Thursday, October 2, 2014

31 Days of Horror and Mayhem - ArcLight's Nights of Fright

It's the most wonderful time of the year, for horror fans atleast. This is the time of year that we don't have to be coy when it comes to being obscene, nasty and vulgar. We get to let our colors fly proud and get our chance to sit those friends down who have always been a bit too squeamish to watch our favorite flicks. I just love it.

Last year, October was a hectic time of the year for me so I didn't get a chance to celebrate like I normally would, so this year I wanna do some making up. We're talkin' reviews everyday, glimpses of my personal world of horror, some peeks at the horrific events going on in LA and maybe even a give away or two (wink-wink).

I know I missed yesterday, so today I'll be posting double duty and I want to start with one of my favorite events of the Samhain season: Arclight's Nights of Fright.

This is bloody awesome (all puns intended), for fans of horror in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. Any horror fan knows that the best way to see your favorite classic horror flick is on the big screen. You finally get the opportunity to experience the terror first hand in the way it was originally meant to be, in a room full of people just as eager to be terrified as you are. Last year I indulged in The Exorcist and The Shining, and they were both just too amazing to properly put into words. You see and hear things that you never experienced while watching at home, and the atmosphere is so palpable that it's enough to send a shiver down your spine.

This year, ArcLight has a whole new roster of amazing films that will be showing throughout the month of October and I've taken the time to compile them all below for quick reference. Dig in, and if you're in the LA area, maybe I'll see you at one or two or seven of these below!

A Nightmare on Elm Street - October 2nd (Hollywood), October 12th and 15th (Sherman Oaks), October 20th and 23rd (La Jolla)

Beetlejuice - October 5th and 8th (La Jolla), October 26th and 29th (Beach Cities), October 30th and 31st (Hollywood)

Gremlins - October 5th and 8th (Sherman Oaks), October 12th and 15th (Beach Cities), October 17th and 18th (Hollywood)

The Shining - October 5th and 8th (Beach Cities), October 9th and 10th (Hollywood), October 14th (Pasadena), October 21st and 23rd (Sherman Oaks)

The Thing - October 5th and 8th (Pasadena), October 21st and 23rd (Beach Cities), October 24th and 25th (Hollywood), October 28th (La Jolla)

American Psycho - October 6th (Pasadena), October 22nd (Sherman Oaks)

The Bride of Frankenstein - October 6th and 9th (Beach Cities), October 26th and 30th (Sherman Oaks)

Carrie - October 6th and 9th (Sherman Oaks)

Psycho - October 6th and 9th (La Jolla), October 19th and 22nd (Pasadena), October 27th and 30th (Beach Cities)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - October 7th (La Jolla), October 12th and 15th (Pasadena)

Shaun of the Dead - October 7th (Beach Cities), October 8th and 9th (Hollywood)

Dracula - October 7th (Pasadena)

Little Shop of Horrors (Director's Cut) - October 7th (Sherman Oaks), October 19th (Beach Cities), October 22nd (La Jolla)

Fright Night - October 9th (Pasadena)

The Exorcist - October 12th and 16th (La Jolla), October 26th and 29th (Pasadena), October 30th and 31st (Hollywood)

Alien: Director's Cut - October 13th and 16th (Pasadena)

Rosemary's Baby - October 13th and 16th (La Jolla), October 27th and 29th (Sherman Oaks)

Silence of the Lambs - October 13th and 16th (Beach Cities), October 17th (Hollywood), October 27th (Pasadena)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - October 13th and 16th (Sherman Oaks), October 17th (Hollywood)

American Werewolf in London - October 14th (Beach Cities), October 15th and 16th (Hollywood)

From Dusk Til Dawn - October 14th (Pasadena), October 15th and 16th (Hollywood)

Creature from the Black Lagoon - October 14th (Sherman Oaks)

Corpse Bride - October 19th (Sherman Oaks)

Young Frankenstein - October 19th and 21st (La Jolla), October 22nd and 23rd (Hollywood)

Edward Scissorhands - October 20th and 23rd (Pasadena), October 28th (Beach Cities)

Fearless Vampire Killers - October 20th (Sherman Oaks)

Scream - October 20th and 22nd (Beach Cities), October 23rd and 24th (Hollywood), October 26th and 29th (La Jolla)

Ju-On: The Grudge - October 21st (Pasadena)

Last Man on Earth - October 22nd (Hollywood)

Let The Right One In - October 23rd (Hollywood)

Monster Squad - October 28th (Sherman Oaks)

Night of the Creeps (Director's Cut) - October 28th (Pasadena)

Poltergeist - October 27th and 30th (La Jolla), October 29th and 30th (Hollywood)

Videodrome - October 29th (Hollywood), October 30th (Pasadena)

Evil Dead - October 31st (Hollywood)

The Host - November 1st (Hollywood)

So there you have it! The selection this year seems to way surpass last years, I don't remember having such a tough time deciding as I do this year. So for you Angelenos, are you going to partake and if so, what's your poison? Sound off below!

- Rg Lovecraft

Monday, September 8, 2014

Revisiting John Carpenter's Chilling Body of Work - A Guest Piece by Brandon Engel

Now, this is a piece that I am very excited to be sharing with you guys. I was approached by a writer named Brandon, who was interested in writing a piece for the blog on John Carpenter's lesser known works, and as I've been the sole writer on here I was very excited to have additional collaboration on the blog. He submitted a great piece, which you will find below, and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I do. Cheers!
Breaking onto the Hollywood scene in the '70s with his low-budget, high-impact thrillers, John Carpenter made a name for himself in filmmaking that extends even beyond his substantial impact on the horror genre. Though Carpenter is probably best known as a master of horror, responsible for famous genre staples like Halloween (1978) and The Thing (1982), he is a prolific film maker whose influence reaches in to the realms of science fiction and action cinema.

One of John Carpenter's first real commercial successes was the genre-defining slasher film Halloween, which would go on to spawn countless movies with similar themes and build Carpenter's reputation as a horror film genius. Based on a simple pulp fiction theme of teenaged babysitters being stalked on Halloween night by a masked killer and filmed on a shoestring budget of just $320,000, this early hit with its influential sound track became one of the most successful independent movies of all time, and one of the most recognizable films in the exploitation genre. While many critics and film connoisseurs have inferred an allegorical message about sexual purity from this film, a theme which is often echoed in its many cinematic offspring, Carpenter himself insists that he was just out to make the kind of trashy, crass exploitation film he would have loved to see as a kid. Other horror hits that would cement Carpenter's place as a genius of the genre included The Fog in 1980.

In addition to his well known horror contributions, Carpenter made many strong films in the sci-fi and action genres. His first film, Dark Star in 1974, was a largely forgotten sci-fi movie that nevertheless earned him attention from his Hollywood peers. Like many of his early films, Dark Star was made on a limited budget, with Carpenter himself taking responsibility for the writing, directing, producing and musical score. Most of Carpenter's films playfully blur the lines between genres, like his sci-fi romantic comedy Starman in 1984, or the bizarre satirical sci-fi action film They Live (1988) starring Canadian professional wrestler 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper. While some of Carpenter's sci-fi films, like Starman, received critical acclaim, and many went on to become cult classics, The only one that came anywhere near the commercial success of Halloween was the action packed Escape From New York (1981), grossing about a third as much as Carpenter's slasher classic.

Although his versatility and ability to work with a shoestring budget quickly got him better 
and brighter offers, Carpenter directed several films that were flops, both commercially and critically, and can be hard to find these days except on specialty cable networks like Robert Rodriguez’s recently launched El Rey channel (which is on DirecTV and some cable providers). The Thing (1982), a bleak and riveting alien thriller where everyone dies, was released the same summer Steven Spielberg's cuddly extra terrestrial E.T. graced the screen, and did not perform well commercially. The failure got him pulled from another project, and he would soon return to making low budget films. Many of these films are considered forgotten classics by those who love B-movies: Prince of Darkness in 1987 and the Lovecraftian homage In the Mouth of Madness in 1994, together with The Thing, complete Carpenter's Apocalypse Trilogy of dark horror films and are considered underrated by many fans.

Even though none of his films achieved the early success of Halloween and many of them were poorly received, John Carpenter's cinematic legacy set many records and influenced countless films across decades. From his impact on the slasher genre to his cult classic contributions to action and sci-fi, Carpenter's thumbprint on cinema history cannot be ignored.

Brandon Engel writes for a variety of blogs and websites, and was gracious enough to write a post for us here at Lovecraft Reviews. Keep your eyes peeled, I may get him back here soon! 

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW Rolls Out First Full Length Trailer

FX's American Horror Story: Freak Show has rolled out a full length trailer where we can finally see the cast in their respective roles. Ryan Murphy also released a synopsis for the premiere episode, entitled "Monsters Among Us":
One of the only surviving sideshows in the country struggles to stay in business during the dawning era of television. When police make a terrifying discovery at a local farmhouse, the eccentric purveyor of the freak show sees an opportunity that will lead her troupe either to their salvation or ruin.
While I find AHS to be pretty polarizing, I was a huge fan of season two: Asylum. The last season was a little underwhelming but I get a feeling this next season might be right up my alley again. Who knows, maybe the shows runs in even numbers?

Check out the trailer below!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

More Rumors Fly Concerning The Adaptation of King's THE STAND

The adaptation of Stephen King's post apocalyptic epic The Stand has been getting a ton of coverage lately. While rumors as of late have revolved around supposed casting choices, the ending of the original draft of the script has surfaced. The film, which was originally written by David Kajganich, is now being reworked by the director Josh Boone. Badass Digest recently released a spoiler heavy (seriously, don't read if you have any intentions of reading the novel) ending that was in the original script:
In this version, from last year, the good guy survivors from Boulder get together in an army and march on Las Vegas to kill Randall Flagg. Flagg’s headquarters is, of course, the Luxor Pyramid. The Boulderites invade the city while, off to the east, a squad fights at the Boulder Dam – which Trashcan Man explodes, killing Larry Underwood and sending a deadly flood to Vegas. In the city Flagg squares off against hero Stu Redman… who now has the power of God, and they have an Akira-like battle on the Las Vegas Strip, with Flagg trying to take Stu’s magic. Cars are thrown, Excalibur’s turrets are tossed, the people of Vegas are used by Flagg as disposable cannon-fodder. Meanwhile Nick Andros sacrifices his life taking out a howitzer. The Boulder forces, while armed, try to only take prisoners and rescue people from being under Flagg’s evil spell. It all comes down to Flagg and Stu, and whether or not Stu will absorb Flagg’s evil magic.
Well... that's interesting? While King's ending was beautiful in print it was a bit hard to pull off on screen in the miniseries that aired in the early 90's. I can understand making some changes, but completely changing the course that certain characters take is a bit much for me. According to this original ending, SPOILER: Nick Andros survives the bomb set by Harold and Nadine, Stu Redman develops supernatural powers and there is an all out war between the Boulder Free Zone and Flagg's new Vegas homestead. 

I really hope this is another fruitless rumor. While I agree that some things should probably be changed to make it more film friendly, this is just a bit much for me. Have you read the novel? What say you?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Stephen King's THE STAND Gets the Big Screen Treatment

Recently I've had some time on my hands, so I've decided to go through my never ending stack of unread Stephen King novels and start powering through them. The one on top, The Stand, had been sitting there for some time as it just never sounded all that interesting to me. Oh was I wrong, I now consider that book to be one of my all time King favorites, and I was very excited to read this tidbit of news that was apparently released a few days ago.

I had heard rumors of a motion picture adaptation, but it all seemed to be a bunch of whisper. Apparently not. This shit is goin' down, and Josh Boone is leading the way. While I don't know enough about Boone to say that he would be wrong for the project, his ideas for casting are making my knees weak and that alone makes me excited for what else he might have in store for us.

It was originally reported that Matthew McConaughey was being pursued to play the role of Randall Flagg. In more recent news, later the same day, Josh Boone took to Twitter to present a very tasty bit of news refuting that.
Holy shit. I don't even know what to say.

When I first read that McConaughey was being considered for Flagg, my thoughts immediately were "That's interesting, he may be a better Stu, but he would still be phenomenal Flagg". Seeing Boone's tweet made me want to cry.

McConaughey would not only be a magnificent Stu Redman, but Bale as Flagg, I never would've thought of and I love it. While the miniseries was fun, it neutered a large part of the fear that King's novel goes into gory detail to impart. It's understandable, but this is being said to be a 3 hour, R-rated, epic saga closely mimicking the vibe of the novel. Yes and YES.

Now I pray to the Gods of Hollywood that this all works out.

WTF - Rob Zombie Wishes (And Gets Denied) to Return to The Firefly Clan

In a bit of shocking non-news, Fangoria has reported a very interesting tidbit from a recent interview with Rob Zombie. 

The famous shock rocker-turned-genre director has created a very defined rift in the horror community. Some hate him, some love him, I happen to be a part of the former camp, but very few can deny the impact that his first foray into the world of directing made on the horror world. House of 1000 Corpses and more importantly The Devil's Rejects, has become one of the biggest cult hits in the horror world in recent years. The Firefly Clan, one of the very few original and truly terrifying creations in recent times, have become fan favorites, and we all thought that we had seen the last of them in what I believe to be one of the most amazing horror film endings of all time. 

Apparently not, atleast not due to the reasons that we had originally assumed. Zombie loves them as much as we do, and he not only wants to return to their story but he has an idea already outlined. The only problem? Lionsgate won't let him. Check this out: 
“I’ve always thought I’d like to make another movie, because I love the characters, and I have an idea I think is solid for a third one – an idea that would make sense. The problem is, I don’t own the characters now. They’re owned by Lionsgate, and they just don’t have any desire to do anything. So it isn’t me not doing it because I don’t want to; I don’t have the ability to get it done.”
It's not only shocking to me that Zombie wants to return to the characters, but that he doesn't own them. This isn't exactly an exception, but they are one of Zombie's best creations and the fact that he doesn't own the rights to the characters took me by complete surprise. What's even more suprising to me is that Lionsgate doesn't want to do anything more with the characters! In my opinion, another chapter in the Firefly saga would sell like hotcakes, if only they put one out. 

What do you think? Am I crazy, and blinded by my love for the characters, or are you on my side? Sound off below!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

SCREAM Casting News - Changes and Additions To The New Woodsboro Line Up

For those of you who may not know, the Scream franchise is headed to the small screen for a brand new series on MTV as opposed to a much anticipated Scream 5. I haven't reported too much on it, as I've been hoping that self inflicted ostrich-syndrome would make it go away, but alas, it has not. 

News has begun to trickle in at a heavier rate over the past few months, we've learned that Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven hate each other, so there's no hope that Williamson will have anything to do with the series. We also learned that Williamson not only has a script for a Scream 5, but a Scream 6 as well, as he had written Scream 4 to be the start of a "new trilogy". This information is really just salt in the wound knowing that it will probably never happen as the Weinstein's aren't too keen on working with Williamson again either. 

Regardless, Scream: The Series is happening, and there's been casting news.

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Willa Fitzgerald will star as Emma Duvall, a classic beauty whose looks and popularity hide a natural shyness and intellectual nature. Her new life with the “in crowd” leaves her estranged from her childhood best friend, Audrey. Emma is the lead in MTV’s Scream take and bears a resemblance to Neve Campbell’s tortured high school student Sidney Prescott in the 1996 feature film.
Bex Taylor-Klaus, who has a recurring role on The CW’s Arrow as DC Comics character Sin and whose credits also include The Killing and House of Lies, will replace Amy Forsyth in role of Audrey, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor. She’s described as an artsy loner who aspires to be a filmmaker.
Bobby Campo (The Final Destination) will recur as Seth Branson, a hot English teacher at Lakewood High who has an easy charm and is clearly one of the “cool” teachers, who can go with it if a lesson plan gets a little off-track.
Connor Weil (Sharknado) will be a series regular and portray Will Belmont, an all-American high school basketball player who adores his girlfriend, Emma (Fitzgerald).
Joel Gretsch (Witches of East EndVThe 4400) is set as Sheriff Clark Hudson, a good guy and good sheriff who is father to Kieran (Amadeus Serafini). David Arquette famously portrayed the lovable sheriff in Williamson’s features.
Now, I love Arrow, it's currently one of my favorite shows at the moment, but I don't know how I feel about Taylor-Klaus as she plays one of the few "replaceable characters" on the show, in my opinion. We'll have to wait and see. The two factors that come into play the most for me on this one are that there has been talk of bringing a supernatural element into play in the series (if Ghost Face is an actual ghost...) and the fact that Teen Wolf, the current major hit on MTV, is one of the worst shows I've seen in years. It can barely be called horror, it's just... it's bad. 
What do you think? Yay or nay on the Scream front?

Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014) - A Review

One of the things that I look forward to the most throughout the year, are DC Comic's animated films featuring Batman. They are almost always phenomenal, and it's a very wonderful break from the Nolanverse and the incessent shouting of "WHY SO SERIOUS" from hordes of fanboys. While the live action Batfilms have their high points, and certainly their lows, nothing compares to the DC Entertainment features. They are not only incredibly comic accurate, but they're just a lot more fun in general. 

Released this week, and previewed last month at Comic Con, Batman: Assault on Arkham is the latest addition to the DC animated franchise and while it differs greatly from previous Batman films it is an extremely fun, adrenaline packed and often hilarious take on a new view of the Bats. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Leatherface Is Back... Yet Again

Well, it appears that another Chainsaw film is in the works. Bloody-Disgusting broke the news days ago, and it was confirmed, that we will now be seeing a franchise wide prequel depicting the events that take place before the events of the Hooper/Henkel classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It's being described as taking place during Leatherface's "teen years". 

It was originally stated in a BD exclusive that it would take place in between Hooper's original and the travesty that was Texas Chainsaw 3D, but now it appears that it will be taking place before Hooper's original. Confusing, I know.

I don't know what you guys are thinking about this, but after seeing TC3D, I'm not exactly excited about seeing Leatherface return quite so soon. Especially being that the same folks are still behind it. 

What say all of you?

Horror Game SILENT HILLS Conjures Up Hilarious Scares in Japan

If you are into horror gaming, it appears that Hideo Kajima has some surprises in store for you. Widely believed to have been working on a new project entitled P.T., it was revealed that he fooled us all and if this teaser is any indicator, it's looking to be awesome.

Entitled Silent Hills, Kajima has collaborated with Guillermo del Toro and Walking Dead star Norman Reedus to deliver a product that they promise will make us "shit our pants". Below you'll find a teaser which features a variety of sweet little Japanese ladies who appear to be "shitting their pants", and it's the funniest thing I've seen in weeks.

The demo is available for free download on the Playstation store, and this has left me hoping that it will be available on PC as well.

Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Marilyn Burns (Sally Hardesty): May 7th, 1949 - August 5th, 2014

Some sad news hit the horror community last week. I was pretty shocked when I heard the news, and have wanted to wait until I could really take the time to sort my thoughts and speak my piece regarding the matter.

Marilyn Burns is oft overlooked in favor of Jamie Lee Curtis when the term Scream Queen is brought up in conversation amongst horror fans and non-fans alike. She was the original surviving lady, the original scream queen and she helped stoke the fire that would eventually become the raging love of horror that I have today.

Her passing is untimely, she was only 65 years old, and it's made even sadder by the fact that we are now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the film that gave her the greatest role that she would ever play, that of Sally Hardesty in Tobe Hooper's seminal The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. She helped create one of the greatest horror archetypes, that of the strong woman who defies the odds and bests the maniac on her trail. Marilyn endured sweltering summer heat, the dangers of the chainsaw and endless bruises, scrapes and injuries that went along with the filming of TCM. Even the fake blood used was a painful endeavor to remove once the cameras stopped rolling.

While the film ended up hurting her career in terms of mainstream success, she starred and co-starred in several other films throughout the years, including Eaten Alive, Kiss Daddy Goodbye, Texas Chainsaw 3D and The Butcher Boys. She also took on the role of Linda Kasabian, real life member of the Manson family, in the 1976 television mini-series Helter Skelter.

While she focused on stage acting in the later years of her life, horror fans the world over would still flock to appearances she made at various horror conventions in order to snap a picture with the iconic scream queen herself.

While it's very sad that we had to lose Marilyn at such a young age, it is important that we take the time to celebrate her life and the monumental impact that she had on the genre that we all love so much. If it weren't for people like her, the horror landscape would be a very different beast than what we have today.

RIP Marilyn Burns, May 7th, 1949 – August 5th, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

PET SEMATARY Script To Be Finalized By Summer's End

According to Dread Central, another writer has stepped up to the plate to take on the screenplay for Stephen King's acclaimed novel Pet Sematary

Word of the remake began circulating some time ago, there has been radio silence since then, but now we have some definitive word from Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train), who has been working on the script with director Juan Carlos Fresnadilla (28 Weeks Later). 
“Paramount had a script from Matt Greenburg and then brought Juan Carlos on, and they were looking to do some work on the script, and then I came in. Juan Carlos and I collaborated on a new outline for the film, Paramount loved our pitch, and I’ve been writing the first draft of the script. It’s very exciting.”
Commenting on the original 1989 horror classic, which was directed by Mary Lambert and based on the novel of the same name by horror legend Stephen King, “The original has a very special place in my heart,” said Buhler. “The film fits perfectly in the time period [in which it was produced], and the source material is one of the Stephen King books that I read as a teenager that made me flip out, and I’ve read it more than once since then. It’s a fantastic book and a fantastic story.”
With the narrative revolving around a family that moves into a new home next to a cemetery with powers that allow the creatures buried in it to come back from the dead, Buhler stated of his approach to the remake, “Now that I’m a father and I have a six-year old and a two-year old, all of the horror within that story that comes from losing a child is suddenly very real and tangible and utterly tragic [to me]. I think the one element that we are trying to bring to this version of Pet Sematary is a sense of truth and honesty in the horror and really take it back to the original material. I think that in the 80’s movie it’s a little campy in places, and we are trying to get away from all of that and really get back to the core of the story, which is that of the family dealing with grief from the loss of their child and the horror of breaking the laws of nature as a result of that. Juan Carlos in particular is very focused on the emotional elements and how they could be represented in a visual context that is compelling.”
“We are being very respectful to the book,” he continued, “and we are not tying ourselves to anything in the first two films at all. We are [also] bringing in some fresh elements that speak to the spirit of the story that aren’t in either one.”
“If you look at the core of it, of what’s going on with the family, it’s an absolutely disturbing story,” Buhler offered. “I think the heart of the story has to do with Louis and his relationship with his kids and grappling with that dilemma when kids ask you what happens when you die and what you believe in. It deals with these big questions in such a personal way, and that is classic Stephen King. They are huge ideas, but they are told through a very identifiable, close-knit family unit, and that’s so powerful so we are just immersing ourselves in that – the loss, the grief, and the horrific results of people making really, really bad decisions.”
As for the tone of the script as it pertains to the eventual film’s intended rating, “I try not to get too hung up on that while writing, especially because this isn’t like a Texas Chainsaw where there’s going to be a lot of ripped open abdomens and people chewing on intestines or anything like that,” he said. “It’s already going to exist somewhere on that line between R and PG-13. If the studio feels like they need to market it as PG-13, then it will be the most hardcore PG-13 movie you could get away with. There are a couple of deaths, but with this one the horror is a little more atmospheric. The big concern of course is that you are killing children, which studios are always loathe to do, but it’s a King story and that’s at the center of it so Paramount knows what they are getting into. There’s no question that kids are gonna die.”
“We’ll be done with the first draft by the end of the summer,” Buhler said of the current status of Pet Sematary, which is being produced for Paramount by Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Mark Varhadian.
“Juan Carlos and I have been working very closely from the beginning so I think the process will be very quick. It’s not going to be one of those situations where there’s a script that the studio likes but then they bring on a director who has a bunch of new ideas and then it goes back into the scripting process for another six months. Because we are doing everything with the director from the beginning, hopefully we won’t be far from where we need to be [with the first draft] when we are done.”
As most of you are well aware of, I am one of the bigger King fans out there. In regards to Mary Lambert's 1989 vision of the source material, I think it's one of the worst things that has ever happened to King's work (and yes, I'm including all those mini-series i.e. The Stand, Stephen King's The Shining, etc.). However, I was excited when this project was first announced, although at the time Alexandre Aja was heavily rumored to take the directors chair. When Fresnadilla was announced as the director, my opinions became impartial, but after reading what Buhler has to say about it, my excitement is back. I think we may actually get a great remake out of this. I don't necesarilly hate remakes, I believe that some films should be remade and Lambert's original is at the top of my list. 

Crucify me, applaud me, do as you will, just sound off below! What do you think about this remake?  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Birthday To The Only Man I Could Ever Love

One of my great loves in life that I never talk about on here (even though I should, and it's totally stupid that I don't) is more than just a man, he's a hero. He's dark, he's brooding, he has an alter ego and he could kick Superman's ass. He goes by Batman, and I love him. 

Today has been declared Batman Day by DC Comics, and today is the day that we celebrate 75 years of the Dark Knight. Most people think of Batman as the guy who dresses all in black, uses a scraggly voice and hates jokes, but he's so much more than that. Today I want to focus on that, as Batman has not only been someone to entertain me, but he has literally brought me out of depression and put a smile on my face when life was darkest. 

Batman was first brought to the public eye in 1939. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane (and I put them in that order for a reason), he was intended to capitolize on the superhero craze that was created by Superman in 1938. When Batman was first introduced he was nothing like we know him today, he used guns, he killed (Batman's big no-no these days) and he was not the dark and physical embodiment of fear that we know him to be today. While he is largely credited to be a creation of Bob Kane, it was Bill Finger who molded Batman and the mythos that surrounded him. While Kane came up with the name, he placed him in red tights with a domino mask (closely resembling Superman). It was Finger who gave him the cowl, the purple gloves, and the dark tights. Instead of wings attached to his arms, Finger gave him a cape so as to ease the restriction of movement, and from here the Batman was born in what is known as the Golden Age of Batman. 

Over the years, Batman has undergone more character growth than one could possibly imagine. While Finger not only gave Batman his image, he gave him his greatest super-villains including: Riddler, Penguin, Scarecrow, The Calendar Man and the most infamous of all, The Joker. We also saw the birth of Robin the Boy Wonder in 1940. After the Golden Age came the Silver Age in the mid-50's. While sales of superhero comics in the fifties began to wane, Batman sales were never higher. The storylines began to become heavily influenced by the sci-fi genre that was prevalent in film at the time. In the Sixties, when sales reached an all time low, his image was revamped and the iconic yellow Batsymbol was introduced. Following the success of the wildly popular television show starring Adam West, the comics took on a campy tone which sent sales through the roof. 

However, this was short lived and in 1968, the television show was cancelled and Batman was brought back to his gritty roots. The camp was dropped and in 1969 Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams, two of the most important players in Bat-history, brought Batman out of the camp and portrayed him once again as the gritty avenger of the night. His look was once again re-imagined in the iconic blue and gray Batsuit which he kept through the 70's into the 80's. His physique was much stronger, and his villains began to evolve with a more sinster presence, however one thing that remained the same: Batman did not kill. He always found another way.

Possibly the biggest landmark for Batman's evolution was in 1986, when Frank Miller took Batman out of the Silver Age and into the Modern Age. The Dark Knight Returns, one of the most iconic Bat stories of all time, was released and took the comic world by storm. Featuring a retired and battle-worn (not to mention gigantic and terrifying) Bruce Wayne, the elseworld story introduced the Batman that the generation of today has come to know and love. A dark, brutal and violent Batman, Miller's interpretation introduced pyschological aspects of the Dark Knight's persona in ways that had never been explored. While the Dark Knight grew darker, as did his villains and this was a theme that went on to be explored through the years and up until today. 

As Batman entered the film world in 1989 with Tim Burton's Batman, love for the character grew and flourished and he became DC's most popular hero. Since then, we've seen 4 actors take on the cowl and we wait in anticipation for a 5th to take it on in 2016. In the comic world he was reinvented in 2011 yet again. In the new line of New 52 comics for DC, Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder are writing the best Bat stories yet, and I am always left sitting in anticipation for what the next issue may entail. Batman is 75 years old, yet he has never been stronger or better. 

Batman has become more than a character for many people, myself included. He has not only reminded me what it was like to be 5 years old with my mask and cape, but he has shown me what it means to be a better person. He was a source of hope and joy when my grandmother passed, he was there for me when I was lost and afraid to go on when times seemed their darkest. He has always been there when I needed something to hold onto and something to show me that times can always be darker and they will always get better. He has been a friend and a mentor, and I love him. 

To Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Dennis O'Neill, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and the countless others who have brought the Bat to the eager masses, I thank you. We thank you, and we can't wait for the next 75 years. You have brought a joy into our lives that will never be forgotten. There is so much more that could be written about the history of the Bat, his psychology and his growth, but I've already written a novel and want to get out to the celebration so I'll leave you with this: Go to your local comic book store, get your free Batman comic and read up. You won't regret it. 

Friday, July 18, 2014


Header courtesy of NabundaNada @ DeviantArt
As a horror fan, it's hard to report news like this without any bias. You guys know my stance on The Shining, and the place that it holds in my personal life, and as happy as I am to know that this isn't a remake I am still a bit uncertain about the news that The Overlook Hotel, a prequel to Kubrick's masterpiece, is in the works and has secured a director. 

I think that out of all the remakes/reboots/what-have-you that the horror world has seen in the past decade, this will draw some of the heaviest speculation simply because Kubrick's work is regarded as some of the best in the film world, not only the horror world. 

Rumors of this project began circulating sometime ago and it appears that they were more than just rumors. Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) has laid claim to the directors chair with a draft written by Greg Mazzara (The Walking Dead). James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider Man), Brad Fischer (Zodiac) and Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) will be producing. In May, Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) was heavily rumored to have first rights in terms of directing the flick, and in all honesty, I would be much more interested in he were the one helming the project. His use of atmosphere in Gravity was mesmorizing, and while Romanek's One Hour Photo was plenty chilling, that film came out twelve years ago. That's a pretty big gap between major productions, minus the slew of music videos he's directed over the years. 

King's original prologue (which was later cut before the book went to print in '77) stands as the basis for the film, which "will tell the origin story of the Overlook Hotel through the eyes of its first owner, Bob T. Watson. A robber baron at the turn of the 20th century, Watson scaled the remote peaks of the Colorado Rockies to build the grandest resort in America, and a place he and his family would also call home“.

For now, as always, we wait and we see what's going to come of this new project.  No word has come of yet as to whether or not King will be involved, but seeing as this is one of the novels that hit's closest to home for him, I can't imagine that he won't. Hopefully Romanek won't Kubrick him and effectively shut him out of production on this one, as my hope for this project lies in whether or not King is involved. 

Either way, speculation is fun and there is going to be a ton of that going on until we get more details. Will they recreate the same look for the Overlook? Will they use the original source material and film at the Stanley, as King's mid-90's mini-series did, in Estes Park? Will we see Dan Lloyd return for a cameo in this installment? And what about getting backstory from the original? Will we see the massacre of the Grady twins, or the demise of the woman in room 217 (although it will probably remain 237 for continuity's sake)? 

What do you all think? Are you ready for another jaunt in the halls of the Overlook? 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Daniel Radcliffe Sprouts HORNS In New Teaser for Alexandre Aja's Latest Horror

I've been looking forward to this one, and it looks like it's finally got a release date (atleast in the UK). I am a huge fan of Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) and being a big fan of the Harry Potter novels, I guess you could say I dig on Radcliffe as well. I've reported on Horns before, but it seems as if that was ages ago, so I return today with the brand new teaser, which happens to look pretty damn good. Head below to check out the teaser and the new one sheet!

Directed by Aja and starring Radcliffe, Horns follows a young man “in the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, who awakens to strange horns sprouting from his temples.

The film has a release date of October 31st in the UK, so we should hopefully be seeing it in America at the same time. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

EXCISION Director Richard Bates, Jr. Is Back With SUBURBAN GOTHIC

If you haven't seen Excision yet, go to Amazon, steam it and thank me later. Richard Bates, Jr. managed to craft an amazing horror film in his debut effort, you can read my review here, and I am very excited to see that he's back with his next flick! 

While Excision was a very dark and macabre film with bits of dark humor, Suburban Gothic appears to be a horror comedy at it's finest. It also features an amazing cast of horror favorites, including Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Dead End), John Waters (Excision) and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, Would You Rather?). The flick stars Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds), which I'm pretty excited as I've thought he'd be great in a good horror flick, and Kat Dennings. 

"Quirky young Raymond has been having a tough couple of months. Even with his recent college degree, he can’t find work in the big city — and he’s realizing that it’s time to swallow his pride and move back in with his overbearing, suburban parents.

Little does he realize, however, that this temporary layover in Middle America is going to be anything but mundane… Haunted by otherworldly visions since childhood, Raymond soon finds himself beset upon by spirits intent on making his time at home as miserable as possible. His only outlet for sanity seems to be local bartender Becca who, aside from chasing off the same bullies who wanted to beat Raymond up in high school, finds herself drawn to his endearing quirkiness. Together, the duo find themselves unraveling the mystery behind a century-old murder — and scaring up plenty of laughs along the way."
Check out the red band trailer below and sound off in the comments! I think it looks pretty solid, I'll definitely be looking forward to this one. 

Header courtesy of

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kate Beckinsale Stars in New Thriller THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM

Courtesy of Deadline, news has broken that Relativity has closed a deal to fully finance The Disappointments Room. Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) has signed on to star in the film that will be directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia).

"Inspired by a true event, The Disappointments Room tells the story of one family’s terror-filled encounter within their own home. Looking for a fresh start, Dana (Kate Beckinsale) and David, together with their 5-year-old son Jeremy, move into their dream house, a beautiful old rural home. Hidden within the attic was a secret room. When frightening and unexplainable events lead Dana to discover the long lost key to this room, she accidentally unlocks a host of unimaginable horrors that reveal the house’s past is terrifyingly tied with her own."

The film is being described as a "Shining-esque" thriller which, of course, piqued my interest from the get go, but it gets better from there in that Wentworth Miller (writer; Stoker) has penned the script, and I absolutely loved Stoker

The Disappointments Room will be begin shooting in August. 

Remake Hell: 5 Remakes To Make You Hair Stand on End (And Not In A Good Way)

Aw, the elusive horror remake. If there is one topic that gets the proverbial guts flying the most, it's the horror remake. Most people hate them, a few love them, I find myself standing right in the middle ground. I don't see a problem, necessarily, with remakes. Some of them I love; for instance, I find 2004's The Hills Have Eyes to be a superior film to Wes Craven's original, if only because I found the original to be rather boring. However, I definitely see the hatred that remakes garner, and I can empathize with it. If a remake was announced for The Exorcist or The Shining, I'm pretty sure most possessions in my house would be broken in a violent rampage. And before you all jump down my throat here, I've specifically decided to leave out the big three, Rob Zombie's Halloween, Friday the 13th (2009), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) because those are just too easy on a list like this (and especially one so short).  

Now, I've been meaning to venture into the list article format that so many blogs and publications these days seem to be crazy about so since I already have my favorite remakes listed in my header, I decided to compile my list of the 5 worst remakes of all time:

5. House of Wax (2005)

What more can be said other than the fact that Paris Hilton stars in this shotty remake of the 1953 classic starring Vincent Price? It has become more and more common place for major studios to take lesser well known classics, dumb them down with a cast of Abercrombie models to appeal to a young audience and pump them out like hot cakes. This is just one example. As awesome as Hilton's death scene in the film is, a horror film should never be watched in anticipation of character deaths.

Boasting a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 25% Jaume Collet-Serra's House of Wax makes the list at number 5.

4. The Amityville Horror (2005)

Being that the original, released in 1979, was far from a great movie it should have been relatively easy to take the source material and craft a superior film. This was not the case with Andrew Douglas's take on The Amityville Horror. Starring Ryan Reynolds (huh?) as  a  shirtless George Lutz for pretty much the entirety of the film, it suffers from the same constraints House of Wax did in the sense that it was a shotty attempt at bringing an old story into a new age. Featuring an entirely new third act, the film failed to deliver the scares and often times left me wondering, “Why?”.

The Rotten Tomatoes score comes in at a whopping 23%

3. Halloween 2 (2009)

Normally I won't comment on a film like this, as I stood up and walked out of the room halfway through, but I suppose that should be a testament as to how I felt about the film. I am a fan of Zombie's work, and while I wasn't crazy about his rendition of Halloween, I thought it was a solid effort at taking on such an iconic film. Halloween II, however, was just a big ol' pile of dookie as far as I was concerned. It seemed completely contrived, as if Zombie threw it together as quickly as possible to get the studio off his back, and it's just sad. I still haven't seen the ending to it, and I doubt I ever will. I'm still trying to forget act one, to be honest.

Rotten Tomatoes says: 20%

2. Psycho (1998)

I think that if Horror was a physical governing body, one of the gravest crimes one could commit would be remaking certain films or the work of certain directors, one of the top being Alfred Hitchcock. Zombie had some pretty massive balls to be willing to get in the ring with Halloween, but they compare in no way to the basketballs Gus Van Sant must be lugging around for even daring to touch Psycho. From the laughable decision to cast Vince Vaughn to fill Anthony Perkins' shoes, to the horrible performance by A-list stars, the film seems like a sad portrait of the original. While it's not as bad as the others, I'm putting it so close to number one simply because it's fucking Psycho.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it 37%, the highest score out of any film on the list.

1. The Omen (2006)

There are a few films in my book that are absolutely untouchable. As I mentioned earlier, The Shining and The Exorcist are a couple, but so is The Omen, and I don't think I've ever walked out of a theater more angry and upset than I did on June 6, 2006. The Omen is a classic for many reasons, but the things that it did to move the horror genre forward are innumerable. Seriously, watch a making-of of The Omen, it'll blow your mind. From the soundtrack, to the subject matter, to the death scenes; Richard Donner put so much thought and care into every aspect of this film that it is truly perfect in it's original format. What we received in 2006 was more along the lines of Final Destination than what the original was. Another horror film remade and stripped of any substance in an effort to fill seats and sell popcorn, and considering the original's legacy in the genre you'll understand why I put it at number one.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it 27%, and honestly I was surprised it rated that highly. I think that it's one of the darkest marks on horror's permanent record, and I can only hope that it will collectively be forgotten in the coming years.

So there you have it, my personal list of the worst horror remakes in recent years. Now I have to ask, what are yours? Sound off in the comments!

Til' next time!

Keep it spooky,

Rg Lovecraft