• 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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  • “LET ME IN” (Film Review)

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 16:11:07 by

    Not since THE RING have I approached a remake with as much trepidation as I did LET ME IN. Both movies were inspired by standout foreign features I first caught at early festival screenings, which added the thrill of discovery to the excitement generated by the films themselves. Unlike RINGU, however, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN has had plenty of Stateside exposure prior to its redux’s release (October 1 from Overture Films, with a premiere tonight at the Toronto Film Festival and an opening-night screening at Austin, TX’s Fantastic Fest later this month), meaning that for U.S. audiences, writer/director Matt Reeves has a lot to live up to.

    The good news is that, for the most part, Reeves has crafted an honorable and often moving Americanization of Tomas Alfredson and John Ajvide Lindqvist’s standout Swedish vampire drama, which functions as much as a dark coming-of-age story as a horror film. There are the inevitable concessions to Hollywood expectations and conventions, beginning with the very beginning: Where Alfredson and John Ajvide Lindqvist gently and quietly eased us into the story, Reeves opens with one of the Big Scenes to grab the audience’s attention, then flashes back to show how events led to that point.

    The basic plot has been largely and wisely unchanged from the original: Owen (THE ROAD’s Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a lonely and somewhat disturbed 12-year-old living in a snowy mountain suburb, dealing with an often-absent single mom at home and vicious bullies at school. He’s given to acting out revenge fantasies at night in the courtyard of his apartment complex, and that’s where he is one evening when he first meets Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz), a newcomer to the apartment next door who’s also 12…“more or less,” as she puts it. At first resistant to befriending Owen, Abby also seems odd—she smells kind of funny and walks barefoot in the snow, and Owen overhears strange sounds and violent arguments from the other side of their common bedroom wall.

    But a bond slowly forms between the two—and between them and the audience, thanks to the remarkable performances by the young leads. Owen could be seen as a budding sociopath, but Smit-McPhee invests him with a sensitivity and depth of feeling that make it clear his emotional disturbance is a product of his environment, rendering Owen both a tragic and sympathetic figure. Moretz’s Abby is tragic too, but in a different way—as we soon learn, she needs to feed on blood to survive, and depends on a middle-aged man she lives with to provide it for her. Played very well by Richard Jenkins, he’s billed as The Father, and that’s at first who he appears to be…but anyone who saw the Swedish film knows that his and Abby’s relationship is more complicated than that.

    While keeping things from becoming prurient or inappropriate given the protagonists’ ages, Reeves explores the story’s undercurrents of sexuality in a little more depth than Alfredson and Lindqvist did in their film (although certainly not to the extent that the latter did in his original novel). Owen’s pre-adolescent curiosity about sex, tied in with his voyeuristic spying on his neighbors, has replaced Oskar’s fascination with serial killers in the previous movie, and a new moment between Abby and The Father (who expresses jealousy over her friendship with Owen) strongly suggests a closer relationship in their distant past.

    A quick shot explicitly revealing the gender identity of Eli, the vampire girl in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, is unsurprisingly not reprised in LET ME IN. And while Moretz’s Abby is more conventionally pretty, lacking Eli’s otherworldly visage, the young actress (a world away from her KICK-ASS characterization) fully invests her with both sorrow about her existence and the hope that Owen might let a bit of light into it. She’s also very convincing when Abby plays the predator, albeit a reluctant one—which makes it a tad disappointing that Reeves felt the need to trick up her attack and bloodlust scenes with obvious CGI acrobatics and white-eyed ghoul contact lenses.

    Elsewhere, there are shots and lines of dialogue that unnecessarily underline points that already speak for themselves just fine, and the score by gifted composer Michael Giacchino, while quite good in and of itself, is laid over a few of Abby and Owen’s quieter moments together that don’t need the accompaniment. At many other times, however, Reeves and cinematographer Greig Fraser’s imagemaking is quite evocative—the way they use focus to isolate Owen and Abby in their environments, and frame Owen’s mom (Cara Buono) half out of shots. They also catch rich, bleak atmosphere on the New Mexico locations, and Reeves doesn’t flinch when it comes to presenting the bloodshed wrought by Abby and The Father.

    And speaking of violence, anyone who saw and loved LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is sure to be wondering if That Shot is recreated in the new film. (If you’re a RIGHT ONE fan, you know the one I’m talking about.) Without giving too much away, it can be said that the scene is still present, and staged in a similar way, but presented differently. Pretty effectively too, and it’s probably for the best that Reeves didn’t simply ape Alfredson’s long-take version. Besides, the director stages his own fresh single-shot scene of mayhem earlier in LET ME IN, and it packs a helluva visceral punch.

    Personally, the bit I miss the most from RIGHT ONE is the cat scene (fans will remember that one too), part of a lengthy subplot involving a group of suspicious locals that is nowhere to be seen in LET ME IN; instead, it’s a solo cop (Elias Koteas) who looks into the dead bodies left in Abby’s wake. Again, it’s more Hollywood-conventional than in the previous picture, but again, Reeves makes it work. Those who love LET THE RIGHT ONE IN will appreciate how, for all the cosmetic changes, Reeves has kept its beating and bloody heart intact, while newcomers to this story will simply enjoy a horror film with a lot more integrity and guts than most coming out of the mainstream these days.

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  • “SCREAM 4″ cast additions, new behind-the-scenes photo

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 15:32:27 by Samuel Zimmerman

    Production on SCREAM 4 is winding down, but it seems they’re still pulling in potential victims for Ghostface. Hit the jump to find out the latest members of the cast and see a bloody new image from the set!

    The Hollywood Reporter announced that FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS actress Aimee Teegarden (pictured, left) has joined the large ensemble already in the film, as has Britt Robertson (says Zap2It), of the television drama LIFE UNEXPECTED. Returning cast members Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox, as well as newcomers to the franchise Emma Roberts, Hayden Panetierre, Adam Brody, Mary McDonnell and Anthony Anderson, will accompany the two actresses. Cameos from PULSE’s Kristen Bell and TRUE BLOOD’s Anna Paquin have also been confirmed. 

    Plot is being kept under wraps but the film will mark a return to Woodsboro and see the slasher Ghostface wreak havoc on Sydney, Dewey and Gale, as well as a new generation of screamers. 

    Excitingly, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson have returned to direct and write, respectively, with SCREAM 3 writer Ehren Kruger asked to take a pass on the script.  Just this weekend, Craven tweeted the crimson-splattered image below from the set, possibly a warning of the hazards of white couches? 

    SCREAM 4 hits April 15, 2011. For more on the film, keep an eye on Fango as news comes in. In the meantime, Craven’s new film, MY SOUL TO TAKE (see preview in Fango #298, on sale next month), releases October 8 and to get excited for both, you can take a look back at some of his past achievements in my weekly series on the director. Click here to check out last week’s installment on THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW. 

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  • Teaser invites you to “MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16: PART 2”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 13:44:29 by

    Last year, MTV took a stab at the slasher genre with MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16 (pictured), and enough viewers apparently attended that a sequel is coming next month, once again directed by THE SIGNAL’s Jacob Gentry. Jump past the jump for a look at a teaser trailer.

    MTV.com, of course, debuted the preview. MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16: PART 2 picks up the story of Skye Rotter (Lauren McKnight), daughter of a madman who committed gruesome murders at a Rollerdome and returned for more mayhem years later when the place was reopened for a rich teen’s 16th birthday party. Co-stars Chris Zylka, Matt Angel and Julianna Guill also return, as do scripters Jed Elinoff and Scott Alan Thomas; new to the ensemble are THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE’s Kirsten Prout, Stella Maeve, Myndy Crist and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES’ Robert Pralgo. MY SUPER PSYCHO SWEET 16: PART 2 premieres Wednesday, October 22 at 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central.


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  • Christian Slater gets some “PLAYBACK”

    Originally posted on 2010-09-13 13:07:25 by

    Actor Christian Slater is best-remembered by many genre fans for getting payback in HEATHERS, and now he’s involved in PLAYBACK, a currently lensing independent horror film.

    Variety reports that Slater is playing a malevolent cop in the movie, written and being directed by actor-turned-filmmaker Michael A. Nickles (whose credits include the revenge chiller XII) in Grand Rapids, MI. The story concerns a group of high-schoolers who uncover an evil presence that has afflicted their town in the past and begins possessing them via video playback, with Slater’s evil officer Frank Lyons playing a key role in revealing it. The cast also includes Johnny Pacar, Toby Hemingway, Jonathan Keltz, Alessandra Torresani, Ambyr Childers, Jennifer Missoni, Lisa Todd, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER’s Mark Metcalf and Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, with John M. Bennett and Lawrence Robbins producing.

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  • Magnet goes to “THE DEVIL,” grabs Korean chiller

    Originally posted on 2010-09-16 03:47:55 by

    Just a day after the announcement that it had acquired the killer-boar opus CHAWZ, Magnet Releasing, the genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, has picked up another Korean genre film. The company bought North American rights to I SAW THE DEVIL, which debuted this week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

    Magnet plans to release the film in Stateside theaters in the first quarter of 2011. Directed by A TALE OF TWO SISTERS’ Kim Ji-woon, I SAW THE DEVIL stars Lee Byung-hun (whose credits range from THREE…EXTREMES to G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA) as a special agent who goes on the hunt for the psychopathic serial killer who murdered his pregnant wife. “I SAW THE DEVIL is one of the most riveting and unrelenting films I’ve ever seen. It is an undisputable masterpiece,” Magnet’s Tom Quinn says. “Unparalleled in its brutality, Kim Jee-woon deftly takes the serial killer thriller to new, profoundly disturbing heights. It’s hard to imagine curating a genre label that didn’t include this remarkable achievement.” OLDBOY’s Choi Min-sik co-stars as the villain; check out the trailer (sorry, no subtitles) below.

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  • “RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE” weekend box-office numbers are in *UPDATED*

    Originally posted on 2010-09-12 20:15:28 by

    Final figures have been announced…

    As previously predicted (and reported here), RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE has both topped the box office in its first weekend and had a record opening for the franchise—bolstered by higher-priced 3-D tickets, of course.

    Various sources are reporting that Paul W.S. Anderson’s return to the series’ director’s chair took in $26.65 million in its first three days. That’s good for a per-site average of $8,320, and Screen Gems’ third-biggest opening ever after DEAR JOHN and THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, which both debuted with just north of $30 million. AFTERLIFE also opened in 35 international territories for a solid $46.2 million; you can see the rundown of previous EVIL grosses at the item linked above. Speaking of exorcisms, Lionsgate’s THE LAST EXORCISM took in an estimated $3.3 million in its third weekend for a total so far of about $38.1 million, while PIRANHA 3D sank to $700,750 in its fourth frame for a cume of $24.3 million.

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  • “THE KILLING OF JACOB MARR”: Update, new photos, screening info

    Originally posted on 2010-09-12 16:50:36 by

    We’ve been closely following the progress of indie filmmaker Brad Rego’s fright feature THE KILLING OF JACOB MARR (see our last item here), and now the movie’s finished and ready to be unveiled. Rego gave us some fresh thoughts on the movie, along with a couple of new exclusive pics and info about its first sneak preview.

    THE KILLING OF JACOB MARR is about a group of vacationers who make the mistake of staying in a cabin where the murderous title character is lurking, 20 years after the horrible deaths of his parents. “I was really happy with the time and effort everybody put in to make it all come together,” he tells Fango, “and I’m very excited about the way the movie turned out. One of the things we tried to accomplish was to focus more on the tension and atmosphere instead of just the hack-and-slash element. So in general, it’s a slower-moving film by design, but we wanted something that was just as entertaining when there isn’t a ton of blood on the screen as when there is—to have characters that the audience will care for and want to follow around for an hour and 47 minutes.

    “That’s the type of horror movie I love,” he continues, “and we really wanted to make sure this one translated to the screen that way. I mean, it’s tough for me to tell now, as I’ve seen the movie hundreds of times, but I really feel everyone did a great job in bringing that element out. I believe it has a good feel to it, and there are definitely some tense moments. Hopefully, audiences will feel the same way. That’s what makes a sneak preview in New York City so exciting.”

    That screening takes place Friday, October 1 at 8 p.m. at Anthology Film Archives (32 2nd Avenue), with a Q&A to follow. While it’s mostly intended for cast, crew and their families and friends, a small number of tickets are being made available to the general public. They can be purchased on-line for $7 at the movie’s official website, where you can also find info on follow-up showings in Oneonta, NY, Jacksonville, FL and at Austin, TX’s Alamo Drafthouse. “The exciting part,” Rego says, “is this will be the first time an audience bigger then a festival screening room will get to see the film. There’s nothing like experiencing a horror movie in a theater, and as a director, I love having the ability to truly view all of our hard work anew through the audience’s eyes. That’s something that can’t happen with DVD or on-line.” Have a look at the trailer (with a bit of non-work-safe language) below, and see THE KILLING OF JACOB MARR’s Facebook page here.

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