October 2009 Horror DVD and Blu-ray Guide


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Yes, I know I’m two weeks late on this, but better two weeks than never.

TRICK ‘R TREAT Review. [Fantastic Fest ’09]


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Written and Directed by Michael Dougherty, 2007



Trick ‘r Treat is the holy grail of Halloween themed horror films. Not because of the notoriously long path writer-director Michael Dougherty’s film has had to take to finally get released (a refresher: TrT was finished and first shown back in 2007 and, despite an overwhelming reaction to its first public exhibition, proceeded to be locked away in a vault at Warner Brothers for unspecified reasons), though that did turn it into a rare find to be coveted. No, Dougherty’s film is such a treasure because it is Halloween. It just had the misfortune of being born a decade too late, of being born into a time when studios only care about remakes or sequels and certainly not about anthology films. Dougherty had, as far as a studio is concerned, the audacity to finely craft, gasp, an original, American horror film.

Wrong-decade misfortune that may be, however, it’s great to be able to say that Trick ‘r Treat will still be watched on Halloween for decades to come. Those who love it, like I, will still be watching it with great devotion. Those who merely liked it will not be able to help themselves from putting it on as background to their Halloween parties. And those who hated it, well, those who hated it don’t exist. They can’t exist. To hate Trick ‘r Treat would be to hate the entire spirit of Halloween, a spirit Dougherty apparently has complete domain over.

Read the rest of my TRICK ‘R TREAT review at HorrorSquad.

TRICK ‘R TREAT Graphic Novel Review.


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Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Mike Huddleston, Grant Bond, Christopher Gugliotti, Fiona Staples


If you really want to experience the differences in storytelling between comics and film, comic book movie adaptations are always a great place to start.  The panels serve as a series of “greatest hits” moments from the film, the writers and artists thanklessly reducing thrilling cinematic action sequences into a static panel or two, and swapping emotional character beats for only the choicest one-liners.  It’s got to be a tough job.  DC/Wildstorm does their best effort with TRICK ‘R TREAT, the comic adaptation of Michael Dougherty’s straight-to-video anthology love letter to Halloween.  Sporadic screenings and good word of mouth have helped TRICK ‘R TREAT gain a cult audience in advance of its official release, and I think those that are already huge fans of the film will be interested in seeing how the story unfolds in a comic book format.

There are four different artists at work here, working under Marc Andreyko’s writing, which is faithful to Dougherty’s script, but uninspired.  Mike Huddleston (Gen 13, Friday the 13th:  Badland)  tackles the first quarter of the book, which includes two major scenes from the film–the opening vignette wherein a young couple return home from a long night of partying, and the film’s most conceptually disturbing story, which introduces sinister school principal Mr. Wilkins.  Huddleston has a straight-forward, pleasing comic art style that’s a touch on the cartoony side, but he compliments it here with heavy blacks and dramatic silhouettes.  Grant Bond (Archibald Saves Christmas, Gene Simmons’ House of Horrors) takes on the story of a Halloween trick gone horribly wrong.  A group of kids decide to scare an idiot savant with the local legend of a school bus full of mentally disturbed children that fell to their watery grave in a rock quarry one Halloween night.  It was my favorite segment of the film, and Bond’s pastel-colored visuals give the tale a storybook quality that feels appropriate.

Last Week in Horror News: June 7th to the 14th


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Look, over there!  It’s a Weinberg!  It’s a blog!  It’s HorrorSquad.com, a new blog managed by HND friendo and general genre wunderkind Scott Weinberg!  Enjoy.


Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • TRICK ‘R TREAT – Michael Dougherty tells Fango that the forthcoming DVD will be rather bare but the Blu is packed with features and as yet recorded commentaries.
  • THE HUNGER – Tony Scott mentions scripting progress for a sequel to his ’83 vampire flick THE HUNGER.
  • Eli Roth’s Arcade – Roth’s new production house is producting 1) COTTON, a faux documentary about a shame exorcist who comes across a real possession, 2) PSYCHO KILLER, a slasher ‘from the killer’s perspective’ written by Andrew Kevin Walker, 3) a remake of Tobe Hooper’s FUNHOUSE.
  • RED STATE – The Weinsteins, no doubt in an attempt to try to actually make money for once, have passed on Kevin Smith’s horror film.

Remakes

  • HELLRAISER – MARTYRS director Pascal Laugier has removed himself from the troubled Barker remake.
  • PIRANHA 3D – Carnage and mayhem and apparently Wild, Wild, Wild Girls in these set pics from Aja’s remake look red water fantastic.
  • FRANKENSTEIN – Guillermo del Toro is, naturally, casting Doug Jones as the lead in his mad science remake.  No details on whether the lead is alive or undead.
  • PREDATORS – Neil Marshall is the first public name of seven to be in line for helming duties on the Rodriguez produced franchise reboot.
  • BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – Joss Whedon was offered the gig to bring (a new) the chosen one to the big screen, but he wisely turned it down, wishing them luck in the process.
  • CONAN – Marcus Nispel steps into the fantasy realm to direct the now Ratner-less reboot.  Assume this means that Sean Hood’s SUBTERRANEAN and THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER are shelved for now.
  • NOES – Wes Craven tells IGN about the sting of Platinum Dunes never getting in touch with him about their remake of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.
  • UNSEEN – Sony Screen Gems is once again giving money to PROM NIGHT ’08’s principal creative forces to remake another piece from the past, this time opting for 1971’s BLIND TERROR starring Mia Farrow.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • NIGHTBREED Lost Footage – Clive Barker spilled that 40+ minutes of unseen NIGHTBREED has been dusted off, though no official commitment to implement it yet exists.
  • Michael Cunningham – The novelist/screenwriter behind dramas like THE HOURS mentions a pseduo-slasher and monster movie in his pipeline, the former of which has the super original plot of an ugly duckling femme who exacts revenge on all those pesky students who teased her.
  • DEADWORLD – David Hayter helping produce a film franchise based on the comic series about zombies with feelings who ride motorcycles…

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • [REC]2 – Teaser.
  • DOGHOUSE – New trailer from EVIL ALIENS writer/director Jake West.
  • THE BOOK OF ZOMBIE – Trailer: “A small, sleepy Utah town gets an undead wake-up call when all of the townspeople of Mormon faith suddenly transform into flesh-eating ghouls!”
  • SALVAGE – Trailer for this Brit flick about the mysterious contents of a container that washes ashore
  • THE CANYON – I always love me a folk stuck in the wild flick and this may just be the first one set in the Grand Canyon?
  • MOTHGIRL – Teaser

Last Week in Horror News: April 12 to the 19th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • HALLOWEEN 2 – Clip from Entertainment Tonight.
  • CREEK – Lionsgate has yet to pin a release date for Joel Schumacher’s Nazi experiments flick once titled TOWN CREEK.

Studio News and Attachments

  • Fox Atomic Dies – Fox Atomic is, in all likelihood, getting folded back in to 20th Century Fox.  How this alters plans for JENNIFER’S BODY or the hypothetical 28 MONTHS LATER is unclear.
  • OFFSPRING – Ghost House Pictures picks up Jack Ketchum’s OFFSPRING, joins already acquired THE CHILDREN and SEVENTH MOON.
  • DRAG ME TO HELL – Looks like Ghost House opted to release the PG-13 variant.  Don’t blame ‘em.
  • ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE – Has a US theatrical date of July 17th, which is 361 days after the film’s release on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK; oh, and those discs are only $8 and $15, respectively.  Despite having a region listing on the back, my Blu of MANDY LANE plays just fine in a PS3.  This wait is ridiculous.
  • THANKSGIVING – Eli Roth is currently pitching a deal to direct a more accessible disaster(ish) film for $80mil if the studio involved will also pay $5mil for a feature length do-up of the hit trailer.

Remakes

  • MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D – Lionsgate has no plans for a sequel, but has 30 minutes of deleted scenes and an alternate ending ready for the disc due in May.
  • FRIDAY THE 13TH – Out on DVD and BRD June 16th.
  • EYES OF LAURA MARS – Chris Fischer, writer of S. DARKO tells fans at Weekend of Horrors that he has writing duties on the John Carpenter remake.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • HATCHET 2 – Adam Green says the sequel is happening likely next winter, but is unsure the extent of his involvement.
  • I, FRANKENSTEIN – Classic monsters in a neo-noir mystery produced by Ryan Rotten of Shock and Robert Sanchez of IESB.net.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Last Week in Horror News: April 5th to April 12th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • MOON – Trailer.  Love me some Science Fiction.
  • THE COUNTESS – Considering Lady Bathory inspired countless threads and scenes in horror films, it is only fair to link up the trailer to a period piece about her.  That and it is the directorial debut of Julie Delpy.

Studio News and Attachments

  • THE ORPHAN – For what looked like a creepy-kid-plays-to-teens film, I’m surprised to learn THE ORPHAN earned an R rating.
  • H2 – First Laurie looks like a junkie and now Michael Myers is without the mask for “a great portion” of HALLOWEEN 2?

Remakes

  • TERROR TRAIN – Turns out a TERROR TRAIN remake has a house, but that’s it.  No script, no director.  Insert pun about missing their stop here.
  • PIRANHA 3D – Normally I don’t care about casting rumors, but I dig Elisabeth Shue so I’d love to see her in Aja’s dimension busting remake.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • FEARnet – The campaign to bring FEARnet back to Time Warner Cable now has an outlet on Facebook.
  • TRICK ‘R TREAT – A WB Press Release detailing plans for a Buy 5 Get 1 Free Blu-ray promotion lists TRICK ‘R TREAT as an eligible title.  Of course no date is set and the promotion runs until 2010, so who the hell knows when it will come out, but this is at least confirmation that the long awaited film will eventually find its way into our hands.
  • ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER – Seth Grahame-Smith, the guy who wrote PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES just signed a two book deal with his publisher, the first of which will be retelling the life of Lincoln with the caveat that he was a vampire hunter.
  • ALTITUDE – Marketing to HND 101: Plane in flight + tentacles in sky = sold!
  • DARK HOLLOW – Brian Keene’s novel is hitting the screen under the helm of director Paul Campion.
  • Wii Horror FEEL – Takahashi Shimizu will be the horror consultant for a Wii exclusive adaptation of Shimizu’s never-ending hit JU-ON, retitlted FEEL.  Could be an interesting experience, actually, as it seems one or two players explore the world of THE GRUDGE with the Wiimote functioning as a flashlight.  If done right, creepiness will definitely abound.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • THIRST – Second trailer for Park Chan-Wook’s return to darker territory looks fantastic.
  • SMASH CUT – Starring David Hess and a porn gal.

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)

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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