Rest in Peace: Dark Shadows Writer Sam Hall

Dread Central - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 20:17

It’s a sad day for fans of the horror soap “Dark Shadows.” Writer Sam Hall has died after a short bout with pneumonia in Rhinebeck, N.Y. The news was broken by his son, Matt, who confirmed the passing via The Hollywood Reporter. He was 93.

Sam Hall joined ABC’s Gothic soap “Dark Shadows” in 1967 and penned more than 300 episodes, often collaborating with writer Gordon Russell.

He co-wrote the screenplays for the features House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows, filmed during production of the TV show, and worked on a short-lived Dark Shadows primetime revival for NBC in 1991.

We here at Dread Central would like to offer our deepest condolences to Sam’s many friends, family members, and constituents. Thanks for the wild and wacky memories, kind sir.

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Categories: Horror News

Zombieland Sequel Won’t Stay Dead

Dread Central - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 20:07

What is it with Sony Pictures and its complete and total indecisiveness? Lord knows it’s had its ups and downs with the Ghostbusters franchise, but let’s not forget Zombieland has been forever getting the “Yo-Yo treatment” as well. After an abysmal attempt at a TV series on Amazon, interest in an official sequel has once again piqued.

Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures is getting more serious about mounting another installment of Zombieland. The studio just hired Dave Callaham to write the sequel under the supervision of Ruben Fleischer, who’ll return to direct.

No word yet on if the original participants will be back; the original film features Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, and Abigail Breslin.

Stay tuned.

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Categories: Horror News

R.I.P. Sam Hall, Writer For ‘Dark Shadows’, Dies At 93

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 18:53

Sam Hall, writer for the long running horror TV series Dark Shadows, has passed away at age 93 after a short bout with pneumonia. He is survived by his son, his daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.

Hall wrote over 300 episodes of Dark Shadows, including the two made-for-TV films House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows. His wife was Grayson Hall, who starred in the show as Dr. Julia Hoffman, as well as other various roles.

Sam spoke for an interview recorded for a Dark Shadows DVD feature, stating:

We stole things right and left from all the horror classics, including the werewolf, which worked for a while, and a lot of the great American short story writer, [H.P.] Lovecraft. I only wish that Stephen King had been alive then, because he could have kept the show going for a hundred years.

Rest in peace, Mr. Hall. Thank you for such a memorable, exciting series.

Categories: Horror News

‘Zombieland’ Sequel Becomes Hot Project At Sony

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 18:50

Deadline reports that Sony Pictures looks to be getting more serious about mounting another installment of Zombieland.

The studio just hired Dave Callaham to write the sequel under the supervision of Ruben Fleischer, who’ll return to direct.

Callaham has been scripting The Expendables films, and he had story credit on Legendary’s revival of Godzilla.

They are not sure if the participants will be back; pretty much all of them have soared since making the original, from Jesse Eisenberg to Emma Stone, True Detective’s Woody Harrelson, and Abigail Breslin (who plays the title zombie in the upcoming Maggie).

Categories: Horror News

New American Horror Story: Freak Show Trailer Focuses on the Freaks

Dread Central - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 18:44

As promised this morning, a new trailer has arrived for “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” and it just ramped up our excitement tenfold!  Check it out, and join us in wondering how the heck they made Sarah Paulson’s two heads look so damn real!

The trailer, which premiered on Buzzfeed, also gives us our first good look at this season’s villainous Twisty the Clown so dive in and let us know what you think!

“AHS” Season 4 kicks off October 8th at 10:00 PM on FX. The premiere will be an expanded 90-minute episode.

Related Story: Enter the “American Horror Story: Freak Show” Costume Contest

Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, and Evan Peters return from previous seasons. New cast members includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Matt Bomer, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952, and a troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town. Their arrival coincides with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” – Episode 4.01 – “Monsters Among Us” (airs 10/8/14)
One of the only surviving sideshows in the country struggles to stay in business during the dawning era of television. When police make a terrifying discovery at a local farmhouse, the eccentric purveyor of the freak show (Lange) sees an opportunity that will lead her troupe either to their salvation or ruin. Written by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk; directed by Ryan Murphy.

For more info visit the “AHS: Freak Show” Facebook page, check out “AHS: Freak Show” on Tumblr, and follow @AHSFX on Twitter along with “American Horror Story” on FX.

 

 

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Categories: Horror News

One Talented BD Reader Has Made A Fantastic Track Inspired by ‘Silent Hills’

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 18:23

Over the years, Silent Hill has become known for a number of things. Even if they haven’t walked its empty streets, most gamers are familiar with the series’ eponymous foggy town and the disturbing monsters who call it home. For many fans of the series, it’s the uniquely atmospheric soundtracks from series composer Akira Yamaoka that really represent what Silent Hill is all about. Yamaoka’s work is iconic, and his work represents some of the best video games have to offer.

There’s been no shortage of fan renditions and tracks inspired by Yamaoka’s work on the series, and with the recent unveiling of Silent Hills — a collaborative effort between Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro, starring Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) — we’re seeing even more.

One of the better fan-made tributes is “It’s Coming!”, a track that was written and produced by Tom Graczkowski, who also happens to be a fan of the genre and an avid reader of Bloody Disgusting. I won’t spoil anything, because it’s great and most definitely Silent Hills in its flavor.

If this is something you’d like to have on whatever gadget it is you use to house your music, which he’s made available as a free download.

Graczkowski also made a slick-looking cover for the track that’s available (for free) in various sizes on his website that would make a great PC wallpaper for the coming Halloween season.

Categories: Horror News

See the First Clip from The Originals Episode 2.01 – Rebirth; New Artwork Unveiled

Dread Central - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 18:23

The official Season 2 artwork has been revealed for The CW’s “The Originals,” and along with a peek at that we have the first clip from the show’s S2 premiere episode, which is entitled “Rebirth.” In the clip we get to see what kind of chessmaster Klaus is.

As for the artwork, per usual for the network, it debuted on THR.

“The Originals” Episode 2.01 – “Rebirth” (airs 10/6/14)
After months of being holed up inside his compound, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) enlists the help of Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) in plotting his revenge against the Guerrera werewolves and vows to take down anyone who poses a threat to baby Hope’s existence. Elijah watches helplessly as Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) spirals downward while mourning the loss of her daughter and struggling to adapt to her new hybrid status.

Exiled by the Guerrera werewolves, who now control the French Quarter, Marcel is still reeling over the destruction of his vampire family and attempts to rebuild his home with the help of Josh (guest star Steven Krueger). Elsewhere, Cami (Leah Pipes), who is attempting to regain some normalcy in her life, seeks comfort in a surprising place.

Lastly, Davina (Danielle Campbell) continues her plan to use Mikael (guest star Sebastian Roche) against Klaus but gets sidetracked when she meets the mysterious, yet charming Kaleb (guest star Daniel Sharman), who holds a few secrets of his own. Lance Anderson directed the episode written by Marguerite MacIntyre and Julie Plec.

For more info visit “The Originals” on CWTV.com, “like” “The Originals” on Facebook, and follow “The Originals” on Twitter.

The post See the First Clip from The Originals Episode 2.01 – Rebirth; New Artwork Unveiled appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Guilty Pleasures: 10 Terrible Movies That Kind of Rock

Dread Central - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 18:00

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a miserable film. Just don’t tell your friends about it, or they’ll clown your ass until you lock yourself in your bedroom with a bottle of Jack, wiping away a fusion of sweat and tears, writing suicide notes.

Ready to be done with all the shame and your embarrassing habits once and for all? Despite the fact that you know, deep down, those buddies of yours have a handful of crap flicks that they themselves tune in to on a regular basis, they just happen to be smart enough to avoid airing that info out to their friends and associates. Clever bastards.

The truth is, sometimes we need brainless fodder. Intense films can weigh heavy on the mind, there’s no doubt about that. Ever watched Cannibal Holocaust? It’s an atrocious film that leaves the abdominal regions writhing in disgust. Ever seen Martyrs? While a genuinely ingraining piece of cinema, it’s so vivid and impacting that it summons legitimate feelings of poignancy. I love the film, but it’s an acquired piece, and it sure as shit doesn’t fiddle with the funny bone in the manner that a guilty pleasure pic does.

There’s room in the horror landscape for all assortments of films: serious, humorous, gory, desolate, and yes, the almighty guilty pleasure. It’s time to take a brief hiatus from the more penetrating offerings and focus on the movies that probably shouldn’t entertain but do so regardless. Here are 10 awesome guilty pleasure flicks perfectly suited to carry a beer-craving genre fanatic through a slow weekend.

Van Helsing: If guilty pleasures are being discussed, Van Helsing is earning mention. Stephen Sommers’ big budget monster movie clearly intended to fuse high speed action and vintage genre appeal. And it does that, surprisingly well, to be honest. What it doesn’t do, however, is work on any other single level! The script is embarrassing, loaded with staggeringly dreadful dialogue. The special effects haven’t aged well, but they didn’t need to age well; they were laughable at birth! Terrible casting and a complete disregard for logical decision-making bury the movie on a technical front. But here’s the thing… I can’t take my eyes off the TV whenever the damn movie is on. Despite how wretched it all is, Van Helsing still feels like a good old throwback Universal monster movie. It still gives me that nostalgic punch in the face that I welcome with lowered defense. I’m a little leery to say it, but I still love Sommers’ costly disaster… and yes, I totally and completely acknowledge the fact that it’s a nauseating feature.

Season of the Witch: There’s something strange going on with Nicolas Cage, and I believe it to be Jedi Mind Tricks. Really, he has this mystifying way of capturing the attention even when the last face you hope to look at is that of Nicolas Cage. Cage is one of the hokiest guys in the business, flat out. I’m not sure if he even takes any of his own onscreen insanity seriously anymore because his performances reflect a guy who is out to have nothing but a silly, good time rather than turn in an edgy, memorable showing. And still, a couple of his features remain magnetic. Take for example Season of the Witch (Drive Angry gets a nod as well), an abomination of a feature that captivates me at every turn. It looks miserably awesome, Cage is miserably awesome, and I just feel flat out miserable having to admit that I love it. All of it. Every last second of this stinker.

Constantine: Talk about defecating on an iconic comic book character. Nothing about Warner Brothers’ Constantine felt faithful to DC’s own Constantine. It felt as though the entire character had undergone a personality transplant. John’s smoking habit is even altered as a result. Anyone who thought they’d watch this movie and see Constantine smoke less than 7,000 cigarettes is out of their mind. And yet, that’s what happened, a bad habit victim of the Hollywood makeover. The CG looks awfully damn abysmal as well. To be entirely honest, I can’t remember how I felt about the visuals the first time I checked this one out back in ’05, but it hasn’t looked good to these peepers in years. But you know what? There’s something about Keanu Reeves’ one-note delivery that gets me, the insane, almost Matrix influenced action scenes are hypnotic, and both Shia LaBeouf and Peter Stormare deliver just the right supportive flare to win me over. The real John Constantine wouldn’t be too pleased with this one, but it’s got a place on my shelf.

MORE Terrible Movies That Rock on the NEXT page!

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Categories: Horror News

Help Make Carpe Noctem’s 20th Anniversary Edition a Reality

Dread Central - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:52

Remember the days before the Internet, when finding information about “dark” music, art, and literature was next to impossible? In 1994, like a lifeline, Catia and Thom Carnell’s Carpe Noctem magazine appeared on the newsstands and brought it all into your hands.

Carpe Noctem gave readers and artists alike a break from their dreary day jobs to express their darker leanings.

Today publisher ZED Presents announces a KickStarter campaign to fund the Carpe Noctem 20th Anniversary Edition, and we have all the information you need to help this endeavor below.

When Catia and Thom Carnell originally launched their unique vision of a literate and informed “dark art” journal, Carpe Noctem magazine was unlike any other publication available at the time. With each subsequent release, people were more amazed by the beauty and unique vision held within. Nowhere in print was there a more perfect union of dark beauty and intelligent writing.

Across ages, cultures, and continents, Carpe Noctem magazine spoke to those who walked a slightly darker path. Whether featuring GWAR or Gino Vannelli, Jon J. Muth or Jhonen Vasquez, no publication could match the in-depth interviews, breathtaking artwork, or diverse coverage of music, film, and comics.


The KickStarter campaign will fund the printing of the Carpe Noctem 20th Anniversary Edition, already in production, which will not only catch up with artists covered in the ’90s but also add entertainers who had not been featured in the pages of Carpe Noctem before. Additionally, everyone is invited to submit their own memories about that time for possible inclusion in the print issue or on the website.

Come… find what the Night brings… once more.

For additional info visit the Carpe Noctem 20 website, “like” Carpe Noctem 20 on Facebook, and if you’re so inclined, contribute to the Carpe Noctem 20 KickStarter campaign.

The post Help Make Carpe Noctem’s 20th Anniversary Edition a Reality appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Colorful “Freak Show” Trailer Looks Like ‘Big Top Pee-Wee’ (and That’s a Good Thing!)

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:16

What lurks under the big top?

The newest promo has been released and shows all of the Freaks from the October 8 premiere of “American Horror Story: Freak Show”.

I love that the fresh footage looks like Big Top Pee-Wee, only with a horror angle. I also like that the two-headed Sarah Paulson seems to be the protagonist and the series appears to be told through her eyes.

We’ve added the colorful new promo below, which is solely for the season premiere – and it also features your first look at what’s said to be the scariest clown ever. Pennywise begs to differ…

The fourth season begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952.

A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.

Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, and Evan Peters return from previous seasons. New cast members includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Matt Bomer, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.

Categories: Horror News

Titan Comics Releasing The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie Generation on October 7th; See the New Trailer

Dread Central - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:15

Titan Comics has a “shocking and controversial” new take on the zombie genre heading our way next week, The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie Generation, and you can check out its new trailer right here!

Written by Pierre Boisserie with art by Malo Kerfriden, The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie Generation arrives on October 7th. Look for Vol. 2: Kill or Cure on January 6th of next year.

Synopsis
A new pandemic virus, a mutated form of rabies, spreads throughout the world. It affects only children, turning them into mindless, violent killers, hungry for blood.

Now humanity faces an impossible choice: kill every child or face extinction… The government tries to save those infected by keeping them locked away until a treatment becomes possible.

The government men find protecting the children more and more difficult, however, for large militia groups now roam the land with a single-minded purpose: to kill all the infected and cleanse the world of the virus. Meet Amina, a young mother battling to save her son. She finds not only their lives hanging in the balance, but her humanity – and that of everyone around her, too.

The post Titan Comics Releasing The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie Generation on October 7th; See the New Trailer appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

The Many Faces of ‘Leatherface’ Recounts Iconic Slasher’s Historical Run

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:04

The Saw is family…

Ignoring the fact that Tobe Hooper’s original Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is the first and most iconic, it’s fun to look back and decide which Leatherface “looked” the best.

Frankly, I’m a big fan of Bill Johnson in Hooper’s 1986 sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the various incarnations as in in everything from Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part III to Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, the remake and its sequel, The Beginning, and even Texas Chainsaw 3D.

Thankfully, Halloween Costumes has your back with this incredible new infographic that details the several incarnation of Leatherface.

After 40 years of Chainsaw, which is your fav?

Categories: Horror News

Ripley Gets an Unwelcome Surprise in This ‘Alien: Isolation’ Video

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 16:47

In Alien: Isolation, now just a week away, even a flare can save your life. I say can, because as we can see in this new vignette, even the clever use of a light source isn’t always effective. Still, being resourceful with and finding clever uses for the items and parts that have been scattered about each environment is something you’ll need to master in order to survive Alien: Isolation.

Is it just me, or did the alien’s reaction to the flare Ripley throws seem a bit slow?

Alien: Isolation arrives on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 7.

Categories: Horror News

New ‘V/H/S: Viral’ Trailer, Images Welcome You to the Show!

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 16:43

This shit’s gonna go viral this fall.

Magnet Releasing has pulled back the curtain on the official green band trailer and images for V/H/S: Viral, which will complete our V/H/S trilogy when it hits VOD platforms October 23, 2014, with a limited theatrical run slated for November 21, 2014.

The new tape features segments directed by Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl, the incredible The ABCs of Death segment “D Is for Dogfight”), Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial), Gregg Bishop (The Other Side, Dance of the Dead), as well as Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (Resolution, Spring).

The new trailer is jam-packed with gags and spoilers, but at this point I don’t think we’re trying to keep anything secret. Fingers crossed you guys have as much fun with it as we did! Go forth, check out demon penises, demonic magicians, resurrected skeletons, and then watch this shit go viral!

“A police chase after a deranged ice cream truck has captivated the attention of the greater Los Angeles area. Dozens of fame—obsessed teens flock to the streets with their video cameras and camera phones, hell—bent on capturing the next viral video. But there is something far more sinister occurring in the streets of L.A. than a simple police chase. A resounding effect is created onto all those obsessed with capturing salacious footage for no other purpose than to amuse or titillate. Soon the discovery becomes that they themselves are the stars of the next video, one where they face their own death.”

Patrick Lawrie, Emmy Argo, Heather Hayes, Jessica Luza, John Curran, Justin Welborn, Mary Ralston, Michael Aaron Milligan, Gustavo Salmerón, Marian Álvarez, Xavi Daura, Esteban Navarro, Nick Blanco, Chase Newton, Shane Bradey and Jayden Robison star.

Marcel Sarmiento, TJ Cimfel, Dave White, Gregg Bishop, Nacho Vigalondo, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead wrote the screenplays.

Categories: Horror News

Watch ‘Bill & Ted’ Fall for 10 Minutes

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 16:19

One of the most glorious moments in the Bill & Ted franchise comes in Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, an criminally underrated classic, when the duo are sucked into Hell by Missy and her group of weird friends.

During a seance seeking help, Missy reads incantations that send Bill and Ted to Hell, where they are forced to face the Reaper in a series of “battles” in order to escape.

But before all of the fun and mayhem, the Wyld Stallyns hilariously fall down a nearly infinite pit. A Youtube user reimagined the fall for a whopping 10 minutes. It’s fucking hysterical. Now, if only someone would make one that loops for an hour, they’d earn the final spot on my personal battle of the bands competition.

Categories: Horror News

‘The Flock’ Closed Alpha is the Perfect Halloween Treat

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 16:17

Back in April, we got our first look at the asymmetrical multiplayer horror game The Flock. It’s a game of cat and mouse, as creatures called Carriers are hunted by agile monsters known as the Flock. Armed only with a source of light — which also happens to be the Flock’s only weakness — a Carrier’s goal is to survive as long as possible.

It would seem The Flock has reached a point where it can be played by the public, as indie developer Vogelsap is now accepting registrations for the closed alpha they plan to go live on Halloween.

I’ve signed up, and you can too on the registration page.

As for what you’ll need to get in on this, a Steam account and working Internet connection are obviously required. The recommended specs haven’t been nailed down yet.

Categories: Horror News

Are You A Slasher Movie Expert?

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 15:00

How well do you know your slasher films? That’s what this week’s quiz asks you and we want to see how well you think you can hold up!

Below are 15 questions, some of them pretty easy and some of them serious stumpers. Head on down to take the quiz and then make sure to let us know how you did!

Categories: Horror News

OUTER SPACE: THREE COSMIC TALES FROM THE CHILDREN'S FILM FOUNDATION (1956-1977)

nothingbutthenight - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 14:32
Whatever the theme by which the BFI chooses to link the three features that make up each of the volumes in its on-going Children’s Film Foundation DVD range, the content is invariably -- and comfortingly -- extremely similar in its design and method. Despite decade-specific modifications employed by each era’s film-makers in their approaches to the storytelling, we can always expect to Black Gloveshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/01771303462033735870noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Horror News

‘Amityville’ Was Delayed Because… (Exclusive)

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 13:34

Some bummer news hit a week ago, announcing the delay of TWC-Dimension’s Amityville, which was to hit theaters this coming January.

Now, we’re being told one of the potential reasons behind the push.

A source who wishes to remain anonymous explains that the studio held two separate screenings for Amityville: The Awakening (this I have confirmed), and the feedback was overwhelemingly positive.

The main issue audiences had with the Franck Khalfoun-directed sequel was with the ending, resulting in the Weinstein execs to order re-shoots. In additional to some additional photography (to spruce up the movie), the effects work was falling behind. The delay gives more time for post work, such as the VFX.

Lastly, the reason for the indefinite delay is that star Cameron Monaghan is in the middle of shooting the new season of “Shameless”, and his schedule is unclear.

Our multiple sources tell us that the plan is to finish everything after the November holiday and aim for a mid/late summer 2015 release.

In the film, “Belle, her little sister, and her comatose twin brother move into a new house with their single mother Joan in order to save money to help pay for her brother’s expensive healthcare. But when strange phenomena begin to occur in the house including the miraculous recovery of her brother, Belle begins to suspect her Mother isn’t telling her everything and soon realizes they just moved into the infamous Amityville house.

It stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne, McKenna Grace, Cameron Monaghan, Taylor Spreitler, Thomas Mann and Jennifer Morrison.

Categories: Horror News

[Review] ‘Legend Of The Hillbilly Butcher’ Looks Great, Carves Slow

bloody disgusting - Tue, 09/30/2014 - 13:02

Before the found footage craze hit horror, we had endless “me-too” films being done in the Grindhouse style. And like most fads (like found footage), it was done to death by indie filmmakers. Don’t get me wrong, it was a cool concept and harkened back to the days of old, but hinging your film on a particular style can only take you so far. Enter director Joaquin Montalvan’s Legend Of The Hillbilly Butcher, which takes on the Grindhouse style while also paying homage to Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Sounds like a natural fit, but is it style over substance?

Carl Henry Jessup (Paul E. Respass) is a backwoods hunter whose local delicacy amongst his neighbors is serving up tresspassers (aka people). In fact, his late daddy left Carl the same butcher knife he used in his own cannibalistic activities. The only people whom Carl calls family are his half sister Rae Lynn (Theresa Holly), and best friend Billy Wayne (Chris Shumway). Carl misses his parents after their tragic murder-suicide. He tries to summon them to live again with the help a demon named Sam Bakoo. Unfortunately, Carl’s soul isn’t worth the price, and in turn sets off more trouble for the cannibal.

Might as well start off with the film’s Grindhouse claim, which honestly is pretty damn impressive. The film really does look like it’s been through the ringer, sporting a faded, scratched up and otherwise ugly-looking picture. Unlike some indie productions which basically take the quick and easy guide in Adobe After Effects, Montalvan put forth a real effort in making the image look bad in a good way, while not phoning it in and doing it with the standard default settings. It really does give the film character. The same goes for the gore effects. Granted, they’re done on the cheap, but the post effects on the image help to mask this and look better than they normally would.

On the acting front, Paul E. Respass does an adequate job as Carl Jessup. Respass was able to take an obviously flat character script-wise and give it some depth, particularly with the demon subplot. Speaking of which, casting the scrawny-looking Allen East as Sam Bakoo gave the role a bit more weight (I see the irony in that) than if it were played by a more ordinary person. Theresa Holly is a treat as Carl’s half sister Rae Lynn. She’s very charming in the role, and does give the character much-needed sympathy in a film where the majority of it’s characters don’t exactly lend themselves to it.

Remember that “style over substance” quip? Yeah, unfortunately that’s the case for Hillbilly Butcher. Beneath the cool look of the film lies a script that has a serious pacing problem. Long dialogue sequences punctuated by long pauses, long stalking sequences and a just plain long runtime make this more of a chore to sit through than anything. When things do happen, the low budget origins sneak up and disappoint us with a real lack of gore. And that’s another problem with this film, as it doesn’t go all-out with it’s concept of a cannibalistic hillbilly. If the concept was explored and developed further, rather than going the artsy route with the dream sequences involving Bakoo, it probably would’ve been more exciting.

As it stands, Legend Of The Hillbilly Butcher is a missed opportunity. True, it does an excellent job of establishing a Grindhouse look and feel that many low budget films fail to grasp, but it suffers with not fully embracing it’s concept, including it’s painfully slow pace. It’s a shame, since Montalvan, his cast and his crew really seemed to be fully invested in creating a great film that attempts to pay homage to Tobe Hooper’s classic. Hopefully Montalvan will be able to put more into his next film than post-production work.

Video/Audio:

The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer for the majority of the film purposely attempts to replicate the grungy look of an old Grindhouse film as much as possible. The shots that aren’t purposely fiddled with in post sport strong colour saturation and fairly good detail. As for the rest of the film, it really does look like an old VHS tape of a film that wasn’t in the best of condition in the first place. As such, colours are faded, dirt and scratches cover the image, as well as out of focus shots and in some instances the image has a slight shake to it. Very impressive post-production job!

Unfortunately, the Dolby Digital 2.0 track is a sore spot. The overall loudness of the film is very unbalanced. Normal conversations are sometimes hard to hear, but when characters shout or scream, the levels are blown out and it’s distorted. Ambient effects also suffer, as they’re either too quiet or too loud, making their additions in post pretty obvious. What makes things worse is that the disc doesn’t come with any subtitles. It’s tolerable, but just keep your remote handy for quick volume adjustments.

Extras:

First up is Gutting Da Hillbilly Butcher, an hour-long making-of doc. Consisting of talking head interviews with cast and crew, with director Joaquin Montalvan doing much of the talking. Topics include everything from the origins of the film, how the look of the film came about, casting choices, how the cast went about preparing for certain scenes, sound design, effects shots, how to morgue breathe (?!) and more. It’s pretty in-depth for a low budget film of this nature, though the continued use of the filters used in the film on the raw footage is kind of annoying.

Following that is a six minute short film Straight Razor, which was Montalvan had filmed prior to starting on Hillbilly Butcher. Shot in a similar Grindhouse-style to Hillbilly Butcher, the film is pretty surreal and has some weird imagery.

Horror Happens Interview is an 29 minute candid interview from the Home Grown Radio NJ show, Horror Happens. The host of the show, Jay K aka Jason Kolucki, interviews Montalvan with actors Paul E. Respass and Theresa Holly. The group cover different topics from the making-of doc, including Montalvan’s love of horror, differences in the script from the actual film, inspirations for the characters and more.

Rounding out the extras are three trailers for the film.

I’d have to say that I’m impressed with the effort put into the extras for this film, even if the film itself isn’t the greatest.

Categories: Horror News