Wow do I have a ton of stuff for you this week…I’ve got reviews of new films Resident Evil: Damnation and The Hole, new action figures from NECA, and 9 new horror film trailers. We’ve also got news about the new Norman Bates so read on…
THE TERRIFYING NEWS
Document of the Dead coming to Blu-ray. Synapse Films is bringing Roy Frumkes’ amazing 1978 documentary Document of the Dead - an intimate look at George Romero’s creative process and the making of Dawn of the Dead - is coming to Blu-ray and DVD in a new edition on November 13th.
This newly re-edited and re-mastered 2012 version of the award-winning documentary will contain all-new exclusive material including additional interviews with Romero’s family and friends, candid on-set footage.
The Ghostmaker is coming! The Ghostmaker arrives on DVD November 13th, courtesy of Lionsgate. A group of friends discover an ancient coffin equipped with a strange mechanism that allows them to experience the world as a ghost. While their first attempt into the spirit world is innocent, the coffin soon brings out their most dangerous impulses and desires. As they are being pulled into a world of evil by the reaper they soon discover there’s a thin line between good and evil.
Cemetery Dances announces Shivers 7 with Stephen King and Clive Barker. Cemetery Dance Publications is pleased to announce SHIVERS 7, the next volume in their award-winning and best-selling anthology series! This volume features more than two dozen stories including extremely rare reprints by STEPHEN KING and CLIVE BARKER. Other authors include Ed Gorman, Bill Pronzini, Lisa Tuttle, Graham Masterton, Kaaron Warren, Del James, Lisa Morton, Roberta Lannes, Scott Nicholson, Bev Vincent, Brian James Freeman, Norman Prentiss, and many others! Due Winder 2012/2013.
"Weeds" by Stephen King was originally published in Cavalier magazine in May 1976 and in Nugget magazine in April 1979, but has not been reprinted since, although it was adapted as "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" for Creepshow in 1982.
"The Departed" by Clive Barker was originally published as "Hermione and the Moon" in The New York Times on October 30, 1992.
Check out the Sinister Red Band Trailer. Sinister is a frightening new thriller from the producer of the Paranormal Activity films and the writer-director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose.. Ethan Hawke plays a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a nightmarish experience of supernatural horror.
Walking Dead Minimates Series Two coming in November. This September, the world of Minimates has been invaded by zombies! The first series of Minimates based on the Walking Dead comic book by Robert Kirkman hit earlier this month, and Diamond Select Toys is already hard at work on the second series, slated for a November release. Like the first assortment, every human character will come with a zombie, and there will be a zombie two-pack to help pad out your zombie herd.
The specialty assortment for Series 2 includes:
Michonne with One-Eyed Zombie
Sailor Zombie and "Cute" Zombie
Andrea with Stabbed Zombie (specialty exclusive)
Amy with Stabbed Zombie (specialty exclusive rare variant set)
The Toys "R" Us assortment for Series 2 includes:
Michonne with One-Eyed Zombie
Sailor Zombie and "Cute" Zombie
Lori with Zombie Mike (TRU exclusive)
Morgan with Zombie Terry (TRU exclusive)
Magnet snags rights to Here Comes the Devil. Magnet Releasing announced at Fantastic Fest that it has acquired North American rights to Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s HERE COMES THE DEVIL. The announcement was made to an excited crowd at the 11:20pm screening at the Alamo South Lamar. Already lauded by the crowd who loved its spirit, scares and sensibility at the Toronto International Film Festival, HERE COMES THE DEVIL combines modern indie filmmaking and storytelling with a hint of ‘70s-styled psychological horror that may not just be psychological. Francisco Barreiro and Lura Caro are parents whose preteen son and daughter inexplicably reappear after being lost overnight on a desolate, cave-riddled mountainside after a casual hike became every parent’s nightmare. The good luck and good fortune of their return soon changes, as the children’s behavior suggests ominous and unspeakable events the night the children were lost that continue even now. As a loving couple – and loving parents – try to care for and protect their children, the ancient and half-whispered legends around the caves and the mountain and those who have gone there before become too strange to believe … and too dangerous, no matter how insane, to ignore.
Official Trailer for Citadel. We are pleased to share the official trailer for CITADEL, the upcoming psychological thriller by Ciarán Foy. The film stars Aneurin Barnard as Tommy, who is left to raise his newborn daughter alone after being attacked with his pregnant wife in a shocking act of violence. When his life becomes terrorized once again, Tommy must overcome his fears and extreme agoraphobia to venture into the heart of the abandoned tower block known as the CITADEL to save his family.
Legendary Comics Releases Tower Chronicles Vol. 1 on 9/26! On September 26th, Legendary Comics releases The Tower Chronicles: Geisthawk - Volume 1! Written by Matt Wagner (Grendel and Mage), developed with Thomas Tull (300 and The Dark Knight), and featuring art by Simon Bisley (Lobo, 200 AD) The Tower Chronicles is the tale of John Tower, a supernatural bounty hunter. His missions lead him into mankind's most dangerous places to banish poltergeists, demons, and other supernatural evils that plague his “sometimes respectable” patrons.
Official Trailer for The Collection. When Elena's (Emma Fitzpatrick) friends take her to a secret party at an undisclosed location, she never imagined she would become the latest victim of The Collector, a psychopathic killer. The Collector kidnaps and transports her to an abandoned hotel he's transformed into his own private maze of torture and death. Upon learning of his daughter's disappearance, Elena's wealthy father (Christopher McDonald) hires a group of mercenaries to retrieve her from the vicious grips of The Collector. These mercenaries coerce Arkin (Josh Stewart), the only man to have escaped the wrath of this heinous monster, to lead them through the gruesome labyrinth. Now, Arkin finds himself fighting for his own life in order to save Elena. "The Collection," directed by Marcus Dunstan and written by Dunstan and Patrick Melton, is a suspense horror film with nonstop thrills at every turn, starring Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises), Emma Fitzpatrick (The Social Network), and Christopher McDonald (Requiem for a Dream).
Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines comes to DVD/Blu-ray in time for Halloween. The cutting-edge terror continues when a small mining town hosts the legendary Mountain Man Festival on Halloween, where crowds of costumed partygoers gather for a wild night of music and mischief. But a killer celebration soon gives way to a blood-soaked feeding frenzy when an inbred family of hillbilly cannibals trick and treat themselves to a group of visiting college students who are just dying for a good time...Coming October 23.
Anchor Bay releases new clip for “Excision”. Based on a short film of the same name, Excision follows a disturbed and delusional high school student, Pauline (McCord), with aspirations of a career in medicine, goes to extremes to earn the approval of her controlling mother (Traci Lords). While dealing with being an outcast teenager and obsession over curing her sister’s cystic fibrosis, Pauline becomes continually deranged as her fascination of the surgery and the human flesh grows into something abysmal and demonic.
Anchor Bay to distribute Rob Zombie’s “The Lords of Salem”. It’s official! The distribution for the new Rob Zombie film goes to Anchor Bay. The movie stars his wife Sheri Moon Zombie as a Salem, Massachusetts radio station DJ named Heidi who is sent a record inside a wooden box which triggers flashbacks to the town's violent past. It also stars Meg Foster, Ernest Thomas, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Torsten Voges, Bruce Davison, Billy Drago, Richard Lynch, Lisa Marie, Maria Conchita Alonso, Ken Foree, Barbara Crampton, Michael Berryman and Sid Haig.
First Trailer for “Children of Sorrow”. In the film a young woman embeds herself in a cult looking for answers to her sister’s disappearance, only to find a dark secret within the cult and an even darker secret within herself.
Meet the new Norman Bates! A&E has announced that Freddie Highmore will play Norman Bates in its new 2013 series “Bates Motel”. Joining him is Vera Farmiga as "Mother" Bates. The series goes into the background of how Norman Bates' psyche developed from his childhood through his teen years. Fans will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn first hand how his mother, Norma, and her love damaged Norman, helped forge the most well-known serial killing motel owner in history.
The Official trailer for Guilermo Del Toro’s “Mama”. Starring Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the film tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their mother was murdered. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night. Mama opens in theaters January 18th.
New Trailer for The Walking Dead Season 3. AMC has released a new, but short trailer for The Walking Dead Season 3. You’re welcome…
Trailer for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. Directed by John Luessenhop and starring Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Trey Songz, Gunnar Hansen and many more, the horror project continues the legendary story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic left off in Newt, Texas, where for decades people went missing without a trace. The townspeople long suspected the Sawyer family, owners of a local barbecue pit, were somehow responsible. Their suspicions were finally confirmed one hot summer day when a young woman escaped the Sawyer house following the brutal murders of her four friends. Word around the small town quickly spread, and a vigilante mob of enraged locals surrounded the Sawyer stronghold, burning it to the ground and killing every last member of the family – or so they thought.
THE HORRIFYING REVIEWS
The Hole DVD Review (Big Air Studios)
Joe Dante, director of “The Howling’ and “Gremlins” returns to the horror genre for the first time in years with a bit of a light entry via the PG-13 rated “The Hole”. Dane Thompson 17, his brother Lucas 10, and their mom Susan (Teri Polo) move from New York City to the small suburban town of Bensonville. Dane is not happy about the move because you know, in films teenagers are NEVER happy about moving. While mom is working, Dane and Lucas discover a hatch in their basement that is secured with numerous padlocks. Discover the keys to the locks, they open the hatch to find a seemingly bottomless hole.
Along with cute next door neighbor Julie (Haley Bennett), they begin to explore the tunnel but also begin to experience strange supernatural phenomena such as seeing the ghost of a little girl walking around their house and a eerie toy clown talking to Lucas. They track down the former owner of the house named Creepy Carl to find out more about the hole. Now living in an abandoned factory Carl chastises them for removing the locks and warms them all that the darkness will come for them all.
The Hole is an effective chiller early on and has some light goosebump-raising moments, mostly involving the spectral little girl and the ghost of a cop, complete with the back of his head blown off. But Dante spoils some of the scares by making things too whimsical at the end. When Dane has to go into the hole to find Lucas he encounters en evil spirit taking the shape of his abusive father who has forced the family to move constantly. Dane finally has to stand up to his father, his greatest fear, in order to overcome whatever presence is in the hole. Bruce Dern is wonderfully wacky in a small role as Crazy Carl. Not for hardcore fans but it’s a fun film for families on a Saturday Night.
Resident Evil: Damnation Blu-Ray Review (Sony Home Entertainment)
Resident Evil: Damnation is feature-length computer-animated film and the sequel to 2008’s Resident Evil: Degeneration. The animated films have no tie-in continuity wise with the live action film series. The film concerns the fictional country of “East Slavic Republic” a former Soviet bloc nation that is in the midst of a civil war. The freedom fighters are utilizing BOW’s (Bio-organic weapons) in their war with government forces. They have found a way to control “Lickers” (those 4 legged beasts with the long tongues) by creating a bond with them by injecting themselves with the plague virus.
Leon Kennedy returns as the protagonist. Leon is in the East Slavic Republic on a mission for the U.S. Governement. When he’s ordered to abort the mission he ignores the order, determined to find out what’s going on. He’s captured by a group of freedom fighters and makes the discovery that they have found a way to control the Lickers. Unknown to Leon, spy Ada Wong is pretending to work with the President Svetlana Belikova in order to discover their research into bio-organic weapons. It all culminates in a titanic battle between the freedom fighters Lickers and the government bio-engineered giants.
Resident Evil: Damnation is a gorgeous looking animated film. I truly makes the line between animation and live action thinner than ever. There’s an incredible fluidity to the animation and beautiful lighting and shading effects that amps ups the realistic look of the film. The 3d character models are also gorgeously rendered. Visually there are no complaints. The story is another thing. For a major portion of the film I found myself unsure of whom to root for. Sure Leon was helping the freedom fighters but they were the ones using the BOW’s which have been outlawed by the world community. The plot did a poor job of setting up one side or the other as the antagonist and it wasn’t until the last third that the veil was lifted and true motives revealed. And the ending was stunted due to a weakly delivered deus ex machina plot device.
The blu-ray features a making of documentary, gag reel, and a featurette.
NECA Friday the 13th and Evil Dead II figures (NECA Toys)
The calendar might still say September but in my mind it’s Halloween season and time to look at some new releases from NECA that are terrifying store shelves right now!
First up is Evil Dead II which was released late Summer and features Hero Ash and Deadite figure, Henrietta.
Standing nearly a full 7″ tall, Hero Ash does indeed include the pictured possessed deer head accessory, as well as his Boomstick sawed-off shotgun and Chainsaw Arm! Ash also has over 20 points of articulation to make him fully poseable and ready for anything. This is a beautifully detailed sculpt! Ash is looking like his usual beaten down self with torn shirt, claw marks on his abs, touches of blood here and there, and best of all, an “Oh God why me?” look on his face.
And that look is likely in response to seeing the “lovely” Henrietta. Ah yes, the lovely Henrietta. Henrietta has the distinction of being the first true Deadite action figure NECA has done (that’s counting the Deadite Ash figure as about half a real Deadite), and aside from being ridiculously ugly, she’s also totally accurate to the movie, right down to the clear stand she comes with to recreate the floating effect as seen on screen! Henrietta comes with an interchangeable head with extended bendable neck! See? She’s more than just great looks.
Henrietta is a bulbous mass of floating horror, her rotten body covered with juicy decomposing wounds and her face caught in a scream of sheer terror.
Next up is NECA’s Series 1 Friday the 13th figures featuring two different versions of the loveable Jason Voorhees. Battle Damaged Jason has taken a couple shots to the head, but with that machete and an extra axe, in case your head’s harder to take off than initially anticipated. Jason’s signature hockey mask has a nice machete gouge in it but that’s nothing compared to removing the mask and seeing an even more gruesome wound to Jason’s skull. But he’s a tough little guy and he can shake it off.
It’s a face only Mrs. Voorhees could love. Or, you know, not. Either way, he’s the Definitive Jason Voorhees 7″ action figure. Jason comes with his signature machete and spear gun. You can see that handsome mug of his by removing his mask.
Both of these Friday the 13th figures are based on Friday the 13th Part III and are the same but for the different accessories and head. In fact the Definitive Jason I have has the blood stain on the knee which actually shows as being part of the Battle Damaged Jason. But like all NECA sculpts these are extremely well made…heavy, tight joints, nice fitting accessories, and they pose extremely well. I would have liked to seen a Jason who was a bit more bulkier like the Kane Hodder version but as they’re based on Part III I suppose they are accurate.
A Book of Horrors (St. Martin’s Griffin) Stephen Jones
The horror genre is the most well-suited for short stories and by extension, horror anthologies. A Book of Horrors is edited by Stephen Jones and is one of the better horror anthologies I’ve read in a while. Best of all, rather than reprinting obscure stories, the fourteen tales are all new and include a veritable who’s who of horror fiction including Stephen King, Dennis Etchison, Ramsey Campbell, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Richard Christian Matheson, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Lisa Tuttle, and more. Best of all, unlike so many recent anthologies I’ve been sent, this one doesn’t have a theme. Just top horror writers giving us great stories.
Stephen King’s tale “The Little Green God of Agony” leads off the collection and while it doesn’t hit it out of the park it’s a neat little, pulp fiction/gothic type of tale. In it a wealthy man who suffers a debilitating and painful injury in an accident is desperate to do anything to end his painful suffering, even turning to a bit of a disturbing faith healer for help. King most certainly draws upon his own experiences from his near deadly accident in the 1990s and turns in a fabulous ending.
Ramsey Campbell, turns in one of the books best efforts, “Getting it Wrong”, about an introverted movie enthusiast who is called by a quiz show to be the contestant’s ‘expert friend’ but finds out his wrong answers will have dire consequences.
Lisa Tuttle’s supernatural terror “The Man in the Ditch” finds a newly wedded couple moving to their new home in the country. Linzi swears she saw a dead body in a ditch on the side of the road. As she tries to make a go of it in the new home she becomes more and more haunted by a sense of impending doom, especially after a particularly harrowing visit to a fortune teller. One of my favorites in the book!
Another favorite is Angela Slatter’s creepy and twisted tale “The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter”. After her father’s death Hepsibah takes over the family business of producing artisan coffins. When she’s hired to make a coffin for a wealthy deceased man, she becomes obsessed with his daughter, even as the spirit of her father mocks her constantly. Weird fiction at its best…a purely lurid dark fantasy!
The longest tale is Elizabeth Hand’s “Near Zennor” about a widower who finds letters that his wife wrote to an author of dark fantasy tales. He journey’s to a remote village to seek the author out and finds himself in a grimly strange world.
This is one of those collections that I can honestly say I didn’t find a bad story in the entire book. Pick this one up now!
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