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    “DEVIL IN MY RIDE” (Movie Review)

    When making an independent horror film, the greatest safety net you can provide for your story is to have great, inspired characters at your creative disposal. This is even truer if you decide to add an element of comedy to the proceedings, lest you risk the film falling into the subgenre of morbidly dark anti-comedy, which has value but ultimately narrows your audience considerably. In a horror comedy, even when the outrageousness and the FX are limited by time and budget, your characters can be as flexible as you want them to be, and by putting them through a gauntlet of grue, you’re simultaneously giving them humor to mine from, as well from their predicaments. Married with an entertaining story and inspired performances, these characters can be what stands between the film being either frighteningly forgettable or a hell of a good time.

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    Q&A: Michael S. Rodriguez on Short “NIGHT OF THE SEA MONKEY”

    Remember those funky Sea Monkey ads wedged in the back of the comic books you ran your grubby digits over as a kid? The goofy full-pagers usually boasted bold come-ons geared towards less-savvy lads, pushing them to beg their dads for the scratch to order what was meant to be an “instant pet”; just add water and watch ‘em grow!

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    Horror Game Show, “RELEASE THE HOUNDS” Now Online

    The UK-based RELEASE THE HOUNDS comes complete with its own urban legends and folklore, and then drops its contestants right in the middle of them, walking unwittingly into various horror-esque scenarios and challenges (the first being a field of scarecrows). Something of a SCARE TACTICS-like series with actual money at stake? Sounds like the only game show suitable for our tastes.

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    Video Premiere: Ty Segall’s “The Man Man”

    Ty Segall’s fashion of indie, lo-fi rock finds a sweet spot in the middle of myriad genres. Elements of punk, noise and garage bleed into a colorful, compelling, loud headspace. On his latest, eighth solo record SLEEPER however, that urgency is translated into something ominous and foreboding for the decidedly mellow record. The entirety is a journey and on certain tracks, like the below “Man Man”, it feels a doomed one.

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    Buffalo Dreams 2013: Director Brett Kelly on “MY FAIR ZOMBIE” and more

    When this writer first met Brett Kelly in 2010, it was at the first Buffalo Screams Horror Festival. Throughout the year before, I had become a fan of his work, enjoying the tongue-in-cheek BONESETTER series and IRON SOLDIER, almost solely on the performance of Joe Estevez. It’s exciting then that Kelly returns to Buffalo this month with horror comedy MUSICAL, MY FAIR ZOMBIE.

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    EXCLUSIVE: First Six Minutes of “RETURN TO NUKE ‘EM HIGH VOLUME 1″

    It’s reading, writing and radiation again, and Fango’s got a peek at the first six (very NSFW) minutes of Troma’s RETURN TO NUKE ’EM HIGH VOLUME 1. The belated sequel makes its U.S. premiere November 14 at the New York City Horror Film Festival at Tribeca Cinemas (54 Varick Street), with the irrepressible Lloyd Kaufman in person to introduce his latest directorial effort and take home the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

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    LaBeouf teams with Cage and Chiller for ominous “KILL THE ARCHITECT”

    Although most horror fans know Shia LaBeouf as the star of studio films such as the TRANSFORMERS franchise and INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULLS, Labeouf has certainly tried to distance himself from that line of work. Engaging in erotic, surreal work such as Lars von Trier’s NYMPHOMANIAC and CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN to directing horror-inspired music videos for Kid Cudi and Marilyn Manson, LaBeouf has been defying expectations and striking a nerve with his critics by going down this divisive path. However, his career as a filmmaker is evolving even further, as a recent tweet hinted on a mysterious horror project with the Chiller network. Whether as a hourlong one-off or as LaBeouf’s feature debut, this project, KILL THE ARCHITECT, is based on (or possibly inspired by) the album of the same name by hip hop artist Cage.

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    Trailer: Time Bending, Mind Bending Turkish-made, “REMINISCENCE: THE BEGINNING”

    The title is unfortunate, but the trailer is fascinating for this seemingly low-budget, but high-minded film from director Akçay Karaazmak. Accompanied by the tag, “What if time breaks down?”, REMINISCENCE: THE BEGINNING is apparently based on the true misadventures of a couple experimenting with time breaks and black hole theory. The resulting promo looks kind of wild.

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    “DARKNET, Episode 1″ (Webseries Review)

    There’s been such a dedication to surprise twists and audience subversion in modern horror that many of the attempts to do so never really feel organic or, by proxy, earned. In a way, the groundwork laid by Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling and Arthur Conan Doyle of allowing subtlety and character development to bring the shock of the story full circle has been lost over the years, as a need for new storytelling techniques have all replaced that nuanced craft with bait-and-switch narrative structures that often give way to plot holes. And even though the “full circle” structure is often built upon against-all-odds coincidences, they never condescend to the audience, rather allowing them to put together the puzzle and come to the realization on their own terms.

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