Monday, January 31, 2011

Catching Up On 2010 : Buried

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Originally released on the festival circuit in January of 2010, Buried was given a limited and then slightly wider theatrical run in September and October of last year, before hitting home video just a couple weeks back. I finally got the chance to see it tonight and i'm happy to say that it now sits at a high ranking position on my best of 2010 list, whether we're talking horror movies or movies period. An unbearably tense 90 minute thrill ride, set entirely in a tight, dark and claustrophobic wooden coffin, Buried is in my opinion one of the best, smartest and most impressive and original thrillers in recent years. If Hitchcock were alive today, I don't think he'd argue with me on that.

Yes, you heard right; the entire 90 plus minute runtime of Buried takes place inside a coffin, sometimes lit by a faint light, sometimes not lit at all. Inside that coffin, buried under the ground, is an at the top of his acting game Ryan Reynolds, a cell phone, a flashlight, a knife, a tiny little flask of liquor and some other little odds and ends. For the entire runtime, we watch as Reynolds (playing an American truck driver kidnapped in Iraq) fights for his life to stay alive, making cell phone calls to his family, his kidnapper and to those he believes will be able to get him out of his horrifying predicament alive. By never straying away from the confines of that coffin, not even for a split second, director Rodrigo Cortes brilliantly buries us alive with Reynolds, making us feel as much of the tension, urgency, frustration and terror of a person in that situation as one can possibly feel while sitting in the comfort of their own home watching a movie.

What could've easily been a failed experiment in the wrong hands is an incredibly effective one in the hands of Cortes, a film that is never once boring or anything less than edge of your seat captivating. Cortes has brought to the screen an emotionally devastating and haunting war story, one that manages to be more effective in relaying a political message about our current clusterfuck of a war than most films have been able to, while at the same time having something to say about our current society and the shared anger of the so called 'little people' that inhabit it. Given the limitations Cortes faced with the story, I consider that a pretty damn impressive achievement. For taking such a limited premise and such a limited space within which to tell that story and managing to tell it in such an engaging and effective way, I give writer Chris Sparling, director Cortes and star Ryan Reynolds all the credit in the world.

The rewatchability factor may not be all that high, given much of the impact is taken away on a second viewing, wherein you already know what's going on and what's coming, but I honestly don't think one would want to sit through such an emotionally and mentally draining film on an all that frequent basis anyway. Though super depressing and taxing, it's a film that demands to be seen. Turn off all the lights, pop in the DVD and get Buried as soon as you possibly can.

Evil Toys : Bindeez

It's time for another episode of Evil Toys, the continuing blog series dedicated to finding the most demonic children's toys ever put on the market; toys that were shortly recalled after hitting shelves for killing, hurting or just plain terrifying and corrupting the minds of their innocent owners. In the very first installment back in December we took a look at the hair eating Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kids and things take a turn for the even more frightening in this month's installment, as we turn our attention to little magical beads called Bindeez ...

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Manufactured in China in 2007, the small colorful Bindeez beads became a smash hit the world over, with Australia awarding them the "Toy of the Year" award for that year. Marketed as a craft project in a box, Bindeez were tiny little colorful beads that were placed on a provided tray in whatever arrangement a child wanted them in and then sprayed with water, which fused the beads together, resulting in a unique one of a kind artistic vision. At about 5mm in diameter, I think it's pretty safe to assume that by now you've pieced together that kids probably ingested these things. You'd be correct. But mere ingestion of tiny beads that could pose a serious choking hazard is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Bindeez. Before we get into their true demonic powers, check out an original commercial for the craft project from hell!



Ok so here's the deal with Bindeez. Yes, children swallowed them and no, a restricted airway wasn't what resulted. Believe it or not, it was discovered that the beads contained a chemical that, when swallowed, crystallized in the body and became GHB; THE DATE RAPE DRUG. Yes, a toy marketed to children four and above contained a drug that is largely used by creepo creeps to sedate their victims in order to have sex with them without their consent. Couldn't make this shit up if I tried. At least nine children in both Australia and the United States become physically ill, had seizures and were put into non-responsive comas for good portions of time after swallowing the beads, leading to a national recall of over 4 million units of the once popular toy. In the years following, the beads were re-released across the world, without the GHB chemical and under different names, in hopes of distancing them from their evil roots. As the below commercial for the newly named Beados shows, a lot of effort was put into this change ...



Bindeez, there is a special slot in hell reserved for your ass and i'm pretty sure you're seated not too far away from the foremost child molestors in American history. You sick little beads, may you burn in hell.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Horror News Stories From The Past Week You Need To Know About : 1/24 - 1/30

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- In what i'd have to consider the biggest development of the week, Rob Tapert, producer of the original Evil Dead, had this to say about a future remake of the film; "It's possible; we're looking at a script this month. What's interesting about 'Evil Dead' is very few people saw it in the format we made it for, which is for the theater. I think Sam wants to embrace the ultimate experience in grueling terror and see it remade for a proper theatrical experience." While rumors of a remake have been circulating for years now, it's looking like this project is finally beginning to take shape.







- Tickets for Kevin Smith's Red State were put up for sale over the weekend for the handful of screenings Smith himself will be independently presenting in March and April. Tickets and locations can be found on his website. In addition, the above video footage surfaced earlier in the week of Smith at last weekend's Sundance, where he talks about his decision to release his very first horror film outside of the studio system.



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- Adam Green revealed the scoop on Hatchet 3 during an interview with Horror Bid over the week, stating that he's got other things on his plate and would prefer to let someone else helm the most likely impending future sequel. You can listen to the whole audio interview right here.



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- A few new tidbits about the still very mysterious Ridley Scott project Prometheus surfaced, including casting news and a little clarification as to what the hell it's gonna be about. Originally conceived as a two part prequel to Alien, many fans were worried to discover recently that the film has since become a standalone film, perhaps not even having much to do with that universe Scott brought to the screen in '79. Along with the new news that Giger's familiar Alien creatures will in fact be in the film, it was also given a June 8th, 2012 release date, with Michael Fassbender (above) and Noomi Rapace tapped as the leads.



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- Platimun Dunes producer Brad Fuller took to Twitter this week to talk about the future of the reboot Elm Street and Friday The 13th franchises. Fuller stated that there are, as of the present time, no plans to even write an Elm Street 2, while a sequel to Friday has already been penned ... "Shannon and Swift wrote a great script. We are ready to go, when New Line is ready. But as of yet, they are not ready."



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- HBO's True Blood gave birth to CW's Vampire Diaries and now it looks like the network is set to capitalize on another horror television hit in the form of a Walking Dead-esque zombie show titled Awakening. The story follows two sisters facing off against the undead and is described as "The Walking Dead for young females."



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- Fans of the cult classic Cemetery Man rejoiced with the news that writer Michele Soavi is at work on the script for a sequel to the 1994 film, which he plans on producing and shooting sometime either late this year or early next year.



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- Similarly, fans of the uber cheesy hybrid monster films that have become a staple of the SyFy network rejoiced when Roger Corman announced this week that a new hybrid film is in the works. This time around, a piranha and an anaconda will join forces to create .... PIRANHACONDA!! Shooting begins next month in Hawaii for the film, which will be directed by Chopping Mall's Jim Wynorski.


Leave a comment below with your thoughts on any or all of this week's news stories!

Alex Pardee Meets Troll 2!

One of my favorite artists in the game is Alex Pardee, a guy whose work i've shown off several times in the past couple months; check out his 'My Favorite Monsters' art series and the limited edition Hatchet 2 poster he whipped up a couple months back. The highly unique artist recently gave the stars of Best Worst Movie the Pardee treatment, care of a poster he created for a screening of the film he hosted last weekend in LA. Check it out!

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As far as I know, prints of these are not available for sale at the moment, and i'm not sure if they ever will be. We can only hope!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mega Python vs Gatoroid - Tonight on SyFy!



Tonight marks the premiere of a brand spankin new mega battle flick on SyFy, where this time not only will a massive snake get in the ring with an equally enormous alligator, but former pop stars Tiffany and Debbie Gibson will also duke it out in the very same arena. It's two battles in one tonight on SyFy, as Mega Python vs Gatoroid premieres and is hosted by the two female stars. Tune in at 9/8c for all the bloody action. Whoever wins ... we all win!!

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If you're not gonna be around to watch it tonight and you don't have DVR capabilities, have no fear - Mega Python vs Gatoroid will likely hit DVD in a couple months.

After Dark Originals : Everything You Need To Know!

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Different from their usual releasing of eight previously unreleased films, After Dark is this year unleashing eight horror flicks that they actually produced themselves, which hit select theatres this weekend. A lot of people seem to be confused about this release and I just want to clear a few things up for those who, like me, were a little bit in the dark about what exactly is going on with the eight movies in terms of their theatrical releases.

Contrary to what After Dark has led us to believe, all eight films have not been released this weekend, which would explain why trailers for only a few of them have thus far been seen. Only five of them are actually being released over the weekend, with varying release dates and showtimes in the mere 10 cities they will be playing. According to the research i've conducted, Husk and Prowl were released yesterday (Friday), with Seconds Apart and The Task being released today and Fertile Ground following on Sunday. In addition, Husk and Seconds Apart will also get replays at all the theatres on Sunday, with various replays of all of them throughout next week and the rest of the theatrical run.

So what the hell is going on with the other three films; Re-Kill, Scream of the Banshee and 51? Due to the positive response thus far for Re-Kill, that one will be getting its own individual theatrical release in the future, likely a wider one than the others are receiving this weekend, and Banshee and 51 will also get their own releases courtesy of SyFy, both in theatres and in their Saturday night TV slot. As for the DVD releases, Husk and Prowl will hit on March 29th, with the others not yet announced as far as i'm aware. Pretty damn confusing, eh?!



Now that we've cleared all of this confusion up, here are the plots for all eight films, along with all available trailers that have been provided thus far. If you're looking for theatrical showtimes and locations this weekend, head over to the official website for that. For clips of all eight films, be sure to watch the 'Main Event' trailer above, which shows off all of them.

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WATCH TRAILER

When a murder of crows smash into their car windshield, a group of young friends are forced to abandon the vehicle, leaving them stranded beside a desolate cornfield. Hidden deep within the cornfield they find a crumbling farmhouse – but they soon discover that instead of a sanctuary, the house is actually the center of a terrifying supernatural ritual that they are about to become a part of…



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WATCH TRAILER

Amber dreams of escaping her small town existence and persuades her friends to accompany her to find an apartment in the big city. When their transportation breaks down, she and her friends gratefully accept a ride in the back of a semi. But when the driver refuses to stop and they discover the cargo is hundreds of cartons of blood, they panic. Their panic turns to terror when the truck disgorges them into a dark, abandoned warehouse where blood-thirsty creatures learn to hunt human prey, which, the friends realize, is what they now are…



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Seth and Jonah are murderous twins who share an evil kinship. Damned from the moment of their births, the brothers possess a gruesome talent for telekinesis – a power they use in the most horrific ways imaginable. As their fellow students meet gory fates, the local law enforcement begin to suspect the twins’ connection to the depraved murders. What started as a jealous rage escalates into a supernatural showdown – pitting brother against brother, evil against evil.



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WATCH TRAILER

Something diabolical is taking place on the set of “The Task” a new reality show in which players complete terrifying missions within the confines of an abandoned prison hoping to win a hefty cash prize. As six young students explore their new environment, malicious spirits make their presence known in the most gruesome ways imaginable, Unable to escape the labyrinthine prison, the contestants become unwitting pawns caught at the centre of a blood-soaked night of terror.



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WATCH TRAILER

Emily and Nate Weaver leave the city for the rural comfort of Nate’s ancestral home in the country. Once there, Emily is plagued by horrifying visions and haunted by the ghosts inhabiting their isolated new home. When Nate’s behavior undergoes a strange and fearful metamorphous, Emily fears she might be the latest target in a murderous tradition.



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WATCH TRAILER

It’s been 5 years since the outbreak that wiped out 85% of the world’s population, but the war between Re-Animates (Re-Ans) and Humans wages on. Most of the major cities are still uninhabitable. Within the few surviving cities, the Re-Ans have been segregated into “zones” and are policed by the R-Division of the QUASI S.W.A.T. Unit who hunt to re-kill the Re-Ans in the hope of quelling a second outbreak. “R-Division, Frontline” is America’s #1 TV show in this Post-Apocalyptic world. Weekly, the show follows different R-Division units on the battlefield as they work to keep America Safe and Re-An free. Jimmy, the videographer for the Outbreak Network, thought this week’s episode would be like every other. He was wrong. Through the lens of his eyes and camera, we see raw, revealed and uncut, that which could be mankind’s last day.



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When a college Professor opens up a strange, ornate box discovered in the basement of a University, she and her students hear a horrifying scream belonging to that of a bloodthirsty banshee. They think nothing of it, until that scream begins to haunt all that heard it in strange and surreal ways. According to Irish lore, if you hear a Banshee scream, you will die – which is what starts happening to them one by one, as the creature starts taking their lives…



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Due to political pressure from the American public, the Air Force has decided to allow two well-known reporters limited access to the most secretive base on the planet. But when one of the base’s “long-term visitors” exploits this unprecedented visit as a chance to liberate himself and his fellow alien captives, Area 51 turns from a secure government base to a horrifying destination of terror.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Gingerdead Man Goes Back In Time!

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Charles Band just mere seconds ago posted the Gingerdead Man 3 trailer on his Facebook page and I just couldn't resist sharing it with the handful of you guys reading this who, like me, have any interest whatsoever in the killer cookie franchise. Despite the fact that the look of the G-Man has changed a bit, with Gary Busey once again not doing the voiceover work, I still can't help but be excited about the next entry in the utterly cheesy saga. Dig on the Saturday Night Cleaver trailer below!



Who's excited?!

Fright Rags vs Breast Cancer ... The Battle Continues

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Back in October, Fright Rags made available limited quantities of the amazing t-shirt you see above, with all proceeds from the sale going directly to their friend Liesha, who is currently battling breast cancer. After a mere two weeks of the shirt being on the site, an amazing $7,000 was raised for Liesha and her family, with that amount about to get even higher. Ben and the gang have dug up an additional 100 'We Belong Alive' shirts, leftover stock they printed in the event that people made size changes to their orders, and they've just been made available today. Sizes are extremely limited and as of writing this, far less than 100 are still up for grabs, but if you didn't get the chance to get one the last go around and want to help fight the good fight, head over to Fright Rags and see if your size is available!

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In addition, a very special jam packed lot of goodies has been put up for sale by the company on eBay, in an effort to raise even more money. The items were donated by celebrity and artist friends of the Fright Rags gang, everything from art prints to autographed pictures to a latex mask. Currently at a bid of $400, with again all proceeds going to Liesha and her family, you can take a trip over to eBay to scope it out and place a bid if you so desire.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scarecrow Horror Returns This Friday! A Little Something To Tide You Over Till Then ...

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I don't know what it is, but there's just something about scarecrow horror flicks that I love, no matter how bad they are. Unfortunately, most of 'em are pretty damn bad. The height of scarecrow horror peaked in most people's eyes with the first of its kind, 1981's Dark Night of the Scarecrow (read my review) and the sub-genre has since taken a serious nosedive with shit like 2004's Scarecrow Gone Wild. Between these two films, however, lie two fairly underrated gems, two gems that I revisited for myself this week in my efforts to hold myself over until I get my hands on the latest foray into killer scarecrows; After Dark Original's HUSK, opening this Friday in select cities. Before I get into those two films, check out the trailer for Husk, a film which I can only hope will be a return to kickass scarecrow horror.



If that looks up your alley and you too want to satiate your scarecrow cravings until you get to see it, either this weekend or once it hits wide on DVD on March 29th, then here are two scarecrow horror movies to tide you over, both of which you can currently watch instantly on Netflix!

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WATCH NOW!

After pulling off a major heist, a group of ex-military outlaws commandeer a plane for their getaway. But when one of the group betrays them by parachuting out with the cash, the rest follow -- and find themselves in the middle of a nightmare. They take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse set in a cornfield, where sinister scarecrows soon come to life and start taking them out one by one.

Gotta thank the now defunct Monsters HD for showing this 1988 foray into the world of killer scarecrows on what seemed like a constant loop one month, because I had never heard of it until I caught it on there. Unique to other scarecrow horror films of the time, Scarecrows has several killer scarecrows on the loose as opposed to just one, scarecrow/zombie hybrids who not only kill their victims and steal their organs and body parts, but also turn them into zombie-like killing machines. Can't beat that! Another unique thing about this one is that it's more or less two films rolled into one, with one half working as a well made heist film and the other as a gory scarecrow slasher flick, all while remaining throughout a solid character and story driven horror movie. As far as i'm concerned, it's the best movie of its kind that's been made to date, eclipsing even the uber atmospheric and highly effective Dark Night of the Scarecrow for me personally. It's a very unique film, one that manages to blend aspects of both the action films and the slasher films of the 80's into one dark ride that i'm quite frankly surprised more people haven't rode on and then subsequently raved about.

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WATCH NOW!

Something terrifying just came in from the field. An evil secret that a small town has hidden for generations. They thought it was buried forever, but the sins of their fathers have come back to haunt them ... and that's just the beginning. A monstrous demon has been set free - unspeakable, unstoppable and hellbent for revenge. Before the night is through the Scarecrow will sow the seeds of terror, then reap the grisly harvest in a bloodcurdling trail of death and decay that leads from the backwoods of horror to the bowels of hell. When the Scarecrow starts stalking, don't bother running ... there's nowhere to hide. Don't bother to scream ... there's no one to hear. Just pray the morning comes before the Scarecrow does.

Released in 1995 and directed by a post-Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 Jeff Burr, Night of the Scarecrow has never been put on DVD, which makes the fact that it's available on Netflix instant even cooler. Aside from snagging yourself a VHS copy, this is the only way you can see it as of now. Last night I actually found myself dusting off my trusty VCR and feeding my sun weathered VHS copy of Night into it, not realizing until this morning that it was available to watch on Netflix. In any event, Night of the Scarecrow plays out like a gorier version of the superior Dark Night of the Scarecrow, with more scarecrow action and more onscreen kills than that film, which it clearly drew huge inspiration from. Setting itself apart from that one and others like it that have come in their wake, the charismatic wise cracking scarecrow in this one has demonic powers which allow it to insert straw into its victims and turn them into human scarecrows, so to speak. In the most memorable scene in the film, the damn thing even rapes one of its female victims in the back of a van, forcing her to give birth soon after to all sorts of roots that drag her still alive self into the ground. It's a pretty corny film at times, while also possessing some pretty cool effects at other times, and it's one I definitely recommend to B-movie fans who love them some scarecrow horror. It doesn't hurt that Milton from Office Space is in it either!

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As far as i've seen, these two and Dark Night of the Scarecrow are the best of the best when it comes to this particular sub-genre of horror. Will Husk rank alongside them or fall more on the side of Dark Harvest and Scarecrow Slayer? We shall soon find out!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And The Mega Winner Is...

A couple weeks back I posted a giveaway for Mega Piranha on Blu-ray, with the entry rules stating that you had to leave a comment with the answer to the following question in order to throw your hat in the running :

- SyFy has given you the opportunity to create a mega beast for their next original picture. What beast do you give the super sized treatment?

After digging through some great entries tonight, I have come out the other side of the mega madness with a singular winner, a man who showed immense levels of creavitity with his idea, an idea that I would personally love to see turned into an epic creature feature. The winner's name is Los Furias Tiki and here is his winning idea!

Octo-Genarian!

The tale of a disabled war veteran in his mid-eighties who is offered a second shot at life via a mysterious Octopus DNA emperiment being conducted by the military... Not only does he regain the use of his legs... He gains the use of six new legs, a razor sharp maw and an insatiable appetite for revenge against a military that has destroyed his life twice!!! Who can stop THE OCTO-GENARIAN?!


I tasked the Freddy In Space graphics department with drawing up a prototype image of this creature. After many hours locked away in the small rat infested basement that sits below my feet, here's what they came up with ...

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Congratulations Los Furias Tiki, thanks for the laugh, I hope you love Mega Piranha as much as I did and I sincerly hope that you someday make millions when Octo-Genarian is greenlit!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Faces Come Off Tommorow Night On SyFy!

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You guys are gonna want to set your DVR's or make sure your asses are plopped in front of the TV tommorow night because SyFy is premiering a new series at 10pm ET/PT called Face Off, which will pit 12 special effects artists against one another in battles designed to showcase their talents, with the ultimate goal of finding the next great star of that field. Here's some more info from the official press release along with a little teaser trailer ...



Go inside the imaginative and creative world of special effects make-up artistry with Syfy’s new reality competition series, Face Off, premiering Wednesday, January 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy. The series will introduce 12 up-and-coming make-up artists who will face off in Los Angeles in a series of elaborate challenges that will determine just who has the steady artistic hand to be the country’s next great SFX artist.

For their first spotlight elimination challenge, the contestants are tasked to imagine an entirely new species, a human/animal hybrid, based on one of three exotic animals that are brought into their workspace lab -- a beetle, an ostrich or an elephant. The contestants must work in teams of two to execute their creative visions, utilizing specialized skills including molding, sculpting, prosthetics and an involved application process on live models. Future elimination challenges include application of full body make-up to nude subjects, conceptualizing a creature that would inhabit a newly discovered planet, creating an original horror villain and transforming a “bride” into a “groom” and a “groom” into a “bride.”

Throughout the series, some of the industry’s most experienced artists will guest judge including Sean Cunningham (Friday the 13th), revolutionary body painter Filippo Ioco, Greg Nicotero (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and Michael Westmore (Star Trek: The Next Generation).

The 12 Face Off artists will be whittled down week-by-week as they compete to outshine their competition. The winning SFX artist will receive $100,000 and a year’s supply of make-up courtesy of Alcone.

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DON'T MISS IT!!

Freddy In DEAD SPACE : Looking Back At What Brought Us To Today

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Today is a pretty big day for many horror fans the world over, as it marks the release of not only the sequel to one of the most popular video games of the past couple years but also the DVD and Blu-ray release of a new animated adventure based on the game. I'm of course talking about Dead Space, the uber gory 2008 survival horror game which went on to spawn sequels and prequels in the form of comics, books, animated films and Wii and Playstation Network games. Unfortunately, being as i've never even played the first Dead Space aside from delving briefly into a demo a couple years back, I really don't have much to offer in terms of a post celebrating the franchise today. That's where my good friend Jesse Bartel comes into play. Jesse is a big time Dead Space fan and in it he found the perfect inspiration for his next post here on Freddy In Space. Jesse stops by today to tell you a little bit about the first video game and the animated prequel film released the same year and to give you his thoughts on each, which will hopefully serve to catch you up to speed for today's release of the sequel game and sequel animated film, Dead Space : Aftermath. Freddy In Dead Space begins NOW!

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Dead Space surprised a lot of people and fellow gamers in its 2008 release, taking formulas that already existed and combining them with new elements. There are plenty of similarities between Dead Space and the Resident Evil franchise, especially the later ones, but the horror is still potent. Basically, the game came out of nowhere and scared the pants off of curious gamers. It's hard to say that any type of game comes out of nowhere, with large amounts of feed off the internet and other media outputs, but the people behind the game were small time and did not create anything substantial before Dead Space. The large amounts of gore and dark atmosphere peaked a lot of people's interest in the developing screenshots and began to draw a cult-like following.

The story and plot are fairly generic in terms of having a distress call from a giant spaceship, to the slow building of suspense to see what creatures are lurking on the ship. The game is not really a story-oriented piece, it's about how the game feels and believe me, it's fucking scary. The game sounds amazing; everywhere you go you hear creaking, moaning, blood squirting, bodies crunching, and plasma beams firing. The atmosphere is wonderful; you're quickly set on end as you play Isaac Clarke and begin to investigate the strange happenings of the quiet ship. Things crawl around, creatures attack and run away and every time it happened, I jumped. Some really cool elements that made my hands sweat were few but enough to give me a jolt. I don't mean like scared shitless but rather nervous and stressful scenarios. For example, there are a few times in which you have to shoot at a tentacle dragging you through the ship and your aim is all off with the tossing and turning. These moments required the gamer to act quickly or end up being dead.

The game is well paced and there are a few RPG-like elements involved and though it's surrounded by money system, the idea is still there. As you progress and find goodies throughout the ship, you acquire credits that can be used to buy new weapons, update current ones, and buy better defense measures. It is great incentive to keep looking in the nooks and crannies of the game, just so you can get a killer weapons department. Another interesting feature was the Stasisability, in which you could freeze objects and enemies. Once frozen, the enemy could be quickly dismembered and/or pushed off the edge of a platform. Things like this really set the game apart from titles like Resident Evil or typical survivor horror games. Another big thing that set it apart was that it was not easy to kill the aliens. The gamer was required to dismember the enemy before it actually died, so you could not just go in guns blazing, you needed to be precise. Puzzles were also another integral part of the Dead Space experience. The puzzles ranged from being clever to way too simplistic and it caused for some unbalanced difficulty felt. The puzzles always did provide the player with a nice break from killing crazy zombie/aliens and let the player breathe as well. This provided the gamer a chance to think about all that happened and marvel at the structure and atmosphere created by the Dead Space team.

Throughout the game Isaac keeps receiving transmissions from his girlfriend that was aboard the ship before all hell broke loose. It was great to see some human elements like that taking place in the midst of all the insanity. He's looking for her throughout the entire game, while trying to get rid of the Marker and in finally bringing the Marker back down to its original resting place in the mining colony, we discover the truth. That his girlfriend was only a projection of the Marker and that she had committed suicide before Isaac ever showed up. At the very final scene, Isaac removes his helmet on his escape vessel just as his Necromorphed girlfriend attacks and the screen goes black. The ambiguous ending provided the writers to either make a sequel or leave it as is. That all depended on the game making any kind of money or receiving any recognition.

Dead Space 2 will pick up three years after the end of Dead Space and poor Isaac will be experiencing plenty of mental issues still. I have played the demo and can say that the game is really looking to be awesome and expanding on old elements. I am not as concerned about the story as most gamers are, as we can see that it's a game about emotion and atmosphere and not on developing mythos. You all can expect a review of Dead Space 2 soon because my copy will be shipping out today.



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Dead Space: Downfall is set as a prequel to the game of Dead Space, focusing on a mining colony looking for artifacts on a very distant and unnamed planet. They come across a spiral like monument and begin extracting it out of the ground. The miners have been going insane ever since digging up the object know as The Marker,creating mass murder and suicide, claiming to hear voices. The Markeris then brought onto the ship that is circling the planet entitled the ISHIMURA and the cycle of murder and suicide continues. What the movie viewer finds out is that The Markeracts as a way to kill off the surrounding life forms so that an alien bat-like creature infects the dead body causing it to transform into a multi-appendage/alien/zombie thing called a Necromorph, which does nothing but kill and eat. It sounds lame and farfetched but it's pretty cool to SEE not READ! There is also some sort of religious sub story they tried to throw in there but it really didn't seem necessary or important. So....that's about it for the story. At about the half-hour mark the main story stops and for the last forty five minutes you watch the entire crew become eaten and ripped apart ... it gets old.

The presentation is done well for the film, the animation is great and the dialogue is not horrible, considering it's an animated film. I am a huge fan of animated adult oriented material so I was really hoping to enjoy this piece. It's a 70 minute movie with not enough drama or story to keep you focused, just kill after kill after kill and it is cool for a bit, till the movie is nothing but that. The gore for the movie is wonderfully done and it's really sickening at times showing people cutting their throats or getting ripped in half (no cutaways) but they went with too much style and ended up with a shallow film. Oh well.

I didn't care about the outcome of the characters because they were not engaging or entertaining in the least. One was a dick captain, one a semi-lesbian tough girl, and another who was a stereotypical Native American (Indian). Those were just some of the main characters and none of them were very likeable. The thing that was lacking most was atmosphere. The movie builds up some tension in the beginning but blows its load too quickly. It seems like there is a lot wrong with this film, which there is, but it's a nice mindless watch, just a bad movie. It seemed to have been a rushed script that was forgetting a lot of important...STUFF! A nice touch was the ending, in which we see Isaac Clark's ship coming to dock on the ISHIMURA and we feel the dread for the characters about to board.

Overall, it's not a terrible watch and will kill some boredom. People who loved Dead Space will probably want more story as I did, it's just one of those movies you view once and never touch again.


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All caught up and now you want to continue the bloody adventure? Click here to order Dead Space 2 & HERE to order the animated sequel tale Dead Space : Aftermath!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Best Press a Horror Movie Has Ever Received ...

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One of my favorite filmmakers out there is Lucky McKee, the dude behind the masterpiece May, the pretty damn good The Woods and the best Masters of Horror episode out there, Sick Girl. Oh and he also co-directed Red, another recent favorite of mine. His next film, The Woman, screened this past weekend at the Sundance Film Festival and it absolutely caused an uproar, with several people walking out and one woman even running out so fast that she fell and hit her head on the way out. But it's not just women that are up in arms about the flick that focuses on a feral girl who is raped and tortured, as the video below of one seriously pissed off dude will show you. It's rare that parts of these legendary horror film screenings get caught on tape so what you're about to see is pretty damn special. Click the play button below to enjoy a seven minute rant from a guy who just walked out of a screening of The Woman, furious over the images he just saw and demanding the film be banned and BURNED!



How awesome is that? And is it just me or is this the kind of attention that makes you incredibly excited about a horror film? Art is not safe (Rob Zombie FTW) and if there's ever a place for the kinda shit that should disturb and revolt, it's within the confines of a horror film. Job well done Lucky, can't wait to see this one.

The Horror News Stories From The Past Week You Need To Know About : 1/17 - 1/23



- James Wan's hotly anticipated next film Insidious was given the trailer treatment this past week, providing us with the first footage from the film aside from a short clip that was released a few weeks back. Insidious gets a wide release on April 1st of this year.





- I posted the new and improved Scream 4 trailer in the news recap last week, but the video was pulled off the net shortly thereafter so I wanted to repost it this week for those who might've missed it. The trailer was pulled due to the fact that it was set to debut on Entertainment Tonight but leaked online prior to the airing and thus, wasn't officially allowed to be posted until after that episode hit TV.



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- In yet another strange turn for Kevin Smith's Red State, Smith himself bought the distribution rights to the film at this past week's Sundance Film Festival, rather than selling it to the highest bidder as is usually the norm. Smith plans on taking matters into his own hands and road tripping the film across the country, further showcasing his increasing disdain for the Hollywood system. The screenings will begin March 5th at Radio City Music Hall and will culminate on October 19th with a widespread theatrical release. How much did Smith pay for the rights to his own horror flick, you ask? 20 bucks!



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- The non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho is set to get the movie treatment in the coming years, with Anthony Hopkins being rumored last week to portray Hitchcock in the film. The book covers everything from the inspiration for the film to the influence it has had on the world of cinema. More on this casting news in the near future, as nothing has yet been confirmed.





- Though we're gonna have to wait until the Summer for it, the first teaser clip for Season 4 of HBO's True Blood was unveiled. While it doesn't show any actual clips from the season, it does give some pretty big clues as to what new breed of creature will be joining the series this year ...



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- Theatrical listings have begun to surface for this year's After Dark Original Films, which will see release January 28th. Click here for the listings and check back soon for more to come.





- The first look at Darren Bousman's upcoming Mother's Day remake hit last week, in the form of a sales promo for the film. Check it out above and look for Mother's Day in theatres on April 1st, where it will battle Insidious for box office supremacy.



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- We're gonna have to wait until next month for this to be confirmed or debunked, but it looks like we've got a Walking Dead video game in our future. Gaming website 1UP.COM was invited to an event on February 17th where several new games will be announced, including "one based on a just-launched property from the TV and comic book world whose popularity is changing life as some know it." All signs seem to be pointing to The Walking Dead on this one, though nothing can be set in stone until that date.





- A film that been receiving a ton of positive attention of late is Quentin Dupieux's festival favorite Rubber, about a killer rubber tire. Just crazy enough to work? I think so! Check out the just released trailer above. Rubber hits On Demand platforms on February 25th with a limited theatrical run on April 1st.



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- Not sure anyone even cares anymore due to all the negativity surrounding it, but I wanted to mention this last bit of news because I reviewed this film recently and found it to be one of Argento's best in years. The Adrien Brody starring Giallo was pulled from release several months back after Brody sued over not being paid what he was promised and owed. It seemed the film was destined to never get a proper DVD release, but the lawsuit was settled last week and thus, that DVD release will be coming soon. No date has been set as of now but if you wanted to check the flick out, you will soon get the chance to do so.


Leave a comment below with your thoughts on any or all of this week's news stories!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Inspired By A Serbian Film ...

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(David Spade is totally pissed!)

One of the qualities in my girlfriend Jen that I truly cherish is her ability to dissect movies and really allow herself to see the big message that sometimes, in the case of a lot of movies we watch, lies buried behind a wall of blood splatter and brain matter. I've always said that I could never be with a woman who didn't genuinely enjoy watching movies and allow herself to be moved by them and I couldn't be happier that I found one who possesses both of those qualities. The reason I bring this up tonight is because Jen and I had a quiet little dinner at a nearby diner earlier and she talked to me about some issues she's going through with her job and how she was heavily inspired to stand up for what's been going on over there by a movie we watched the other night. That movie, which might surprise you to hear, was A Serbian Film.

While most females, and most males for that matter, would be far too repulsed by the subject matter of A Serbian Film to even watch it much less dig into it and find the true meaning behind the grotesque images put on screen (which are unfortunately the only thing any review really even addresses), i'm proud to say that Jen not only endured it and saw the message lying within its dark heart but also used the film as inspiration to stand up against the big corporation fucking her and her fellow employees in the ass on a daily basis, something all of us put up with for the almighty dollar, an issue that is addressed heavily in A Serbian Film. In a nutshell, this is why I love her and I couldn't be prouder that she's fighting the good fight and sticking up for what she believes in, and what she believes is best for her fellow employees and customers, and I just completely love the fact that this movie really got the ball rolling for her to do so. Here's her story in a nutshell ...

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Jen has been a pharmacy tech at a big name pharmacy for nearly the past decade and things have been getting pretty untolerable for her as of late, which reached a boiling point this past Monday night. Her and her entire staff have been under pressure lately to convince customers to sign up for programs that they don't want to, and that don't really benefit them, which has led to increased tensions between the whole staff and a serious loss of customers to boot. Realizing the company is not looking for the best interests of their patients but only in the lining of their own pockets and fed up over the fact that she gets shit on on a daily basis to the point that her job is a living hell, forced to take it all with a smile on her face, Jen was pretty upset Monday night and didn't know what to do. After spending much of the night on the phone with a fellow employee who was ready to throw in the towel and quit her job, after Jen had spent the past year training her, I was thinking our plan of watching A Serbian Film should've been pushed off until the next night. Well, we ended up watching it and as it turned out, it was pretty much just what she needed.

The main thing both Jen and I took from the film was the message that all of us are continually screwed over and jerked around on a daily basis, from the day we're born to the day we die, and even after our deaths sometimes, and in a certain way we found it empowering that such a message was being expressed in a film, comforted by the fact that others share in that feeling. I'd like to state that the movie has other meanings which i'm sure others will see in it, but this is personally what the two of us took from it. In any event, the day after watching the movie, Jen decided to stand up for what she believed in and speak out against the abuse of both her staff and the customers, which she credits the film for inspiring her to do. While the movie itself goes the more bleak route of not having the good guys become empowered and triumph over the evil, I think it was the extreme nature of the way the director went about expressing the idea of us all being made to do things we don't want to do and getting screwed over constantly in the process that really hit a nerve with Jen and made her realize that she doesn't want to be another victim of that system and that her life is in her own hands, the anger of the material pumping her up in much the same way listening to heavy metal would pump someone up before heading out to the gym. Such is the power of a powerful movie, I suppose.

I know this is a little personal and maybe not what you guys would normally expect to see when you log onto the site, but my hope is that this story made for a compelling post and also served as proof that while a movie like A Serbian Film may be totally over the top sick and depraved, that doesn't mean there isn't a reason and a message behind its depravity. Sometimes, especially in our jaded society where we're ingesting the sickest of images and stories on a daily basis on TV and in newspapers, it takes really over the top material to get a point across. Though I can't say I enjoyed watching A Serbian Film and again, can't recommend it to most people, I can't help but fully respect it for presenting a thoroughly thought provoking message and for having the balls to do it in such an extreme way that that message hits hard for those willing to take something from it.

Check out my review of A Serbian Film if ya haven't yet.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fright Rags Hails To The King!

Fright Rags owner Ben Scrivens is a big time fan of Stephen King, an obsession that stems back to his days as a horror hungry child. After making a post on the Fright Rags blog last year about his childhood days spent reading King's books, transfixed by their cover arts, Ben was struck by the realization that his childhood memories were shared by others around the world. That's all the inspiration he needed for a new line of kickass horror shirts, a line that just hit the site this morning. Fittingly dubbed 'The King Collection', the limited edition line of t-shirts are based off of the original cover arts of four of Stephen King's books, recreations that were designed with the help of the original artists who drew them up years ago.

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PET SEMATARY


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THE DARK HALF


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SKELETON CREW


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NIGHT SHIFT


The shirts go for $21.95 a piece and can now be picked up over at Fright Rags while supplies last!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Clay Guy's Been Busy ...

As part of my Holiday Gift Guide last year, I did a post on an artist who goes by the name Clay Guy and who specializes in little clay figures of characters from the worlds of movies, television and all around pop culture. I took a trip over to his site tonight and discovered that he's got three new figures posted, which I just had to share with you guys!

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Head over to ClayGuy.com to pick any of them up and to check out the rest of Barry Crawford's awesome little clay creations!

An Exclusive Chat With Troll 2's George Hardy - Troll 2 : Part 2 Details!!



As I mentioned the other day, I got the opportunity this past weekend to do one of the coolest things this blog has ever allowed me when I got the chance to call up Troll 2/Best Worst Movie star George Hardy and do a phone interview with him, which lasted a good 40 minutes and went extremely well. Unfortunately, as I also mentioned the other day, the recording of the Skype conversation didn't turn out so well on my part, with everything I say in it sounding like the words of a barely intelligible robot with a bad case of the echoes. Finding this out was incredibly dissapointing to me considering how well it went, but i'm just grateful that I got the opportunity to chat with George, even if the end result isn't exactly what i'd hoped for. I was thinking of just transcribing the whole thing and not posting the actual audio, but i've decided instead to do both. Above and below you will find both the entire raw and uncut audio conversation as well as a transcript of the highlights from the conversation. If you want to listen to the audio, you'll find that George sounds crystal clear in it and you also may find me a bit hard to understand thanks to some sort of technical glitch, but I still think it's a good listen all around - it picks off a little bit into the call and cuts off abruptly at the end due to George's cell phone dying, but the interview was pretty much winding down at that point anyway. If you'd rather just read the transcript, which contains most but not all of what was discussed in the interview, be my guest. Either one you choose to take a peek at, I hope you enjoy listening to George Hardy and I chat about everything from the first Troll to future projects to Michael Keaton and even to plot details from the upcoming film Troll 2 : Part 2 that was hinted at at the end of Best Worst Movie. As far as I know, no other site on the net has gotten this scoop yet!


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... Best Worst Movie's critical acclaim and how the differing festival and DVD release dates have negatively impacted it ...

GEORGE - I have to say, it's frustrating for us ... it's been frustrating I know for Michael Stephenson (director) because he's gotten so much acclaim for the documentary and I think it's 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is an incredible rating and Michael says he thinks it would've even been higher but for some reason we kept getting kicked back to 2009 on Rotten Tomatoes. He's made five or six phone calls to Rotten Tomatoes to say "Hey wait, this is actually a film that came out in 2010 for the viewing public. Yes it was in festivals in 2009 but..." We were asked to run for the Academy Awards and the Independent Film Awards and that takes time and money to do those things. The one requirement for the Academy is to show your film in New York and Los Angeles for seven consecutive nights, which we did of course. The critics wrote that we were shunned when we weren't up for the documentary award for the academy. They've announced the top 15 and we didn't make it.

ME - Well, you should've made it.

GEORGE - I think it's that great a documentary.

ME - Absolutely, it's probably the best documentary I saw last year.

GEORGE - I know, even Roger Ebert this past week put us in the top 10 documentaries of the year.

ME - And that's the thing, i'm sure he's not a Troll 2 fan and even he loved it.

GEORGE - Exactly. Like ya just said, you don't really have to watch Troll 2 in order to see Best Worst Movie.

ME - Well that's like all the best documentaries, it's more about the people than even the subject.

George - Exactly. So it's kinda been a little frustrating on our end cause you want acclaim from it, which we've gotten, for Michael's sake, because he just did such a good job on directing the film. He's a perfectionist. Our documentary was shot in 28 cities in 8 countries over about a 4 and a half year period, with 420 hours of footage. So, that's a lot of dedication.

ME - Ya I see even on IMDb it's listed as 2009. That's always a gray area with horror movies and stuff, where they come out at festivals one year and then the next year they come to DVD and nobody's really sure what the real release date is.




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... Have you seen the first Troll? ...

GEORGE - I did, I saw the original Troll in about 91/92, something like that.

ME - Whatdya think of that one?

GEORGE - I just thought, 'this is a mysterious film' and I felt like, well I kinda see some tie in's with Troll 2 and Troll. There are a few things that seem to kinda coincide.

ME - There's gotta be a reason it was named Troll 2, right?




... So have you had fans come to the dentist office to get work done, now that Best Worst Movie has come out? ...

GEORGE - Oh ya, ya, I have, actually, people have come. I've had people Facebook me - 'can I come by and have an autograph?'. They don't come for dentistry too much.

ME - Oh see I have work I need done and i'd like to come and get some work done.

GEORGE - Oh come on down, ya, you can come down.

ME - That'd be great. I've got a few cavities...

GEORGE - Yaaa, i'd be glad to help ya out.




... Dentist vs Actor ...

ME - In the documentary you seem to be kinda torn between your dentistry and this desire that you've had in your life to be an actor. If you had a chance to go back in time and put all that money and time into acting that you put into dentistry, would you do that?

GEORGE - Ya know what, that is a great question. This is probably interview number 500 for me and i'm not kidding, but nobody's ever really asked me that question before. Ya know, fate has its way and that's kind of a hard question to answer because, ya know, things just panned out for me. Ya know, I don't know (laughing). The reason I say I don't know how I feel about that is this ; sure, I think it would've been a great opporunity for me to have done some more acting and like I say in Best Worst Movie, I really would like to have had another shot at acting. But then a lot of it too, it's just fate. Ya know, you have one or two maybe big films and then maybe that's it, that kinda thing. I'm sure Michael Keaton is doing more things these days, I don't know, I think he's doing some voice overs for films, but ya know, where is he now? What's going on with Michael Keaton? (laughing).

ME - Ya I don't know, I haven't heard much about him.

GEORGE - I don't know too many actors that have really long fufilled lives. It seems that they age quickly. I don't know that it's really a healthy way to go. I mean it could be fun, i've enjoyed being back in front of the camera again.

ME - It's kinda cool, because you've become a big movie star in a little corner of the world.

GEORGE - I really have, ya. It's strange because I have and I haven't, it's really weird. So I don't hold on to anything at all. When I go to a Troll 2 or Best Worst Movie screening, when I walk in the room and they see me, there's a standing ovation.

ME - You're like a god in that environment.

GEORGE - I am. But then the ego's not even there, it's just kinda removed from it all and it's more like a love thing going out to folks.




... Clearing up the horror convention thing ...

ME - I wanted to ask you about horror conventions. Have you done more of them since that one that was shown in the documentary?

GEORGE - (laughing) No, no, no. We were just throwing a lot of things in the pot when we made Best Worst Movie, going here and there to just find the fans. When I went through that whole thing that you see me going through in Best Worst Movie, that was like day three of being there for 8 hours and at one point I just thought 'I feel filthy' and 'I wanna get the heck out of here'.

ME - I think a lot of horror fans took that the wrong way though.

GEORGE - Oh, I think so too, a lot, you're right.

ME - I've seen a lot of posts and i've got friends who have said that seemed kinda out of character. Totally understandable though, you'd been there all weekend.

GEORGE - Ya, people don't understand that, ya know. I didn't mean to offend anyone and I think also what Michael was trying to do, well not trying to do, he was trying to capture that part of me that people don't see. Ya know i'm Mr. Nice Guy kinda guy whose always cheery and happy. So I think you were able to see a different side of me.

ME - Ya I think it did perfectly capture that. Is there a lot of stuff at the convention where fans were coming up to you a lot that we didn't get to see?

GEORGE - No there really weren't (laughing).

ME - See I think you got an unfair representation of horror conventions.

GEORGE - Oh ya, I did. We were sitting there and people didn't even know about Troll 2. Now I think it would be different. Troll 2's had a huge resurgence. If I were to go back to a horror convention people would know about Troll 2 most likely.

ME - Do you think you will go back at any point?

GEORGE - Ya know, I don't know. The only reason i'd probably go back is not of interest but if someone invited me to come back maybe I would do that. I mean i've got other things on my plate that I do. I'm not a horror fan. I kinda thought 'What's this all about? Do some of these actors go and sit and wait for autographs so that they can just make money and they just sit there for something they did 20-30 years ago?'. Ya know what i'm saying? So that's kinda why I never ... I don't know ....

ME - It's just not your thing.

GEORGE - Right.




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... What's next? ...

ME - Can you tell us a little bit about the upcoming films you have - Junk and Ghost Shark?

GEORGE - Junk is about two guys, it's a comedy, and these two guys have a Western feature film that they've made and they're making it to pitch at a film festival and they're presenting it, wanting it to get into a film festival, and they're racing against another group of guys that also have a Western feature as well. So it's this competition trying to get their films into the film festival.

ME - That sounds fun.

GEORGE - Ya, it does. It's kinda funny that I brought up Michael Keaton's name because I think they changed the script but the actual name of the film at first was called 'In Search of Michael Keaton'. But ya, it's called Junk now.

ME - What is Urban Jaws? Is it like a Jaws spoof type thing?

GEORGE - Jaws spoof, yes. Something like the mayor of the city's trying to ... i'm not sure, but it's something about this ghost shark that's about to eat the city up or something. There's a really bad mayor of the city and we're in charge of trying to kill him. Cause he's evil and the evil mayor has something to do with this ghost shark.

ME - Do you know when the movies are gonna come out?

GEORGE - Ya, I understand that there's good chances that they will hit the big film festivals. So it looks like 2012 rather than 2011, cause Sundance has already gone by.




... How to get George into your movie & an interesting project that never came to fruition ...

ME - So if any fans out there want to get you in their movie, they just gotta Facebook you and not take no for an answer?

GEORGE - (laughing) Oh sure. Every so often someone will write me on Facebook, but it will be someone that's maybe in film school. I met the nicest guy from Mexico who had a great script and he wanted me to play a bad guy. I play the mean dad, who beats up his son. It's this cameo where i'm beating him up and the son becomes disabled physically and throughout the whole thing the person playing the part dreams he's normal and healthy and then at the end of the movie he wakes up and he's in a dream and he's actually disabled. It's a pretty powerful film.

ME - That sounds depressing.

GEORGE - It does sound depressing, doesn't it? (laughing) It really does. But anyway the reason I was kinda upbeat about that was the fellow that wanted me to be in the film was in Monterrey, Mexico and they were gonna fly me down and I was gonna do a little cameo. But he had trouble getting his camera equipment across the border so he never ended up filming down in Mexico.

ME - That's a bummer.

GEORGE - Ya it was kinda a bummer. I would've done it ya know, it wouldve been fun, why not go down for a weekend and do a little cameo thing?

ME - Nice little vacation.

GEORGE - Ya ya exactly. I'm more in it for the experience than anything else.




... And now, the scoop you've been waiting for ...

GEORGE - Life's too short, that's why at the end of Best Worst Movie when they asked me would I ever do Troll 2 Part 2 ... which, by the way, we found out that the Italians are looking to do that this summer.

ME - Are you gonna be in that?

GEORGE - Oh ya, they have me in there. Rossella's (Drudi) writing a part for me.

ME - Do you know anything about the story, what it's about?

GEORGE - I don't know, it's something about a hamburger ... i'm the owner of a hamburger meat packing company (laughs). Ya I don't know, it had something to do with meat though.

ME - Nilbog meat?

GEORGE - Something like that.




I know I already posted the above video over the weekend but for the sake of having the whole shebang in one post, here's the second part of the interview, where I asked Hardy the legendary Pivot Questionnaire from Inside The Actor's Studio. This was what mostly went down during the second part of the chat, after George's phone died and we reconnected via his home phone.