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The Members of Dr. God Talk the Practical Effects of Bloodsucking Bastards

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During the 2015 Texas Frightmare Weekend, which took place in early May, we spoke with Dr. God, comprised of Justin Ware, Brian O’Connell, Sean Cowhig, Neil Gargulio, and Dave Park, the masterminds behind Bloodsucking Bastards (review here). They wrote, produced, and directed the film as well as appearing on screen with Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Joel Murray, and Emma Fitzpatrick.

You can check out Part 1 of our interview here; and now, with Bloodsucking Bastards heading for a theatrical release on September 4th thanks to Scream Factory Films, here’s Part 2, which focuses on the film’s effects and on-set camaraderie.  For more information visit bloodsuckingbastards.com.

MD: We previously talked about the practical effects, the sheer amount of grue. There’s a lot of squishing going on. Who did your practical effects?

BO: His name is Mark Villalobos, and he’s great. He’s got a nice studio up in the Valley. He came to us through the Fortress Features guys who produced The Collector and The Collection. We hit it off really well right at the beginning. I grew up as a fan of the gore and splatter. Practical is the way to go. It feels tangible, you feel it on the screen, it stains things, it gives life to it. I’m not opposed to doing digital sweetening here and there, but you’ve gotta have a bucket and you’ve gotta throw it. It’s gotta hit people.

MD: It’s a trend, though, especially with low budget films: all blood effects, CGI.

BO: Yeah, and it looks like hot dog shit.

MD: You certainly could have played down the gore, went a little more mainstream; but you went all out and are literally splattering people with file cabinets.

BO: Yeah. Absolutely. Still, I think we did a pretty good job of walking that line. We did it just mainstream enough that distributors got excited about it, but not enough that gentlemen like yourself would go, “Bah, this is a fuckin’ waste of time.”

MD: You guys are kind of continuing a grand tradition of comedy troupes moving from stage to television to films. Python, Kids in the Hall, Broken Lizard, and now Dr. God. Yet, one thing I noticed about the movie, even though you guys are the troupe, you didn’t really take the lead parts. You’re all there, but not right up front.

JW: It was a conscious choice. We wanted to sell it, and it’s our first movie. We didn’t necessarily have enough “juice” to play the leads. We’re planning on playing the leads in the next one.

BO: Moving forward, that’s the plan.

JW: It was also just fun to get to work with guys like that. We really have to thank Fran because he was the first major piece to come aboard as talent. That really got the movie moving. He came in through our casting director. Brian and I went out and had drinks with him, and he didn’t know us from Adam. This is one of the things I love about Fran; he said, “Look, I don’t know you guys, but I think the script is really funny so I just wanted to meet you guys, and if we hit it off, we’ll do it.” An hour and a half later, I think we were just talking about basketball, and he said, “Let’s go.” A lot of actors won’t do that.

BO: Pedro was like that, too. We spent over two hours in a diner, and I think we talked for maybe 20 minutes about the movie. By the end we were just super gay for each other.

MD: Did you find that kind of made sense? I assume in a group like yours, camaraderie is as important as how funny the script is. Did that play into how you cast as well?

BO: Absolutely. We got really lucky on this cast. How well everyone got along. A couple of people we already knew, but every time I met with a new actor, I’d think how well I got along with him but also try to think how well Sean would get along with him. I know he’s got a scene with Neil; are these guys going to rub each other the wrong way?

NG: It’s very important. We work together, we’re best friends, we hang out together all the time. The environment is so important. There are a lot of great actors out there, but can you be a great actor and a great person, keep that vibe?

BO: It’s a short shoot, they’re going to be long days, we had absolutely no room for prima donnas. We really like the idea that every movie we do, we’re adding a few more people to the Dr. God family. We’re cool, we’re chill, we know we can trust them.

DP: We can’t not mention all the supporting people that we had worked with on a number of occasions. Zabeth Russell, Marshall Givens, Parvesh Cheena… so many.

Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Joey Kern, Yvette Yates, Joel Murray, and Emma Fitzpatrick star. Brian James O’Connell directs from a script by Dr. God.

Synopsis:
Bloodsucking Bastards takes audiences on a hilarious, blood-spattered roller coaster ride in the most terrifying locale of all: the American workplace. The film stars Fran Kranz as Evan Sanders, a low-level, dutiful employee stuck in a boring job at a soul-killing every corporation. Evan’s the kind of guy who does all the work and gets none of the credit, but at least he gets to spend his days with his beautiful co-worker/girlfriend, Amanda (Emma Fitzpatrick), and his slacker best friend, Tim (Joey Kern), so he soldiers on in the hope of one day getting his coveted sales director position.

Unfortunately, it all falls apart in one fell swoop when Amanda breaks up with him and Evan’s boss, Ted (Joel Murray), hands his promotion to his college nemesis, Max (Pedro Pascal). And it isn’t just their sordid past Evan has to deal with. After his fellow officemates start going through disturbing changes (which, paradoxically, make them better employees) and bodies begin to pile up, Evan learns the horrible truth: Max is a vampire. And even worse… a vamp with a plan.

Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles, expose Max as the bloodsucking bastard that he is, and save his pals before his life and career go from dead-end… to just dead.

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Trailer Takes Us DOWN A DARK HALL With AnnaSophia Robb and Uma Thurman

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It was just the other day that we shared your first look at producer Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) and director Rodrigo Cortés’ (Buried) adaptation of I Know What You Did Last Summer author Lois Duncan’s  Down a Dark Hall

The film stars AnnaSophia Robb (The Reaping), Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan), Taylor Russell (Netflix’s Lost in Space) and Uma Thurman (Pulp Fiction). And today we have the film’s trailer and poster!

You can check out the poster to the right and the trailer below and then make sure to let us know what you think below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Down a Dark Hall is directed by Rodrigo Cortés from a screenplay by Mike Goldbach and Chris Sparling based on the book by Lois Duncan and stars AnnaSophia Robb, Isabelle Fuhrman, Victoria Moroles, Noah Silver, Taylor Russell, Rosie Day, and Uma Thurman. It’s produced by Stephenie Meyer, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen, Meghan Hibbett, and Adrián Guerra.

The film hits theaters, On Demand, and iTunes August 17th.

Synopsis:

Kit (Robb), a difficult young girl, is sent to the mysterious Blackwood Boarding School when her heated temper becomes too much for her mother to handle. Once she arrives at Blackwood, Kit encounters eccentric headmistress Madame Duret (Thurman) and meets the school’s only other students, four young women also headed down a troubled path. While exploring the labyrinthine corridors of the school, Kit and her classmates discover that Blackwood Manor hides an age-old secret rooted in the paranormal.

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Tom Six Reveals “Vile” THE ONANIA CLUB…So What?

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Tom Six of The Human Centipede fame is coming back to theaters with The Onania Club, a film he promises will be, “…one of the most vile, inhumane movie experiences of all time.” IndieWire revealed the news, which adds that the film is produced by Tom Six and Ilona Six through Six Entertainment Company.

Details are being kept secret for now but the site says Six will bring a psychological thriller that will feature, “…mostly strong female characters” and that it will, “…definitely pass the Bechdel test with flying colors.” Starring in the film are Jessica Morris, Darcy DeMoss, Deborah Twiss, Karen Strassman, and Flo Lawrence.

Let me try and gather all my thoughts here because this is hitting some notes that I’m frankly not really feeling. I’ll try to organize this as best I can.

…[a] vile, inhumane movie experience…
If that’s what Tom Six is aiming for, my interest has already dropped by a huge percentage. I didn’t see The Human Centipede in theaters but I saw it after it hit home video. It wasn’t a gross movie but it had a gross premise, which I honestly thought made it more interesting. Then came along The Human Centipede 2, which I did see in theaters. I found it to be a brilliant response to those who were disappointed by the lack of vomit-inducing moments in the first film and who demanded it be more grotesque. Once they got it, they felt like it had gone too far, which made me want to point and say, “Trust filmmakers. They very often make decisions because they know how to do it right.” That being said, I think it’s a bad, unpleasant, mean-spirited movie. I never bothered with The Human Centipede 3 because of shockingly bad reviews and even worse word-of-mouth from friends and the horror community.

If Six’s goal is to create a movie experience that will haunt and disgust audiences, then my immediate concern is that there is no story to back up the intention. Hell, the announcement is more focused on creating a spectacle than it is on letting people know what the film is actually about. It’s Marketing 101 and as a horror fan for my entire life, I find it almost offensive that the idea of “gross first, everything else second” is being pushed in the initial blitz.

I have no problems whatsoever with gore, viscera, or shocking scenes. Martyrs, I Saw The Devil, The Thing, and the like are all great examples of movies that push a lot of envelopes but never fail to have fascinating concepts backing everything up. There is purpose in their horror. There is method to their madness. So far, Six isn’t inspiring much faith that The Onania Club will walk down that kind of path.

…[it will] pass the Bechdel test with flying colors…
The Bechdel Test, for those who don’t know, is a test within films that sees if there are two, or more, women talk to each other about something other than men. That’s it. Two women in a coffee shop spend 30 seconds talking about a book? Your movie passes. A group of teenage girls discuss what they’re going to wear at an upcoming high school dance? Pass. Ronda Rousey and Michelle Rodriguez trade barbs before beating each other senseless. Check.

While noble in intention, the Bechdel Test is a shockingly low barometer for movies to be considered women-friendly. It doesn’t ask for nuance or depth. It doesn’t set any expectations for emotion or drive. If Six thinks that his movie is a landmark simply because it passes the Bechdel Test, he clearly doesn’t know that horror has been doing this for a long time. And from reading about Bree Olson’s character in The Human Centipede 3 (the only woman in the IMDb credit list), and taking into account the female characters of the first two films in that series, I think one can understand my lack of faith when it comes to Six and women in his films.

I am fully aware of how negative and critical I sound here and I really do hope that I’m going to be proven wrong. Every film should be allowed the chance to stand on its own merits. Hopefully The Onania Club will see Six give us a film that will generate interesting conversation for years to come. But until more is revealed, my expectations are very low.

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Ben Hanscom Has Been Cast in IT: CHAPTER 2

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Some fun news out of Deadline as the site has reported that Jay Ryan (Mary Kills People) has been cast as the adult Ben Hanscom in It: Chapter 2. He joins Jessica Chastain, Andy Bean, James Ransone, James McAvoy, and Bill Hader, who will be playing Beverly, Stanley, Eddie, Bill, and Richie, respectively. Bill Skarsgard will also be back as Pennywise.

Andy Muschietti will be directing based on a script by Gary Dauberman (Annabelle: Creation) with a planned release date of September 6, 2019, almost two years to the day after the release of the first film.

It was a massive success, earning just over $700 million globally against a $35 million budget. That film starred Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Chosen Jacobs, Nicholas Hamilton, Owen Teague, Javier Botet, and Steven Williams.

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