Category Archives: HORROR BITS

KILLBOTS, minus the KILLBOTS?

Don’t fix that which is not broken…especially true for killer robots of the shopping-mall-security-variety.

These villains of Jim Wynorski’s 1986 cult classic Chopping Mall are of course high-tech security robots that go on a killing spree inside of a shopping mall, dubbed “Killbots.”(which was the original title of the film). But there’s a Chopping Mall redux in pre-production, and the man behind the remake says the script does *not* feature killbots.

In an interview with Nightmare Toys last week, Robert Hall (Laid to Rest) gave an update on his much-derided Chopping Mall remake, detailing the massive deviation from the original.

My version of CHOPPING MALL that I wrote is totally supernatural,” Hall told the show. “It’s more The Fog set in an abandoned mall than it is robots. Instead of killer robots, they are these mannequins that are possessed by the souls of dead slaves that worked at the plantation that the mall was built over.”

Sorry guys… purists,” he added. “I have a different take. Which [Roger Corman] really, really likedDo need to get that underway.”

Hall also said that he’s not sure if he’s even retained the aforementioned remake rights to Chopping Mall, so perhaps this fairly stupid and ill-advised plan of removing the one thing that makes this slasher classic unique will earn it a place in development hell along with the much-beleaguered Hellraiser remake, where it belongs. Despite this glaring oversight and uncertainty, he’s (foolishly?) hoping to get his planned remake off the ground in the near future. But I woulsnt hold your breath.

KEEP IT CULT

Platinum Dunes Producers Update on Current Status of the ‘Friday the 13th’ Franchise

 

by 

That one still hurts every day,” says Andrew Form.

Last March, production was *supposed* to begin on a new reboot of the Friday the 13th franchise from Platinum Dunes, with Breck Eisner (The Crazies) directing a script penned by Aaron Guzikowksi (Prisoners). The Paramount/Platinum Dunes production, of course, was shut down before filming began; we haven’t heard a peep from Jason since.

As most are aware by now, the rights for the Friday franchise are set to revert back to Warner Bros./New Line sometime this year, with a lawsuit from Victor Miller, the original film’s writer, in the works that could prevent even them from bringing Jason back to the big screen anytime soon. Amid all this, Arrow caught up with Platinum Dunes producers Brad Fuller andAndrew Form for a little chat about Friday the 13th, which updates us on the general status of the franchise at this particular point in time.

One of the biggest heartbreaks of the last couple years was that we were about to make that movie and it fell apart. That still hurts,” Fuller admitted. “The fans reach out to us; Andrew doesn’t really engage because he’s not on Twitter, but I am and I hear from the fans and that’s all they ask about. We get asked about that more than anything else.”

He continued, “Fans think it’s so simple, that if we want to make the movie we can go make it, and that’s just not the case. There are rights issues; originally, Warner Bros. owned the rights, then Paramount had them for a couple of years, and now I think the rights are reverting back to Warner Bros. At the same time, there’s this on-going lawsuit with Victor Miller. If there’s a lawsuit hanging over the rights, it’s problematic, you can’t really make the movie until that gets settled. And now the movie is at New Line, and we’ve made a lot of movies with those guys, but that’s not our home studio anymore.

So the question is, [does New Line] want to make the movie with us? If they want to make that movie with us, we will drop what we’re doing to make that movie. We had such a great experience making Friday the 13th, it was a dream come true to watch those movies as a kid and then be a part of it. So I don’t really have a clear answer.”

Form, meanwhile, offered only sadness about the death of the Guzikowski/Eisner iteration of Dunes’ Friday the 13th reboot that came so close to happening. “That one still hurts every day,” he told the site “We were a couple of weeks from filming on that one, Guzikowski wrote an unbelievable script, we found the camp… That one still hurts.”

For now, Jason Voorhees remains dead at the bottom of Crystal Lake.

STRANGER THINGS SEASON 2 JUST DROPPED 4 DAYS EARLY

All our friends are back for another supernatural spin round the wheel of dark happenings in their small town with the debut of STRANGER THINGS Season 2. And while the initial plan according to netflix as recently as 3 days ago was to release the much anticipated follow up to last years cultural behemoth, the season have arrived and we have watched most of it. It’s maybe not better, but certainly ad good as the first season as far as we can tell. But don’t believe us. What are you waiting for?? Go and binge watch that shizzle!!

 

KEEP IT CULT

TOP HORROR PICK OF 2017, THUS FAR…

The Autopsy of Jane Doe, despite it’s mis-leadingly lurid title, is a smart and stylish psychological horror film blended with subtle supernatural elements that manages to offer a fresh take on its subject matter. The sophomore effort from Andre’ Ovredal, director of the amazing found footage film, TROLL HUNTER once again shows a flair for narrative cohesion and an eye for comedic timing as well and it’s our top pick of 2017 this far. We cannot recommend this one enough. For its part, Rotten Tomatoes, reports that 87% of 83 surveyed critics gave it a positive review; the average rating is 6.7/10. The site’s consensus reads: “The Autopsy of Jane Doe subverts genre expectations and delivers a smart, suggestively creepy thriller that bolsters director André Ovredal’s growing reputation.” Agreed. But its a film with a secret, and to say more would risk spoiling it, so just enjoy!! We give it an A-, check it out ASAP.

KEEP IT CULT

CRAVEN & RAIMI

Here’s a wee bit o’ trivia for any and all who may find it interesting. Surely by now you have seen the Evil Dead Trilogy and ALL of the Nightmare on Elm Street films, RIGHT? If not, leave now. Just go. If you HAVE watched them, then did you know this?
There are several cinema “winks” back and forth between Wes Craven and Sami Raimi hidden in the aforementioned films? NO? Well, let us learns ya’…
When Sam Raimi made his feature-length directorial debut with “The Evil Dead” in 1981, Wes Craven already had several films under his belt including “Last House on the Left” and “The Hills Have Eyes”. Raimi was already a fan of Craven’s films. So, in one scene of “The Evil Dead”, a piece of the poster for “Hills” can be seen on a wall in the background. Wes Craven, having seen and enjoyed “The Evil Dead” decided to use a clip of the film on a TV screen in Nancy’s room right before Glen(Johnny Depp) climbs in her window early on in the original “Nightmare on Elm Street”. Surprisingly enough, Sam took it even further by having Freddy’s Glove hanging from the wall next to the door in the basement where Ash goes to retrieve the pages of the Necronomicon in “Evil Dead 2”. Which is, obviously, all very awesome and shows that you can make classic pieces of cinema whilst dabbling in the meta behind the lens. We salute these two icons of horror and their odd ways.

KEEP IT CULT

TRUE HORROR

Fear doesn’t come easy these days.

Lost in the cacophony of direct-to-video dreck and exploitative and derivative muck that fills the horror landscape these days are the rare moments when true horror can be seen. Gore is not horror. Jump scares are not horror. Horror, at it’s base level, challenges our sense of security, not by appealing to our internal revulsion or ability to be startled, but rather from forcing us to confront ideas, visuals and moments that threaten us at the most core level. Fear is subjective, and almost impossible to quantify. The classic film, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE was, especially for the time, a groundbreaking assault on the audience. Shocking images and jump scares were employed but not depended upon the way modern horror does. It made us question the creepy gas station attendant, the friendly hitchkiker, the road trip, the good ol’ country home. Much like the works of Stephen King, pure horror is often achieved by subverting the things we feel safe with, turning them away from the iconography of our happiness and security, and forcing them into the areas of our subconscious that we have saved for those creeping terrors that activate our basic need to survive. Fight or flight.

But this is a dying art. Modern “Torture Porn”(i.e. SAW, HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES, etc.) along with the proliferation of the jump scare, has led a largely jaded and cynical movie-going public into the incorrect belief that revulsion and panic are synonymous with fear. While they can certainly function as corollaries to fear, unskilled directors and horror producers use these techniques to a fault, missing the essence of what was truly great about this genre to begin with. To know too much of what’s happening in a story as an audience is to diffuse questions we have that accent the fear that creeps to us from the silver screen. Michael Myers wasn’t scary because he had a big knife or a scary mask. It was because we didn’t understand him. Fear is usually born from ignorance, and horror masters of the past knew how to exploit this to great effect. Michael Myer’s was scary because e didn’t understand him, didn’t know where he would come from next, and never knew if he was really done coming for us. This was further enhanced by subverting our sense of safety, in this case, small town living, or of being safe under the care of a guardian.

True horror is rare these days. But every once in while, the essence of horror and what drives us to it can be found in all it’s glory, hiding in the tall grass, just waiting to surprise us from the most unlikely of sources. Which brings us to Resident Evil. A staple of the survival horror genre, the series has arguably been slipping further and further from the classification “survival horror” immediately following the original. Which still great, Resident Evil 2 was a departure from horror and focused more on action and puzzles to entertain. Resident Evil 4 moved the series even further away, using the horror elements simply to facilitate the action of the game. “Resi 5”, as fans are want to call it, was barely survival horror and “Resi 6” was just……well, not that great and seemed to mark a low point in the series.

Which is what makes the fact that Resident Evil 7 is, by all accounts, the most frightening piece of horror media to come out in the last decade, so surprising. Taking cues from such genre classics as TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE RING, MOTEL HELL and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD(just to name a few), this game has everything we want from horror, employing tropes such as the disturbed family, the lost loved one and even “found footage” to maximum effect. We don’t spoil or discuss the plot specifics of games on this site, but we can say, you play as Ethan, a man looking for his lost wife in the backwood swaps of Louisiana at the infamous Baker estate, known for it’s bloody and mysterious past. Done in first-person, this game throws you right into the chaos from the outset, and manages to consistently ratchet up the intensity and difficulty, keeping you in a perpetual state of tension and fear. Resources are scarce, the imagery disturbing without being overtly gory, and the pacing is pure rollercoaster. It never let’s up. Look for a full spoiler review in the coming months. But for now, just get your ass to the local Gamestop and get a copy NOW.

And KEEP IT CULT

MS. HELSING, IF YOU NASTY…

Any show that the Sci Fi channel airs is always likely to arouse trepidation in the final product. Between lackluster genre fare, direct-to-video, fairly ridiculous-monster-duel-to-the-death flix,  and various cheesy serials….say, the latest iteration of Stargate,  Sci Fi as a network has consistently lowered the cultural and intellectual bar since it dialed back on classic genre staples and MST3K reruns. But a change may be afoot. We can’t say it’s gonna be the proverbial turning tide, but with the inclusion of VAN HELPING into it’s winter lineup, the station best known for making CGI beasts fight ad infinitum has got a winner.

Based on the graphic novel of the same name, VAN HELSING takes place three years after a Vamp-fueled holocaust has made humanity the minority in a big way. Think a certain AMC zombie show for structure. And like that show,  small groups of humans survive and continually fight to hold onto the last vestiges of their race against a malevolent and in this case, lethally intelligent enemy. We focus early on, on one soldier who is guarding a comatose woman who was wanted prior to the fanged apocalypse by the military for reasons unknown. What seems to be just another cheap genre-flavored cash in quickly turns into a show of its own, moving at a much more exciting and steady clip than Walking Dead. You know what we mean. The prison, right?  The fucking prison.

Van Helsing IS yet another show about a group of survivors trying to find their way out of a dire and seemingly hopeless situation i.e. Revolution,  Lost,  Lost in Space, Walking Dead, etc etc. But what it lacks in originality it makes up for in imminent watchability.  Better than average acting, production value,  writing, humor and an enjoyably bleak atmosphere add up to one of the best horror shows of 2016. Go find the first season now!!

 

KEEP IT CULT!

 

so…guy walks into a bar, and then, THE FUCKING MISFITS ARE REUNITING FOR RIOTFEST!!

HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!

The Pentultinate horror punk group, the one by which all others have been measured, the band who hasn’t performed together since 1983 is going to reunite for two dates that make up this year’s RIOTFEST. Having dropped Toronto from it’s schedule this year, RIOTFEST will only happen in TWO cities for three days each. The first wave of band’s performing will be announced tomorrow via the official RIOTFEST website but a video on the website giving some clues has left at least one of our writers here to believe that JANE’S ADDICTION may also be there. Fingers crossed. For the uninitiated, Denver’s RIOTFEST will be this upcoming labor day weekend, and since the announcement of this most amazing of news, tickets have been being bought up en-masse’ so it’s a good idea to hop over to your local e-ticket website and drop your sheckles on down, son, before the opportunity to see this crazy shit in person will have forever escaped your grasp…….BITCH. MWUAHAHAHAHA!!!

THE FUCKING MISFITS BITCH!!!

KEEP IT CULT!!

KRAMPUS ISN’T ALL THAT BAD

Since it’s release, a lot of vitriol has been directed toward KRAMPUS, the follow up film from TRICK OR TREAT-director Michael Dougherty’s new cinema soiree. And while it is clear that Krampus isn’t of quite the same ilk as it’s predecessor, we of The Face Eaters wish to make the following public service announcement. Just give it a go. You may, as we did, actually find it to be an amusing ride. Lower your admittedly ill-informed expectations, have some fun…it really isn’t THAT bad. It’s sorta fun…

AND bleak as f***…

FINAL SCORE: B-

KEEP IT CULT

TO SIR, WITH LOVE…

Following on heels of the announcement of Betsy Palmer’s death, and running the risk of this site appearing to be little more than a celebrity obituary page, we would still be remiss if we didn’t express our sadness at the news of the passing of Sir Christopher Lee. A true genre icon, this man has been in Hammer horror films as the price of darkness himself, Dracula, as Count Dooku in the STAR WARS saga, Sauraman in the LORD OF THE RINGS, as the happy-go-lucky cultist in THE WICKER MAN as well as bit parts in films such as SLEEPY HOLLOW, GREMLINS 2, and others too numerous to count. Despite the sorrow we all feel in the film community at this most uncool news of his death at the age of 93, we can really only express gratitude for the immense amount of entertainment and love he has granted us over the last 80 years. His craft was second to none and he never failed to bring quiet intensity and passion to each and every role he took on. Our sorrow will be matched only by our gratitude for his many years of faithful and kind service to both moviegoers and the people he touched in this life. We will miss you good Sir, and may you rest in peace forever.

SIR CHRISTOPHER LEE, May 27th, 1922 – June 7th, 2015

KEEP IT CULT