Syfy Films continues to expand into the theatrical arena with their new feature, Atomica, a character-driven science fiction drama about three people who are unsure if they can trust one another as they attempt to get a futuristic power station back online. With Atomica now out in select theaters and coming out on VOD and digital HD beginning March 21st, Daily Dead recently caught up with director Dagen Merrill for our latest Q&A feature to discuss realizing his vision on a budget, how to find hope within a bleak depiction of the future, and more.
Atomica, the new film from director Dagen Merrill, is a small-scale, character-based science fiction movie about two people stranded together in a single location and learning to live with one another while they both possibly conceal secrets. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it could also describe the Chris Pratt/Jennifer Lawrence vehicle, Passengers, from late 2016. I make this comparison not to suggest the former copied the latter—Atomica is no “mockbuster” imitation—but instead just to say that if I had to choose between Passengers and Atomica, I’d go with Atomica.
Nearly three years after releasing the original Slumber Party Massacre as a special edition Blu-ray, Scream Factory has finally put a double feature disc of its two sequels: 1987’s Slumber Party Massacre II and 1990’s Slumber Party Massacre III. It’s something of a good news/bad news situation.
One of the lesser-known horror anthologies of the 1980s, 1986’s Deadtime Stories is a title of which I’ve been familiar for years, but it took me a long time to actually get around to seeing it. And because of the film’s long history of botched home video releases, the versions I’ve been able to watch in the past haven’t been of the best quality. As a result, I had an unfair opinion of the movie. Thankfully, Scream Factory has put Deadtime Stories out on Blu-ray for the first time and allowed me the opportunity not just to revisit it, but to revise my opinion. It’s more fun than I gave it credit for.
Daily Dead is proud to debut the music video for “Ratimis,” the title track from the full-length album by electronic artist Brahm, available beginning today from Swedish Columbia Records. Directed by cult filmmaker Damon Packard, a lifelong independent director known for movies like Reflections of Evil and Foxfur, the “Ratimis” video is comprised of clips from a number of horror films all set to the pulsing electronic score of Brahm's music.
Writer/director Eric England has made a name for himself in the horror genre by bending familiar genres into new and unique shapes, whether it's his debut feature Madison County, a take on the slasher movie mixed with ’70s survival horror, or 2013's Contracted, his version of a body horror film and more (although to say exactly what would spoil one of that movie's best surprises). England's fourth feature, Get the Girl, continues this tradition of genre-bending by mashing up a dark comedy, heist movie, crime thriller, and romance into one slick, sharp package.
There was never really a need to sequelize 1982’s Poltergeist. It told a complete story. It vanquished the evil spirit haunting the house by film’s end. Heck, it even vanquished the house itself. But because the original movie was a hit and it was the ’80s, the Tobe Hooper/Steven Spielberg collaboration got not just one sequel but two, despite the fact that it does not lend itself to being a franchise. New villains and new mythology—and eventually even new family members—were introduced to keep the story going, albeit with mixed results. And while the sequels have their fans, they’re hardly among the most beloved horror films of the decade. Thanks to Scream Factory’s new Collector's Editions of both, horror fans now have the chance to reevaluate them in the best possible format.
[Hello, readers! To celebrate Valentine's Day, the Daily Dead team thought it would be fun to do things a little differently this year. We're putting the spotlight on our favorite horror-loving characters from genre cinema—people who have represented our own fandom on screen and, in many cases, helped bring our passion for horror into the mainstream. Be sure to check here for more of our tributes to some of the greatest horror fans to ever grace the big screen.]
The history of horror movies is full of Monster Kids—those young boys and girls obsessed with all things horror who are, sooner or later, able to put all of their knowledge gathered from hours spent in front of Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolf Man to good use.
[Welcome back, readers! With the 2017 Sundance Film Festival beginning this week, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the great midnight movies that have come out of the fest over the years. Click here for more Midnight Memories from Daily Dead!]
It’s unfortunate that when many fans hear the names “Lucky McKee” and “Sundance” mentioned in the same sentence, the first thing that comes to mind is an incident in which an audience member had a total public meltdown after the festival screened McKee’s fourth feature (fifth if you count Red, which he co-directed), The Woman, in 2011.
When people accuse David Cronenberg’s work of being “cold” or “clinical,” I suspect the movie they’re really talking about is his 1988 psychological thriller, Dead Ringers. It is a movie about surgeons, so of course it’s clinical. It is photographed with special cameras and carefully choreographed movements that require precision. It is a film about two men who share an unspoken bond and who keep all of their emotions under wraps. Of course it feels cold. But it is also a movie in which a woman tears into the flesh connecting conjoined twins with her teeth. There’s no mistaking it for anything but a David Cronenberg movie.
Make no mistake about it: this was a great year for horror fans. It was so good, in fact, that making a list of “favorites” is almost impossible because there’s just too much I want to talk about.
As a lifelong fan of the original Creepshow—one of the first R-rated horror movies I ever saw as a kid and still my favorite horror anthology of all-time—it has taken me years to come to terms with the fact that Creepshow 2 is not bad. In fact, it’s quite good at times.
As years go, 2016 has been a rough one. The movie that’s helping me get through it more than any other right now is Beyond the Gates.
If/when aliens land on Earth and demand to know what horror films best represent the 1980s (priorities, people), it is our duty as a society to show them C.H.U.D. It’s not one of the best horror movies of that decade—I don’t think it even cracks the top 50—but it is so prototypically ’80s in both its construction and the fears it suggests that it is an essential part of the genre’s fabric from that time period. Not bad for some Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a man with special abilities to enter the dreams of sleeping clients and influence their subconsciouses is hired by a high-profile client to investigate his dreams and find out important information, but encounters pushback both external and internal that could lead to him never being able to escape the dream world. I’m talking about Inception, right? Wrong. That’s the plot of 1984’s Dreamscape, an underrated sci-fi horror fantasy that’s coming out on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from the good people at Scream Factory.