read our review), which brings the next true story from the case files of Ed and Lorrain Warren to the screen!
Reprising their roles, Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, who, in one of their most terrifying paranormal investigations, travel to north London to help a single mother raising four children alone in a house plagued by malicious spirits.
In theaters Friday, June 10 from New Line Cinema, now is a great time to revisit our trip to the filming locations of The Conjuring 2 and take a look at this spine-tingling clip we shared the other day.
The Conjuring 2 tells the infamous “Enfield Poltergeist,” which took place at a council house in Brimsdown village, borough of Enfield, England during the late 1970s. The aforementioned links tease what to expect from the film that also stars Frances O’Connor (“The Missing”) as the single mom, with newcomers Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley and Benjamin Haigh as her children; Maria Doyle Kennedy (“Orphan Black”); Simon Delaney (“Roy”); Franka Potente (“The Bridge”); and Simon McBurney (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation). In addition to directing the film, Wan wrote the screenplay with Carey and Chad Hayes, and David Leslie Johnson.