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Mania Terrors: New Walking Dead and Evil Dead Toys

Plus 3 New Film Reviews

By Tim Janson     January 13, 2014
Source: Mania.com


All your Horror News from Mania!
© Mania.com
After a long holiday hiatus, Mania Terrors returns with the latest news and reviews from the world of horror including the first pic from the upcoming “The Strain” TV series, and looks at three new horror films.
 
THE TERRIFYING NEWS
 
Band of Brothers meets The Walking Dead! In World War II, Stalin created a top secret nerve gas, which went missing shortly after the Battle of Stalingrad.  Over seventy years later, the horrific biochemical weapon resurfaces in modern day Bulgaria, turning the local inhabitants into frenzied mutants and causing the dead to rise from the grave. Amidst the chaos, US Special Forces Captain John McGahey (Paul Logan) and NATO Doctor Ana Bennett (Manal El-Feitury) must escape the infected zone before the Code Red alert is raised and everything is destroyed.  Now, it's survival at all costs...and they only have 24 hours to reach freedom.  On DVD February 4.

IDW to Publish ‘In The Dark’ Horror Anthology. IDW has announced it will publish In The Dark, a new comic collection that features more than 20 original horror stories.  Coming in April, In The Dark dives into a myriad of sinister horror stories from writers including Justin Jordan, Cullen Bunn, Steve Niles, Duane Swierczynski, Tom Taylor, Tim Seeley, Brian Keene, F. Paul Wilson, Ed Brisson, Marguerite Bennett, Valerie D’Orazio, Paul Tobin, James Tynion IV, and many more. Nate Powell, Tradd Moore, Damien Worm, Tyler Jenkins, Drew Moss, and Andy Belanger are just a few of distinguished artists that will give each tale a unique and distinct style.
 
McFarlane announces Walking Dead Series Comic Series 3 figures.  McFarlane Toys is excited to announce The Walking Dead Comic Series 3 action figures from the best-selling Image comic book. This new collectible series brings The Walking Dead comic fans more of their beloved zombie-dispatching characters, along with a kickass zombie just waiting to be “axed”!  The Series 3 figures will include Rick, Andrea, Dwight, and a punk zombie.
 
First pic from del Toro’s “The Strain” TV series.  FX has placed a 13-episode order for the drama series The Strain from Academy Award nominated Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, author Chuck Hogan and writer/producer Carlton Cuse, which is based on the best-selling vampire novel trilogy of the same title written by del Toro and Hogan. The Strain begins production later this month in Toronto and the series is scheduled to premiere in July of 2014 on FX.  The ensemble cast stars Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Robert Maillet, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, and Miguel Gomez. 
 
The Strain is a high concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.  Below is a pic courtesy of Yahoo TV.
 
Trailer for Reasonable Doubt starring Samuel L. Jackson.  When up-and-coming District Attorney Mitch Brockden  commits a fatal hit-and-run, he feels compelled to manipulate the case to acquit the accused criminal who was found with the body and blamed for the crime.  Following the trial, Mitch’s worst fears come true when he realizes that his actions freed a guilty man, and he soon finds himself on the hunt for the killer before more victims pile up.

 
Machine Head coming from Anchor Bay in March.  The deserts of Los Ranchos, CA isn’t your standard spring break destination, but it’s p-a-r-t-y time when a young girl's wealthy father gives her the keys to his amazing desert ranch house.  She and her hot girlfriends plan a wild spring break vacation getaway to take full advantage of this lavish vacation oasis. But like all good intentions, the road it paves becomes a living hell…
 
During the drive to the house, the girls find themselves terrorized by a mysterious black muscle car on the highway.  They soon realize they have been lured into a sick game of high-octane terror.  “Machine Head” unleashes a motorized fury unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The girls will do whatever it takes to cross the finish line alive!  Arrives on DVD March 25.

 
Evil Dead 2 Hero Ash 8-Inch Retro Action Figure Coming in May.  This May you can get your retro fix with this fantastic version of Bruce Campbell as Ash fromEvil Dead 2! This poseable 8-inch figure is dressed in tailored fabric clothing similar to the retro toy lines that helped define the licensed action figure market in the 1970s. Hero Ash is based on his iconicEvil Dead 2appearance with the infamous chainsaw on his right arm, torn shirt and sawed off shotgun. He comes complete with sawed off shotgun and holster on his back for storage and is entirely faithful to the movie. Blister card packaging with removable protective clamshell and custom illustrated artwork.
 

Teaser Trailer for new “Salem” TV series.  This spring, WGN America will be releasing an original TV series set in 17th century Massachusetts, titled Salem. “Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, SALEM explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth hiding behind the veil of this infamous period in American history. In SALEM, witches are real, but they are not who or what they seem. The show, which centers on an epic romance wrapped around this explosive revelation, delivers a bold new vision of Salem — and an even bolder new vision of witches.” 

 
Robert McCammon’s “The Wolf’s Hour” optioned for the big screen.  Horror writer Robert McCammon’s novel The Wolf’s Hour has been picked up by Universal Films.  It is 1944. A message from Paris warns Allied Intelligence of something big in the works—something which might have serious implications for D-Day. The only way to get more information from the agent in Paris—now closely watched by the Gestapo—is to send in a personal courier.Russian émigré Michael Gallatin is picked for the job. In retirement as a secret agent since a grisly episode in North Africa, Gallatin is parachuted into occupied France, on a mission which will take him to the festering heart of the Third Reich on the scent of doomsday.
 
As a master spy, Gallatin has proved he can take on formidable foes—and kill them. As a passionate lover, he attracts beautiful women. But there is one extra factor which makes Michael Gallatin a unique special agent—he is a werewolf, able to change form almost at will, able to assume the body of a wolf and its capacity to kill with savage, snarling fury.In the madness of war, Gallatin hunts his prey—ready to out-think his opponents with his finely-tuned brain. Or tear their throats out with his finely-honed teeth…
 
Trailer for Eli Roth’s “Clown”.  Clown began as a fake trailer three years ago directed by Jon Watts.  The trailer garnered Eli Roth's attention and he loved it, coming on board to shepherd the feature film.  Watts directed the feature and Robot and Frank scribe Christopher D. Ford provided the script.  In Clown, a man dresses up as a clown for a birthday celebration and slowly transforms into something hideous.  From Dimension Films.

Dolph Lundgren in Zombie film, “Battle of the Damned”  Coming to DVD February 18 from Anchor Bay.  When a deadly virus is accidentally released into a major city, its population is quarantined by military blockade. And for a wealthy industrialist desperate to rescue his daughter from inside the rabid chaos, his only hope is former commando Max Gatling (Lundgren). Now Gatling has one day to bust in, blast through hordes of the undead, find the girl, and hunt for a way to get them both out alive. But will a small band of survivors and an army of killer robots turn his mission into maximum slaughter?
 

Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz coming in March.  The third film in the Outpost series hits VOD January 21st and DVD on March 18th.  In this installment?), we discover the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers as they battle the most ruthless and notorious of all military special forces: the Russian Spetsnaz.  
 

Trailer for Get Even, new horror videogame. Farm 51, the developers of Painkiller: Hell & Damnation are back with a follow up shooter called Get Even.  Though not expected till 2015, we have the first trailer to get us excited about the possibilities.In a constant desire to blur the line between gaming and reality, Get Even will adapt similar system to Dark Souls, which allows players to infiltrate other game systems, be it friends or strangers on line, and take control of the enemies of the game.  This alone can make for some very interesting, scary, and yes, even funny situations.  The game is currently being developed for PS4, XBOX One, and PC.
 

 
THE HORRIFYING REVIEWS
 
Cassadaga (Archstone)
Grade: C+
 
Lily Morel is a blind art student who is devastated by the recent death of her younger sister.  She accepts a scholarship at a small, private college in the spiritualist community of Cassadaga.  The school is run by an elderly woman named Claire (Louise Fletcher) and Lily is allowed to move into an old house on the property.  Shortly after arriving Lily, who is also helping teach art at a local elementary school, meets Mike (Kevin Alejandro of “True Blood”) and they begin dating.  Along with some friends they visit a local spirit medium so Lily can try to contact her sister.  But the séance goes awry and they end up contacting a vengeful spirit.
 
Lily learns she’s being haunted by the spirit of another young woman who attended the school and fell prey to a psychotic killer who abducts women and severs their limbs to turn them into human marionettes.  Lily has to unravel the mystery of the murdered girl before the killer can make her his next victim.
 
Cassadaga isn’t overflowing with scares but it does feature a mystery you can sink your teeth into with several red herrings along the way.  For a film with a tiny budget it manages to make its handful of scares count to maximum effectiveness.  In a weakly contrived sub-plot Mike is forced to end his relationship with Lily as his ex-wife wants to use her instability against him in a custody case over his daughter.  It is unneeded padding on a film that runs about 15 minutes too long.  While the supporting cast of Fletcher and Alejandro is strong, Kelen Coleman in the lead role as Lily doesn’t have the acting chops to carry most of the action as she is being asked to do. 

 
We Are What We Are (Entertainment One)
Grade: B-
 
The Parkers are a small-town and seemingly wholesome rural family but they harbor a dark secret.  The father, Frank Parker, rules the family consisting of teenage daughters Rose and Iris, and young son Rory, with a puritanical dedication to his family’s legacy.  That legacy, dating back to the 1700s, includes the murder and consuming the body of their victim in an annual feast just as any other family would celebrate Thanksgiving.
 
When Frank’s wife passes away, the responsibly of assisting him with killing the victims now falls to eldest daughter Iris.  But she and Rose are hesitant, desiring only to be normal teenagers. As they prepare themselves for their ghoulish feast, the local doctor begins unraveling the clues that will reveal their cannibalistic legacy and lead him to discover what happened to his own daughter who went missing.
 
We Are What We Are is a slow moving film and despite its subject matter it is extremely light on blood and gore.  The film was directed by Jim Mickle who directed the excellent 2010 vampire film “Stake Land”.  Like that film, this one also relies heavily on characterization and atmosphere.  To that end he employs much of the same cast and crew including actors Kelly McGillis and Nick Damici, Cinematographer Ryan Samul, and composer Jeff Grace.  The film has the same somber and often gloomy tone as Stake Land.  The killing and eating of the body isn’t done for gruesome effect but rather as a reluctant but respectful almost religious observance of a family tradition.  Thus the film never becomes over the top.  Might be too slow moving for some horror fans and runs a tad too long but all in all and interesting and very different type of horror film.


Sanitarium (RLJ Entertainment)
Grade: C+

Sanitarium is an anthology consisting of three stories of patients in an unnamed sanitarium, tied together by the onscreen narration by Malcolm McDowell who plays Dr. Stenson.  The first tale features John Glover as a sculptor who is being drugged with hallucinogenics by his assistant in hope of getting him to sell his work.  The drugs make Gustav think his clay sculptures are talking to him…and they are telling him to kill.

The second story tells the tale of a young man who was abused by his father as a child and conjures up a monster from his imagination to help him.  In the final segment, Lou Diamond Phillips is a professor obsessed with the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse theory.  He builds a bunker to survive the disaster but at what turns out to be a terrible cost.

Sanitarium features a solid cast that also includes Robert Englund and Lacey Chabert but the stories are just not that interesting.  They are stories that have been told before and offer nothing new. Most disappointing is that the wraparound story with McDowell goes nowhere.  He’s simply a doctor relating case histories and the script gives him little to do.  The second story clouds the line between schizophrenia and the supernatural and its conclusion is left vague.  While there’s certainly performances here to enjoy the entire package is lackluster.

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