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Monday, December 31, 2007

Full [Rec] Trailer Online

At first, I was gonna do a nice little "2008 Preview" post in honor of New Year's, but that'll have to wait. Because late last night I came across this nifty little trailer for the Spanish zombie flick [Rec]. I posted the teaser for it a few weeks ago, and man am I even more mondo psyched to see this than ever before. Just when I thought the ghoul-boom of the past five years was finally losing steam, along comes this gem. I dare you to watch this and not be praying for a U.S. release like I am. Check it out, courtesy of Bjorn at Gnolad:

Oh yeah, and a very Happy New Year to one and all!!! Break out the bubbly!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day of the Dead Remake Goes Straight to DVD

The long-plagued and much-maligned Steve Miner-helmed Day of the Dead has officially been shuffled off to the direct-to-video ghetto. It was originally slated for a February theatrical release, but word got out last summer that some reshooting had been called for--never a good sign. And now, predictably, it has been announced on Bloody-Disgusting that the Romero remake will no longer be hitting the big screen at all, but will instead come out on DVD April 8.
Although Miner has quite the background in horror (Friday the 13th II & III, House, Warlock, Halloween H20, Lake Placid), I've heard nothing but bad things about this one. Although I must admit, I am slightly interested in seeing Ving Rhames' portrayal of the deranged Capt. Rhodes.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Add Cronenberg to the Anti-"Torture Porn" Camp

A couple months back, I posted some interesting comments from Clive Barker, in which he took a shot at the current state of the horror film genre. Along similar lines, another 1980s shock-meister, David Cronenberg, had some things to say on the subject in an interview with Wired yesterday.
After churning out a series of horror classics in the big-hair decade that included Scanners, The Dead Zone, Dead Ringers and The Fly, Cronenberg left genre fans in the dust to pursue crime dramas like A History of Violence and Eastern Promises to even greater mainstream acclaim. But D.C. doesn't rule out a return to fright flicks, provided "something came along that was intriguing and challenging." According to Wired, however, the director is somewhat less than enthusiastic about the rash of so-called "torture porn" that has arisen over the past decade. In fact, Cronenberg goes so far as to intimate that the sub-genre is nothing more than a pale imitation of the "body horror" subgenre he pioneered a quarter century ago:
"'Body horror' was not my term. It was a term someone used to describe what I was doing, so it is not a category in my head that I use to make films. And I think, without trying to sound egomaniacal, that my movies have been picked apart piece by piece, and recycled quite a bit. But that's the nature of the film business, or creativity in general: We are all feeding off of each other. There's no question about that, so I guess it's not a surprise that I'm moving somewhere away from all of that."
Cronenberg argues that he still has the same mission, which is to shock and horrify audiences. However, in a world where images of violence are so much more a part of our everyday life, he now chooses to do it sans the gore with which he made his name:
"We're in a very bizarre era right now, where snuff porn that never really existed before is now available. If you want to see beheadings or stonings, you can see them any time you want on your computer. And it's low-tech, too: not the internet, but a woman being stoned to death."

Friday, December 28, 2007

First Glimpse of the Rebooted Hulk!

You'll have to forgive me the slight deviation from the usual subject matter here at The Vault of Horror. Seeing as how I am a fan of both horror movies and comic books, and how the Hulk is the most horror-themed of all superheroes--having been inspired by Robert Louis Stephenson's Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde--I figured it would be OK to share with you this image of the creature that was released today by Universal Pictures:The image comes from Universal's The Incredible Hulk, unofficial sequel to 2003's disappointing original Hulk movie. With a script rewrite by Edward Norton--who takes over the role of Bruce Banner--rumor has it this new one seeks to undo the damage wrought by Ang Lee's overly sober and somewhat pretentious outing. Also, as you can see, there has been a concerted effort to step up the CGI work, which was another oft-cited letdown in the original. I also notice the big guy looks a lot more like he does in the classic comics.
Despite being marketed as a restart of the franchise, the plot of the picture does seem to pick up where the last one left off. Although I did enjoy the first one a little more than most, it certainly didn't live up to my expectations. Nevertheless, I am giving Marvel Entertainment and new director Louis Leterrier the benefit of the doubt. It does seem to be an earnest attempt to respond to fan complaints, most notably with the excellent casting of Norton. The film hits theaters on June 13 (my ninth wedding anniversary--Hey, what an excellent way to celebrate, right, sweetheart....??)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Bloody Christmas

We all know it's better to give than to receive, don't we? Still, it's an awful lot of fun to receive, isn't it? And I certainly did my fair share of receiving this Christmas. I could get into the clothing items and electronic gadgetry that came my way this year, but for the sake of thematic unity, I think I'll stick with the horror-related gifts. So here are this year's newest additions to The Vault:

My insufferably cute six-year-old daughter saved up her allowances to get this for dear old Dad (with a little help from Mom.) She was intent on "surprising" me with a "monster movie", so I asked my wife to give her the choice between this and the new edition of Nosferatu. She wanted it to be something we could watch together, which effectively eliminated the Return of the Living Dead special edition.

My sister, who never fails to pinpoint my tastes with perfect accuracy each and every year, picked me up the first two volumes of Steven Niles' vampire series. I enjoyed the flick very much, plus Niles is a friend of a friend, so I had been curious to check these out. Thanks, Sis!

Now here's a box set I've had my eye on ever since it came out four years ago. Finally got around to buying it by gathering together a bunch of my Christmas/birthday gift money. It's got the first two Hammer Frankenstein films, the first three Draculas, and The Mummy. Perfect for a kid who grew up watching the Hammer classics on those lazy weekend afternoons in the glory days of syndicated TV.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Creepy Kids Rule!

Get ready goth boys and girls...from the man who brought you The Nightmare Before Christmas comes another stop-motion animated flick based on a warped children's book. That's right, Henry Selick, director of the Tim Burton-produced 1993 holiday classic has been hard at work adapting Neil Gaiman's Coraline, and Gaiman himself has just posted the first bit of footage on his website. Finally, a family movie I can be proud to take my progeny to see! Check it out below. Take that, Alvin & The Chipmunks!!

For the super hi-res Quicktime version, go here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Seasons Greetings from the Christmas Fly!

OK, I realize this probably needs a bit of an explanation. Some of you may remember my rather fearless three-year-old son from my previous post, "So Does Showing My Toddler Shaun of the Dead Make Me a Bad Parent?" As I wrote then, I've been introducing my boy to monster movies for the past few months, and he's been taking to them like a vampire to fresh plasma. So much so, in fact, that his fascination has endured even into this joyous time of year.
You see, I tried to switch things up by showing the kids some holiday-related entertainment for the past couple weeks. But one night it was just him and me, and the boy asked for a monster flick, so what could I do? I decided to break out the original 1958 version of The Fly (even I'm not wacked out enough to subject him to the Cronenberg one....yet.)
Needless to say, he loved it. It was a little touch-and-go in the beginning, when the movie is a bit talky and feels more like a murder mystery. But once the sci-fi elements kicked in, he was hooked.
Problem was, the little one seems to have confused the two genres he's been absorbing in recent weeks. That would explain why he's begun asking to see "The Christmas Fly". We've gotten such a kick out of it that the Christmas Fly has become something of a running gag in our home--our own offbeat holiday character, if you will. Which is why I felt today would be a good day to share him with you.
Bye bye, Santa Claus! Take a hike, Mr. Grinch! The Christmas Fly has arrived. So be good, for goodness sake--unless you want him buzzing down your chimney come this time next year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It Came from Hollywood: A History of Horror Movies, Part 3

Following the horrors of World War II, America became a vastly different place. This, in turn, profoundly affected the entertainment industry--particularly the fictional horrors of the movies. The gothic scares that had been all the rage during the '30s and '40s had lost their power. Classic creatures like Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster, the Wolf Man, et al simply no longer cut the mustard.
The new horrors of the world had much to do with modern science, and so it was in the 1950s that science-fiction and horror intersected like never before. It suddenly seemed like every other film had some sort of creature grow to gigantic proportions thanks to atomic age radiation--whether it be ants (Them!, 1954), spiders (Tarantula, 1955), or just about anything else. Even human monsters were mutations created through mishaps of science--most notably in the 1958 chiller The Fly.
Extending the sci-fi horror theme to include another great fear of the 1950s--the Red Scare--the genre unloaded a barrage of flicks having to do with alien invasions, including The Blob (1958), The Thing from Another World (1951), and the one which most closely paralleled Eisenhower-Era America's terror of communist takeover, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).There were some exceptions to the rule. Gothic horror still had a bit of life left in it, as evidenced by the landmark House of Wax (1953), the first major 3-D production. It also helped establish the career of one Vincent Price, a refined art lover and Yale graduate who had been working in Hollywood since the late 1930s without much notice. Following up with two Fly pictures as well as House on Haunted Hill (1959), Price was a new horror icon before the decade was out.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean in the U.K., a new movie studio was taking shape that would become at the same time both a throwback and a groundbreaker. Hammer Films was a production house built almost completely for the creation of horror movies. Particularly, they were interested in reinventing the classic monsters of old, with a modern flair. Kicking things of with 1957's The Curse of Frankenstein, and following through with 1958's Horror of Dracula and 1959's The Mummy, Hammer brought back the old baddies, this time in bold technicolor, and--most shockingly of all--with plenty of blood. A taboo throughout much of the history of the horror genre, the use of blood became a Hammer trademark, and would most certainly be a sign of things to come. Along the way, Hammer made horror legends of director Terence Fisher and actors Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
Yet the promise of Hammer was a deceptive one. While the graphic violence would hint at what the next turbulent decade had in store for the genre, horror would nevertheless move further away from its gothic roots than ever before, and land smack dab in the real world. In the 1960s, the monsters would become us.
Other major releases:

Part 1: The Silent DeadPart 2: Gods & Monsters
Soon to come: Part 4 - The Times They Are a-Changin'

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Lost Frankenstein

Some readers may remember a while back when I provided a link to a site that allowed you to watch the Vincent Price classic The Last Man on Earth in its entirety, thanks to the fact that the film is in the public domain. Well, today, I'm proud to present another, much rarer horror classic, which you can view in its entirety without leaving this page. Below, broken up into two parts, is the original, 1910 Frankenstein, a production of Thomas Edison's movie studio. Believed lost for decades, the silent short was discovered in a private collection in the 1970s. So if you have about 15 minutes to kill and are in the mood for a genuinely creepy old flick, have a look:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Want Some Rare Dawn of the Dead Music?

We all know and love the Dawn of the Dead soundtrack by Italian prog-rockers Goblin. But for real undead-in-the-wool Romero fans, it's the incidental tracks from the DeWolfe Music library (i.e. "The Gonk", etc.) that represent the real holy grail of DOTD tunes.
Three years ago, independent label Trunk Records put out a CD of most of that highly sought-after stuff. That CD has since sadly gone out of print, and although a handful of used copies are still available through Amazon, it will soon become a perversely pricey collector's item.
Luckily for you, I happen to own the CD. And out of the goodness of my heart, I've decided to post a bunch of the tracks (about half the CD.) Click below to take a listen, or right-click to save the tunes for yourself! I plan on uploading the other half of the CD at some point down the road, so keep checking back...

  1. The Gonk
  2. Sinestre
  3. Scarey 1
  4. Scarey 2
  5. Mask of Death
  6. Dark Earth
  7. Barrage

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Raimi Returns to His Roots

After helming three mega-huge Spider-Man movies in a row, Sam Raimi will officially be going back to the genre that first put him on the map. That's right, Variety reported yesterday that Mr. Raimi's next project will be a low-budget flick called Drag Me to Hell (IMdb still lists Jeffrey Lynch as the director), to be financed via his Ghost House production company.
Sam and his brother Ivan penned the screenplay shortly after collaborating on 1993's Army of Darkness, the last of the famed Evil Dead trilogy that made Raimi a god to horror fans. Drag Me to Hell is reported to be a "morality tale about the unwitting recipient of a supernatural curse."
Raimi has produced several horror films in recent years through Ghost House, including The Grudge, Boogeyman, The Messengers and 30 Days of Night. Ghost House will also be producing a remake of Raimi's seminal 1981 masterpiece, The Evil Dead.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Werewolf Women of the S.S.: The Movie?

A post made by Rob Zombie on his blog yesterday has internet fanboys all a-tingle. You see, Zombie, that sly devil, posed the question, "How many of you would like to see a full length movie of Werewolf Women of the S.S.?" For those who didn't see it, Werewolf Women of the S.S. was the fake trailer that Zombie contributed to Grindhouse, along with other directors such as Eli Roth. Rumor has it that Sybill Danning, who appeared in the trailer, had also alluded to a possible feature film a few months ago. Could be interesting. Personally, I'm still holding out hope for Machete: The Movie...
Check out the original WWOTSS trailer below:

* 12/21 UPDATE * Rob Zombie has made an official comment to Bloody-Disgusting that he is "seriously considering" this project.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What a Way to Go!

Now I love me a good list, and over the years the boys at Maxim have come up with some pretty cool ones. Yesterday, this horror-related list over at Maxim.com came to my attention.
It's their take on the top ten "Best Horror Movie Deaths". The coolest part? You can actually watch each cringe-inducing scene on their site. The list is pretty solid, I must say--I'd only find fault with one rather weak demise from one of the Friday the 13th films. Other than that, you've got some pretty unforgettable moments here, including this classic scene (above) from The Evil Dead, just to give you a taste.
So check it out, let me know what you think. You can send me your own favorite horror movie death scenes, either via email or via comment, and I'll publish the top vote-getters in a future post.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Box Office Legend

I don't usually like to go ga-ga over box office news (I'm more the high-minded aesthetic type...) but it's worth a mention that Will Smith's I Am Legend raked in an astronomical $76.5 million over the weekend. It's the biggest December opener of all time, topping 2003's The Return of the King. Critical and fan opinion may be divided on the flick, but it is nice to see a horror piece at the top of the heap in such a big way. For those who couldn't get out to the theater, you can check out the opening scene of the movie right here. By the way, in case you were wondering, that is a shot of one of the vampires in the film. Hmmm.....


Thanks to all who voted in the '80s horror icon poll. The Vault of Horror would like to congratulate the one and only Jason Voorhees, who trounced the competition with 37% of the vote. Fellow stalker Michael Myers trailed in second with 24%, followed by the incomparable Pinhead with 20%. And in a shocker, poor Freddy Kreuger--who would've gotten my vote--floundered in last place with a mere 18%. Be sure to vote in the new poll, which continues the theme, as you can see.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Wolf Man Gets a Girlfriend

CHUD today reports that 24-year-old British ingenue Emily Blunt has been cast in the role of Gwen Conliffe, love interest of Larry Talbot in Universal's remake of the 1941 classic The Wolf Man. Best known for her supporting role in last year's The Devil Wears Prada, and more recently for a part in the Steve Carell vehicle Dan in Real Life, Blunt is also the real-life love interest of wannabe-crooner Michael Buble.
Blunt will play alongside Benicio Del Toro in the title role, as well as Anthony Hopkins, set to play Talbot's father. It's also believed that in this new version, unlike in the original, Gwen will actually be Talbot's sister-in-law. The role of Gwen was originated in 1941 by B-movie starlet Evelyn Ankers (below).The news would seem to allay fears of the demise of the project--the script for which is
not yet finished--as a result of the current writers' strike.


Just wanted to take a second to thank Steve Biodrowski at Cinefantastastique, who made mention of The Vault of Horror three days ago in his web surfing report. Yes folks, the buzz is growing. And just think, you can say you were here at the beginning...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Watch Five Minutes of Cloverfield Now!

OK, I'll admit I've been less than optimistic about this J.J. Abrams giant monster flick. That said, this intense five minutes of footage is pretty impressive. Can they sustain it for a whole movie? I guess we'll find out next month. Till then, this is pretty cool stuff, although I will say that being a native New Yorker, the evocation of 9/11 is slightly off-putting. I guess that's the idea, even if the taste may be questionable.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Who Says Italians Are the Only Europeans That Know Zombies?

More good news for zombie fans--of which, if you've been reading this blog, you know I'm one. From across the Atlantic comes word of a Spanish film called [Rec], which some are calling "a cross between Dawn of the Dead and The Blair Witch Project".
Filmed in documentary style using digital video, the movie unfolds from the point of view of a news crew tagging along with a firefighter company that responds to a bizarre disturbance at an apartment building. The next thing they know, they're locked inside under quarantine with the living dead.
Written and directed by Jaume Balagueró, the film is being hailed for its unrelenting sense of realism. Reportedly (and I know these anecdotes are often drummed up for publicity), when it first screened last August at the Venice Film Festival, half the unsuspecting audience cleared out in terror within the first 15 minutes.
[Rec] officially opened in Spain last month, and is scheduled to open in France in February and the UK in March. No word yet on whether there will be a full U.S. release. Ain't It Cool News posted this rather intriguing trailer earlier today:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Behind the Scenes of an '80s Horror Classic

It's still wild to me the things you can stumble across on the internet. Why, just the other day, I came across VariaGate.com, the official website of Jules Brenner.
Brenner, for those (like me) who didn't know, was the cinematographer on 1985's The Return of the Living Dead, easily one of the greatest horror comedies of all time, and a cult favorite of self-respecting gore-lovers everywhere.
Brenner has a page on his website devoted entirely to his work on Return, giving interesting production details, as well as personal reminiscences of his work on the film. There are stills, an e-mail address to contact Brenner, and--perhaps most tantalizingly of all--a link for purchasing the movie's punk-laden soundtrack.
I suggest checking it out. Brenner worked on the Salem's Lot miniseries too, so there's info on that as well. He also worked on Teen Wolf Too, in case anyone was wondering...

On a side note, The Vault of Horror would like to commemorate the birthday of Francis Albert Sinatra, the greatest entertainer who ever lived.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gods & Monsters: A History of Horror Movies, Part 2

The advent of sound in 1927 opened the door to unheard-of possibilities in motion pictures. For the nascent horror movie genre, particularly in America, it seemed to provide the necessary impetus that allowed what had been an obscure niche curiosity to burst into the mainstream in a big way.
Of course, it wasn't just horror movies that grew in stature thanks to sound. It was at the beginning of the talkie era that the U.S., specifically Hollywood, became the center of the movie universe. And one American movie studio took it upon itself to kick off a golden age of terror flicks.
One of the smaller studios in Tinseltown, Universal didn't necessarily have the big bucks to attract the big stars and produce the prestige pictures. What it did have was visionary studio head Carl Laemmle, who in 1930 greenlit a film adaptation of the long-running stage production of Dracula. Directed by Tod Browning and starring stage headliner Bela Lugosi, the movie was a smash hit--America' first sound horror film. It was quickly followed in 1931 with another adaptation, this time Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff as the misshapen monster. It was an even larger hit.
Horror was bigger than it had ever been, and Universal was leading the way. Lugosi and Karloff became icons of the genre, and their respective films each spawned a series of sequels, most notable among being the superlative Bride of Frankenstein. Taking some inspiration from the German Expressionist pics of the previous decade, the Universal horror movies were rich in atmosphere and, intially at least, took their subject matter very seriously. Frankenstein and Dracula were followed by such films as The Mummy (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933).
Universal's success inspired some of the other studios to try their hands at horror movies. A particular stand-out would be Paramount's 1931 production of Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, starring Fredric March.
In 1934, driven in part by what it perceived as the shocking nature of the horror genre, as well as other "unsavory" aspects of movies in general, a certain rather conservative constituency in America led to the adoption of the Hays Code. Created by studio heads as a response to the moral outcry, the Hays Code reigned in some of the content seen in movies, and horror was one of the main areas affected.
In the latter half of the decade, Universal's pictures softened somewhat in tone. Despite still being enjoyable films, they fall somewhat short of the gothic masterpieces of a few years earlier.
Universal was still rolling along by the start of the 1940s, and in 1941 produced another classic monster, The Wolf Man, played by Lon Chaney Jr.--son of the silent horror star of a generation prior. Nevertheless, after the success of The Wolf Man, world affairs would play a part in the genre's imminent decline.
With the onset of World War II, horror films fell out of favor with the American public--in large part, many have felt, due to the real-life horror hitting so close to home on a daily basis. Most of the genre, including Universal's output, devolved into more juvenile and campy fare over the course of the rest of the decade, typified by such "monster team-up" flicks as Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), or the grandaddy of all horror-comedies, Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).
Still, there was some quality horror being made even during those doldrum years. Chief among the horror filmmakers of the era was Val Lewton, who produced a series of pictures for RKO that included such gems as Cat People (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943) and The Body Snatcher (1945).
By the end of the 1940s, the United States--and the world, for that matter--was a very different place from what it had been just a decade before. America's place in the world had changed; sensibilities had changed; and what frightened people had also changed. As horror movies inched toward another renaissance, the genre would reflect this as well.
Other major releases:

Part 1: The Silent Dead

Soon to come: Part 3 - It Came from Hollywood

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Buttload of Sweeney Todd Clips

We've still got to wait 10 days for Tim Burton's blood-drenched interpretation of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, but today Dreamworks released a whopping nine clips, which are now available for viewing on Bloody-Disgusting. I'd love to post them here, but BD hasn't yet made their videos capable of being embedded (c'mon guys, get with the program!) Anyway, here are the links for those interested in checking out Johnny Depp in action:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Werewolf Comedy to Leave 'Em Howl-ing?

Yet more werewolf movie news this week, this time concerning a horror comedy currently in development, called Howl. The pic was first announced last month, but Australian writer/producer/director Clint Morris has started really drumming up interest in the flick in the last few days, sending around some interesting e-mails. For instance, here's what he told Dread Central:

"It's an homage to the classic werewolf movies, so all the characters, locations and events in the film are nods to past werewolf movies. The title refers to the surname of our lead character, John Howl, a mixed-up cop/werewolf... who's on the trail of a murderer in Hollywood. So it's basically a satire.

"Eric Stoltz plays our villain. Stephen Tobolowsky plays an in-house director at a Dimension-esque shingle. Kam Heskin is the love interest. Powers Boothe looks to be our coke-snorting studio head, and Muse Watson - my producing partner at Shorris Film - plays Johnny Talbot. Hope to get a slew of genre cameos in there too!

"It's terribly tongue-in-cheek, a bit of a piss-take on all the genre efforts of the last few years. There's a strong narrative, but for the most part, we hope you'll laugh. Think Scream without Wes Craven, the backing of the Weinsteins or a dorky deputy.

The lead role of John Howl hasn't been cast yet, and the film is still a few months away from being shot. I'll be keeping my eye on this one.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hollywood Vamp vs. Real Vamp

After first being announced in the New York Post back in May, Hilary Swank's vampire vehicle Fangland looks to finally be moving forward, according to Bloody-Disgusting. A co-production of Das Films and Blumhouse Productions along with Swank herself, and adapted from the novel by former 60 Minutes producer John Marks, Fangland tells the story of TV reporter Evangeline Harker (to be played by Swank) who travels to Romania to investigate a notorious arms dealer, only to discover that, yes, he is also a powerful vampire.
Though I've never read the book, I'm assuming it's some sort of modern take on Stoker's Dracula. Thankfully, the finished script was submitted just before the strike hit. With gorgeous Oscar-winner Swank on board, this should help bring even more mainstream attention to the horror genre in the coming year.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Del Toro and Baker Wolfing Around

rick baker, benicio del torro, wolfman, rb bdt,  Image Hosting
While the remake of The Wolf Man might currently be mired in writers' strike limbo, I thought I would lighten things up a bit with this recent shot I found on Werewolf-Movies.com of Benicio "Larry Talbot" Del Toro hamming it up with makeup effects wizard Rick Baker. Renowned for his benchmark work on another lyncanthropic materpiece, An American Werewolf in London:

Baker will be working on The Wolf Man as well (assuming it's still happening.) Has to be a dream come true for a lifelong Universal fan like Baker. But hell, by the looks of Del Toro, it seems like they might not even need him!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Saw to Drag on for Yet Another Halloween...

Pardon me for being less than enthused at the recent announcement that Saw V will indeed be coming out next Halloween. Rumors had abounded that Lionsgate might be taking a year off to let the franchise rest, but alas, that is not the case.
Bloody-Disgusting got this exclusive comment from new director David Hackl:
"You have to realize that I am probably one of the biggest Saw fans out there. My team and I are the ones who have had the awesome task of designing and building the Saw traps since Saw II. So now I'm about to helm Saw V. I'm as psyched as anyone could be. You can let the fans know that they won't be let down or I will have let myself down. Jigsaw might be dead but that would never stop him and it certainly won't stop me...My work has just begun."

I suppose this series has its fans, and judging by the performance of Saw IV, it does have legs in the box office department. As far as quality? My take: The first one was brilliant. The second, a derivative slasher copycat. The third, a repulsive torture porn knock-off. The fourth, somewhat of a return to form, but too confusing to be truly satisfying. Oh well, I'll still go and see it, I suppose.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Vincent Price Spinning in His Grave Over I Am Legend?

In a very insightful article published a couple days ago at the Fort Worth Business Press, author Michael H. Price--distant cousin of the legendary Vincent Price--speculates as to how his famous relative might have felt about the upcoming re-telling of I Am Legend, due in theaters a week from tomorrow. And the speculation is not positive.
Price, of course, appeared in 1964's The Last Man on Earth, the original film version of Richard Matheson's novel. Interestingly, the writer partly bases his speculation on the fact that Price spoke out against the 1986 remake of another of his films, The Fly, feeling that they had "done it right the first time." Apparently, Price did not rail against the first I Am Legend remake, 1971's The Omega Man, because his buddy Charlton Heston was the star.
So would Vinny P. have condemned the new Will Smith vehicle? Well, if we're to put any stock in the pre-release buzz, come December 14, pretty much everyone will.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bring Some Vampires Home this February

According to Sony Home Entertainment, last fall's vampire chiller 30 Days of Night will be available on both DVD and Blu-Ray come February 19. Adapted from the award-winning Steve Niles comic book series of the same name, 30 Days took in $50 million in theaters--a halfway decent showing for an R-rated horror flick.
With both this and the theatrical release of Diary of the Dead hitting around Valentine's Day, it looks like there'll be no shortage of excuses to cling tightly to your significant other!

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's the Zombie All-Star Team!

That's right folks, just because I can, and because there isn't much else to write about (I mean, how much can you say about I Am Legend?), today I'm putting together my ultimate undead dream team. Pointless? Yep. Fun? Absolutely. So without further ado, here are the ten walking cadavers I'd want on my side if I ever needed to besiege a farmhouse or shopping mall...

BUB: A natural leader. Plus, his military background comes in handy. How many zombies do you know that can handle an automatic weapon?

TARMAN: He's got the power of speech, even if his known vocabulary seems to be confined to two words, "more" and "brains".

KAREN COOPER: Killed her mom with a garden trowel, and had her dad's arm for lunch. Scariest. Kid. Ever.

FLYBOY: Great sense of direction, and won't let a silly thing like a detached ankle stop him from getting around.

FIDO: Whether you need to get rid of your annoying neighbor or put away the dinnerware, he's your man!

BABY SELWYN: Zombie baby. 'Nuff said.

CONQUISTADOR ZOMBIE: As groady as he may appear, we should only look as good after being dead for 400 years.

MICHAEL JACKSON: Admit it, he looked pretty cool in that "Thriller" video. Hide the kids!

HENRIETTA: It takes a special breed to go toe-to-toe with Ash. She'll swallow your soul!

ED: Finally, a zombie I wouldn't mind sitting down with for a pint or two.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hail to the Kings of Horror, Baby!

Disappointed that the tantalizing Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash movie looks like it will never happen? Well, don't worry, because DC Comics has you covered. Capitalizing on the enormous grassroots popularity of the concept among fanboys, DC has taken the initiative and launched a six-part limited series that picks up right where Freddy vs. Jason left off, and throws everyone's favorite chainsaw-toting sales clerk in for good measure.
Here's the synopsis from DCcomics.com:
In the bloody wake of the hit movie Freddy vs. Jason, Freddy Krueger finds himself clinging to the last shred of fear that allows him to exist…inside the demented mind of Jason Voorhees. Unwillingly bonded together, the murderous pair must seek out the Necronomicon, the only solution to their mutual torment. Nothing can stop this unholy alliance -- except the wisecracking, chainsaw-wielding Ash, aimed at destroying the Book of the Dead once and for all!
Written by James Kuhoric, with art by Jason Craig and covers by J. Scott Campbell (no relation to Bruce), the series is put out by DC's Wildstorm imprint. Issue #1 came out a month ago, and issue #2 just hit last week. Here are the street dates for the remaining four:
  • #3: December 26
  • #4: January 23
  • #5: February 27
  • #6: April 3

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Horror Authors Unite to Support Writers' Strike

The strike of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has of course been the talk of the American entertainment industry of late. Recently, the Horror Writers Association (HWA)--a respected 20-year-old fraternity of genre authors most known for its yearly Bram Stoker Awards--publicly declared its support of the strike. On their website, and in messages dispatched throughout the business, they have stated the following:
"The Horror Writers Association, on behalf of its writer members, stands in support of the Writers Guild of America strike in seeking appropriate compensation for writers when their work is distributed digitally, either via DVD or Internet downloads. Although HWA is not a union, it is an organization of writers that advocates for authors' rights. Writers Guild of America and its demands fall solidly into this category. All writers will be affected by the outcome of this strike, and we stand in solidarity, resisting those who seek to distribute our work on the Internet, DVD, or any format without fair compensation."

The HWA counts the likes of Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Brian Lumley, Peter Straub, Clive Barker and Richard Matheson among its members. To learn more about the group, go to horror.org.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tom Cruise to Return as the Vampire Lestat?

Very unexpected news today for one of the most infamously troubled novel-to-film franchises ever. An anonymous spy has reported to Bloody-Disgusting that United Artists is in talks to land the rights to The Tale of the Body Thief, the fourth volume in Anne Rice's mostly superb Chronicles of the Vampires.
More than that, rumor has it that Tom Cruise, who played the lead role of Lestat in 1994's Interview with the Vampire, may be returning to the part. The book tells the story of the French bloodsucker's attempt to regain his humanity by switching bodies with a mortal.
Many fans of Rice's work were disappointed with the Cruise casting 13 years, so they can't be pleased this time around either. But then again, most also felt that the atrocious Queen of the Damned adaptation five years ago had driven a definitive stake through the heart of this series...

**Newly Added**
Find out just what kind of zombie you are! Check out the very clever quiz I've added near the bottom of the page, courtesy of Quizilla...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Munsters..."In Living Color"!

Bloody-Disgusting today picked up on a very interesting tidbit that was rather quietly broken earlier this month. In an exclusive interview with Moviepicturefilm.com, Shawn Wayans stated that he and his brothers Marlon and Keenen Ivory Wayans (the minds behind Scary Movie 1 & 2) are working on a big-screen adaptation of the popular 1960s television show The Munsters.
The height of '60s cheese TV, The Munsters sitcom chronicled the lives of a friendly monster family trying their best to fit into suburban America.
Wayans was quick to point out that he and his brothers are writing and producing the film, but will not be starring in it (*whew!* - The Honeymooners, anyone??). Rather, as Shawn says, they're "going to get some white people and paint them green."
The Wayans are "contemporizing" the show for its movie treatment. They also plan to write it for a PG-13 rating. I'm curious about that one, since I wouldn't imagine The Munsters to be anything harder than a G. Perhaps they're giving it a little more of an edge, a la The Addams Family movies? I wonder just what they mean by "contemporizing"...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Behind the Scenes of Will Smith's I Am Legend

It's the next big horror release, and it's only two weeks away. And while you'll forgive me if memories of Wild, Wild West and I, Robot cause me to be a tad skeptical on this one, I still thought I'd share this little sneak peek that was posted today on ETonline.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dead Funny

Today I bring you this rather clever series of vignettes from Ed Helms, best known for his five-year stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show, as well as a run last season on The Office. Although apparently made two years ago, Zombie-American popped up earlier this year on the website Funny or Die, which is where I came across it. Zombie comedy seems all the rage these days, doesn't it? And while this is basically a one-joke sketch, it's still pretty hysterical in parts. Check out all three chapters:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dexter: Cable's Next Big Thing

OK, I admit it. I've never watched Dexter. Couldn't have even if I had wanted to--I got rid of Showtime after they cancelled Dead Like Me.
But after all the buzz this show has been getting, including glowing recommendations from everyone from the folks on the Bloody-Disgusting forums to my Dad (Hi Dad), I realize I need to rectify this. Thus, the entire first season is now placed high atop my Netflix queue.
Chronicling the misadventures of a strangely moral serial killer played by Michael C. Hall (who was on excellent on his last cable show, HBO's Six Feet Under), Dexter set a new record this week. According to The Hollywood Reporter, last Sunday's episode drew 1.23 million viewers, the highest ever for a Showtime series. Viewership also grew an impressive 40% from last week's ep. And with a third season recently confirmed, the word on this series is officially out. Make room for me on the bandwagon!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Silent Dead: A History of Horror Movies, Part 1

For as long as humans have been sophisticated enough to desire entertainment, we've had an innate fascination with being horrified. Perhaps the last vestigal remants of the "fight or flight" instinct give us this visceral thrill, which we can enjoy freely with the knowledge that what we are seeing is not real.
As ingrained as the love of being scared is in the human psyche, it's suprising that horror took a while to establish itself as a major genre in the motion picture business. In the earliest days of the movies, they were not very common, particularly in America, where religious groups still held great sway over public opinion.
At the beginning of the industry, it was in Europe that horror films first took root. Pioneering French filmmaker Georges Melies (best known for 1902's A Trip to the Moon) is credited with creating the earliest examples with his two short films, The House of the Devil (1896) and The Cave of the Demons (1898).
At the start of the 20th century, the epicenter of the motion picture biz was in Germany, and horror pictures were no different. A wave of Expressionistic films emerged there in the '10s and '20s, the impact of which continues to be felt to this day. Chief among them were Paul Wegener's The Golem (1920), Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and of course, F.W. Murnau's 1922 masterpiece, Nosferatu--the first of countless Dracula adaptations.
Meanwhile, in the States, it was actually Thomas Edison, who had invented motion picture technology in the first place, whose production company put out what may be America's first horror movie and the first in another long tradition, 1910's short film Frankenstein.
In Hollywood, the 1920s produced the first horror movie megastar, the one and only Lon Chaney. Known as "The Man of a Thousand Faces," Chaney achieved notoriety in large part due to his uncanny ability to transform himself through make-up. Chief among his notable roles are The Monster (1925), lost film London After Midnight (1927) and his iconic turn in The Phantom of the Opera (1925), which gave rise to Universal's classic monster movie series the following decade.
The end of the 1920s saw the rise of a revolution in filmmaking thanks to arguably the greatest innovation the industry has ever seen: sound. The effects would be profound, and horror movies would lead the way.
Other major releases:Soon to come: Part 2 - Gods and Monsters
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