16 items from 2014
1999 seems so far away now. At the fag end of the millennium, it was the year that gave us Stanley Kubrick's posthumous final opus, Britney Spears's first album and Hugh Grant playing the iconic Time Lord in a Doctor Who Comic Relief special. That wretched song 'Blue' by Eiffel 65 was violating our ears. It also saw a micro-budget (reportedly $35k) film creep into UK cinemas on October 22 and change the horror genre forever. The debate rages on whether that was for better or worse.
The Blair Witch Project's financial rewards were huge, with the film grossing $10,931 for every $1 spent according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Yet its cultural impact was arguably more staggering. In an age when the Internet was in its mass-market infancy and mobile phones were a luxury bearing the game Snake, it was felt that the horror genre had nothing new »
One of my fondest memories growing up as a young horrorphile was catching as many scary movies and fright-filled specials as I could during the month of October in order to prepare for Halloween night. With the hundreds of channel options out there for viewers these days, I thought it might be fun to break down where genre fans can catch various movies, specials and even Halloween-themed cartoons over the next 31 days so that you can start planning out your viewings in advance.
Here are some of the thrills and chills coming to your televisions this October. Please keep in mind that full schedules have not been announced everywhere yet, so we’ll be sure to update you guys with any additions to the calendar. All times listed are Et/Pt:
Wednesday, October 1st
2:00pm – The Dead (SyFy)
4:30pm – Dead Season (SyFy)
6:30pm – Halloween II (2009) (SyFy)
- Heather Wixson
Cybel Martin - whose instructive and entertaining words of wisdom on all things cinematography, that many of you have read and appreciate on this blog - will be making her directorial with "Black As Night," described as an urban vampire story centered around a 15 year old girl living in the South Bronx. Penned by screenwriter Sherman Payne, whose thriller script "Furlough" was sold to David Linde’s Lava Bear Films and producer Brian Witten ("Chernobyl Diaries"), last year, the story's synopsis reads: "Girls from the South Bronx never obsessed over 'Twilight.' If they did, maybe 15 year-old Shawna would have a better idea how to defend her »
- Tambay A. Obenson
San Diego Comic-Con has released the full schedule of events for Friday, July 25, following the Thursday schedule that was released yesterday. You can clickHere to view the lineup in its entirety, which includes numerous comic book panels and events, but we have pulled out all of the movie, DVD and TV-related panels for your convenience.
Friday, July 25
Good mornin'! What's better than a panel of one Cartoon Network Comedy? Two cartoon network comedies! That's right fans, prepare yourself for double the comedy, double the fun and double the friends with Uncle Grandpa and Clarence! Join the always-entertaining cast and crew for a behind-the-scenes look at two of the newest hit shows on Cartoon Network. It's woooooorth it. Appearing from Uncle Grandpa are creator Peter Browngardt (Uncle Grandpa), Kevin Michael Richardson (Mr. Gus), and Eric Bauza (Belly Bag). Appearing from »
We're back with the horror highlights of Day 2 of this year's Sdcc, and you better rest up! On tap are "The Walking Dead," "Bates Motel," "Sleepy Hollow," Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Scream Factory, and More!
What you'll find below is just the tip of the iceberg (and it does include a few "fringe" panels that we thought might be interest). Be sure to visit the official San Diego Comic-Con 2014 website for the full lineup.
Day 2: Friday, July 25, 2014
10:00 Am - Publishers Weekly: Behind the Digital Line
As digital comics have become a driving force of the medium, more publishers and creators have launched digital first lines of comics. How do publishers and creators deal with the unique properties of the web and tablet? How do readers react? Are they an evolution from webcomics or their own medium? And how will technological evolution affect storytelling as more choices arise? Pw's »
- Debi Moore
Friday, July 25 is going to be the busiest day ever for TV fans at the San Diego Comic-Con. After waiting in long lines, fighting through crowds and sitting patiently while waiting for panels to start, attendees will bask in the glory of hit shows like "Arrow," "The Walking Dead," "Sleepy Hollow," "Orphan Black," "Bones" "Bates Motel" and "Game of Thrones," plus get an early look at newbies such as "iZombie" "Outlander," "Intruders" and "Mike Tyson Mysteries." "iZombie" The new CW show -- based on the Vertigo comic -- makes its Comic-Con debut with a screening of the pilot episode, and a Q&A with the cast and crew. When: Friday July 25, 2014 11:30am - 12:30pm Where: Room 6Bcf Who: Stars Rose McIver (Once Upon a Time), Malcolm Goodwin (Breakout Kings), Rahul Kohli (newcomer from the UK), and Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill), as well as executive producers Rob Thomas »
- Dave Lewis
While I spend most of my free moments writing about independent horror and spreading the good word of underrated scares, I still feel like too many of you haven’t seen some of the best genre movies I’ve caught this year. Hell, I’d gladly host personal screenings for every single one of you, but my Mom always told me not to trust strangers, and I simply don’t have the pizza money for that kind of hunger - but We Got This Covered will do you one better!
For our newest contest, we’re giving away two Blu-Ray copies of Afflicted, my favorite horror film of the year so far. Written and directed by newcomers Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, this found footage indie horror manages to avoid all the awful subgenre stereotypes that make movies like Chernobyl Diaries an unappetizing waste. Imagine Chronicle meets skin-crawling, modern terror »
- Matt Donato
Resurrection Season One DVD Review
Resurrection seems like the epitome of a series that didn’t expect to last past the first four episodes. When I wrote my original review of the show, and gave it a high rating, I said the show’s great weakness to that point was that it didn’t seem to want to commit to how weird it was going to be. It creates an opening within the first few episodes that leave viewers unable to be confident that it is about to lean toward the very weird, or toward an almost straight, “normal” drama that just happens to involve very abnormal events.
That isn’t even a problem in one sense, because not knowing where things are going isn’t a bad theory. Where it becomes tricky is insofar as viewers want to know just how goofy the twists and turns are apt to become. »
- Marc Eastman
Director: Matt Johnson.
Running Time: 83 Minutes.
Synopsis: When two best friends team up to film a comedy about getting revenge on bullies, the exercise takes a devastating turn when one of them begins to think of it as more than a joke.
The Dirties made its debut at Slamdance in the United States in early 2013 and won awards including the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the same festival. Marking the directorial debut of Matt Johnson, who also stars and co-writes, the film is yet another one of those found-footage features which have been clogging up our cinemas screens since the break-out success of The Blair Witch Project all of the way back in 1998.
- Paul Heath
Found footage films get a bad rap - and worse reviews. But the genre combines the vitality of punk rock with the reach of a video viral, and it has earned, if not respectability, then at least a respectful reappraisal. Some found footage (hereafter Ff) films are, admittedly, unwatchable (see The Devil Inside or, better, don't). But others, such as recent West Country-set religious chiller The Borderlands, or Bobcat Goldthwait's creepy Bigfoot hunt Willow Creek (out on May 2), are closer to unmissable.
Beyond an ominous title card, Ff films require little backstory, and the genre has only a brief history of its own. An uncompromising, hand-over-the-camera-lens look at totalitarianism in Vietnam-era America, Peter Watkins' 1971 mock-doc Punishment Park is considered Ff's chief forebear. Ruggiero Deodato's still-troubling Cannibal Holocaust (1979), however, is the most striking early archetype. Following a gonzo film crew into tribal Amazonia, it puts video-nasty atrocities through a film-school filter, »
Stop me if you've heard this one before: In elementary school at some point, we had to do extended book reports. I chose "Lord of the Flies," as you do. Well, part of the assignment was to select a character you liked at the beginning of the book and do a chapter-by-chapter diary from that character's point of view. I sympathized and empathized with Piggy, so he was an easy choice for my diary-writing. For a couple chapters, I wrote lengthy entries about the challenges of being a pudgy, bespectacled outsider in a group of increasingly feral kids, discovering how quickly the trappings of civilization fall away. Then, of course, very bad things happen to Piggy and his beloved conch. Briefly, I was crushed. Subsequently, I realized that my assignment had just gotten vastly easier. For the last chunk of the diary, I wrote nothing other than the chapter and "Still dead. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Genre: Drama | Fantasy
Creator: Aaron Zelman
Air Date/Time: March 9, 2014, 9/8c
Directed by: Charles McDougall
Cast: Omar Epps (“House”) as J. Martin Bellamy, Frances Fisher (“Titanic”) as Lucille Langston, Matt Craven (“Crimson Tide,” “A Few Good Men”) as Fred Langston, Devin Kelley (“Chernobyl Diaries,” “The Chicago Code”) as Maggie Langston, Mark Hildreth (“The Tudors”) as Pastor Tom Hale, Samaire Armstrong (“Entourage,” “The O.C.”) as Elaine Richards, Sam Hazeldine (“The Raven”) as Caleb Richards, Landon Gimenez as Jacob and Kurtwood Smith (“That ’70s Show”) as Henry Langston
The people of Arcadia, Missouri are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to reappear, on the series premiere of Resurrection, Sunday, March 9 (9:00-10:01 p.m., Et) on the ABC Television Network.
In “The Returned,” an 8-year-old American boy (Landon Gimenez) wakes up alone in a rice paddy »
- Erin Willard
ABC has been trying to hit on a lot of fronts lately, but nothing has been a more clear shot at fans of Lost than the upcoming Resurrection. The trailers don’t exactly give you that impression (see sizzle reel below), but they hint that it might be there, as does the general premise.
We watch as Jacob awakes in a rice field in China, clearly in unfamiliar territory. The case soon falls to Immigration agent J. Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), who only knows that Jacob has made his way back to the United States, but hasn’t spoken a word since he was found. Though Martin is supposed to just drop Jacob off with Child Protective Services, he seems to be getting some information out of Jacob, and when Jacob confirms that he can find his way home, in Arcadia, Missouri, Martin takes him there.
The aging man who answers the door, »
- Marc Eastman
My mother is the reason I’m a genre film fan; it’s all her fault. Over the years I’ve made her countless lists of movies I think she’ll like. I made her watch Session 9 and Pontypool, and finally talked her into seeing Shaun of the Dead.
My mom got a Roku for Christmas. The tables have turned.
I suddenly find myself inundated with recommendations and Netflix instant discoveries. She’s digging deep. Most of her suggestions are indie, low budget, or “what’s that?” horror films.
My mom may have informed my cinematic tastes, but she’s also the woman who forced me to watch Devil in the theater, and goaded me into bumping Chernobyl Diaries and Apollo 18 up my queue. No one’s perfect.
Her tastes may sometimes be questionable, but she’s my mom, and I still do what she says. Because of her I watched Apartment 143. »
- Christine Makepeace
During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, ABC aired a new teaser for its upcoming "Resurrection," and in case you missed it, we have a look at it right here. The show rises on Sunday, March 9th.
The people of Arcadia, Missouri, are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to return. An 8-year-old American boy (Landon Gimenez) wakes up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province with no idea how he got there.
Details start to emerge when the boy, who calls himself Jacob, recalls that his hometown is Arcadia; and an Immigration agent, Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), takes him there. The home he claims as his own is occupied by an elderly couple, Harold (Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille Garland (Frances Fisher), who lost their son, Jacob, more than 30 years ago. While they look different, young Jacob recognizes them as his parents. »
- Debi Moore
Please stop finding footage of idiots encountering demonic entities. Burn it, hide it, recycle it or relabel it 'SuBo Sex Tape'. Anything to prevent it from reaching the public, like this lazily cobbled together offshoot of the Paranormal Activity movies. This horror subgenre has numbed enough brains, with its limited format looking increasingly stale and the shaking camerawork threatening nothing more than motion sickness.
Marketed as a 'cousin' rather than direct sequel to the mostly impressive franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones revolves around the harebrained sleuthing of Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and Hector (Jorge Diaz), two Latino youngsters who recklessly probe a murder in a nearby apartment.
Before long, Jesse's increasingly volatile behaviour suggests that he may well be possessed. Or perhaps turned insane by his pal Hector's pathological insistence on »
16 items from 2014
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