Saturday, August 16, 2014

SCREAM Casting News - Changes and Additions To The New Woodsboro Line Up

For those of you who may not know, the Scream franchise is headed to the small screen for a brand new series on MTV as opposed to a much anticipated Scream 5. I haven't reported too much on it, as I've been hoping that self inflicted ostrich syndrome would make it go away, but alas, it hasn't. News has begun to trickle in at a heavier rate over the past few months, we've learned that Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven hate eachother, so there's no hope that Williamson will have anything to do with the series. We also learned that Williamson not only has a script for a Scream 5, but a Scream 6 as well, as he had written Scream 4 to be the start of a "new trilogy". This information is really just salt in the wound knowing that it will probably never happen as the Weinstein's aren't too keen on working with Williamson again either. 

Regardless, Scream: The Series is happening, and there's been casting news.

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Willa Fitzgerald will star as Emma Duvall, a classic beauty whose looks and popularity hide a natural shyness and intellectual nature. Her new life with the “in crowd” leaves her estranged from her childhood best friend, Audrey. Emma is the lead in MTV’s Scream take and bears a resemblance to Neve Campbell’s tortured high school student Sidney Prescott in the 1996 feature film.
Bex Taylor-Klaus, who has been recurring on The CW’s Arrow as DC Comics character Sin and whose credits also include The Killing and House of Lies,will replace Amy Forsyth in role of Audrey, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor. She’s described as an artsy loner who aspires to be a filmmaker.
Bobby Campo (The Final Destination) will recur as Seth Branson, a hot English teacher at Lakewood High who has an easy charm and is clearly one of the “cool” teachers, who can go with it if a lesson plan gets a little off-track.
Connor Weil (Sharknado) will be a series regular and portray Will Belmont, an all-American high school basketball player who adores his girlfriend, Emma (Fitzgerald).
Joel Gretsch (Witches of East EndVThe 4400) is set as Sheriff Clark Hudson, a good guy and good sheriff who is father to Kieran (Amadeus Serafini). David Arquette famously portrayed the lovable sheriff in Williamson’s features.
Now, I love Arrow, it's currently one of my favorite shows at the moment, but I don't know how I feel about Taylor-Klaus as she plays one of the few "replaceable characters" on the show, in my opinion. We'll have to wait and see. The two factors that come into play the most for me on this one are that there has been talk of bringing a supernatural element into play in the series (if Ghost Face is an actual ghost...) and the fact that Teen Wolf, the current major hit on MTV, is one of the worst shows I've seen in years. It can barely be called horror, it's just... it's bad. 
What do you think? Yay or nay on the Scream front?

Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014) - A Review

One of the things that I look forward to the most throughout the year, are DC Comic's animated films featuring Batman. They are almost always phenomenal, and it's a very wonderful break from the Nolanverse and the incessent shouting of "WHY SO SERIOUS" from hordes of fanboys. While the live action Batfilms have their high points, and certainly their lows, nothing compares to the DC Entertainment features. They are not only incredibly comic accurate, but they're just a lot more fun in general. 

Released this week, and previewed last month at Comic Con, Batman: Assault on Arkham is the latest addition to the DC animated franchise and while it differs greatly from previous Batman films it is an extremely fun, adrenaline packed and often hilarious take on a new view of the Bats. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Leatherface Is Back... Yet Again

Well, it appears that another Chainsaw film is in the works. Bloody-Disgusting broke the news days ago, and it was confirmed, that we will now be seeing a franchise wide prequel depicting the events that take place before the events of the Hooper's classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It's being described as taking place during Leatherface's "teen years". 

It was originally described in a BD exclusive that it would take place in between Hooper's original and the travesty that was Texas Chainsaw 3D, but now it appears that it will be taking place before Hooper's original. Confusing, I know.

I don't know what you guys are thinking about this, but after seeing TC3D, I'm not exactly excited about seeing Leatherface return quite so soon. Especially being that the same folks are still behind it. 

What say all of you?

Horror Game SILENT HILLS Conjures Up Hilarious Scares in Japan

If you are into horror gaming, it appears that Hideo Kajima has some surprises in store for you. Widely believed to have been working on a new project entitled P.T., it was revealed that he fooled us all and if this teaser is any indicator, it's looking to be awesome.

Entitled Silent Hills, Kajima has collaborated with Guillermo del Toro and Walking Dead star Norman Reedus to deliver a product that they promise will make us "shit our pants". Below you'll find a teaser which features a variety of sweet little Japanese ladies who appear to be "shitting their pants", and it's the funniest thing I've seen in weeks.

The demo is available for free download on the Playstation store, and this has left me hoping that it will be available on PC as well.

Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Marilyn Burns (Sally Hardesty): May 7th, 1949 - August 5th, 2014

Some sad news hit the horror community last week. I was pretty shocked when I heard the news, and have wanted to wait until I could really take the time to sort my thoughts and speak my piece regarding the matter.

Marilyn Burns is oft overlooked in favor of Jamie Lee Curtis when the term Scream Queen is brought up in conversation amongst horror fans and non-fans alike. She was the original surviving lady, the original scream queen and she helped stoked the fire that would eventually become the raging love of horror that I have today.

Her passing is untimely (she was 65 years old), and it's made even sadder by the fact that we are now celebrating the 40th anniversary of the film that gave her the greatest role that she would ever play, that of Sally Hardesty in Tobe Hooper's seminal The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. She helped create one of the greatest horror archetype's, that of the strong woman who defies the odds and bests the maniac on their trail. Marilyn endured the summer heat, the dangers of the chainsaw and endless bruises, scrapes and injuries that went along with the filming of TCM. Even the fake blood used was a painful endeavor to remove once the cameras stopped rolling.

While the film ended up hurting her career in terms of mainstream success, she starred and co-starred in several other films throughout the years, including Eaten Alive, Kiss Daddy Goodbye, Texas Chainsaw 3D and The Butcher Boys. She also took on the role of Linda Kasabian, real life member of the Manson family, in the 1976 television mini-series Helter Skelter.

While she focused on stage acting in the later years of her life, horror fans the world over would still flock to appearances she made at various horror conventions in order to snap a picture with the iconic scream queen herself.

While it's very sad that we had to lose Marilyn at such a young age, it is important that we take the time to celebrate her life and the monumental impact that she had on the genre that we all love so much. If it weren't for people like her, the horror landscape would be a very different beast than what we have today.

RIP Marilyn Burns, May 7th, 1949 – August 5th, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

PET SEMATARY Script To Be Finalized By Summer's End

According to Dread Central, another writer has stepped up to the plate to take on the screenplay for Stephen King's acclaimed novel Pet Sematary

Word of the remake began circulating some time ago, there has been radio silence since then, but now we have some definitive word from Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train), who has been working on the script with director Juan Carlos Fresnadilla (28 Weeks Later). 
“Paramount had a script from Matt Greenburg and then brought Juan Carlos on, and they were looking to do some work on the script, and then I came in. Juan Carlos and I collaborated on a new outline for the film, Paramount loved our pitch, and I’ve been writing the first draft of the script. It’s very exciting.”
Commenting on the original 1989 horror classic, which was directed by Mary Lambert and based on the novel of the same name by horror legend Stephen King, “The original has a very special place in my heart,” said Buhler. “The film fits perfectly in the time period [in which it was produced], and the source material is one of the Stephen King books that I read as a teenager that made me flip out, and I’ve read it more than once since then. It’s a fantastic book and a fantastic story.”
With the narrative revolving around a family that moves into a new home next to a cemetery with powers that allow the creatures buried in it to come back from the dead, Buhler stated of his approach to the remake, “Now that I’m a father and I have a six-year old and a two-year old, all of the horror within that story that comes from losing a child is suddenly very real and tangible and utterly tragic [to me]. I think the one element that we are trying to bring to this version of Pet Sematary is a sense of truth and honesty in the horror and really take it back to the original material. I think that in the 80’s movie it’s a little campy in places, and we are trying to get away from all of that and really get back to the core of the story, which is that of the family dealing with grief from the loss of their child and the horror of breaking the laws of nature as a result of that. Juan Carlos in particular is very focused on the emotional elements and how they could be represented in a visual context that is compelling.”
“We are being very respectful to the book,” he continued, “and we are not tying ourselves to anything in the first two films at all. We are [also] bringing in some fresh elements that speak to the spirit of the story that aren’t in either one.”
“If you look at the core of it, of what’s going on with the family, it’s an absolutely disturbing story,” Buhler offered. “I think the heart of the story has to do with Louis and his relationship with his kids and grappling with that dilemma when kids ask you what happens when you die and what you believe in. It deals with these big questions in such a personal way, and that is classic Stephen King. They are huge ideas, but they are told through a very identifiable, close-knit family unit, and that’s so powerful so we are just immersing ourselves in that – the loss, the grief, and the horrific results of people making really, really bad decisions.”
As for the tone of the script as it pertains to the eventual film’s intended rating, “I try not to get too hung up on that while writing, especially because this isn’t like a Texas Chainsaw where there’s going to be a lot of ripped open abdomens and people chewing on intestines or anything like that,” he said. “It’s already going to exist somewhere on that line between R and PG-13. If the studio feels like they need to market it as PG-13, then it will be the most hardcore PG-13 movie you could get away with. There are a couple of deaths, but with this one the horror is a little more atmospheric. The big concern of course is that you are killing children, which studios are always loathe to do, but it’s a King story and that’s at the center of it so Paramount knows what they are getting into. There’s no question that kids are gonna die.”
“We’ll be done with the first draft by the end of the summer,” Buhler said of the current status of Pet Sematary, which is being produced for Paramount by Lorenzo DiBonaventura and Mark Varhadian.
“Juan Carlos and I have been working very closely from the beginning so I think the process will be very quick. It’s not going to be one of those situations where there’s a script that the studio likes but then they bring on a director who has a bunch of new ideas and then it goes back into the scripting process for another six months. Because we are doing everything with the director from the beginning, hopefully we won’t be far from where we need to be [with the first draft] when we are done.”
As most of you are well aware of, I am one of the bigger King fans out there. In regards to Mary Lambert's 1989 vision of the source material, I think it's one of the worst things that has ever happened to King's work (and yes, I'm including all those mini-series i.e. The Stand, Stephen King's The Shining, etc.). However, I was excited when this project was first announced, although at the time Alexandre Aja was heavily rumored to take the directors chair. When Fresnadilla was announced as the director, my opinions became impartial, but after reading what Buhler has to say about it, my excitement is back. I think we may actually get a great remake out of this. I don't necesarilly hate remakes, I believe that some films should be remade and Lambert's original is at the top of my list. 

Crucify me, applaud me, do as you will, just sound off below! What do you think about this remake?  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Birthday To The Only Man I Could Ever Love

One of my great loves in life that I never talk about on here (even though I should, and it's totally stupid that I don't) is more than just a man, he's a hero. He's dark, he's brooding, he has an alter ego and he could kick Superman's ass. He goes by Batman, and I love him. 

Today has been declared Batman Day by DC Comics, and today is the day that we celebrate 75 years of the Dark Knight. Most people think of Batman as the guy who dresses all in black, uses a scraggly voice and hates jokes, but he's so much more than that. Today I want to focus on that, as Batman has not only been someone to entertain me, but he has literally brought me out of depression and put a smile on my face when life was darkest. 

Batman was first brought to the public eye in 1939. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane (and I put them in that order for a reason), he was intended to capitolize on the superhero craze that was created by Superman in 1938. When Batman was first introduced he was nothing like we know him today, he used guns, he killed (Batman's big no-no these days) and he was not the dark and physical embodiment of fear that we know him to be today. While he is largely credited to be a creation of Bob Kane, it was Bill Finger who molded Batman and the mythos that surrounded him. While Kane came up with the name, he placed him in red tights with a domino mask (closely resembling Superman). It was Finger who gave him the cowl, the purple gloves, and the dark tights. Instead of wings attached to his arms, Finger gave him a cape so as to ease the restriction of movement, and from here the Batman was born in what is known as the Golden Age of Batman. 

Over the years, Batman has undergone more character growth than one could possibly imagine. While Finger not only gave Batman his image, he gave him his greatest super-villains including: Riddler, Penguin, Scarecrow, The Calendar Man and the most infamous of all, The Joker. We also saw the birth of Robin the Boy Wonder in 1940. After the Golden Age came the Silver Age in the mid-50's. While sales of superhero comics in the fifties began to wane, Batman sales were never higher. The storylines began to become heavily influenced by the sci-fi genre that was prevalent in film at the time. In the Sixties, when sales reached an all time low, his image was revamped the iconic yellow Batsymbol was introduced. Following the success of the wildly popular television show starring Adam West, the comics took on a campy tone which sent sales through the roof. 

However, this was short lived and in 1968, the television show was cancelled and Batman was brought back to his gritty roots. The camp was dropped and in 1969 Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams, two of the most important players in Bat-history, brought Batman out of the camp and portrayed him once again as the gritty avenger of the night. His look was once again re-imagined in the iconic blue and gray Batsuit which he kept through the 70's into the 80's. His physique was much stronger, and his villains began to evolve with more a more sinster presence as the storylines went back to their gritty roots, however one thing that remained the same: Batman did not kill. He always found another way.

Possibly the biggest landmark for Batman's evolution was in 1986, when Frank Miller took Batman out of the Silver Age and into the Modern Age. The Dark Knight Returns, one of the most iconic Bat stories of all time, was released and took the comic world by storm. Featuring a retired and battle-worn Bruce Wayne (and also gigantic and terrifying), the elseworld story introduced the Batman that the generation of today has come to know and love. A dark, brutal and often violent Batman, Miller's interpretation introduced pyschological aspects of the Dark Knight's persona in ways that had never been explored. While the Dark Knight grew darker, as did his villains and this was a theme that went on to be explored through the years and up until today. 

As Batman entered the film world in 1989 with Tim Burton's Batman, love for the character grew and flourished and he became DC's most popular hero. Since then, we've seen 4 actors take on the cowl and we wait in anticipation for a 5th to take it on in 2016. In the comic world He was reinvented in 2011 yet again, in the new line of New 52 comics for DC, with Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder writing the best Bat stories yet, and I am always left sitting in anticipation for what the next issue may entail. Batman is 75 years old, yet he has never been stronger or better. 

Batman has become more than a character for many people, myself included. He has not only reminded what it was like to be 5 years old with my mask and cape, but he has shown me what it means to be a better person. He was a source of hope and joy when my grandmother passed, he was there for me when I was lost and afraid to go on when times seemed their darkest. He has always been there when I needed something to hold onto and something to show me that times can always be darker and they will always get better. He has been a friend and a mentor, and I love him. 

To Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Dennis O'Neill, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and the countless others who have brought the Bat to the eager masses, I thank you. We thank you, and we can't wait for the next 75 years. You have brought a joy into our lives that will never be forgotten. There is so much more that could be written about the history of the Bat, his psychology and his growth, but I've already written a novel and want to get out to the celebration so I'll leave you with this: Go to your local comic book store, get your free Batman comic and read up. You won't regret it.