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Hollywood’s Horror Drive-In Series Returns

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Last fall the Steve Allen Theater teamed up with Hollywood Mobile Movie to bring fans one hell of a drive-in horror movie festival. Good news, California horror fans — starting next week the mayhem begins anew!

The theme of this year’s festival is taken from the Showtime series “Masters of Horror” and will feature post-screening Q&A’s with the appearing Masters themselves. Click the image below for more info, and scroll down a bit to dig on the schedule.

Hollywood's Horror Drive-In Series Returns

April 3: The Howling with special guest Joe Dante
April 10: Riding the Bullet with special guest Mick Garris
April 17: Army of Darkness with unconfirmed special guest Greg Nicotero
April 24: The Changeling with special guest Peter Medak
May 1: Fright Night with special guest Tom Holland
May 8: It’s Alive with special guest Larry Cohen
May 15: Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight with special guest Ernest Dickerson
May 22: Texas Chainsaw Massacre with special guest Tobe Hooper
May 29: Phantasm 2 with special guest Don Coscarelli
June 5: King of the Ants with special guest Stuart Gordon

Please note: Films are screened in the parking lot, but theater accommodation is available should the event sell out. Visit the Hollywood Mobile Movie site for additional information.

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Editorials

Here’s Why We Suspect Jason Voorhees is a Pot Farmer

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I’m not a Rastafarian or a Dead Head, but I still consider April 20th (4/20) a bona fide counter-cultural holiday worthy of celebration. The date has become synonymous with marijuana and coincides with concerts, “smoke-outs”, and even academic retrospectives worldwide. Indeed, societal mores have softened since the paranoid days of Reefer Madness, making “The Devil’s Herb” an appropriate topic for exploration.

In the spirit of 4/20, I’m highlighting a theory I’ve been considering over the past few years, one that connects the scourge of Camp Crystal Lake to a large-scale guerilla grow operation. It’s my assertion that Jason Voorhees is a pot farmer.

Jason’s relationship with marijuana (and those who partake) seems contrary to this theory, as stoners in Friday the 13th movies almost inevitably meet with the business end of a machete. There seems to be a moralistic agenda at play, one that punishes those who participate in illegal consumption of drugs—especially when they should be watching young campers who might be drowning in the lake.

This seems to be the case in the 2009 reboot, as well. Directed by Marcus Nispel from a script penned by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, Jason makes short work of several eager weed tokers (among others). This specific chapter of the Friday franchise, however, breaks with tradition in several ways; one could be Jason’s relationship with marijuana.

I invite all Friday fans and 4/20 enthusiasts to take this challenge: Re-watch 2009’s Friday the 13th accepting the premise that Jason is a weed farmer. As outlandish as it may sound at first, everything falls into place with surprising validity. Let’s review:

The opening act of Friday the 13th sees a group of hikers looking for a rumored field of marijuana, somewhere in the vicinity of Camp Crystal Lake. They tromp noisily through the woods, making them easy for Jason to notice. But he doesn’t make his first kill until a camper stumbles into the weed patch. If we accept that this is Jason’s crop, we see he only resorts to murder when someone’s caught in the act of theft. Jason’s decision to kill the rest of the campers (except for Whitney) may certainly have been an over-reaction, but he could have been acting under the assumption that they were all a potential threat to his business. The world of drugs can be ruthless after all.

The Carnage Begins

Related Article: 4/20 Massacre Review – Puff, Puff, Slash!

The next obvious question involves how the following group of victims ran afoul of Jason; while the film’s main batch of horny teen definitely includes stoners, none of them invaded the Voorhees “farm”. If Jason’s only motivation is protecting his crop from interlopers, why hack and slash the rich kids at the cabin? It all comes back to weed.

After the First Act, Jason’s next victim is the redneck working on a machine in the dilapidated barn. Immediately preceding his dispatch, he offers to sell Jenna and Clay some weed, some really good stuff that he claims he “found”. He’s obviously another thief (at least in Jason’s mind) which is why he was slaughtered. The fact that Clay and Jenna were seen with the marijuana burglar, unfortunately, made them guilty by association.

Jason’s not the sharpest tool in the shed but still, we can understand how he assumed these new arrivals were all after his crop (which was obviously just about ready to harvest). The kids wakeboarding on the lake: They had to go. Everyone else associated with Jenna: Assumed intruders who needed to be dealt with accordingly. Again, I agree Jason’s actions are extreme, but those operating guerilla grow operations aren’t your stereotypical happy hippies; even in real life, those attempting to infiltrate secret fields are likely to face physical danger.

So who are Jason’s clients? They obviously aren’t the tourists who briefly come and go. I propose they’re the elderly residents of Crystal Lake County: The woman who warned Clay “He just wants to be left alone,” for example. And the old man with the oxygen mask who almost rescued one of the teens: As soon as he saw Jason was on his trail, he sped off. This wasn’t because he was scared, necessarily; rather, he realized it was “business related”. Jason clearly supplied this fellow with marijuana to alleviate the pain of his lung cancer. The unseen, bedridden owner of the farm where Jason killed the redneck is also a client.

“Stay away from my crops.”

When you look at the life Jason lives in 2009’s Friday the 13th, you realize a source of income is necessary. Since he probably doesn’t deal with money, Jason most-likely barters with his customers. That’s how he has gasoline in his generator, light bulbs in his lair, food on his table, and how he landed that wicked machete sharpener.

Furthermore, Jason’s entire underground labyrinth wasn’t revealed and he certainly has enough room for an entire grow operation. The tunnels and rooms were surprisingly dry, making them the perfect place to dry and cure freshly-cultivated crops. Once dried and sealed, he could store stashes in a variety of locations. He could make clones, hybrids, and cultivate seeds in the offseason.

And while Jason would probably benefit from the calming, medicinal qualities of marijuana, he abides by the rules laid out by N.W.A in 1986: A dope man never gets high off his own supply.

I hope Shannon and Swift will be brave enough to one day reveal the truth. In the meantime, raise a bong to Mrs. Voorhees’ Baby Boy! And remember if you stumble across a wild marijuana field while hiking, leave that shit alone!

Happy 4/20!

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Dread Central Presents

Interview: Imitation Girl Star Lauren Ashley Carter

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The Dread Central Presents title Imitation Girl is now available on VOD, and in preparation for its theatrical screening series (click here for theaters!), we were fortunate to sit down with indie starlet Lauren Ashley Carter to chat about her career, Imitation Girl, and working with female directors.

Here’s the film’s synopsis: “When an alien takes the form of an adult film star, both must learn to cope with the complexities of being human in this mesmerizing directorial debut from Natasha Kermani, with Lauren Ashley Carter (Darling) in the dual role of Julianna and the imitation girl.

Directed by Natasha Kermani, Imitation Girl stars Lauren Ashley Carter, Neimah Djourabchi, Adam David Thompson, and Catherine Mary Stewart.


Dread Central: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. We’re very excited to release Imitation Girl. The performances you’ve given even within the world of independent horror have been vast and versatile. What sort of roles do you find you enjoy playing the most?

Lauren Ashley Carter: I choose the roles that appeal to me at the time, so obviously this changes as I get older. They’ve got to be different, otherwise I feel like I’m cheating myself and audiences. I enjoy characters that have to discover the world before they can be in it. I’ve yet to play a character that knows more than the audience. Maybe that’s next…

DC: Horror fans predominately know you as an actress, but you’ve also created your own short films and web series (and that Jackie Chan audiobook!) How do you determine the stories you want to tell as a creator compared to the roles you choose to play?

LAC: I have always been a creator first. I began writing plays when I was about six or seven years old and asking my classmates to act in them. I was appalled by some of the performances, to be honest, and fired a couple of my actors, stepped in and took on the roles myself. 

When I was living in NYC, most of the auditions I was going out for were for obnoxious characters: leaky robots that cried in a court house, and badly written, or under written, guest roles on TV shows. Others were for indie films that had no plot, other than awkward living room chats and uncomfortable sex scenes. And then commercial auditions where I’m standing next to some gorgeous 5’10” print model having to amuse a casting director with an anecdote about my breakfast. 

Rejection never bothered me, but the boredom and repetition of memorizing crap text drove me fucking bonkers. So, I started to create again. It’s so important to keep your mind fresh and to always have access to your imagination. It’s easy to lose that, and to let your mind atrophy, hustling to pay your bills and memorizing so much garbage. Creating new work is the best way to keep your imagination alive. Even if it doesn’t amount to dollar signs, even if it turns out to be more garbage-y than the garbage you were shitting on, it is rewarding, and it can tell you a lot about yourself. 

I like to tell stories about the world I see, and hopefully make people laugh when they look at it through my eyes. Comedy, my own sense of humor and the sense of humor of those closest to me, and also comedy content, got me through the toughest of times. I try to keep it light and have a sense of humor about the darkness because I don’t want to get sucked into the nothingness that’s on the other side. 

DC: In Imitation Girl, you play a character that works as an amateur porn star. Given the stigmas attached to sex workers, what drew you to this character?

LAC: I knew quite a few exotic dancers growing up. The least interesting thing about them was that they were exotic dancers. They were all extremely layered women, many of them hurt, drug addicts, mothers, caretakers, enthusiastic, volatile. They are so often reduced to their occupations. I’ve since worked on another project, specifically about a sex worker, and it’s a world that I want to explore more. Porn stars, amateur porn actors, cam girls, working girls, dancers- these are all occupations that I think a lot of us have thought about, maybe even tried for a time. The events that lead women to these jobs, whether they remain long term or not, all of this interests me. The stories of these women’s lives are so much richer than their job descriptions. And maybe if we know their stories, we will see them as flesh and blood. 

DC: I actually really hate this question, but the unfortunate reality is that there are so many people that don’t have any insight to how films are actually made. How do you feel working on set with a male director compared to a female director?

LAC: From person to person, as we know, we aren’t that much different. We have more in common than we don’t. The biggest difference I notice in the male/female dynamic is in numbers. When there are more women on a crew, or more female producers, things feel more calm, work gets done efficiently and without panic. I’m talking about my crews, I guess, because I can’t think of a time this has ever happened otherwise. We get compliments after about how much fun everyone had, how stress-free it was, and how they’d love to be back on set with us. 

I’ve only worked with one female film director, Natasha Kermani (on Imitation Girl), and she’s brilliant because she knows so much about every department. And I’ve worked with men that are absolutely wonderful, intuitive, caring, sympathetic, patient. Conversely, I’ve worked with men that are careless, destructive, arrogant, and downright sociopathic. So, the jury is out on the stats of all of this…but wouldn’t it be nice if we had the opportunity to know! What I’m saying is, there aren’t enough female directors working. 

DC: I couldn’t agree with you more. Last question, something fun. If you had the opportunity to play an iconic horror character in a remake, what character would you play and why?

LAC: Well, I would never want to step into the shoes of an icon, that’s exactly how you twist an ankle and fall on your face, BJ. But if I must, then I’d love to take on Quint from Jaws. That’s pretty much my personality after a bottle of wine, anyway. Just throw me on a boat and roll the cameras. 

Lauren Ashely Carter is also the curator for the March edition of Box of Dread! There are only a few unclaimed boxes at the time we are writing these words so sign up now before they sell out and are gone forever! Reserve your subscription by clicking here.

For even more pictures and videos, check out Box of Dread on social media! If you have any questions or concerns, always feel free to contact us at support@boxofdread.com, and we’ll do whatever we can to make things all right in your horror-loving world.

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News

Walking Dead Movie In the Works?

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The season 8 finale of The Walking Dead recently scored the lowest views of one of the show’s season finales since the very first. Ouch. But that doesn’t seem to be deterring the powers that be behind the scenes from thinking bigger.

In fact, former showrunner Scott Gimple recently talked about the possibility of a The Walking Dead with Vulture saying, “That kind of variety, that’s we’re talking about. All the differences of the ways we tell the story, yeah, what we can feature and all that. There’s a whole universe of possibilities.”

Hurm. I know AMC wants to keep the series going in any way possible so a movie doesn’t seem out of the question. But I wonder if enough people would want to shell out cash to see it in theaters?

How would you feel about a The Walking Dead movie? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Synopsis:

Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, this gritty drama portrays life in the months and years that follow a zombie apocalypse. Led by former police officer Rick Grimes, his family and a group of other survivors find themselves constantly on the move in search of a safe and secure home. But the pressure each day to stay alive sends many in the group to the deepest depths of human cruelty, and Rick discovers that the overwhelming fear of the survivors can be more deadly than the zombies walking among them.

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