Puppets are experiencing a bit of a resurgence, and it's very cool. Starting off today's Horror Highlights is a first look at Handy Dandy starring Bill Moseley and Bill Oberst Jr. Also: posters for I'll Take Your Dead and Johnny Gruesome, Afraid digital and DVD release details, and a Dead Love Q&A with producer Emanuel L. Isler.

Handy Dandy First Look: "Horror veterans Bill Moseley (Rob Zombie's The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell) and Bill Oberst, Jr. (3 From Hell, Death House) star in the upcoming killer puppet feature film, HANDY DANDY.

Helmed by Jeff Broadstreet (Night of the Living Dead 3D), HANDY DANDY commences at200-year-old TV studio haunted by a 200-year-old dark magician known as Mr. Jolly (Oberst). Once the star of a 1960’s children’s show, Mr. Jolly has a long history of stealing living hearts from kids and adults alike in order to keep his evil puppet family alive. Tonight, as five unsuspecting intruders stumble into the puppets' bloody lair, one brave man (Moseley) has come to face his past in the form of Mr. Jolly and stop the magician from taking any more innocent life.

The cast also features Jake Red, Cody Cameron, Arthur Marroquin, Danni Spring, Kyle Anderson, and Katelynn Newberry as the puppets' prey.

Oberst shared, “I've done a lot of horror films, guys, and I think you're really going to like this one. It's fun. There's a lot of gore, brutality, really cute puppets...and it has Bill Moseley and the main puppet, Handy Dandy. That makes it pretty special.”

Shot on location in Detroit, Michigan, the film is produced by Don Borza, CEO of Milwaukee Junction Entertainment, from a script penned by J.S. Brinkley.

Borza adds, “This is the first in a trilogy of films that we plan to shoot here in Detroit. We were pleased with every aspect of the production and look forward to Handy Dandy's premiere on Halloween of this year at colleges around the country.”

Fans can learn more about the production by going to HandyDandyMovie.com."

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I'll Take Your Dead Poster and Release Details: Press Release: "TORONTO, CANADA (August 28th, 2018) – Black Fawn Films and Breakthrough Entertainment have released the first look and official artwork for the upcoming horror thriller I’ll Take Your Dead. Director Chad Archibald (Bite, The Drownsman, The Heretics), has teamed up once again with writer Jayme LaForest (Bite & The Heretics), to bring this tale of unnerving horror to the big screen. Produced by Black Fawn Films (Antisocial, The Sublet, Let Her Out) and distributed worldwide by Breakthrough Entertainment, I’ll Take Your Dead is hitting the international festival circuit this fall.

“We traveled up north to Orillia and shot this film at an abandoned farmhouse in the middle of the harsh Canadian winter. That was our
home for a month and when we weren’t battling the elements, we were capturing this haunting story with our crazy talented cast. I’ll Take
Your Dead
is a genre-bending film that we really wanted to do something different with. It’s a slow burn drama wrapped in a horror film
that stands out against everything Black Fawn has done in the past. We really can’t wait to share this one with an audience.”
- Chad Archibald, Director

I’ll Take Your Dead stars Aidan Devine (A History of Violence, Suicide Squad, Don’t Say A Word), Ava Preston (DC’s Shazam!, The Odd Squad, The Kennedys), Toronto International Film Festival’s 2018 Rising Star Jessica Salgueiro (Workin’ Moms, Mary Kills People, The Strain), and Canadian Screen Award Winner Ari Millen (Orphan Black, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, Rupture). I’ll Take Your Dead is produced by Cody Calahan, Chad Archibald, and Christopher Giroux, which continues the 8-picture deal inked between Breakthrough Entertainment and Black Fawn Films. The film is executively produced by Nat Abraham, Ira Levy, Michael McGuigan, and Peter Williamson at Breakthrough Entertainment.

"Breakthrough is excited to bring the latest Black Fawn film; I'll Take Your Dead to market later this year. With an elevated budget and standout performances, this film is sure to captivate audiences on a global level." -Craig McGillivray, Vice President of Distribution, Breakthrough Entertainment

Synopsis: William has a simple job: he makes dead bodies disappear. Through circumstances out of his control, his little farmhouse in the country has become a dumping ground for the casualties of the gang-related murders in the nearby city. His daughter Gloria has become used to the rough looking men dropping off corpses and is even convinced that some of them haunt their house. After a woman’s body is dumped at the house, William begins his meticulous process when he realizes that she’s not actually dead. As the gang activity increases, William patches up the woman and holds her against her will until he can figure out what to do with her. As they begin to develop an unusual respect for each other, the woman’s murderers get word that she’s still alive and make a plan to finish what they started."

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Johnny Gruesome New Trailer and Poster: "Running tire marks around Ghost Rider…

More vengeful than the Crow…

Johnny Gruesome grants y’all a death wish this fall.

This October, Johnny Grissom returns for revenge.

High school students Eric Carter and Johnny Grissom are best friends. Johnny is a heavy metal rebel nicknamed "Johnny Gruesome" by his classmates. When Johnny is murdered while on a drunken joyride, his killer persuades Eric and Johnny's girlfriend to help him make the murder look like an accidental death. Johnny returns from the grave as a murderous, wisecracking zombie hell-bent on revenge.

Based on the award-winning novel by Gregory Lamberson (Slime City, Killer Rack), who also directs, Johnny Gruesome stars Anthony De La Torre, Byron Brown II, and Michael DeLorenzo.

From Uncork’d Entertainment, Johnny Gruesome on VOD 10/16 and DVD 1/1/2019."

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Afraid Digital and DVD Release Details: "Alanna Masterson (The Walking Dead) and noted photographer and film newcomer George Byrne star as a couple on a romantic getaway at a secluded cabin that takes a frightening turn in the horror-thriller AFRAID. Shortly into their vacation, the young couple realizes that the cabin isn’t nearly as secluded as they thought and their every move is being watched by the cabin’s creepy owner. Director Jason Goldberg’s (co-creator of “Punk’d”) first feature film is set to debut on digital and DVD October 2 from Well Go USA Entertainment

Synopsis:
A couple goes on a weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods. What starts as a romantic weekend turns into a nightmare when they discover they are being watched by the cabin’s voyeuristic owner.

AFRAID has a runtime of approximately 125 minutes and is not rated.

DVD
Catalog #: WGU03022D
UPC Code: WGU03022D
Pre-Order Date: 8/28/18
SLP: $24.98

Follow @WellGoUSA on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to use #AFRAID when socializing your coverage. For more information, please visit www.wellgousa.com.

ABOUT WELL GO USA ENTERTAINMENT
Well Go USA Entertainment (www.wellgousa.com) is a theatrical and home entertainment distribution label that specializes in bringing top content, including the best in Action, Genre and Independent films from the US and around the world, to North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. As a leader in independent film distribution, Well Go’s titles can be seen across a variety of platforms, including theatrical, digital, subscription and cable VOD, packaged media and broadcast television. Well Go USA Entertainment’s corporate headquarters is in Plano, Texas, with offices in Taiwan and China."

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Dead Love Q&A with Producer Emanuel L. Isler: "Horror staple Emanuel L. Isler (author of “Abattoir”) chats up his latest producing effort, the fantastically arty “Dead Love” – which is out from Wild Eye Releasing.

How has the feedback been to the film?

Emanuel L. Isler: Surprisingly, really good. We were amazed at “Dead Love’s” selection into the Denver Film Festival and we were further amazed that each consecutive showing was sold out. Audiences loved the film and congratulated us at the conclusion of each showing. We’re excited about hearing more positive comments with Wild Eye’s release.

It’s a nice mix of genres. Was that intentional?

Emanuel L. Isler: Yeah. We set out to do something that had a European vibe yet was still horrific and disturbing. A mix of genres? I’d say a combination of horror, romance and macabre.

How do you keep a film like this realistic? Does it come down to writing believable characters incredible situations?

Emanuel L. Isler: I think it’s a process to ensure realism. It comes down to having a decent screenplay and having the right people with you that share a common vision. It’s important to allow for creativity and collaboration and just letting things flow. That, with a great setting and atmosphere, ensures realism.

Are our main characters different people by the end of the film?

Emanuel L. Isler: In a nutshell? Hell yes! I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but our main characters experience a shocking arc that the audience never sees coming.

What were your main responsibilities on the film?

Emanuel L. Isler: It was a huge to-do list. I did everything from raising the capital to creating the story and script, to casting, location procurement…even dealing with SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and making sure the coffee was hot for craft services. All that and serving as a sort of film-set psychologist, production assistant, and transportation provider. Thank goodness I had my producing partner, Colin Floom, along with our incredible co-director Greg Neemer every step of the way to help.

When does your job end in the film? If at all?

Emanuel L. Isler: It never really ends. As long as people are continuing to watch “Dead Love” and positive word-of-mouth keeps spreading, there will always be something to do.

What’s your favorite genre film of all time?

Emanuel L. Isler: Sorry, I have to list two: I absolutely love and worship both Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and the original “The Haunting” directed by Robert Wise. I’m a diehard fan of quality horror. It’s all a part of my soul, my very being, and it’ll never change."

Tamika Jones
About the Author - Tamika Jones

Tamika hails from North Beach, Maryland, a tiny town inches from the Chesapeake Bay.She knew she wanted to be an actor after reciting a soliloquy by Sojourner Truth in front of her entire fifth grade class. Since then, she's appeared in over 20 film and television projects. In addition to acting, Tamika is the Indie Spotlight manager for Daily Dead, where she brings readers news on independent horror projects every weekend.

The first horror film Tamika watched was Child's Play. Being eight years old at the time, she remembers being so scared when Chucky came to life that she projectile vomited. It's tough for her to choose only one movie as her favorite horror film, so she picked two: Nosferatu and The Stepford Wives (1975).