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Tuesday Terrors: Guillermo del Toro confirms DC Comics Dark Universe

The Munsters may not be dead at NBC

By Tim Janson     January 15, 2013
Source: Mania.com

This week in Tuesday Terrors we’ve got news on two Guillermo del Toro film projects, new horror trailers, and reviews of two new films and one new book.

 

Guillermo del Toro working on film project for DC Comics.  Guillermo del Toro is working on a film for DC Comic that will star a number of the company's supernatural characters. Similar in lineup to the current "Justice League Dark" series, the film version is being developed with the title Dark Universe.  The Pacific Rim director goes on to hint that the lineup for the project includes Swamp Thing, The Demon, John Constantine, Deadman, The Spectre and the father/daughter pair of Zatara and Zatanna.

 

Guillermo del Toro trying to find a home for At the Mountains of Madness.  Despite Universal giving up on the Lovecraft adaptation over budget concerns, del Toro is not giving up.  He is determined to find a home for the story.  He said in a recent interview, "I'm going to try it one more time. Once more into the dark abyss.  We're gonna do a big presentation of the project again at the start of the year and see if any [studio's] interested.”

 

Release date set for Jurassic Park 4.  Universal has announced that Jurassic Park 4 will be hitting theaters June 13, 2014 and will be in 3D.  Stephen Spielberg is set to produce the film.  But you need not wait another 17 months to get your Jurassic park fix.  Universal will be releasing the original film in 3D this April.

 

Trailer for The Call starring Halle Berry.  Directed by Brad Anderson who gave us Session 9, The Call concerns Emergency Call Center Operator Jordan (Halle Berry) who gets a call from Casey (Abigail Breslin) a teenage girl who has been abducted and carried away in the trunk of a car. The kidnapping plays out in real time as Jordan and Casey work together to track down the killer.

 

Diamond Select Toys Ranked #1 Toy Company.  Diamond Select Toys ranked first among all collectable toy manufacturers in sales to the comic book specialty market for the year 2012.  The ranking was based on toy sales to over 3,500 comic book shops and specialty stores serviced by DCD, primarily in North America. DST's strong year was driven by successful product lines for several prominent licenses, including The Walking Dead, Marvel's The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Comics, Knight Rider, Universal Monsters and The Munsters.

 

A line of Minimates based on the comic book The Walking Dead got off to a strong start in 2012, with Series 1 selling out at comic shops nationwide, alongside a vinyl bank based on one of the book's many zombies. Electronic vehicles and Minimate vehicles for Knight Rider and The Munsters performed well for DST, and their new assortments of Munsters Select and Universal Monsters Select action figures have been embraced by both old and new fans.

 

Dark Feed coming from Lionsgate.  I’m a sucker for a horror film set in an abandoned asylum and Lionsgate will release Dark Feed this March on DVD.  A film crew moves to an abandoned psychiatric hospital with a shadowy past to shoot a low budget horror film.  The late nights and lack of sleep begin to take a toll, and the longer this crew works, the more the leaky, wet building seems to be coming back to life, feeding off its new inhabitants.  As the shoot wears on, members of the crew exhibit increasingly strange behavior leaving those still sane realizing they need to get out of this place before they too succumb to the building’s infectious hold. The only problem - the old hospital is not ready to let them go.

 

Munsters Not dead at NBC?  While Mockingbird Lane is dead as a series, the Munsters themselves are not.  In a recent interview NBC head Bob Greenblatt addressed the issue: “We just decided that it (Mockingbird Lane) didn’t hold together well enough to yield a series.  It looked beautiful and original and creative, but it just all ultimately didn’t come together…it just didn’t ultimately creatively all work.  I won’t say we won’t do another version of The Munsters again."  

 

So take that for what it’s worth…

 

Quickie trailer for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.  The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a first-person action survival game that brings to life the authentic, heart-stopping horrors of the AMC Emmy® award-winning TV series The Walking Dead. In the game, players assume the role of the crossbow-wielding survivor Daryl Dixon (voiced by Norman Reedus from AMC's hit TV series) alongside his brother Merle (voiced by costar Michael Rooker). Together, they embark on a haunting, unforgiving quest across the Georgia countryside.  Activision has confirmed that the game will be released in North America on March 26 (just days before the season 3 finale. 

 

Phase 4 Films delivers Bad Kids go to Hell.  Phase 4 films has announced that they have acquired distribution rights to Bad Kids Go to Hell from  filmmakers Matthew Spradlin and Barry Wernick.  The film, based on the popular comic book series of the same name, tells the tale of six private school students locked in a Saturday detention with a killer on the loose.  No DVD date has been announced.

 

First look at Hemlock Grove, new Netflix series.  Here is the first trailer from the new Netflix original series Hemlock Grove from Producer Eli Roth.  The series stars stars Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard, Landon Liboiron, Penelope Mitchell, Freya Tingley, and Dougray Scott.  The series revolves around the eccentric residents of a dilapidated former Pennsylvania steel town and the murder of 17-year-old Brooke Bluebell.  Through the investigation, the town's seamier side is exposed, revealing that nothing is what it seems.

 

Texas Chainsaw 4 planned.  With Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D enjoying a successful opening run, Milennium Films is already developing the next sequel and will begin shooting later this year in Louisiana.  

 

First trailer for The Last Exorcism Part 2. Part 2 picks u where the first film left off, when teenage Nell Sweetzer is found dirty and terrified in the woods having just escaped a demon ritual in which a cult helped her give birth to a demon baby.  Confused and scared, Nell is examined by doctors but she doesn’t remember much about the previous few months except that as a result of everything, her family is now dead.  She is moved into Davreaux – a girls’ halfway house in New Orleans, where she will try to put her life back together with the help of the therapist, Frank Merle.  She even begins to date a boy named Chris and starts a job at a local hotel.  But something doesn’t feel right to Nell.  She is being sought after by the demon who possessed her in the first LAST EXORCISM.  It wants Nell, but in a different way than before…

 

THE TERRIFYING REVIEWS

 

War of the Dead (Entertainment One) Blu-Ray review

Grade: D

 

Ok what is the deal with zombie Nazis?  Do Nazi’s really need to be demonized anymore beyond the fact that they are Nazis?  This Lithuanian horror film is supposedly based upon real World War II events about the Nazi’s performing “anti-death” experiments in a bunker on the Russian border in 1939.  Two years later a contingent of U.S. and Finnish soldiers are sent to investigate the bunker.  The film was originally titled the innocuous “Stone’s War” and evidently some smart person in the marketing department realized how stupid that title sounded and re-titled it “War of the Dead” to at least give it a fighting chance…no pun intended.  

 

Red flags are raised right from the beginning.  There’s not a single soldier who remotely looks like he is actually an American.  The U.S. Platoon leader, Captain Stone, is played by Andrew Tiernan, a Brit, who does a commendable job as a crusty American soldier.  Knowing this, Director Marko Mäkilaakso cleverly kills off the rest of the Americans rather quickly.  Oh and while we’re at it, not that I’m trying to prove my military expertise but Captains generally do not lead a small squad such as this.  That would typically be a Sergeant or a Corporal.  It appears they bought whatever uniforms the costume department could afford as they a mixed up bag and most of them end up looking like German soldiers.

 

As they move towards the bunker they are attacked by undead soldiers who literally fall out of the trees.  They beat a hasty retreat to an old cabin to regroup where they find a young Russian soldier holed up.  And blah blah…by this time I had the disc on double speed hoping to get to something more interesting but it was not forthcoming.  Eventually they get to the German Bunker and have a final showdown against the Nazi zombie troops and their leader but by this time if you haven’t lost interest you have more patience than me.  

 

War of the Dead has a snail’s pace punctuated by bad acting and weak makeup effects making this zombie film dead on arrival.

 

Creep Van (Inception) DVD Review

Grade: C+

 

Creep Van is set and shot in the Detroit area where I am from and it’s always great to have films shot in your area.  Creep Van is one part 1970s comedy “Car Wash”, one part evil car movie, and one part SAW…how’s that for an eclectic stew?  Campbell is a down on his luck guy whose life is complicated by not having a car.  After failing at several jobs the only employment he can find is at a Detroit car wash.  

 

Like the 1970s comedy “Car Wash” part of the charm of Creep Van is that the film is populated with a diverse group of goofball characters.  Campbell’s two co-workers are pothead slackers; his roommate wears Luchador costumes and has sex with women in a doghouse; and then there is a small-time gangster/Swami who runs a hippie-like cult and apparently sells pot on the side.

 

The absurdity of the characters and situations is contrasted by a mysterious, rundown old van whose owner has turned it into a deathtrap on wheels.  Metal blades come down and slice victims in half in the windows; pulleys attached to the seatbelts squeeze the life out of seat occupants; spikes shoot through the back of the carseats to impale people; and, well, you get the picture.  

 

The Creep puts a “for sale” sign on the van to attract his victims and Campbell finds himself caught up in the deadly game when he calls about buying the van.  Soon he an new girlfriend Amy are fighting for their lives against the man and his van of horrors.

 

Separately as a straight horror or straight comedy there are a couple of good films here.  The problem is the two elements don’t blend all that well.  Despite some excessively gory kills it’s hard to take the action all that serious with the rest of the silliness going on.  Add to that there’s some serious gaffs.  Brian says he lives in Mount Clemens (a suburb about a ½ north of Detroit) yet when his roommate is killed the cops say they are from the Detroit Police Department…but they are driving Wayne Country Sheriff cruisers.  And while the car wash he works at is supposed to be in Detroit, we clearly see a sign in the background that reads “12 Mile Rod” which would place it four miles outside of the Detroit city limits.

 

So ok, unless you’re from the area you’re not going to notice these mistakes but it still means lazy and shoddy filmmaking as all of these elements would have been easily fixable.  The performances aren’t terrible.  Some, like Collin Bernsen as Swami Ted, are quite fun.  Ultimately Creep Van is just too uneven to rise above mediocre.

 

 

Movie Monsters in Scale by Mark C. Glassy (McFarland Publishers) Book Review

Grade: A

 

Monster kids, those kids who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s are very familiar with monster model kits.  Who didn’t have Aurora or Revell model kits back in the day.  While acting as an homage to those great kits of that era, Mark C. Glassy kits is actually aimed at garage kit enthusiasts.  The Garage Kit hobby took off in the mid-1980s as fans literally began molding their own kits in their garages or basements.  So popular was the hobby that magazines like The Amazing Figure Modeler began popping up to service the burgeoning industry.  

 

Soon there were a dozen or so manufacturers of these kits like Horizon, Monsters in Motion, Screamin’, Halcyon, and Resin Crypt.  Glassy, who holds a PhD in biochemistry, traces the origins of the GK industry and also provides details on the creation process for aspiring modelers.  He also goes into all the details you need in terms of your tools, paints, glues, putty and clays, electronics, and more.  

 

Next Glassy takes the reader on a step-by-step instructional tour of molding your model, pinning and gluing the pieces together, sanding, building dioramas, painting, color and effects, and displaying.  Now this makes up the first 30 pages of the 200+ page book.  The bulk of it takes a look at hundreds of garage kits featuring fantastic photography.

 

Glassy sorts these in chronological order, beginning with the kits that covered the silent age of horror and sci-fi.  Glassy first gives notes about the film that the kit is based on and then provides the kit credits: Sculptor, manufacturer, and details on how each piece was created.  The silent era films covered include classics such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Nosferatu, and The Phantom of the Opera.

 

From there we move into the Universal classic horror films of the 1930s and 1940s: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, Bride of Frankenstein, etc…next is the classic sci-fi films of the 1950s like The Day the Earth Stood Still, War of the Worlds, The Thing from Another World, and Them!

 

You cannot help but marvel at the incredible skill of these artists and sculptors.  Whether you are a modeling fan or just a fan of the films, this is a gorgeous book to own.

 

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.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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reek 1/16/2013 7:57:37 PM

After seeing the ads for Last Stand, I think it's Juraissic Park 4 is great news for Schwarzenegger; It's probably the only lead he's still suited for and the Speilberg series would finally have an "A" list dinosaur.  I'm not sure Arnie could still toss a Ford Explorer though.  As for the Munsters/Mockingbird Lane, even though the project is DOA I'm still waiting for the announcement that it was all an elaborate April Fool's Day 2012 prank.  Most of the rest of this soundslike the same old B grade horror studd except del Toro doing a Lovecraft adaptation could be pretty sweet.  Not as confident about a Vertigo Avengers project though.  I would like to see one or two other stand alones first to help cement the concept.  A reboot with a damn limey Constantine with Etrigan as a villain would be first on my list followed by the Spectre.  Still, at least they're pitching.

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