Daily Dead https://dailydead.com - Zombies and Horror News, Reviews, Features, Videos, and Interviews. Thu, 19 Sep 2019 23:43:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 Watch the Trailer for the Film Adaptation of Stephen King and Joe Hill’s IN THE TALL GRASS https://dailydead.com/watch-the-trailer-for-the-film-adaptation-of-stephen-king-and-joe-hills-in-the-tall-grass/ https://dailydead.com/watch-the-trailer-for-the-film-adaptation-of-stephen-king-and-joe-hills-in-the-tall-grass/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 23:43:25 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261288 "Grass. It's just grass." Readers of Stephen King and Joe Hill's novella In the Tall Grass know that statement doesn't apply to the sinister field by the roadside that has a way of drawing folks in... and not letting them out. With Vincenzo Natali's adaptation of In the Tall Grass coming to Netflix this October […]

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"Grass. It's just grass." Readers of Stephen King and Joe Hill's novella In the Tall Grass know that statement doesn't apply to the sinister field by the roadside that has a way of drawing folks in... and not letting them out. With Vincenzo Natali's adaptation of In the Tall Grass coming to Netflix this October (following its world premiere at Fantastic Fest), the official trailer for the film has been unleashed, reminding viewers that "some places have a mind of their own."

Below, you can watch the trailer for In the Tall Grass, which made Heather Wixson's list of 15 films we're excited to see this year at Fantastic Fest.

Written and directed By Vincenzo Natali, and based on the 2012 novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, In the Tall Grass stars Harrison Gilbertson, Laysla De Oliveira, Avery Whitted, Will Buie Jr., Rachel Wilson, and Patrick Wilson.

Produced by Steven Hoban, Mark Smith, Jimmy Miller, and M. Riley, the film will be available to stream on Netflix beginning October 4th.

"Some places have a mind of their own.

Based on the novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, when siblings Becky and Cal hear the cries of a young boy lost within a field of tall grass, they venture in to rescue him, only to become ensnared themselves by a sinister force that quickly disorients and separates them. Cut off from the world and unable to escape the field’s tightening grip, they soon discover that the only thing worse than getting lost is being found."

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Comics Corner: ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK #9, BLADE RUNNER 2019 #3, ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR II #2, LUCIFER #12, FIREFLY #9 https://dailydead.com/comics-corner-elvira-mistress-of-the-dark-9-blade-runner-2019-3-archie-vs-predator-ii-2-lucifer-12-firefly-9/ https://dailydead.com/comics-corner-elvira-mistress-of-the-dark-9-blade-runner-2019-3-archie-vs-predator-ii-2-lucifer-12-firefly-9/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 23:17:00 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261239 Elvira has battled the devil and now she has to face off against a coven of witches? Can't the Mistress of the Dark catch a break?! Elvira: Mistress of the Dark #9 kicks off today's Comics Corner. Also: Blade Runner 2019 #3, Archie vs. Predator II #2, Lucifer #12, and Firefly #9. Elvira: Mistress of […]

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Elvira has battled the devil and now she has to face off against a coven of witches? Can't the Mistress of the Dark catch a break?! Elvira: Mistress of the Dark #9 kicks off today's Comics Corner. Also: Blade Runner 2019 #3, Archie vs. Predator II #2, Lucifer #12, and Firefly #9.

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark #9: "(W) David Avallone (A) Dave Acosta (CA) Kevin Eastman

Elvira's traveled through time and been to Hell and back...but does she get to take a breath and recover from her travels? Not in this comic book, friends. Back from Hell, Elvira falls in with a coven of modern-day witches and takes a hot rod broom out for a spin in the sky! Sit down for a spell, and for more thrills, chills and bad puns, as David Avallone (Bettie Page) and Dave Acosta (Twelve Devils Dancing) bring you the Horror Hostess with the Mostest in the next thrilling issue of ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF THE DARK!

In Shops: Sep 18, 2019
SRP: $3.99."

For more information, visit Previews World on behalf of Dynamite Entertainment.

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Blade Runner 2019 #3: "(W) Michael Green, Mike Johnson (A) Andres Guinaldo (CA) Butch Guice

Hunter becomes hunted, as veteran Blade Runner Ash is shot down in neo-noir Los Angeles, 2019! The first new comic series set in the world of Blade Runner, from Michael Green (screenwriter for Blade Runner 2049) and Mike Johnson (Star Trek), and illustrated by Andres Guinaldo (Justice League Dark, Captain America)!

In Shops: Sep 18, 2019
SRP: $3.99."

For more details, visit Previews World on behalf of Titan Comics.

 

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Archie Vs Predator II #2: "After the shocking ending of the first issue, Archie-Predator, Betty, and Veronica come face to face with… themselves!? Will these two different versions of the Riverdale gang be able to get along? They may be forced to as danger isn’t far behind whenever there’s a Predator involved!

The most unpredictable comics crossover of the year continues in this universe-shattering, fourth-wall-breaking second issue by writer Alex de Campi, artist Robert Hack, colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick, and letterer Jack Morelli.

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR 2 #2 (of 5) hits comic shops and digital platforms on September 18, 2019, and features variant covers by Howard Chaykin, Bill Galvan, Rebekah Isaacs, Greg Smallwood, and Michael Walsh.

Our trios (new and old) are getting to know each other better—like Classic Betty and Veronica discovering that the newer versions of themselves actually AREN’T both trying to win over Archie’s affections. There’s a lot to take in in this brave, new world, but they’ve got a more pressing issue to deal with: Predator-Archie is quickly turning back into a Predator, and time is running out. Fortunately, the Riverdale Halloween Dance may be just the cover the gang(s) need.

Script: Alex de Campi
Art: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Robert Hack, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Variant Covers: Howard Chaykin, Bill Galvan, Rebekah Isaacs, Greg Smallwood, Michael Walsh
On Sale Date: 9/18
32-page, full-color comic
$3.99 U.S."

To learn more, visit Archie Comics' website, here.

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Lucifer #12: "(W) Dan Watters (A) Max Fiumara (CA) Tiffany Turrill

Lucifer is in the Dreaming. Time is almost up for Sycorax, and so the devil dares travel to where gods begin and end. Meanwhile: an old god's temple is torn down, and angel flesh proves less than palatable.

In Shops: Sep 18, 2019
SRP: $3.99."

For more information, go to Previews World on behalf of DC Comics.

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Firefly #9: "THE FINAL SHOWDOWN WITH BOSS MOON STARTS HERE! With nowhere else to turn, Mal and his crew must decide whether or not to trust Boss Moon or fight off the Alliance single-handedly.

CREATORS
(W) Greg Pak (A) Dan McDaid (CA) Lee Garbett
$3.99."

To learn more, go to BOOM! Studios' website.

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Core Cast Announced for Blumhouse’s Reimagining of THE CRAFT https://dailydead.com/core-cast-announced-for-blumhouses-reimagining-of-the-craft/ https://dailydead.com/core-cast-announced-for-blumhouses-reimagining-of-the-craft/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 19:25:52 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261274 Following the news this past summer that Cailee Spaeny (Bad Times at the El Royale, Pacific Rim: Uprising) was "in negotiations" to star in The Craft reboot, Blumhouse is invoking the spirit by confirming Spaeny's involvement and revealing three new cast members for the reimagining of the 1996 cult classic. On Twitter, Blumhouse revealed that […]

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Following the news this past summer that Cailee Spaeny (Bad Times at the El Royale, Pacific Rim: Uprising) was "in negotiations" to star in The Craft reboot, Blumhouse is invoking the spirit by confirming Spaeny's involvement and revealing three new cast members for the reimagining of the 1996 cult classic.

On Twitter, Blumhouse revealed that Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, and Zoey Luna will star in The Craft reimagining:

As previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter, The Craft reboot will follow "Hannah, a high school outcast who falls into a friendship with three other young women and begins experimenting with witchcraft. They unleash a power that at first seems to solve problems in their lives but slowly consumes them with unforeseen costs."

Zoe Lister-Jones (director and co-star of Band Aid and known for her acting work in New Girl and Life in Pieces) will write and direct The Craft reboot for Blumhouse and Columbia Pictures.

Jason Blum of Blumhouse and Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher of Red Wagon Entertainment will produce The Craft reboot, with the original film's director and co-writer, Andrew Fleming, on board as an executive producer along with Red Wagon Entertainment's Lucas Wiesendanger.

Back in 2017, Daniel Casey was brought in to do rewrites on the new Craft movie, which was described as more of a "twenty years later" story than a full-on remake by producer Daniel Wick (who also produced the 1996 film).

With Lister-Jones now on board to write and direct The Craft reboot, it's uncertain if elements from the previous drafts will be incorporated into the new story, but we'll keep Daily Dead readers updated as more details are revealed.

For those unfamiliar with The Craft, which starred Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True, we have the film's official synopsis (via Blu-ray.com) and trailer below, and be sure to check out Heather Wixson's insightful retrospective on The Craft that includes interviews with the cast and crew.

For Sarah, moving to Los Angeles is just another chance to be an outsider. She is all alone among the tightly-knit student body of St. Benedict's Academy... until she meets three young women who also have found themselves banished to the outermost reaches of high school's inevitable pecking order. Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle will never fit in with the "in" crowd. They barely fit in with each other. But together with Sarah, their outer and inner lives are about to change in ways they never suspected. They are about to learn that being an outsider has its own kind of power. They are about to learn "The Craft."

[Photo Credit: Above photos from Blumhouse.]

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Rob Zombie’s 3 FROM HELL Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on October 15th from Lionsgate https://dailydead.com/rob-zombies-3-from-hell-coming-to-4k-ultra-hd-blu-ray-dvd-and-digital-on-october-15th-from-lionsgate/ https://dailydead.com/rob-zombies-3-from-hell-coming-to-4k-ultra-hd-blu-ray-dvd-and-digital-on-october-15th-from-lionsgate/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 17:07:49 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261268 If you missed it in cinemas during its three-night-only theatrical run, you don't have to wait long to be reunited with the Firefly family, as Rob Zombie's 3 From Hell is coming to Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, VOD, and 4K Ultra HD on October 15th via Lionsgate. Below, we have the cover art and official press […]

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If you missed it in cinemas during its three-night-only theatrical run, you don't have to wait long to be reunited with the Firefly family, as Rob Zombie's 3 From Hell is coming to Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, VOD, and 4K Ultra HD on October 15th via Lionsgate.

Below, we have the cover art and official press release with the full list of special features (including an audio commentary with Zombie and a four-part making-of documentary that comes in its entirety on the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray releases), and in case you missed it, read Heather Wixson's 3 From Hell review and her interview with Zombie.

Press Release: SANTA MONICA, CA (September 19, 2019) – Rob Zombie’s diabolical trio returns when 3 From Hell arrives on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, Digital, and On Demand October 15 from Lionsgate. Written and directed by horror master Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween), the “savagely ferocious” (Variety) film follows three of the director’s most vicious creations as they leave a trail of corpses in their wake.

3 From Hell stars Sheri Moon Zombie (The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, Halloween), Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses), Richard Brake (“Game of Thrones,” Hannibal Rising, 31, The Chameleon), Jeff Daniel Phillips (The Lords of Salem, “Westworld”), with Danny Trejo (The Devil’s Rejects, Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn), and Sid Haig (The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, Kill Bill: Vol. 2). 3 From Hell is Zombie’s highly anticipated return to his violently horrific crime saga.

First there was House of 1000 Corpses. Then there was The Devil’s Rejects. Now, from writer-director Rob Zombie, comes the next blood-soaked chapter in the most violent crime saga in movie history —
3 From Hell. After barely surviving a furious shootout with the police, Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley), and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) are behind bars. But pure evil cannot be contained, and a firestorm of murder, madness, and mayhem will be released in this terror ride to Hell… and back.

Take home 3 From Hell and immerse yourself in its blood-soaked world with exclusive and extensive special features, including an audio commentary with director Rob Zombie and a 4-part “making of” featurette. Additionally, the 3 From Hell 4K and Blu-ray discs will feature the unrated cut, even more sadistic and terrifying than the theatrical version of the film. The 3 From Hell 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $29.99, $24.99, and $19.98, respectively.

4K UHD / BLU-RAY / DVD / DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Rob Zombie
  • “To Hell and Back: The Making of 3 From Hell” Featurette (4-Part Documentary Available on 4K and Blu-ray Only; Part 1 Available on DVD)

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Year of Production: 2019

Title Copyright: 3 From Hell © 2019, Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2019 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Type: Theatrical Release

Rating: R for strong sadistic violence, language throughout, sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use.

Genre: Horror

Closed-Captioned: N/A

Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH

Feature Run Time: 115 Minutes

4K Ultra HD Format: 2160p Ultra High Definition 16x9 (1.85:1) Presentation

BD Format: 1080p High Definition 16x9 (1.85:1) Presentation

DVD Format: 16x9 (1.85:1) Presentation

4K Audio: English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD

BD Audio: English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD

DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio

ABOUT LIONSGATE

The first major new studio in decades, Lionsgate is a global content leader whose films, television series, digital products and linear and over-the-top platforms reach next generation audiences around the world. In addition to its filmed entertainment leadership, Lionsgate content drives a growing presence in interactive and location-based entertainment, video games, esports and other new entertainment technologies. Lionsgate’s content initiatives are backed by a nearly 17,000-title film and television library and delivered through a global sales and distribution infrastructure. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with original, daring and ground-breaking content created with special emphasis on the evolving patterns and diverse composition of the Company’s worldwide consumer base.

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Hunters Search for a Deadly Creature in Exclusive Clip from MOMO: THE MISSOURI MONSTER https://dailydead.com/hunters-search-for-a-deadly-creature-in-exclusive-clip-from-momo-the-missouri-monster/ https://dailydead.com/hunters-search-for-a-deadly-creature-in-exclusive-clip-from-momo-the-missouri-monster/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 15:31:02 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261263 A new take on a legendary creature, MOMO: The Missouri Monster is coming to DVD and VOD on September 20th, and ahead of its release, we've been provided with an exclusive clip to share with Daily Dead readers. Below, you can watch hunters encounter "the smell of death" in our exclusive clip from MOMO: The […]

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A new take on a legendary creature, MOMO: The Missouri Monster is coming to DVD and VOD on September 20th, and ahead of its release, we've been provided with an exclusive clip to share with Daily Dead readers.

Below, you can watch hunters encounter "the smell of death" in our exclusive clip from MOMO: The Missouri Monster, and we also have the official press release with additional details:

Previous Press Release: "Small Town Monsters has announced the September 20th DVD and VOD release of Seth Breedlove's docudrama MOMO: The Missouri Monster. The latest title to crawl forth from the production powerhouse behind last year's best-selling documentary On the Trail of Bigfoot, MOMO: The Missouri Monster seeks to tell the true and truly strange story of the Missouri Monster. The hair-covered, three-toed monstrosity was said to have prowled the forests of Star Hill, near Louisiana, Missouri during the summer of 1972 where it was spotted by terrified citizens for weeks. The film will be available nationwide on DVD, as well as Vimeo OnDemand, Amazon Instant Video, and VIDI Space.

The case gained national media attention during the '70s and remains one of the largest tourists draws for the tiny town on the banks of the Mississippi River. The latest release from Small Town Monsters and director Seth Breedlove, MOMO: The Missouri Monster is told in both narrative and documentary form. The narrative sections appear like a lost b-movie from the 1970s, inspired by Breedlove's lifelong fascination with grindhouse movies and creature features. The horror film depicts the widely accepted details of the MOMO legend and is eventually contradicted and corrected by the actual survivors who lived through the events. Breedlove describes MOMO: The Missouri Monster as "Rashomon meets Creature from Black Lake or The Legend of Boggy Creek".

The film stars Adam Duggan and Sara Heddleston, as well as Animal Planet's Cliff Barackman and James "Bobo" Fay with special appearances by Janet Jay and Elizabeth Saint (Ghosts of Shepherdstown).

Ahead of the national video release, a midnight premiere is scheduled at the Kentucky Theater in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday, September 6th with cast and crew in attendance. The premiere will coincide with Cryptid-Con, a cryptozoology and paranormal convention celebrating its third year and featuring a number of renowned authors, television personalities, and speakers. On Friday, September 13th, the Canton Palace Theatre in Canton, OH will play host to the Ohio Premiere of MOMO with cast and crew in attendance. Finally, on September 20th, as MOMO hits audiences nationwide, the Missouri Monster will storm the State Theater in Point Pleasant, WV as part of the kickoff for the annual Mothman Festival.

The year was 1972 and the place was a tiny, quaint, riverfront town called Louisiana, Missouri. On a warm summer evening, two local kids saw a creature in their own backyard holding a dead dog. Before you could say the word "Bigfoot", local media and police officials had pounced on the story. Overnight Louisiana became "monster central" with creature seekers and monster hunters combing the woods to look for "the thing" that the newspapers had dubbed "MOMO". One particular family was at the center of this whirlwind of activity and as the Missouri Monster sightings began to increase, so did the negative impact on the Harrisons.

In 1975, a film crew set out to tell an over-the-top, filmic version of the MOMO sightings. Due to one reason or another, this should-have-been-cult-classic was never released. Until now.

MOMO: The Missouri Monster: USA / 81 min / English

The DVD release of MOMO: The Missouri Monster (SRP $14.99) will exclusively include a 51-minute behind-the-scenes featurette."

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CRAWL Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Release Details & Cover Art https://dailydead.com/crawl-blu-ray-dvd-and-digital-release-details-cover-art/ https://dailydead.com/crawl-blu-ray-dvd-and-digital-release-details-cover-art/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 02:08:03 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261257 Paramount Home Entertainment announced that they'll be releasing Crawl On Demand on September 24th, followed by a Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD roll-out on October 15th. Here's a look at the official press release and cover art: Producer Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) and director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) deliver “a suspenseful thrill ride” (Jim […]

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Paramount Home Entertainment announced that they'll be releasing Crawl On Demand on September 24th, followed by a Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD roll-out on October 15th. Here's a look at the official press release and cover art:

Producer Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) and director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) deliver “a suspenseful thrill ride” (Jim Vejvoda, IGN) in CRAWL, coming to Digital September 24, 2019 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand October 15 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The Digital* and Blu-ray releases are loaded with over 45 minutes of thrilling special features, including an exclusive motion comic of the film’s alternate opening.  Plus, check out deleted and extended scenes, a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible visual effects, interviews with cast and crew, and an “Alligator Attacks” compilation that highlights the bone-crunching alligator sequences.

Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, CRAWL was hailed by critics as “one of the most unexpected and satisfying genre films of the year” (William Bibbiani, Bloody Disgusting). As a hurricane tears through Florida, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) rushes to find her father (Barry Pepper), who is injured and trapped in the crawl space of their home.  With the storm intensifying and water levels rising, the pair face an even bigger threat lurking below the surface.

BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY COMBO & DIGITAL*

  • Intro to Alternate Opening
  • Alternate Opening
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Beneath Crawl
  • Category 5 Gators: The VFX of Crawl
  • Alligator Attacks

The CRAWL DVD includes the feature film in standard definition.

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RLJE Films Acquires North American Rights to VFW Ahead of its Fantastic Fest World Premiere https://dailydead.com/rlje-films-acquires-north-american-rights-to-vfw-ahead-of-its-fantastic-fest-world-premiere/ https://dailydead.com/rlje-films-acquires-north-american-rights-to-vfw-ahead-of-its-fantastic-fest-world-premiere/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 01:53:43 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261254 Before VFW makes its world premiere at Fantastic Fest, RLJE Films has grabbed up North American rights to release the movie in theaters and VOD in early 2020. Here's the official press release: LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2019 – RLJE Films has acquired North American rights to the action-horror feature VFW ahead of its world premiere at this […]

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Before VFW makes its world premiere at Fantastic Fest, RLJE Films has grabbed up North American rights to release the movie in theaters and VOD in early 2020. Here's the official press release:

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2019 – RLJE Films has acquired North American rights to the action-horror feature VFW ahead of its world premiere at this year’s Fantastic Fest (Sept. 19 to 26, 2019) in Austin. The movie is scheduled to be released in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD first quarter 2020.

Written by Max Brallier (“The Last Kids on Earth”) & Matthew McArdle and directed by

Joe Begos (Almost Human, Mind’s Eye), the film stars Stephen Lang (AvatarDon’t Breathe), William Sadler (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Die Hard 2), Fred Williamson (Black Caesar, From Dusk Till Dawn), Martin Kove (The Karate Kid, “Cobra Kai”), George Wendt (“Cheers”), David Patrick Kelly (“Twin Peaks”), Tom Williamson (“The Fosters”), Sierra McCormick (The Vast of Night), Travis Hammer (“Godless”), and Dora Madison (“Friday Night Lights”).

“We are so excited to work with the legendary Stephen Lang,” said Mark Ward, Chief Acquisitions Officer for RLJE Films. “With Joe Begos at the helm, we have no doubt that the movie will create waves at this year’s Fantastic Fest and set the momentum for the upcoming release.”

In VFW,  a group of war veterans must defend their local VFW post and an innocent teen against a deranged drug dealer and his relentless army of punk mutants.

The film was produced by Dallas Sonnier (Bone Tomahawk), Amanda Presmyk (Satanic Panic) and Josh Ethier (Bliss). Executive Producers are Media Finance Capital’s David Gilbery and Charles Dorfman, FANGORIA’s Danielle Cox and Phil Nobile Jr., Stephen Lang, Noah Lang, Bobby Campbell, Adam Donaghey, Jonathan Deckter and Marc Hofstatter.

Mark Ward and Jess DeLeo from RLJE Films and Sonnier from CINESTATE negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. VFW premieres at Fantastic Fest alongside a 35mm print of Begos’s third feature Bliss.

ABOUT RLJE FILMS

A privately owned subsidiary of AMC Networks, RLJ Entertainment, Inc. is a premium digital channel company serving distinct audiences primarily through its popular OTT branded channels, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which have rapidly grown through development, acquisition, and distribution of its exclusive rights to a large library of international and British dramas, independent feature films and urban content. RLJE’s titles are also distributed in multiple formats including broadcast and pay television, theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray, UHD, and a variety of digital distribution models (including EST, VOD, SVOD and AVOD) in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Additionally, through Acorn Media Enterprises, its UK development arm, RLJE commissions and co-produces new programs and owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited. For more information, please visit RLJENTERTAINMENT.COMACORN.TV, and UMC.TV.

An RLJ Entertainment, Inc. brand, RLJE Films recent features include the 2018 Sundance Film Festival hit Mandy from writer/director Panos Cosmatos and starring Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough and Linus Roache; Galveston starring Ben Foster and Elle Fanning and directed by Mélanie Laurent; and The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot written and directed by Robert Krzykowski and starring Academy Award nominee Sam Elliott, Aidan Turner and Ron Livingston.  us.rljentertainment.com.

ABOUT FANGORIA 

FANGORIA is the iconic horror entertainment magazine with a die-hard fan base, in publication since 1979. FANGORIA was acquired by CINESTATE, the Texas-based movie studio run by producer Dallas Sonnier, who re-launched the magazine as a print-only quarterly collectible while extending the franchise into movies, podcasts, and books. In addition to Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich and Satanic Panic, FANGORIA recently wrapped production on a reimagining of Stuart Gordon’s 1995 classic Castle Freak, which shot in Albania this summer.

ABOUT MEDIA FINANCE CAPITAL 

Established in January 2018, Media Finance Capital (MFC) provides financing worldwide for independent Film and TV productions. Other notable productions on the MFC slate include: Untouchable, which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; supernatural thriller Death Of Me starring Maggie Q; Arkansas, starring Vince Vaughn and Liam Hemsworth; and Moose, starring John Travolta.

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Fantastic Fest 2019 Preview: 15 Films We’re Excited to See This Year https://dailydead.com/fantastic-fest-2019-preview-15-films-were-excited-to-see-this-year/ https://dailydead.com/fantastic-fest-2019-preview-15-films-were-excited-to-see-this-year/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2019 22:19:30 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261221 Happy Fantastic Fest Eve! Tomorrow, the 15th annual Fantastic Fest kicks off in Austin, and Daily Dead is thrilled to be once again attending and will be bringing you a ton of reviews and interview coverage over the next few weeks. As we gear up to indulge in seven days of genre awesomeness on the […]

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Happy Fantastic Fest Eve! Tomorrow, the 15th annual Fantastic Fest kicks off in Austin, and Daily Dead is thrilled to be once again attending and will be bringing you a ton of reviews and interview coverage over the next few weeks. As we gear up to indulge in seven days of genre awesomeness on the big screen, it felt like the perfect time to discuss many of the films from this year’s slate that we are beyond excited to see during Fantastic Fest.

Also, because this writer has already covered several FF films out of previous festivals—After Midnight (previously entitled Something Else), Bliss, Come to Daddy, Memory: The Origins of Alien, and The Lodge—it didn’t feel right to include them in this preview. That being said, they’re all the bee's knees and I do hope attendees get a chance to check all of them out over the course of this year’s Fantastic Fest.

Parasite (Directed by Bong Joon-Ho)

As someone who has long worshipped at the altar of Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite has been one of my most anticipated films of the year for quite some time now, and I’m so glad the film is making its way to Austin this month for FF.

Synopsis: Bong Joon-ho’s seventh feature — about an unemployed Korean family conning their way out of their basement apartment — is a roller coaster ride of laughs, gasps, horror, tears, and perfection.

Knives Out (Directed by Rian Johnson)

All I needed to hear about Knives Out was that Rian Johnson was making his own murder mystery in the vein of Agatha Christie and I was already all in on his latest directorial effort. The fact that the cast from top to bottom features a cavalcade of brilliant actors is just the cherry on top of everything.

Synopsis: From acclaimed writer, director Rian Johnson comes KNIVES OUT, a fresh and modern take on the classic “whodunnit” mystery genre.

Synchronic (Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead)

I’ve been a huge fan of everything from the directing duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead ever since their debut feature Resolution blew my freaking mind, so it’s safe to say that I am beyond excited to see Synchronic on the big screen over the next week at FF.

Synopsis: Two paramedics find their world ripped apart when they start encountering deaths linked to the otherworldly effects of a new designer drug called Synchronic.

Color Out of Space (Directed by Richard Stanley)

It’s Richard Stanley (writer/director of Hardware and the original director of 1996'sThe Island of Dr. Moreau) teaming up with Nicolas Cage to take on a Lovecraft story. What more could you possibly want?

Synopsis: Unimaginable terrors befall the Gardner family after a meteorite lands on their front lawn in Richard Stanley's entrancing, horrific adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story.

First Love (Directed by Takashi Miike)

Takashi Miike is another filmmaker that I have a deep-seated admiration for (I will never shut up over how much I loved Blade of the Immortal, thank you very much), so it’s pretty much a no-brainer that I will be soaking in every single frame of this latest project from one of cinema’s most prolific directors.

Synopsis: When aspiring boxer Leo discovers that he may not have long to live, he goes all out to help drug-addicted call girl Monica, facing down gangsters, assassins, corrupt cops, and much more over the course of one long night.

The Vast of Night (Directed by Andrew Patterson)

I’m a huge sucker for old-timey (that’s an official critic term, too, by the way) sci-fi stories and The Vast of Night looks to be right up my proverbial alley. It’s also refreshing that in this day and age when everything retro heads back to the ’80s (which I love, don’t get me wrong), Night is heading even further back into the 1950s.

Synopsis: A rural 1950s radio DJ and a telephone operator uncover a strange signal that could change everything in this stunning science fiction debut feature.

In The Tall Grass (Directed by Vincenzo Natali)

Vincenzo Natali is easily one of the more underappreciated directors of this modern era of genre filmmaking, so I’m hoping In The Tall Grass becomes a breakout moment for Natali and helps folks realize just how slept on so many of his films truly are (go watch Splice!). Oh, and utilizing source material from writing legends like Stephen King and Joe Hill is pretty rad, too.

Synopsis: Adapted from the eponymous novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill, IN THE TALL GRASS follows siblings Cal and Becky who find themselves trapped within a vast field of tall grass when they venture in to answer the cries of a young boy.

Jojo Rabbit (Directed by Taika Waititi)

While it’s definitely not horror, it does involve Taika Waititi, which is precisely why Jojo Rabbit made my list for this year’s Fantastic Fest. I give myself one “non-genre” treat movie at FF every year, and there was no way I wasn’t picking Jojo as my diversion movie this year.

Synopsis: Writer-director Taika Waititi (THOR: RAGNAROK, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE), brings his signature style of humor and pathos to his latest film, JOJO RABBIT, a World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy (Roman Griffin Davis as JoJo) whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street (Directed by Roman Chimenti & Tyler Jensen)

I can remember distinctly when Mark Patton emerged again during the filming of the Never Sleep Again documentary, because I was one of the first journalists to interview him the day he came in for his interview. It’s been awesome to see Mark come back into the fold of the horror genre over the last several years, and it feels like Scream, Queen! should make for a compelling look at Mark’s life and the impact that A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge has had on not only his life, but on the genre as a whole.

Synopsis: More than thirty years after its release and his departure from Hollywood, Mark Patton (star of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE), sets the record straight on the famously queer horror sequel in this fabulous, surprising, and eye-opening documentary.

Vivarium (Directed by Lorcan Finnegan)

In 2013, back when I was running my own film festival, one of the amazing short films that I programmed for the fest was Foxes by Lorcan Finnegan, so as soon as I saw that his latest project would be playing at FF, I knew I couldn’t miss seeing it on the big screen. Plus, it features Imogen Poots, who has been doing great work in the genre for more than a decade now.

Synopsis: When young couple Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) drive out to a maze of temptingly affordable houses in the suburbs, they find themselves unable to leave.

In the Shadow of the Moon (Directed by Jim Mickle)

Jim Mickle’s track record speaks for itself: Mulberry St., Stake Land, the We Are What We Are remake, and Cold in July are all pretty damn good films, so being the easy mark that I am, I could not be more excited for In the Shadow of the Moon (plus, its cast is STACKED). And for those of you who won’t be making it out to FF, this one hits Netflix on September 27th, so you won’t have to wait too long to see it, either.

Synopsis: In 1988, a Philadelphia police officer doggedly hunts a serial killer whose crimes follow seemingly no pattern, but he hasn’t considered how far the repercussions of his hunt may go.

Saint Maud (Directed by Rose Glass)

Saint Maud hit my radar out of TIFF 2019, so I was happy to see that it was heading to Austin next on its festival run because its premise is super intriguing, and I’m all for psychological horror that mixes things up a bit, which is what it looks like director Rose Glass is doing here.

Synopsis: While caring for an attractive woman dying of cancer, devoutly religious nurse Maud develops an all-encompassing case of holy possession mixed with real-life obsession.

VFW (Directed by Joe Begos)

Joe Begos is another director that I’ve been a big fan of ever since he first broke onto the scene with Almost Human, so I am stoked to see what kind of balls-out mayhem he has in store for us with VFW. But if the synopsis is any indication, perhaps VFW is set to be this generation’s Street Trash? In either case, I am pumped.

Synopsis: In the near future, a new drug called Hype has turned America into a war zone. The addicted are more mutant than human, and they’ve set their sights on assaulting a VFW post in Joe Begos’ star-studded latest.

Nail in the Coffin – The Fall and Rise of Vampiro (Directed by Michael Paszt)

As both a wrestling fan and a documentary fanatic, I’m supremely excited to check out Nail in the Coffin, which is centered around Vampiro, who has been a longtime fixture in various realms of professional wresting for decades now. This one feels right up my proverbial alley, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the real-life trial and tribulations of one the most fascinating performers to have ever stepped into a squared circle.

Synopsis: An intimate and heartfelt look at professional wrestler Vampiro’s past, and his new life navigating the management of a lucha libre federation in Mexico, while raising his teenage daughter in Canada.

We Summon the Darkness (Directed by Marc Meyers)

All I know about We Summon the Darkness is that it’s helmed by Marc Meyers (who did a brilliant job directing My Friend Dahmer), it features the likes of Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D), Logan Miller (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, a movie I will never shut up about), Amy Forsyth (from Channel Zero) and Johnny Knoxville, and it’s centered around the world of heavy metal. So yeah, I’m all the way in for We Summon the Darkness.

Synopsis: When Val, Beverly, and Alexis meet a group of fun-loving dudes in the parking lot of a heavy metal concert, they all decide to have an after-party, but it isn’t long before the group finds themselves fighting for their lives.

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Visit our online hub to catch up on all of our Fantastic Fest coverage!

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Let’s Scare Bryan to Death: Andrzej Żuławski’s POSSESSION with Liam O’Donnell and Justin Lore from the HORROR BUSINESS Podcast https://dailydead.com/lets-scare-bryan-to-death-andrzej-zulawskis-possession-with-liam-odonnell-and-justin-lore-from-the-horror-business-podcast/ https://dailydead.com/lets-scare-bryan-to-death-andrzej-zulawskis-possession-with-liam-odonnell-and-justin-lore-from-the-horror-business-podcast/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2019 21:40:16 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261213 Welcome back to another Let’s Scare Bryan to Death! This month, you’re getting a double shot of spooky analysis as I’m joined by not one, but two guests. Liam O’Donnell and Justin Lore are co-hosts of the Horror Business podcast (part of the Cinepunx network), where they take deep dives into movie pairings that range […]

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Welcome back to another Let’s Scare Bryan to Death! This month, you’re getting a double shot of spooky analysis as I’m joined by not one, but two guests. Liam O’Donnell and Justin Lore are co-hosts of the Horror Business podcast (part of the Cinepunx network), where they take deep dives into movie pairings that range from classics to some that I’ve never even heard of before. After no small amount of discussion (see: arguing) about choosing some movie options for me, they settled on a list that included the 1981 Andrzej Żuławski film, Possession. Now, fair reader, you may be wondering, “Bryan, isn’t that the movie where a woman has sex with an octopus creature?” Yes, it’s that very same film!

If nothing else, morbid curiosity meant I needed to check this one out. Possession stars Sam Neill as Mark, a spy who returns home to Berlin after an assignment and finds that his wife, Anna (Isabelle Ajani), is leaving him. Mark suspects another man named Heinrich (Heinz Bennent), but when he confronts him, he finds out that “the other man” is the least of his worries. It turns out that Anna is enthralled in more ways than one by a sinister creature, and the only thing more destructive than her new relationship is Mark’s obsession with getting to the bottom of it.

Now, I have to admit, upon watching Possession, I had a hard time wrapping my head around it. I was able to follow the narrative, even as it got progressively weirder, but I couldn’t make heads, tails, nor tentacles of what Żuławski may have been trying to say with it. I wondered if O’Donnell and Lore had similar difficulties.

Liam O’Donnell: Yes, in the sense of, when it first starts, because there is a personal relationship at its center, you’re looking for some sort of grounding to understand who these people are, what it is they care about, and how they're connected. And as the movie goes on, it starts to unmoor you from reality until, for me, when the crazy stuff starts to happen, the reality of what I'm seeing starts to become irrelevant. It's not quite avant-garde, it's not The Holy Mountain where [someone] eats cake Jesuses... think about it like, “What is it making you feel,” which is extreme discomfort and a sense of anxiety and paranoia.

Justin Lore: I think this movie makes enough sense in the beginning you can grasp some semblance of plot. It's like a break-up movie: Sam Neill is this dude who's going through a divorce and it starts out making just enough sense that you can just go, ”Cool, I know what I'm getting myself into.” As the movie progresses, it gets weirder in geometric increments... and by the time we get to the Lovecraftian f***-cephalopod that's cuckolding Sam Neill, you're sort of like, “Of course.”

Viewing the story as being specifically about a break-up may seem obvious given that, well, it depicts a break-up. But for some reason, I was digging for themes outside of that focus, which is probably why I had such a hard time with it at first. It didn’t occur to me that all of the supernatural shenanigans we see are tied directly to the relationship itself until I happened upon a great review by Beatrice Loayza, who discussed the new film Midsommar as part of the break-up horror subgenre that includes Possession. Lore agreed that this movie works best when viewed through that lens.

Justin Lore: It is the most accurate portrayal of a break-up in any movie I've ever seen. It's either this or Mullholland Drive, and they're both f***ing nightmares to watch because it really captures that nightmare “un-logic” that is a break-up. Whether you're breaking up with somebody or whether you're being broken up with, [the movie] really encapsulates that feeling of, “Oh f***, I hope I'm actually dreaming right now. I hope I'm gonna wake up because this doesn't make enough sense for it to be real.” But at the same time, it makes this sort of cool sense. And I stand by the shot of Sam Neill at the beginning when he comes back from his four-week bender and he’s just sitting in his rocking chair staring into the middle distance... it is haunting, like, a top ten shot in any movie ever because that is how it feels to be broken up with. That is the face of someone who is just shocked.

O’Donnell adds that with Mark serving as a stand-in for Żuławski, who wrote the movie (with Frederic Tuten also credited as a co-writer) after having recently been through a pretty rough break-up himself, one can’t help but notice that Żuławski is using the film to work through some feelings of self-loathing.

Liam O’Donnell: It's a very self-eviscerating film... it feels like Sam Neill might be the bad guy. And I mean, [Anna] is cheating on him, not just with Heinrich, which is a nightmare in and of itself, but with an actual demon creature. And you're like, “Man, this Sam Neill, he's just out of control, he's insane.” ...In the end, [Mark] is replaced by this other, much more happy and much more wholesome doppelgänger. What could be better? It's almost like, “Yeah, this is how I'd rather be: destroyed than to feel this way anymore.”

Justin Lore: It sort of parallels the reaction a lot of people have when they are either cheated on or when the partner that broke with them moves on. It’s like when Sam Neill sees who she is now with, which is a doppelgänger of him, and it's like, “That guy’s basically me. What’s so much better about him when me he's exactly like me?”

But we also agree that the doppelgänger that Anna ends up with isn’t exactly like Mark (or as O’Donnell puts it, he’s Mark if Mark “didn’t suck”). And the doppelgänger contrasts well with Heinrich, who at first seems like the movie’s “big bad” because he’s essentially Mark’s polar opposite.

Liam O’Donnell: Heinrich is better than him in every way: “I’m older, but I’m stronger. I’m more interesting, I haven't lost my soul the way you have.” I mean, he's crazy in his own way, but it's a much more engaging crazy. And it feels like he is in every way the opposite.

Given that the film was not only directed, but also written by Żuławski, it’s to be expected that the audience would be asked to view this story through Mark’s point of view. But I was interested to hear what O’Donnell and Lore thought about Anna’s part in all of this. (NOTE: It’s not lost on me that we are three men discussing the portrayal of a woman as written by a man, so I hope we’re not too far off the mark).

Justin Lore: Breaking up with someone is almost as bad, if not as bad, as being broken up with. It really sucks to hurt the father of your child, the partner you've been with for who knows how long... I don't think she's Evil with a capital E in the sense that she's taking any pleasure in this. [In scenes where] she flips out on him, it's only because he keeps pushing and pushing and pushing and yeah, she's stepping out on him, but is that evil?

Liam O’Donnell: I think that Żuławski is pretty skeptical about human communication. In a couple of his movies I've seen, it's a lot of people saying things to each other that almost seem like non sequiturs to what other people are saying. In this movie, I think it's sharper because people are attempting to communicate and it's not going well for all three of our main characters. They’re constantly saying things, but it's just not going anywhere... Because we are so embedded with Sam Neill's character, if we can say anything super definitive about her, you would almost defeat what the movie’s trying to do, which is you are in Sam Neill’s head even as you're kind of hating him.

I think it's worth noting, too, in the original cut of that subway scene [a rather infamous scene in which Adjani’s character seems to have a psychotic break while emitting a white, bloody discharge] there's a moment where in the midst of the goo, an eye opens up and it was determined that that was too upsetting. But [Żuławski] described that scene as the birth... and people say, “Oh it looks like she's having a psychotic episode.” Yes, that too. “It looks like she's having an orgasm.” Yes, that as well... the point here is that it's productive. What she's doing is resulting in something. Something is changing inside of her. It's not just release.

Lore notes that there’s an element of something being cast out, and in the framework of a monogamous relationship, one relationship can’t start without the old one being destroyed.

Justin Lore: And you really have to get rid of everything. I've had friends who have started dating partners shortly after they go out of longterm relationships, and it's like... you don't want to be anywhere near that while they are sorting out what happened because when those [emotional] bombs hit, there's going to be shrapnel. So you just have to wait until the dust settles and all the bits are swept up, and then after that you start something new. But yeah, I'm inclined to agree that in order to start something new in a relationship, you have to just eject all the old baggage.

Żuławski clearly brought a lot of baggage to this film, which, as O’Donnell points out, leads to an unpleasant filming experience for Isabelle Adjani, as Żuławski proved to be really difficult to work with.

Liam O’Donnell: I've been thinking a lot more about the fact that Isabelle Adjani had a terrible time making this movie [in this interview with Adjani, you can see her diplomatically allude to her experience]... Lots of actors talk about being tortured by various directors in order to get a good performance and sometimes they later on say, “I'm glad that happened,” and other times they say, “I wish that director would be dead.” [Adjani] doesn't quite say, “I wish death,” but she definitely never was like, “Yeah it's fine, it's fine that [my experience making that film] happened.”

In addition to personal baggage, Żuławski may have also been bringing some professional turmoil into the shoot. Of course, we know films aren’t made in a vacuum, and in this case O’Donnell discusses some of the political discord that could have led to Żuławski’s state of mind when making the movie. A Polish director, Żuławski decided to film Possession in France after his 1975 effort, The Devil, was banned in his home country.

Liam O’Donnell: Clearly, [Żuławski] has a chip on his shoulder after his last movie was censored and he is getting out of that context and he is now in a different place [moving from Poland to France]. But I think he has some anger about that. I think it’s very telling that he goes, “I’m gonna make a movie in the West. Here’s the Berlin Wall!”

Before we’re even given the central conceit, which is the anxiety of his life falling apart, the movie already gives us anxiety. The scene with him where he's being briefed in that room, that’s weird! The way the camera moves around in room, everything about it is like... you should already feel uncomfortable because [Żuławski] doesn't let you know where you are. He doesn't give you any information about it. He just lets you know it's intimidating, it's kind of scary, and Sam Neill’s stroll home takes him past all kinds of weird men with guns and walls and s***. And this could be set in “Gay Paris,” but it's not. So why isn't it? And I think, for me at least, as if you were an underlying thing in this movie is yes, what they’re going through on a personal level is crazy, but it's not clear to me that any aspect [of Mark’s life] is sane. His context, like how real was his relationship even before this? The movie seems to suggest he's some sort of agent, maybe a secret agent. His life is built on lies anyway, [and when] he comes home, his personal life turns out [to] not [be] what he thought it was. Big surprise!

So there’s definitely some underlying resentment for Żuławski toward his experience making films under the democratic socialist left, and that resentment manifests in tension between the characters. But at the end of the day, the central conflict is the break-up, and Lore concludes by emphasizing just how right Żuławski gets the emotional mindset when a relationship crumbles.

Justin Lore: It’s just one of those movies where if you know it, you know it, and if you don’t, then you should. I wish more people would see it. For how surreal and nightmarish it is, it's also frighteningly realistic when it comes to how that actually feels in life. It's one of my go-to movies when I've been through a break-up as an adult. It's like, “Time to watch Possession, time to watch Mulholland Drive, time to watch Love Actually [cue O’Donnell singing “One of those things is not like the other”]. It's just this amazing piece of art. There's nothing else like it.

For updates about projects they have coming up, you can keep up with O’Donnell, Lore, and the Horror Business on their respective Twitter pages.

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15 Years of Being Fantastic! Celebrating Our Favorite Fantastic Fest Premieres – BAD BLACK, LEVEL 16, and THE NIGHT COMES FOR US https://dailydead.com/15-years-of-being-fantastic-celebrating-our-favorite-fantastic-fest-premieres-bad-black-level-16-and-the-night-comes-for-us/ https://dailydead.com/15-years-of-being-fantastic-celebrating-our-favorite-fantastic-fest-premieres-bad-black-level-16-and-the-night-comes-for-us/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2019 19:37:58 +0000 https://dailydead.com/?p=261209 Hey everyone! The 15th annual Fantastic Fest kicks off this week, and this year, it’ll be myself, Heather Wixson, as well as Emily von Seele and Adrian Torres, who will be bringing you all kinds of coverage out of Austin for the duration of the festival. To celebrate Fantastic Fest’s momentous birthday this year, we […]

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Hey everyone! The 15th annual Fantastic Fest kicks off this week, and this year, it’ll be myself, Heather Wixson, as well as Emily von Seele and Adrian Torres, who will be bringing you all kinds of coverage out of Austin for the duration of the festival. To celebrate Fantastic Fest’s momentous birthday this year, we have picked a few of our favorite films that have debuted over the years, and will be celebrating them as we lead up to the kickoff of Fantastic Fest on Thursday. If you missed out on our previous celebrations, you can catch up with day one HERE and day two HERE.

Enjoy!

Bad Black (Adrian Torres): This year's Fantastic Fest is happening at a magical time, even if there's a large chance that the majority of people attending do not realize it. You see, back in 2016, a wonderful thing happened, when a film from Uganda, from a small group of talented and resourceful upstarts who churn out multiple films a year for under $200 each, played to an unsuspecting crowd. That film was Bad Black, and to say it tore the roof off is putting it mildly, and to witness this in a packed theater is to be forever changed.

Few films get packed with as much verve, energy, commentary, and love than Bad Black. And while that may sound a tad hyperbolic, it's the most honest explanation. Watching the actors and crew from "Wakaliwood," a play on the name of the Kampala slum of Wakaliga, you can feel them pouring every fiber of their being into the production. With wild, over-the-top CGI, action, and bits of drama interspersed, it's hard not to have a great time viewing Bad Black, not to mention the MST3K-style color commentary by VJ Emmie. There's a vibrancy that can’t be denied when watching the film, one that doesn't require you to so much turn off your brain, as it does for you to be swept up in the ride that's happening. Since this is a celebration of Fantastic Fest, though, it should also be noted that the audience years prior got to "star" in a scene for a future Wakaliwood production.

So, why was this hinted at the start as being magical? Well, just a few days ago, the movie's creator, Nabwana I.G.G. and VJ Emmie went on a journey. Securing visas, which they were unable to do in 2016, they travelled to TIFF, where I.G.G.'s latest film, Crazy World, served as the Midnight Madness closing film. It was his first time ever being inside a movie theater, proving that if you keep going with your passions, people will eventually take notice, maybe even all over the world. That might be a bit naive, but hell, it's still a warm and fuzzy idea to embrace.

The Night Comes For Us (Heather Wixson): When you’re working a film festival, very rarely do you get the chance to watch a movie twice (seeing most of a fest’s lineup once can be a miraculous feat in itself), but that’s precisely what happened with me last year when I came across The Night Comes For Us. I initially watched the movie via a screener so that I could prep for interviews, and because my proverbial block had been knocked off by Timo Tjahjanto and company, there was no way in hell I was going to miss seeing this on the big screen with a packed audience. And man, that experience did not disappoint.

Currently available on Netflix, The Night Comes For Us is an action-packed masterpiece that takes breakneck, bone-crunching choreography to the next level, delivering some of the most jaw-dropping sequences we’ve seen in modern cinema that rivals anything in the John Wick series, firmly cementing Tjahjanto as the future of action cinema with his efforts here. What’s even better is that while Night’s running time is nearly consumed by an endless assault of action, Tjahjanto and Iko Uwais (who not only stars in the film, but also coordinated all of the brilliant action sequences to boot) deliver a constant switch-up of fight choreography, finding new ways to thrill viewers over its two-hour runtime.

And in that screening, it felt like every punch, stab, and kick being thrown our way landed squarely in the middle of the auditorium, and I just wish more folks would have had the opportunity to experience The Night Comes For Us on the big screen as well (I’m glad Netflix gave it a home, but it getting at least a brief theatrical stint would have ruled).

Level 16 (Emily von Seele): 2018 saw a push on the Fantastic Fest slate to showcase more female-driven stories, and Level 16, Danishka Esterhazy’s dystopian tale of female friendship, was one such feature, and was also one of my favorite films of the fest. Level 16 is set in a boarding school where young girls are brought up to be perfect daughters for the wealthy families who will one day adopt them. Every day is regimented—from sleeping to eating to lessons detailing how to be a demure, polite girl. Punishment is strictly enforced when any of the students steps a toe out of line. It's hard to forge bonds in a place as strict as this, but somehow, through the structure and discipline, Vivien (Katie Douglas) and Sophia (Celia Martin) do. Initially friends as children, the girls reconnect as teenagers and provide each other with the kind of support they have never before known.

Naturally, the girls begin to understand that things at the boarding school are not quite what they seem and that the staff there do not necessarily have the students' best interests in mind. The film does an excellent job of balancing the science fiction and dystopian story arc with the ever-growing friendship between the two lead characters. In addition to a well-paced and intriguing story, Esterhazy manages to also weave in strong feminist statements and illustrate just how society and the establishment work to manipulate women. In Level 16, propriety is used to keep the students in line. Good girls don't get angry. Good girls don't raise their voices. Good girls don't disobey. Only good girls will graduate and find a home, and their ignorance is key to their complacency. As Vivien and Sophia learn, the key to their freedom relies on their willingness to trust one another and to stand against everything that they have been taught.

In a post-screening Q&A, Esterhazy said that it took her a decade to get this movie made, because financiers didn't believe that a tale of dystopian science fiction, led by a pair of teenage girls, was a marketable property. Though it is beyond frustrating that the powers that be still hold that viewpoint, it was nonetheless exciting to see this film come to fruition and to be included at the fest. If you haven't yet seen it, Level 16 is well worth your time.

The post 15 Years of Being Fantastic! Celebrating Our Favorite Fantastic Fest Premieres – BAD BLACK, LEVEL 16, and THE NIGHT COMES FOR US appeared first on Daily Dead.

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