Over the years, Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken series has lovingly paid tribute to hundreds of pop culture icons and projects, but this October, they're celebrating AMC’s The Walking Dead with an entire special episode devoted to Rick and his cohorts in honor of the show’s success and its legions of fans who remain devoted to the series after seven seasons.
When we meet Bradley Thomas (Vince Vaughn) in Brawl in Cell Block 99, things could not be worse for our protagonist. A former boxer who has struggled to turn his life around by making an honest living has just lost his job due to the economy, and as he makes his way home early to lick his wounds, he discovers that his wife, Lauren (Jennifer Carpenter), has been having an affair. Not content with the direction his life is headed, Bradley decides to go back to being a drug runner for his dealer pal, Gil (Marc Blucas), but things go south after a pick-up goes badly, and Mr. Thomas finds himself being incarcerated for his crimes after he refuses to snitch on his boss.
As a longtime fan of Australian cinema, I will be the first to admit that as I watched the opening scene of Luke Shanahan’s Rabbit, I thought I could put my finger precisely on the type of cinematic experience that was coming my way. And boy, was I wrong. My favorite types of films are the ones that keep me guessing, or give me something I haven’t seen before, and Rabbit delivers that in spades. Much more than just a psychological horror movie, Shanahan’s latest is a beautiful celebration of Euro cinema from the ’70s, yet it still feels wholly steeped in this twisted modern reality where nothing is as it seems, and the horrors awaiting viewers go much deeper than just jump scares and gore.
In regards to his filmic output, director Michael Winner was wildly inconsistent at his worst and wholly divisive at his best (and vice versa). The remarkable thing is that those two extreme opinions can be about the same film; some find the kinetic sleaze of Death Wish (1974) powerful and disturbing, others find its ham-fisted social grazing problematic and off-putting. But it was a big hit, so naturally Universal let him ride the satanic tide with The Sentinel (1977), a Good vs. Evil, Portal to Hell potboiler that warms this Fulci-loving heart three years before Lucio even set foot in New Orleans.
While his roots may be in television, it’s most likely his indelible work in cinema as a writer/director/producer that has made filmmaking maverick Larry Cohen such an influential force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. With a professional career that kicked off in the late 1950s, Cohen has yet to slow down at all, and it’s that enduring creative spirit that King Cohen documentarian Steve Mitchell celebrates in his loving and lively look back at the brazen trail that Cohen has journeyed on thus far.
They collaborated creatively through multiple decades, creating cinematic magic on the screen that still resonates with horror fans today. As far as one-two punches go when it comes to directors and composers, Lucio Fulci and Fabio Frizzi pack a huge wallop, and in the years since Fulci's passing in 1996, Frizzi has kept the spirit of Fulci's movies alive through his music, including recent live performances of his scores, two of which will take place on October 29th and the 30th at the New York City's Music Hall of Williamsburg. Ahead of the anticipated shows, I had the honor of catching up with Frizzi for our latest Q&A to talk about the joys of performing live, collaborating with Fulci, The Beyond Composer's Cut, and more.
Very few people write like Dorothy Parker. Her poetry and short stories are marked by vicious wit, mainly aimed at the ridiculous romantic standards enforced upon her generation and gender. She laments her lack of love in delightfully economic verses, refers to her enjoyment of sex in not-so-subtle terms, and writes nihilistic advice regarding relationship downfalls. Yet there is a darker side to her. Aside from the Gothic imagery that sarcastically accents her more dramatic work, Parker explores the irony of despair in a disarming, often heartbreaking way.
Enjoying its US premiere later tonight at the 2017 Fantastic Fest is Luke Shanahan’s haunting sci-fi-infused psychological thriller, Rabbit, which features a beautiful performance from the film’s star, Adelaide Clemens, as a twin sister named Maude whose sibling has been abducted, and a series of startling visions sets her on the path to discovering what happened to her identical twin, Cleo.
Social media can be a real time killer in everyday life, but in the new movie Friend Request, it kills more than just time, thanks to a supernatural social outcast who seeks vengeance on a group of tight-knit college classmates (suffice it to say that there are some people you should never unfriend). With the new horror film now out in US theaters from Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, I had the pleasure of catching up with co-writer/director Simon Verhoeven for our latest Q&A to discuss how he came up with the idea for the film, exploring a supernatural subconscious of the Internet, mixing ancient rituals with new technology, and much more.
Social media outlets like Facebook are supposed to bring people together, but anyone who has an online account nowadays knows that isn’t always the case, and it especially isn’t true for a college student named Marina (Liesl Ahlers) in Friend Request, a new horror film featuring witchcraft, disturbing visions, and face-eating wasps. But perhaps the most haunting thing of all is the number lurking under the friends tab on Marina’s page: “0.”
When it comes to genre-related, female-centric coming-of-age stories, there are always certain movies that will undoubtedly be brought up in the conversation: Carrie, Ginger Snaps, The Company of Wolves, and The Craft being older examples, and more recent offerings like Jennifer’s Body, It Follows, and Raw have also brought new perspectives into the fold as well. And with so many thought-provoking takes on this well-worn cinematic trope already in existence, it may seem like there’s no real new territory to traverse here.
But then along comes Joachim Trier’s Thelma, which recently premiered at TIFF and is currently screening as part of the 2017 Fantastic Fest, to show us that this well-worn terrain is still fertile enough to cull for some new ideas.
As the only film entry to represent Brazil at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, Vicente Amorim’s Motorrad enjoyed much success as part of the fest’s Contemporary World Cinema slate earlier this month. Daily Dead recently had the pleasure of catching up with Amorim to discuss his supernaturally infused moto-horror project that follows a group of dirt bikers who head out to a remote region of Brazil, and are in turn hunted down by a sinister gang of motorcycle riders hell-bent on killing the travelers who have apparently entered an area in which they are not welcome.
So, here’s the thing: going into Leatherface, I was primed to love it, despite not being a huge fan of Texas Chainsaw 3D (whose only saving grace was giving us the endlessly quotable line, “Do your thing, cuz!”). I’ll never write off a beloved franchise when I’m not crazy about a particular sequel—after all, if I had done that, I may never have fallen in love with Wes Craven’s New Nightmare or went bananas for Jason Lives. And for the most part, I was on board for Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s exploration of the Sawyer family’s demented dynamics, despite the fact that Leatherface feels like two-thirds The Devil’s Rejects and one-third Natural Born Killers.
You'd think it would be difficult to empathize with someone who uses Facebook to destroy people's lives in gruesome ways, but Liesl Ahlers absolutely pulls it off in Friend Request.
In 2014, The Houses October Built quickly became a modern cult hit among horror fans, and now the entire team has returned for a sequel that features the same of haunt enthusiasts (Bobby Roe, Zack Andrews, Brandy Schaefer, Mikey Roe, and Jeff Larson) who set out to profile a new batch of scare-minded attractions, only to find themselves on the run from the infamous “Blue Skeleton” group that left them traumatized after some terrifying Halloween shenanigans the year prior.