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Exclusive: Jeff Buhler Talks Slash’s The Hell Within

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The Hell Within

Between his upcoming original features Descendant and Into the Zombie Underworld and his scripted remakes of Jacob’s Ladder, The Grudge, and Pet Sematary, it seems we can’t swing a dead Russian Blue around here without hitting writer Jeff Buhler (see what I did there?).

In Part 4 of our recent interview series with the prolific scribe, we chat with him regarding yet another project to which he’s attached, Slash’s The Hell Within.

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Scripted by Buhler (known to genre audiences for authoring 2008’s Clive Barker-inspired Midnight Meat Train film and for writing and directing that year’s feature Insanitarium), produced by iconic rock guitarist Slash’s company SlashFiction, and set to be directed by Dennison Ramalho (ABC’s of Death), The Hell Within is being described as “Rosemary’s Baby in the jungle” and follows a woman from New York on a quest into the heart of the Brazilian rain forest to save a missing girl, only to discover that the child is only just the beginning…

“I’m really, really pleased,” stated Buhler of his collaboration with the Guns N’ Roses guitarist turned filmmaker (Slash’s first foray into horror, the feature Nothing Left to Fear, released in 2013), “because I’m a heavy metal fanatic from way back when. Growing up and watching horror movies and cranking crazy Black Sabbath kind of went hand in hand.”

As for how it came about, “A friend of mine, Samantha Maloney, is a drummer who played for Hole and Motley Crüe for a while and for a bunch of other bands, and she had met Slash’s producing partner, Jenna Barnes, when they were both at Sundance,” explained Buhler. “They started talking horror movies and about how much Slash loves them, and she said, ‘Oh, you should talk to my friend Jeff!’”

With the meeting set, Buhler recalls of his initial conversation with the guitarist, “When we first started talking, I realized that Slash was an encyclopedia of film, super intelligent and super passionate of the horror genre; and he’s very serious about making horror movies as a second career, in addition to his music. So when I sent Jenna the script for The Hell Within, I said, ‘I think this will fit squarely in Slash’s sensibilities. It’s evil, it’s nasty, it’s set in a crazy environment, and it’s fun.’”

“So Jenna sent the script to him while he was on tour in Japan,” he continued, “and he read the first forty pages or so and had to go on stage, and he was sending these emails to Jenna, which she was forwarding to me, that said, ‘Why did you send me this script right before I have to play? I love it, and I want to finish reading it!’ So right after he got off stage, he went to his hotel room and finished reading it; and the next day he was like, ‘We have to get this guy on the phone! I love this script!’ And that level of passion has not abated.”

“He just got it in his mind that this is the movie he wants to make,” furthered Buhler of the project’s development, “and he’s brought so many amazing things to it: Greg Nicotero from KNB FX and this whole fan engagement campaign that’s connecting all of his fans in the music and film worlds in order to make them a part of it. The campaign is essentially to engage with them and to allow them to be part of the process and to include them in the making of the film. I think with the celebrity culture, people want to tear you down or dismiss what you are doing, and it’s very important to have people on the inside; and in this case the fans, who through the campaign are able to see the material and the special effects, are able to understand what the script is trying to achieve and can see from the outset that it’s not a piece of shit. We are building out the mythology of the film within the campaign as well, so it will be a journey for the fans. It’s very grassroots, and I’ve never approached filmmaking in this way before. It’s just really fun.”

As for filmmaker Ramalho, with whom Buhler previously worked on ABC’s of Death (and who is prepping The Hell Within for a January 2016 start date of principal photography in Chile and Colombia), “Dennison is such a talented director, and I’ve been working for years to get his talents out in an English-speaking film,” concluded the writer. “He works regularly in Brazil, but this will be an opportunity to expose a much larger audience to him. And like Slash, he’s also a force of a nature. The two met while Slash was on tour in São Paulo, and we’ve all been working really hard [since]. So these different elements sort of came together and synced.”

To learn more about The Hell Within’s FanBacked campaign, click here. For exclusive word from Slash, we caught up with him at SDCC earlier this month to discuss the film, and you check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

And for more from Bulher, including exclusive updates on that dead cat (Pet Sematary’s Church, for those keeping track), you can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.  Many thanks to Jeff for sharing so much of his time with us!

The Hell Within

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Jesper Kyd Returning to Score Vermintide 2

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From the cover of Kyd's first Vermintide OST

Get your headphones ready, Warhammer fans because State of Decay and Darksiders 2 composer Jesper Kyd is back to score the upcoming Warhammer title Vermintide 2! The game will be coming to PC and consoles early this year.

Kyd was inspired by Norse mythology, utilizing ancient tribal music as well as dark fantastical elements to build upon the acoustic soundscapes he composed for the first Vermintide game. Channeling his own Scandinavian roots, Kyd will blend Viking and Norse-inspired vocals with ritualistic percussion styles to create a unique soundtrack experience.

Three tracks from the score can be heard below.

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?

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Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler


While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can

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It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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