Horror News: Peter Weir May Lock Us In ‘The Keep’


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There are many types of horror films. There are zombies, serial killers, demons, and things that go bump in the night. But few things can reach into the deepest realms of our minds and raise our pulses quite like the cold touch of the specter; the chill piercing the lungs like frozen needles. Oh, yes. A good haunted house film is classic, and quite the commodity.

Peter Weir (The Truman Show, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) is currently set to direct and write the film adaptation of the gothic haunted house thriller The Keep, based on the 2006 novel by Jennifer Egan. The story centers around two estranged cousins who reunite at a castle in central Europe, in an effort to establish a sort of alternative resort. However, something in the castle has other plans, as the anguish and fears of childhood resurface like an angry, vicious soul rising from a grave.

The book has been described as The Ring crossed with Inception.

The Truman Show established Weir as a man who could take what was at the time the new and shocking concept of reality television, and bring it to the most extreme, and almost terrifying, ultimatum. Think about it. Truman, a man, a human being, is essentially a society-sanctioned slave; a piece of property intended for the entertainment of the detached masses. The idea of being trapped in a constructed world, no matter how “perfect” the community is made out to be, would be enough to drive one past the blurred line of paranoia and closer to the boundaries holding one’s psyche in a state of stability. Regardless of what is doing it, be it a monster, ghost, or television crew, being trapped is one of the most primal fears we can face. And we must fight to escape. I have rarely cheered so ferociously for a film protagonist as I have during Truman’s attempt to face his deepest fears and make his own escape from his prison in paradise.

Shadow Cast: Vision 2 – Who Should Have Played Count Dracula in the 1950s?


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Sergio Diaz

 

There’s a hole deep in the darkest parts of South L.A. where dreams never met and talent never realized go to die. Black deaths. It’s like something out of Lovecraft. Remember the dumpster in Mulholland Drive? Yeah. Of course, no one dares look into this hole. Not for too long. That would be tatamount to diving into the bowels of Hell itself. And who’d do that, I mean really? By reaching into this dark realm, we can bring to light these visions of a past not created and explore what could have been had the stars aligned differently. Let’s call it a What If or a Who Should Have or a…Shadow Cast. That’s what the demons call it.

From Max Schreck to Gary Oldman to Klaus Kinski to Adam Sandler, hundreds of actors have put on the cowl, fixed in the fangs, and offered their best interpretation of Bram Stoker’s famed character, Count Dracula. The most famous of these is obviously Bela Lugosi in the 1931 Universal classic, probably the most iconic image of Dracula we’ve come to know. Odd then to think that he only played the character twice, and one of those times was spooking himself in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘Judgement Day’ (1988)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

Sweet UK cover of Judgement Day

This week’s Horror Movie Night selection is not that great, I’m going to warn you right off the bat. There’s a low death count and very little in the story that is truly enjoyable. We get two main characters who are the annoying stereotypical American tourists too good to listen to the locals and a confusing tale involving a devil-run town. This all probably contributes to why most people have not seen, or even heard of, the 1988 film by Ferde Grofé, Jr – Judgement Day (aka The Third Hand). Just silly.

Horror News: The Weekly Offering


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Welcome, mortals, to The Weekly Offering. Here, we present our dark gifts in hopes that we please the Ancient Ones, that they might spare us. They are satisfied with our humble sacrifices of news, images, reviews, and commentary through the week, but on Fridays, they desire more. Their weekends, their unholy Sabbath, know no bounds. And so, to satisfy their bloodlust, as well as yours, we bring you these short, savory offerings.

 

Amy Adams May Be Heading for Some Dark Places

What is it about the redheads?

The ever-adorable and very talented Amy Adams is in talks to cross the threshold of horror, and star in the film adaptation of the acclaimed novel Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. The film adaptation was written by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, who is also directing. If confirmed, Adams will star as a woman named Libby Day, who witnessed the murder of her entire family when she was a child; days later testifying that her brother was the killer.

A quarter of a century later, a mysterious organization known as the Kill Club, who attempt to solve the worst of crimes, confronts her and forces her to face the truth.

In the eyes of the Ancient Ones, Adams is always a joy to behold, and to see her take on a darker role will hopefully be the start of something bloody beautiful.

Source: Deadline

‘Marquis De Sade’s Justine’ Blu-ray Review: A Gut-Punch of the Most Hateful Variety


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I can’t speak for how faithful this adaptation of Marquis De Sade’s Justine (aka Cruel Passion) is, but if it doesn’t stick directly to the text, I have to imagine it sticks to the author’s intent (the best it can, that is, without being pornographic). Under the direction of Chris Boger, and the lens of Coen Brothers stalwart Roger Deakins, Justine is an erotically-charged, bleak little number about a girl (Koo Stark, supposedly playing a pre-teen, though she’s obviously and thankfully in her 20’s) who clings desperately to her innocence while ricocheting from scene to scene where that chastity is put to the test in harrowing ways.

The film doesn’t skimp on the depravity, featuring rape, necrophilia, mother-son incest and more, but before you draw the conclusion that this is some despicable sleaze-fest, it really isn’t. Boger, perhaps limited by the censors, picks his battles, and when he does, he always chooses sexual frankness over outright titillation. Many things are discussed or implied without being directly shown. There’s not much nudity in here for an “erotic” film from the 1970’s, and Boger chooses to construct the entire film as little episodes of trouble for Justine, building up to its nihilistic, tough-as-nails conclusion.

Horror News: ‘Hoax Hunters #1′ Coming Soon


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Monsters are real.

This we know, but even the most avid horror fanatics grow weary of the overeager and ultimately unscientific methods by which those graced with television presence attempt to prove the existence of said monsters. So, how could anyone possibly make this done to death idea any good? Simple. Turn everything backwards.

Hoax Hunters, written by Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley with art by JM Ringuet, made its Issue #0 debut months ago, but thanks to the Kickstarter project named “ReincarNATE”, Hoax Hunters will now be its own series. Moreci and Seeley will be returning as writers, but Axel Medellin will be taking over the art.

So what is this new comic about? Imagine if undiscovered species such as monsters did in fact exist. In this world where there are more believers than skeptics, how would the media react? In our world, we have reality and documentary shows trying to boost network ratings by attempting to prove the existence of such creatures. So if these such “cryptids” really did exist, then the natural reaction of these shows would be to disprove their existence!

Horror News: Neil Marshall May Captain ‘The Demeter’


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Dark, disturbing, claustrophobic, and suffocating, like a dead, decomposing albatross draped upon the shoulders of the subconscious.

Neil Marshall’s The Descent was more than just another film about creatures that go bump in the dark. The primal, brutal, disgusting nature of the creatures forced the civilized protagonists to bury their modern sensibilities in order to survive. The film was less about the descent into an uncharted cave filled with flesh-devouring monsters, and more about the descent into madness. And then Marshall goes on to ask us the question to which we do not want to know the answer. Is it ever possible to go back?

Horror News: The Weekly Offering


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Welcome, mortals, to The Weekly Offering. Here, we present our dark gifts in hopes that we please the Ancient Ones, that they might spare us. They are satisfied with our humble sacrifices of news, images, reviews, and commentary through the week, but on Fridays, they desire more. Their weekends, their unholy Sabbath, know no bounds. And so, to satisfy their bloodlust, as well as yours, we bring you these short, savory offerings.

 

Fatale Trade Coming Next Month from Image Comics

Guns, cults, murder, monsters, and one dangerous dame.

Horror meets noir in Fatale, the new comic series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. With issue #5 released this week, the first story arc comes to a conclusion, and Image Comics is planning to release the first trade collection in June.

The story follows a beautiful and mysterious woman named Josephine as she is in turn followed by an unknown and brutally violent evil. Along the way, many men are drawn to her, and one by one they begin to meet their own grisly, psychologically tormenting fates.

Look for the trade, Death Chases Me, on June 27, along with issue #6 and a brand new story arc. If you haven’t picked up this bloodstone gem of a horror comic, now would be a good time to do so. The Ancient Ones do not look kindly on those who neglect such things.

Source: Image Comics

 

The Chronicles of Horror Movie Night: ‘The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter’ (1993)


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After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas and Chicago. Horror’s Not Dead’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

VHS Cover for Unnamable II

Two years ago, long before I started toiling away on these weekly columns, we watched a film called The Unnamable for Horror Movie Night. I tried to remember what it was about a couple weeks ago and, for the life of me, could not recall but the foggiest of possible plots. I knew it was a Lovecraft adaptation and involved college kids and shenanigans at an old, cursed house in the woods. But really, what late 80s horror film didn’t involve that combination? So I crept down into my extensive horror vault and retrieved a copy to re-watch. Immediately it all came flooding back to me. It was a great time to give this another viewing since it was time that HMN braved the sequel from 1993 with the lengthy title The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter. This definitely improves upon some of its predecessor’s weaknesses, has fun, but still lacks something to propel it to greatness.

Shadow Cast: Vision 1 – Who Should Play Freddy Krueger?


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Sergio Diaz

 

There’s a hole deep in the darkest parts of South L.A. where dreams never met and talent never realized go to die. Black deaths. It’s like something out of Lovecraft. Remember the dumpster in Mulholland Drive? Yeah. Of course, no one dares look into this hole. Not for too long. That would be tatamount to diving into the bowels of Hell itself. And who’d do that, I mean really? By reaching into this dark realm, we can bring to light these visions of a past not created and explore what could have been had the stars aligned differently. Let’s call it a What If or a Who Should Have or a…Shadow Cast. That’s what the demons call it.

Anywho, our first character to be recast is Freddy Krueger, and I know what you’re saying. Why are we casting Freddy Krueger when A Nightmare on Elm Street was remade just two years ago? The simple answer is Hollywood doesn’t really care that this story was brought back for modern audiences only a short while back. There is sure to be another Nightmare on Elm Street film made, and chances are it’ll happen some time before the end of this decade.

Late To The Party: ‘Dead Alive’ (aka ‘Braindead’)


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“I kick ass for the lord!” says the kung-fu master priest in Peter Jackson’s crazy ass film Dead Alive. With dialogue like that what could go wrong? In the case of Dead Alive, nothing. This film is pure pleasure and I had an absolute riot.

I have a theory that horror and comedy share a lot of similarities. My wife stares at me strangely as I laugh when someone is impaled by a kitchen implement, run over by a piece of farming machinery, or blown up in a meaty explosion. These are elements that make watching horror films fun. Dead Alive possesses many of these “quality” moments. With a proper blend of horror, action and comedy Dead Alive is a tasty jambalaya of a horror film.

Dead Alive (formerly known as Braindead) tells the story of a search for the infamous Sumatran rat-monkey. The rat monkey, a legendary creature, thought to be the result of the breeding between tree monkeys and plague rats, inhabits Skull Island, where our adventure begins. The rat-monkey is eventually located and captured, at which time it proceeds to attack the leader of the expedition. After being attacked, the expedition leader receives a rather interesting treatment for the wound (you’ll have to see it to believe it). The rat-monkey is then taken to a zoo located in 1950s Wellington New Zealand.

‘Dark Shadows’ Review: Talky, Chalky Depp Leads 70’s Style Clash


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Dark Shadows fans, worried that Tim Burton has turned your beloved TV show into something funny? Don’t worry. He hasn’t. Welcome to Collinsport, a sleepy Maine fishing town, home of the supernaturally troubled Collins family and their long lost vampiric relative from centuries ago, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp). In his younger days, Barnabas made the mistake of fooling around with a jealous witch (Eva Green), and it cost him his humanity and the life of his one true love. He’s back now, and ready to take on the 1970’s fishing industry with gusto! Such is the plot of Dark Shadows, a hopeless mish-mash of weak comedy and even weaker melodrama, chained by the leg to its source material and tossed into a sea of gothic set dressing and meaningless, non-stop talking.

Barnabas Collins is presented on the written page (by screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith) as an insatiable cad, desired by nearly every woman he meets, and unable to control his own lustful urges. It feels appropriate of his soap opera character roots, where passionate sexual trysts are a near-daily activity. What Grahame-Smith may not have counted on is that Burton doesn’t have any interest (or possibly doesn’t even understand) sex at all. Through Depp and Burton’s interpretation, Barnabas is another cartoon character brought to life, influenced simultaneously by German expressionism and the Groovy Ghoulies. Many key scenes, in which Green’s Angelique is able to manipulate Barnabas’s carnal nature into situations that he immediately regrets, end up not making a lick of sense when deflated into an embarrassed rush of special effects and rimshot-ready dialogue.




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