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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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  • Exclusive pics & interviews: “ANIMAL CONTROL”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 20:11:27 by Max Weinstein

    Out of all the titles you might give to an abnormally disconnected recluse whose primary pastimes are performing taxidermy and watching television among his menagerie of stuffed companions, “anti-hero” doesn’t quite feel like the two word combo you’d gravitate toward. But that’s exactly what’s at the core of the macabre short film ANIMAL CONTROL, screening this Wednesday and Friday at the Toronto Film Festival (see details here) and starring creepy character actor Julian Richings (CUBE, SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, KINGDOM HOSPITAL, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND). The twisted minifilm, from Canadian writer/director Kire Paputts, boasts a resounding amount of heart to go along with its dark images. Though the 17-minute-long movie exhibits no spoken dialogue from its irregular protagonist, ANIMAL CONTROL has quite a bit to say. FANGORIA got a chance to dissect this twisted little tale, share some exclusive pics (see below the jump) and interview both its star and director to get to the heart…or loins…or bones of the matter.

    Juxtaposing much of its ideas is ANIMAL CONTROL’s tight-rope-walking narrative, one that borders on both squeamish and delicate in its dealing with said hero Larry’s own cathartic taxidermy practices. “I’ve always been fascinated with that hobby or profession,” explains Paputts. “There’s this one guy left in Toronto who still does it in the city, and I’ve always passed his shop. It definitely seems like a dying art form.” 

    “It’s the thematic links of many things that I’m drawn to, the idea of turning your fear into something positive,” says Richings, reflecting on this ritual’s relevance in ANIMAL CONTROL’s opening sequences. “Larry’s fears are interactions with people, clutter and mess, and he’s trying to refine it down to perfect form and put it all around his mantle piece. Then in the end, he’s confronted by living, breathing life.” 

    As an animal services worker, Larry’s job entails picking up road kill along the highway, which has locked him into a lagging, mundane stalemate of repetition. As with his previous films, Richings gravitates toward material championing those alienated, those who are compelled by their disconnection and isolation to counterbalance what anyone attempts to define as “standard” or “normal” by any means. “I like that notion,” he says. “You go to something like X-MEN, the notion of people who are outcasts and all the social stigma they get. All of us in this medium are aware of that very much, in some way we identify with that notion of not necessarily fitting into the mainstream.” 

    Of ANIMAL CONTROL’s tightness to its ideas with little to no use of dialogue in which to convey them, Richings—a trained physical actor in Britain during the ’70s and ’80s—believes the approach both he and Paputts entered the film with achieves the naturalistic sense they first set out for. “In the editing process, we realized that more was being said by less speech,” he says. “I have a very specific look. I’m not gonna be chosen to be a dad on a sitcom or something.” 

    Much like Larry’s own unconventional method of stuffing his only friends, ANIMAL CONTROL is strictly an uncompromising effort, intent on going against the grain and made by whatever collaborative means necessary. Paputts is a member of the Made By Other People collective, a group of like-minded filmmakers with similar counter-culture approaches. “There’s eight members, and we all went to school together,” he says. “We’re all Ryerson film grads, so we really started there. We definitely have a kind of punk sensibility, a do-it-yourself attitude. We don’t have to apply for grants, or deal with the government. In Canada, unless you have a story that is ‘Canadian’ or whatever defines that, it’s not gonna fly. When I was working up the money for ANIMAL CONTROL, I applied for grants, but my chances were really slim, because it doesn’t fit into any kind of idea of what the Canadian government thinks Canadian films should be. Isn’t being a Canadian enough? It’s just not really where I’m at.” 

    ANIMAL CONTROL’s vérité stylings grasp a kind of cold, austere and somewhat suffocating ambiance, one that borders on what you might feel during an episode of HOARDERS, only this is the one that explains the process by which a hoarder learns to let go. “We worked around Kire’s personal home and used locations that were easily available, and as a result it feels candid,” Richings says. “We’re not trying to pull from a particular effect or a shot, but it’s there, there’s a lot there visually.” 

    The mood is key in Larry’s domain, the presentation of an all-consuming sense of existential crisis. “For me it still comes down to past relationships,” Paputts says, “and not being able to move on. Being stuck in this world where you’re comfortable with something, in Larry’s case it’s this dog. You’re so comfortable with it that you don’t really see it for what it is. It’s not living, it’s not exactly dead, but it’s time to move on. And the unknown, trying something new is always scary. People get stuck in their lives, and current situations and can’t really seem to see beyond that, so that’s where that came from.” In retrospect, it might seem fitting that a film so initially confrontational would emerge from an event nothing more or less than heartbreak. “This thing came out of a bad breakup,” he laughs, “So, yeah, that was the catalyst that started the whole thing.” 

    Add to that an offbeat sense of dark comedy (sparked from a KIDS IN THE HALL sketch involving dead squirrels), and the result is a bi-product of empathy, love and loss in a skewed series of unsettling circumstances. Such meditations would ultimately be Paputts and Richings’ hope for ANIMAL CONTROL. “He’s the kind of person that you shy away from, and go, ‘Wow that guy’s weird,’ ” Richings says. “Except we’re not playing it for weirdness, we’re not playing it for him to be a spook, or a crazy guy. In fact, he’s a normal guy with very repressed emotions that he begins to find in an unusual way, through the befriending of this dog.” 

    “By the end of the film, we see him develop into who he wants to be,” adds Paputts. “I hope that people walk away and get that sense of humanity and that this is a guy who is going through stages of his life.” 

    With ANIMAL CONTROL making its debut at TIFF this week, both the actor and director look forward to the reception of a project made entirely against the tide. “It’s very rewarding for it to be selected,” Richings says. On being chosen by Toronto, Paputts recalls, “The first call I actually thought was a telemarketer. Then once it hit me, the whole, ‘Oh, congratulations, you’re picked,’ it was kind of like, ‘Oh shit!’ Once it set in, it was amazing.” 

    While fresh on ANIMAL CONTROL’s promotional tour—an aspect Paputts admits has taken some getting used to—both men look toward to their upcoming, developing projects. Having appeared in the ’90s cult hit HARD CORE LOGO, Richings will make his return in the upcoming sequel. He also has a Syfy pilot he’s shooting called THREE INCHES, about “a man who gets struck by lightning and discovers that he has the ability to move things three inches,” he reveals. “He’s introduced to a gang of bizarre superheroes. I play a guy who communes with the insect kingdom, specifically with cockroaches.” 

    In collaboration with Made By Other People, Paputts has another offbeat minifeature in the works. “The short is called RAINBOW CONNECTION,” he says. “It’s about a mentally challenged teenager who sets off to find the end of the rainbow to find the pot of gold to pay for his mother’s hospital bills that she can no longer afford. It ties into the dreamer that’s in all of us. When you were younger, you have these dreams and you’re not really connected to the outside world yet. It’s also giving me a chance to tie in a lot of rainbow mythology from around the world.”

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  • “HACK/SLASH” “illustrated film” coming from “GODKILLER” creator

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 19:21:15 by

    With a live-action film version of the comic book HACK/SLASH having been in development for some time now (THE GRUDGE’s Stephen Susco is the latest scribe on it; see his comments here), it looks like the saga of Cassie Hack, currently being published by Image Comics, may hit the screen first as an animated feature. Halo-8 Entertainment, the folks behind the recent GODKILLER, are behind this project.

    Matt Pizzolo, who created both GODKILLER and the comic it was based on, will write and direct the HACK/SLASH “illustrated movie,” based on the “My First Maniac” series of the latter title. This story arc goes back to the beginning to explore how Cassie went from being the daughter of a slasher called the Lunch Lady to a slayer of murderous maniacs along with her hulking partner Vlad. The film will be released next year as part of a double feature with Pizzolo and Halo-8’s adaptation of LOADED BIBLE, like HACK/SLASH the creation of Tim Seeley.

    “I’m happy to have my two babies in the same crib, with a unique HACK/SLASH and LOADED BIBLE double feature,” Seeley says. “Viewers can get their horror and sacrilege in the same lovin’ spoonful.” Adds Pizzolo, “Tim is not only a master storyteller but he’s also completely nuts, and that combination makes for some fantastic comics. As a longtime fan of the series, it’s a ridiculously exciting opportunity.” No voice cast has yet been selected for HACK/SLASH; you can see Halo-8’s official website here.

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  • Exploring “HAUNTED LEGENDS”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 18:50:21 by Tony Timpone

    Horror anthologies may be a dime a dozen, but HAUNTED LEGENDS (a Tor hardcover debuting this week) looks to stand out from the pack. The collection was co-edited by the busy Ellen Datlow (pictured), the 2010 Hugo Award Best Editor Short Form winner, who has assembled 20 killer writers, including THE NAMELESS’ Ramsey Campbell, BUBBA HO-TEP’s Joe R. Lansdale, Kit Reed, IN SILENT GRAVES’ Gary A. Braunbeck, THRESHOLD’s Caitlin R. Kiernan and Kaaron Warren, as well as some of the hottest new talents in the field. Each writer wrestled with HAUNTED LEGENDS’ pretty unique theme, the make-or-break for omnibuses such as this: retell a classic ghost story or urban legend from around the world.

    “I’ve always liked the ‘true’ ghost-story anthologies you can pick up in any gift shop or tourist store—small towns, big cities, even national parks have their own dark histories,” says HAUNTED LEGENDS co-editor Nick Mamatas. “At the same time, I couldn’t help but be disappointed by most of the books I’d buy, since the ghost stories were only rarely compiled by competent folklorists or writers. Usually, it was just the local nutcase writing down every drunken story he’d ever heard. I thought to myself, ‘What would one of these books be like if real writers wrote the stories?’ And then, a couple of years later, I had the opportunity to find out.”

    Datlow and Mamatas assembled quite the stable of “real writers.” “We have plenty of well-known authors of subtle dark fiction, such as Ramsey Campbell, Laird Barron and Gary A. Braunbeck,” Mamatas says. “But we also have stories from writers known for their experimental fiction, like Lily Hoang, new writers such as John Mantooth and people known for other genres—fantasists Erzebet YellowBoy and Catherynne M. Valente, for example. To make sure we got the best stories possible, we allowed anyone to submit to the anthology—which is pretty unusual—and we also made a point of asking for stories from places other than the U.S. and UK. We have tales from Japan, Vietnam, India, Russia, Mexico and Australia. We took the regional ghost story and made the world our region.”

    This approach lent breadth and variety to the tales in HAUNTED LEGENDS. “Although the majority of the stories are quite dark, several are bittersweet lamentations of loss and pain, and at least one is pretty funny,” says Datlow, who has received the World Fantasy Award nine times, both the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild Awards twice, four Hugo Awards, four Locus Awards and two Shirley Jackson Awards. “There are also many different types of stories. Not every ghost story involves the spirit of a dead person; we have cryptozoological horrors, moral panics and even a vampire tale of sorts. The role of the supernatural also varies; in one, a spirit is a metaphor for drug use, in another it stands for the problems of the immigrant experience, and some of the ghosts and creatures are just wild and dangerous, as any late night can be.”

    Some of the real-life inspirations will strike a familiar chord with readers. “We have stories about Spring Heeled Jack, La Llorona, the haunted hitchhiker—three very different takes from different parts of the world—a haunting in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and a real-life panic surrounding Chucky, the monstrous doll of the movies, and his influence on young children,” says Datlow. None other than Campbell penned the CHILD’S PLAY-inspired “Chucky Comes to Liverpool.” “Ramsey’s contribution captures the voice and secret world of children perfectly, in a story that riffs on the real-life murder of a toddler by two 10-year-old boys and the media scapegoating that followed.”

    Outlining some of the other contributions to HAUNTED LEGENDS, Datlow continues, “Stephen Dedman’s ‘For Those in Peril on the Sea’ mocks the surreality of reality TV shows in his exploration of Australia’s jinxed ship Alkimos. Joe R. Lansdale’s ‘The Folding Man’ uses his familiarity with eastern Texas to dish up a terrifying tale…about nuns! Creepy, creepy nuns. And Caitlin R. Kiernan’s ‘As Red as Red’ has a connection not only to the vampiric and shapeshifting legends of her home state of Rhode Island, but is subtly tied in to her award-nominated novel THE RED TREE.”

    With Datlow having edited dozens of collections over the last 25 years and served as a fiction editor at Omni, and Mamatas an author and co-editor of the fiction magazine Clarkesworld, the duo had potential writers lining up around the block to be part of HAUNTED LEGENDS. The collaborators then divided up the workload. “Nick read over 200 submissions during our two-week open reading period,” says Datlow. “He passed about 25 of those submissions on to me, and we went back and forth on about six of them and acquired four. We both read all the submissions from writers we solicited. And then we decided which stories to buy. If Nick was more familiar with the writer, he edited the story. If I was, I’d edit it. I did a final line edit before we handed the book in to our publisher, and Nick wrote the introduction. We decided on the order of the stories together; we chose Richard Bowes’ ‘Knickerbocker Holiday’ to lead off the anthology because it was a powerful story straightforwardly told, and ended with the Lansdale to make sure that no reader would be able to sleep the night he or she finished the book!”

    For the last few years, vampires have been all the literary rage; then zombies became “the new vampires” in terms of popularity (cripes, even IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE ZOMBIES became a New York Times Best Seller!). Will supernatural spooks in print emerge as the next hot thing? “Probably not,” says Mamatas. “Ghost stories are something else altogether—rather than coming and going in the face of trends, like vampires do when sexual politics are important, or like zombies when the economy is the most pressing issue, ghosts are perennial. The dead are always with us, and so are regrets, nostalgia for the past and plain old dread of the invisible world. I don’t know if ghost stories and other local legends of monsters or haunted places will ever be the “next big thing,” but it will always be the “old, old thing in the back of our minds.”

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  • New “HATCHET II” Poster

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 16:58:07 by Samuel Zimmerman

    Dark Sky has released a brand new one-sheet for Adam Green’s sequel to his much-loved slasher HATCHET. Hit the jump to check it out!

    I like that they took a bit of a departure from the “hatchets on black” posters for the below image. It’s a cool little approach.

    HATCHET II is hitting AMC theaters October 1 unrated and uncut. The list of participating theaters hasn’t been announced just yet, but expect word soon. The film sees Danielle Harris now essaying the first’s female protagonist Marybeth, as she and Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd, returning) go after the swamp dwelling Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder)

    For more on HATCHET II, pick up FANGORIA #297 (on sale now) for part one of our interview with writer/director Green and exclusive new Crowley pics. And click here to see what Green had to say about his next project, KILLER PIZZA. 

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