Horror 2008, a Retrospective: Part 5, News & Events


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Not necessairly the most important headlines of 2008 (yes, the writer’s strike ended), rather the, “Oh, I remember that” variety.  Note there is no chronological order to the listing of these events, the majority of which are derived from the creation/cessation of various production houses with the potential to shape the horror flow for the next few years.

Part 1: January to March.
Part 2: April to June.
Part 3: July to September.
Part 4: October to December.
Part 5: Events.
Part 6: Awards. (coming)

Horror 2008, a Retrospective: Part 4, October to December


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Not much to say other than enjoy Part Four of Horror’s Not Dead’s 2008 Retrospective.  Wasn’t a bad year, but now that all the major titles are in it, it wasn’t, as I like to say, good sex.

Part 1: January to March.
Part 2: April to June.
Part 3: July to September.
Part 4: October to December.
Part 5: Events.
Part 6: Awards. (coming)

Review: DANCE OF THE DEAD


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Directed by Gregg Bishop, 2008
Written by Joe Ballarini

DANCE OF THE DEAD will charm the zombie hell out of you.  That’s a one sentence, back-of-the-box review if I’ve ever seen one.  And for the record, I have.

See it, enjoy it.  ‘Tis a rather linear experiment, really.  If you do step one, you’ll arrive at step two.  This I promise to you.

Written and directed by quantities unknown (Joe Ballarini and Gregg Bishop, respectively), this indie low budget, high talent do gooder is a bulk wholesaler of zombie charm.  If DANCE OF THE DEAD raises no smile on your withered, leathered face, you’ve no soul left to betwixt; in which case I would normally assume you are, in fact, me.  As it turns out I do have a soul and that soul still loves high schoolers fighting zombies.

The dead have reanimated in a small town and it is up to a mix of the local high school population to stop the brain eating infection before the cannibalistic men and women reach the buffet that is prom.  Yet this is not a standard kids who want to get into the movies production.  Just watch the dead burst from their coffins in the coolest grave raising I’ve seen in a long while.  You’ll know instantly that DANCE is far more professional, far more ambitious than the Straight-to-DVD fate and no-name actors imply. 

In fiscal defense of Lionsgate’s flinching.


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The PR folk at Lionsgate must be having a tough week.  First AICN makes it big that director Lexi Alexander has been booted off of PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, buried in an NDA and that the changes set in motion are less than ideal.  Then Scott Weinberg at Cinematical writes a plea to Lionsgate’s adressing their (mis)handling of DANCE OF THE DEAD.  And now Bloody-Disgusting has a war waged in its comments section regarding the news that MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN has not only been dumped in limited release, but is only being released in dollar theaters scattered with unicorn logic around the nation.

Now why are they doing all of this?  Lionsgate used to be the go to outfit for genre championship.  Now they’re dumping well received films with unprecedented disrespect.  What gives?  Shareholders give.

Lionsgate are, despite a few huge theatrical hits from time to time, apparently, not very good at business.  In 2007 LGF was like a drunk at a race track that picked all the winning horses (most of the time), but then blew all its earnings at the bar.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Lionsgate’s accountants are behind the eight ball with these recent decisions.  Their stock is up slightly for the year, but is still down nearly 13% from its high a year ago.  In FY08, LGF’s net income was -$70 million.  Not because their movies didn’t do well, but because the company made shitty investements along the way, operating at a -33% return on its equity.  Even I’m not that bad at the stock market. 




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