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  • Lynn Lowry “SCORE”s on DVD and Blu-ray this fall

    Originally posted on 2010-09-12 16:22:55 by Chris Alexander

    Horror and exploitation film icon Lynn Lowry (SHIVERS, THE CRAZIES, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD) is enjoying a career renaissance of late (as profiled in the pages of FANGORIA #296), and seems hellbent on reminding the world about her unique beauty and still-striking physical presence. Alongside the slew of new and upcoming features under her belt (she even contributed an effective cameo to the recent CRAZIES remake), Cult Epics is rereleasing a picture where we got to literally see what was under her belt: softcore pornslinger Radley Metzger’s notorious 1972 skin flick SCORE.

    In the film, Lowry stars as a semi-innocent nymph who enters into a wild ménage with two other men and another woman, who claim “they’d mount a porcupine if the mood struck them.” And essentially, everyone does indeed mount everyone with the slightest of provocation in this funny, deeply weird and raunchy classic.

    Cult Epics will be releasing the full, rarely seen, uncut and uncensored version on both DVD and Blu-ray on October 12, with the standard theatrical version coming October 26. Features (available on both releases) will include a vintage behind-the-scenes featurette, a new interview with Lowry and a commentary by Metzger and film historian Michael Bowen. Also of note is news that The Cinefamily, a group dedicated to spotlighting interesting and unusual films, will host a special screening of the uncensored SCORE at 8 p.m. Sunday, November 7 at the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles (611 North Fairfax Avenue). A Q&A session with Metzger will follow the film.

    Keep visiting Fangoria.com in the coming weeks for a new, exclusive interview with Lowry where she’ll discuss in detail her early days working on these classics of exploitation cinema. “I’ve never done any work that I’m not extremely proud of,” says Lowry. “And I absolutely adore myself in SCORE.” And be sure to visit Cult Epics’ official site for full SCORE specs and other information on their great, strange and eccentric releases.

     

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  • Filmmaker talks “DAMNED BY DAWN”; exclusive pics

    Originally posted on 2010-09-11 13:52:23 by

    Australian filmmaker Brett Anstey gave us some comments and exclusive photos from his chiller DAMNED BY DAWN, which has attracted quite a bit of positive attention at festivals over the last year or so. Produced by Anstey and Luke Gibson, the movie debuts on U.S. DVD November 9 from Image Entertainment (see art and details here).

    “The film centers on a banshee whose wailing wakes the dead,” Anstey, who scripted the film from a story he wrote with Russell Friedrich and Rob Townshend, tells us. Specifically, it raises walking corpses during a thunderstorm, and the creatures terrorize a family. “The original idea was to make a period horror, one heavily influenced by the classic Hammer films. But it soon became apparent we couldn’t afford Christopher Lee, Ingrid Pitt, horse-drawn carriages and boobs. Fog, atmosphere and heavy doses of Irish mythology were all within our budget, though, so those elements remain.”

    DAMNED BY DAWN’s cast is headed by Renee Willner, Bridget Neval, Dawn Klingberg (also be seen in another pair of Ozploitationers, THE OUTBACK, a.k.a. PREY, and the upcoming THE GATES OF HELL), Danny Alder and veteran actor Peter Stratford, whose credits include Simon Wincer’s thriller SNAPSHOT, a.k.a. THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN. This is the first feature from Anstey, Gibson and their cohorts in The Amazing Krypto Bros., a filmmaking collective who previously made the award-winning short ATOMIC SPITBALLS.

    “The film was shot during winter over 26 grueling days and nights in Ballarat, Victoria,” the writer/director says. “The cast and crew had to endure many nights in near-freezing conditions whilst working in forests and paddocks. In other words, the circumstances weren’t ideal. But in the end we all survived…just! And despite the lowish budget, every cent is up on the screen. The film looks incredible, thanks to the production design of David Jackson, the cinematography of Reg Spoon—with additional photography by Tom David and Mick De Montignie—and the amazing work of makeup effects artist Justin Dix [whose bloody work on STORM WARNING won the Best Special Effects award at 2007’s Screamfest] and his crew. Justin and I have been collaborating on numerous projects since the early ’90s, and in many ways he’s similar to Tom Savini, in that he’s just not a makeup artist, he’s also a stuntman and a talented director.”

    Dix helped bring the central banshee creature to life in collaboration with concept designer Seth Justus, performer Bridget Neval and audio designer Tristan Meredith, the latter of whom Anstey cites as another key contributor to DAMNED’s horrific impact: “Tristan created a sound for the banshee’s shrieking that seriously makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.” To get the skin crawling, the filmmakers also employed a multitude of real cockroaches. “We purchased 950 of them!” Anstey says. “Dealing and controlling that many insects is a challenge at the best of times. Throw cold weather into the equation, and even the roaches struggled. They can survive a nuclear war, but barely made it through the nightly weather in Ballarat!”

    Check out DAMNED BY DAWN’s trailer below, and find out more about the movie at its official website and Facebook page.



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  • Sound Shock: Bob Ezrin on “THE ELDER”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-11 13:04:59 by Chris Alexander

    Ah, the concept album, the rock opera…the ambitious extension of every pop artist who tires of his or her trade and dreams of bigger fish. In the 1970s, as music and mass media leaned towards bloat, with bands like Queen, The Who and Pink Floyd conquering the charts and grand-scale cinema like STAR WARS owning the box office, Kiss decided to give the trashy rock-and-roll pulp they made their name with a rest and pursue loftier creative heights.

    The result of their semi-delusional dreaming was 1981’s THE ELDER, a baroque, full-blown concept platter charting the story of a Luke Skywalker-esque boy who is called upon to battle the evil Mr. Blackwell and restore order and balance to the land. The album was the work of legendary producer Bob Ezrin (who helped shape the sound of hard rock’s first horror show, Alice Cooper), a Toronto native who had previously reinvented the band with 1976’s classic DESTROYER and had, at that time, just worked on Pink Floyd’s double-disc rock-opera juggernaut THE WALL.

    Both Ezrin and the band (well, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, anyway) were convinced that THE ELDER would be the record to forge their new “mature” path, a bounce back after the lightweight pop fluff of 1980’s UNMASKED. Kiss trimmed their hair and donned new, stripped-down costumes, and the cover was the first in the band’s history not to feature the freak four.

    It was, of course, a gross miscalculation.

    The album tanked, fans recoiled and THE ELDER pretty much drove a stake through the first wave of Kisstory. But time is a great healer, and over the years, many Kiss devotees have come forth and voiced their love for the disc (this writer included). Lush, evocative, frightening, beautiful and very cinematic, THE ELDER is such a breathlessly odd piece of work, so different from anything else in the Kiss lexicon, that it demands respect.

    Fango tracked down Ezrin to talk about THE ELDER and share some memories of that pivotal point in the band’s myth…

    FANGORIA: To say one loves THE ELDER is—even now—not a popular sentiment.

    BOB EZRIN: True. Not even amongst those of us who created it!

    FANG: What can you tell us about the genesis of the album?

    EZRIN: Well, the boys came to me with a bunch of really heavy demos, initially. They wanted to make a very intense record to combat the criticism of the last couple of albums. I had just made THE WALL, and I convinced them to scrap those demos and do something different. So THE ELDER was a victim of THE WALL and our mutual desire to do something “important,” which really was antithetical to what Kiss was about. Kiss was never pretentious or precious and never took themselves seriously. They were always about fun, sex and power and were always, in effect, horror cartoon characters, so to suddenly do a concept album, something of “consequence,” was an anti-Kiss idea. It was a flawed concept from the beginning.

    FANG: Who was the driving force behind the record?

    EZRIN: At the time, we were all looking for bigger, better things, and Gene—more so than Paul—jumped on the concept of doing THE ELDER. I’m not really sure if he came in with it or we developed it together, but we both evolved a script for a little film to accompany it. We thought it would be the beginning of multiple projects to go under the ELDER banner. We were wrong, of course. But Paul and Gene were really into it, and they put their all into it. They both had to step out of their personas, and it was really bold of them to do that. They were attracted to the classic rock, almost Beatles-esque, complex structure of the album…they were seduced by that. We were all trying to be artistes. It was a huge mistake.

    FANG: It’s well-known that lead guitarist Ace Frehley was not pleased with this direction, failed to show up for sessions and quit the band soon after. But you had similar problems with Ace during the recording of DESTROYER as well, didn’t you?

    EZRIN: People dwell on that, but it’s not entirely true. I loved Ace. It’s just that DESTROYER was a big project. It was ambitious and grandiose and had to be delivered on a finite budget in a very finite time frame. Gene and Paul were, as always, totally disciplined, but Ace was a free spirit and, like his persona suggests, a real space cadet. Sometimes we couldn’t find him when we were in studio and had to record, so we had to proceed with Biff Wagner playing his parts. But when he did play on the album, he was fantastic.

    FANG: DESTROYER was huge, a landmark album—but it too was met with fan dissent, initially. Do you remember the backlash when THE ELDER was released?

    EZRIN: I do. Here was this larger-than-life fantasy/rock record, filled with myth and violence and passion, and I believe some fans liked it. Some critics liked it too, which rarely happened with Kiss. But most fans couldn’t grasp it and they felt left behind, isolated.

    FANG: What do you think of THE ELDER now?

    EZRIN: There are some great moments in there, for sure, and some classics buried in the mix. But on the whole, it’s way too self-indulgent and way too overproduced. It’s also not fully realized. There’s not enough material, and the story is not fleshed out. It’s an interesting failure, I think.

    FANG: And what about the commercial viability of the “concept album”…is it dead?

    EZRIN: I don’t believe so. Look at Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT. It was a huge album and then a big Broadway show. And listen, I hope it’s not dead, because I just got in the studio with Alice Cooper to do another concept disc, an album with a connecting thematic thread, so I’m hoping it is still very much alive and well!

    Fango #298, coming in October, features lots more about Kiss and its place in the world of horror, including a major interview with frontman Gene Simmons; go here for a preview of the cover!

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  • It’s “THE ROCKY HORROR GLEE SHOW”!

    Originally posted on 2010-09-11 12:42:40 by

    This year marks the 35th anniversary of the ultimate cult film/midnight movie THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, and while Fox Home Entertainment has a celebratory Blu-ray set coming October 19, Fox TV will pay homage in an episode of its hit series GLEE. And two original cast members will be joining in.

    E! Online reports that Barry Bostwick, who starred as Brad, and Meat Loaf, the rocker who played ill-fated delivery boy Eddie (pictured), will appear in the episode as TV station managers who make an “interesting proposal” to ruthless cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, played by Jane Lynch. Susan Sarandon, who portrayed ROCKY HORROR heroine Janet, has expressed interest in taking part as well, but no deal has been signed yet. The show will feature performances by the regular characters of numerous songs from ROCKY HORROR (which GLEE lead actor Matthew Morrison once performed on Broadway), and airs October 26. It’s not the first network series to do the “Time Warp”; CBS built an episode of its crime drama COLD CASE around the movie and its songs in 2005.

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  • “RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE” to set franchise box-office record

    Originally posted on 2010-09-11 12:25:32 by

    The very early box-office estimates for this weekend are in, and based on Friday’s figures, it looks like RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE will very easily claim the number-one spot, and also have the best opening in the franchise’s history.

    Deadline reports an opening-day gross (presumably including Thursday-midnight shows) of $11 million, which should be good for a weekend total of $28 million. (Final estimates will be announced Sunday afternoon.) That bests the three previous films in Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich’s video-game-based zombie series: The original opened in March 2002 to $17.7 million and finished with $40.1 million; APOCALYPSE debuted in September 2004 to $23 million on the way to $51.2 million; and EXTINCTION started off with $23.7 million in September 2007 and wrapped up with $50.6 million. Higher ticket prices for 3-D showings of AFTERLIFE helped, of course; about 2,000 of the movie’s 3,203 screens were 3-D, including 164 in IMAX. Elsewhere on the chart, Fox’s MACHETE looks to take a big drop to about $4.5 million and fifth place in its second weekend for a total of $21.1 million, while THE LAST EXORCISM should do about $3-$3.5 million for sixth place and a cume of $38.2 million.

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  • Terrifyingly Gnarly: Wes Craven, Week 3: “THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-10 21:23:52 by Samuel Zimmerman

    Quite recently, a blog went up on FANGORIA taking a handful of legendary horror directors to task for essentially riding the waves of their legacy and failing to continuously and contemporarily put out excellent work. No doubt, it’s an interesting theory worth debating and investigating. However in my eyes, its author made one fatal mistake (and no, it wasn’t that confrontational opening line—although that was slightly devoid of taste). Nick sought to claim that Wes Craven neither is, nor ever was, great. I’m under the belief that no matter how you feel about many of his films, that’s simply a falsehood. So with four weeks until the filmmaker’s latest, MY SOUL TO TAKE, hits theaters, I’ve decided to look at one of his movies a week (excluding the landmarks like LAST HOUSE, NIGHTMARE and SCREAM) to showcase that even during misfires and his lesser praised works, Craven displays talent, chops and incredible imagination. Check out last week’s right here and read on for week three—my look at 1988’s Haitian Voodoo-zombie flick THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW.

    “Listen to me, there’s a door to the mystical, and you just walked through it,” says Michael Gough to Bill Pullman. “Right now you are very vulnerable. I wouldn’t go back to Haiti. You’d be a grade school boy in a world of Nobel Prize winners.”

    Considering the fine china, parlor room, bow ties and Boston/Cambridge Ivy League setting, and especially considering the American conceit of often thinking of ourselves as the most developed and intelligent (often in relation to third world and struggling nations), it’s an interesting (and ironic since Pullman’s Alan Dennis would presumably be awarded something akin to a Nobel Prize if his mission were successful) choice of words that hold a lot of weight in explaining just what makes well done horror and THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW so effective. It’s that classic fear of the unknown, the different. A good many citizens of superpower nations around the world may study all they want, and the idea here is that Alan—being an anthropologist—has, but will never fully understand or not be unsettled by the clash of values, customs, superstitions and beliefs that often crop up in underdeveloped countries. Nor will they grasp that often their aid and wishes to help will have nary a dent of an effect thanks to corrupt political regimes.

    In SERPENT, Dr. Alan Dennis is approached by a pharmaceutical corporation with the task of learning more about, and obtaining a sample of, a powder used in voodoo ceremonies in Haiti. His past exploits in the Amazon fuel the idea that Alan will be able to handle what comes next. We know he can’t. Once in Haiti, Alan becomes close with Marielle Duchamp, a psychiatrist and branded radical. The two investigate the existence of the powder, what’s happened to supposed zombie Christophe and becomes entangled in both supernatural voodoo rites and political upheaval amidst the Jean-Claude Duvalier regime.

    From its initial concept (based upon a nonfiction account by Wade Davis), what’s very exciting about Craven and screenwriters Richard Maxwell and Adam Rodman’s approach to this zombie film is their interest in looking back farther than Romero’s 1968 landmark to the original zombies, mindless slaves spawned by voodoo in the Caribbean. By 1988, audiences had no doubt grown very accustomed to the modern undead and just what they entailed so bringing it back a step to an unfamiliar landscape no doubt brought a freshness and still does. There aren’t a whole lot of films like THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, and it’s all the better for it. What’s more is that Craven’s scares are still effective which is in part thanks to the set up and execution of out-and-out supernatural shocks, but also the all around sense of dread and hallucinatory “out of one’s element” atmosphere in the film (in the beginning, a man comments on the remarkableness of Haiti in that at a communal celebration involving needles and fire feats, none of the Haitians seem to bleed or be injured). Craven smartly lets his shots linger steadily and matter-of-factly and often a bit too long on the odd and off-kilter happenings, putting an audience member face-to-face with something alien. The director also takes his time in setting up the environment in things like displaying an entire funeral procession before transitioning into the characters and beginning of the Haitian aspect of the story. The atmosphere begins with Alan in the jungles of the Amazon, clenches tightly to his shoulders throughout his stay in Haiti and even follows him back to the U.S. at the end of the second act for one of the scariest and best scenes in the film (a friend’s wife mimics a Haitian glass eater seen earlier in the movie by chomping on her wine glass at dinner, and with a mouth full of shards viciously, attempts to attack Alan across the table). 

    What makes these scares so deeply unsettling is very akin to Craven’s work in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Many of Alan’s more frightening encounters are dreams or hallucinations that very much skirt the line of reality. There’s a sense that these aren’t nightmares that will wash away with the cold sweat, but have a lasting effect either physically or mentally that’s only confirmed when it’s revealed that Captain Peytraud (a superb and sinister Zakes Mokae), the dictator’s second-in-command and head of the oppressive and violent secret police, is heavily dabbling in voodoo and crafting the walking nightmares Alan sees (who could forget the skeleton bride, spewing the serpent from her mouth?). 

    Even though the film had apparently departed greatly from its source text, something it came under fire for from the original author—likely for being turned into a genre story—under Craven’s guidance and his social and political awareness, the horror becomes a way to express his interest in looking at what an unstable, militant and violent government does to itself and its people. Before zombies became ravenous flesh eaters, the real fear was that you’d be a mindless slave, stripped of soul and forced to wander in limbo and servitude, often to men of dark intentions (which Romero fused beautifully with the modern zombie in his DAWN OF THE DEAD to discuss our blind loyalty to consumer culture). Under Peytraud, who holds many souls hostage, he’s slowly turning the people of Haiti into figurative and literal zombies, unable to speak out, doing as he says and deploying both the aforementioned walking nightmares and very real and very murderous police to make his point. Setting the film during the regime of Duvalier grounds the supernatural occurrences, creating a very clear parallel and showcasing that although Alan is able to kill Peytraud, it’s the people of Haiti who had to rise up and drive Duvalier out.

    While most of the frights in THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW aren’t exactly subtle, they contain a stern eerie sensibility, one that flies out the window when Alan and Peytraud meet in the climax and where some viewers may be taken out as souls begin flying around and Peytraud comes shooting out of walls. I wasn’t necessarily taken aback or put off, but excited by the grandiose-ness of it all and where it ends up, with the captain in his torturing chair, being sucked into hell, no doubt an incredible moment in the film. 

    THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW is an example of Craven at his best, employing excellent filmmaking, tension, scares and what horror should often be used for, exploring the plight of the repressed, both in the sense of people and taboos.

    You can read the blog that incited my seven week response right here, as well as check out my initial idea and drop me suggestions for what Craven films you’d like to see me tackle here.

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  • International trailer for “LET ME IN”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-10 18:18:19 by Allan Dart

    With all of the clips, images and video being released as of late, Overture Films’ vampire drama LET ME IN is certainly getting a strong promotional push. Check out a new international preview after the jump.

    Click here to watch three other clips from LET ME IN, which opens October 1. Writer/director Matt Reeves talks up the film in Fango #297, on sale this month.

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  • Special “SKYLINE” preview at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

    Originally posted on 2010-09-10 17:43:43 by Allan Dart

    This year’s Halloween Horror Nights at LA’s Universal Studios has another attraction to entice visitors: a sneak peek at the Strause Brothers’ alien invasion film SKYLINE.

    Shock Till You Drop reports that the trailer will be a part of the Terror Tram tour. Directed by AVP:R’s Greg & Colin Strause, SKYLINE opens November 12 and stars TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE’s Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Donald Faison, DEXTER’s David Zayas and Crystal Reed.

    Click here for links to SKYLINE’s poster and trailer. And you can go to Halloween Horror Nights’ official site for more info on the event.

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  • Fango Flashback: “THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-10 17:03:58 by Tony Timpone

    Just a year after being impaled in the heart and turning to dust, the undead Romanian vampire came back in American International Pictures’ THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA, a largely superior sequel to 1970’s COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE (see Fango Flashback here). Strangely, no effort is made by the filmmakers (including returning director Bob Kelljan, who co-wrote the follow-up with actress Yvonne Wilder) to explain just how Yorga (Robert Quarry again in his most famous role) actually returns to life; ditto, his ugly valet Brudah (Edward Walsh), who we last saw being stabbed to death in his master’s mansion. In RETURN, they just show up for this second go-round of cultured vampire shenanigans.

    The previous film’s Van Helsing stand-in, actor Roger Perry—who we previously witnessed getting drained by Yorga’s hungry brides—also turns up again, but at least as a different character (a psychiatrist, as opposed to the first film’s doctor, and now sporting a goatee), though he serves the same function as before—a desperate vampire slayer wannabe. (It would have made more sense to make this a prequel, but I suppose U.S. studios didn’t think that way in those days. The Hammer Draculas, by contrast, made a point of showing how the Count could be reanimated after his memorable demises in preceding films.)

    So Yorga’s back and now ensconced in an antique-laden mansion situated next door to a large orphanage. After he attacks a young boy and his chick posse dig themselves out of their graves NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD-style, Yorga crashes a costume party at the orphanage. He takes an immediate shine to Cynthia (Mariette Hartley, former Spock squeeze and TV pitchwoman), who’s engaged to Dr. Baldwin (Perry). In a scene that echoes the then-timely Manson murders in its viciousness, the vampiresses slaughter Cynthia’s family during a home invasion and kidnap her for their lovesick master. In his abode, Yorga puts Cynthia under a hypnotic spell, while the slayings at the neighbors’ place have been conveniently covered up. The shrink suspects something fishy, however, and brings in a couple of incredulous detectives (Rudy De Luca and POLTERGEIST/COACH star Craig T. Nelson in his movie debut), and before long, the humans penetrate the fiend’s lair for a staking jamboree—just like in the first YORGA film, only bigger.

    Mirroring today’s overproduced tentpole franchises, everything about this better-produced YORGA sequel is bigger: a bigger cast, more locations, more action and more bloodletting. Kelljan keeps the story bouncing along to a livelier beat than the previous film, while DP Bill Butler (of JAWS fame) lenses several atmospheric death scenes and off-kilter point-of-view shots (one looking up from the ocean floor as Yorga goes in for the kill on a dock). I also love the eerie scenes with Yorga racing down hallways in slow motion, cape flowing, arms outstretched and teeth bared.

    RETURN boasts some welcome humor (at the costume bash, a nosy lady asks Yorga where he keeps his fangs, and a Dracula getup wins first place). I’ll bet De Luca ad-libbed some of his funny lines; the actor later graduated to Emmy-winning comedy writing for the likes of Carol Burnett and Mel Brooks (he also co-wrote Brooks’ HIGH ANXIETY—in which he played the strangler with braces—SILENT MOVIE and DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT, and scripted and directed the sorry spoof TRANSYLVANIA 6-5000). Michael Pataki, who played the daddy bloodsucker in 1974’s GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE (scripted by THE SOPRANOS’ David Chase!), falls prey to Yorga here. And George Macready, who provided the ripe narration in the first movie, earns a cameo for producer son Michael on the sequel, portraying an addled professor who confuses Yorga with yoga! And just like the first movie, RETURN OF COUNT YORGA throws in the requisite California travelogue footage (another exhausting walk by talkative strollers), with San Francisco (cable cars and all) delighting the local tourist board.

    To THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA’S detriment, the movie hews just a little too closely to the 1970 film in its final act, with one of our intrepid heroes trying to distract the suspicious vampire while the others go snooping around his dusty digs. The surprise ending also echoes the first film’s to a T. Still, this is a fun vampfest, and fang fans will find lots to enjoy in both Yorga films. Too bad they didn’t make more of these. Some consider Ray Danton’s 1972 hippie vampire movie DEATHMASTER—in which Quarry played a bloodsucking guru (what other kind?) named Khorda—as an unofficial Yorga movie. AIP reportedly considered pitting Yorga against Vincent Price’s maniac medico in DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN (what a film that would have been!), but instead cast Quarry in the campy 1972 film as the eternal-life seeking Dr. Bierderbeck. After a few further lackluster horror stints (SUGAR HILL, MADHOUSE), Quarry’s career stalled in the late ’70s. Eventually, exploitation filmmaker and Quarry buff Fred Olen Ray kept the actor busy in his direct-to-video mill in the ’80s and ’90s (CYCLONE, HAUNTING FEAR, INNER SANCTUM 2, etc.), and the two even fooled around with the idea of doing a third YORGA film. The project never materialized, sadly, and Quarry died in February 2009 at age 83.

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  • The truth is no longer “HIDDEN”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-10 16:29:00 by

    HIDDEN 3D, the first dimensional feature from Italy, has undergone a shakeup since it was first announced earlier this year. Among other things, DARK WATERS’ Mariano Baino, who wrote the original script with actress Coralina Cataldi Tassoni, was replaced as director by Antoine Thomas, and he has sent out a statement explaining the situation.

    “Both Coralina and I [pictured below] would like to clarify a couple of things regarding our involvement with HIDDEN 3D,” Baino says. “I co-wrote the original screenplay with the amazingly talented Coralina Cataldi Tassoni. Most people know her as a wonderfully gifted actress and painter, but she is also a very talented writer. We came up with a truly unique concept and wanted to make a genuinely disturbing, multilayered movie. Unfortunately, the producers decided to go in a completely different direction and we decided to leave the project. No hard feelings. Stuff happens. Lesson learned. It was a labor of love for us, a project we spent years writing and developing. As artists, both of us care deeply about everything we get involved with, and we couldn’t bear the thought of making the movie the producers wanted to make.

    “We have kept our ‘story by’ credit on HIDDEN 3D,” he continues, “because the movie is still based on our original story, but signed the screenplay with a couple of very obvious pseudonyms [Alan Smithy and Alana Smithy], because very little, if any, of our screenplay or our original intention and vision was left in the movie they are making, but that’s the extent of our association with the movie now. Anyway, the whole HIDDEN 3D experience is behind us, and Coralina and I are already on to our next, bigger and better project.”

    HIDDEN 3D is about horrible goings-on in an abandoned experimental medical center, and stars Sean Clement, Simonetta Solder, Jordan Hayes, Jason Blicker, Bjanka Murgel and Devon Bostick (from LAND and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD). We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

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  • Filmmaker talks “TERROR” documentary “CREEP!”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-10 15:56:26 by Mark McLaughlin

    Usually, the most terrifying aspect of any horror movie is its creature. But as Pete Schuermann (pictured), writer/director of the forthcoming documentary CREEP!, reveals, the most frightening facet of the 1964 camp classic THE CREEPING TERROR wasn’t its human-gobbling alien visitors. It was in fact the director, 29-year-old con artist Art (A.J.) Nelson, a.k.a. Vic Savage, a.k.a. Arthur White.

    “A.J. Nelson was a chameleon of cosmic proportions—in many ways the true monster behind the original film,” Schuermann, owner of Monster Zero Animation and FX, tells Fango. Together with producer Nancy Theken and editor Dave Wruck, he explores the origins of TERROR and the cinematic malpractice of its creator in CREEP! While making TERROR, Nelson roped many trusting people into his web of weirdness, and Schuermann says the goal of his movie is to connect the dots between a horrible movie and its apparently psychotic maker.

    “What emerged is a story about a man who saw the human desire for creative collaboration as a very potent kind of catnip,” Schuermann says. “And he dangled that catnip masterfully to achieve his own ends—which was making money any way he could.”

    THE CREEPING TERROR tells the tale of a spaceship that lands on Earth with alien passengers—creatures reminiscent of Chinese New Year dragons, in that they’re composed of tarps with performers underneath, topped with artificial heads. But while the Chinese monster visages are artfully sculpted, the heads of TERROR’s aliens are shapeless masses adorned with Slinky-like whiskers. Schuermann first saw the film in 1980 when he was a teenager living in Montrose, Colorado. “My brother and I, after months of intense frustration with the limited entertainment choices afforded through local TV, had finally found a program that featured genre films: SCREAM THEATER, which aired Saturday nights.” He fondly remembers the night when TERROR was featured: “We were in absolute hysterics. In reflection, a definite sense of unreality pervaded the entire experience; we had never heard of it, much less been witness to a movie that was entirely narrated.”

    Years later, Schuermann learned of the film’s incredible history. “Harry Medved, co-author of THE GOLDEN TURKEY AWARDS, was also a huge fan of THE CREEPING TERROR,” he says. “Thanks to the Medved brothers’ follow-up book, SON OF GOLDEN TURKEY AWARDS, I was able to learn TERROR’s backstory. They had an entire chapter dedicated to the movie, which described in detail Art Nelson’s efforts to make it and hustle people.”

    That book inspired Schuermann to make CREEP! To gather information for the documentary, Schuermann and Theken decided that TERROR star and key investor Bill Thourlby (pictured left) would be the logical place to start, and Schuermann contacted Paul Parla, author of a past interview with Thourlby. “Paul was kind and supportive and offered some routes to try and connect with Bill,” Schuermann recalls. “He also provided us with further background on the production and gave us many more connections to people involved. Basically, we owe much to Paul and his researcher Eric Huffstutler, as they had already gathered up a wealth of information.”

    In time, the CREEP! team tracked down Thourlby. “We met this witty, still handsome elder statesman at the New York Athletic Club,” Schuermann says. “His interview was golden, just as we had hoped.” From that point on, getting people involved was a surprisingly easy process. “We would send an e-mail or make a phone call and see if those people we had found would agree to go on camera. In almost every case, the answer was yes.”

    To date, the CREEP! team has also interviewed screenwriter Allan Silliphant, actor Byrd Holland, Nelson’s ex-wife Lois Wiseman, FX guru Richard Edlund (creator of TERROR’s title sequence!), Harry and Michael Medved, Ain’t It Cool News “Head Geek” Harry Knowles, Parla, Huffstutler and Bonnie Callahan, friend to monster designer Jon Lackey. Originally slated for completion in late 2011, CREEP! may come in ahead of schedule much earlier in the year, owing to the enormous enthusiasm the project has received. You can watch the trailer below, and visit the film’s website here.

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  • Big trailer premiere day!

    Originally posted on 2010-09-10 15:49:00 by Allan Dart

    Previews for SAW 3D (pictured), JULIA’S EYES and PRIEST have all hit the web this morning, and you can watch ’em all after the jump.

    Yahoo Movies premiered the SAW 3D trailer. The seventh film in the Lionsgate series stars Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell and Sean Patrick Flanery (who discussed the sequel with us here). Directed by SAW VI’s Kevin Greutert, SAW 3D hits theaters October 29; see Fango #297, on sale this month, for an exclusive Greutert interview.

     

     

    Collider nabbed the official trailer for Guillem Morales’ upcoming JULIA’S EYES. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film stars THE ORPHANAGE’s Belén Rueda as Julia, a woman suffering from a degenerative sight disease who attempts to uncover the terrifying truth about her sister’s death (see previous item here).

    Crackle got the exclusive world premiere of the official PRIEST trailer. The film will be released in 3-D on May 13 and stars Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Karl Urban, Lily Collins, Stephen Moyer and Christopher Plummer. Here’s Screen Gems’ synopsis:

    “A postapocalyptic sci-fi thriller, PRIEST is set in an alternate world—one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church. When his niece is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on a quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece’s boyfriend, a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess who possesses otherworldly fighting skills.”

    From Crackle: Priest

     

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