Tuesday Terrors: Chucky returns and We Review Piranha 3DD (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Source: Mania.com

First official trailer for “The Bay”.  The quaint seaside town of Chesapeake Bay thrives on water; it is the lifeblood of the community. When two biological researchers from France find a staggering level of toxicity in the water, they attempt to alert the mayor, but he refuses to create a panic in the docile town. As a result, a deadly plague is unleashed, turning the people of Chesapeake Bay into hosts for a mutant breed of parasites that take control of their minds, andeventually their bodies. A brutal and harrowing creature feature for the 21st century, THE BAY chronicles the descent of a small town into absolute terror.  In theaters and on VOD November 12. 


First 13 Teaser Trailers from American Horror Story: Asylum.  FX has been releasing these shor trailers every few days.  Click below to see the first 13 running all together.


Chucky Returns!  The sixth installment of the frightening Child’s Play thriller franchise, Curse of Chucky, began principal photography in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, on September 5, 2012.  The franchise comes full circle as Toyland’s most gruesome serial killer returns in a horrifying all-new movie from Universal 1440 Entertainment.  The film is directed by Don Mancini, the Child’s Play franchise creator who has written or co-written each of the previous movies and was the director of Seed of Chucky.
Nica (Fiona Dourif) is grieving over the gruesome suicide of her mother when her domineering older sister Barb (Danielle Bisutti) arrives with her young family in tow to help settle their mother’s affairs. As the sisters butt heads over Nica’s plans for the future, Barb’s young daughter comforts herself with a grinning, red-haired talking doll named Chucky (voiced again by Brad Dourif) that recently arrived mysteriously in the mail. But as a string of brutal murders begins to terrorize the household, Nica suspects the doll may hold the key to the bloodshed. What she doesn’t know is that Chucky has a personal score to settle. He’s determined to finish a job he started more than 20 years earlier, and this time he’s going to see it through to the bloody and shocking end. 
Walking Dead Minimates coming this month.  For those of you eagerly anticipating the release of the first series of Walking Dead Minimates, here’s a couple of pics to check out.  Look for Series 1 to arrive in September, with Dale and the rare Winter Coat Dale variant figure exclusively at comic shops and specialty stores, and Glenn and Shane exclusively at Toys "R" Us!  

Exclusive clip from Airborne.  “Turbulence is the least of their worries. On October 16th, Image Entertainment presents Airborne, a “Twilight Zone”-infused horror/thriller starring Mark Hamill.  Airborne features a strong genre cast including Alan Ford (Snatch), Gemma Atkinson (“Hollyoaks”), and Julian Glover (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, Troy), who reunites with his fellow Star Wars legend after 30 years! 
When a storm starts closing in, air traffic controller Malcolm (Hamill) sends one last plane into the sky – but after takeoff, the passengers aboard discover the pilots have been brutally murdered. Suddenly the plane disappears from radar, and one by one, the people aboard turn into dangerous, bloody psychopaths. With time running out, the survivors must unlock the deadly mystery in their midst – and find a way to land the plane before their ultimate nightmare is unleashed!”

Debut Trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.  Paramount Pictures has revealed the trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, hitting 3D and 2D theaters on January 11th.  Directed by Tommy Wirkola, the action thriller stars Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Derek Mears and Thomas Mann. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes place 15 years after the siblings' incident at the gingerbread house. The two are now specialized bounty hunters looking to put down the witches.

Universal Monsters Minimates to haunt Toys-R-Us.  The third series of Minimates mini-figures based on the classic Universal Monsters has arrived at Toys "R" Us and toysrus.com, and it spotlights two classic films: The Mummy and The Hunchback of Notre Dame! Broken down into packs of two, the two-packs include The Mummy with an opening Sarcophagus, Princess Anck-es-en-Amon with Henry Whemple (a TRU exclusive!), Quasimodo with Phoebus and an exclusive black-and-white set of the Mummy with Quasimodo!

Diamond Select Toys Releasing Mad Monster Party Action Figures.  The stop-motion holiday specials of Rankin/Bass Productions are legendary. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town... each has been remembered as a Christmas classic. But not everything Rankin/Bass did was reindeer and candy canes. In 1967, they unleashed on theaters the stop-motion feature film "Mad Monster Party?," a kooky love letter to the classic monster movies featuring pretty much every famous monster you can think of and then some. A cult favorite, the movie has gone 45 years with almost no tie-in merchandise... until now!
Diamond Select Toys will release the first three 7"-scale Mad Monster Party action figures this September, with plenty more to come in future assortments. The first assortment features Dracula, Fang and The Baron, who was based on the likeness of his vocal performer (and horror legend) Boris Karloff! Each figure is sculpted by MMP afficianado Tony Cipriano, and will come in its own display-ready collector packaging with a groovy display base and plenty of accessories.
Trailer for Dead Europe.  From the producers of Shame and Animal Kingdom, Dead Europe is a tense and moody mystery set on the turbulent streets of contemporary Europe. The film follows a young photographer named Isaac (Ewen Leslie in a breakthrough performance) who - while taking his deceased father's ashes from Australia to Greece - comes to learn that something sinister happened in his family's past involving a young Jewish boy. Despite an effort to distract himself with a mix of random sex and drugs, Isaac's world begins to unravel as he realizes that he cannot escape the ghosts of the past.  Dead Europe had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film on Friday, September 7.

John Carpenter’s Halloween returns to theaters this Fall.  This October, John Carpenter's immortal classic, Halloween, will be making a return to theaters nationwide. This will be the biggest run the film has had since shocking audiences in 1978, and makes for the perfect early kick off to next year's 35th Anniversary celebration.  Screening before the film will be You Can’t Kill The Boogeyman: 35 Years of Halloween, a new mini documentary written and directed by our own Justin Beahm, focusing on the undeniable impact the film (and series) has had on culture and the genre. The documentary will run at all screenings coast-to-coast.
First trailer for WWE Films “Barricade”.  Barricade will star Eric McCormack as a widowed psychiatrist who retreats to a cabin in the woods with his kids until they come under siege by "unknown forces."

Trailer for UK Import “Hollow”.  In this tale, an old monastery in a small, remote village in Suffolk, England has been haunted by a local legend for centuries. Left in ruin and shrouded by the mystery of a dark spirit that wills young couples to suicide, the place has been avoided for years, marked only by a twisted, ancient tree with an ominous hollow said to be the home of great evil. When four friends on holiday explore the local folklore, they realize that belief in a myth can quickly materialize into reality, bringing horror to life for the town.  

Supernatural Season 8 Trailer.  Season Eight begins with Dean’s seemingly impossible escape from Purgatory, though Castiel is nowhere to be found. However, Dean isn’t alone. He’s returned with a mysterious comrade-in-arms whose reason for escape is perhaps more than Dean bargained for. Meanwhile, Sam finds himself reconciling the life he discovered while Dean was gone with Dean’s sudden reappearance. As the boys struggle with their unexpected reunion, they make a shocking discovery that could lead them on a deeply personal mission to settle old scores. If only they could agree – is this a “family business” or isn’t it?


Frances Conroy Returns for American Horror Story Asylum.  Frances Conroy, who played the older version of the housemaid, Moira, is returning to the cast for American Horror Story: Asylum.  Series creator Ryan Murphy said the following via Twitter: "Thrilled to announce Emmy nominee Frances Conroy is returning to AHS. Devils and angels this year...Frannie plays the ultimate angel.”
The Cottage coming to DVD on October 9.  David Arquette stars in this new thriller from eOne Entertainment.  Chloe and Michael Carpenter, a struggling suburban couple, have no idea what they’re in for when they rent out the cottage behind their house to a quiet, charming romance novelist named Robert Mars (Arquette). 


First Trailer for Grave Encounters 2.  Coming to VOD on October 2 with a limited theatrical release beginning October 12, Grave Encounters was a found-footage horror phenomenon that many people believed was just a movie.  Film student Alex Wright is out to prove them wrong in Grave Encounters 2.  Alex is as obsessed with the first film as the 20 million people who viewed its viral trailer on YouTube.  While he and his friends research the events and visit the real psychiatric hospital depicted in the original film, they find themselves face-to-face with unspeakable evil, banking on the hope that their knowledge of the original film will help them survive the sequel.


Piranha 3DD Blu-Ray (Anchor Bay) 
Grade: D+
There’s one key fact you need to know about Piranha 3DD.  The original film, Piranha 3D, had a budget of $24 million dollars.  The sequel only had a budget of around $6 million.  And that sounds about right because with only about ¼ of the budget we only get about ¼ of the blood and gore, only ¼ of the “double D’s”, and only ¼ of the fun.  The direct-to-video sequel loses just about everything that made the original film such a guilty pleasure.  It also lacks the tongue-in-cheek humor of the original, instead giving us an overdose of David Hasselhoff that is neither funny nor interesting.
Set a year later, the town of Lake Victoria, AZ has been completely abandoned after the attacks by the prehistoric Piranha.  Maddy, a marine biologist student, returns home for the Summer to help run the waterpark that she co-owns wither her stepfather Chet.  Unknown to Maddy, Chet has turned part of the waterpark into an adult’s only attraction featuring a topless bar and strippers who are “water certified” to act as lifeguards.  When Maddy has an encounter with one of the piranha, she and her friends go to visit crazy Mr. Goodman (once again played by Christopher Lloyd) for help.  Lloyd surmises that the fish have migrated to the new lake through underground caves (isn’t that convenient).  And more shocking they are attracted to chlorine treated water which could cause them to get into the town’s water system.  Maddy wants to shut the park down since they drain into the lake but Chet will have none of it and goes ahead with the grand opening, serving up all the guests for a meal for the hungry fish.  
Even having Ving Rhames back in a cameo role as Deputy Fallon..and even with outfitting his artificial legs with shotguns, cannot save this flat and uninspired sequel.  The original had dozens of some truly creative special effects while the sequel, showing the effects of the miniscule budget, offer little more than the average Syfy Channel film.  Of Course, John Gulager, whose only other directorial efforts were the Feast trilogy films, still felt compelled to give us yet another severed penis scene.  
But all this pales next to the agonizing annoyance of David Hasselhoff, playing himself as a guest lifeguard.  I puked a little in my throat when he began running in slow motion to the Baywatch theme, his sagging man-boobs bouncing with such fervor that Pam Anderson would be jealous.  A pity he survives
the mess.



The Moth Diaries DVD Review (IFC Films)
Grade: B+
Despite the title The Moth Diaries has nothing to do with the various Mothman films of the past several years.  The film is based on the 2002 Rachel Klein novel of the same name.  At an exclusive all-girls boarding school, the new year has begun and Rebecca is anxious to be reunited with her best friend, Lucie.  Together with the rest of their friends, Lucie and Rebecca enjoy life in the stuffy, strictly ruled school but the entrance of a new student changes everything.
Ernessa (Lily Cole from Snow White and the Huntsman) is mysterious and just a bit creepy.  Lucie begins spending more time with Ernessa leaving Rebecca on the outside and jealous.  Rebecca becomes suspicious of Ernessa.  A strange odor of rot emanates from her room and when Rebecca chances a perilous walk on the outside ledge to peer into Ernessa’s room she sees hundreds of moths flitting about.
When several of her friends are killed in accidents or leave school abruptly, Rebecca suspects that Ernessa is the cause.  But is Ernessa a vampire?  A vengeful spirit?  Or is Rebecca’s fear all in her mind and a product of the trauma of finding her father after he committed suicide.  She must find the answers as her own suicidal thoughts begin to overcome her.
The Moth Diaries had a 1970s vibe to it with its all-girl school setting.  Formerly a posh turn of the century hotel, the school now is a brooding, shadow-filled edifice, in the great tradition of those old gothic Hammer Studios horror films of the 60s and 70s.  Lily Cole stands out as the morbid new student, whose penetrating gaze can chill you to the bone.  The Moth Diaries is a slow paced film that isn’t for everybody but pays off well in the end.  This is one of those film festival selections that actually deserve the plaudits.


If you’re looking for even more horror fun, be sure to check out Chuck Francisco’s Shock-O-Rama every Saturday right here at Mania:  Shock-o-Rama

Tim Janson is a columnist and reviewer for Mania Entertainment. He writes Level Up, the weekly look at videogames, From the Vault, a dig into genre films of years gone by, 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 Facebook and Twitter.