Welcome to part two of my WORST and BEST list. Now that we have reminded ourselves of the crap that littered 2014, let’s check out the good!
*Note: I’m not a superhuman with unlimited time and no life. I did not see every horror movie released to the public (in some form or another) in the year of 2014. So if a film you think should be on this list is not, consider that I may not have seen it, it’s on the other list, or it was too mediocre for either. Thank you!The Babadook
I just recently wrote about The Babadook so I’ll just reconfirm the highlights. The film shows us a different kind of story we haven’t actually seen before, the monster is an original and frightening design, and it will be remembered in horror movie history.
After catching up on some of the movies, I missed upon their original release I have finally compiled my BEST OF and WORST OF horror flicks! So let’s get the bad out of the way and start with the WORST OF 2014. Like always, as technology gets more and more accessible there will always be a slew of shit to pick from. So here we are* and to my pleasure there are less bad ones than good ones this year, or may I just knew what crap to avoid?
*Note: I’m not a superhuman with unlimited time and no life. I did not see every horror movie released to the public in some form or another in the year of 2014. So if a film you think should be on this list is not, consider that I may not have seen it, it’s on the other list, or it was too mediocre for either. Thank you!*Annabelle
If you missed my full review you can read it here, but in short I wasn’t a fan. The story took a doll that is only scary in appearance and tried to interweave a complicated story of occultism. Unfortunately, it fails in being interesting or original, and the writing and performances are wooden and dull.
On New Year’s Day, Showtime will be marathoning Penny Dreadful season one and live tweeting the event from their twitter account @SHO_Penny! We at Bloody Disgusting are stupid excited for this event and if you missed any of season one, plan on staying in this New Year’s–it’s one hell of a show.
Bloody Disgusting has some pretty rad Penny Dreadful giveaways for ten of our awesome readers, so we will also be participating in this event. If you marathon the season and live tweet along with @SHO_Penny (they are using the hashtag #FeelingDreadful) throw our hashtag in there as well (#BloodyDreadful) for a chance to win one of our giveaways (I have it, it’s awesome, you’ll want it).
So…start marathoning at noon on New Year’s Day…
Live tweet along with @SHO_Penny using the hashtag #FeelingDreadful
Use Bloody Disgusting’s hashtag #BloodyDreadful in your tweets as well for a chance to win a super wicked THING. Make us want to send you goodies with your clever and profound tweets. *NO PO boxes & US only
Stay tuned to Bloody Disgusting for more news on season 2, MORE giveaways, cast interviews, and reviews. See ya in a few days, Dreadfuls.
(Information on Showtime’s marathon and live tweeting event below)
Check out this new clip from Magnet Releasing’s [REC]4: Apocalypse, the fourth and final entry in the groundbreaking and terrifying [REC] horror series that will release on iTunes and On Demand everywhere on Friday, January 2nd, 2015.
[REC]4 was directed by Jaume Balagueró, co-director of the first two films who returns for the climax of the series. Whereas [REC]3 took a slight tonal detour towards horror-comedy, [REC]4 is a return to the intense thrills and scares that helped make the [REC] franchise one of the most beloved in the horror genre.
“Several hours have passed since the terrible events that ravaged the old building in Barcelona. After the chaos of the first few moments, the army decided to intervene and an elite group of soldiers infiltrated the building in order to plant detonators and put an end to this nightmare once and for all. The mission is a success; quick and precise. Angela Vidal, the young television reporter who entered the building with the fireman just hours before, manages to make it out alive. But what they don’t know is that she hasn’t made it out of the building alone; within her she carries the seed of the strange infection. She is to be taken to a provisional quarantine facility, a high-security installation where she will have to stay in isolation for several days. A perfect location for the virus to be reborn in all its splendor. It will take on new and even more deadly forms, setting the scene for horrors we could only have imagined, before finally revealing its true nature. The apocalypse has just begun…”
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this year in the Midnight Madness section.
Here’s the United States of Horror – with images of each killer added to each State.
The midwest looks scary as fuck…
The “Get Along Gang” is having a party in a warehouse that turns into a night from hell (tell me if you’ve seen that one before).
I’m gonna need some Holy Water to cleanse my soul after watching this trash…
The Chinese trailer for Exeter (formerly Backmask) is “Scooby-Doo” meets Evil Dead meets The Exorcist, and it looks absolutely terrible.
It hails from Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Marcus Nispel, and it opens overseas on January 15, 2015.
In the film, “During a sex, drugs, and rock-fueled party, six small-town teenagers find an old vinyl record and decide to play it backwards in order to listen for any subliminal/satanic messages. Lo and behold, a seemingly malevolent spirit quickly infiltrates the group, wreaking havoc as it moves from one body to another. Eventually, however, it’s revealed that the spirit in question is actually trying to convey a message… and that the real source of horror isn’t particularly paranormal, but rather something (or someone) much closer to home.”
Gage Golightly, Kelly Blatz, Brittany Curran, Brett Dier, Nick Nicotera, Michael Ormsby, Nick Nordella, and Stephen Lang star.
Thanks to Johnny A. for the tip. And double thanks to China for this hilariously terrible trailer!
An aspiring actress finally gets a role to die for in Starry Eyes, arriving on Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD from MPI Home Video on February 3, 2015.
“Determined to make it as an actress in Hollywood, Sarah Walker (Alex Essoe; ‘Passion Play,’ ‘Boy Toy’) spends her days working a dead-end job, enduring petty friendships with other struggling artists and competing actors, and going on countless casting calls in hopes of catching her big break. After a series of strange auditions, Sarah lands the leading role in a film from a mysterious production company. But this opportunity comes with some bizarre conditions that will transform her both mentally and physically into something beautiful … and altogether terrifying.”
In addition to Essoe, the cast includes Noah Segan (Looper, Brick, The Picture of Dorian Gray), Pat Healy (The Innkeepers, Cheap Thrills, Compliance) and Amanda Fuller (The Brittany Murphy Story, Cheap Thrills).
Special features on the Blu-ray and DVD include commentary with writer-directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (who previously teamed on Absence) and producer Travis Stevens; 10 deleted scenes; a music video by the film’s composer, Jonathan Snipes; Alex Essoe’s audition video; a behind-the-scenes photo gallery, and the theatrical trailer.
It’s been raining Ghostbusters news over the past few months, but here’s something that’s not hearsay.
As we all should know by now, Paul Feig is directing for Sony/Columbia Pictures, and has opted for the reboot to be an all-female crew. Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer and Lizzy Caplan are all alleged to be interested in joining the new quartet of ‘busters.
I love the idea of flipping the script, so to speak, but I’ll be the first to admit it sounded gimmicky – as if the studio wanted to appease the recent screams for more female protagonists in entertainment. Feig, in an interview with Empire Magazine, responds to the accusations perfectly.
“A lot of people accused it of being a gimmick. I guess I can see the cynics’ view of it, but for me I just love working with funny women. People said, ‘Why don’t you do a mix?’ I’m just more interested in the idea of lady Ghostbusters. It’s the way my brain works.”
The aforementioned rumored cast is already enough to get me on board, but it’s nice to know this comes from a good place.
But that’s not the most interesting portion of the interview…
Feig has a very real goal – one I think is going to be extremely difficult to pull off. He wants the reboot to be scarier than the original…
“I want ours to be scarier than the original, to be quite honest. Katie Dipold and I are so focused on wanting to do scary comedy. We don’t want to hold back.”
He also speaks to why remake the film, which is actually an interesting perspective:
“There’s also the feeling that once the world knows ghosts and has seen them busted on such a large scale, they run the risk of becoming pedestrian. There’s something fun about introducing our world, which has never seen ghosts to the phenomenon of ghosts. I love origin stories and to introduce new characters.”
Origin stories are getting old, and feel incredibly lazy (especially over at Sony), but there’s a truth to his statement about the world within the movie and how they perceive the extraterrestrial. You can have a lot of fun with that.
Allegedly, the plan is to land “Game of Thrones” fav Peter Dinklage for the villain role. He would play the ghost of a murderer (sort of like Wes Craven’s Shocker, actually) who resurrects a ghost army based on historical characters.
Drive star Ryan Gosling gets behind the camera for Lost River, which Warner Bros. has opted against releasing in theaters.
Instead, the thriller will hit home platforms next April.
Lost River stars Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes, Iain De Caestecker, Matt Smith and Barbara Steele.
“The film is set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city. Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while Bones, her eighteen-year-old son, discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery, if their family is to survive.“
I had the pleasure of being invited to a few festivals this year. They were mainly horror/genre fests – nothing major like Sundance or Cannes. But the ones I attended were intimate, made for fans by fans. And that’s the way it should be.
I saw a ton of awesome movies at these festivals and many of them found well-deserved distribution. And while I saw a ton of unreleased stuff, there’s still LOADS of worthy films I’ve yet to see. Isn’t that what makes being a horror fan so exciting? There’s always more work to seek out.
Here’s a look at 10 festival flicks that rocked my world, that I can’t wait for everyone else to check out!TIME LAPSE
This clever little chamber play takes typical roommate tension and elevates it into a reality-bending thriller, complete with time paradoxes and enough twists and turns to confuse the most advanced GPS. Driven by a great, young cast, this bad boy is one fun flick that vibes like a 90 minute Twilight Zone episode, with some bursts of the macabre and violence along the way. Time Lapse is a rock solid piece of entertainment.PRESERVATION
Preservation is one of those films you go into expecting the expected. A stalk and slash film in the woods in which an innocent girls faces off against masked assailants – seen it before. But with Denham’s new film, he manages to appropriate tropes from the survival genre and deliver his own bloody beast. It’s a wholly satisfying and chilling thriller that says something about society without shoving its message in our face. A violent and beautiful film, Preservation proves Denham is one to watch.THAT GUY DICK MILLER
That Guy Dick Miller does a remarkable job spotlighting one of film’s great character actors. And it’s about time. Director Elijah Drenner (American Grindhouse) gathers an impressive line up of filmmakers, family, friends, and actors (even Corey Feldman) who talk about Miller’s career and personal life. After 90 minutes of listening to them, it’s tough not to argue that Dick Miller is the man.BLOODY KNUCKLES
Bloody Knuckles is the outrageous debut feature film from writer/director Matt O’Mahoney. Consider it Idle Hands for the indie horror crowd, who like their violence bold and bloody and their humor vulgar. It’s an assured debut with a remarkably talented cast (despite their inexperience). Though rough around the edges, Bloody Knuckles is definitely one of the crowd pleasers coming out of Fantasia.BLACK MOUNTAIN SIDE
Black Mountain Side is the debut feature from Calgary native Nick Szostakiwskyj. While it’s sure to draw (much deserved) comparisons to The Thing, this Canadian paranoid horror flick is a beast all its own. It’s a psycho-thriller that taps into Native mythology, archaic archaeology, and even the traditional parlor mystery to establish a strong feeling of existential anxiety that practically drips off the screen, leaving a mess all over your lap.THE MAN IN THE ORANGE JACKET
On the surface it’s a simple tale of violent justice in the slasher vein, but it quickly evolves into a haunting nightmare of paranoia and domestic terror. It’s like High Tension sifted through Lars Von Trier’s filter. If that comparison doesn’t have you excited, might want to check that pulse. Also, it’s apparently the first horror film from Latvia! Welcome to the party, Latvia!LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S ‘ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU’
Lost Soul is a severely engaging and entertaining documentary that provides loads of insight about the studio system and its biblical clashes with artists. It also reinforces a lot of garbage we already know about them. I could listen to Stanley talk for hours – the man is deeply enthralling, well-spoken, and has a brilliant artistic mind. The fact that he still hasn’t made a feature film (he has done docs and anthology segments) since the Moreau incident is genuinely depressing.BLOOD PUNCH
Darkly comedic with a seriously warped set of sensibilities, Blood Punch takes us down the road to hell, which here is paved with blood and meth (with some peyote as a stiff chaser). It’s fun as hell and smart enough to pull all the right moves without rubbing its twists in your face. It’s like a supernatural film noir on meth, with heaps of dark humor and a madcap edge that cuts deep. And as its name suggests, Blood Punch is a very, very bloody affair.FAULTS
If Elmore Leonard had written a story about cults, it might resemble Riley Stearns’ debut comedy-thriller Faults. Well, the first half at least. What begins as a hilarious tale concerning a cult expert attempting to “deprogram” a young woman quickly shifts into a contemplative look at faith, exploitation, and skepticism in the face of witnessing the impossible. Don’t sweat the heavy stuff though. Even when Faults gets serious, it manages to maintain its comedic tone. Driven with strong performances and Stearns’ propulsive direction, Faults is a darkly fascinating and biting tale that marks the arrival of a gifted filmmaker.THE EDITOR
I can’t get enough of this movie.
Over the past few years, the Canadian collective known as Astron-6 has churned out a couple films that became certified cult classics: Father’s Day and Manborg. For their latest, The Editor, writers-directors-stars Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy have raised their own bar with a giallo homage that’s easily their best work to date.
The Editor nails the classic giallo tone – infused with gruesome murders, the occult, and, of course, plenty of sex – while also crafting a brilliant comedy that could stand as an entry into the very genre it’s homaging. The familiar themes of madness, paranoia, and sexual obsession are all there. Scene after scene, bit after bit are filled with details harkening back to the ’60s and 70s. From the bold music cues to the stylish fluorescent lighting, The Editor is a riotous feast for diehard giallo fans and laymen alike.
And simply put, The Editor is just a hilarious movie.
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, along comes Mac Sabbath, a parody cover band that takes Black Sabbath tracks and reworks the lyrics to discuss fast food, ultimately creating “drive thru metal”. Below are videos for “Frying Pan” (“Iron Man”) and “Pair-A-Buns” (Paranoid).
Listen, I gotta give these guys some serious credit. The costumes are awesome, they stick to the theme like glue (Ronald stays hydrated from a large McDonald’s soda cup), and they legitimately sound tight. So, you know? Party on, Mac Sabbath. Party on.
So rather than do “Best & Worst” lists this year, I thought I would do lists for the “Most Surprising” and “Most Disappointing” movies of the year. So for this post, I thought I would list off movies that I were going to be a lot better than they actually ended up being. Not all of these movies are bad (although most of them are), but they just didn’t live up to my expectations, which means that many of you probably like the movies I’ve listed below quite a bit. So while this list is very subjective, it’s just my personal opinion on how disappointing these films are. I’ve listed the following movies in no particular order. Let’s begin!
As a part of Guitar World’s Ultimate Dime Tribute Issue, which hits shelves next week, the magazine has released “Whiskey Road”, a never-before-heard track recorded by late guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who performs all instruments and vocals.
The song was tracked during the final leg of Pantera‘s Reinventing The Steel tour back in 2001.
You can listen to the track below, courtesy of Guitar World.
Produced and Directed by Zach King and Jadon Gauthier, you’ve got to see this five-minute long remake of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark – with dogs!
Entitled Raiders of the Lost Bark, watch as a Boxer puppy named Indiana Bones battles Nazi kittens!
Just wait until the kittens open the ark…
When his owner Zach leaves for the afternoon, little Indiana Bones discovers adventure in search of his lost bark. This video was created with 3 rolls of duct tape, 108 glue sticks, 18 large boxes of cardboard, a few all nighters with an adorable puppy.
Universal Pictures recently announced that they’re taking the horror out of their monsters. Disfigured, awkward, aloof characters of the past will only be a memory, as the production company Marvel-izes itself in an attempt to draw more people to the theater. Despite any initial hostility, it’s understandable why the company would move in this direction. Superhero movies have seemingly taken over Hollywood, with comic book characters permeating every aspect of pop culture, from Halloween costumes to stocking stuffers. At the same time, a film that already approached from this angle, I Frankenstein, received a disappointing opening weekend profit of only $8, 610, 441 of its $65,000,000 budget. Dracula Untold also yielded small numbers at the box office, pulling in a little over $23,000,000, and received a harsh rating of 10% by top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Both of these popular classic monster characters are examples of how not to approach a movie, and yet, Universal has decided not only to stick with this formula, but also use it for upcoming reboots. If only they’d realize that honing the attention of the masses doesn’t come from copying others and desperately trying to fit in, but rather, standing out. Getting back to basics, and looking at what made the monsters so memorable in the first place is what it will take to make a successful Universal monster movie in today’s ever-changing world.
In 1941, Lon Chaney Jr. sat frozen, petrified, and watched with worried eyes as his human feet grew fur, indicating his slow transition into the Wolf Man. Trapped inside a wild, warped body, he had no choice but to tip toe out the door and into the open, a prisoner to his insatiable new hunger for flesh and blood. To this day, when people talk about the classic monsters, Chaney’s transfiguration in The Wolf Man is inevitably glorified. Another scene that sparks interest is David’s transformation scene in An American Werewolf in London. As David hollers in agony, it’s hard not to squirm along with him, as his ribs visibly stretch and expand as he takes his new elongated stance. The reason for this nostalgia? Practical effects always make for a more memorable monster movie. CGI is a terrific tool, if used sparingly. However, the temptation to take the easier road and opt out of complicated, time-consuming specials effects seems one too great to avoid for many filmmakers, until they throw in so many computer-animated, cartoony effects that the entire world they’ve created no longer feels relatable. Some would argue that these older films are only looked back upon fondly because that’s what they are: old. However, even Hemlock Grove, a 2013 Netflix original show received some serious praise for its wickedly well-captured werewolf transformation scene. Clearly, warm feelings for our favorite films aren’t the only cause for such fond remembrance. Bring back the days when make up and prosthetics sparked a sense of wonder in its viewers, the days of Jack Pierce and and Lon Chaney, with someone new and capable, like sfx connoisseurs Wayne Toth, David LeRoy, Greg Nicotero, and Tom Savini.
It’s easy to get swept up in the bloodlust of Bela Lugosi, or the charged bolts of an undead man who extinguishes life with the ease of a child ripping a flower from its green roots. The truth is, the staying power of these films not only lies in the terror of its villains, but also in the beauty of its cinematography. Frankenstein is an astoundingly beautiful film. The director of photography, Arthur Edeson, worked on many iconic, award-winning pictures, such as The Maltese Falcon, All Quiet on the Western Front, Casablanca, and Mutiny on the Bounty. Cinematographer Joseph A. Valentine of The Wolf Man went on to win an Oscar for his efforts in 1949 for Joan of Arc, and worked on Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and Shadow of a Doubt.
In truth, the importance of blood and entrails in a classic monster movie is about as useful as casting an attractive, hot new actor as the monster. The focus shouldn’t be on how sexy the person wearing the suit is, but on the suit itself. Milicent Patrick based the suit that the creature wears in Creature From the Black Lagoon on the sea-monk and the sea bishop, two mer-person beings that that supposedly lived in the seas during the Renaissance, exchanging the occasional word with fishermen before diving back into darkness. Director Jack Arnold was so worried about air bubbles bobbing up to the surface from an air tank when the filmed that he hired a professional diver, Ricou Browning, to hold his breath for minutes at a time, just to achieve the desired underwater shot. The point is, a lot of time and preparation went into the appearance alone, because the creature was the focus of the feature, not the six-pack hiding beneath it.
Frankenstein showed the world what happens when mortal men try to play God, and the possible dangers that come from such scientific advances. The Wolf Man used the beast as a metaphor for the inner turmoil that men inevitably face while trying to balance the good and evil in their own hearts. The Bride of Frankenstein explored the depths of reanimating corpses, and whether or not it is morally sound to to prolong life once the option is given. These themes of curiosity, pride, regret, and self-actualization are vital components that need to be included in newer monster movies. Just because you wish to show redemption doesn’t mean you have to convert completely to action-adventure. By turning these monsters into exaggerated, flawless heroes, the company is robbing these icons of what made them so sympathetic in the first place: they’re outsiders.
Ultimately, the industry needs to have more faith in its fans by trusting that it doesn’t have to turn its figures into action stars in order to make people interested in them again. I understand that the company will do whatever it can to stay afloat and gain desirable profits, but the truth is, we are the target audience, we are the ones putting dollar bills into producers’ pockets, so it is our wishes that should be fulfilled, our desires granted. Just look at the worldwide excitement J.J. Abrams’ teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens has conjured up! 88 seconds long, and it has had people talking for days. The reason millions of hard-to-please fans are interested is because the new trailer looks like the original trilogy from the ’70s, which is exactly what they wanted. There’s just something magical about embracing the style of our predecessors. Let’s go back to time-consuming practical effects, let’s not be afraid to make our monsters unattractive social anti-loners, let’s take time to hire a proper, fitting director who may not be the most popular, but the most worthy. Let’s approach every decision the way Carl Laemmle would have wanted us to: with dignity, perseverance, and roll-up-your-sleeves, old-school hard work. Let’s make classic monster movies again.
Need a playlist to get you through the rest of 2014? Or maybe you find yourself in dire need of some new tunes for that sweet New Years Eve party you’re throwing. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Correction: Mr. Disgusting has got you covered with his BD Playlist!
Head on in for the tunes that Brad has been rocking out to lately.
In this impressive 45-miniute video, SoundWorks profiles Michael Coleman, who talks with Supervising Sound Editor and Sound Designer Erik Aadahl and Supervising Sound Editor Ethan Van der Ryn about the sound of Director Gareth Edwards Godzilla.
This massive conversation covers the creative and technical process that the sound team of E2 (e2sound.com) pursued to create the dark and powerful sound of the king of all monsters, Godzilla.
Dr. Ichiro Serizawa – “I think Godzilla was only listening. The MUTO was calling something else.”
Here’s an up close and personal look at the new Millennium Falcon in Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, in theaters December 18, 2015 from director by J.J. Abrams. It comes from a Fortune magazine photo shoot with Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, and features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.
They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.
The film is being produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk, and John Williams returns as the composer.
Thanks to British sleepwear company Aykroyds and Son (via CBM) comes our first look at Ant-Man super villain Yellowjacket in director Peyton Reed’s upcoming Marvel Studios adaptation.
In theaters July 17, 2015, the film stars Paul Rudd (This is 40, They Came Together), Evangeline Lilly (“LOST,” The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), Corey Stoll (This is Where I Leave You, Non-Stop) and Michael Douglas (The Game, And So It Goes).
“In Ant-Man, Lang is an ex-con and thief who finds a mentor figure in Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a genius scientist and inventor of a technology that allows a man to shrink down to the size of an insect but also increase his strength.
When powerful forces — including Pym’s star employee Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), aka Yellowjacket — want the secret to the breakthroughs for their own nefarious uses, Pym passes the mantle — and helmeted supersuit — of Ant-Man to Lang and the two men plan an ambitious heist that if successful will save the world.”
Oh how I love Etsy, especially when we come across stuff like this…
Hailing out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dark Kiska has created an astounding handmade “Caterpillar” Power Loading Walker J-5001 replica based on James Cameron’s Aliens!
There’s only 1 available and it’s only $1,750.00. That’s a steal. If only I could learn to build something I purchased at Ikea…
- Found objects
- Laytex Paint
- Spray Paint
- Cardboard material
- High Quality Hardware