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    SXSW ’15: Exclusive “HE NEVER DIED” set visit with Henry Rollins et al.

    When scribbling out a short list of actors to best portray a lonely, emotionally exhausted immortal struggling to conquer his appetite for violence, musician and social critic Henry Rollins might not be the first name that bobs to the surface. Yet anyone who has followed Rollins’ 30-year career through his song lyrics, travel writing, poetry and political diatribes, will be well aware that isolation, alienation and unhealthy socialization are themes he wears tied boldly around his waist like a jujitsu black belt.

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    “LATE NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE” (Film Review)

    What is it about the anthology format that sings a siren’s call to so many aspiring horror filmmakers, plumping their imaginations and then luring their visions to sit in bite-sized confines? Despite having only a handful of truly classic examples to lionize, there is no shortage of independent attempts at reviving a storytelling structure longsince fallen out of fashion in the studio system. Canadian indie LATE NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE is the one of the latest darts flung hopefully towards a bulls-eye occupied by the finest of episodic frights: TRILOGY OF TERROR, TALES FROM THE CRYPT (the Amicus picture), CREEPSHOW, TRICK ‘R TREAT, and precious few others.

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    “CANNIBAL!: THE MUSICAL LIVE!” (Stage Show Review)

    Here’s a confession: this writer isn’t exactly enamored with the overly-referential satire found in Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s long-running cartoon SOUTH PARK, nor by the crass, classless humor that titillated BOOK OF MORMON’s Broadway audiences. There is, obviously, no shortage of admirers out there eager to chow down on another helping of Parker’s brand of laughs, so take the preceding as context for the following review.

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    “PRISONER 489″ & The Growing ‘Cult’ of Joe R. Lansdale

    For years, Joe R. Lansdale embodied the very definition of ‘cult’ author, adored by a fervent but fringe audience first introduced to his writing through its membership in the explicit Splatterpunk movement—a literary scene in which horror writers competed to push the envelope of gore, amorality, and taboo sexuality until it burst.

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    Festival Report: One Night “AFTER DARK”

    As you may or may not be aware, every year the city of Toronto hosts an annual International film festival. It’s a gargantuan undertaking that envelops the city’s downtown each September; the streets teem like anthills with filmgoers, volunteers, scenesters, advertisers, paparazzi, autograph hunters, and the average citizenry standing and gawping at whatever celestial deities have descended from the firmament that week. 

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  • Event Report: Highlights from David Cronenberg’s “CONSUMED” Book Launch and Q&A

    Notable film directors deciding to test their abilities in the literary arena is a rare, but not unheard of, occurrence—even within the horror genre (anyone out there remember Wes Craven’s 1999 body-swapping medical thriller FOUNTAIN SOCIETY?). Still, the announcement that Canadian film icon David Cronenberg, one of cinema’s most defined and exalted voices, was releasing his debut novel was one certain to pique the curiosity of both readers and filmgoers.

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    “TROPHY HEADS” (Web Series Review)

    In a quest to position Full Moon Streaming as a kind of underground, B-Movie version of Netflix, famed producer and filmmaker Charles Band has taken the next logical step: creating fresh episodic content exclusive to the online channel, namely a gruesome new show called TROPHY HEADS.

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    “TROPHY HEADS”: Charles Band Meets Streaming Present with Scream Queens Past

    It’s no stretch to declare that the most exciting horror entertainment is nowadays transpiring on small screens, be they television or computer. As Hollywood’s top creative talents continue to retreat from the theatrical battlefield and sign on to long-form storytelling, brands like Netflix have capitalized by funding their own exclusive serialized content. Now a company looking to follow that business model with a genre twist has followed suit.

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    “DOCTOR SLEEP” (Book Review)

    In mid-career interviews, Stephen King was sometimes asked why he had never delivered a conventional sequel to any of his novels, outside of a few short stories and fleeting cross-referencing of characters and locations, like the fictional town of Castle Rock. King’s deflection at that time was to tease how he would often ponder the possibility of THE SHINING’s mini-medium Danny Torrance and FIRESTARTER sparkplug Charlie McGee growing up, getting married, and discovering just what sort of children might spring out of their union. King would then cut himself off and remark that his muse (or more properly, Fornit) was unlikely to lead him any further down that path, and so it stood for decades… until the release last month of DOCTOR SLEEP, a proper sequel to one of King’s best-loved properties, 1977’s THE SHINING.

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    “HANDS OF THE RIPPER” (Blu-ray Review, Synapse Films)

    Before mulling over the merits of Synapse’s new HANDS OF THE RIPPER (1971) Blu-ray, let’s take a moment to applaud Synapse’s approach to their Hammer Films licence. Instead of launching with any of the beloved Lee/Cushing classics, Synapse have instead given their famously fastidious treatment to the dustier, more obscure titles from Hammer’s twilight days. For more casual fans of the studio like this reviewer, the chance to finally slap paws on these under-acknowledged titles allows a different perspective on the storied Hammer and its long legacy of blood.

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