There’s been a ton of sci-fi news this week, which continues with reports that Brandon Lee Tenney is rewriting Terrestrial for Lionsgate. Peter Gaffney wrote the previous draft, which has Tripp Vinson producing with Adam Rodin.
The story has been pitched as Close Encounters of the Third Kind meets Source Code.
“Over the Mojave Desert, an alien ship the size of the Chrysler building falls from the sky. Exhibiting no signs of life or communication, a team of brave, possibly insane, individuals must venture inside on a mission that could be mankind’s greatest discovery–or gruesome death. What they will find is a power beyond their understanding, wonderous and extremely dangerous, one that will change them forever.”
Watch for more soon.
Jorgensen Pictures is developing Michael Bunker’s science-fiction novel Pennsylvania as a feature film, Variety writes out of AFM.
The story, published last year, “Centers on a young Amish man who signs up for an emigration program to help colonize the planet of New Pennsylvania to start a farm and homestead on affordable land in a new Amish community. But when he arrives in the middle of a rebel uprising, he will discover that being a stranger in the old world doesn’t even compare to being a stranger in a new world.”
Stacy Jorgensen is producing. Her credits include the sci-fi horror film Grey Skies and the upcoming comedy Rehab.
Bunker is adapting the first draft of the screenplay.
The banner is introducing the project to buyers at the American Film Market, which opened Wednesday.
Jalil Lespert, the helmer of Yves Saint Laurent and the big-budget series “Versailles,” is set to reteam with producer Wassim Beji on French remake of Japanese genre master Hideo Nakata’s Chaos, Variety reports out of AFM.
The French makeover will topline French stars Romain Duris, Charlotte Lebon and Lespert.
Beji, who is producing the film via his banner WY Prods., has tapped Australian scribe Andrew Bovell (A Most Wanted Man) to pen the adaptation.
Beji said the untitled pic will transpose the action in Paris and follow the same narrative thread while including many new twists.
The producer described the project as a psychological thriller in the spirit of Gone Girl but with a strong sexual tension.
The iMBD described the original, from the director of Ringu:
“A man gets involved in a kidnapping scheme with the wife of a wealthy businessman. She lets herself be tied up and confined in his house while he sends the ransom demand. When he returns home that night, however, he finds her laying dead on the floor. In a panic he buries her body deep in the woods and tries to return to his ordinary life. One day, he thinks he spots her walking down the street. Is his mind playing tricks on him, or has she somehow returned from the grave?”
The film will start lensing in France on Jan. 18.
Starring William Bloomfield, William Youmans, Natalie Brown
Directed by Erik Bloomquist
Erik Bloomquist shaves all of the unnecessary extras off of his spooky short film Ghost Tour, and in an industry where bigger is certainly regarded as better, sometimes all you need is a spine-chilling atmosphere and fun backstory to rise above many others.
Following a museum’s final ghost tour on the night of November 30, 1973, the museum’s docent, Richard (Bloomfield), and his curator brother, William (Youmans), are on differing ends of the spectral-believing spectrum, with Richard taking a solid stance against presuming anything has ever happened in the history of the repository.
As the final tour group comes to a close and the night closes in, viewers will see just what secrets this dusty old collection house has to offer, and it’s not what you see in front of you, but what is implied that is the real scary piece of evidence to partake in.
Aside from the noteworthy performances of both Bloomquist and Youmans, the true star here is the short’s cinematography. With gorgeous shots filmed inside of the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut (my backyard), the short has the look and feel of a big-budget production, yet excels in many more facets. Overall, I can definitely recommend this “tour” to any fan of good old-fashioned, simplistic horror. Sometimes, the more bang you get doesn’t have to cost a lot of bucks.
Scream Factory is primarily known for releasing classics from years past on Blu-ray and DVD, but every now and then they release newer films and such is the case with Stung from director Benni Diez. Diez has done a number of shorts and worked on visual effects for a handful of films including Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, but Stung is his first stab at directing a feature. Our very own Trace Thurman reviewed Stung some months back and he wasn’t the biggest fan. He made some good points that I absolutely agree with, but overall he was a bit too harsh on what I found to be an enjoyable little flick.
The movie gets to it pretty quickly. Ms. Perch (Eve Slatner) is holding a fancy dinner party in her garden. It’s a party she hosts every summer and this year it is dedicated to her late husband who worked in the pharmaceutical industry. Handling the catering for the party is a small company run by Julia (Jessica Cook) and Paul (Matt O’Leary). At first this party is exactly how you’d expect it to be – a bunch of hoity-toity white people boozing it up. Then a wasp shows up which just seems annoying at first but then becomes deadly once it begins to sting people and turn them into giant, freak mutant wasps. Other than that though, good party.
Trace’s biggest issue with Stung was that he thought the film took itself too seriously. I think I disagree with that. I think the film embraces it’s overall silliness quite a bit, particularly with the character of Sydney, played by a wonderful Clifton Collins, Jr. Sydney is an obvious pothead who appears to have some weird issues with his parents. He’s the son of Ms. Perch and you can tell he never quite lived up to what his parents, his deceased father specifcally, had envisioned in their son. Sydney is such a bizarre character. He sort of feels like a Fred Armisen character. He’s sort of likable at times, but mostly just a creep. He also turns out to be somewhat responsible for the mutations of the wasps. Apparently he used some of his father’s hormone growth medicine and injected into the soil to help the plants grow better. The plants were consumed by the wasps and now here we are.
I actually think Stung missed out on an opportunity for some good social commentary by not being serious enough in a way. There was a good opportunity to speak on the issue of society as a whole being over medicated. Not only would this have giving the film a stronger message, it would have made it a little more aligned with some of the old Roger Corman creature features from back in the day. The movies were obvsiouly very shlocky, but they always had a message about society. Had Stung borrowed some elements from Corman’s The Wasp Woman this could have been a more successful venture. Instead the whole bit about Sydney giving the hormone’s to the soil is just barely mentioned, sort of like they were just trying to give as brief an explanation for the mutations as possible.
Stung suffers from some pretty poor CGI to begin with, but thankfully it doesn’t last too long. Once the wasp begin to bite people, leading to giant wasps ripping out of the bodies of the bitten, the practical effects swing into high gear and they all look really awesome. The scene with the first swarm attacking is really well done. Kudos to the makeup team led by Meike Gfrörer.
The pacing is a little weird. At times the movie feels like it’s flying by and then it comes to a crashing hault. Then it picks up the pace again only to slow back down. It’s weird. I’ve never felt like a movie was going by quickly and slowly at the same time before. I’m going to chalk this up to Diez being a first time director. These are the type of things that always take time and practice before you can actually master it.
O’Leary and Cook do a very nice job as our leads and love interests. I think they had great chemistry and clicked on screen quite well. Both are pretty much newcomers to the game but I wouldn’t be surprised to see both popping up in a lot of things over the next few years.
All in all I think Stung is flawed, but fun. It missed the opportunity to be something more, but it certainly gets the job done. I for one am glad Scream Factory is releasing more indie efforts like this that might otherwise get lost in the shuffle. Hopefully they continue to do so.
Stung is now available on Blu-ray from Scream Factory.
Hot off the back of its premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London last month, Altitude Film Entertainment have licensed the UK distribution rights to the high-concept, sci-fi action feature The Carrier from international sales agent Evolutionary Films.
The Carrier is about eight survivors who escape to the skies in a badly damaged commercial jet to avoid a pandemic that is ravaging the earth.
Nowhere is safe on the ground, but things also start to go wrong in the air when they discover that one of them is infected. How long can they stay airborne? And more importantly what will be waiting for them when they land?
The Carrier is the second film from emerging genre director Anthony Woodley, and is a smart outbreak feature in the tradition of films such as 28 Days Later, Outbreak and Contagion.
As well as The Carrier, Evolutionary Films is also representing a strong line-up of ready to deliver titles at their booth at AFM, along with their exciting slate of production and development projects for 2016.
One monster film that we’re particularly exited for here at Dread Central is the Australian flick Boar (check out our interview with director Chris Sun). So we’re thrilled to announce that the first trailer has found its way online via the film’s Facebook page and can be viewed below.
Boar stars Nathan Jones, Griffin Walsh, Christie Lee Britten, and horror legend Bill Moseley. It will be released next year.
In the harsh, yet beautiful Australian Outback lives a beast, an animal of staggering size, with a ruthless, driving need for blood and destruction. It cares for none, defends its territory with brutal force, and kills with a raw, animalistic savagery unlike any have seen before. Believed nothing more than a myth, a legend brought to life by a drunken local, the beast ventures closer to civilization, closer to life, and ultimately, closer to death. It’s brutal, it’s bloodthirsty, it’s Boar.
It looks like Warcraft isn’t the only revered fantasy video game that will be getting the big screen treatment as SDC, the production company behind The Mummy franchise, will be creating a live-action adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher, according to Platige.
In The Witcher, “Geralt the witcher, is a monster hunter with superhuman abilities. He is a creature suspended between two worlds – the human and the magical.”
The site writes that the film will be based, “… on themes from the short stories ‘The Witcher’ and ‘Lesser Evil’ from ‘The Last Wish’ collection.” They also write that the first movie will be the beginning of a new series. The books will be adapted by Thania St. John (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and the studio is eyeing 2017 for a release year.
The Dark Side has flame-throwers.
Lucasfilm just released a spectacular new international trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is only a month away!
Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away – 30 years after Return of the Jedi to be exact – as Star Wars returns to the big screen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015!
The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow.
There’s a ton to be excited about here, especially when you see Stormtroopers with flame-throwers.
What do you guys think? Tell me the score doesn’t give you goosebumps…
“I can’t even get my nut up to rumble unless I’ve had a good shot to the chin.”
Starz has released a sneak peek at this upcoming Saturday’s episode of “Ash vs Evil Dead“, which shows Bruce Campbell’s “Ash” reassuring Ray Santiago’s “Pablo” about how to handle another Deadite encounter. You can see the preview below!
““Ash vs Evil Dead” follows Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.”
While Brad was a huge fan of the season premiere, which was directed by creator Sam Raimi, he was sorely disappointed by the second episode, directed by Silent Hill: Revelation‘s Michael J. Bassett. You can read his review.
With Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed forthcoming, it seems that we may finally be entering the age of good video game movies. And now we have another film to add to that list. Platige reports that The Sean Daniel Company is adapting The Witcher in time for 2017. Tomasz Bagiński, known for his Oscar-nominated short The Cathedral, will direct, and “Buffy“ writer Thania St. John will provide the screenplay.
Yeah, okay, you can argue that it’s not exactly a video game adaptation as it originated as a series of novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, but let’s face it… the film wouldn’t be happening were it not for the games. They made the series huge. Their popularity will be the film’s key selling point.
As diehard fans will remind you, this won’t be the first time that The Witcher has been adapted into a film. There was a piece of trash released in 2001 called The Hexer, which was a cobbled together mess of footage from an equally crap TV series, but the less said about that, the better.
As is the custom when one of these announcements is made, expect fans to enter into endless debates about who should play Geralt of Rivia. Interestingly, this will be the first in a series, so don’t feel to depressed if your favorite characters don’t appear as they could show up as the franchise progresses.
Ouija boards, man. Who would have thought that a simple board game from Hasbro could cause so much trouble?!? In theory, though, just about anything could be used as a deadly weapon if you’re creative enough. In any event, yeah, more spirit board hijinx are getting ready to happen in Definition of Fear.
Merchant of Venice‘s James Simpson is making his directorial debut on the film, which stars Katherine Barrell, Mercedes Papalia, Sean Tucker, and Blythe Hubbard.
Four beautiful girls spend the weekend at a charming holiday cabin. But all is not how it seems. They quickly discover that maybe they are not alone.
Currently filming in Nepal is Scott Derrickson’s take on Marvel’s Doctor Strange, and right now the first images of star Benedict Cumberbatch have hit the interwebs. Check ’em out!
Tilda Swinton and Chiwetelu Ejiofor co-star. Look for it on on November 4, 2016.
— Cumberbatchweb (@cumberbatchweb) November 5, 2015
— Prayush Khadka (@Technicalyright) November 5, 2015
Jon Spaihts wrote the script for the film (the first draft was penned by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer). Marvel’s Kevin Feige is producing.
The character was hatched by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko during the Marvel Comics heyday of the early 1960s. He’s a neurosurgeon who becomes Sorcerer Supreme, protecting Earth against magical and mystical threats with powers of sorcery, mysticism, and martial arts.
The post First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange appeared first on Dread Central.
Better start brushing up on your gardening skills because we won’t have long to wait until we can play the next crazy gardening/living dead mashup. EA has announced that Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 will be released on February 23, 2016.
And there will be mechs this time. Because if any game ever needed to feature mechs, it’s this. And if you’re a Mass Effect fan, it may look familiar…
From the Press Release:
Spring comes early when zombies take over! PopCap Vancouver, creator of some of the world’s most beloved video game franchises and a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), today announced that Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 will be in stores February 23, 2016, arriving ahead of the expected spring launch.
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 drops you into an all-out battle where for the first time in franchise history, zombies have conquered Suburbia and plants are on the attack. Players who pre-order will get immediate access to the new Grass Effect Z7-Mech when they start the game.
Inspired by one of the development team’s favorite video game franchises, PopCap Vancouver worked in close partnership with BioWare to create this one-of-a-kind mech that comes loaded with the melee Zomni-tool, kinetic padding, and a biotic ability ‘Pull’ to quickly close the gap between you and the plant menace.
In addition to the Grass Effect Z7-Mech, fans who pre-order Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 will receive an emoji pack filled with 14 all-new emoji-style accessories to customize each character class with.
“At PopCap, we love to excite our fans and couldn’t be more ready and thrilled to bring Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 into their hands earlier than expected,” said Justin Wiebe, Creative Director, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2. “From the immersive worlds and the crazy characters, to the new ways to play such as Backyard Battleground, we’re incredibly proud of the game we’re building. This is a crazy shooter filled with fan-requested features as well as all-new experiences that will make this unlike any other game in the genre.”
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 goes above and beyond to deliver the funniest, craziest, most over-the-top shooter yet. Players can go on the offensive as the plants in all-new modes including the 24-player Herbal Assault mode, or rally the zombies together and defend against the plants in the 4-player co-op mode, Graveyard Ops. From the Great White North to Moon Base Z, all the hilarious action takes place across 12 fresh maps that are bursting with life and humor.
Join the fight for Suburbia with six new character classes and over one hundred unique characters to collect. Experience even more ways to play, including the Backyard Battleground; players will have the freedom to explore this interactive environment by themselves or with friends. The Backyard Battleground is a wild playground with dynamic events and tons to discover, and is unlike anything that has been in a Plants vs. Zombies game before.
The post Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 Unleashing Mayhem in February 2016 appeared first on Dread Central.
Full disclosure: Brad produced this film.
The anthology surreal horror film Southbound, which was recently purchased by The Orchard, will be getting a limited theatrical run on February 5th, 2016 before heading to VOD just a few days later on February 9th. The movie includes segments directed by Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath and Radio Silence, several of whom were involved in the V/H/S films.
In Southbound, “Five intertwining tales of terror unfold along an endless desert highway. On a desolate stretch of road, weary travelers — two men on the run from their past, a band on their way to the next gig, a man struggling to get home, a brother in search of his long-lost sister and a family on vacation — are forced to confront their worst fears and darkest secrets in these interwoven tales of terror and remorse on the open road.”
“When we saw Southbound, we knew we were looking into the eyes of a much different animal,” said Paul Davidson, SVP of Film & TV at The Orchard. “Southbound is a slick and stylish film that will have audiences engrossed from the moment the engines kick into gear and we can’t wait to invite them to take that journey.”
The film is being compared to “The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits” while also drawing similarities to EC Comics morality plays.
As of yet, there is no trailer but there are a few images that you can see below.
The team behind the V/H/S series heads Southbound with a new anthology film, and you’ll be able to see it theatrically this coming February 5, 2016, and then on VOD February 9th.
Directors of the individual segments are Radio Silence, David Bruckner, Roxanne Benjamin, and Patrick Horvath. Kate Beahan, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Susan Burke, Zoe Cooper, Gerald Downey, Karla Droege, Larry Fessenden, Dana Gould, Hassie Harrison, Davey Johnson, Nathalie Love, Hannah Marks, Tipper Newton, Maria Olsen, Kristina Pesic, Matt Peters, Anessa Ramsey, Fabianne Therese, Tyler Tuione, Chad Villella, Justin Welborn, David Yow, and Mather Zickel star.
Weary travelers confront their worst nightmares — and darkest secrets — over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway in this spooky anthology that merges five tales of death and mayhem on the open road.
Mitch and Jack are on the run from their past when they turn up, blood-splattered, at a lonely roadside diner; an all-girl rock group called Siren must rely on the kindness of strangers when their tour van breaks down at the side of the road; a harried businessman is desperate for help from an unusual 9-1-1 operator in the aftermath of a car accident; a frantic gunman bursts into a bar demanding to know the whereabouts of a girl in a photograph; all hell breaks loose when masked men interrupt a family vacation.
These interlocking tales of terror and remorse are rooted firmly in the logic of “Twilight Zone” and EC Comics morality plays, each one winding seamlessly into the next. The result is original, cohesive, and consistently fun — a Möbius strip of ghoulish frights on an endless road.
Another Scream Factory double feature Blu-ray is on its way and we have all your details on what will happen when The Dungeonmaster and the Eliminators roll into town.
From the Press Release:
Scream Factory presents a double dose of science-fiction fun with The Dungeonmaster & Eliminators in their Blu-ray debuts on December 15, 2015. This release comes complete with a new interview with director Peter Manoogian.
THE DUNGEONMASTER (AKA RAGE WAR) – Unrated Version
Paul, a young computer ace, is forced to pit his physical and mental skills against unimaginable odds when a hulking wizard looking for formidable opponents picks Paul as his next challenger. Paul faces a series of seven spectacular and death-defying challenges and must survive not only to save his life but that of his girlfriend’s too! Jeffrey Byron (Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn) and Richard Moll (Night Court) star in this eye-popping thriller featuring an appearance by W.A.S.P.!
A mandroid – part man and part machine – seeks revenge on the evil scientist who created him. Enlisting the help of a beautiful woman and a mysterious ninja, he pursues the scientist in hopes of stopping him before he can be further harm to humanity. Andrew Prine (The Town That Dreaded Sundown) and Denise Crosby (Star Trek: The Next Generation) star.
- NEW Interview with director Peter Manoogian
- New High Definition Transfer (Eliminators)
- Theatrical Trailer (The Dungeonmaster)
The post Scream Factory to Unleash The Dungeonmaster and the Eliminators appeared first on Dread Central.
You’ve heard a lot about Sion Sono’s Tokyo Tribe (review) by now, and pretty soon you’ll get to see what all the hoopla is about when it hits Blu-ray and DVD.
Look for the flick available on DVD and Blu-ray on December 1, 2015. Ryohei Suzuki and Young Dais star.
In a futuristic Japan, territorial street gangs form opposing factions collectively known as the Tokyo Tribes. When one of the gang leaders breaks the fragile peace, it triggers a brutal street war for supremacy. Based on a popular manga series and told almost entirely in rap verse, TOKYO TRIBE is an ingenious mash-up of Yakuza gang violence, martial arts action, and hip-hop musical.
Disney has released the first trailer for their upcoming fantasy film Alice: Through the Looking Glass, which is the sequel to Tim Burton’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland. In the sequel, “Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.”
Starring Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter along with the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall, the film is directed by James Bobin and produced by Tim Burton. It will be released on May 27th, 2016.
I don’t know many people who liked Burton’s take on Lewis Carroll’s story, which is a book that I love and read through once every two or three years. And while there are people who think a sequel can’t really get any worse, I’m seeing this and think that it can’t really get any better. There is simply way too much CGI that is blatantly obvious for me to feel like anyone is ever in any danger. The best kinds of CGI are the ones that are used to amplify what’s already physically there, not the other way around.
Alice’s tales through Wonderland take the strange sights we see in nature and amplify them to surreal levels. However, there is always something grounding those images in reality, be it a forest, an ocean, a chessboard, or a house that is too small to contain Alice. These kinds of images can easily be filmed and then the additions come on top of that.
Sorry for ranting, it’s just that I love the Alice mythos and I think that going down a CGI-heavy route such as this is almost insulting to what could be if the effort were put in. Get Stan Winston to make a real Jabberwocky just like how a real T-Rex was made for ‘Jurassic Park’. Yeah, it’s unreliable and unwieldy. But when you see it on the big screen and marvel at the beauty of it, doesn’t that make it all worth it? Isn’t that what going to the movies is all about?
This is a good time to be a fan of Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Game. The first season in the episodic series was free for Xbox Live subscribers in October as part of Microsoft’s Games with Gold program, and now the second season is getting the same treatment on PS4.
The Walking Dead: Season Two is available free-of-charge for PlayStation Plus subscribers throughout the month of November, along with Magicka 2. This should be enough to whet your appetite while you wait for season three in the ongoing adventure game series, as well as the Michonne-centric spinoff.
Season two continues the adventures of Clementine…and that’s about all I’m going to say about the actual plot of the game. As with any PlayStation Plus game, you’ll need to be a subscriber to get it for free, but you have the whole month of November to pick it up.