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  • FANGORIA Flashback: “THE BRIDES OF DRACULA” (1960)

    Originally posted on 2010-09-14 21:13:52 by Tony Timpone

    I recall vividly when, as a preteen home on a Saturday night, I first saw Hammer’s THE BRIDES OF DRACULA on TV in the early ’70s. The movie was being broadcast on NYC/WPIX’s legendary Chiller Theatre. After the movie’s slambang finale (shamelessly ripped off in SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT), I ran out on my front porch, sweaty and out of breath from BRIDES’ action-packed climax, hoping to share my excitement with anyone. At that same moment, the younger kid next door, John Deconza, dashed out on his stoop, also eager to share his experience in having seen one of the finest films from Hammer’s horror factory heyday. Having not watched THE BRIDES OF DRACULA since that fateful night 40 odd years ago, I looked forward to rediscovering this Gothic gem on the big screen, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s repertory house provided just that opportunity when they unspooled the film (in a gorgeous 35mm print) last weekend as part of their ongoing Bela Lugosi’s Dead, Vampires Live Forever festival (see item here), which will be running till September 30.

    Originally conceived as a direct sequel to the international blockbuster HORROR OF DRACULA, BRIDES went into production at Hammer without the Count or former star Christopher Lee. Instead, there’s Baron Meinster (David Peel), a sort of vampire playboy, living the secluded life in his family’s hilltop Transylvanian castle. Meinster remains the prisoner of his aristocratic mother (Martita Hunt), who feeds the stray villager or passerby to her chained-at-the-ankle son. When a visiting teacher (Yvonne Monlaur) falls under the man’s spell, she releases the Baron and all hell breaks loose. Lucky for the locals, Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing, of course) shows up to save the day, and before long, the rising ranks of the undead are kept in check by stake, crucifix and holy water. The movie ends with the aforementioned socko finish (SPOILER ALERT), with not only Van Helsing saving his own neck, literally, with a red-hot branding iron after being bitten, but coming up with a most dramatic and epic method of vanquishing Meinster by turning the blades of a windmill into a giant cross. BRIDES manages to top HORROR’s rousing wrap-up from two year ago, again under the able direction of busy studio helmer Terence Fisher. 

    In the past I’ve scoffed when people like Lee describe Hammer’s horror pictures as “fairy tales.” But in the case of BRIDES OF DRACULA, the movie does play like the grimmest of the Brothers Grimm: the bizarre mother/son relationship, the storybook village, the young lasses lead to their deaths, the ironic ending, etc. The movie is also one of the best looking of all the period Hammers, thanks to exceptional work by both production designer Bernard Robinson (the Meinsters’ chateau resembling a Victorian museum) and director of photography Jack Asher, whose Technicolor “colors” pop off the screen in vivid fashion. Then there’s the cast: the stalwart and determined Cushing, who’d take a 12 year hiatus from playing Van Helsing after this; the sexy but naïve French lass Monlaur; the classy Hunt, as the misguided vampire enabler; Freda Jackson as the Meinsters’ crazy servant, playing a cross between Renfield and Frau Blücher; and Peel as the Dracula substitute, equating himself just fine as the handsome and conniving bloodsucker. Just a few years after BRIDES’ release, the fortysomething Peel reportedly abandoned acting to sell real estate! 

    Story-wise, THE BRIDES OF DRACULA, of course, seems quaint when compared to today’s bloodfests, so it must be viewed in context of the era in which Hammer made it. You will also question some of the screenplay’s logic and inconsistencies. As the film’s title implies, initial scripter Jimmy Sangster (CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, HORROR OF DRACULA, THE MUMMY, etc.) penned BRIDES for Dracula, then Peter Bryan and Edward Percy likely stepped in rewrite it to remove Dracula! Also, the Baron has the ability to turn into a bat; however, previously, we watched him chained in his room, imploring to be released. Did he forget his powers? And why don’t the victimized villagers just storm the castle (the torch-bearing Universal townspeople wouldn’t stand for this!) and knock out the two old ladies and their prisoner? Anyway, these are just minor quibbles, as THE BRIDES OF DRACULA still stands fangs above the rest and remains one of Hammer’s best.

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  • “SATAN HATES” Coney Island

    Originally posted on 2010-09-14 21:02:13 by Samuel Zimmerman

    SATAN HATES YOU, writer/director James Felix McKenney’s bloody and subversive riff on ‘60s and ‘70s religious cinema, is screening in Brooklyn Saturday, September 25, as part of the 10th annual Coney Island Film Festival. Hit the jump for details!

    With a packed cast of horror notables including Angus Scrimm, Debbie Rochon, Reggie Bannister, Michael Berryman and Larry Fessenden, “SATAN HATES YOU,” reads the offifial synopsis, “is a graphic, over-the-top horror movie inspired by classics of 1960s and ’70s Christian cinema. In the film, we follow Marc (Don Wood of AUTOMATONS), a homicidal maniac driven by demons buried deep within his soul, and Wendy (Christine Spencer), a young girl who lives life fast and hard without a second’s thought to the consequences. Their separate paths will eventually cross, but will it be on the road to salvation or the highway to hell?”

    SATAN HATES YOU screens at the Coney Island Museum (1208 Surf Avenue) at 5 p.m. on the 25th. You can grab tickets here, and find out more about the Coney Island Film Festival, which is also presenting the Adrienne Barbeau-starring short ALICE JACOBS IS DEAD and a honorary showing of Darren Aronofsky’s harrowing REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (lensed in grungy Coney Island), at its official site.

    Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix produced SATAN HATES YOU, which will also be playing the Telluride Horror Show in Colorado this October (15-17). For details on that, head here and to read all about the making of SATAN HATES YOU, pick up Fango #296 for Debbie’s wild first-hand account. 

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  • “HEREAFTER” trailer online

    Originally posted on 2010-09-14 20:32:09 by Samuel Zimmerman

    HEREAFTER, Clint Eastwood’s supernatural drama and NYFF selection, now has a trailer. Hit the jump to check it out!

    Per the official Warner Bros. press release: “HEREAFTER tells the story of three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. Matt Damon stars as George, a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie (Cécile de France of HIGH TENSION), a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus (Frankie/George McLaren), a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might—or must—exist in the hereafter.”

    I think many may have perked their ears up a bit too much when they heard Eastwood was tackling the supernatural as this trailer doesn’t exactly look horror or thriller related but much more in keeping with the tone of the actor/director’s recent slew of dramatic output… but with ghosts. 

    HEREAFTER opens October 22. 

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  • The Newborn Dead: The “Tell-Tale” Part

    Originally posted on 2010-09-14 19:26:28 by Marla Newborn

    Many little girls fantasize about being an actress—the glamour and high life of the stage and screen. I was one of those little girls. The first movie that captured my heart was THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and as a result I wanted to be Julie Andrews. Just watching her wasn’t enough for me; I ran around my house singing all the songs, playing her part both before and after she fell in love with Captain Von Trapp. For me, the best part was when she was a nun: I put a towel on my head and paraded in and out of all the rooms of our home as if I too were the spirited Maria. So, who would have thought that all these years later, VINDICATION director Bart Mastronardi would make my dream come true and ask me to be an extra in his horror short THE TELL-TALE HEART?

    Imagine the thrill when I got that e-mail! No, I didn’t put a towel on my head and parade around what is now just an apartment. Nor did I walk around with a dagger imagining myself in the lead role, making the big kill. But I admit I did start to fantasize about going to drama school, changing careers, being discovered and… Just then ,either the phone rang or my boss called me in, or something else happened to spoil my private moment of glory in the spotlight!

    As the big day neared, my excitement turned to nervousness which turned to fear which was just masking shyness, which was all a cover for not being in control, of course. Luckily for me, the star of the short, the glamorous and renowned Debbie Rochon (COLOUR FROM THE DARK, SLIME CITY MASSACRE, etc.) was my houseguest and protector, so I felt just a bit better following her into the New York subway system from Manhattan to Queens on that hot August morning. Our destination was a vacant grade school—vacant because it was summer, and vacant because it was a Saturday. The school was to be an insane asylum. Having not asked any questions prior to that morning, I didn’t know beforehand but soon found out I was to be one of the inmates. Did Julie Andrews start out this way?

    We arrived at the school, and it appeared as if we were all present and accounted for. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. This only made me all the more shy. Should have taken those acting lessons, I cursed under my breath. I stayed close to Rochon’s heels like a lost puppy, but soon enough people were saying hello. I made a mental note: remember names, remember names. Gee, I was so hard on myself. If I had only known that by the end, I would know everyone and it would be so much fun, I would not have given myself a near heart attack so early on.

    OK, I did know some of the people there. THE BLOOD SHED’s Alan Rowe Kelly was busy as a beaver, seemingly doing everything. We hugged and he said, “Here dear, go put this on—the sooner the better.” I saw he had handed me a pair of pajamas, the type one would have purchased at Woolworth’s in the 1960s, with cute little bootie-type socks to go with them. Once again I followed Rochon, along with new friend Becca Dorstek, into the only “girls’ room” I had ever seen filled with urinals. Apparently we were in an all-boys school. Becca and I changed into the same loony-bin PJs, but Rochon’s were more the type you’d buy at K-Mart—way more upscale, but of course, she was the star. Let life inside the mental institution begin.

    Once dressed, we all took turns having our hair and makeup done by Kelly, and when it was not our turn for that bit of glamour, we had to draw pictures to decorate the windows of our asylum—just like we would during playtime in a real 1960s asylum. And they had to be crazy loony sicko pictures drawn with Crayola crayons on construction paper. I drew lots of stick figures and houses and suns. Other people drew cats with their heads cut off, faces of the devil and words such as “I hate Mommy and I love Daddy”—cool stuff like that.

    Right about then, some of us went outside for what would be the first of many cigarette breaks. People were laughing about some of the antics that had gone down during the previous shoot days. Suddenly, everyone stopped talking and began screaming toward the parking lot that “the heat” was coming, that “the heat” had arrived. I thought to myself, Hey, it’s pretty hot out already, so what the hell are they talking about? when actor Jerry Murdock (a regular in Mastronardi and Kelly’s movies) arrived and gave us all a hug. I was hip enough to catch onto the “inside” line that Murdock brings “the heat” with him. Must be some sort of acting thing. See? If I had gone to drama school, maybe I would have brought “the heat”! Did Julie Andrews have “the heat” or is it something unique to Murdock?

    It was my turn for hair and makeup. Kelly decided to give me an up-do, one of those real 1950s looks. David Marancik, who was playing a character named Fritz who was so loony he had to wear a straightjacket, cackled like a true madman as Kelly teased my hair vertical in preparation to create such beauty. Marancik’s laugh is infectious, so I began to laugh and finally feel at ease. Finally.

    Now I was ready to meet the others. Little did I know I was in such amazing company. We were a small but meaty cast led by the aforementioned Rochon, who has more horror credits to her name than I can list; Lesleh Donaldson (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, FUNERAL HOME), Desiree Gould (DARK CHAMBER, SLEEPAWAY CAMP) and Murdock were also among the day’s big names. However, the extras were no slouches: Michael Buscemi, James Gitlin, Dorstek, Harry Dugan, Marancik and I played our certifiable lunatic roles with pride.

    The crew was a whole other story. As a writer, I have covered this very special group of underground filmmakers before. I hesitate at this juncture to use the word “underground” any longer, because their work just gets better and better with each new project. What makes these guys so special is that they wear so many hats—and all for one another. As I already mentioned, THE TELL TALE HEART was Mastronardi’s baby, and he was directing. The talented Dominick Savilli was director of photography, while filmmaker and Fango scribe Jeremiah Kipp served as assistant director. Actor/director Kelly did just about everything from acting to producing to wardrobe to hair and makeup to craft services and was the all-around wrangler for the shoot. Sound was handled by Steven Munoz, and the production assistant was Alex Gavin. The school cafeteria could not possibly have held any more talent, or it would literally have burst!

    Finally, I was ready for my close-up. And it was quite a close-up. Mastronardi is a very kind, patient and talented director. He sat very close to me and told me exactly what I was to do. I was as comfortable as I was ever going to be, and feeling like Maria in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, I was ready. I did what I was told, something extra came out of me and everyone clapped. I burned with elation and shame—mostly elation.

    That was it for me, but at this point I could not bear to leave. I was having the time of my life. Plus, the principal characters were about to have their scenes shot. I got the chance to watch Rochon, Donaldson, Gould and Murdock in action. And all the while, I could not take my eyes off of Mastronardi and his solid, masterful sense of providing direction. I admit, I was in awe.

    I did have to pull myself away eventually, and good thing too, since Rochon told me they shot until 3 a.m.! The experience reinforced the cliché we all know: Watching a movie is a whole lot easier than making a movie. But there would have been no convincing me of that at age 5 when I put that towel on my head, wanting to be Maria in THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Appropriately, Mastronardi rushed over to me as I was leaving and gifted me with a vintage music box, an official prop from a movie shoot. As I took the car service home, I opened the box and noticed it had a wind-up, and I was able to hear the sounds of music after all.

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  • “HATCHET II” Theaters announced & tickets on sale!

    Originally posted on 2010-09-14 17:42:18 by Samuel Zimmerman

    By now, it’s pretty well known Dark Sky is taking an exciting approach to bringing horror fans the much-anticipated sequel to HATCHET. Together with AMC, the slasher follow-up is rolling out across the country completely unrated and uncut, and now the full listing of participating theaters has been announced. Hit the jump to find out where you’ll be able to see Victor Crowley strike again!

    AMC made the announcement—to pick up tickets, you can head to their site right here. Otherwise, check out all the cities below, and pick up Fango #297 for part one of our exclusive in-depth interview with writer/director Adam Green!

    Universal City, CA – CityWalk Stadium 19

    Orange, CA – Block 30

    Ontario, CA – Ontario Mills 30

    Burbank, CA – Burbank Town Center 8

    Norwalk, CA – Norwalk 20

    Covina, CA – Covina 30

    San Diego, CA – Palm Promenade 24

    Emeryville, CA – Bay Street 16

    Plainville, CT – Plainville 20

    Orange Park, FL – Orange Park 24

    Jacksonville, FL – Regency Square 24

    Aventura, FL – Aventura 24

    Miami, FL – Sunset Place 24

    Tallahassee, FL – Tallahassee 20

    Tampa, FL – Veterans Expressway 24

    Brandon, FL – Regency 20

    Lake Buena Vista, FL – Pleasure Island 24

    Orlando, FL – Universal Cineplex 20

    Kennesaw, GA – Barrett Commons 24

    Morrow, GA – Southlake Pavilion 24

    Crestwood, IL – Crestwood 18

    Chicago, IL – Pipers Alley 4

    Newport, KY – Newport on the Levee 20

    Harahan, LA – Elmwood Palace 20

    Harvey, LA – Westbank Palace 16

    Boston, MA – Boston Common 19

    Danvers, MA – Liberty Tree Mall 20

    Methuen, MA – Methuen 20

    Owings Mills, MD – Owings Mills 17

    Livonia, MI – Livonia 20

    Southfield, MI – Southfield 20 (Star)

    Auburn Hills, MI – Great Lakes 25 (Star)

    Creve Coeur, MO – West Olive 16

    Charlotte, NC – Carolina Pavilion 22

    Concord, NC – Concord Mills 24

    New York, NY – Empire 25

    New York, NY – 34th Street 14

    New York, NY – MJ Harlem 9

    New York, NY – 84th Street 6

    New York, NY – Village 7

    West Nyack, NY – Palisades Center 21

    New Brunswick, NJ – New Brunswick 18

    Elizabeth, NJ – Jersey Gardens 20

    Cherry Hill, NJ – Cherry Hill 24

    Hamilton, NJ – Hamilton 24

    Columbus, OH – Easton 30 with IMAX

    Columbus, OH – Lennox 24

    Toronto, ON – Yonge & Dundas 24

    Homestead, PA – Waterfront 22

    Montreal, QB – Forum 22

    Dallas, TX – Grand 24

    Mesquite, TX – Mesquite 30

    Houston, TX – Studio 30

    Houston, TX – Gulf Pointe 30

    Alexandria, VA – Hoffman Center 22

    Woodbridge, VA – Potomac Mills 18

    Lynnwood, WA – Alderwood Mall 16

    Seattle, WA – Uptown 3

    Wauwatosa, WI – Mayfair 18

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  • Maelstrom Festival announces fright-film lineup

    Originally posted on 2010-09-14 16:53:46 by Samuel Zimmerman

    This weekend (September 17-19), the Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival hits Seattle’s SIFF Cinema (321 Mercer Street), showcasing four regional feature-film premieres—including the Pacific Northwest debut of the hard-hitting and controversial A SERBIAN FILM—and over 40 shorts. Hit the jump to find out what you can expect!

    Feature Film Schedule

    September 17, 8:30 p.m.: Opening Night Film: Adam Mason’s BLOOD RIVER

    “A psychological thriller following a successful young married couple on their way to visit family. After a blowout on a desolate stretch of highway in Nevada, they head to the next town only to discover it long abandoned. Here they meet a mysterious stranger who seems to know decidedly more than he is sharing. In aiding their survival, he gradually undermines some of their most comfortable assumptions, playing wife off against husband. As they struggle to co-operate with this plain-speaking itinerant without compromising their own trusted partnership, his behavior becomes more bizarre and accusatory. Surface reality starts to fragment, dark secrets threaten to emerge, and their secure lives start to unravel…”

    September 18, 6 p.m.: Cesar Ducasse and Mathieu Peteul’s DARK SOULS (MORKE SJELER)

    “A young girl, Johanna, is attacked and seemingly murdered. Her father receives a phone call from the police pronouncing her dead as he sees her walk in the front door of their house. Strange things begin to happen to Johanna, she is disorientated and becomes pale and unresponsive. Similar attacks begin to happen and Johanna’s father takes it on himself to find out the truth. He embarks on a dark thrill ride of lost memories, conspiracy and zombie-like symptoms. Finding the mysterious darkness within is the source of the bizarre world he has uncovered.” 

    September 18, 8:30 p.m.: Srdjan Spasojevic’s A SERBIAN FILM (SRPSKI FILM)

    Note: This screening is 18+ only, and IDs will be checked.

    “Milos is a former porn star who is down on his luck financially. When he receives a call from his long-time movie actress partner, Layla, he welcomes her call. Apparently she’s heard that a new film director wants to hire Milos to star in his ‘artistically designed’ porn film for a very generous price. He is easily lured form his semi-retirement by the lucrative offer, agreeing to meet the director in an isolated mansion. As the filming progresses, Milo begins to suspect that the director’s intentions may be darker than mere pornography. As the film begins to devolve into a horrifically violent production, Milos finds escape may not be an option.”

    September 19, 8:30 p.m.: Closing Night Film: Tom Provost’s THE PRESENCE

    “In this darkly romantic ghost story, a woman [Academy Award Winner Mira Sorvino] travels to an isolated cabin where she finds herself stalked by an apparition [Shane West, RED SANDS] who has come to inhabit her space as his own. With the unexpected arrival of the woman’s boyfriend [Golden Globe nominee Justin Kirk, WEEDS], the dark spirit’s haunting grows more obsessive. Soon the woman begins to exhibit weirdly irrational behavior as the thin line between sanity and possession begins to unravel. A stunning directorial debut from Tom Provost, THE PRESENCE is grounded in terrific performances, beautiful cinematography, a lush musical score, and a Hitchcockian style that explores the idea of pure cinematic storytelling.” 

    In addition to its full-length selections, the festival is also hosting notable shorts, including the Adrienne Barbeau-starring ALICE JACOBS IS DEAD (see item and interviews here) and THE NECRONOMICON, a “a short and biting spoof of faith-based commercial advertising and accepted religious dogma.”

    For more info, including the full lineup, schedule and how to get tickets, head to the official MIFFF site here  and the TIFF Cinema official site here

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  • Rumley talks “RED WHITE & BLUE” distribution

    Originally posted on 2010-09-14 16:47:50 by

    One of the year’s most powerful genre features is writer/director Simon Rumley’s RED WHITE & BLUE, which has won raves and awards at festivals this year. It’s now poised for U.S. release this fall as part of IFC Films’ “Direct from Fantastic Fest” series, and we’ve got the details and comments from Rumley.

    Amanda Fuller (pictured above) stars in RED WHITE & BLUE as an emotionally damaged, promiscuous young woman who sexually entertains the members of an up-and-coming band one night. One of them, Franki (THE LOST’s Marc Senter), is enraged to discover that he has contracted HIV from her and sets out to deliver some violent payback; Noah Taylor also stars as a troubled Iraq War veteran who becomes her friend and protector. The movie will be one of four features shown at Fantastic Fest, running September 23-30 in Austin, TX (where RED WHITE was filmed), and made simultaneously available via video-on-demand by IFC Films in the “Direct from Fantastic Fest” line. RED WHITE will also be given theatrical release beginning Sept. 23 in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia. The other movies which will be at the festival and on-demand are Philip Ridley’s HEARTLESS (which will play at New York City’s IFC Center beginning November 21, followed by more big-screen bookings), Josh Reed’s Aussie shocker PRIMAL (see previous item here) and Abel Ferry’s French chiller HIGH LANE.

    “IFC is the leading American distribution company in presenting bold and exciting movies that really challenge what both cinema and horror is—ANTICHRIST, ENTER THE VOID and HUMAN CENTIPEDE, to name a few examples,” Rumley tells Fango. “When they saw RED WHITE & BLUE, they felt they would be a perfect fit for our movie, and we agreed, so it’s great we’ve finally been able to work this out with them.”

    The filmmaker is also happy with IFC’s choice to make the movie available on both big and small screens at the same time. “It seems that releasing the more interesting films at the cinema and on VOD at the same time maximizes interest in them,” he notes, “and when many of Hollywood’s marketing budgets are way bigger than the entire production cost of most independent movies these days, any way to make this happen is a good way. Fantastic Fest is the key film festival in the United States that champions movies which straddle the divide between straight drama and horror, so it would seem that with that equally strong brand behind RED WHITE & BLUE, its uniqueness will be able to shine out.” Read our review of RED WHITE & BLUE here and see exclusive interviews with Rumley and Fuller in Fango #297, currently on sale. Check back at this site tomorrow for exclusive pics from another new Rumley project, LITTLE DEATHS!

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  • Hammer chiller “WAKE WOOD” goin’ to MPI

    Originally posted on 2010-09-14 16:17:14 by Tony Timpone

    MPI Media Group has acquired all North American rights to Hammer Films’ WAKE WOOD, a supernatural thriller starring THE WIRE’s Aidan Gillen, THE CHILDREN’s Eva Birthistle, SWEENEY TODD’s Timothy Spall and newcomer Ella Connolly. MPI’s genre label Dark Sky Films plans a theatrical release in spring 2011 for the Irish/British production, followed by DVD and Video on Demand.

    In WAKE WOOD, a grieving couple (Gillen and Birthwistle), whose 9-year-old daughter Alice (Connolly) was killed by a vicious dog, moves to a secluded town (the movie was shot in County Donegal, Ireland) that practices a most unusual ritual: the local pagans can raise the dead for three days, giving the bereaved a last chance at closure. But as in all these films inspired by “The Monkey’s Paw,” bringing someone back comes with a price… 

    “A horror film that also stirs the heart is a rare combination,” said MPI executive vice president Greg Newman in a statement, “but WAKE WOOD is just that. Writer/director David Keating, co-writer Brendan McCarthy and their great cast have created a special movie that transcends genre.” 

     

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  • First clip from James Wan’s “INSIDIOUS”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-14 14:17:38 by Samuel Zimmerman

    James Wan’s (SAW, DEAD SILENCE) new film, INISIDIOUS is currently premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival. Check out the first clip from the film below!

    Yahoo debuted the snippet. The film stars Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson and revolves around proud parents who take possession of an old house. When an accident results in one of their sons falling into a coma, the tragedy doesn’t stop there as they are beset by vengeful spirits from another realm.”

    No word on release but distribution news could come out of TIFF.

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  • RIP Kevin McCarthy

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 22:00:02 by

    Sad news came down yesterday: Kevin McCarthy, star of the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and numerous other genre pics, died on Saturday in Hyannis, MA at age 96.

    Variety reported the news of the actor’s passing. Having appeared in movies, TV and on stage since the late 1930s, McCarthy had one of his most notable roles ever in Don Siegel’s 1956 INVASION, playing a doctor trying to warn humanity that it faces takeover by alien “pod people.” He essentially reprised the part for a scene in the first INVASION remake, directed by Philip Kaufman in 1978. A favorite of director Joe Dante, who cast him in PIRANHA, THE HOWLING, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, INNERSPACE and MATINEE, among others, McCarthy also appeared in features including Ken Wiederhorn’s DARK TOWER, Douglas Curtis’ THE SLEEPING CAR, Max Allan Collins’ MOMMY, Larry Blamire’s upcoming TRAIL OF THE SCREAMING FOREHEAD and, er, John Carl Buechler’s GHOULIES III: GHOULIES GO TO COLLEGE, and on TV in the original TWILIGHT ZONE series (the title role of the “Long Live Walter Jameson” episode), TALES FROM THE CRYPT’s “Curiosity Killed,” Wes Craven’s INVITATION TO HELL and Jack Bender’s THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 1951’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN, reprising his stage role.

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  • It’s official: fifth “RESIDENT EVIL” coming

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 20:59:21 by

    With the international box-office success of RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, it was inevitable that the wheels would soon be set in motion for another installment of the horror/action series. And confirmation came over the weekend from series star Milla Jovovich.

    Talking with New York magazine’s Vulture column, Jovovich says, “This new RESIDENT EVIL is the first one to ever open at No. 1 worldwide. It’s the biggest movie in the franchise, so we’re definitely going to make another one.” While her husband, franchise writer and two-time director Paul W.S. Anderson, is already developing ideas for the fifth entry, he’s looking for audience input as well. “We’ve been talking to a lot of fans on Twitter and stuff, so it’s probably going to be one of the first movies where we really talk to fans to see what they want, and what characters they want to see. It’s going to be a more interactive process.” Can we put a vote in for more zombies next time around?

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  • Filmmaker talks “THE COLLAPSED”; first photo

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 20:19:15 by

    After trying to get his vampire film THE ETERNAL off the ground for a couple of years, independent director/producer Justin McConnell decided to postpone the project while reconfiguring it for a lower budget. In the meantime, he launched a postapocalyptic horror movie called THE COLLAPSED, which recently wrapped, and sent along a new still from it.

    “The film is a labor of love for the cast and crew,” McConnell tells Fango. “I looked at the state of the independent film market as it exists now, realized how dire the situation really is after trying to get our full finance on THE ETERNAL for the past two years and decided to move forward and produce something lower-budget. The result is THE COLLAPSED, which turned out better than anyone could have hoped. I can’t wait for the audience to see what we’ve shot.”

    THE COLLAPSED, which was shot with the RED 4K hi-def camera system, follows the Weaver family (played by John Fantasia, Steve Vieira, Lise Moule and Anna Ross) as they make their way from a ravaged city to the small town where they once lived, encountering terrors in the forest along the way. “The film came out a lot like a hybrid of survivalist/postapocalyptic, Western, horror and psychological thrillers,” McConnell says, “so I’m hoping it’ll have wide appeal beyond horror, while still satisfying the gorehounds. The cast and crew all worked wonderfully; lead actor John Fantasia is one to watch—and hopefully this film will help with his exposure. We put him through the wringer, and his range never faltered. The rest of the cast is just as strong, and everyone else brought their A-game the whole way, with special note to DP Pasha Patriki and the talented practical FX/makeup team, lead by Kevin Hutchinson [who also scripted with McConnell]. This isn’t the type of film that will have a ‘red-band’ trailer, but rest assured, we don’t skimp on the red stuff.”

    THE COLLAPSED will be sold at the American Film Market later this year, and McConnell plans to send on the festival route in early 2011. Interested distributors and other parties can find out more about the movie at its official website and Facebook page.

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