#SDCC15: Salem Renewed for a Third Season; Hear from the Cast and Co-Creator! - Dread Central
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#SDCC15: Salem Renewed for a Third Season; Hear from the Cast and Co-Creator!



There’s sneaky, and then there’s really sneaky like the powers-that-be behind WGN America’s “Salem.”  Roundtable interviews were held this afternoon with cast members Janet Montgomery, Shane West, Seth Gabel, Ashley Madekwe, Elise Eberle, and Iddo Goldberg and co-creator/writer/executive producer Brannon Braga (his cohort Adam Simon arrived too late for us to chat with), who told us they were “waiting to hear” about a renewal for a third season but were “very optimistic…”

Well, that optimism paid off because as soon as we started typing up our report, the following press release arrived:

The magic continues for WGN America’s original, breakout hit series “Salem,” with the announcement made today at Comic-Con International: San Diego by the cast and creative team that the supernatural thriller has been renewed for a third season. The captivating one-hour drama, from Fox 21 Television Studios and creators and writers Brannon Braga and Adam Simon, boldly reimagines the infamous 17th century witch trials in colonial Massachusetts in a world where witches are real, but they are not who or what they seem to be. The third season will begin production in Shreveport, LA, later this year for a 2016 debut.

“Salem” Season Two averaged over 1.1 million Total Viewers and 545,000 Adults 18-49 on a Live + 7 basis on Sunday nights. During its Season Two run, the highly sought-after series more than doubled its Live + 7 performance among Total Viewers, vaulting +117% over Live + Same Day and ranking among the top five time-shifted original dramas on cable this season in percentage lift.

To that news we say, “Hell, yeah! Bring on Season 3!”


Now, as far as what we gleaned during our interviews, we started with Elise and Iddo, who kicked things off with praise for the show’s makeup department, which is headed up by Matthew Mungle. Elise explained that to make her “burned” look seem real, she had a whole suit covering her body that she wore for the first few episodes.  From start to finish, it was a 3-1/2-hour process.  Iddo joked that they had two makeup trailers, one “regular” and then the “fun” one, where all the crazy effects were born.

Speaking of crazy, Iddo said Season 2 just got “crazier and crazier” when compared to Season 1.  They wanted to “encapsulate the feeling of real horror” with people bathing in blood and such, and then we meet the devil!  Every character is just so “f’d up” and dealing with their issues… they are all “really messed up.”  When asked if maybe Isaac will now become a full-fledged witch hunter himself, he said his arc from here on is going to be different… a slow road.

Next we sat with Mr. Sneaky himself, Brannon Braga, who somehow managed to keep a straight face any time a potential third season was brought up.  He did say that Season 2 was “the most enjoyable season of TV” he’s done in his career.  When we asked if, going forward, “the boy” might become the focus, he said that no, he will remain a “part of the fabric of the show” but kept mysterious.

We had to inquire as to what exactly was going on in that final scene of S2 when John drank Mary’s blood and seemingly killed her, and Brannon said it was an homage to Romeo and Juliet.  It was also along the lines of the Huntsman/Snow White fairy tale when he gives the queen an animal heart instead of Snow White’s.  He hinted that John left just enough blood to keep her alive.

He was asked about potential guest stars to fill the huge shoes left by Stephen Lang and Lucy Lawless, and he said they’re trying to avoid stunt casting and haven’t made any determinations in that area yet.  Joe Doyle is returning as Sebastian, who is “the real villain” of the piece, according to Braga.  He elaborated a bit on “Salem’s” genre roots, explaining that it is “a horror show, but deeply romantic.”  It can get “almost corny” at times, but it also shows us “things you could never imagine.”

We wondered what’s in store for Anne now that she’s gone over to “the dark path,” and it sounds like she’ll be another villain for the town to contend with… one who “wants things her way.”  As for poor Cotton, he’s basically the “new George Sibley” and “in deep trouble,” but Braga said he’s working out a few different scenarios to get him out of his predicament.

While mapping out S2, Braga and Simon conceived the blueprint for S3 at the same time with the things they weren’t able to get to yet so they already have a vision of how the season will lay out.  It will, of course, involve John and Mary and how to bring her back in a way that’s not “cheap.”  For a look back at S2, check out this video put together especially for the Heathens:

Next up were Ashley and Seth, who were both left in quite a pickle at the end of S2, Tituba with her eyes pecked out and Cotton with a mouse shoved down his throat.  Ashley said now that she’s been “outcast by the devil” himself, she’s happy to live in the woods and fend for herself for a bit… assuming that the character manages to survive her ordeal.  When asked about the horror element of the show, Seth said he loves that most of it is practical, rather than CGI. Regarding his character, he described Cotton as a “receptive man” but still ignorant about women (obviously!), and he’d like to see his “suffering manifest in some way” so that viewers can experience it with him.

Lastly, we had a bit of time with Janet and Shane, and she described their love story as “so poignant, a push/pull” that’s full of “miscommunication… tragic… and sort of impossible.”  Neither of them can live in society anymore… either alone or together.  But they’ll be teaming up to deal with their son.  Janet said they can never get him back now since “the devil is in him” so the “only thing they can do is kill him.”  She is curious to see “who Mary is” now that “her whole objective has changed.”

We closed things out by asking the two star-crossed lovers what their “dream team” of guest stars might look like, and she stole our heart by immediately picking Sigourney Weaver (are you listening, WGN?) along with Paul Giamatti, while Shane chose his former “Once and Again” co-star Billy Campbell, who’s a big fan of period pieces.

We should have more info on Season 3 once filming resumes so stay tuned!  In the meantime, follow “Salem” on Twitter and YouTube (@SalemWGNA), and also be sure to “like” the series on Facebook.


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Whatever Happened to John Gulager’s Children of the Corn: Runaway?



Sometimes a movie goes into production and then seemingly disappears from the world altogether. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Usually, Dimension is involved.

Ouch. But true.

Such as Amityville: The Awakening which was filmed in 2014 but didn’t get released until recently this year (3 years). And All the Boys Love Mandy Lane which was completed in 2006 but didn’t see release until September of 2013 – a whopping 7 years!

Another such movie you may not have even heard about – or more specifically – may not remember hearing about is the lost Children of the Corn sequel from Feast-director John Gulager called Children of the Corn: Runaway.

What follows is the history of the film as best as we could piece together, along with a possible update on just when we might expect to see this missing sequel.

It’s worth noting right off the top that this film is closely linked to yet another Dimension film which still has yet to see the light of day, Hellraiser: Judgment. Both films were produced around the same time, in the same area, under producer Michael Leahy.

Anyhow, the first word we heard on the production of Children of the Corn: Runaway came on March 21, 2016, when it was merely rumored that there was a new Children of the Corn movie secretly being filmed in Oklahoma City, OK.

It was thought at the time (and most likely true) that Dimension was rushing out a sequel so they could keep the rights to the franchise, regardless if they had a release plan or not.

That same day we learned that the new film was directed by John Gulager and was going by the title Children of the Corn: Runaway. We also learned the film was currently shooting in Oklahoma City, OK and the surrounding area including Luther and Coyle and that filming would wrap on April 2nd of that year.

Joel Soisson was rumored as the screenwriter for the new film, and Gatlin Returns, Inc. (natch) was producing with Mike Leahy, Joel Soisson, and Sean Patrick Eaton.

At the time, the plot of the movie was rumored to be:
A young pregnant Ruth who escapes a murderous child cult in a small Midwestern town. She spends the next decade living anonymously in an attempt to spare her son the horrors that she experienced as a child. She lands in the small Oklahoma town, but something is following her. Now, she must confront this evil or lose her child.

Then all of this info was confirmed the very next day by press release.

A month later on April 13, 2016, we got a bevy of behind the scenes pics via News OK – all courtesy of Nathan Poppe – and you can check all of those out below.

After that? Nada. Total silence for 19 months. Children of the Corn: Runaway seemed to fall off the edge of the world. Just like Hellraiser: Judgment.

But unlike Judgment, which gets fairly regular updates via new Pinhead Paul T. Taylor and director Gary J. Tunnicliffe, no one seems to be talking about Runaway. At all.

What’s the deal?

Truthfully, we’re still not sure. In the researching of this article, we reached out to director John Gulager, writer Joel Soisson, producer Michael Leahy, and new Malachi actor Blaine Maye. But all of these leads came up fruitless.

That is until I attempted to contact lead actress Marci Miller.

While I was unable to contact her directly, I did take a look at her Instagram, where I was able to confirm that the film is currently doing some ADR and will be shooting for a February/March release date.

Here is her post:

Children of the Corn #ComingSoon

A post shared by Marci Miller (@_marcimiller_) on

And if you look closely, you can see that a fan asked (and I’m paraphrasing):

“When will the movie be released?”

And below you will see Miller’s reply:


For now, that is all the new info we can find on Children of the Corn: Runaway.

That said, with Dimension and the Weinstein Company going under recently, maybe another top horror producer (You listening, Jason Blum?) will snatch up the rights to this and Hellraiser: Judgement and we will finally see the films released.

After all, in the above-mentioned set-visit from NEW OK, producer Michael Leahy said this about Children of the Corn: Runaway and Hellraiser: Judgment:

“We’ve had a lot of fun,” Leahy told the site back in 2016. “Blood has been flowing here in Oklahoma City. These are two horror films that are going to be seen by a core audience.”

Yeah, we’ll see about that…

We’re not trying to be pessimistic here, but really this is getting ridiculous at this point. Will we ever see Children of the Corn: Runaway and/or Hellraiser: Judgment? Your guess is, unfortunately, as good as mine.

Fingers crossed. We’ll let you know when we hear more.

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date



Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December



Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!


Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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