Welcome to an all new edition of Mania’s Tuesday Terrors. Here is all the horror you’ll need to get through the week. First up...
THE TERRIFYING NEWS
The BBC’s In the Flesh Trailer. Zombies are a hot commodity thanks to The Walking Dead and now the BBC is jumping on the bandwagon. BBC Three is going to fill the horror void when Being Human ends with a new zombie series called In the Flesh. The tale is set in the wake of a zombie apocalypse (naturally) and will be seen through the eyes of one of the undead.
According to its creator, Dominic Mitchell: "I want it to be for a really wide audience and to talk about real issues, real family issues, real domestic issues, and we play with the zombie methodology. We do have a few scenes of real great zombie genre stuff, but then you have a scene where it’s really domestic and they’re sitting around the table just trying to be a family again, and that’s what I really wanted it to do. So, your Grandma can watch it, hopefully, and really enjoy it, and it can speak to her as well as speak to the teenage zombie horror fan."
Takashi Shimizu's Tormented coming to DVD and Blu-ray April 2. Daigo doesn't speak anymore. Not since he killed that rabbit on the playground at school. His sister, Kiriko, is worried. He's bullied. He sleepwalks. And their father is no help, trapped in his own grief and illustrating fantasy worlds where families are happily reunited and no one dies. They never should have gone to that 3D movie. The one with the stuffed rabbit that floated out of the screen. Now Daigo is missing. He's in danger, and Kiriko will have to follow him into a world of nightmares to discover the truth. And the truth is worse than any dream. From WellGo USA Entertainment.
Roth reveals details on Ti West’s The Sacrament. Producer Eli Roth revealed a few details on the Ti West directed film, “The Sacrement” in a recent interview. Said Roth, “I’m now producing a film called The Sacrament that Ti West produced and directed. He made a terrific film called House of the Devil, and had a great idea about a found footage docu-style horror movie set it a Jonestown type cult where we watch a mass suicide begin and the film makers are trapped inside. It’s really, really scary.”
The Sacrament stars Joe Swanberg (V/H/S), AJ Bowen (The House of the Devil), Kentucker Audley (V/H/S), Amy Seimetz (Tiny Furniture), and Gene Jones (No Country for Old Men). Release information is not yet available.
Sideshow’s 1/6th scale Joker Figure. Sideshow Collectibles proudly presents the first entry in their much anticipated DC Comics Sixth Scale collection, The Joker.
Inspired by classic comic portrayals, including his 1988 appearance in the fan favorite, The Killing Joke, The Joker Sixth Scale figure was designed and crafted with Sideshow's trademark attention to detail. Two heads are included, each capturing different eerie and unsettling expressions of the Clown Prince of Crime's deranged deviousness. Clothed in a perfectly plum, impeccably tailored and trademark suit, and accompanied by a vast array of diabolical accessories, Batman's arch rival is ready to wreak havoc and mayhem on the citizens of Gotham City.
The Joker Sixth Scale Figure features:
Two (2) Hand Painted Joker Head Sculpts
Revolver with 'BANG!' flag
Tailored Fabric Costume Includes: Pants, Vest, Shirt, Tuxedo Coat with Tails, Trench Coat, Argyle Socks, and White Spats
Cane with Jester Skull
Multiple Gloved Hands including 'Buzzer' Hand
Display Base with 'The Joker' Artwork
Stitches Debuts on Blu-ray and DVD April 2. World renowned British standup comedian Ross Noble stars as a murderous kids’ birthday party clown for Director Conor McMahon (Dead Meat, The Disturbed) in Stitches, debuting with special April Fools’ Day screenings in select cities on April 1, 2013. For fans who can’t catch the rampage on the big screen, Stitches will be available on VOD, Digital Download, Blu-ray, and DVD on April 2 from MPI /Dark Sky Films.
Years after a cruel kids’ prank during a birthday party for 8-year-old Tommy (Tommy Knight, Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures) left hired clown Richard “Stitches” Grindle (Ross Noble) dead on the kitchen floor, the childhood friends gather to plan a birthday bash to end all bashes. But they haven’t counted on the degenerate jester rising from the grave to seek vengeance on the children who mocked him and caused his grisly, untimely end.
Now Tommy and his teenage friends are on the run from an undead jokester who’s ready to use every trick in the book (and many that aren’t) to exact his revenge. Dead Meat writer-director Conor McMahon delivers a delirious slasher epic, a hilariously twisted and blood-soaked tale of one very bad clown with a talent for making balloon animals – but with one very hideous difference.
New Trailer for 6 Souls. After the death of her husband, Dr. Cara Harding's (Julianne Moore) faith in God has been shaken, but not her belief in science. In an attempt to open her up to accepting unexplainable psychiatric theories, her father introduces her to Adam, a patient with multiple personalities who takes on some of the physical characteristics of his other personalities. Cara quickly discovers that Adam’s other personalities are murder victims and the more she finds out about him and his past, the closer she and her loved ones are to becoming murder victims themselves.
Official Trailer for The Silence. The Silence begins 23 years ago on a hot summer day, when a young girl named Pia is brutally murdered in a field of wheat. Now, on the exact same date in the present, 13-year-old Sinikka is missing, her bicycle abandoned in the same spot. As Krischan, the retired investigator of the unresolved case, and his younger colleague David struggle to solve the mystery of these parallel crimes, Sinikka’s distraught parents are trapped in an agonizing period of waiting and uncertainty. Meanwhile, their daughter’s fate rips open old wounds in the heart of Pia’s mother, who is visited by an unexpected guest with an eerie connection to her daughter. The unrelenting summer heat lies over the quaint family homes like a bell jar and behind closed doors, worlds begin to fall apart. In theaters March 8.
Official Trailer for Come Out and Play. In Come Out and Play, Beth (Vinessa Shaw, 3:10 To Yuma) and Francis (Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Damages), a happy young couple expecting their first child, have come to Mexico for a romantic getaway. Francis insists on venturing by boat to a more serene locale, Beth hesitantly agrees. As they dock on a sun-kissed beach where children are playing and giggling, everything seems perfect at first. But as they wander the strangely empty streets, an atmosphere of unease sets in: an abandoned hotel, a distress call that repeatedly echoes from a radio set, the sense of being watched…the sound of children’s laughter drifting through the streets, but no adults in sight.
When Francis witnesses the violent death of an old man (Daniel Giménez Cacho, Bad Education) at the hands of a smiling little girl, a day in paradise quickly turns into a struggle for survival. Francis must protect his very pregnant wife from a pack of murderous children and get the couple off the island alive. An unsettling theme drives the starkly simple plot of COME OUT AND PLAY, Belarus-born filmmaker Makinov’s horror production based on Juan José Plan’s 1976 Spanish horror classic, El Juego De Niños. In select theaters March 22 and on VOD now.
The Walking Dead Minimates Series 3 coming this Spring. The dead cannot be stopped, and neither can the Walking Dead Minimates! With Series 2 in Toys "R" Us, comic shops and specialty stores now, Series 3 is gearing up for production from Diamond Select Toys! And like the first two series, it includes popular lead characters, short-lived favorites and zombies straight from the comic book pages!
Coming in Spring 2013, look for the following figures to hit comic shops and specialty stores:
Rick in Riot Gear and Guard Zombie
Dexter and Dreadlock Zombie
Prison Hershel and Farmer Zombie (comic shop and specialty store exclusive)
Prison Tyreese (Battle Damaged) and Farmer Zombie (comic shop and specialty store exclusive variant set)
At the same time, Toys "R" Us will get their own exclusive assortment:
Rick in Riot Gear and Guard Zombie
Dexter and Dreadlock Zombie
Bald Glenn with Vest Zombie (Toys "R" Us exclusive)
Carol with Pole Zombie (Toys "R" Us exclusive)
Trailer for Gallowwalkers starring Wesley Snipes. Gallowwalkers is the story of a mysterious gunman, Aman (Snipes), the son of a nun, who breaks her covenant with God to ensure his survival. Her break with God curses her son to be hunted by all those who die by his hand - When he takes revenge on a gang that murdered his love, the gang rises as a cursed crew of undead warriors and hunt him mercilessly, seeking their 'dying' revenge.
Official Trailer for Dark Feed. Ahead of its March 19 DVD release date we have the official trailer for Dark Feed. e film, a group of young professionals are terrorized while working in an abandoned psychiatric hospital when it appears that insanity is spreading among them like a virus. Michael and Shawn Rasmussen directed from a script they penned. They also wrote the screenplay to the 2010 asylum thriller John Carpenter’s The Ward.
Sleepy Hollow casting news. Fox has begun Casting for its new supernatural series Sleepy Hollow. The pilot, currently in the works under the direction of Len Wiseman, has cast Orlando Jones and Katia Winter. The series is created by Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci and finds Ichabod Crane teaming with a female sheriff in the town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate various mysteries.
Jones will play a detective transferred to Sleepy Hollow. Winter, meanwhile, will play Ichabod Crane's wife. The actress recently enjoyed a stint on Dexter as Nadia the stripper.
THE TERRIFYING REVIEWS
Horror Comics in Black and White book review (McFarland & Co. Publishers)
With all due respect to EC Comics and the other horror comics of the pre-code comic book era of the 1950s, there was simply nothing like the black and white comic book magazines of the 1960s and 1970s. This new book from McFarland provides both a history and catalog of those great magazines produced by companies such as Warren, Skywald, Marvel, and others.
Artist Stephen Bissette, a monster kid himself, provides the foreword to the book and talks about discovering these great magazines, and in particular the two Warren mags, Eerie and Creepy. His story could be told by any of us who grew up in the 60s or the 70s at the height of the popularity for these black & white mags. Because they were magazines and NOT comics, they did not fall under the authority of the comics code and thus could feature as much blood, gore, and terror as you could pack in their pages.
Author Richard J. Arndt traces the history of these comics from the first issue of Creepy in 1964. While the history runs right up to modern black and white mags, every fan knows that the real meat came in the 60s and 70s. Arndt gives an issue by issue breakdown of the major mags, providing the issue number, publication date, cover artist, story titles and artist/writer credits, as well as miscellaneous notes on each issue such as changes in pricing, page count, and other anecdotes on story and art.
Over half the book’s 290 page count is dedicated towards coverage of Warren’s magazines which might seem like a lot but also accurately reflects Warren’s dominance of the market. Skywald (the most underrated mag publisher) and Marvel also get their own chapters. Marvel fully embraced the black & white magazine concept with titles like Tomb of Dracula, Haunt of Horror, Monsters Unleashed, Tales of the Zombie, Vampire Tales, and many others. The next chapter covers smaller publishers like Major, Atlas/Seaboard, Quality and others before covering more modern day titles published by companies like Dark Horse and IDW.
The author notes that the publications of companies like Eerie (not to be confused with the Warren magazine) are not included as they published primarily reprint material from the 1950s. Eerie put out titles like Witches’ Tales, Terror Tales, Tales of Voodoo, and others from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. It’s disappointing that he chose not to include those. While they may have been reprints, they were still quality stories that likely no one in the 1970s had seen before anyway. Plus their titles featured some of the goriest covers ever, far more so than Warren. The content from the more modern era is so slight that its inclusion is a bit pointless. Better to have included the Eerie material but overall this is a great book and if you are a collector or thinking about collecting these mags this would be an indispensable resource.
Spiders DVD Review (Millennium Entertainment)
Films featuring giant rampaging bugs have been a staple in American cinema since the 1950s. Playing on the paranoid, Cold War era of the time these creatures were often the result of nuclear testing gone awry. But most of these films, certainly the best ones, were campy at their cores and they knew it. This made them fun then and most of them remain so today. We get no such campy fun in Spiders. This disheveled bore-fest starts with a ridiculous premise and ends with a silly mess of a military vs. giant spider battle that makes you long for the days of films like 1955’s Tarantula.
A Russian satellite, launched in the 1980s and filled with venomous spiders is struck by a meteor which sends it crashing into the New York City subway. But how a satellite filled with spiders managed to survive close to 30 years in space isn’t nearly as silly as why they were put there to begin with. Soon dozens of little spiders are crawling around and chasing the rats out of the subway and into the streets. The section of the city where the satellite crashed is quarantined by the U.S. military under the false story of a viral outbreak.
In reality the military, led by Colonel Jenkins (William Hope of Aliens), is working with a Russian scientist to harvest the eggs of the spiders, in particular the Queen. Seems the Russians discovered an extra-terrestrial craft in the 1980s and spliced alien DNA with that of a spider and launched them into orbit because apparently the lack of gravity makes them grow when they return or some such hooey. In any case the queen is capable of spinning an “infinite” amount of silk that is stronger than the most durable Kevlar and also provide stealth abilities. Now this is never touched on again in the film and in fact on several occasions we see characters easily cut through the silk.
Trapped within the quarantined area is the daughter of Jason and Rachel Cole. He is a supervisor with the Transit Authority and she is a doctor with the Health Department. As they try to sneak through the barriers to get through to their daughter, the spiders soon grow to massive sizes, quickly over-running the soldiers. The queen grows even larger, Several stories tall and long as she rampages through the streets battling the army.
Part of what made those 1950s fun was that the plots were simple. Radioactivity turns bugs big…bugs go on a rampage…military kills bugs. But Spiders mucks up that simple notion with all this silliness about alien DNA and super silk. It’s blatantly obvious the film was shot on some studio back lot. Even though the military has quarantined several blocks the only resident seems to be the Cole’s daughter. The actors look downright embarrassed and bored to be in the production. The CGI is the kind of quality you’d expect to find in the average SyFy channel production, i.e., bad! For some reason the spiders seem to have these almost cartoonish faces on them. And while the Army throws everything they have at the Queen including helicopter gunships, tanks, bazooka’s and dozens of soldiers with armored weapons, they don’t make a dent yet Jason Cole is able to fend her off at one point armed with nothing other than a pole. The giant spider film makes one giant splat!
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 Facebook and Twitter.