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    Last Night of the Scarecrow Video?

    Earlier this month, it was announced that Blockbuster Video would close its remaining stores for good, having been taken out by the plentiful Redbox kiosks and streaming operations such as Netflix. I was not saddened in the least by this news; over the last two decades, Blockbuster helped drive many independently owned rental stores out of business. I consider myself lucky that I did not have to go through life only having Blockbuster to rely on for my movie-watching needs, because in my neighborhood exists one of the biggest rental libraries in the world, Seattle’s Scarecrow Video. But in a world where the destroyer of video stores has been destroyed, Scarecrow is struggling to stay afloat.

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    Q&A: “CONTRACTED” Star Najarra Townsend

    Debuting on VOD and in select theaters tomorrow from IFC Films, CONTRACTED follows a young woman whose momentary sexual indiscretion leads to consequences more vile and terrifying than she could ever imagine. As with all body horror, the concept is only as valuable as the cast; luckily for CONTRACTED, the affliction is suffered by actress Najarra Townsend, who handles her character Samantha’s personal drama just as well as the horror festering inside her.

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    FANGORIA’s Stream to Scream: Dario Argento’s “INFERNO”

    As many fright fans already know, FANGORIA offers a great selection of gruesome movies, old and new, for free at our Hulu channel. To give you a better idea of what’s in store, FANGORIA will be taking in-depth looks at some of the channel’s terrifying titles with this newest feature, Stream to Scream. First up: Dario Argento’s visually ravishing INFERNO.

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    Q&A: Director Blair Erickson on Government Experiment-inspired, “BANSHEE CHAPTER”

    After the nearly decade reign of the “torture porn” era, with yearly SAW entries and the deserved reign of the New French Extremity movement, there’s no surprise in the horror community welcoming suspense-driven genre films with open arms. While high tension, low-gore films like THE PURGE, THE CONJURING and INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 bringing in the highest profits the genre has seen in years, the atmospheric output of filmmakers such as Jim Mickle, Ti West and Ben Wheatley have brought independent horror to an almost classical style of slow burn storytelling. And yet, somewhere in the middle lies BANSHEE CHAPTER, an intense and psychological horror tale that’s spawned from history itself, citing the MK-Ultra experiments of the 50s and 60s as its source of inspiration.

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    Q&A: “SHIVER” Director Julian Richards

    What can be said about serial killers on screen that hasn’t been said before? The subgenre has become a difficult one to break ground in nowadays, and rather than focus on motivation, many directors have turned to gimmicks, often at the expense of the audience patience and interest. But sometimes, the challenge has inspired ambitious directors to prove this well isn’t dried up just yet, and one such filmmaker is SHIVER’s Julian Richards.

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    Q&A: “MACABRE” Writer/Director Timo Tjahjanto

    The word “rediscovery” is not new to the horror genre, as once a great fright filmmaker enters the cultural awareness, it’s only appropriate that fans dig deeper into their filmography. Sometimes, you find the early work of modern-day master-class auteurs; other times, you discover promising missteps with flashes of greatness interspersed throughout. And occasionally, you come across the origins of a specific perspective, revealing underlying themes, distinctive visuals or simply a penchant for bloody madness.

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    [Blood in the Snow ’13] Anthony D.P. Mann talks “THE GHOSTKEEPERS”

    Even in the world of independent horror cinema, actor/filmmaker Anthony D.P. Mann is unique. As a youngster, while his peers were dining on slashers and gore fests, he was seeking out classic horror adaptations from British television. While other filmmakers gravitate towards larger productions, he’s stayed and worked out of the university town of Kingston, Ontario, utilizing the local structures and making sumptuous looking period pieces on a micro-budget.

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    [Night Visions ’13] AJ Annila talks “WE ARE WHAT WE ARE” Prequel, “NUMBER 13″ & More

    As we recently noted in our report on Helsinki’s Night Visions Festival (see our report here and their list of prizewinners here), genre film production is ramping up in Finland in recent years. One of the directors leading the charge is Anti-Jussi Annila (AJ Annila) whose JADE WARRIOR (2006) – a Wuxia-infused take on Finland’s Kalevala epic – and gruesome, pitch-black period horror SAUNA (2008) established him as a filmmaker with a grand-scale, visionary approach to the genre.

    Aside from prepping a spring shoot for the WE ARE WHAT WE ARE prequel WHAT WE WERE, Annila is at the AFM this week pitching his admitted “dream project” NUMBER 13 (formerly called HUMAN) and is also in development on a third Scandinavian crime thriller, DON’T COME AFTER ME. Here FANGO talks to Annila about what the immediate future has in store for fans of Nordic horror.

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