Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel “THE I IN EVIL”, and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
Crossing Over: “EDGE”Fearful Features,Movies/TV,News Ken W. Hanley
Welcome, FANGORIA Readers, to CROSSING OVER, our newest column that highlights the films, series and content out there outside of horror that is fashioned towards or pays tribute to our beloved genre. By shining a light onto these projects, FANGORIA hopes to open a world of entertainment perfect for fright fans that lies just beyond the borders of the horror community. So without further ado…
Sometimes in the horror genre, the best work is done in pairs. Whether it’s Romero & Savini, Hurd & Cameron, Carpenter & Hill, Price & Corman or Yuzna & Gordon, there are certain duos whose individual strengths come together to create something truly extraordinary and unforgettable. Of course, for a brief time in the ‘80s, the duo of Shane Black and Fred Dekker were one of those masterful pairs, with the fruits of their labor including NIGHT OF THE CREEPS and THE MONSTER SQUAD. And while their return to the genre is still pending (their PREDATOR reboot is still in the works), Dekker and Black reteamed for something almost as bloody and badass as anything they’ve written before: EDGE, a brand new pilot for a potential Western series from Amazon Studios.
If DEADWOOD would be closer to the more serious side of the Western genre, perhaps akin to that of THE WALKING DEAD, EDGE definitely falls closer to ASH VS. EVIL DEAD territory. EDGE follows a Civil War veteran whose brother is slain by back-stabbing members of his cavalry, and in his search for vengeance, falls into a much more dangerous game. And luckily for Black & Dekker fans, EDGE provides something much more accessible and fun than your average, contemplative Western, yet never quite lets loose of the grittiness that comes with the genre.
Perhaps what fright fans might most enjoy about EDGE, outside of Black & Dekker’s trademark dialogue, would be how the show pulls no punches in the violence department. Heads are taken off, limbs are lost, people are blown up and various henchmen die in almost any way one might expect in a Western. But even beyond the variety and plentifulness of the death is in their depiction as well: almost anyone can die at any time, and when it’s their time to go, you can almost be sure it’ll happen on-screen in all of its gory glory.
Furthermore, horror hounds might enjoy the cast that Black & Dekker have assembled for the pilot of EDGE, featuring many genre regulars and noted contributors. Filling the role of Josiah “Edge” Hedges is Max Martini, who featured in PACIFIC RIM and HARSH REALM as well as an episode of the 2000 reboot of THE OUTER LIMITS. However, the villains of the show are much more rooted in the genre, including Ryan Kwanten (TRUE BLOOD, DEAD SILENCE), William Sadler (DEMON KNIGHT, THE MIST), Beau Knapp (THE GIFT, NO ONE LIVES), Noah Segan (SOME KIND OF HATE, CABIN FEVER 2) and Dylan Kenin (LET ME IN, CARRIERS). And the pilot also features prominent supporting roles from genre-friendly actors Robert Bailey Jr. (THE HAPPENING, CORALINE) and Yvonne Strahovski (I, FRANKENSTEIN, DEXTER) as well.
Yet what really makes this writer believe that fright fans will find EDGE appealing is the dark, somewhat strange place that the show leaves its viewers. Talks of an ancient artifact, the Apache Nation and a secret confederacy resurgence all point in the future of EDGE being a lot bloodier, wilder and weirder than they’re letting on, especially if this artifact has an otherwise greater meaning to it. However, the only way this writer will know for sure is if it clears Amazon’s 2015 pilot season; you can check out the episode and vote for it yourself HERE.