The Weekly Wrap-Up: March 15-21, 2009 - Dread Central
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The Weekly Wrap-Up: March 15-21, 2009

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The Weekly Wrap-Up: March 15-21, 2009

It’s the first full day of spring, a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. It’s also a time of another “re” word — remake — but I’m going to temporarily put that trend on hold (other than reminding you all to read Adam Gierasch’s blog Creepy Mofos … Creepy Movies, the first subject of which happens to be those pesky re-dos).

Instead, let’s focus on some fresh, original projects born from fertile minds (fertility is, after all, a touchstone of the Vernal Equinox) that came to light during the week of March 15-21, 2009.

  • First up are Slaughter’s Road and Demonology, a pair of upcoming films that Watchmen co-writer David Hayter will direct. The former is a spin on the werewolf subgenre starring Thomas Dekker (the new Punisher, Ray Stevenson (interview here), is reportedly in talks to appear as well *crosses fingers*). The latter is autobiographical in nature, relating to Hayter’s experiences at a Japanese international high school. And he’s not stopping there. Hayter and producer Benedict Carver are also in the process of developing Dark Hero Studios, which will produce film, TV, Internet, and video game projects. It’s an ambitious undertaking, but necessity is the mother of invention, and lord knows we need creative people like these guys working in the genre nowadays.

  • Matt Osterman isn’t a familiar name, but I’m willing to give his Phasma Ex Machina a shot. Its premise is that the barrier that prevents the souls of the dead from walking among the living is a simple lack of energy, which of course means that some poor misguided electrical engineer is about to provide them the power they need to cross over, thereby fucking things up for the rest of us. Watch the trailer if you haven’t yet; Osterman evokes a genuinely creepy vibe and tone.

  • The little road show that could is about to head back out, and if you didn’t have a chance to see Repo! The Genetic Opera on the big screen during its various limited engagements across the country this year and last, do yourself a favor and check the listing of new Repo! Road Show dates. The fans spoke, and Lionsgate listened. It’s downright heartwarming to see to Darren, Terrance, and the rest of the crew’s perseverance and dedication pay off.

  • I’m almost afraid to draw attention to this next item. Every other time we’ve been given a date for the release of Richard Kelly’s The Box, something has happened to make the powers-that-be at Warner Brothers change their mind. But in honor of the Equinox, I’m throwing caution to the wind. Click here to find out when we can finally watch James Marsden and Cameron Diaz struggle with the issue of whether it’s worth $1 million to be responsible for the death of someone, somewhere, they don’t know.

  • Fans have been clamoring for years for more literary adaptations as opposed to remakes and sequels, and at last it seems like production houses are listening. A good half dozen projects based on novels or comics were announced this past week, and the one that caught my eye the most is Demonkeeper. Yeah, it’s cool that Sam Fell is set to direct, but the person who has me the most excited is screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis. As a co-writer of Night Watch, Kalogridis has more than proven his inventiveness and ability to adapt complex, visionary properties. I’m pretty sure Royce Buckingham’s story of a young man charged with controlling a menagerie of demons is in very capable hands.
  • Along those lines, when all is said and done, treating source material with respect is really all anyone wants. But it rarely turns out that way, which is why so many of us have gotten so fed up with the redux craze. Nonetheless, there is one long-rumored re-imagining that I can’t help but get all warm and fuzzy about, and it is the basis of the Woman’s Story of the Week: Johnny Depp Closing in on Dark Shadows Adaptation. Much like many of you feel toward such classics as Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Hellraiser, and even newer fare like Let the Right One In, Dark Shadows is sacred territory to me. I watched every single one of the show’s 1,225 episodes. But I’m not the least bit worried. If anyone can do Barnabas Collins proud, it’s Johnny Depp. However, I am kind of hoping Tim Burton winds up taking a pass. It seems too much been there/done that for him and Depp after Sweeney Todd. We all know Burton does Goth like nobody’s business, but how about seeing what someone else can do in that milieu? An up-and-coming director who will keep the film stripped down and grounded in reality. Or not. If Burton does wind up involved, I won’t complain … too much. And if Warner Bros is serious about turning it into a franchise, all the better! Just please get it done already, guys; none of us is getting any younger.

    Johnny Depp Closing in on <i>Dark Shadows</i> Adaptation” style=”padding: 6px;”></a></center><br />
Until next time … </p>
<p>– <a href=The Woman In Black

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    Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

    Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Local 58 Contingency Emergency Broadcast

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    Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

    “Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

    To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

    As a child of the Cold War born in the 1970s and traumatized by films like The Day After and Threads, I remember immediately panicking every time an Emergency Broadcast broke into a TV show I was watching. That alarming tone made my stomach drop and in the moments before it was confirmed to be “only a test” I had already imagined a barrage of nuclear warheads bursting overhead.

    My heart went out to the residents of Hawaii who, due to a false alarm, believed a missile attack was imminent this weekend. For almost 40 minutes, families scrambled into fallout shelters, bathrooms, and even storm drains, believing war had begun between the United States and North Korea. Even after the all-clear was announced and the warning revealed as a mistake, nerves were severely rattled. I can only imagine the potential long-term damage done to the psyches of Hawaii’s youngest residents.

    For a taste of the pandemonium that occurred, check out an excerpt from CNN’s reporting below.

    While the shock must have been unprecedented for most, a bizarre alert that accidentally aired in the late 1960s puts the Hawaii debacle to shame. What viewers of a local station saw just before the end of programming at 3 am was a message announcing the fall of the US Government, and included instructions for committing suicide rather than surrendering to enemy forces.

    Wanna see something REALLY scary?

    The message bore the seal of The U.S. Department for the Preservation of American Dignity, included a statement from President Lyndon B. Johnson, and warned that failure to commit suicide as instructed would have consequences:

    “Your local law enforcement has been ordered to ensure your compliance,” the message cautioned. “It is against the law to delay.” The final instructions remind adult viewers to put down their children and pets first while promising “There is nothing to fear.” Though the station later posted a statement ensuring viewers the message was a hoax, the potential loss of life this broadcast could have inspired is staggering. Have a look:

    If the Local 58 Contingency, as it’s become known, seems too outlandish to be true, that’s because it isn’t. Though the video doesn’t include an admission of fiction, it’s written and directed by Kris Straub. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the writer of the popular creepypasta Candle Cove, recently adapted into a TV series on SyFy.

    Still, the vintage look of the Local 58 Contingency, not to mention the current climate of heightened tensions between American and a rogue nuclear nation, make this video a truly terrifying viewing experience.

    Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

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    The Housemaid Haunts a New Trailer

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    Here’s the thing… if we had the choice between cleaning up our own house or being haunted by a vengeful spectral servant of sorts, well… just hand us a friggin’ mop, wouldja already? Still, in the case of The Housemaid, it looks like nothing is gonna stop her from sensing shivers! Dig on this new trailer.

    Derek Nguyen directs the flick, which stars Kate Nhung, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan, Svitlana Kovalenko, and Rosie Fellner. Look for IFC Midnight’s release of The Housemaid coming to select theaters, VOD, and via Digital platforms in the U.S. on February 16, 2018.

    Synopsis:
    A forbidden passion awakens vengeful spirits within a haunted mansion in this bloodcurdling, erotic tour-de-force.

    Vietnam, 1953: Linh (Nhung Kate), a poor, orphaned young woman, finds employment as a housemaid in a crumbling rubber plantation presided over by the emotionally fragile French officer Sebastien Laurent (Jean-Michel Richaud). Soon, a torrid love affair develops between the two – a taboo romance that rouses the ghost of Laurent’s dead wife, who won’t rest until blood flows.

    Submerged in moody Gothic atmosphere, this stylish supernatural saga confronts the dark shadows of Vietnam’s colonial past while delivering heart-stopping scares.

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    The Executioners Knock on the Wrong Door! Get Axed!

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    Ever since Funny Games I’ve been kind of soured on home invasion flicks. There have been some great ones, but seeing an entire family cower before two white-gloved youths proved a bit too unbelievable for me. I wanted to see the family fight back.

    One thing’s for sure: Judging by the cover of The Executioners, someone has picked a feisty group of folks to pick on. Interest piqued.

    Directed and written by Giorgio Serafini, the film stars Jemma Dallender, Natalie Burn, Rachel Rosenstein, and Justin Fischer. Look for the flick to be arriving on DVD, Digital, and On Demand March 27th from Lionsgate.

    Synopsis:
    When four friends go on a retreat to a secluded lakeside cabin, they soon realize they’re not alone. Masked intruders try to take them hostage, but as they fight back, the friends get a taste for something more than the will to survive. Will their fate be as victim or executioner?

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