In 1974 Young Frankenstein had horror fans singing “Putting on the Ritz”, and now Fathom Events is putting it back on the big screen. Yep for one, and only one special night, the Mel Brooks comedy classic will be back in theaters. On October 5th, 2016, for one night only Young Frankenstein will be back in theaters. The movie will screen on 500 screens nation wide, and there will be a live presentation before the film with director Mel Brooks.
It's perfectly timed for fans of the film with Halloween just around the corner. Sadly Gene Wilder, star of Young Frankenstein and other Brooks classics, recently passed away from Alzheimer’s. Fans might be concerned about the timing, but director Brooks assured fans that this was not a move to cash in on Wilder's death. In fact, this had apparently been planned for some time before the star’s death, so there is no fear of disrespecting the memory of Wilder. Go out, enjoy it, and celebrate his life.
Now for you people who have never heard of Young Frankenstein, and I accept the possibility there might be some people who haven't, here's the down low. Young Frankenstein is a comedy based on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s classic Frankenstein story. But calling it a comedy seems such an understatement. It's one of the funniest films by one of America’s funniest directors. Now full disclosure: Blazing Saddles (which also stars Wilder) is my favorite Mel Brooks film. Young Frankenstein is a close second.
Ready for a roll in ze hay
The plot involves the infamous Dr. Frankenstein's heir, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, returning to his father's castle. There, in classic horror movie style, he discovers the mad doctor's journals At first reluctant, he eventually falls to the hubris that doomed Dr. Frankenstein and creates his own monster. Cue the pissed off villagers! Lust, mayhem, and even a song and dance soon ensue, along with much laughter from the audience.
What is it that makes Young Frankenstein so popular with horror fans? It's not so much a horror comedy, in my opinion, as a comedic spoof. Yet as hilarious as it is, as irreverent as it is, it never seems disrespectful toward the source material. It's not like it is making fun of the horror genre or it's fans. It's like we're all sitting around, laughing together. With all it's absurdities, the characters are loveable, flawed, and sympathetic - just like the characters in the original Universal classic.
Besides the comedic genius of Gene Wilder, the Young Frankenstein cast includes Teri Garr, Madelyn Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Gene Hackman, and Peter Boyle as the Creature. If you haven't seen Young Frankenstein, what are you waiting for? October 5th, that's what. Young Frankenstein is available now on DVD, and the usual outlets, but if you have waited this long why not experience it on the big screen? Check the Fathom Events website to see if it's playing near you. I'll be there, and I hope to see you there too!
Well it looks like Sid Haig isn't the only reject that can slap on the clown make up. It looks like his co-star from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devils Rejects, Bill Moseley has joined the cast of Crepitus, as the titular killer clown himself. Crepitus is the latest killer clown movie to surface, following Eli Roth's Clown and the remake of Stephen King's It.
The plot of Crepitus revolves around 17 year old Elizabeth and her brother Julien. Their mother is an abusive alcoholic. Things go from bad to worse after the family moves into the home of their deceased grandfather. They they learn the dark secrets of their family's history and come face to face with an ancient force, the cannibalistic clown Crepitus.
The Indiegogo page for Crepitus describes him as an ancient demon who subsists by feeding on children. Devouring children allows him to remain immortal, and he dresses as a clown to lure children in. The description sounds very similar to the demon in Clown, although the story looks to be different. Now with the addition of Moseley to the cast, they have some star power. And Bill Moseley is definitely someone who can play a demonic clown.
The name Crepitus is real word with two different real world meanings, both of which are cleverly played off in the film. In medical terminology, crepitus is the popping and crackling sound made by joints and bones for various reasons. In the crowd sourcing comments, it is mentioned that Crepitus' (the character) bones pop and creak with every movement.
The other meaning of Crepitus refers to a being, an ancient Roman deity. Crepitus in the film will be a ancient force playing on this meaning if the word. However, this deity doesn't have the same regal standing as Apollo, Venus, or Vulcan. Reportedly, Crepitus was the Roman god of flatulence. That's farts for those not familiar with the terminology. Which could be a totally different explanation for why he pops when he moves... yeah. It's thought Crepitus wasn't actually a being worshiped but was possibly a product of Christian satire. So blame Christianity for the first fart jokes.
I love Bill, but hopefully he's not passing gas in the film. What the hey, I'll see it anyway. Clowns are creepy, clowns can be terrifying, and it seems they are all over the news right now - from Eli Roth's Clown to It to sightings of creepy clowns around the country. I don't think we have hit the saturation point yet, and this film could ride high on the clown craze.
Crepitus, directed by Haynze Whitmore, also stars Lance Paul, Raiden Moore, and Caitlin Williams. If you want to support the film, you can do it here. Crepitus is set for a 2017 release.
If you are a fan of Rob Zombie, then you probably can't wait to see his new film 31. If you hate him, then you probably can't wait to tell everyone how much you hate Rob Zombie's 31. Whatever side of the great zombie war you fall on, we now have a release date. It is a one night limited release but at least we know we have that opportunity to see Rob Zombie's 31 on the big screen.
Rob Zombie's 31 will see a one night, limited theatrical release on September 1, 2016, courtesy of Saban Films and as part of Fathom Events. While most would like to see a full theatrical release, at least it will get a day on the big screen. Hopefully a DVD and VoD release will follow soon after.
Rob Zombie's 31 revolves around a group of carnival workers who are kidnapped on Halloween in 1976. The unluky group is forced to play a game called 31. They have to survive twelve hours in the deadly murder world, while being hunted by a sadistic group of killers, the heads.
After its debut release at the 2016 Sundance film festival, Rob Zombie's 31 got mixed reviews and currently has a 50% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And having a 50% Rotten Tomato rating is just perfect. It perfectly symbolizes the split in the horror community over a Zombie film.
I fall squarely on the side of Zombie fan, although I'm not a fan of every film (Halloween 2, gah), and will say some of the heat about him is justified. He does tend to throw Sheri Zombie into roles that might be handled better by more accomplished actresses. But his films are always (well almost, H2, again gah), and always bloody and uncompromising. Still there are those who simply love to throw hate at Rob, just to be hating.
In less than a month, the wait is over for all of us. At least those of us lucky enough to be within the limited release area. Fans will hopefully enjoy a bloody masterpiece in Rob Zombie's 31. For those who can’t stand it, September 1, 2016, will give them the chance to fulfill that not so old adage, “Haters gonna hate”.
Last week I has the pleasure of talking to Mike Lombardo, writer and director of the upcoming post apocalyptic holiday movie I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday. It was a really fun talk more conversation than interview, and I hope you enjoy it.
House of Tortured Souls:Reel Splatter is known mostly for horror comedies, I have seen The Stall, but White Doomsday, seems to be a more serious film.
Mike Lombardo: Yes, it is a serious film. There's no comedy, well there's a few light moments, but it's not comedic at any point. We don’t play it for laughs ever.
HoTS: I was thinking it was completely humorous till I was just watching the trailer again and I caught the, “No food. No hope. Noel”. I don’t know how I missed that before.
ML: (laughs) It’s a little bit of grim humor in the trailer.
HoTS: It looks like it’s going to be a dark, grim movie.
ML: Yeah, I think that’s a pretty safe assumption. It’s pretty grim. Nihilistic is a good word for it.
HoTS: Nihilistic is a big word but I like that.
HoTS: I see you have repeated the gas mask motif from Suburban Nightmare and The Stall.
ML: I have it tattooed on me as a matter of fact.
HoTS: The gas mask is an unnerving, spooky look, where did that come from?
ML: The gas mask character that's all over the website, that's our logo, that's Dr. Chud. That was my character many years ago. Basically I've always been obsessed with gas masks and what they represent. It's very dehumanizing when you put a gas mask on someone. It almost instantly makes people uneasy. It speaks to paranoia, and I was just always obsessed with gas masks.
I found that actual mask, the reel splatter mascot at a flea market from a Viet Nam vet who owned a stall there. So I bought that and I had this character, trench coat, gas mask and a cardboard sign that said “The End is Near” and I started doing that in real life. Just wandering around town with that, just to fuck with people and see what would happen.
It's weird there’s never been a real mythology behind the character. We always talked about it, about different things he could be, but we never really did anything with it. He just started popping up in short stories, he's like an omen, he's always there, somewhere. Eventually as we moved into actual film stuff, making shorts, I picked that as the logo. Because I never considered Reel Splatter entirely horror, but it's also not entirely comedy . It's this weird, nasty surreal thing, and when people see the gas mask, their first reaction is “What the fuck?” and that’s exactly how I want them to react. I want them to say, “This is weird” and weird is the best way I can describe what I generally do.
Even the gas mask Santa, that was something I came up with in high school, so that's going way back. When I was in high school I had a project for graphics class, I forget exactly what it was supposed to be, I think it was some kind of instructional video or picture set. Which it turned into apocalyptic Christmas for some reason with me, because I had a real obsession with Santa Claus too. So I had this image of Santa in a gas mask that I plastered everywhere, and it just stayed with me for many, many years. Eventually the events surrounding this movie happened and it just worked. It was actually a short story I wrote in 2012, then the movie and it was a no brainer, we have to use that mask.
HoTS: It really caught my eye, it was kind of a “Holy Fuck” moment.
ML: (laughs) That's exactly what I was going for. Haha.
HoTS: That scene. I kept telling people this is going to be one fucked up movie.
ML: Well a lot of people think that character, that Santa is a slasher movie villain, but White Doomsday is not a slasher movie. So I'm curious what people think that character is associated with and is completely off base from what is really going on. I'm going to remain mum on the circumstances of those scenes, but it's not a slasher movie. So eliminate that from your minds. I'm not a fan of slasher movies.
HoTS: That's one of the things I have been pondering in my mind, and I wont ask you to divulge any secrets, but what is that Santa? Is it the mom dressing up to go out and kidnap babies.
HoTS: Or is it the actual Santa? I don't know, and I want to know so bad, but I don’t want anyone to tell me.
ML: Hopefully you won't be disappointed. A lot of people have been asking me what that is, because when Fangoria ran a story about our poster, that photograph, they plastered that all over the article. Everybody has been reposting that and asking what the fuck is this, and I'm just smiling to myself and it's like, “Just wait, you'll see”. (laughs)
HoTS: Do you think the slasher film is so ingrained in pop culture now, that when ever people see a mask, they automatically assume it's a slasher film?
ML: Absolutely, and when I was cutting the trailer, the producers were very hesitant, like, “Yeah, I don’t know if you want to use that, you're giving away too much, and people will get the wrong impression of the film”. I thought about it long and hard. I wanted the trailer to be as representative of this film as humanly possible. We had one version of the trailer that made it look like an apocalyptic action movie, and that's not this movie at all. I really thought it was important to show people that image, just to show, this isn’t a standard thing. I mean, I've been billing this to people as Miracle on 34th Street meets The Road, and I really don't know a better way to describe it than that. It's a slow burn, it's a depressing character piece. I feel it's more of a dark drama than a horror movie, but that's just me personally because I wrote the story. But I know people are going to think it's a slasher flick.
And we did kind of a retro style artwork for the poster. I wanted to do like an 80s horror paperback cover. Mark Schoenbach of Sadist Art Designs did that for us, he's the guy that did our The Stall poster as well. Those two things combined, people are definitely going to think it's a slasher film. You know what? Let them think that, hopefully when they watch the movie, they wont be disappointed that there's a story in there and not just a guy in a rubber mask hacking up teenagers.
HoTS: I see how people can make that leap from the poster, but to me, watching the trailer, I know you say The Road, but to me it reminds me of the last ten minutes or so of The Mist.
End of the world,there's no fucking hope, three bullets left, but you don't know what's about to happen, what’s around the curve of the road.
I know a lot of people hated that ending, but to me it was perfect.
ML: Yeah, I think that was a great ending. I'm a big fan of the bleak stuff.
HoTS: Me, too, but I have to be in a good mood to watch those films.
ML: (laughs) That's understandable.
HoTS: When I come in from a hard night's work and need to chill, I turn on Family Guy. But if I'm in the right mood, I go for the bleak, depressing, dark films like A Serbian Film and Martyrs.
ML: Two of my favorite films of the last ten years, and they're absolutely beautifully made. What I like about those two movies they are incredibly dark, and ugly movies, but they never get to the level of exploitation. Even A Serbian Film, they show you just enough, and then they move on, they never revel in it. There's this really disturbing imagery, but it never becomes undisciplined.
HoTS: It's an extremely powerful film.
HoTS: I remember sitting in silence after watching both of those films.
ML: (laughs) I was just about to say that.
HoTS: What did I just see, what did I experience. Especially with Martyrs, that ending was perfect.
What did she say? I'm still wondering.
ML: For me, I think Martyrs is a harder film to watch. I know a lot of people think A Serbian Film is the more shocking of the two. The thing with A Serbian Film, you are introduced to these characters, a genuinely loving family, genuinely good people, that happen to be put into a terrible circumstance. There's light hearted moments, and there’s a build up, and then everything just plummets to hell. Martyrs starts down here (gestures with his hand as if a low level) and it just goes, it's never not horrible, there's not a single moment of that movie where you're smiling. It's just terrible all the time.
HoTS: The one time, when you start to smile, then Boom!
ML: Yeah, there’s that family scene for like two minutes, then Boom, home invasion. And I'm sitting there watching, and what really struck me about Martyrs, I was sitting there watching with my roommates and when the movie turned, when they finished Lucy’s story, I remember looking at my roommate and saying, “I have no fucking idea where this movie is going”, and there's another hour left. I have zero idea what's gonna happen and that hasn't happened in a decade. Then they just come out of nowhere and sucker punch you in the stomach. Here's a girl getting punched in the face for ten minutes. Enjoy.
HoTS: That was so brutal because it was so real.
ML: I'm getting chills just thinking about it. That movie just wrecked me.
HoTS: I kept waiting for the Hollywood moment, for her to grab her chain and choke out her captor, waiting for her to somehow escape, and it didn't happen. I finished the movie and said, “I loved this, but I'll never watch it again”.
ML: That’s the way I felt about it and A Serbian Film, and I've watched both a dozen time since. I remember after watching Martyrs, I had to go for a walk, I just had to get outside, that movie was so rough, and A Serbian Film was, too, but with A Serbian Film at least it had character arcs and a more cinematic approach to it. It definitely wasn't a Hollywood movie but it was a little more standard, a little easier to swallow, but the bleakness of Martyrs. I don't know if I've ever seen that topped. The only other films that have affected me like that were Sâlo and Cannibal Holocaust. Just raw, unflinching brutality, and ugliness, and they were all influences on me when I was doing White Doomsday. I'd like to think we don't pull any punches. We go for the sad whenever possible.
HoTS: At the risk of sounding like a very sick individual, I hope you don't pull any punches, I'm looking for a very dark, bleak, hopeless film.
ML: It's all those things, we had a little bit of a test screening of the rough cut at Scares That Care, to some of the people who were involved in the movie. The first ten minutes we were all talking, getting settled in, joking a little bit, by fifteen minutes in everyone had stopped talking, by twenty minutes I noticed there was dead silence, then someone said, “Someone make a joke, please”.
HoTS: Oh, you had them then, sounds promising.
ML: The back story of the movie is a very personal film. I wrote the story, in 2012 my mother was diagnosed with kidney failure, she was in the hospital in critical condition for about nine months. She has recovered since then, but she had interstitial nephritis, which caused her kidneys to only function at like three percent. They did not think that she was going to make it, and I was the go between for the hospital and my family, who were all in different states at the time. Everyone was calling me for updates all the time, and I basically had to try and downplay how bad things were. I didn't want to break down in front of my mom, and my family, so I was taking the brunt of it, and passing along the bad news. To say sane I started writing the story, which essentially boils down to watching a someone you care about fading away and you being powerless to do anything about it. So the hopelessness came from that, the story is dedicated to my mom and the movie is too. The character of the mother was influenced by my mom, and a lot of what you see is these characters, trying to shield the little boy from the reality of the situation. So no, it's not a happy movie.
HoTS: I like to think that movies like this, allow me to get the darkness out, helps me stay sane. I don’t know if that’s true for other fans and filmmakers of depressing, disturbing films. People do ask me all the time how can you watch films like this, and especially when I watched A Serbian Film and The Human Centipede, which I didn't find disturbing at all.
ML: No, not at all. Actually I didn't like the first one when I first saw it, because I had heard so much about it and I was thinking “this isn't the movie I heard it was going to be”. Watching it since, I realize it's a very, very good movie. It's almost a body horror movie more than anything else. It's more about domination and slavery, I don’t want to say psychological, because it is pretty visceral, but it's not a gross out, exploitation movie at all. The disturbing part of that movie was this man, breaking three people down into dogs basically. That's what bothered me about it.
Then the second one, was what everyone expected the first one to be. I'm very one the fence about the second one. I love the concept of it, that some one had seen the original one and then tried to reenact it. The movie is basically a giant “Fuck you” to censorship and the media claiming that people are going to mimic movies, which I think is absolute horseshit. I heard the premise and I thought, “Wow, this is going to be really intelligent”, because I didn't know if Tom Six was a really smart guy, kind of doing something nasty, or if he was just a sleaze king. Then I watched that movie and, ahhhh he's kind of just a sleaze king. Which there's nothing wrong with that, but I think he had a great opportunity to make a powerful commentary on horror films, and censorship of art, and he kind of botched it. I haven't seen the third one, but I heard the third one was miserable.
HoTS: It solidifies him as a sleaze king. There are some incredibly funny moments, but it is just so offensive, so gross. It's basically every derogatory word and insult you can call another human being is used. Every racial, sexist insult is thrown out over and over.
Okay, to move away from the doom and gloom a bit, let's talk about The Stall. For some reason I had the idea that was a zombie film, but I saw it earlier, and it's not.
ML: Oh no.
HoTS: I didn't want to bring it up in case zombies pop up in White Doomsday, but I'm so tired of zombies.
ML: No, no, that's another thing - I know some people are going to think it’s a zombie film and it's not.
HoTS: I just think the zombie story has been told. Let's find a new story to tell.
HoTS: I did like Maggie with Arnold, but other than that.
ML: I didn’t see that but actually heard a lot of good things about that.
HoTS: It was pretty good. It was more of a story of the relationship between a father and a dying child than a traditional zombie movie.
ML: See, that's something that I would definitely enjoy, being that I love dying children obviously.
ML: I think zombie films work best when the zombies are window dressing, a background to a different story. That's how I enjoy them anyway. I would definitely watch that.
HoTS: Back to The Stall. For some reason, I had the idea this was the story of a guy trapped in a bathroom stall during the zombie apocalypse, but it's not.
ML: The thing with that movie, we were working on The Stall about 2-3 years though various technical difficulties, shooting on weekends. We had to re-shoot a lot because the effects weren't working with the tentacles. But we were just kind of doing our thing, you know, making this Lovecraft movie, which was also very personal, about my job. That was like a dry run for something more serious. It's funny, the poster and the premise make people think it's going to be this big serious, gross out, B-movie and it's not, at least I hope people don't take it that way. It's about half and half.
HoTS: Honestly I was expecting turds. I'm glad there were no turds.
ML: Exactly. That was the big joke for me. We were presenting this movie as though it's going to be like a Troma movie, and it's not at all. It's pretty much straight Lovecraftian. It has a bleakness I was feeling at the time. Working in food service for fifteen years, trying to be a filmmaker on the side, it kind of takes its toll on you. Dying at work is my biggest fear, like one day I will realize I wasted my life doing something that I don't enjoy, while trying to support my passion on the side. The idea that I’m terrified to leave my comfort zone - which equates to a two by two bathroom stall in the movie - because there’s some horrible thing out there, that I'm not aware of yet, some awful external force. That when I get out there, I'll realize that my dreams are not good enough, and that I wont make it. That's what the whole bit is about. Or it's just about a guy trapped in a bathroom with a bunch of tentacles, and that's pretty cool too. However you want to watch it, that's fine.
HoTS: It was the most Lovecraftian references crammed into twelve minutes I have ever seen. You even worked in Erich Zann which is still my favorite Lovecraft short story.
ML: We had more on the radio broadcast but it gets cut out. That was one of my favorite, I'm trying to remember the others, I know there was DJ Brown Jenkins and Erich Zann. That was a lot of fun. I'm a huge Lovecraft geek, obviously.
So, I was working on this movie for two years, we release it, and our poster art was originally a restroom sign, with tentacles coming out of the side. That was our first poster, we had that for about a year. Then we did the alternate poster that's on the DD, of the guy kind of shrinking away from the tentacles, that looks like a big 70s or 80s VHS cover. So we had all that stuff out for awhile, and then the movie comes out. It's getting watched, stories posted all over the place, and then I start getting calls, about four months later to go on Netflix and look up The Stall. And I look, and there’s a movie with the same fucking poster as us, but it's zombie hands. It's the same premise, and I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me?” (laughs) I was so annoyed. Then I watched it, and if it was a good movie, I'd be totally cool with it, but it's an awful movie.
HoTS: I think that was what confused me. When I met you I asked you if The Stall was on Netflix because I remembered seeing it.
ML: I got that from a lot of people. Which really aggravated me, not saying they stole it, because people do come up with the same ideas all the time but it really grinded my gears because they had the same poster art. Their other poster was the restroom sign with zombie arms coming in from the side, so basically both their posters were damn near identical to ours, and it's essentially the same premise. But whereas I recognize that that movie has about thirteen minutes in it, they stretched it for an hour and a half (laughs). So it became very tiresome very quickly. Although I am a big fan of their first movie, Freak Out. It's about a guy who escapes a mental asylum and a bunch of horror fans find him. He not a violent criminal but they try and train him to be a slasher killer. It's low budget, but it's very funny. It's very low budget, but it's a fun, dumb movie, they were trying to make a Troma style B movie, and it's got some very entertaining moments in it. But The Stall, I was not so much a fan of. Maybe I’m biased, I don’t know.
HoTS: That does explain my confusion because when I watched it earlier I knew I had seen that cover before, but I don't think I ever watched the zombie version of The Stall. Because like I said, I really don’t watch new zombie films unless I'm bored out of my head and there’s nothing else that catches my interest.
ML: Yeah, and it sucks because I grew up with Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. When I was a kid, I wore out my VHS copy of Dawn of the Dead. I used to rent it every week and watch the head explosion scene from the beginning, over and over again. I was obsessed with zombies and there was nothing else out there other than the Italian stuff, a spat of movies in the 80s and the Romero trilogy, there wasn't really any other zombie stuff that was too exciting. Then back in what, 2003 when Brian Keene published The Rising, the Dawn of the Deadremake came out and things kind of blew up again for zombies. I was like, this is the best time to be alive, there is zombie stuff everywhere. Then after about a year of that, it's, “Okay, I'm done”. That was ten years ago and it's still going (laughs).
HoTS: It is still going, There are three themes, that if I am cruising Amazon Prime or Netflix, that I just scoot right past it: that's zombies, found footage, or four friends going anywhere. I just pass.
ML: Yep, yeah. (laughs) Actually I just watched the Cabin Fever remake, speaking of four friends going somewhere. It's like, “Why do I do this to myself”? Horrid, horrid stuff.
HoTS: Like me. I will shit talk a movie, know it's going to be bad, and still end up seeing it.
ML: Oh, absolutely.
HoTS: I saw The Omen remake in the theater.
ML: I was there opening night.
HoTS: I saw The Omen remake in the theater while running a fever and fell asleep. I tell people I love the movie because it's the best sleep I got all week.
ML: I had to go to the ER right after seeing that. I found out I had two hernias.. I was in the theater and ran to the bathroom vomiting profusely. Everyone said I had the antichrist growing inside me. So that was my experience with The Omen - as if the movie wasn't bad enough.
HoTS: I think it just made everyone sick.
ML: (laughs) It really did. The devil was definitely in that film because no one seeing it had a good time.
HoTS: So where are you going now with White Doomsday? Festival circuit?
ML: Yes. Currently we are in post-production. We are starting to work on visual effects now, sound design, um color grading, and then I'm hoping to have the movie finished by Christmas. It would be great to have it out by Christmas. The thing is, it doesn't mean it will play by Christmas, because we are at the mercy of the film festival schedules. You submit a film to the festivals four months in advance, and you don’t know if you get accepted for two to three months. So we have to figure out which festival we would like to premiere at, and what the submission deadlines are, and all that kind of stuff. But I would love to have it out for Christmas. Then the film festival circuit, and try to find a distributor, and see what happens. If we can find a company to put it out, then the DVD will hopefully be widely available. If not we will access our options, maybe press our own DVDs like we did with The Stall and Suburban Holocaust, then hit the circuit, the festival and convention circuit on foot and bring the film to you. So we'll see.
HoTS: I will be looking for it.
ML: Thank you.
HoTS: Hopefully on physical media.
ML: Physical media is a big thing for me. We will probably do a VOD release down the road, but I hate not having a physical disc. I'm a collector. I am a huge, huge collector and I love extra features. I refuse to go out and buy a disc that has no extra features on it. This movie was a year and a half in the making, and I'm going to have so much behind the scenes it's obnoxious. So many crazy stories about how we made this movie with just paper clips and chewing gum, you know. So I'm hoping to get a nice supplemental package out there that VOD doesn't have.
HoTS: There's very little worse than opening up a DVD and special features are scene selection.
HoTS: I just watched the movie; now I can watch the trailer.
ML: Thanks, this is phenomenal. Interactive menus, that's my favorite, and subtitles for the hearing impaired.
HoTS: I love VOD because of the convenience, but I hate it because of the inconvenience, if that makes sense. It's so easy, but I’m at the mercy of whatever Netflix or Amazon allows me to watch.
ML: Absolutely, and from a filmmakers standpoint there are a lot of pitfalls. People think, “Oh, there’s no overhead”, because you don’t have to make discs. But they find ways to gouge you with putting it out there and you are also opening yourself up to a huge amount of piracy very easily. This is my first feature so I'm very leery of all that, but I guess I will find out soon enough.
HoTS: Piracy yeah. I think it's so easy from a fan’s stand point to say, “This is a big Hollywood director. They aren’t losing any money”, but I have seen Indie directors, who are having thousands if not tens of thousands of downloads, but they aren't actually selling shit.
ML: I was talking to a friend about effects, and he was giving me the run down for distribution on his first feature. They did a Kickstarter campaign and sent out early DVDs to the Kickstarter backers. He said by the time the film was released, the day it actually premiered on DVD and VOD, there were over 700 websites that had it for download already. He said ,“Well, we lost our shirts on that one”. It's so easy to justify, you just click on that link and you’re like, “I'm not really stealing”, but when you’re a filmmaker at this level, you are literally counting every download, counting single sales... I'm not trying to make a movie so I can get a solid gold pool, I want to be able to make another film. I fund this stuff with the money I make at the pizza shop. It's very difficult when people are pirating stuff.
HoTS: And people are getting so open about it.
ML: I just the other day saw someone ask where he can get the Alien series for free, and I said, “Well, you can buy them, and you should support the artist that made them”. I know the 6.99 it costs at Wal-Mart to get them is too great but...
HoTS: And you can do a VOD rental for under 3 bucks, I know I just shit talked VOD, but there’s really no good reason to pirate movies. I know you maybe cant afford to watch every movie you want to, but I can't afford a Lamborghini. I feel your pain. I can't get a gold plated pool. That’s life, and it's not an excuse to steal, but it's just so easy and there are realistically zero consequences.
ML: Nope, they aren't knocking down anyone’s door for piracy. I think also people take for granted the ability to get everything instantly. In the old days when you had to go to a video store and scour around for hours to find that movie, it had more value for you. It meant something because you had to hunt for it. Even in Napstar days, it took three days to download a MP3 of a song. That was a fucking accomplishment. You had to really want that song, or that jpeg of Jenny McCarthy. You really needed it or it just wasn't worth it.
And this goes beyond piracy to film appreciation in general. People will just go online and do a search of ten most disturbing films of all time and do a mass download in, like ten minutes, and finish watching them and it's, “Yeah, whatever”. It's disposable to them because they didn't have to really work, hunt, or research it. It doesn't mean anything to them. It's like junk food, and that's a shame, because you really aren't experiencing those films. Because those articles, those lists, they aren't giving you any historical context, they aren't telling you why these films are important. I feel like it's the best time for being a film fan, and it's the worst time, for those reasons. It's never been more accessible, but it's so disposable to everyone. It’s a real shame.
HoTS: To me, part of the magic was always digging through those dusty shelves looking for that gem.
ML: Exactly, just looking at that crazy cover and knowing that cover or that poster was lying to me but damn if I don't want it.
I want to thank Mike Lombardo for allowing us the time to chat with him. We will keep our eyes on I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday.
Mark Patton, star of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, heads back to horror this year in the new film Family Possessions. Director Tommy Faircloth and his Horse Creek Productions have enlisted Patton and genre favorite Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) to join the cast of his latest film. Faircloth most recently directed the film Dollface, that did the festival circuit under the name, Dorchester's Revenge: The Return of Crinoline, before being tagged with a shorter name for its DVD and VoD release. Before Dollface, Faircloth directed Generation Ax, and the prequel to Dollface, Crinolinehead.
Joining the more familiar names in the cast will be a host of talented younger actors, many of whom have starred in other Horse Creek Productions projects. Jason Vail Starred in Dollface, as well as Abraham Lincoln versus Zombies and the upcoming Valley of the Sasquatch. Along with Jason, Lizzie Mears, Leah Wiseman, and Andrew Wickum from Dollface are cast in Family Possessions. Morgan Monnig from the Horse Creek short The Cabin rounds out the film as Jason Vail's wife Sarah.
The official synopsis describes Family Possessions as a paranormal slasher. It is the story of Racheal (played by Wiseman), a young girl who inherits her grandmother’s mansion. Since her family is struggling financially she moves them into the house. Once there, she starts having paranormal encounters, and learns a secret that her parents have been keeping from her.
Family Possessions will be all practical effects, with no CGI, which is unusual for a modern paranormal type film, but it's very refreshing. Come on, who out there isn't tired of the thing black wispy CGI ghosts and demons? Tony Rosen is the man in charge of those practical effects. Tony is perhaps best known as the creator of the Annabelle doll from the films Annabelle and The Conjuring. Tony also did the effects in the popular Indie film Pieces of Talent.
I became a fan of Horse Creek Productions when I caught Dollface at a film festival. It's a fun, bloody horror movie with some great moments and great laughs and is one of my favorite Indie films in recent years. I'm excited to see this new project. With Family Possessions, Faircloth promises a more serious film with less comedy than Dollface, which is great for those who don't care for horror comedies.
Family Possessions is in post production now and director Faircloth is hoping for a release sometime around October. The Indidegogo fundraising campaign is still open if anyone wants to chip in and support independent horror.
I will be one of the first people to tell you that the horror genre is littered with far too many sub-par films. So it's really refreshing to see new filmmakers with a commitment to produce new horror films that are original, thought provoking, and dammit, just good, solid films. That's whats up with Bandit Motion Pictures, and they are readying their newest film Plank Face for release later this year.
Bandit Motion Pictures hasn't been around long, but it's quickly developing a great track record. The founders of Bandit, writer/director Scott Schrimer and producer/cinematographer Brian K. Williams, were already making waves before they formed their own production company. Schrimer's controversial Found was one of my favorite films of the last few years - and also one of the most disturbing – having been banned for a while in Australia and is still unavailable uncut in Britain. Williams has also developed a name and a following in Indie horror with films like Found, A Time to Kill (not the Sam Jackson one), Plank Face, and The Legend of Wasco.
The first film from Bandit Motion Pictures was the trippy, erotic Harvest Lake which starred the sexy Tristan Risk of Plank Face and American Mary fame. If you expected the duo to play it safe and release a conventional horror film as a follow up to Harvest Lake, Plank Face lays that fear to rest. There's not a lot out beyond the trailer and a couple of different posters, but that's all you need to know this will be another strange one.
From the official IMDb synopsis, Plank Face is the story of a man trapped by a feral family who are determined to transform him into one of their own. Once again eschewing the horror norm of having a female kidnapped as breeding stock. Still this film looks to be way more than that line reveals. Check out the trailer and judge for yourself. This isn't going to be your average slasher flick.
Plank Face is due to be released in toward the end of August, so it's not too long of a wait. You can even pre order now from the official pre -release crowd funding for Plank Face. It's the best way to guarantee that it's in your hands as soon as possible. It also helps the filmmakers because it takes money to make films. Seriously, and without big studio backing it can be a challenge. So do yourself a favor, check out Harvest Lake, check out Found or A Time to Kill, and then pre-order a copy of Plank Face.
Growing up as a young horror fan, one of the first publications I remember seeing that covered the genre was, of course, Fangoria. After being around for all these years and still holding strong, they have expanded and have since opened a music department aptly named Fangoria Musick.
So when April Bedan, manager of Fangoria Musick emailed me and asked if I'd be interested in mentioning their upcoming release, I was honored.
Fangoria Musick held an open call for any interested horror themed musicians to send in the best they had. What they ended up with is going to shatter your soul!
Fangoria Musick presents THE HORDE MIXTAPE. After a long list of submissions, Fangoria Musick narrowed it down to 11 very fortunate groups that I'm sure had to sell their soul and sign the deal with blood. Fangoria has said this album will cover all different genres of horror music, so whether its dark ominous or head banging thrash, I'm looking forward to it!
The musicians on THE HORDE MIXTAPE are as follows:
THE CHURCH OF ZANN
MOJAVE PHONE BOOTH
Artwork for the album cover was done by Corey Jennings of KARDIAC who is also signed to the Fangoria Musick label and who also produced and edited THE MIXTAPE video promo. Obviously a busy guy!
Set to release on July 29, 2016, Digital Downloads will be available at FANGORIA.com, while physical copies will be available at FangoriaMusick.bigcartel.com.
I'm sure this release is going to be one to add to your personal library. I, for one, cant wait to get my hands on a copy.
So stay true to the horror genre, support Fangoria and Fangoria Muisck, both online and on their Facebook and Twitter social pages. And don't forget to order your copy of THE HORDE MIXTAPE or you'll suffer eternally!
In 1978, we were introduced to what has become one of the most amazing franchises to ever smack us in the face, and it's coming back in a huge way. Earlier this week, the media received good - no, great - news. Halloween has landed in the arms of Blumhouse Productions with the master of horror also known as John Carpenter, father of the franchise, to executive produce and possibly compose the music with his Lost Themes band.
The Halloween films have forced us to know his name - Michael Myers, his mask - Captain Kirk, his theme, his disturbance, and his immortality. The Halloween film franchise was started in part by Carpenter, Debra Hill, and Moustapha Akkad in 1978 and has since has spawned ten films (eight sequels as well as two remakes by Rob Zombie) generating a total of nearly $400 million in worldwide box office. This new film will mark the 11th entry to the franchise. As of now, Halloween is in early development, but Carpenter confirms it is happening and has stated that he will help to bring about the scariest Halloween film since the original.
"Halloween is one of those milestone films that inspired everyone at our company to get into the world of scary movies,” says Jason Blum. “The great Malek Akkad and John Carpenter have a special place in the hearts of all genre fans and we are so excited that Miramax brought us together. We cannot wait to find and collaborate with the right filmmaker to give Halloween fans the movie they deserve.”
Miramax, which holds worldwide distribution rights, will determine its theatrical distribution partner at a future date. David Thwaites will oversee the reboot for Miramax with Carpenterm and the company's planning to immediately go out to filmmakers and fast-track the project. Although no release date has officially been locked, it was revealed at the announcement event that a Halloween 2017 release is quite likely. Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush, Before I Wake) is set to direct.
As a devoted fan, I for one cannot wait for this to come to life. This is like a birthday/Christmas present wrapped in bloody wrapping paper with a big orange bow at the top.
What do you think? Let House of Tortured Souls know below.
Winter of 2015, actually for my birthday, I was fortunate enough to spend the day on the set of highly awaited film The Night Watchmen.
The story follows the eponymous night watchmen who, during their shift one night, receive a package that was delivered to the wrong location. This wasn't just your usual parcel - no gift to little Bobby from Grandma, no special free shipping on a DVD copy of TheHamiltons from amazon.com... This was a coffin holding a supreme vampire brought back take over the world! And who's there to defend us all from this demonic take over from the undead? The Night Watchmen.
(Warning: Video contains nudity.)
The film is a horror comedy that even while on the set had the crew cracking up during many lines. The film is totally unique but has the feel of Evil Dead meets John Carpenter. It has dark, gory horror with just the right amount of tongue in cheek comedy to make this a perfect fit. The film is packed with action, blood, vampires, dead people ... and clowns? Yes, even clowns.
As I mentioned, I was fortunate enough to spend the day with the cast and crew and was taken in by our three fearless watchmen themselves and stars of the film - Ken Arnold, Dan Deluca and Kevin Jiggetits. Everyone was awesome, and I was in awe of everything I was being allowed to observe. The film was partially filmed in Annapolis, Maryland at an old newspaper press factory, and it was the perfect setting! Guys, thank you for taking the time. That was a birthday that could never be out done!
Hanging around with Arnold, Deluca, and Jiggetts is an ear to ear grin experience. The three of them are much like brothers...in a Three Stooges way. Fun loving, but always professional.
The film was written by Ken Arnold and Dan Deluca, and has been directed by Mitchell Altieri, who brought us The Hamiltons and The Violent Kind.
The film also costars James Remar (Dexter), Rain Pryor (Rude Awakening), and Tiffany Shepis (Exit to Hell), and features the special f/x make-up artistry of RJ Haddy. There sadly is no release date for the film as of yet, but soon as House of Tortured Souls knows, you'll know! Until then, support The Night Watchmen by liking their Facebook page, and prepare to hear those magical words - Lets go kill dead people!
Yeah, I'm a big fan of exploitation cinema, from blacksploitation to Eurotrash to biker movies. And a quick perusal of my articles on House of Tortured Souls will show I have a major hard on for Bigfoot films. Now there’s an upcoming film that combines exploitation biker films with Bigfoot. And toss in two of the hottest babes shaking there ass in horror makes Frankenstein Created Bikers a must see.
Frankenstein Created Bikers is the follow up to Atlanta film maker James Bickel's Dear God No. In Dear God No a sadistic biker gang, The Impalers, runs afoul of a sadistic Sasquatch and meets a gruesome end, The film had a very limited theatrical release and garnered mixed reviews with some horror fans hating it, but a lot of fans of exploitation films getting it and falling in love with it.
Now The Impalers are back from the dead in Frankenstein Created Bikers. A mad doctor revives the outlaw gang, in the process addicting them to the resurrection chemical, and sets them on the trail of the killer Sasquatch. As outrageous as that might sound, if you think that's it, then you really aren't familiar with James Bickert's style of filming. Along with the zombie biker bigfoot hunt, which I never thought I would write in a serious article, throw in a eye patch wearing, gun toting motorcycle riding Tristan Risk (American Mary), human head transplants, biker brawls, and international showgirl Gia Nova. Don't worry I'm sure I missed a lot of shit.
Along with the sexy ladies, Gia Nova and Tristan Risk, Frankenstein Created Bikers has a damn fine cast for a low budget film. Jeff Bryant returns as Jett, the bloodthirsty leader of the undead Impalers along with a lot of the cast of Dear God No. Add in Laurence R Harvey from The Human Centipede 2 and 3, Ellie Church from Headless and Harvest Lake, adult actress Diana Prince and you have an insane cast for a lower budget film
Needless to say, this wont be a film for everyone. If your idea of a great cinematic experience is watching Howards End while having tea and scones, you might want to pass. But if you like your tea and scones with a splatter of blood while spanking it to Howards End, you might enjoy this messed up bloody bonanza. Full disclosure I have never seen Howards End and have no idea how spankable it is.
Frankenstein Created Bikers is a throwback to a time when films were nasty and just didn’t give a fuck. I guess the trend would be to say it's like The Wild Angels had sex with Night of the Demon and this Frankenstein Created Bikers is their baby. But from the trailer and what I have read, it's more like The Wild Angels and Night of the Demonhad a cocaine binge and went out and raped the Manson family.
Frankenstein Created Bikers will have a sneak preview at Horrorhound Weekend in March. Then it will have its world premiere at The Atlanta Film Festival on April 2. If you are in the area and love exploitation cinema, get your ass there.
It's still winter but it's almost time for the harvest, Harvest Lake that is. Harvest Lake, the newest movie from director Scott Schrimer and producer and director of photography Brian K Williams, is set to be released on Blu Ray on March the 18th 2016. Harvest Lake which stars Tristan Risk (Little Ms Risk), of American Mary fame and EllieChurch (Headless) is Schrimer's follow up to the critically and fan acclaimed Found. Along with Church and Risk, Harvest Lake also stars Jason Crowe (Dead Moon Rising), Dan Nye (The Legend of Wasco), and Kevin Roach (The Confession of Fred Kruegar).
I'm a big fan of the movie Found so I was excited to find out that Schrimer was working on another project. When I learned that Little Ms Risk was involved, well it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm one bit. Screen shots of Tristan and the lovely Ellie Church in bikinis, well, let's just say I'm really looking forward to the release.
Harvest Lake revolves around five friends on a camping trip to a lake house to celebrate a birthday. While there they come under the influence of an unearthly presence, which only heightens the groups partying and makes them lose all inhibitions. It has been described by the film makers as an “erotic creature feature” and if that doesn't pique your interest, I don’t know what will. There's also talk of alien appendages if that helps.
This film looks to be something different, mixing elements of horror, science fiction and sexploitation in a serious film. While the alien/sex film itself isn't new, there were films in the 80s such as Breeders and Inseminoid, they were almost always cheaply done exploitative films, that were too campy to be taken seriously. With Harvest Lake we get an alien sex horror by an upcoming director who has shown real talent. Who has the ability to make a disturbing and dark film. Yeah I can joke around about the beautiful ladies of Harvest Lake, but don't let that fool you. I am really looking forward to Harvest Lake for so much more. March 18th can't get here soon enough.
Quick Post script, Harvest Lake has also been chosen to screen at the Los Angeles Days of the Dead convention on April 1st. If you are in the area check it out.
I was in my late teens, maybe even my early 20's when a buddy of mine lends me a game to take home to play on my playstation, a game that would change my life forever, a game called DOOM!
Growing up, I really wasn't much into RPG games, and platform style games were to boring and kinda cheesy looking. Now, Doom was a first person shoot, my favorite, and were the graphics in it great? Hell no, but none of the games then had good graphics, or not compared to the stuff people are playing today.
Doom was brutal, bloody, dark and I loved it! Where the hell else could you play a game and find bloody pentagrams and 666 written on walls? The game play wasn't bad, and the bosses were pretty damn hard to kill. Upon starting the game, you could choose your difficulty level, and I tell you what, if I choose the hardest setting, I wouldn't last a minute of game play, it was totally insane! Over the years, a few Doom title games were released, graphics got better, as did the game play.
Well, due out in May of 2016 DOOM is being brought back by id software, the same folks who originally gave us this little ball of joy.
Now as I've mentioned in other reviews I've done, I don't get to play nearly as much as I would like to anymore. I was never really a gamer, but I knew what I liked. And this looks fucking amazing! The graphics look incredible and from what I have seen, it looks brutal as hell!!! There have only been a few titles over the last few years that I actually have ponied up the cash for, and this might very well be one of them.
In Doom, game play moves fairly fast, I just hope that that wont shorten the game as well. But alas, another first person shooter! To me, there isn't anything better than playing a game where you are looking down the barrel of a gun, and blowing someone's head off....always a good time to me! GTA can suck it, give me a good shooter any day!
Keep your eyes out for this one, coming to us in May. I know I will be!
Call of Cthulhu was first announced in 2014 with a few screen shots of what would be. Very little else has been heard about the game since then. At the date of its original announcement Focus Home Interactive was working with Frogware studio to create the game. However instead of working with Frogware, Focus Home Interactive is now working with Cyanide Studio to make the game. They both sound excited to be working together on this project.
‘We are happy that Focus entrusted us with the development of a videogame adaptation of the legendary RPG Call of Cthulhu. As long-time fans of the license, working with longtime partner publisher Focus Home Interactive on such an original and exciting project is, once again, a privilege. We hope to offer fans the game they’ve long been waiting for.’ Patrick Pligersdorffer – CEO of Cyanide Studio
‘We are deeply honored to be partnering with Cyanide again. They’ve grown alongside us for the past 10 years, to become today one of the best independent developers in Europe. With titles such as Styx: Master of Shadows and the Blood Bowl series, they’ve proved their creativity and ability to offer strong gaming experiences in original worlds. Cyanide has been wanting to make a Call of Cthulhu adaptation for years. They now hold all the cards to create a game that will please fans of the Cthulhu mythos, as well as players eager for rich and original gaming experiences.’ Cédric Lagarrigue – President of Focus Home Interactive
We now have new screen shots from Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive along with a website. The website is pretty empty right now, but at least we have one.
The game is being built in Unreal Engine 4 and will have a semi-open enviroment to play in. Call of Cthulhu is set in a deeply immersive world that uses psychological horror and stealth mechanics to pull you into the experience of the game. As an RPG-Investigation game you are on a mission to find what really happened behind the death of an acclaimed artist and her family on a backwater island. We are promised that we will uncover a disturbing truth as the Great Dreamer, Cthulhu, begins to awaken.
Stay tuned to House of Tortured Souls. We will keep you up to date with any more announcements from Focus Home Interactive on Call of Cthulhu.
The horror keeps coming in 2016 with the release of Valley of the Sasquatch on February 20th by Devilworks. Yeah. I have a thing for Bigfoot movies, have ever since seeing the Legend of Boggy Creek as a kid. So I'm a bit excited about Valley of the Sasquatch. I had hoped to catch it when it played at the Fear Fete convention last year in Biloxi, MS, but work interfered and I missed the screening. So now I am waiting with all the other Bigfoot fans and am happy to learn it will get a release this year.
Valley of the Sasquatch is directed by John Portanova. It stars Jason Vail, Bill Oberest Jr, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, David Saucedo, and D'Angelo Midili. Oberst and Vail are perhaps best known for the surprisingly good Asylum film, Abraham Lincoln Vs Zombies.
The plot involves a man and his son who lose their home and are forced to move into a secluded cabin. The two don't have the best relationship to begin with, and the move strains it more. When two old friends arrive for a hunting trip, the familial tension increases. Unfortunately, on the hunting trip they run into a tribe of territorial Sasquatch.
The film made the festival circuit in 2015 and early 2016, winning multiple awards and garnering several good reviews before an official release was announced, and word of mouth has been very good so far. Sasquatch films can be very effective if done right, and they can be done right on a small budget, as Boggy Creek showed us many years ago.
While the Sasquatch can be played off as a mean SoB, like in Night of the Demon, or as a more sympathetic, just minding my business till you piss me off like in Exists, the Sasquatch in the trailers looks like he is willing to kick some ass in Valley of the Sasquatch. From the synopsis, though, there's a possibility the hunters do something stupid to gain his anger.
Like I said, I'm a sucker for Bigfoot films and really looking forward to Valley of the Sasquatch. We need more quality entries in the Bigfoot genre, and this looks to be decent to at least. We wont know for sure till it's available in a couple of weeks.
The Forest takes place in the Aokigahara Forest ,of Japan. Which is a real-life place in Japan where people go to die, to end their lives. Against this backdrop, a young American woman played by Natalie Durmer ( Captain of America, The Hunger Games) comes in search of her twin sister, who has mysteriously disappeared. Despite everyone's warnings not to "stray from the path," she dares to enter the forest to discover the truth about her sister's fate, only to be confronted by the angry and tormented souls of the dead who now prey on anyone who crosses their paths.
The film was directed by Jason Zada , who also directed Take this Lollipop and was parting team behind The Houses October Built (and if you've been an avid reader here at House of Tortured Souls, then you already know how crazy about that film I am!)
Co-staring in The Forest , Taylor Kinney ( The Other Woman, Zero Dark Thirty), Yukiyoshi Ozawa (The Hidden) , Eoin Macken (Merlin, Centurion, The Night Shift) and Rina Takasaki (Level Up).
This supernatural horror-thriller already seems to be getting a lot of talk due to its historical background amongst the Japanese. Now I know the film industry has dumped what seems to be endless amounts of supernatural films on our screens the last few years , or so it seems, some better than others...some a lot worse, but this one even though caring a PG13 rating, seems promising. Now ,maybe I say that because it holds some amounts of truths in it, dealing with the history of the location. But on a personal note, I've always enjoyed, or seem to at least take more seriously, based on true story films.
So save a few dollars that you might have gotten in a holiday Christmas card from your distant family members that you only hear from around the holiday season, and go check out The Forest, looks pretty damn good!
Back in August of 2014, it was announced director Adam Schindler (Delivery: The Beast Within) was set to direct upcoming home invasion horror thriller, Shut In, which was originally slated for a 2015 release. The name has since been changed to Intruders and is finally set for its theatrical and VOD run on January 15, 2016 and will be released through Momentum Pictures (an E1 company).
Film fest hit Intruders will star Beth Riesgraf (TV series The Librarians) , Martin Starr (Dead Snow), Rory Culkin (Signs, Scream 4) and Jack Kesy (TV series The Strain) and is reported to be a home invasion horror with a bit of a twist, a sort of Home Alone meets You're Next.
The synopsis of the film is as such:
A trio of criminals breaks into a house thinking it is abandoned. However, it is inhabited by an attractive young woman with a severe case of agoraphobia so incapacitating she would rather stay in the home and contend with the bad guys, than venture out of it in an attempt to escape them. Little does this trio of bandits know that agoraphobia is just ONE of her mental issues.
There is much more to this demure woman than meets the eye and soon a deadly game of cat and mouse unfolds as she pulls a few tricks of her own and wages a war on the unsuspecting criminals who never saw her coming.
The Boy, which was originally titled The Inhabitant, is scheduled for release in January of 2016. Unfortunately, the name change may confuse viewers with the recently released The Boy, directed by Craig William McNeil and starring David Morse and Rainn Wilson, but with which is has no connection. This one is directed by William Brent Bell and stars Lauren Cohan.
Cohan is best known as Maggie on The Walking Dead. William Brent Bell is probably known best for the infuriating The Devil Inside and its incredibly dumb ending. Before that he directed the lame Stay Alive, but then in 2013 he gave us Wer, one of the best werewolf movies in recent years. Wer, sadly didn't get the wide release of The Devil Inside, and was woefully underseen and underrated.
Early rumors were that it would be very similar to James Wan's The Conjuring. However with the release of the official plot it looks more like Annabelle, possibly with a little Gremlins mixed in.
The plot of The Boy has Cohan playing an English nanny hired to babysit a life-sized doll. The couple who own him treat the doll as a real boy and use him as a coping mechanism for the loss of their son. Cohan as Greta, is given a specific set of rules to follow, which she fucks up of course. This leads to spooky happenings, leading Greta to believe the boy might actually be alive.
I really want to trust Bell after Wer, but the memory of that final scene in The Devil Inside still haunts me. That and this seems a hell of a lot like a cheap attempt to cash in on the success of The Conjuring and Annabelle. Still Lauren Cohan is very watchable and it looks like she will be getting to use her native Brit accent in this.
So I'm probably going to give this a hopeful, but realistic chance and check it out. Hopefully it will be more than a cheap rip off of a film I actually didn’t care that much about (Annabelle). With Cohan along for the ride it should at least be interesting for Walking Dead fans, and she is definitely easy on the eyes.
What ever the outcome I'll give you my opinion after The Boy's release January 22, 2016.
We are getting an Americanized remake of Martyrs, whether we want it or not. Now if you've never heard of Martyrs in the first place, I'm going to break it down for you. It goes without saying that you should strap yourselves in because I'm going to tell you really all you need to know in just one sentence.
Martyrs is a 2008 French film that will break your fucking soul.
Written and directed by Pascal Laugier, the original Martyrs tells the story of Lucie, who along with her friend Anna, embark on a mission of revenge against those who kidnapped and tortured her as a child. Things, of course, don't go too well for either of our heroines, and it isn't long before the shit really hits the goddamn fan. There's much, much more to Martyrs than that brief description. I don't want to give much, if anything else, away for anyone who hasn't seen the original film because you really fucking should. All else that I will say is that this film is brutal, both physically and psychologically. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it will break your fucking soul into pieces. It garnered a shitload of acclaim from critics and audiences, and is recognized as one of the pioneering films of the French new wave of extreme horror.
So yeah, we're getting an Americanized remake from Blumhouse of this film, and it's going to be distributed by Anchor Bay (who has been behind the remakes and sequels to I Spit on Your Grave among many other films) and directed by Goetz Brothers. Apparently this remake was filmed rather quickly and is going to be unleashed upon us very soon as well. That's a good sign right? That a movie gets filmed that quickly for a fast release? Well, what do you guys think?
Anyway, I could bitch and moan all day about having another needless, Americanized remake of a startlingly original genre film that can never hold a candle to the original and will need to be dumbed down for mainstream American audiences (hello Oldboy), but here's the funny thing that most people don't know: we almost got a very different remake of Martyrs a couple years ago. The producers behind the Twilight movies (yes, you read that right) were looking to produce an American remake, with possibly Kristen Stewart (yes, you read that right, too) as one of the leads, and with a much "lighter" ending as well. This story has been passed around the horror doldrums for a while now, and it's only when the plug was pulled on the whole thing that Blumhouse and Anchor Bay jumped in instead, reducing the budget and (hopefully) turning away any kind of "lighter" shit as well.
So yeah, we could have had a Twilight-esque take on Martyrs...let that sink in guys.
The Martyrs remake premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Current release date is unknown. My hunch is that it gets released straight to VOD/DVD, etc.
The story of Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation have been told many times. The films have ranged from classics like the Universal film that made Boris Karloff an iconic actor, to the abysmal I, Frankenstein that I don’t even want to talk about.
This Thanksgiving, we will have a new version hitting the big screen. Victor Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and James McAvoy (Xmen: Days of Future Past). This new incarnation of the classic, tells us the story from Igor's point of view.
Igor, played by Radcliffe, is the faithful, and apparently straight backed, companion and helper of Victor Frankenstein, played by McAvoy. This is an interesting departure for the subject matter, and rumor is that this film will focus more on the relationship between doctor and assistant, than between doctor and creation. While most of the films have historically focused on the tensions between the Frankenstein and his monster, it's not completely a new idea.
In most American versions Igor, was little more than a cackling hunchbacked slave who many times took joy in tormenting the creature. However Hammer films version of the stories tended to eschew the hunchback. Hammer was more often to use more intelligent assistants, sometimes of an evil bent, and many times there was a stron rivalry between assistant and doctor.
The official synopsis from IMDb is:
Told from Igor's perspective, we see the troubled young assistant's dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man - and the legend - we know today.
Along with McAvoy and Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay (Black Mirror) will portray Lorelei and Charles Dance will have an as yet undisclosed role (The Creature maybe?) Actually when I saw Dance involved I had a quick shudder of terror that Victor Frankenstein might try to tie in with the forgettable Dracula Untold from 2014. Hopefully the fact this is a a 20th Century Fox release means that isn't so, but Universal has stated an interest in rebooting their classic series in a interconnected Marvel style. Dance's master vampire from Dracula Untold was rumored to be the lynchpin to that reboot.
Any modem retelling of classic horror makes me a bit wary. I am hoping the actors in Victor Frankenstein will make this film work. Radcliffe has shaken off the invisible mantle of Harry Potter and gave a great performance in Horns and McAvoy is always fun to watch. The trailers look very good and it is a period piece which I love. I just hope they don't modernize it too much.
Will it be a great horror classic, or another dud that should have been left untold? We don't have long to wait, as it is set to open November 25, 2015, in American theaters.
It looks like Eli Roth will be heading back to the Amazon. His recent love song for the cannibal epic, The Green Inferno has apparently done well enough to reignite a planned sequel. It looks like a plot and script are already in place for Beyond the Green Inferno with the same creative team as the original.
Eli Roth has stated that he is just waiting for the rainy season to stop before returning to the jungle with an “adventurous camera crew”. Roth will hand over the directing reins of the sequel to Nicholas Lopez (Aftershock) who was one of the writers of the original. Roth will still be attached as a writer/producer of Beyond the Green Inferno.
Eli promises this film will be darker than the original and go deeper into the Amazon Jungle. His goal is to explore the universe of The Green Inferno more and has compared the relationship of Beyond the Green Infernoto its predecessor as akin to the relationship between Aliensand The Green Inferno.
Other than that Roth is keeping mum on the plot, and no cast as been announced yet. It's still early in pre production, and The Green Inferno is still in theaters, so a lot could change, and indeed it might not even happen. The sequel was put on hold during the financial problem with The Green Inferno's original distributor Worldview Entertainment, but seems to be alive again. But Eli Roth is riding high right now and he's a man who has a history of getting it done. He has managed to bring bloody, R-rated horror back into the theater again and again, and I'm willing to bet we will be seeing Beyond the Green Inferno in a couple years.
I wont lie or sugar coat it, I wasn't a huge fan of The Green Inferno. As I stated in my review maybe my exceptions were too high, or maybe I'm a bit jaded on cannibal horror. Still I am willing to give Eli another chance. I love the cannibal sub genre. I love it's potential to break taboos and really disturb the audience, and I'm glad someone is working in that genre again. I will be in line opening day for Beyond the Green Inferno.
*PS Just a reminder, I started writing this before finding out the sequel, Beyond the Green Inferno was put on hold a couple years ago. It does look like the sequel is back on track, but there is never any guarantee a film will make it to release until its on the screen.