Dynamite Reveals Aliens/Vampirella Crossover Creative Team; See a Preview of Issue #1 - Dread Central
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Dynamite Reveals Aliens/Vampirella Crossover Creative Team; See a Preview of Issue #1

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These days just about any property is fair game for a mash-up or crossover of some kind, and this latest one from Dynamite and Dark Horse certainly has piqued our curiosity. Read on for a sneak peek of Aliens/Vampirella #1 (arriving in September) and the reveal of its creative team.

From the Press Release:
Dynamite Entertainment is proud to announce the full creative team for Aliens/Vampirella, the upcoming horror crossover between their classic comic book heroine and the Xenomorph monsters from Dark Horse Comics’ long-running comic book based on the renowned film series.

Corinna Bechko (Star Wars: Legacy) will steer the series with her scripts, while artist Javier García-Miranda will provide the atmosphere and action. Also, artist Gabriel Hardman will provide the distinctive covers worthy of the tradition of horror excellence that both long-standing terror icons represent.

As established in Aliens/Vampirella #1, humans have begun to colonize Mars, but something ancient and sinister got there first. Vampirella, a supernatural exterminator, is faced with a mystery only she can solve… and the bloody realization that some monsters should never be awakened.

Bechko has been writing comics since her horror graphic novel Heathentown was published by Image/Shadowline in 2009. Since then, she has worked for numerous comics publishers including Marvel, DC, Boom, Dark Horse, and Dynamite on titles such as Planet of the Apes, Star Wars: Legacy, Savage Hulk, and Invisible Republic. Her background is in zoology. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a small menagerie.

Javier García-Miranda is a relative newcomer to the comic book industry but has been making waves with his work on several Dynamite horror titles. He has illustrated Aliens/Vampirella’s raven-haired heroine before as part of the anniversary Vampirella #100 celebration. In addition, García-Miranda chronicled the fall and resurrection of Chaos! Comics’ resident bat-winged villainess in the Purgatori miniseries and worked on Dynamite’s premier bad boy in Evil Ernie (Vol. 2) #6.

“I couldn’t be happier to be teamed with Javier,” says writer Corinna Bechko. “His work has an energy that is necessary for this story, and he’s great at creating a really creepy feel for the scenes that require it. Plus, both his Vampirella and his Xenomorphs are gorgeous.”

Gabriel Hardman, cover artist for the entire Aliens/Vampirella series, is a prolific creator in the comic book industry plus a frequent contributor to the film industry. A comic book writer and artist, he has worked on such titles as Kinski, Invisible Republic, Star Wars: Legacy, Planet of the Apes, and Savage Hulk. He also served as storyboard artist for the films Inception, Interstellar, Tropic Thunder, and X2.

Aliens/Vampirella #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ July Previews catalog, the premier source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, corresponding to items shipping in September 2015. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of Aliens/Vampirella with their local comic book retailers.

Aliens/Vampirella will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

AliensVampi01-Cov-A-Hardman

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Fearsome Facts – Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

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Sir Christopher Lee returned to portray the charismatic count of Transylvania in Hammer’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) for the first time since taking on the iconic role in 1958’s Horror of Dracula – an eight year absence. 

And while Lee endured a love/hate relationship playing the Carpathian Count over the years, the actor reluctantly tackled the role a total of 10 times for the Silver Screen. Three of those performances came outside of the purview of Hammer Horror, but this list is dedicated to the first Hammer Dracula sequel to feature the return of Christopher Lee in the lead role.

Now, here are 5 Things You May Not Know About Dracula: Prince of Darkness.

5. Dracula: Speechless

Dialogue never played a crucial part in Christopher Lee’s portrayals as Count Dracula, but this film is the epitome of that contentious notion. Lee doesn’t utter a single word during Dracula: Prince of Darkness’ 90 minutes of run time. In interviews over the years, Lee said that he was so unhappy with his lines that he protested and refused to say them during the filming process. “Because I had read the script and refused to say any of the lines,” Lee said in an interview at the University College of Dublin.

However, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster insisted that the original script was written without any dialogue for Dracula. There was even a theory that circulated for a time which postulated that Hammer could not afford Lee’s growing salary, so the studio decided to limit the Count’s screen time. Did this lead to the demise of Dracula’s dialogue? Regardless of whom you want to believe, Dracula is the strong, silent type in Prince of Darkness. 

4. Double Duty for Drac

Hammer Film Productions doubled down, so to speak, on the production and post-production aspects of Dracula: Prince of Darkness. First, the studio filmed the vampire flick back-to-back with another project titled Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966). In doing so, Hammer used many of the same sets, actors – including Francis Matthews and Suzan Farmer – and crew members to shoot both motion pictures.

Second, Dracula: Prince of Darkness was featured in a double billing alongside the film The Plague of the Zombies (1966) when it screened in London. Insert cheesy cliche: “Double your pleasure, double your fun with Doublemint Gum.” 

3. Stunt Double Nearly Drowned

Dracula: Prince of Darkness introduced a new weakness in the wicked baddie, but it nearly cost a stuntman his life. During the film, it was revealed that running water could destroy Dracula. Wait, what? Apparently, leaving the faucets on at night not only prevents frozen pipes, but blood-sucking vampires, too.

All kidding aside, it was during the climactic battle scene in which Christopher Lee’s stunt double almost succumb to the icy waters on set. Stuntman Eddie Powell stepped in as the Count during that pivotal moment, as Dracula slipped into the watery grave, but Powell was trapped under the water himself and almost died.

2. Lee Loathed What Hammer Did to Stoker’s Character

Christopher Lee’s return to Hammer’s Dracula franchise was a stroke of genius on the part of producers, but Lee was more than a little reticent when it came to initially voicing his dislike for playing the iconic role. As mentioned above, a lot of speculation swirled around the lack of dialogue given to Lee in the Prince of Darkness script. And if you don’t count the opening flashback sequence, which revisits the ending of Horror of Dracula (1958), Count Dracula doesn’t appear on screen until the 45-minute mark of the film.

Dracula’s lack of character, and presence, began to affect Lee particularly when it came to signing on to play the character in the three films following Prince of Darkness. Indeed, the lack of meaningful character development led to Lee initially turning down Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) and Scars of Dracula (1970). Lee said in countless interviews that he never got to play the real version of Count Dracula created by Bram Stoker, at least via Hammer Studios. This was a true disappointment to the late actor.

But Hammer guilt Lee into taking on the role over and over again, because the studio claimed to have already sold the aforementioned films to the United States with Lee’s name attached to the projects. Hammer informed Lee that if he didn’t return the company would have to lay off many of their workers. The tactic worked, since Lee was friends with many of the Dracula crew members. Fortunately for fans, Lee kept coming back for blood.

1. Faux Pas

Outside of the character of Dracula only appearing on screen for the last half of the movie, Dracula: Prince of Darkness had even more pressing issues that unfortunately survived all the way to the final cut of the film. One of the most appalling of these occurrences happens during the picture’s climatic confrontation. Watch the skies above Dracula and you will see the trail of a jet-engine plane staining the sky.

Another faux pas occurs in this same sequence when Dracula succumbs to the icy waters. Watch closely as the camera’s long shot clearly reveals the pivots holding the ice up underneath Chris Lee. Finally, watch the dead girl who is being carried during the opening funeral sequence. She is clearly breathing and quite heavily at that.

***

Which Dracula: Prince of Darkness moments did you find the most interesting? Were there any obscure facts you would have enjoyed seeing make our list? Sound off on social media!

 

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Carnivore: Werewolf of London Howls on VOD

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Joining the ranks of The Curse of the Werewolf, An American Werewolf in London, The Company of Wolves, and Dog Soldiers, Carnivore: Werewolf of London is the latest in a long series of fantastic British werewolf movies. Directed by Knights of the Damned’s Simon Wells, the film focuses on a couple trying to save their relationship by taking a vacation in a remote cottage, but rekindling their old flame soon proves to be the least of their worries as they learn that something with lots of fur and lots of teeth is waiting for them in the surrounding woods.

Carnivore: Werewolf of London stars Ben Loyd-Holmes, Atlanta Johnson, Gregory Cox, Molly Ruskin, and Ethan Ruskin, and is available to purchase now on Google Play, Amazon Video, iTunes, and Vudu, although it doesn’t appear to have received a physical release as of yet.

More information about Carnivore: Werewolf of London is available on the film’s official Facebook account, along with a ton of production photos.

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John Carpenter … NOT DEAD!

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We currently live in a world of false alarms. Within the last several days we’ve suffered everything from warnings of doomsday to Rotten Tomatoes accidentally celebrating the passing(!) and career of the very much still alive John Carpenter.

That’s right, kids; earlier today RT tweeted, “John Carpenter would have been 70 years old today! We celebrate his birthday by looking back at his five favorite films.” The tweet… has since been deleted.

We are here to tell you… John is very much alive! Alive and well, even. Carpenter himself responded on Twitter by alerting the site that “despite how it appears, I’m actually not dead.

This is great news indeed. One of horror’s best and brightest is still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Now then, let’s take this time to celebrate the man’s birthday PROPERLY by talking about our favorite films of his. Speaking personally for myself…

Prince of Darkness is a movie that both unnerves and scares the hell out of me. One of Carpenter’s most thought-provoking works is just as frightening now as it was when we first received that grainy transmission as a dream from the year…

Tell us your favorite Carpenter movie in our comments section below.

…and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

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