January 2010 Horror DVD and Blu-ray Guide


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July 2009 Horror DVD and Blu-ray Guide, International Version.

The IFC Midnight Slate Will Put After Dark Films Out of Business.


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Courtney Solomon, owner of After Dark Films and sayer/doer of stupid things, needs to open up his knowledge basket to the IFC Films release platform.

When the ADF Horrorfest started three years ago it was hard to hide the hope one had for a once a year event designed to bring the horror festival experience to the non-festival crowd.  Then the ‘fest’ actually arrived and all the noble(?) intentions were for naught. It was a financial fumble the first year out.  Turns out the only people who appreciate the highs and lows of festival horror are the people who go to horror festivals.  Whodathunk?  Plus it doesn’t help that the ADF lineup was less the highs and more the lows.  Year after year this axiom proved truer, the ‘festival’ picked up lamer and lamer titles and locked in narrower and narrower clients who were suckered in to exhibiting said pseudo-fest.  This past January I would have had to drive for over an hour to catch a glimpse of any of ADF’s 2009 titles.  I don’t even have to get off the couch to catch IFC’s Midnight Movies.

Essentially both IFC and ADF attempted the same thing, but only one of them got it right.  While ADF was busy giving niche release to justifiably unreleased titles, IFC’s talent scouts signed up genuine festival buzzers and have given them simultaneous release to both brick and mortar and home theaters alike.  With an expected roster of 30 titles in 2009, I predict that IFC is going to put the final nail in the casket of ADF’s horrorfest within a year- two tops.  That or After Dark is going to have to ape the format (I sense a FEARnet collaboration in the future?).  Even if they do, however, I wouldn’t call it a comeback.  IFC’s acquisition’s department game is just too good.

I already gave a brief overview of the lineup to come, but now that I’ve had a chance to sit down with a few more of the titles my assumptions have only been reaffirmed.  Unfortunately this post has been neglected on the site and some of these titles may no longer be available through IFC OnDemand.

Review: PONTYPOOL


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Directed by Bruce McDonald, 2009
Written by Tony Burgess

Few works evoke a compliment as endearing as calling something Cronenbergian.  A comparison to the great director (my favorite director still working today, for disclosure purposes) is not one I make lightly, but even without a single element of body horror, early Cronenberg is precisely what Bruce McDonald elicits with his rapturously weird PONTYPOOL.  The superficial connection is that of the director’s shared homeland of Canada, but beyond that is a sibling ability to interweave oddities of the human condition with layers of captivating intimacy.  The resulting cinematic tapestry is nothing short of end to end fascination.

Set entirely within the confines of a radio station situated in the basement of a small town’s church, PONTYPOOL is about a talk show host whose dying career is revitalized when reports start to trickle in of an unexplainable surge of man on man violence originating from a doctor’s office in the small titular Canadian province.  Grant Mazzy, the radio host played with addictive discord by Stephen McHattie, his producer Sydney Briar and technical assistant Laurel Ann, are the barbs on the end of the hook that is Tony Burgess’ script, itself in turn an adaptation of his own book about a new strain of rage inducing virus.  Their story within the walls of that church strings a realistic arch from disbelief to pure insanity and all the highs and lows both expected and unexpected along the way.

The idea that what is happening outside, as ambiguous as it be, is an Orwell era hoax soon dispels as Mazzy and co find themselves the sole bridge between the strange events in Pontypool and the clueless world beyond it. 

IFC’s Theatrical/On-Demand Midnight Slate is Worth Your Time/Money.


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I was out of town last weekend when I saw the press release for IFC’s upcoming slate of ‘Midnight’ movies’ and got excited to the point that I was sad I’d have to wait a few more days to spread the word in this here post.  I’ll get to why in a minute.

Firstly, if you’re unfamiliar, the Independent Film Channel opened an On-Demand portal a few months ago, debuting films into theaters and homes at the same time.  In the beginning most of the titles were, for obvious reasons, Indie dramas.  This year, however, they’re branching head first into the orbit of our beloved genre with their Midnight titles, of which they have 30 lined up for 2009.  A few will be theatrical pushes, the majority will be available via On-Demand on most cable providers.  I’ll break out the heavy title boasting full slate from April through September after this jump, but in the mean time I want to talk about THE CHASER.  It is not a horror film, but I place a patent pending HND seal of approval upon it all the same.

Not only is THE CHASER  the debut of first time writer/director Hong-jin Na, but it is also my favorite Korean film since 2003’s MEMORIES OF MURDER.  Yes, better than THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD.  Better than THE HOST.  Better than even OLDBOY.  I picked up a copy of it when I was in Seoul and wish I’d grabbed six more to give away to friends.  I almost don’t want to say word one as to what it is about, but I suppose I’ll simplify how unconventional of a thriller it is by describing it as being about a pimp who gets caught up in the web of a serial killer who has been hiring out and killing off his girls.

It is a phenomenal film.  Please go check it out.  IFC has it for a few bucks, you won’t regret it.

Last Week in Horror News: February 22nd to March 1st


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • MANDY LANE – Senator is finally going to release ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (review) on July 17th?  I wouldn’t count on it.
  • SPLICE – Senator must be on a PR kick as they also slipped Bloody-Disgusting some photos from the upcoming Vincenzo Natali directed chimera-horror flick.  Pics look great, though if one commenter is to believed, the script is awful.
  • REPOSSESSION MAMBO – The Jude Law starring sci-fi tale of borrowed organs gets an R rating.

Remakes

  • FRIDAY THE 13TH 2 – How does BD surmise the headline, “FRIDAY THE 13TH Sequel Officially Announced” and then link to a source article that clearly states, “Insiders caution that there is no green light”.  We all know there is going to be a F132, but man, let’s wait until that “officially” means the same thing the dictionary says it does.
  • THE BIRDS – According to Brenna Roth, who is in talks for a role in the Platinum Dunes recash, THE BIRDS will be shot in 3-D.
  • TOTAL RECALL – Neal H. Moritz, yes the NHM curse of PROM NIGHT ’08, is allegedly bringing TOTAL RECALL back to the big screen his bank account.
  • SORORITY ROW 2 – Summit has yet to release the remake of THE HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW and already the sequel is on a word processor somewhere.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • 100 FEET – The Sci-Fi channel will be premiering Eric Red’s impressive haunter (review) on April 26th.

Non-Theatrical (US) Trailers and Clips

Last Week in Horror News, February 1st to the 8th


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Trying out a new format this week.

Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • DRAG ME TO HELL – Test screenings are going out for both a PG-13 and R cut of Sam Raimi’s return to horror.  Rut roh.
  • MY BLOODY VALENTINE – Exec producer John Dunning tells Fango he originally he gave Lionsgate a script for a sequel to the original MBV, which may soon be repurposed as a sequel to MBV3D.
  • THE KILLER INSIDE ME – Kate Hudson rounds out the cast for THE KILLER INSIDE ME, which now includes Casey Affleck, Elias Koteas and Bill Pullman.
  • ZOMBIELAND – Speaking of casting, Amber Heard joins Woody Harrelson and all the rest.
  • HACK/SLASH – Nick Principe will be playing 4 of the 5 slashers (though no description of who they are from the comic series), hints that the role of Cassie Hack is now between three high profile actors.  Guess they’re really going this thing.
  • BEASTLY – CBS Films wants some of thems Twilight’s monies, is putting young adult horror/romance novel BEASTLY on the big screen.
  • “VAMPIRE DIARIES” – Kevin Williamson has penned the pilot for CW’s new supernatural show.

Remakes

Plenty of news this week on sequels to remakes, but no remakes themselves.

Indie, Foreign, and Random News

  • …OF THE DEAD – Romero says the social cross hairs of his new zombie opus will be on ‘tribalism’.
  • PONTYPOOOL – IFC Films will be releasing the ‘rage virus spread by the English language’ flick in May, which likely means IFC will be putting it OnDemand as well as in theaters.
  • CABIN FEVER 2 – Ti West talks CF2, reveals its status languishing in the post-production hell of ‘creative differences’.
  • SAVANT – Blair Witch’s Daniel Myrick’s next film is about a smooth talker who can turn anyone into a mass murderer after simply having a chat with them.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • TRIANGLE – Trailer for Christopher Smith’s (aka the guy who made CREEP, aka the banner for this site) new film.  I’m excited despite this trailer being gobbledygook.
  • INFESTATION – Trailer.  Giant bugs and Ray Wise.  Sold.
  • DEADLINE – Indie starring Brittany Murphy and Thora Birch that looks like a female version of James Van Der Beek’s FINAL DRAFT.  Sad that I’ve seen FINAL DRAFT.
  • DARK ISLAND – Stilted acting and stiff direction, but it looks like a lot of fun and sports the “LOST” smoke monster to boot.
  • SURVEILLANCE – Jennifer Lynch directed and produced by her father.

Last Week in Horror: October 26th to Nov 2nd.


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

Remakes

Really?  No big news?  I must be missing something…

Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Oh, and in case you don’t refresh the site every 14 seconds like I do, Cinematical now has a routine horror news re-cap from its own genre head Scott Weinberg.  Now my weekly job is a lottt easier.




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