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Tuesday Terrors: Evil Dead and Under the Bed Reviews
The Exorcist being developed for TV
By Tim Janson
August 13, 2013
It’s time again for your Mania dose of horror with Tuesday Terrors with lots of new trailers, news about a TV show based on the Exorcist, and a review of Evil Dead and much more.
THE TERRIFYING NEWS
Possible TV show based on The Exorcist? Sounds like a good possibility. Writer Jeremy Slater, who's also penning the new Fantastic Four, is working with executive producer Roy Lee (The Ring) and Morgan Creek (who owns The Exorcist rights). Morgan Creek is shopping around a dramatic series based on the property - with a "brand new take" brought on by Slater - and it's garnering some interest "from broadcast and cable networks.
Red Band trailer for Bad Milo. Duncan's (Ken Marino) life is a real pain in the ass. Tormented by a manipulative, crooked boss (Patrick Warburton), a nagging mother (Mary Kay Place), a deadbeat new age dad (Stephen Root), and a sweet, yet pressuring, wife (Gillian Jacobs), his mounting stress starts to trigger an insufferable gastrointestinal reaction.
Out of ideas and at the end of his rope, Duncan seeks the help of a hypnotherapist (Peter Stormare), who helps him discover the root of his unusual stomach pain: a pintsized demon living in his intestine that, triggered by excessive anxiety, forces its way out and slaughters the people who have angered him. Out of fear that his intestinal gremlin may target its wrath on the wrong person, Duncan attempts to befriend it, naming it Milo and indulging it to keep its seemingly insatiable appetite at bay. Magnolia Pictures will release BAD MILO on iTunes/On Demand August 29, 2013 and in theaters October 4, 2013.
Zombie Hunter coming to DVD & Blu-Ray October 8th. When a street drug turns junkies into an army of giant, mutant flesh-eaters, no hope is left - but one man remains. Hunter’s (Martin Copping) got nothing left but a beat-up Camaro, a trunk full of guns and booze, and a vendetta. He crashes into a small group of survivors, led by an ax-wielding priest named Jesus (Danny Trejo). They’re searching for the Promised Land - but does it even exist? They better pray for a miracle, because the zombies are hot on their heels. And the psychotic clown with a chainsaw? You don’t even wanna know …
The Walking Dead Toys-R-Us Exclusive Minimates are coming! Diamond Select Toys recently unveiled the specialty assortment of Walking Dead Minimates Series 4, based on creator Robert Kirkman's long-running horror comic which inspired the TV show of the same name. Well, now they've unveiled the Toys "R" Us-exclusive assortment, which features six brand-new figures based on the artwork of series artist Charlie Adlard!
Based on the famous Prison vs. Woodbury storyline, the assortment includes new, exclusive figures of Rick Grimes, the leader of the main band of survivors, and the Governor, the sadistic ruler of Woodbury. Both depict the characters as they appear towards the end of the storyline, bearing the severe injuries inflicted upon them by the Governor and Michonne, respectively. Both figures are exclusive to Toys "R" Us, and each comes with his own exclusive walker, the Gunshot Zombie and the Biker Zombie, respectively.
Also in the assortment are the sword-wielding Michonne (in her poncho) and a pre-conflict figure of the Governor, both of whom are also available in the specialty store assortment. However, the specialty-exclusive figures of Woodbury goons Gabe and Bruce have been replaced by two new zombies! Michonne comes with the Crawling Zombie, who has a lower body piece that allows him to drag his severed torso along the ground, and the Governor comes with the Jaw Zombie.
Clip for Surviving Evil. Billy Zane stars in this monster film about a television documentary crew shooting a jungle survival special on the remote Mayaman Island in the Philippines. Things start out casual for host Sebastian "Seb" Beazley (Zane) and his team until the jungle takes a terrifying turn. With horror they discover a local legend is all too real when a mythical creature called the Aswang ultimately descends from the trees and begins stalking them through the jungle.
Trailer for Devil’s Pass. the film follows five American college students as they explore the infamous Dyatlov’s Pass in hopes of uncovering the mystery of nine Russian hikers who made the same trek in 1959 – only to be found dead two weeks later.
The real life mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Incident has baffled investigators and researchers for decades, and rumors have attributed their strange deaths to everything from alien encounters to government conspiracies. Check out the brand new trailer to join a new generation of explorers as they make their way through the infamous Ural Mountains and uncover secrets more shocking than they could have ever imagined. Devil’s Pass opens in select theaters and will be available on cable VOD, as well as digital platforms (including iTunes and SundanceNow) on August 23rd.
Embrace of the Vampire Remake in October. The remake of the 1995 film (and yeah I don’t get it either) which starred Alyssa Milano is coming to DVD/Blu-Ray and VOD in October from Anchor Bay. Charlotte Hawthorn (Sharon Hinnendael) arrives at college a timid and repressed freshman.
Scarred by a life of foster homes and violent girls’ schools, Charlotte is plagued by night terrors. A fencing scholarship got her into college, but she relies on prescription medication just to get through the day. With this fresh start, she’s hoping to leave her tormented past behind her – but Charlotte will learn that her future and her past are linked forever by a dark and bloody secret.
Second Teaser for American Horror Story: Coven. FX has released the second TV spot teasing American Horror Story: Coven, coming to television this October. This preview is called "Pins and Needles." New episodes are slated to begin October 9th with Jessica Lange returning alongside Frances Conroy, Denis O'Hare, Taissa Farmiga, Jamie Brewer, Lily Rabe, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Gabourey Sidibe and Kathy Bates.
Soska Sisters to direct See No Evil 2. WWE Studios and Lionsgate announced today that production on See No Evil 2, the follow up to the duo’s 2006 horror release, See No Evil, is scheduled to start in fall 2013. WWE Superstar Kane, a dominant force within the WWE, is set to reprise his lead role as reclusive madman Jacob Goodnight. Fanboy favorites and identical twin directors of horror, the Soska Sisters, Jen and Sylvia (American Mary), are set to helm the film. See No Evil 2 was penned by co-writers Nathan Brookes and Bobby Lee Darby.
See No Evil 2 revives the nightmare of the first film when Jacob Goodnight rises from the dead in the city morgue after his killing spree at the Blackwell hotel. In this ominous, underground locker for the dead, a group of medical students fight to survive as this deranged psychopath once again starts to pick them apart one by one.
The Evil Inside Arrives this month. XLrator has set an August 27th release date for The Evil Inside, directed by Pearry Teo. Sarah, a teen with a history of mental illness, has a jarring premonition of her friends' impending deaths one night at a sleepover.As her houseguests begin to turn murderously against each other, Sarah must determine whether her visions represent the preventable or the inevitable... or something entirely more sinister.
THE TERRIFYING REVIEWS
Evil Dead Blu-Ray Review (Sony)
I’m not ashamed to say that the original Evil Dead (1981) was one of the few films that actually scared the crap out of me and stayed with me long after I saw it. Made by Director Sam Raimi for $50 and a case of Karo Syrup, it was a testament to low budget filmmaking at its finest. The remake has a budget nearly a 100 times greater than the original but despite being produced by Raimi and Rob Tapert, along with original star Bruce Campbell, the remake amounts to trying to touch up the Mono Lisa.
While the original just threw are unfortunate five stars into a Tennessee cabin for no other reason than a Spring break getaway, the first thing you notice about the remake is the needless attempt to give the film a backstory. A terrified young girl runs through the woods, pursued by a couple of rednecks. She’s captured and taken to the basement of a remote cabin where she is tied to a pillar. A backwoods exorcist reads from a book as her own father douses her in gasoline and sets her ablaze, destroying the demon inside of her. Within the first 10 minutes Director/writer Fede Alvarez destroys the very thing that made the original so terrifying—the sheer anonymous evil and wanton lust for blood.
Further fluff is added to the script by making the trip to the cabin about staging an intervention for heroin-addicted Mia…because, you know, a cabin in the middle of nowhere, cut off from civilization is much better than a rehab clinic with actual doctors and specialists, although Olivia, a nurse, constantly reinforces the fact that she’s a nurse and is doing the same thing they would do at a clinic—if that clinic were dirty, musty, and filled with the stench of rotting animals.
But here is where Alvarez’ script goes off the rails…The group explores the stench in the basement, finds a bunch of dead cats, and finds the book used in the opening prologue. Now the people who used this book scrawled all manner of warnings within its pages about don’t open the book, don’t read the book…they wrapped the book up and bound it in barbed wire, and yet somehow managed to leave it behind in the cellar rather than take it with them or hide it. Well you know the rest. Curiosity gets the better of Eric and he opens the book, unleashing the evil entities whose names he reads aloud.
Mia becomes possessed and begins her rampage, attacking and infecting the others in the cabin. Alvarez adds to the unnecessary additional mythology from the book which tells of a demon, referred to as a Taker of Souls, which needs to devour five souls in order to free the Abomination from hell, or some such hokum. Evil Dead has its moments and it certainly amps up the blood and gore. With a $17 million dollar budget you can afford a lot more than Karo syrup. Alvarez revels in one scene-topping moment after another, involving hypodermic needles, a nail gun, an electric carving knife, and a chainsaw.
But what the remake lacks is the sense of humor and cheesiness that made the original so wonderful. There’s no Bruce Campbell to give a wink and a nod to the audience and while it’s a modern gore-fest, it lacks all the heart and soul of Raimi’s original film.
Under The Bed Blu-Ray Review (XLRator Media)
What kid hasn’t gone to bed at night thinking there was a monster lurking under his bed or in his closet? Under the Bed expands on that idea but fails to actually run with it. Teenager Neal Hausman has returned home after living out of state with family for two years. Neal was sent away by his father, Terry, after the death of his mother in a fire, which local gossip blames on Neal.
Neal’s reunion is not a happy one. His always angry father is on him constantly to group and be a man, and his new stepmom is trying too hard to get to know him. All Neal cares about is his little brother Paulie. He discovers that Paulie is being tormented by the same evil entity that lived under Neal’s bed, turning his nights into living nightmares. Dad dismisses the boy’s claims of monsters as foolish nonsense, locking them in their room at night. But there is something underneath their bed, something which creeps out and forces the boys to sleep on their dressers at night. They have to destroy the creature before it destroys their family.
Under the Bed is an interesting concept but Director Steven C. Miller and Writer Eric Stolze fail to do much with the idea. Unlike similar films like Darkness Falls or The Boogeyman, Under the Bed fails to develop much of a mythology to capture the viewer’s interest. What is the monster? Where does it come from? Why is it haunting these two particular boys? Those questions are never answered and as such, the film plays like an extended episode of Goosebumps. Furthermore Miller contradicts himself when in one part, Neal says the monster is bound to their beds, but in another, the creature harasses stepmom Angela in the garage laundry room and later shows up at the neighbor’s house when the boys are spending the night.
The two leads Jonny Weston and Gattlin Griffith do a strong job throughout, particularly in conveying the sense of stress that comes with sleep deprivation but they simply are not giving much to work with. Add to that cheap creature effects and Under the Bed should have remained there permanently.
Ghosts and Ruins (Fantagraphics Books)
By: Ben Catmull
One of the reasons that Fantagrahics has always been one of my favorite publishers of comics and sequential art is their willingness to step outside of the box and do new and daring titles. You won’t find any superhero stuff here but you will find an interesting little title like Ghosts and Ruins. When I was a kid in elementary school I used to love drawing pictures of haunted houses, particularly around Halloween. Apparently artists Ben Catmull has never gotten over his love of drawing creepy old houses.
This hardcover, coffee table art book features Catmull’s lush and evocative work in a series of illustrations depicting haunted houses and Catmull’s imagined histories. The art is black and tones and gradients with an edgy, scratchy quality that perfectly conjures up thoughts of dingy, cobweb-filled corners and rotting planks of wood under overcast skies.
There is the house od Drowned Shelley, drowned by her father. Shelly now haunts those who say her name…correctly or incorrectly in a myriad of spine-chilling ways. There is the tale of the Disgusting Garden where a man hacked up his family and burned himself alive. The garden now festers with rotted flowers and vegetables and crawling insects.
Catmull’s finely detailed work is like a cross between Virgil Finlay and Gahan Wilson and that’s some pretty good company. A mesmerizing and gorgeous book!
The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage (Vanguard Productions)
By: Stephen D. Korshak & J. David Spurlock
Pulp magazines were considered the lowest rung of the literature ladder. They were the successors to the penny dreadfuls and dime magazines of the 1800s. They were produced using the cheapest possible paper. Often times, the writers and artists who worked in pulps did so under pen names because of stigma that came with working on such fantastic stories. But that artwork, once considered so disposable is now highly sought after today both in the form of the magazines themselves as well as the original artwork.
This was an industry dominated by male artists like Virgil Finlay, Frank R. Paul, Edd Cartier and others, but perhaps the greatest pulp artist of all was a female artist, Margaret Brundage. Brundage’s art became notable for working on perhaps the most famous of all pulp magazines, Weird Tales. But it was not only working on Weird Tales that Brundage was fortunate to work on but also the fact that she did the covers for many of the Weird Tales that featured Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian.
Vanguard Production’s fabulous books looks at Brundage’s incredible career in pulp art which featured some of the most shocking and lurid covers ever seen; covers that depicted full nudity and scenes of bondage and torture not only for Weird Tales but also Magic Carpet and Golden Fleece. Brundage drew covers depicting Howard’s barbarian hero for stories like The Devil in Iron and Queen of the Black Coast and while they are a far cry from the depiction of Frank Frazetta’s considered the standard of all Conan artists, Brundage got there first.
The book features a rare, 1973 interview with Brundage who was in her 70s by this time and had all but been forgotten. She talks about her life and career in the pulps, particularly working for Weird Tales. The book also includes every cover she did for Weird Tales. But this is actually two books in one. The second part, written by J. David Spurlock called “The Secret Life of Margaret Brundage” looks at a facet of her life which till now was largely unknown, that of a key player in counterculture and activism in worker’s rights and racial equality. Spurlock uncovers incredible details about the her life which goes well beyond her career as an artist.
Vanguard has never failed to enthrall me with their incredible line of books and The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage is another winner.
The Executioner’s Heart (Tor Books)
By: George Mann
The Executioner’s Heart is the 4th in George Mann’s Newbury & Hobbes steam punk series set in Victorian England, featuring Sir Maurice Newbury, a gentleman "investigator for the Crown" and his assistant Veronica Hobbes who, unbeknownst to him, is an agent of the Queen as well. If you have not read the previous three entries you are missing a fantastic series. The best thing of all though is that Mann does a great job, particularly with this book, of welcoming new readers without the need of having to have read the previous books.
Newbury and Hobbes are called in to investigate a series of murders in which agents of the Queen are being killed and having their hearts removed. This cold, calculating killer turns out to be one fantastically unique villain. But there are other issues for Newbury and Hobbes to face. First, there is a faction that emerges to throw a wrench into their investigation. While the aged queen of England is being kept alive with cybernetic life support machines, a new threat to the crown surfaces.
I’ve not generally been a fan of the Steampunk genre, mainly because a lot of it comes in the form of Anime or Manga but Mann’s world is darker and rooted in horror elements which allow it to have a broader appeal. Mann has a great feel for this world, its setting, and especially its characters. Newbury and Hobbes are remarkably fresh and well-defined and I’d personally love to see an anime made out of this series.
Mann manages to lull you into a false sense of safety to our heroes where they seem to be under no great threat but then manages to slam you over the head with a brilliant twist in the action that suddenly puts them into peril. My lone complaint was that the ending was a bit choppy and left things a little more unsettled than I would have liked. If you’re not into steampunk you will love this series and if you have not read any of the previous books, this is a great place to start.
The Twilight Zone Season 4 DVD Review (Image Entertainment)
The fourth season of the Twilight Zone presented a major change that has made this season the least viewed of any during the series’ run. The show was expanded from a ½ hour to an hour to make up the timeslot for anther show that had been canceled. This did not sit well with series creator Rod Serling who would state, “Ours is the perfect half-hour show…” The expansion meant having to pad the episodes thereby causing the show to lose some of its shock value. Serling was also less involved on the production side for season four. While most of the episodes for the first three seasons were written by Serling, only seven of the eighteen episodes for season four were penned by him. Because these episodes were an hour long they have also popped up far less frequently in syndicated re-runs from TV stations that had 30 minutes to fill.
“The Thirty Fathom Grave” finds an American naval ship investigating a mysterious hammering sound picked up on radar. This leads to the discovery of an American submarine that was sunk 20 years earlier during World War II. The hammering is coming from inside the sub but what could be causing it?
Richard Matheson provided “Mute” about a little 12 year old girl who is found after the death of her parents. The girl was raised without being taught speech in order to bring out her natural telepathic abilities. Matheson’s second (and final) writing credit for season four was “Death Ship”, a sci-fi themed episode about the crew of a spacecraft searching out planets that are suitable for human life. They come upon a planet where a ship has crashed that looks exactly like their own. When they investigate, they find their own dead bodies in the crash.
“I Dream of Genie” (nothing to do with the TV show) is about a down-on-his luck man who finds a magical lamp with a genie that offers him one wish. The man carefully debates what to wish for and comes up with a surprising request.
Serling’s favorite episode of the season was “On Thursday we Leave for Home” about a group of Earthlings who were stranded on a remote planet years earlier and the rescue crew that finally finds them.
Season four of the Twilight Zone is the weakest of the series primarily because the episodes tended to drag on a bit too long with additional and unneeded dramatic elements due to expanding to an hour in length. But even average Twilight Zone is still better than most TV shows today.