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    Women in Horror 2013: The Ladies of Astron-6

    by: Dave Pace on: 2013-02-15 20:34:47

    FATHER’S DAY was a breakout indie hit of
    2012 and finally put the Winnipeg filmmaking collective Astron-6 on the map
    after a long time in the trenches of YouTube shorts and experiments in self-released
    DVDs. A gruesome grindhouse chronicle of a maniac cannibal rapist who only
    targets fathers, and the ragtag bunch on a mission to end his grim legacy, the
    film manages to not just entertain but also drive a message about the politics
    of the rape-revenge genre.

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    Exclusive photos, comments on “JUG FACE”

    Often, the stories that shake our skulls most are those that toy with the brain inside. Chad Crawford Kinkle’s debut feature JUG FACE, which premiered at this year’s Slamdance, does just that. Bearing themes similar to THE VILLAGE, RED STATE, KILL LIST and THE WOMAN (the latter also produced by Andrew van den Houten), the film is set in a cultish backwoods community, one developed far outside the norms of contemporary societal ideologies and customs. Read on for comments by van den Houten and others on the JUG FACE team, and a few exclusive pics.

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    Toronto! Terror for teens unspools at TIFF’s “Next Wave”

    by: Chris Alexander on: 2013-02-15 17:22:58

    One of the biggest celebrations of cinema in the world, TIFF
    (the Toronto International Film Festival) has many appendages to both its
    annual week-long festival and its year-round slate of diverse programming. One
    of these strains is the TIFF Next Wave, a mini-festival (in its second year)
    that spotlights teen-oriented films selected by teens for teens.

    Next Wave begins its run today through Sunday at the gorgeous
    TIFF headquarters, the Bell Lightbox at John and King in Toronto. It’s a
    notable fest for younger FANGORIANS in that a few genre friendly titles are
    getting the deluxe treatment, including the splatterific DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D, a
    gory horror comedy shot in digital 3D; the first exclusively Canadian film shot
    in this kind of 3D process, in fact.

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    Matilda Davidson is a senior member of the Next Wave committee (and
    she’s 17…feel old yet?). She’s an enthusiastic youth, mad about movies,
    articulate and serious about providing great content for her peers and
    demographic:

    “DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D is hilarious. It was the best choice for a
    closing night film because it’s just covered in blood and a real crowd pleaser.
    It has a bit of EVIL DEAD in there but goes off in all kinds of unexpected
    directions. These films at Next Wave are designed to appeal to real teenagers,
    not what people think teenagers should watch but what they do watch and enjoy.
    It’s an important component of TIFF.”

    The shot-in-Niagara Falls DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D does indeed close
    the festival on Sunday in all its goofy, violent dimensional glory, but to get
    a look at all the Next Wave programming (which includes a few key John Hughes
    classics as well) and the more macabre selections like Ireland’s EARTHBOUND and
    Spain’s GHOST GRADUATION, visit TIFF Next Wave.

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    EXCL: “THE LAST EXORCISM PART II” TV Spot

    by: Samuel Zimmerman on: 2013-02-15 17:04:19

    She once was blind, now she sees the Devil’s light. 

    THE LAST EXORCISM PART II is fast approaching, and apparently Nell’s demon tormentor is returning. In the film, Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) is found terrified and alone in rural Louisiana. Back in the relative safety of New Orleans, Nell realizes that she can’t remember entire portions of the previous months only that she is the last surviving member of her family. Just as Nell begins the difficult process of starting a new life, the evil force that once possessed her is back with other, unimaginably horrific plans that mean her last exorcism was just the beginning.

    Fango has the latest of THE LAST EXORCISM PART II’s 30 second spots, one that looks to be the cinematic equivalent of an inverted cross. “After the fall, comes the rise,” a clergyman warns (or comforts!) and from what the filmmakers are talking up, it seems this go ’round, Nell’s a bit more warm to its impulses. Considering Ashley Bell’s standout presence in the original, the sequel will hopefully dig into some strange, exciting places. 

    THE LAST EXORCISM PART II is in theaters March 1, 2013. For more, pick up FANGORIA #321 (on sale this month) for an exclusive talk with Bell and keep an eye on FANGORIA.com for words with director Ed Gass-Donnelly and producer Eli Roth. 

    {flv}TheLastExorcismPartII-AmazingGrace30{/flv}

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    Q&A: Director Michael Gallagher on tech slasher, “SMILEY”

    by: Samuel Zimmerman on: 2013-02-15 15:50:16

    What effect does every nasty thing you post, paste, type, share or even think online actually have? The mass of negative energy that surrounds daily life on the internet can be overwhelming and without a clear portrait of consequence, director Michael Gallagher thinks kids today aren’t learning a damn thing. SMILEY (available now on DVD and digital download), using the tried and true slasher for an era steeped in tech, imagines a new kind of urban legend, one which summons the eponymous murderer to do your impulsive bidding. Fango spoke with Gallagher about underslashing, oversharing and what exactly is wrong here.

    FANGORIA: Why make a slasher? Having gone ahead and tried to
    craft a contemporary one, rooted in tech, do you find the genre still relevant?

    MICHAEL GALLAGHER: I would go so far
    as to say the slashing elements in SMILEY are of the “diet” variety. There’s some
    real intense slashers that can be made. This was from the concept of
    doing something of the internet age, kind of a cautionary tale about sharing
    online and what kind of business they’re getting connected with on stream and
    chat sites and all that. So, it was something we wanted to use the slasher
    framework for and really discuss the implications of that and some of the theories
    that go along with internet culture. As far as the slasher genre goes, I think
    it’s the idea of someone who’s pissed, who wants to have vengeance, revenge, or
    just wants to have fun, and is going around picking people out by hand. I
    think, personally, it’s much scarier than the idea that there’s ghosts in the
    house. That’s sort of a trend right now, either someone’s possessed or there’s
    a ghost in the house. I’d like to see more of a man with a vendetta.

    FANG: Everyone can a be bit cynical about the way technology
    infects our lives, but when did you feel so impacted as to make a film out of
    it?

    GALLAGHER: I think, in my own life, for a long time I was
    really opposed to getting a smart phone. I eventually caved and got one and
    just the way I became attached to it made me really uncomfortable. And the way
    I see people engage with their technology makes me very uncomfortable. A lot of
    the youth, or teens, they just overshare. We’re going to have politicians in
    the future, and  we’re going to be able
    to look at their search history  and see
    what they’ve been up to. I don’t know if we’ll be able to elect anyone
    [laughs], because I feel like we’ve all wanted to see either “2 Girls 1 Cup” or
    some horrible effed up thing that’s out there. We’ve all been curious. This is
    putting it in a genre setting and saying what if you did that and could
    actually summon someone to murder. What would that be like? Personally, I feel
    like it’s more of a problem with the generation that’s grown up strictly with
    the internet and doesn’t understand the consequences of that. So, this film is
    really for them. It’s a cautionary tale to them, because most people who lived
    in the pre-internet , pre-streaming video era, they don’t take it as seriously
    as these kids. They understand the consequences more than the children do.

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    FANG: What’s interesting about SMILEY is that in a lot of
    slashers, the typical grating characters are jocks, but SMILEY is rooted in a
    new age where people  who would be
    perceived as nerds—coding, hacking, staying online—they’re the ones that are
    serious jerks.

    GALLAGHER: I’m always surprised when people who are tech
    savvy in a movie are sort of awkward or shy. Sure, there’s that, but everyone I
    know who really knows their shit with technology is much more like the Jimmy
    Fallon character from SNL. Most people I know who know the internet have a
    pretty good sense of humor, and they don’t really have time for people who don’t
    understand it. THE SOCIAL NETWORK was one of the first times I’ve really seen a
    great character in Mark Zuckerberg. It was someone who knew his shit and didn’t
    have any patience for people who didn’t understand. In this movie, it was the idea
    of having characters that knew their shit and are using that power to maybe
    kind of fuck with someone who’s not up to speed.

    FANG: Your killer, Smiley, essentially has an emoticon
    carved into his face. What’s the line between that being effective and
    massively silly?

    GALLAGHER: I have made a horror movie where the bad guy has
    an emoticon on his face. I think that’s a slight accomplishment in itself
    [laughs]. I think audience will interpret or take away different things. I
    think the older audience, I think the people who are much more ingrained in the
    genre will maybe not see SMILEY in the same way that a fourteen or fifteen
    year-old that’s grown up on the internet and nothing else. I made this film for
    the teen audience, for people who watch the stuff I make online. Having them at
    screenings, and seeing them react to it—they really respond to it in a much
    different way than grown-ups respond to the film. It’s one of those things
    where you talk about so many things that are inside baseball on the internet
    and referencing so many different things, the movie’s really for that audience.
    The people that don’t like it, they’re usually a little older and they’ve seen
    everything you can see in the genre. This is sort of, I would say, this is
    really for the people who getting interested in horror.

    FANG: Are you seeing the film reach that audience? It’s
    interesting seeing an indie, or limited release film or something like
    DETENTION that’s geared, or will speak to a certain age set. Are they finding
    it on VOD?

    GALLAGHER: I think that’s what we’ll start seeing more of.
    We have these great channels and portals to get content out now directly to
    audiences at home. On SMILEY, we were fortunate enough to have a theatrical
    release and to come out and have people from all over to be able to see it. Now
    that the film is coming out on DVD and on iTunes, the real audience it’s
    intended for can see it. I think we were able to, on a microbudget, do the most
    that we could. It’s hard to get a movie out without a huge budget, but we’ve
    been extremely fortunate to have a huge response on our trailer and being able
    to talk about the film in so many outlets. I feel like, for the most part, our
    audience has been able to see it or is now able to see it. The response I’ve
    been getting is incredible. It’s just one of the challenges of the time and the
    changing landscape of distribution.

    FANG: How nihilistic are you yourself about of all this
    versus the film?

    GALLAGHER:  I think
    the film is very nihilistic; almost too nihilistic in a couple of cuts that we
    did. So, I don’t know if that just comes from my own taste, or what. I just
    think that people, we’re in a weird time where you have something like
    Anonymous where they go out and they do things for, more or less, social
    justice or things that they see are not done properly in the world. They’re
    going to go and take that power away from those that have it and show that the
    people can do something and they can do it online. They can hack and create
    their own outcome. There are other people that do things that aren’t for the
    greater good, that are doing things that if most people heard stories of what a
    group of kids online are doing, it would shock them. There’s also things that
    they post and do, that are just like, “why?” The only reason is, is that it’s
    for fun. I think that trend is growing and the idea that we’re all kind of
    interconnected, we’re so desensitized by horrible images and oversharing and
    access to content we’ve never seen before. I think the kids are almost like
    blank slates that to feel something, they have to fuck with people. That’s
    something I wanted to explore in the film. To me, that’s scarier than any
    creature coming at you, or any paranormal concept; the idea that humans really
    just want to watch everyone die for fun, that’s horrifying to me. 

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    “MARK OF THE DEVIL” director returns with “ORPHANAGE”

    by: Chris Alexander on: 2013-02-15 13:42:57

    Eurohorror fiends hold director Michael Armstrong’s 1970
    medieval torture opus MARK OF THE DEVIL in the highest of regards and
    rightfully so. The atmospheric, lush capitalization on Michael Reeve’s
    WITCHFINDER GENERAL not only boasts a magnificent cast in Herbert Lom, Reggie
    Nalder and Udo Kier, but a sweeping score (by Michael Holm, also employed in
    Jason Eisener’s HOBO WITH A  SHOTGUN)
    surprising emotional heft and wincing levels of grim violence. Yes, this is the
    film that was marketed with a patron sensitive vomit bag….

    Since that auspicious picture, Armstrong has dabbled freely
    in the genre, writing MARK OF THE DEVIL II, Pete Walker’s HOUSE OF THE LONG
    SHADOWS, writing and co-directing the undervalued SCREAMTIME and even doctoring
    the script of Tobe Hooper’s LIFEFORCE. Now, forty years after his last stint
    behind the lens Armstrong has finally been lured out of retirement by Paper
    Dragon Productions to direct a new film, a UK creeper called ORPHANAGE.

    “I agreed to be exhumed from retirement because I felt I
    could trust Paper Dragon Productions to offer me the creative freedom I need to
    realize a story I’ve wanted to bring to the screen for more than 30 years,”
    Armstrong said.  “I very much look
    forward to working with them.”

    Described as a sociological suspense shocker, a complete
    veil of secrecy has now been thrown around the project as it heads into
    immediate development. Written and directed by Michael Armstrong, ORPHANAGE will be
    produced by Paul Horsfield and Jonathan Jones, with Neil Jackson and Kevin
    James executive producing for Paper Dragon Productions.

    Stay tuned to FANGORIA for more details as this project
    develops.

    Read more »
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    Teaser poster, first news: Drew Daywalt’s “THE HURTING MAN”

    by: Samuel Zimmerman on: 2013-02-14 15:56:46

    Prolific short horror filmmaker Drew Daywalt has lined up his next feature, the Larry Fessenden-produced supernatural THE HURTING MAN. 

    Set to lens this fall, THE HURTING MAN follows the story of a police officer who tragically finds his family murdered after a failed 911 call and now must work to save their souls from a demonic boogieman haunting his childhood home.

    “I wrote this script and kept it close to my chest, because this one was written from my own worst terrors, both as a
    parent of small children, and also tapping into my own childhood fears of a
    hideously costumed boogieman,” says Daywalt. “This one’s going to scare the hell out of
    everyone. I promise. I can say that because it really scares me, and I’m
    letting my fear guide me on this one.”

    LAST WINTER director Fessenden says, “There’s a certain kind of genuinely
    terrifying old-school-campfire scare that Daywalt gets right in his Fear
    Factory gems and I can’t wait to see him nail those chills in a long form
    film.”

    For more on the film, keep an eye on Fango and head over to its official Facebook.

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    Exclusive photos/comments: Christina Lindberg’s comeback film “CRY FOR REVENGE”

    by: Chris Haberman on: 2013-02-14 15:36:16

    Standing among long-forgotten brick kilns once used to
    actually bake bricks in rural God’s country, on a cold, damp, schizophrenically
    overcast and sunny day, is probably the best way to see the vision walking
    confidently toward me. It doesn’t seem at first like Christina Lindberg, or her
    character Candy in Todd Fischer’s new film CRY FOR REVENGE. It is Frigga,
    a.k.a. Madeleine, the young woman we once ached for and so desperately wanted
    to rescue…at least during the majority of 1972’s THEY CALL HER ONE EYE.

    From this distance, I can’t see the details of her face—no
    laugh lines, or any indication that this grindhouse icon has aged 40 years
    since THEY CALL HER ONE EYE (a.k.a. THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE). The trenchcoat,
    the bell-bottoms, the shotgun and the swagger are all there, which would be
    enough to send the mildest of cult film fans reeling. But it’s the eyepatch
    that breaks me out in goosebumps. Speaking of which, what led writer/director
    Fischer to direct such a scene?

    “I was going through a divorce at the time, and a revenge
    movie seemed like a good idea,” Fischer explains. “Instead of sitting around
    depressed over the lengthy divorce process, I sunk myself into drive-in cinema
    and grindhouse movies, and found the inspiration to write [CRY FOR REVENGE]. I
    wanted to not just make a revenge movie, but a Christina Lindberg revenge
    movie. I ended up finding a young actress who looks incredibly like young Christina,
    and we were in business.”

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    That “young Christina” lookalike in CRY FOR REVENGE is
    Stefanie Vuleta, who plays a younger version of Candy. Though he doesn’t reveal
    the plot details of just how Candy comes to be as vicious as she eventually is,
    Fischer is happy to discuss what it’s been like working with the legendary
    Lindberg. “Well, my favorite story is when she accepted the part,” he says.
    “There were two roles offered to her; one was a character who trains Candy to
    become the vigilante. I thought that was a fitting ‘passing of the torch’ for
    her. The other part was basically an older version of Candy. When she accepted
    the latter role, it took several minutes for it to sink in that it meant she
    would return to the eyepatch one more time.

    “On set, she’s been more critical of herself than I am of
    her,” he continues. “She is a perfectionist. I had to keep reminding her that
    we were making a grindhouse [movie]; we didn’t have to be perfect. One thing
    that most people will never know because of the content of her old movies is
    that she is actually an incredible actress. I was literally floored by the
    emotional intensity she can bring.”

    More
    details are coming soon here and in FANGORIA magazine about CRY—which features
    a fight, as seen below, between Candy and over 30 luchadors (!)—and
    Lindberg’s return to acting. Stay tuned! You can check out photographer Laura
    Skinner’s website here

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