Tuesday Terrors: Clive Barker’s Nightbreed to be a TV series? (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Welcome back for your bi-weekly helping of all things horror from comics, to film, to TV and Toys.  Lots to cover in the new including a release date announced for the upcoming Carrie reboot, a potential TV series based on Clive Barker’s “Nightbreed” film, and several new trailers.  Down in our review section we have a look at the fantastic documentary on the career of Roger Corman as well as an interview with “Chiller’s” Director Daniel Boyd.

Image comics title coming to the big screen – The Image Comics title Devoid of Life is currently in development by Content House and Mosaic.  Following the discovery of a mysterious hidden planet in our solar system a series of horrible deaths occur at an isolated observatory leading investigators to an alien plot that threatens all life on Earth by a guard of unstoppable ghostly alien creatures.

New Phantom of the Opera figure coming soon - Culled from one of the oldest Universal Monsters films, Lon Chaney creeps right into the Universal Monsters Select line of stellar action figure sets inspired by classic Hollywood movies with the Universal Monsters Select Phantom of the Opera Action Figure! From the 1925 version of Phantom of the Opera, the Phantom comes with his organ accessory, which is exclusive to this version. Standing 7-inches tall, this action figure is a piece of movie history that you can put on your shelf! 


Titan Books publishing a visual companion for The Cabin in the Woods – In conjunction with the April 13 release of the much-anticipated film, Titan Books will be releasing a visual companion book.  This exclusive companion book features interviews, the full script, and over 150 photos and stunning pieces of production art.

Release date announced for Carrie Reboot - It was revealed late last month that Chloe Moretz will be playing the title role in Kim Peirce's upcoming remake of the Stephen King novel, Carrie. The project, from director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry, Stop-Loss) is now set for release on March 15, 2013.

Debut Trailer for “The Road” – Not to be confused the apocalyptic aftermath film of a couple of years back, Yam Laranas’ The Road concerns a twelve year old cold case which is reopened when three teens are missing in an abandoned road. In the course of the investigation, deeper and gruesome stories of abduction and murders are discovered. After more than two decades, the secrets of the haunted road may finally be revealed.   Here is the first trailer:


Ti West to Adapt “Bedbugs” – The Innkeepers and House of the Devil director Ti West is helming at adaptation of the Ben Winters novel “Bedbugs”.  Susan and Alex Wendt have found their dream apartment.  Sure, the landlady is a little eccentric. And the elderly handyman drops some cryptic remarks about the basement. But the rent is so low, it’s too good to pass up.

Big mistake. Susan soon discovers that her new home is crawling with bedbugs . . . or is it? She awakens every morning with fresh bites, but neither Alex nor their daughter Emma has a single welt. An exterminator searches the property and turns up nothing. The landlady insists her building is clean. Susan fears she’s going mad—until a more sinister explanation presents itself: she may literally be confronting the bedbug problem from Hell.

Trailer for the animated horror film, ParaNorman hits! - In ParaNorman, a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he'll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst of all, moronic grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.

Opening on August 17, 2012, the movie also features the voices of Casey Affleck, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, Bernard Hill, Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Tucker Albrizzi, Alex Borstein, Jodelle Ferland and Elaine Stritch.  This looks like a lot of fun!


Trailer for House at the End of the Street – Jennifer Lawrence, star of Hunter Games is set to star in this horror/thriller due out September 21.  Seeking a fresh start, newly divorced Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) and her daughter Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) find the house of their dreams in a small, upscale, rural town. But when startling and unexplainable events begin to happen, Sarah and Elissa learn the town is in the shadows of a chilling secret. Years earlier, in the house next door, a daughter killed her parents in their beds, and disappeared - leaving only a brother, Ryan (Max Thieriot, "My Soul to Take"), as the sole survivor. Against Sarah's wishes, Elissa begins a relationship with the reclusive Ryan - and the closer they get, the deeper they're all pulled into a mystery more dangerous than they ever imagined.

Clive Barker in talks for a TV series based on “Nightbreed” – I gotta say, Nightbreed was one of the strangest films I’ve seen.  Even today there simply isn’t much like it and now there could be a TV series on cable.  Nightbreed creator Clive Barker is said to be in active talks and commented recently, “We are actively in conversation about doing a Nightbreed television series which will be for cable, so it will have a chance to be as sexy or as graphic in terms of the violence as we need it to be.”

Sand Sharks Starring Brook and Nick Hogan coming to VOD – Good God shoot me now…Phase 4 Films has announced the video-on-demand World Premiere of Sand Sharks on April 1, 2012.  Directed by Mark Atkins, the film stars reality star and daughter of wrestler Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan and Gina Holden (Final Destination 3). The action thriller also features a special appearance by Brooke Hogan’s brother, Nick Hogan.

Jimmy Green, a prodigal party boy, is throwing the spring break festival of a lifetime on the island of White Sands. Little do the hundreds of teenage party-goers know, an underwater earthquake has cracked open a crater beneath the ocean’s surface. This demolition unleashes the most menacing beasts to ever rule the waters, and the only predator to ever swim through sand. It mercilessly feeds on anything that crosses its path, and it is up to those left on the island to stop the carnage.


Corman’s World (Anchor Bay) Blu-Ray 

Grade A

Roger Corman has been called the “King of the B Films” but that’s really an inaccurate title.  Some directors are “B” filmmakers simply because they are not very skilled.  That, however, is not the case with Corman.  Corman was a budget-conscious filmmaker by choice.  Corman learned when he first got into the business in the early 1950s that if he didn’t want to be controlled by a studio he had to make independent films.  Corman’s World is a full-length documentary dedicated to a true maverick among directors.  A man who disregarded the studio system to make the kinds of films that he wanted.  Films that had a modest budget an always made money.Corman’s career began with “Swamp Women” in 1955 and continues today as he serves as Producer for many films made direct for video or for the Syfy channel.  Corman has directed or produced (oftentimes both) over 300 films.  Perhaps Corman’s best known films were the series produced in the 1960s and based upon the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and usually starring veteran horror actor Vincent Price.  Films like “The Pit and the Pendulum”, “House of Usher”, and “The Masque of the Red Death”.  

While Corman is best known for horror/monster films, some of his most critically acclaimed pictures were in more mainstream films.  “The Intruder” in 1962 tackled the subject of integration in southern schools at the height of racial unrest in the country.  1966’s “Wild Angels” featured a young Peter Fonda that would catapult him to star in “Easy Rider” just a few years later.  But perhaps Corman’s greatest contribution to the film industry was that he gave many young actors and directors their starts in the business.  This list reads like a who’s who of Hollywood elite: Jack Nicholson, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Joe Dante, Jonathan Demme, Robert DeNiro, and Ron Howard.

The film includes interviews with all of these men along with many others who worked with Corman over the years and what strikes you is the reverence that they all have for him.  The documentary concludes with Corman finally getting the recognition he deserved with an honorary Academy Award in 2010.  This is a wonderful documentary featuring a legendary filmmaker. 


Infestation 2: 30 Days of Night One-shot 
Published by: IDW 
Written by: Duane Swierczynski 
Art by: Stuart Sayger 
Grade B 
Combine the usual 30 Days of Night vampires, with Lovecraftian Elder Gods, and a dose of 1950s Cold War era paranoia, and you have a surprisingly entertaining book from IDW.  Set during the 1950s, The Edler Gods of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos (without actually mentioning Cthulhu) have broken through the ancient barriers of time and space to invade our world and in particular, the arctic region near the North Pole where vampires stalk humans for months at a time.  A photographer and pilot have arrived in the region to get photographic proof of a secret Russian research base but end up instead finding a strange, monolithic building and hordes of vampires.  The vampires are fighting for their own lives against one of these near shapeless entities.  The unnamed female photographer flees for her life after the pilot is killed, finding herself caught in the middle between the vampires, the Russian military, and the Elder God. 
I’ve been a bit critical at the over-sizing of the 30 Days of Night universe.  I know it’s probably a decent seller for IDW but its strayed quite a bit from its roots.  That said, Infestation is a nice gore-filled combination of raging bloodsuckers and unassailable Lovecraftian mythology.  Sayger doesn’t try to emulate Ben Templesmith like so many other 30 Days artists have done in the past.  His art is still gritty but with his own style that features more detail than some of the previous scratchy-styled artists.  


Witchblade/Red Sonja #2 
Published by: Dynamite Entertainment 
Written by: Doug Wagner 
Art by: Cesar Raznek 
Grade: C- 
Two classic heroines…together in skimpy costumes but separated by eons, and by publisher, come together.  Dynamite’s Red Sonja is joined by Top Cow’s Witchblade in this tale which stretches from the ancient forgotten era of the Hyborian Age to modern day New York .  In the Hyborian Age, Sonja and the Witchblade of that era battle a giant being who reveals itself as the fallen angel Ragniel.  As the Witchblade is easily defeated, Sonja is given a choice to join Ragniel or suffer.  Guess what she chooses!  In modern times, Sara Pezzini (the current Witchblade) and her partner Gleason are investigating the brutal mutilation murders of three priests.  Following a perp into the sewers, Pezzini comes face to face with none other than Ragniel who threatens eternal torment for her and her baby.  
Look, I have no problem with the basic premise behind the book or the obvious gimmick of teaming two characters from different companies.  The only thing I ask is give me some story to chew on and so far writer Doug Wagner is coming up woefully short.  First off, the idea of an obvious Jude-Christian angel in the Hyborian age of mythological pagan Gods just isn’t a good fit.  The fact that Ragniel comments that, “Man was always HIS most petulant creation”, clearly insinuates a single God above all.  

More troubling is that there’s so sparse an actual story here that the issue contains 6 – 10 full splash pages or a full page with perhaps a smaller or panel or two of embedded art just seems to indicate Wagner doesn’t have much to say and prefers to let Raznek’s art run wild.  Raznek’s work is very good but so far there’s not enough meat on the bones of this story.   

Chillers Graphic Novel 
Published by: Transfuzion 
Written by: Various 
Art by: Various 
Chillers is an all-new anthology of horror tales based upon the 1980s cult horror film from Troma Studios.  This is the pet project of Daniel Boyd, the director of the film who wrote several of the stories in the collection.  Chillers is definitely influenced by the great black & white horror anthology magazines of the 60’s and 70’s, notably Creepy and Eerie.  Like any good horror anthology, Chillers has its own unique host in the form of a sinister bus driver who only has one destination on his route…Hell! 
The book opens with one of Boyd’s tales, “Dr. Timmy’s Fearless Dentistry” about a man who has to confront his fears of going to the dentist, and does so…with bloody results.  In “Mickey Barnes Gets a Gift” a man accidently kills his sister…and finds out that he enjoys killing.  “The Right Place at the Wrong Time” finds a happy couple moving into their dream house but there is someone or something that wants them out.  
Boyd’s “HandiCrap Accessible” is an excellent example of how Chillers melds horror and humor.  In this story a lazy con artist has scammed his way into a handicap parking permit even though he doesn’t need it.  But a fateful encounter with an actual handicapped person will forever change his outlook.  “Free to a Good Home” is about a scumbag who takes litters of kittens and puppies off of people’s hands, promising to give them to good homes, only to turn around and sell them to a research facility.  One day however he finds a litter of things that are not so cuddly. 
Honestly there’s not a real clunker in the whole book.  The stories have a consistent and feel throughout not only with the stories but with the artwork as well.  These have that gritty look of the old Warren Magazines and there’s simply nothing better than a horror story in black & white.  Two artists stood out for me…S.R. Ayers and Wayne Reid.  If you’re tired of what passes for horror in comics today, Chillers will renew your faith that there are good writers and good artists who can deliver true horror stories.  Be sure to read my interview below with Chillers director Daniel Boyd. 


Mania:  Daniel, how does it feel to have your cult film “Chillers” reborn nearly 25 years later as a graphic novel, published by Transfuzion? 

Exciting and humbling. It was a big film for us, my biggest ever. But I've been surprised at how many remember, and by their fond memories of the movie.  It also makes me proud to again showcase the amazing crew and cast that I pulled together in Charleston , West Virginia , to do what seemed the impossible way back then. I owe them so much. 
The best compliment of late was the recent release of "Witchfinger - The Chillers Tribute Album" by Canadian punk band, Buddy Black. Turns out "Chillers" was Buddy's favorite childhood movie. Lucky for me! (www.reverendbuddyblack.com) 
Mania: So what was the genesis of this project?  How did you connect with Transfuzion to get the ball rolling? 
A few years back, my good pal and colleague, William Bitner (also one of the writers on "Chillers" graphic novel), and I were producing the feature film, "Death Falcon Zero Vs. the Zombie Sluglords." When the film became an impossibility to complete, to preserve the story that we both loved, we decided to adapt it as an "illustrated" novel (http://www.grapesofwrath.biz/). Bill was up on comics but I hadn't read them in over thirty years. As I began to catch up on what I had missed, I fell in love with the medium! To me, graphic novels had become the great literature of the late 20th, early 21st centuries. I realized that this was a way for me to tell bigger stories, much quicker. At this point in my life it's more about the storytelling than the medium. And I see comics as cinema on the page. 
I'm too old to start at the bottom in a new business so I decided for my first graphic novel to begin with my best known brand, "Chillers."  Not only so I could play the filmmaker card to help get through the comic world doors, but also because I've always loved horror anthology. 
I connected with Gary Reed of Transfuzion through a blind email that I sent to maybe 10 publishers from a list a friend sent me.  Gary gave me a thoughtful, no-nonsense reply and our relationship grew from there. There were other publishers interested but I just kept coming back to Gary . I liked the guy. Especially after reading his work. We had a lot in common, both middle aged professors, both have only daughters, and both research nerds. Ha! I really dug how he worked scholarship into his works of the "fantastic." It was just the right fit for "Chillers." 
Mania:  I’m a huge fan of 1960’s & 1970’s horror magazines like the Warren mags, Skywald, etc., the stories in this new anthology seems to have the same tone and spirit.  Were those magazines an inspiration? 
Of those, my biggest print influence was "Creepy" of my 1960s childhood. They rocked my young world! 
Mania:  You wrote several of the stories in the anthology.  Who are some of your horror influences in terms or writers, actors, or films? 
This is a tough one, Tim. One of those, "how long is a piece of string" answers. Many gigabytes of horror in my brain. But I can tell you that my all time, hands-down, biggest influence was/is "The Twilight Zone." If I had a tattoo it would be "W.W.R.D." (What would Rod do?)  I show TZ episodes to my screenwriting students every semester. The best teaching tool I've ever used. 
So, from Twilight Zone, I learned how to tell a story on 2 levels: The plot in a "sensationalized" package, and more importantly, on a "theme" level - The Idea -  what you are trying to say within the plot. 
As far as "voice" goes, I would say John Landis's, 'An American Werewolf in London ' was my biggest influence as I began my filmmaking career. It was horror with characters I could identify with, who talked like me. A "contemporary" voice. So Serling and Landis as my top two, with a few hundred in between. 
Mania: The consistency of the art in Chillers was very good.  There’s a dark, gritty quality to the work.  Did you have any input as to the artistic style of the book? 
Thanks! And yes I did. All but one of the artists came from an ad we placed at digitalwebbing.com. From the overwhelming response that we got, I narrowed down a short list of around 10 artists that were both interested, and I thought fit our "feel." I wanted different styles but I did not want to go too formalist. Personally I like certain formalist styles in comics, like "30 Days of Night," but as a kid reading horror comics it was the more realistic styles that hooked me. So I decided to lean more in that direction for the first book. 
My writers chose from that list of artists, with me having veto power, which I never needed. I thought they all made good choices.  I thought all the artists were fantastic but Ger Curti, out of Argentina was the most popular among our writers. 
Mania:  I love comic horror anthologies and miss them a lot.  It seems these days what passes for horror in comics is scantily clad, big-busted women who fight demons or vampires, or are demons or vampires…What do you think about the state of horror in comics today? 
Yeah, I'm with you on this one, Tim. I like scantily clad, big-busted women but I prefer them in person. Or in our case, just on the cover (thanks David Michael Beck!). I think with age comes a skewed nostalgia - We tend to think that what was of our age was the best, but in this case I really think it was. It's more shock and awe rather than substance these days. And I'm not awed by much of it. Actually I'm bored by a lot of it. And generating boredom is the cardinal sin in entertainment. 
Mania:  What is the one thing you have to have for a good horror comic? 
May I give you 3 things? Number one: Say something! Have a theme. I tell my writing students to never be ashamed of writing genre. Just say something.  Two: Develop three-dimensional characters. People we can buy into, or least understand. Especially the bad guys.  In many of the current horror comics and films, I just can't sustain interest in the characters for very long. I wish most of them dead within the first act. Create characters with depth. 
And three: Humanity. 
Mania:  Can we expect to see more Chillers anthologies or possibly even an on-going series in the future? 
Oh yeah! We've just begun to talk about book 2. I outlined two new stories this weekend, and have concepts for dozens more. I'd like to keep our core writers - Pell, Bitner, Tinnell, Reed, me - together, while adding a few new ones as we go along. 
The other good thing about working with Transfuzion is that Gary is hip to my educational mission. I have involved my West Virginia State University students in all of my professional projects for nearly three decades, in a "learn by doing" environment, working alongside industry professionals  . One of the writers in this volume, Betsy Allen, and one of the artists, Balsa Gobovic, are my students. I've transitioned many students to the movie "bigs" over the years using this formula. I want to continue this in future "Chillers" books. 
Mania: Troma is re-releasing Chillers.  Looking back at the film is there one thing that you might like to change about it? 
Ha!! Filmmakers should never reveal their warts. And "Chillers" has many. But the one that drives me crazy is the length of the first story in the film, "The Swimming Dead." We should never make excuses, but the reason it is so long, so stretched out, is that back then distributors wanted features to be as close to 100 minutes as possible. That allowed foreign territories, depending on different cultures,  to be able to cut 10 minutes out and still have a feature length film. We stretched too much on that one. In the end we never even quite made 90 minutes and the movie still sold to over thirty countries. Oh well. 
Mania:  Will we ever see a Chillers 2 Film? 
Funny, I'm getting that a lot now. And I swear, Tim, I did not give it a single thought when deciding to do "Chillers" as a graphic novel. I was not trying to goose my film career, I was trying to start a comic one. I would be quite happy just writing comics from now on. But with this many asking, I'm starting to listen and consider. Some nibbles have come from the circles that make those things happen as well. My Troma pals and I have been so busy with the book and upcoming original movie re-release that we haven't had time to really discuss it. But we will. And as I think about "Chillers" in this era, it may make better TV than cinema. We'll see. 
Mania:  Would you like to tell our readers about any other projects that you are working on? 
Yes, please. My epic graphic novel of gods, monsters and evil coal barons, "CARBON," is nearly finished after two years of art production.  This is by far the biggest thing I've ever written. See the teaser video at: 


Mania:  Finally, Daniel…does the Rastafarian bus driver have a name? 

Yes, in the book and original movie, Peterr Jesus is Norman Jordan's stage and occasional pen name. He was credited as Peterr Jesus in two of my feature films, now reprising his "Chillers" role to be the graphic novel storyteller. It is so cool seeing how the different artists draw him (from reference photos I send). Besides being a really cool cat, Norman is an awesome writer in his own right. He's my favorite poet.  It'll be fun having him work appearances with us as the living Peterr Jesus of Babylon Bus Lines.   You can see him as he is today introducing Buddy Black's "Chillers" music video here:

Tim Janson is a columnist and reviewer for Mania Entertainment.  He writes Level Up, the weekly look at videogames and the horror dedicated column, Tuesday Terrors.  Tim has written for Fangoria, Newsarama, City Slab Magazine, Twitch Film, and Cinefantastique.  He is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA).  Be sure to follow him on Facebookand Twitter