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  • “SO HORROR-BLE” (Comic Review)

    Originally posted on 2010-09-04 15:14:35 by Jorge Solis

    SO BUTTONS PRESENTS: SO HORROR-BLE, from Alchemy Comix, is a quirky collection of short stories covering paranoia, night-walkers and the zombie apocalypse. Equally scary and funny, these fast-paced tales of terror are surefire bits of entertainment.

    The first entry, “In Need of a Hand,” delivers out-of-the-ordinary insights about the parallels between relationships and decomposition. At a diner, the narrator recounts his recent road trip to Santa Barbara. His lovely relationship with Lara starts out wonderful until they end up at a sunny beach, where events take a drastic turn for the worst. When they stumble upon a dead body lying on the shore, mistrust and tension kick in to the max. The decaying carcass brings out the worst in the two lovebirds, who accuse each other of ruining their romance.

    In the second entry, “In the Old Fashioned Way,” a dismayed reporter analyzes the recent phenomenon of vampires demanding equal civil rights. Why are the bloodsuckers perceived as heroes in this universe? Because the unwanted dregs of society are seen as a solution to their food intake. The reporter must decide if he should expose the conspiracy or become a hated enemy to the vampire clan.

    The best of the collection, “In the Head, Please!” is a unique twist on the zombie genre. Insanity has just taken command of Morty’s mind. Past memories are clashing with the present ones, distorting his perception—this is what happens when someone becomes undead. The victim loses control of their body, but the mind is still alive, helplessly watching as their walking corpse feeds on others.

    The last tale is the hilarious “In the Heat of Battle,” which is recommended for movie enthusiasts. In this story, a homeless bum is playing chess with a slow-thinking zombie. While playing, the vagrant, who also happens to be a film fanatic, debates the winners of the 2010 Academy Awards. This guy incessantly discusses each film, from THE HURT LOCKER to THE BLIND SIDE, while the ghoul struggles to move his chess pieces.

    The cover, by artist Danny Hellman, is a spot-on and colorful homage to EC Comics. The mishmash of artwork inside ranges from cartoonish, by T.J. Kirsch, to hyperrealism, by David Beyer Jr. Each narrative sprang from the talented mind of Jonathan Baylis, who was an associate editor at Topps Comics—and some of them, especially “In the Head, Please!” have enough potential to be expanded into features.

    SO HORROR-BLE is a fun-filled anthology that will leave you wanting more, its variety of approaches delivering both shocks and laughs. This comic will officially premiere at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD the weekend of September 10-12; you can also pre-order it from the official website.

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  • Win “THE ROCK: ED WOOD OF THE 21ST CENTURY” on DVD!

    Originally posted on 2010-09-04 15:10:56 by Bekah McKendry

    FANGORIA has a few copies of THE ROCK: ED WOOD OF THE 21ST CENTURY to give out to a few lucky fans. The double-DVD set focuses on David “The Rock” Nelson, a filmmaker who became known for directing low-budget, schlocky but fun horror films during the 1990s.

    This release from November Fire Recordings includes a documentary on Nelson, two of his full-length films and tons of other special features. To enter, send an e-mail to rebekah@fangoria.com and be sure to type “THE ROCK” in the subject line. Please include the following:

    Name

    E-mail Address

    Mailing Address

    Age

    And let us know if you would like to receive the FANGORIA weekly e-mail newsletter, which brings you the latest in horror news and Fango events. Good luck!

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  • New “DEVIL” clip

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 21:19:49 by Samuel Zimmerman

    A brand new clip from DEVIL popped up today, hit the jump to find out what bit her..

    The film, produced by M. Night Shyamalan and directed by John Erick and Drew Dowdle (QUARANTINE) sees a group of strangers trapped in an elevator- only one of them just may be the as evil as they come. Check out FANGORIA #297 (on sale this month) for our preview of the film and keep an eye out for an exclusive interview with star Bokeem Woodbine right here on FANGORIA.com.

    DEVIL hits theaters September 17. 

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  • New “ATOMIC BRAIN INVASION” pics, premiere details

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 20:28:28 by

    The ATOMIC BRAIN INVASION is getting closer! And New England director Richard Griffin sent along a few exclusive new photos from his sci-fi/horror/drive-in homage, to go with info on the movie’s world premiere next weekend.

    Written by Griffin and Guy Benoit and produced by Ted Marr, ATOMIC BRAIN INVASION is set in the village of New Shoreham, where evil cerebrum creatures arrive to kidnap Elvis Presley (Brandon Luis Aponte), who’s in town for a concert. Can a group of local teens (Sarah Nicklin, David Lavallee, Jr., Daniel Lee White, Colin Carlton and Michael Reed) and the local grease monkey (Rich Tretheway) stop them? Find out when the flick premieres next Friday-Saturday, September 10-11 at Foxboro, MA’s Orpheum Theater Foxboro (1 School Street), with screenings at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. both days. Griffin and his cast and crew will be on hand to introduce the shows. Watch the ATOMIC BRAIN trailer below the photos; for more info on this and other productions of Griffin and Marr’s Scorpio Film Releasing, check out the company’s official website, and see ATOMIC BRAIN INVASION’s Facebook page here.

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  • Ridley Scott talks “ALIEN” prequels

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 20:23:10 by Samuel Zimmerman

    Everyone is anxious to see just what Ridley Scott will do with his return to the ALIEN franchise, so while not terribly detailed, this batch of quotes is pretty interesting, especially since it looks like he’s trying to best James Cameron’s sequel. Hit the jump for what he had to say..

    Scott spoke to The Independent about his entire career, and this excerpt towards the end is what deals directly with the upcoming ALIEN films:

    “The anticipation for his next project is building to fever pitch: it will be a two-part prequel to Alien, shot in 3D. Scott was never asked to make a sequel to ALIEN; that honour went to James Cameron, before a further two sequels and two ALIEN VS PREDATOR spin-offs milked the franchise dry. But with the Lost co-creator Damon Lindleof polishing the first prequel’s script, you can sense the competitor in Scott, desperate to put his stamp back on the film series that launched him. ‘Jim’s raised the bar and I’ve got to jump to it,’ he says, in a friendly jibe at Cameron. ‘He’s not going to get away with it.’

    “Set 30 years before the 1979 original, so with no room for Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, the prequels will explore the origins of the deadly aliens. ‘The film will be really tough, really nasty,’ he notes. ‘It’s the dark side of the moon. We are talking about gods and engineers. Engineers of space. And were the aliens designed as a form of biological warfare? Or biology that would go in and clean up a planet?’ 

    I love Ridley Scott as a filmmaker and when he’s at the top of his game, it’s incredible. I also can’t see a reason he would want to cheaply return to ALIEN, it’s not as if he’s in a crappy position right now, so let’s hope he’s going at this with tenacity and actually makes some good films. 

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  • Vote for “PIRANHA 3D” sequel victims!

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 20:00:27 by

    Dimension Films’ announcement that there would be a sequel to PIRANHA 3D came before the movie took a dive at the box office, but apparently the company is still intent on making it. And it’ll be interactive in ways that go beyond the 3-D visuals.

    According to an item in today’s New York Post, there will be an on-line contest in which fans can vote on which celebrity they’d like to see devoured or otherwise dispatched in PIRANHA 3D II. This is apparently in response to favorable audience reaction to the graphic demise of Jerry O’Connell’s sleazy video-producer character (his most valued organ gets eaten in your face), whose persona is close enough to that of GIRLS GONE WILD impresario Joe Francis that Francis threatened to sic his legal piranhas on the producers. Apparently, Dimension expects lots of votes for assorted castmembers from JERSEY SHORE and the REAL HOUSEWIVES shows. Sounds like the makings of a bloody Situation! We’ll keep you posted on where you’ll be able to vote.

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  • Terrifyingly Gnarly: Wes Craven, Week 2: “CHILLER”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 19:30:02 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 seven 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 (see last week’s entry). Read on for week two: my examination of his made-for-television CHILLER.

    I had taken a bit of a gamble on this week’s piece, choosing a film I was wholly unfamiliar with in Craven’s oeuvre. I hoped it wouldn’t be one I came out hating on the other side, failing to see the positives of his contribution to, especially considering it’s a film made specifically for television and one he isn’t credited with writing. CHILLER is another probe of the potential horrors of our own technological and scientific progression as a society and especially how that may interfere with the natural or spiritual course of things. In the film, wealthy company man Miles Creighton (THE WARRIORS’ Michael Beck) is the victim of a terrible accident. and due to the lack of sufficient medical procedures at the time, is unable to be revived. Miles’ mother, sick with grief, opts to cryogenically freeze her son until a time when medicine has caught up to his ailment. Ten years later, when a malfunction causes Miles’ chamber to thaw out, Doctors Stricklin and Collier are successfully able to return the man to the land of the living, albeit as we come to find out, without his soul.

    I’ve owned a very low-quality pan and scan version of the film for many years now, so when it was time to actually see CHILLER, it was initially hard to settle into the film. Through no fault of the filmmakers, it was visually dark, the audio was often muddled and the colors were certainly not as they were meant to be. When revisiting something of a more ridiculous nature, all of these qualities can add to the fun, but CHILLER is a bit of a serious and subdued thriller, which makes the traits of a god-awful transfer more of a hindrance. Beck’s creepfest of a performance amongst other strong points, though, helps one look past the home video release’s detriments.

    Miles quickly returns to and reassumes his position as the head of the family company, however, his conscience and moral standings seem to have stayed in the frozen chamber. He reneges on the company’s longstanding charitable donations, kills his dog  (who, of course, very much senses something’s wrong with the undead Miles from the beginning), fires and murders his father’s best friend who had kept the business afloat and profitable, and physically and sexually assaults one of his employees.

    While it’s obvious Craven was working within the confines of television (limited budget, what he could and couldn’t show), you could see why he’d be taken with J.D. Feigelson’s script, namely its keeping in line with Craven’s interest in some sort of social commentary and indictment of rich, upper class, suburban living. One doesn’t have to dig incredibly deep to see the subtext of a man with no soul running a faceless, corporate entity, shunning family and loved ones, refuting god and the church, all in favor of selfish and sadistic desires. Almost every negative aspect of a greed-laden mid-‘80s yuppie/privileged child is addressed in the film. Doing anything in favor of a profit? Check. Backstabbing and betraying those who’ve stood by you? Check. Offering a female employee a higher paying and more powerful position, but only after violently and sexually demeaning her, plus treating her like an object? Check.

    But not only does Craven touch on the practices of such a person, but the environment that enables them. Miles’ mother, Marion (Beatrice Straight of POLTERGEIST) is a woman full of denial and blinded by her perfect son returning to her. In fact, it seems everyone else can sense something is wrong with the boy—most prominently, Stacey (POPCORN and THE STEPFATHER’s lovely Jill Schoelen) who had become sort of an adopted daughter to Marion after Miles’ death, but didn’t necessarily grow up in the exclusive lifestyle. And when Reverend Penny (a nice appearance from GOODFELLAS’ Paul Sorvino) tries to intervene, Miles literally runs him and his spirituality over.

    Aside from what’s underneath, however, does CHILLER work as a film? Yes and no. It’s not incredible in any sense, and I definitely won’t look back on it as fondly as THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, but it’s solid at times, most often thanks to the eerie atmosphere Craven creates around Miles. The character is almost a supernatural precursor to Patrick Bateman and the director’s photography of him (specifically by the fire, watching, ready to pounce on Stacey) coupled with Beck’s acting is highly effective. The supporting cast all put in strong work as well, except for Straight who at times comes off a bit too melodramatic and almost a caricature of a wealthy mother. But then again, that might’ve been what she was going for. CHILLER doesn’t and didn’t break any new ground, and the scares are better when they’re subtle and performance-based rather than the often telegraphed “jump” shocks, but its synthy score and high points definitely make it worthy of discovery. I just hope there’ll be an opportunity for a better looking CHILLER than what’s available on the market now.

    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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  • Tom Savini is now a “SADIST”; new trailer

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 19:07:12 by

    Back here, we first gave you the news about SWINE, an independent horror feature starring Tom Savini that marks the feature debut of short filmmaker/Fango scribe Jeremiah Kipp. The movie has since been retitled THE SADIST and its first trailer is on-line; you can see it after the jump.

    Scripted by producers Frank Wihbey and Joe Pisani with Pedro Ondrush, THE SADIST stars Savini as a combat veteran with serious psychological damage who stalks campers and hunters in the woods. Wihbey also co-stars alongside Mackenzie Christine Hawkins, Miguel Lopez, Jerry Murdock, Santo Fazio, Zoe Daelman Chlanda, Carl Burrows and Tom Reid; THE BLOOD SHED’s Alan Rowe Kelly served as line producer, with VINDICATION’s Dominick Sivilli as cinematographer and THE ROOST’s Daniel J. Mazikowski on the makeup FX. We’ll bring you more on THE SADIST in the near future.

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  • Exclusive pics, comments: “BUNYAN”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 18:21:16 by

     

    A lot of big guys with axes have stalked through horror movies over the years, but the biggest yet may be the titular menace in BUNYAN, a Kinetic Filmworks production directed by filmmaker/FX artist Gary Jones. He gave us a bit of info on the movie, and producer Jeff Miller supplied us with a couple of exclusive pics.

    BUNYAN, which recently wrapped its main shoot in the Los Angeles area, is a horrific takeoff on the legend of Paul Bunyan, who in this scenario is a malevolent, 15-foot-tall human monster that terrorizes a boot camp for first-time offenders in Minnesota. Scripted by Jones, Miller and Jason Ancona, it stars Joe Estevez, Thomas Downey from Jones’ JOLLY ROGER: MASSACRE AT CUTTER’S COVE, Tim Lovelace from Jones’ MOSQUITO, Amber Connor, Jesse Kove, Kristina Kopf (first photo), Cliff Williams, Victoria Ramos, Jill Evyn (taking a stunt fall in the second photo) and Ryan Hooks. More cast will be added for additional filming to take place this fall. The FX were created by Robert Kurtzman’s Creature Corps, with additional contributions by Acme Effects, DEADGIRL’s Jim Ojala and Michael Kallio.

    “I’m really excited about BUNYAN,” Jones tells Fango, “and I must say I have the good fortune to be working with this really talented and cool, cool cast and crew. A lot of my films have been giant-creature features, and I’ve kind of been labeled as the MOSQUITO and SPIDERS and CROCODILE 2 guy. BUNYAN is my first giant humanoid monster movie, and of course—I must quote my old buddy Ron Asheton here—‘He’s big, man, really big!’ Bunyan does a lot of killing and causes plenty of destruction along the way, but is a monster you still have just a little bit of sympathy for—like King Kong.

    “We are using every old and new special effects technique to bring BUNYAN to life,” he continues. “There are going to be some big surprises for the audience, so stay tuned, horror fans! You won’t be sorry.” You can see more pics and find more info at Kinetic’s official website.

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  • Fango Flashback: “COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 17:50:04 by Tony Timpone

    I’m a sucker for seeing vintage frights on the big screen, and if you’re a New Yorker, it has been a cinematic feast in the Big Apple these last few weeks. The Film Forum recently concluded its 3-D fest and then directly segued into a gimmick-laden William Castle salute (ending this Monday), while Lincoln Center has a bunch of cool screenings coming, starting with Ridley Scott’s ALIEN on Monday (see item here). Meanwhile, over at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s repertory house, the ongoing Bela Lugosi’s Dead, Vampires Live Forever festival (see item here) will be running till September 30. That’s where I caught 1970’s COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE on the big screen for the first time last week, and dug every grindhouse minute of it.

    Just like today’s modern vampire craze with TWILIGHT and TRUE BLOOD, ’70s audiences had no shortage of bloodsuckers, with DARK SHADOWS and THE NIGHT STALKER staking out the boob tube and Christopher Lee’s Dracula putting a bite on drive-ins. Legend has it that COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE—about a cultured Romanian blood-drainer who settles in modern-day LA—started out as a softcore movie before star Robert Quarry convinced the producers to take a legit approach to the material. Smart move. Reportedly shot for a meager $64,000 (with Quarry only earning $1,200 for his lead role!), the film became a hit after American International Pictures acquired it for release in 1970. Plotwise, writer/director Bob Kelljan closely follows the template set by Tod Browning’s 1931 DRACULA, with the aristocratic Yorga settling into his new mansion while preying on two romantic couples. A blood doctor (Roger Perry), suspecting a supernatural menace afoot, matches wits with Yorga—not unlike the verbal dueling of Bela Lugosi and Edward Van Sloan in DRACULA. And there’s also a mute henchman named Brudah (Edward Walsh) serving as the Renfield substitute, and a climax where the good guys sneak into the villain’s lair to put a stop to the bloodshed.

    The unflappable Quarry sets COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE (originally lensed as THE LOVES OF COUNT IORGA, the onscreen title on the BAM print) apart from other typical fanged fare from the period. The guy exudes a commanding screen presence, has a great air about him, but can also launch into Lee-style animal ferocity when his back gets pushed up against the wall. The California-born, classically trained actor wisely plays the role straight and sans accent, and seems to relish his verbal sparring with Perry and company, with the Count almost too proud to hide his true nature. This vampire, alas, also has a romantic streak, and keeps a harem of turned lasses in his basement. Both COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE and, even more, its year-later sequel THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA emphasize the vampire’s equal needs for love and blood, angles further explored in 1992’s BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (also playing BAM) and THE TWILIGHT SAGA, to name a few. Oh, the eternal loneliness… The film’s best shock scene finds the bitten (and smitten) Erica (Judy Lang) discovered gorily feasting on an eviscerated cat by her startled friends.

    Symptomatic of its budget, not a whole lot happens in COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE. There’s a lot of talk between the protagonists, plus a long travelogue scene with two of our heroes wandering the sunny streets of Los Angeles (fun for nostalgia/time-capsule reasons, though). Yorga’s eventual demise comes a little too abruptly, and the film’s surprise ending probably worked much better 40 years ago than it does today.

    Director Kelljan went on to co-write and direct YORGA’s better-budgeted sequel and SCREAM, BLACULA SCREAM, as well as tons of ’70s TV action shows like CHARLIE’S ANGELS and STARSKY & HUTCH. Actor Michael Murphy, whose love-van-driving character suffers Yorga’s violent wrath, carved himself a nice Hollywood career after this exploitation debut, appearing in such diverse films as Woody Allen’s MANHATTAN, Tim Burton’s BATMAN RETURNS and Wes Craven’s SHOCKER. Quarry, alas, never emerged as the ’70s successor to Vincent Price, which AIP unsuccessfully groomed him for. Audience tastes changed, and by 1973, tuxedo-wearing monsters were just not as scary anymore when compared to devil-possessed 13-year-old girls.

    Watch for a Fango Flashback on THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA next week, and check out the classic Quarry (who died in 2009) interview in Fango #64.

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  • Enter the “GARDEN OF HEDON” with “CLOWNS” director

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 17:09:47 by

    Indie filmmaker Kevin Kangas, the man behind the FEAR OF CLOWNS movies, is moving forward with GARDEN OF HEDON, a freaky fright feature for which he’s raising the last part of his budget on-line. He gave Fango a few details about the project, as well as info on how you can be involved.

    GARDEN OF EDEN opens with a man waking up in a room next to the body of a dead woman, with no memory of how he got there or even any clue where he is. Trying to find help, he instead finds himself in the middle of a bizarre party rife with sex, drugs—and more murders. “GARDEN is an experimental little movie that’s going to be a cross between the good 10 minutes of EYES WIDE SHUT—the mansion masquerade—and a supernatural element,” Kangas tells us. “It’s sort of like a giallo mixed with the fantastique—but it will have some great gore and a new ‘monster’ that I guarantee everyone’s gonna love.”

    Like a growing a number of filmmakers recently, Kangas is seeking to amass a portion of his budget through crowd-source financing, offering a number of incentives (including credit) in exchange for the cash. You can see the details here. “Since the whole thing is an experiment—we’ll even be playing a PG-13 version of the entire movie in pieces on-line for free for a limited time shortly after the premiere—we thought we’d try this new crowd-funding way to get a little extra money to up the gore even more,” says Kangas, who plans to begin shooting GARDEN in November. You can see the movie’s teaser below and find out more about Kangas’ films at his official website.

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  • Horror Nights/Zombie film competition finalists on-line

    Originally posted on 2010-09-03 16:46:06 by Allan Dart

    Nearly 200 entries were submitted to this year’s Scary Film Competition sponsored by Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, which gave moviemakers the chance to have their scariest shorts judged by a panel led by HALLOWEEN director/horror rocker Rob Zombie. Today it was announced that the entries have been whittled down to 10 finalists that have been posted on-line for public voting. Find out the details after the jump.

    You can check out the shorts and select your favorite at Halloween Horror Nights’ official website from September 3-17. Only one vote per person may be cast. The winning filmmaker will be rewarded with a premiere showing on Chiller, a posting on Syfy.com, a $1,000 cash prize and a trip for two to the opening night of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood.

    Prospective filmmakers were invited to submit films of 90 seconds to three minutes in length; the judging criteria included storytelling skill, originality and the degree of a “good scare.” The winner will be announced on September 17, and in addition to the prizes and broadcast, its creator will be honored in front of celebrities, studio executives and media at the Eyegore Awards ceremony, which will kick off the Halloween Horror Nights event. Click here to read more on Halloween Horror Nights and see a promo clip.

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