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Part II: The Producers Take Back The Reins
By the late 1970s, the tremendous creative license the major studios under a new generation of production chiefs had granted the young tyros of the 1960s – Coppola, Scorsese, et al – had expired as each managed to deliver at least one, major, back-breaking flop. For Scorsese, it had been the grim musical New York, New York (1977, $13.8 million U.S. vs. a budget of $14 million); Peter Bogdanovich turned out a streak of losers including period piece Daisy Miller (1974), comedy Nickelodeon (1976), and another disastrous musical, At Long Last Love (1975, $1.5 million U.S./$6 million cost); after the back-to-back hits of The French Connection and The Exorcist, William Friedkin delivered Sorcerer (1977, $6 million U.S. against a crushing $22 million cost); and Francis Coppola, after a string of commercial and/or critical home runs including The Godfather (1972), The Conversation (1974), The Godfather Part II (1974), and Apocalypse Now (1979), turned out One from the Heart »
- Bill Mesce
Disney's fourth installment of their much loved 'Pirates' franchise 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' will arrive in theatres next May. Rob Marshall ('Chicago', 'Nine') takes to directorial duties this time around - does this mean more musical numbers? A new teaser poster for the sequel, which won't see Orlando Bloom nor Keira Knightley returning for, has been revealed by Disney and you can check it out below. This will be the first of the Pirates movies not directed by Gore Verbinski, whom opted instead to helm the animated movie 'Rango' about a swashbuckling chameleon. Gemma Ward ('The Strangers'), Ian McShane ('Death Race'), Penelope Cruz (below), Stephen Graham ('Snatch'), Geoffrey Rush ('House on Haunted Hill') and many others all join a returning Jack Sparrow, played of course by Johnny Depp. »
Showcasing classic movies that have fallen out of copyright and are available freely from the public domain (with streaming video!)...
House on Haunted Hill, 1959.
Directed by William Castle.
A low-budget b-movie horror from 1959, William Castle's House on Haunted Hill stars Vincent Price as eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren, who invites five random strangers to attend a party for his fourth wife Annabelle (Carolyn Craig). Loren then offers them a proposal: to spend a night in his haunted mansion - the location of a series of brutal murders - in return for $10,000 each, payable upon their survival. Warning the guests that their host is psychotic, Annabelle soon commits suicide and the strangers begin to experience a series of macabre events with no means of escape from the terror...
Director Castle employed a unique promotional »
What are you doing tomorrow night? Cancel your plans, because… Wait, what do you mean you can’t cancel a funeral? I’ve heard just about enough of your excuses, and anyway, this will be much more fun. Tomorrow night, the gentlemen of RiffTrax will live-mock House on Haunted Hill in a theater near you. Well, they won’t actually be in your theater—unless you’re theater is in Nashville. But they will be live! And alive. Like a livewire of…comedy? Focus, people! There are many reasons why you should go see this performance, the main one of which is laughter. But here are »
"William Castle's Shockers", presented by the very undead folks from Cinefamily at Hollywood, California's iconic Silent Movie Theatre, has been running Saturday nights in October. Of course there will also be a double feature on Halloween night, Sunday, October 31st.
Here's a list of what will be shown during the last two weekends of the month. See you at The Silent Movie Theatre, 611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90048; for more info call (323) 655-2520.
Macabre - 6:00pm
Macabre is a taut little race-the-clock picture about a kidnapped doctor's daughter and the his panicked attempts to save her! This was Castle’s first foray into horror (though he’d made some fine noir thrillers), and there’s the extra pleasure of the ever-jovial Jim Backus (Mr. Howell from “Gilligan’s Island”, and the voice of Mr. Magoo) sliming it up in a »
- Uncle Creepy
Dark House Poster
The 2010 Fangoria Frightfest film entries are moving to DVD this week through Phase 4. This series released in Canada September 21st and the Us release is scheduled for September 28th. Films included: mysterious thriller The Tomb, the suspenseful The Haunting, the goreific Pig Hunt, the dismal Hunger, the disturbing Grimm Love, the original Road Kill, shocker Fragile and this year's winner of the event Dark House. This film festival competition was successful because of fan support and horror enthusiasts can have a look at the DVD special features for each of the titles listed here inside.
Director: Darin Scott.
Producer: Mark Sonoda.
The synopsis for Dark House:
"A group of hot young drama students are recruited to work in a new 'haunted house' attraction by flamboyant, impresario Walston Rey »
- 28DaysLaterAnalysis@gmail.com (Michael Allen)
Sauil Bass's credit sequence for The Man With the Golden Arm was carried into the film's publicity, prefiguring today's corporate identity approach
In Enter the Void, Gaspar Noé shows us things we've never seen before, beginning with opening credits of a rare intensity: big throbbing letters in English and Japanese, pulsating so rapidly they're almost reduced to a stream of subliminal imagery. It's dazzlingly modern and in-your-face, even though it's essentially just a bunch of different typefaces. Noé has taken an intrinsically old-fashioned approach to credits and given it the ultimate makeover.
A lot of today's movies (particularly the more self-important "event" releases) dispense with opening credits altogether, which is a shame, because there's nothing like an exhilarating launchpad to give a film lift-off. Until the 1950s, the usual method was to present names and titles on cards, or against an unmoving backdrop, though prestige productions sometimes tinkered with the »
- Anne Billson
If H.G. Lewis is the Godfather of Gore, then William Castle must be horror’s lovable Grandfather ... or at least its sneaky uncle. And just like family, we sometimes take him for granted, relegating him to the bowels of schlock cinema - a term that celebrates the gimmickry of niche movie making but not its inherent ingenuity.
The name William Castle has become synonymous with classic horror, but not dared spoken in the same breath as Hitchcock or even Terence Fisher for that matter. No, Castle is the midnight movie madman who elevated audience exploitation to an art form and invented the twist ending decades before M. Night Shyamalan pitched The Sixth Sense to Disney executives. Now, when one name splashes across the screen, it elicits groans from the audience (been in a theater showing the Devil trailer lately?), but when the name William Castle pops up, a sinister smirk »
- Uncle Creepy
Ali Larter is no stranger to horror films (Final Destination, The House On Haunted Hill) nor Resident Evil films after appearing in both Extinction and the upcoming Afterlife. But unlike some of those other films where she plays the victim, she's now playing a girl you don't want to mess with. We recently caught up with Larter in Los Angeles to talk about Resident Evil: Afterlife and why she wanted to return for another go at the franchise. The film hits theaters this Friday and you can check out the exclusive interview below! »
- Andrew Hegele
This past August 28th saw the San Diego debut of the Blacklist Art and Film Festival, and your local Dread Central staff members were on hand for the event. We're happy to report a good time was had by all, and even though we'd seen a couple of the horror shorts shown during the film fest portion already, they really popped thanks to the enthusiastic crowd.
What types of films were there? Only several of the best shorts the genre has seen in some time: Jason Eisener's hilariously brilliant "Treevenge" (review here), the clever and surprising Aussie flick "Spider" from Nash Edgerton, and Ryan Spindell's quite well made "Kirksdale" (the longest entry of the night with a runtime of 21 minutes). These three came in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Beast in Show, respectively, and were all well deserving. They were joined by:
- The Woman In Black
Many genre fans today know the name William Castle, but not so many are aware of his full and lasting impact on it. Back in the late Fifties and on through the Sixties, his was a name that was synonymous with horror films. Further, his name was – and remains – one that defines the term “spectacle” in modern film history. Castle was a man who never forgot that “show” is the first word in “show business.” He knew, instinctively, that if you gave the movie-going audience a decent show, the business part would take care of itself. Give the audience their money’s worth and they would love you forever.
And so, in 1955, after an already successful career in film, he noticed lines that wound around the block for a small French film called Diabolique and he leapt into horror filmmaking with both feet. Since he knew he couldn’t compete »
Haunted Houses have been a feature of literature, film and folklore for decades, with 40 per cent of Brits believing in the phenomenon and a hit TV show, Most Haunted, exploring claims of paranormal activity.
On the big screen, some of the more memorable door-creaking chillers include The Haunting (1963 and 1999), The Legend of Hell House (1970), The Shining (1980), The Changeling (1980), House on Haunted Hill (1959 and 1999), The Amityville Horror (1979 and 2005), The Orphanage (2007) and Paranormal Activity (2007).
Continuing the cobweb-strewn tradition, last month saw the DVD release of Psychosis, the most recent entry in the genre, in which Buffy actress Charisma Carpenter plays a novelist who moves from California to an English manor house in search of peace and tranquillity.
Her dream of serenity unfolds into a living nightmare as she is »
- David Bentley
A quick follow-up to yesterday's news story about the New York City Return of William Castle. In typical Castle fashion you just can't keep a good ghoul down! Get ready to hear from "the man himself" regarding the upcoming film festivities!
“Don’t think that a little thing like being dead would preclude me from attending “The Return of William Castle” retrospective at the Film Forum in New York City beginning on Friday, August 27th.
I am very much present. And I do so remember how I loved scaring the living daylights out of all of you ... But I’m not done yet. Not by a long shot. I am sure you are dying to know what to expect from me now that I’m back with From The Grave!, a new tale of terror and my first novel, »
- Uncle Creepy
For better or worse, 3-D is here to stay but what of the one-shot movie gimmicks of yesteryear? House On Haunted Hill (1959) had .Emergo., a glow-in-the-dark skeleton that swooped over the audience at a key point in the movie. Earthquake had .Sensurround., massive Cerwin-Vega subwoofers that shook the theatres and for Polyester (1981), John Waters passed out self-explanatory .Odorama. cards. .Duo-Vision. was a split-screen technique used for the entire 1973 shocker Wicked, Wicked, a film as forgotten as it.s gimmick and one that is Not available on DVD. Split-screen is an effective story-telling device when used sparingly. Brian DePalma used it quite a bit in Sisters (also 1973) and in many of his other films.It was used intelligently in Woodstock (1970) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) but way overused in More American Graffiti (1979). Wicked, Wicked, where the device is used in 99% of the shots (only a couple of violent inserts and establishing »
- Tom Stockman
You’ve gotta give it up to director William Malone – the helmer of 1999's gory House on Haunted Hill remake and the universally reviled 2002's FeardotCom has conjured up something of an original idea for his new film Parasomnia. Parasomnia is the story of Laura Baxter (Cherilyn Wilson), who suffers from a rare form of parasomnia that leaves her asleep for the majority of her life. She is physically capable and generally healthy but tragically rendered comatose for days and months at a time.
Kept in a hospital bed and fed intravenously on a regular basis, Laura seems doomed to this existence until Danny Sloan (Dylan Purcell) stumbles across her room while visiting a friend in rehab. Danny is taken with Laura almost immediately and strives to find out more about her. Coincidentally, in the room next to Laura, serial killer and master hypnotist Byron Volpe (Patrick Kilpatrick - best name ever? »
- Mark Zhuravsky
We told you about it a couple of weeks ago, but now E1 Entertainment has made it official! They will be bringing home Rob Stefaniuk's new rocker heavy vampire comedy Suck to Blu-ray and DVD this fall!
From the Press Release
Leading independent distributor E1 Entertainment (E1) has added rock-n-roll vampire musical “Suck” to its growing library of horror titles in the U.S. E1 will manage distribution across multiple platforms including home video, VOD, digital and TV sales.
The film follows a down and out band, ironically known as The Winners, that are desperately seeking a record deal and will do anything to make it big. After a life-changing encounter with a vampire, they rocket to »
- Uncle Creepy
Hey, Dreadites, it's Volume 4 of Scare-riff-eyeing: Musical Abominations Horror Fans Should Be Killing For and Dying Over! Go into that cluttered Fred Flintstone-esque closet of yours, pull out those monster feet swim fins, and get 'em on. It's almost summer, and we're hitting the beach...
For the most part, if you are a horror music fan, your choices of genre are pretty varied, surprisingly. There are the obligatory death metal pioneers Cannibal Corpse in one corner, backed by literally a legion of other death metal bands, all competing to sing about the latest filmic gem of gory obscurity before one of their brethren. In another corner you have the psychobilly/horror punk thing with bands like The Nekromantix, the Misfits-worshiping Japanese quartet Balzac, and their own sizable army of like-minded bands, who all share an obligatory love for The Misfits and The Cramps. There are a plethora of faux-soundtrack bands like Anima Morte, »
- The Butcher
After what seems like forever it's finally going to happen! William (The House on Haunted Hill, The Fair-Haired Child) Malone's long awaited flick Parasomnia is set to hit DVD and Blu-ray in a few months, and we now have the list of included special features!
The film stars Cherilyn Wilson as a young woman afflicted with the titular syndrome — she sleeps almost constantly, waking only for brief moments — and Patrick Kilpatrick as a serial killer with hypnotic powers who invades her dreams. Look for it on July 13th courtesy of E1 Entertainment.
Audio commentary by William Malone Making-of featurette Deleted scenes Cast and crew interviews Photo gallery
It's about damned time! We cannot wait! Check out the snazzy new artwork below.
Parasomnia - Home Video Trailer
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- Uncle Creepy
Dtv sequels – we all love ‘em right? Well yes and no. Some are great (“Wrong Turn 2”), some are average (“House of the Dead 2″), and some are unbearably shit (pretty much all of them). Still, I watch them, and it seems so do many other people, as the market is growing and is also evidently profitable. Just look at the “Boogeyman” franchise of horror movies, or the “American Pie” sequels – surely they wouldn’t keep on getting made if nobody bought them? So due to this burgeoning market, inevitably a sequel to “House on Haunted Hill” was greenlit. But was it one of the good batch? Negative on the offence red leader. At least for me anyway, as some might be drawn in by how fantastic it looks, which is certainly impressive, so hats off to those behind the cinematography and direction. It really does feel as though it’s a big-budget theatrical release, »
- Gazz Ogden
Actor Peter Graves was best known for his starring role as Jim Phelps, leader of the Impossible Mission Force, on the popular television drama series Mission: Impossible, from 1967 to 1973. He took over as star of the series from Steven Hill with the second season.
Graves was also a leading actor in science fiction films in the 1950s. He spoke with bible-quoting Martians in the 1952 Cold War thriller Red Planet Mars, and battled bug-eyed aliens in Killers from Space in 1954. He fended off a creepy Venusian invader in the Roger Corman cult classic It Conquered the World in 1956, and saved the country from gigantic grasshoppers in 1957’s Beginning of the End.
He was born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on March 18, 1926. He served in the United States Army Air Force near the end of World War II.
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