Katie Cassidy to Star in Image Comics Adaptation The Scribbler – Image comic The Scribbler is coming to film. Katie Cassidy (Taken) will star in the thriller along with Garret Dillahunt (The Last House on the Left), Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse), Gina Gershon (Killer Joe), Michael Imperioli (The Lovely Bones), Billy Campbell (The Killing), and Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experience).
The Scribbler concerns Suki (Cassidy), a young woman confronting her destructive mental illness using "The Siamese Burn”, an experimental machine designed to eliminate multiple personalities. The closer Suki comes to being "cured", she's haunted by a thought... what if the last unwanted identity turns out to be her?
Chloe Moretz to star in zombie film “Maggie” – Wow is Moretz like the busiest actor in Hollywood or what? In addition to starring in in "Dark Shadows" and the remake of "Carrie" she is now in negotiations to play a zombie in the upcoming "Maggie." Set against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse, the story concerns a father’s unconditional love for his daughter Maggie, a 16-year old girl from a town in middle America who becomes infected by a zombie.
MGM to Adapt Ray Bradbury’s “From the Dust Returned - MGM plans to develop Ray Bradbury's fantasy anthology From the Dust Returned.
Fifty-five years in the making, "From the Dust Returned" grew out of a short story, "Homecoming," which appeared in the October 1946 issue of Mademoiselle magazine. Bradbury has published just five other stories about the Elliots, an outlandish, greathearted and loving-spirited Halloween creature clan and their "abnormal" adopted son Timothy. Over the years, Bradbury readers have clamored for more Elliott tales.
A lifelong labor of love, "From the Dust Returned" is a novel (in much the way "The Martian Chronicles" is a novel) comprised of the previously published six stories interwoven with newer chapters and "connective tissue" that give us an unforgettable portrait of the rise and fall of a most peculiar brood. Here are Cecy, "the one who dreams," a young girl yearning for love who can experience the world only through the travels of her mind; Uncle Einar, a fun-loving, proud-winged vampire who loses his ability to fly; Great Grandmère, the family matriarch, who speaks of millennia gone by from deep within her mummified wrappings; and Tom, a farm boy whom Cecy "meets" and falls in love with one night during one of her spirit-borne journeys.
New Trailer for Dark Feed - Shawn and Michael Rasmussen who wrote the script for John Carpenter's The Ward, are directing Dark Feed. The story tells of a film crew that moves into an abandoned psychiatric hospital with a shadowy past to shoot a low budget horror film, they get more than they bargained for. 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.
The Monitor coming to DVD – Noomi Rapace, who starred in the Swedish versions of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, will star in The Monitor. After escaping an abusive husband, Anna (Rapace) and her 8-year-old son move far away to a secret location. Terrified that her ex-husband will find them, she buys a baby monitor to keep in her son’s room at all times - but she soon discovers strange noises echoing through the monitor from elsewhere in the building. As she witnesses the sounds of what she believes is another child being murdered, she fears the worst – that it’s her own son. Reliving the nightmare she recently escaped, Anna will need to figure out what’s real and what isn’t before she loses her sanity and her child.
James Cromwell added to cast of American Horror Story - James Cromwell is joining the cast of American Horror Story season 2. Cromwell will play Dr. Arden opposite Jessica Lange's character; both will work at an East Coast institution for the criminally insane which will be the setting for the upcoming season.
"It's a completely different world and has nothing to do with Season 1; there's not a mention of Season 1," series co-creator Ryan Murphy told the outlet. "The second season is set in a completely different time period."
Trailer for The Sibling – Check out the trailer for The Sibling which will star Mischa Barton, Devon Sawa and Michael Clarke Duncan and directed by Matt Orlando.
Hilarious Gary Busey Blooper reel from Piranha 3DD – Busey only has a bit part in the sequel but if this clip is any indication it will be worth the price of admission.
Universal Studios Legacy Series figures coming - Between 1923 and 1958, Universal Studios released over 60 different monster movies, all in black and white, that gave the film world some of its most iconic characters. In honor of that legacy, Universal will release three figure box sets featuring soe of their most iconic film monsters. The set pictured features The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolf Man, and the Mummy in their original black-and-white appearances. These exclusive 7-inch scale action figures will only be available as part of this set! They come in a display-quality window box.
THE HORRIFYING REVIEWS
Descendents (Lionsgate) DVD
In the five years I’ve been with Mania I’ve never felt compelled strongly enough to give any film an “F” grade. And the Descendents came along (and yes I’m spelling it like it is on the cover). This is a Chilean produced zombie film that originally came out in 2008 and is just now making its way here onto DVD. After the outbreak of a plague which has nearly wiped out humanity and turned people into zombies, a 9 year old girl named Camille wanders the devastated landscapes, just looking to survive from day-to-day. Camille is one of a handful of rare, special children who are born with strange wounds on the sides of their necks that look like gills. For some reason these special children are not only immune to the virus, but zombies avoid THEM like the plague. So with the zombies taken out of the picture as a threat to the kids the military becomes the main antagonists as they are looking to kill anything that moves including little kids.
There are several flashbacks in the film that show Camille and her mom being taken to a government research facility although we never find out why. Director Jorge Olguin uses the same flashback scenes over and over perhaps adding just a bit more each time but these sequences repeat at least 10 times. Meanwhile Camille meets up with several other special children. Together they try to make it to the ocean because that’s the last thing Camille’s mother told her before her mom turned into a zombie.
The film is horrendously slow. There’s little conflict beyond the soldiers who the most inept military force ever put to film. Olguin bores us with scenes of the kids playing, and utilizes a variety of hazy filters like a film school amateur. But all this pales in compare to the last few minutes when the film goes from just bad to the truly bizarre and completely unexplainable. All I will say is this…Giant Octopus, and leave it at that. Should you have an enemy that you’re looking to get even with, just show him Descendents, a torture worse than death.
Mimic 3 film Set (Lionsgate) Blu-Ray
This 2 disc set features all three films in the Mimic series that were produced between 1997 and 2003. The first film, Directed by Guillermo del Toro, was a minor classic. The two sequels? Not so much. Cockroaches are spreading a deadly disease in New York that is claiming hundreds of the city's children. Entomologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) uses genetic engineering to create an insect hybrid called the Judas Breed, a large insect (looking like a cross between a termite and a praying mantis) that releases an enzyme that kills off the disease-carrying roaches by speeding up their metabolism. The Judas Breed work spectacularly and the crisis is abated.
Three years later, people begin to go missing in the subways and tunnels under the city. Susan and her staff learn that they severely underestimated the Judas Breed's ability to adapt to its conditions. The Judas Breed has evolved in order to better hunt a new food source. To everyone's horror, they discover that the Judas' new food source is humans, and now the insects have grown to be as big as people and can mimic the appearance and behavior of humans with uncanny accuracy.
Mimic was a good, old-fashiond monster movie at its core and a fresh take on the giant bug genre. It was aided greatly by a great cast which featured Sorvino, Charles S. Dutton, F. Murray Abraham, Josh Brolin, and Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead. But the entire production is a del Toro special, filled with dark, creepy, claustrophobic settings that ooze atmosphere.
Mimic 2 came four years later in 2001 and while it’s not a horrible film it virtually lacks any semblance of a cohesive plot. Set a few years after the outbreak that killed the children, several men have died grisly deaths and the connection they have is they all knew a high school teacher named Remy. Because of the connection Remy falls under suspicion by the police but we soon learn that she is an entomologist that worked on the Judas Breed project. Of course we find out that all of the bugs were not killed in the original film and one is now exhibiting a greater ability to mimic humans and is looking to make with Remy.
Mimic 2 is just kind of there. There’s decent action and suspense but we get no explanation as to how the bug survived and why it is going after Remy. The biggest contribution it makes is to develop the Judas Breed’s ability further. It succeeds in this but not much else.
Mimic 3: The Sentinel came out 2003 and is by far the worst in the series. Again, it appeared as if the last Judas Breed had been killed off in the previous film yet this time we get several of them. Marvin is young man who survived the cockroach disease but it left him essentially a bubble boy, unable to tolerate exposure to germs. He spends his days in his bedroom where he lives with his mother and younger sister, using his camera to take pictures of people on the street and spy on the residents of an adjacent building. As neighbors begin disappearing and mysterious figures move in and out of Marvin's viewfinder, the secluded voyeur begins to suspect that a sinister force is at work in his neighborhood.
After watching Mimic 3 it’s clear why there was never a Mimic 4. Congratulations to Director J.T. Petty for killing the series with a boring, voyeuristic mess that fails to do anything new with the Judas Breed. Petty merely turns the adaptive bugs into neighborhood creeps. It’s not thrilling, it’s not exciting, and it’s definitely not good. And because it is a bad, low-budget, direct-to-video film, good ol’ Lance Henricksen turns up because he never misses a chance to star in a bad film.
The two-disc set does come with a full arsenal of extras for all three films but my advice is watch the first two and leave the third alone.
Madison County (Image Enterainment) DVD
Madison County starts out the way many slasher films do…with a group of college students off for a weekend trip out to the middle of nowhere. However surprisingly and refreshingly that’s where the similarities end. These are not the usual, vacuous characters you normally see in films of this type who are only interested in partying and sex. James is working on his thesis and heading to Madison County to interview a writer who wrote a book on a local urban legend Damien Ewell, an alleged serial killer and brings along Kyle, Kristen, Brooke, and Will for the trip.
Director Eric England does a nice job developing characters with some depth of personality and who are also not stupid. Unfortunately once are serial killer finally shows up, he’s little more than a third rate Leatherface…or in this case, Pig Face since he wears a pig’s face over his own. While England does fine with our characters, he stumbles badly with the action and horror elements. While searching for the mysterious writer, several of the characters keep returning to the tiny diner in town to speak to a very old and very creepy lady who works the counter. This is where our smart characters suddenly go brain dead…the old lady might as well have worn a sign that said “I’m lying to you through my teeth.”
The kill scenes lack the most basic ingenuity and suspense. Literally Damien just walks up behind someone and stabs them in the back. And for a movie that is “unrated” Madison County is surprisingly tame. Outside of a very short topless scene the film probably could have been rated PG-13 or a very light R. England also mucks up the action with a convoluted sub-plot involving the writer that is never fully explained. Even the ending just happens without fanfare, leaving us to wonder about the final fate of a couple of the characters. Madison County got off to a strong start but ran out of gas half-way through.
The Spider #1
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Written By: David Lee
Art by: Colton Worley
In my last column I reviewed the first issue of The Shadow. Now it’s time for another vigilante character from the Golden Age of pulp magazines, The Spider. The Spider was created in 1933 as competition to The Shadow. Like the Shadow, The Spider was a wealthy playboy, Richard Wentworth. However while the Shadow was violent, The Spider was extremely violent and would rack up body counts by the dozens in his stories. He went after criminals who were just as violent and often macabre and had names like Judge Torture, The Emperor of Vermin, and The Silencer.
While Dynamite set the Shadow in the 1930s, The Spider is set in modern times but with a retro look. People use cell phones but men wear fedoras and trench coats and there’s a very 30s/40s feel to the action. Lee begins the story by showing just how incredibly violent The Spider can be, breaking up muggings, and armed robberies by shooting the perps first and never asking questions. Now, the only people who know the Spider’s Identity are his former fiancée Nita, and his servant Ram Singh, a Sikh, and practitioner of a martial arts discipline known as Gatka.
Wentworth works with the police occasionally with the police and he’s called in to help investigate a scene where several people have been murdered with a poison gas…only to rise as ravenous zombies. The Spider #1 hits every high note possible, introducing us to the anti-hero in a bloody, bullet-filled way. Liss makes it clear as well that the Spider won’t be just facing off with your run of the mill criminals, but rather truly deadly and psychotic foes. Colton Worley manages a perfect blend of polis and glitch in his art. I’m a fan already!
Frankenstein Alive, Alive #1
Published by IDW
Written By: Steve Niles
Art by Bernie Wrightson
Bernie Wrightson has been associated with the Frankenstein Monster for decades, dating back to the wonderful illustrated Frankenstein novel based on Mary Shelley’s original story in1983. Wrightson returns to the monster with writer Steve Niles in tow for what is being billed as a sequel to the 1983 work in this new series from IDW. Swamp Thing notwithstanding, The Frankenstein Monster may well be Wrightson’s greatest artistic achievement and he shows from the first page he has lost none of his flair for the ghoulish as his work still has that same impact and depth that it did 30 years ago.
Many years have passed since the end of the original novel and we find the monster living a life of relative peace with a traveling sideshow of freaks. The monster is happy living among those he considers to be castoffs from society like himself. But how did he get to this place? For that most of the story is told in flashbacks to the monster and his creator Victor have traveled to the Arctic Circle for their final confrontation. Wrightson’s work is simply amazing...stunning! The book is in black and white just like the 1983 novel. Color would only distract from the incredible detail of his art. Wrightson proves again why there are few comic artists alive today who can match his skill.
In addition to the story we also get part one of an interview that Niles conducts with Wrightson about his long association with the Frankenstein monster which dates back to seeing House of Frankenstein in 1954. This is a must have for any fan of Wrightson’s, horror, or just first rate illustration.
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 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.