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Exclusive: Herschell Gordon Lewis Talks Grim Fairy Tale! First Stills!

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If it wasn’t for Herschell Gordon Lewis, the horror world might be a very different place. Known to many as the “Godfather of Gore,” his 1963 gorefest masterpiece Blood Feast changed the face of horror forever by giving audiences their first ever taste of bloodlust on the big screen.

“Blood Feast is a prime example of why you don’t necessarily need a huge budget to have an enduring film,” explained Lewis. “We made it for next to nothing and over 40 years later, Blood Feast is one of those films that people still talk about.”

Herschell Gordon Lewis Talks Grim Fairy Tale! First Stills! (click for larger image)

Lewis added, “These days, some of these so-called horror movies come along and all they do is strut around for a bit and then they vanish. They don’t endure because a lot of them are missing the entertainment value to them. The reason Blood Feast has lasted so long is because we knew how to entertain audiences and we made something that no one else at that time even fathomed making.”

Blood Feast was certainly a watershed moment in horror as it was the first time ever that a film really gave audiences a birds-eye view of blood-soaked effects and grotesque kill scenes.

Lewis said, “Blood Feast was an unprecedented film because the ratings board had no idea what to do with it. We didn’t use any four-letter words and there weren’t any rules against what we were doing so it definitely gave a lot of people reasons to be upset, which to me was completely great.”

Upsetting audiences might be somewhat of an understatement as Blood Feast caused more of an uproar on the West Coast where it was screening. Floods of angry letters came in protesting the then-taboo content of Blood Feast and many more protested it while it played in San Diego. Lewis relished the responses because they only helped fuel the business that Blood Feast did.

With Blood Feast, Lewis realized he had tapped into something very unique in the movie industry. From there, he went on to direct 2000 Maniacs! and Color Me Blood Red, which would complete his “Blood Trilogy.”

Now, some 40+ years later, Lewis is stepping back behind the camera with his latest film Grim Fairy Tale and is bringing his unique brand of entertainment back to the forefront of the horror industry.

Grim Fairy Tale is a tongue-in-cheek look at both the classic fairy tales we all grew up with as well as the idea of a game show where contestants can either win big or lose body parts if they fail. The film stars Brooke McCarter, Krista Grotte, Nevada Caldwell, and Joel Wynkoop.

Herschell Gordon Lewis Talks Grim Fairy Tale! First Stills! (click for larger image)

“What I love about Grim Fairy Tale is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously and really has fun with a lot of conventions that we have always seen from one perspective – especially with the fairy tales part of it,” explained Lewis. “Then with the TV show- “Truth or Uh-Oh”- was a great way to look at our fascination with game shows and just how bloodthirsty we all are deep-down that fulfills our need to be entertained.”

For Lewis, working on Grim Fairy Tale has been a dream come true and more than exceeds the conditions he worked in throughout his career.

Lewis said, “Normally, the type of films I make don’t require a high-level of acting abilities but everyone on this cast is just stellar. It makes my job as the director that much easier. We’re also shooting on RED cameras which are a luxury for someone like me. Despite a grueling schedule, Grim Fairy Tale really been a dream shoot for me so far.”

Lewis will be the first guy to tell you that creating a successful film lies solely on the ability to entertain viewers and that entertaining people boils down to running a successful business. He scoffs at anyone who says otherwise.

According to Lewis, “Making a movie is 100% about business. Anyone who says differently is just kidding themselves. These days pretty much anyone can pick up a camera and make a movie, then they complain when it goes nowhere. You have to have a sense of salesmanship when you start a project because if you don’t, you are dead in the water.”

“I love making movies but everything boils down to having a business plan for each film. People pay good money to go see movies and other people put up the money to distribute those movies so it all comes down to knowing that a movie will be profitable for everyone involved, including viewers who pay their hard-earned money. They need to get their money’s worth too,” Lewis added.

Herschell Gordon Lewis Talks Grim Fairy Tale! First Stills! (click for larger image)

In terms of movie and marketing salesmanship, there probably isn’t anyone more qualified to explore that topic than Lewis. He’s written 31 books during his long career on the topics of direct marketing and still runs Lewis Enterprises, which specializes in direct marketing strategies, at age 83.

Despite his age, Lewis isn’t slowing down any time soon. In fact, he’s hopeful that Grim Fairy Tale will be successful enough to warrant a sequel.

“We decided to make the title of this film into singular form so that if we are able to create a sequel, it won’t be confusing for audiences. It’s been such a great joy to make this film, I’d love to get back behind the camera again for a follow-up,” said Lewis.

Looking back on his career, Lewis has come to realize how fortunate he has been with the opportunities and success he has celebrated beyond his modest start in exploitation films.

“I am always appreciative of my place in the legacy of horror,” said Lewis. “It’s amazing to me that I am a footnote in major picture history. So much of my success has depended on luck. And I consider myself more than lucky.”

Heather Wixson

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Inside Remake Gets New Poster and U.S. Release Date

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It’s about time.

It has been a whopping four months since we shared with you guys the red band trailer for the upcoming English language remake of Inside starring Rachel Nichols and Laura Harring.

Today we have an all-new poster for the film (via our buddies at Arrow in the Head), and the one-sheet also boasts the remake’s U.S. release date. Yes, Inside will be hitting Stateside on January 12, 2018.

You can click on the poster to the right to check it out in higher-res. After that make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’re planning to check out this remake in the comments below!

Miguel Ángel Vivas directed the Inside remake.

Produced by Adrian Guerra and Nuria Valls at Spain’s Nostromo Pictures, the remake was written by Manu Diez and [REC] creator/co-director Jaume Balaguero. “We took the original idea and made it an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more Hitchcock-ian than a splatter-fest,” said Guerra.

Again, Inside hits U.S. theaters and VOD January 12, 2018.

Synopsis:
Pregnant and depressed, a young widow tries to rebuild her life following the fateful car accident where she lost her husband and partially lost her hearing. Now, about to go into labor, she’s living in a remote house in the suburbs when, one Christmas night, she receives an unexpected visit from another woman with a devastating objective: to rip the child she’s carrying from inside her. But a mother’s fury when it comes to protecting her child should never be underestimated.

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Deep Blue Sea 2 Rated R for Creature Violence/Gore and Language

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Five months ago we shared the news that there was a secret sequel to the 1999 killer sharks vs. Tom Jane and LL Cool J movie Deep Blue Sea filming, and today we have the sequel’s rating.

And it’s about what you’d expect. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Yes, the upcoming shark attack sequel Deep Blue Sea 2 has been rated R by the MPAA for “creature violence and gore and for language.”

Not only that, but we have a few words on what we can expect from the sequel via a creative executive over at Warner Bros. named Matt Bierman.

“We are a true sequel,” Bierman said regarding the sequel. “We wanted to keep to the spirit of Deep Blue Sea and why people love it. The research that was used on the sharks in Deep Blue Sea 2 comes from the mythology and storyline of the first movie. We have given the lead shark a personality and hope the fans will embrace that as it really helps the storytelling and the narrative in a way that [the] first one didn’t. Deep Blue Sea 2 has a slightly slower build, but once the rubber band snaps, things go boom really quickly!”

The lead shark has a personality? How could that be a bad thing?

Let’s just hope there aren’t scenes of the rugged Tom Jane stand-in lovingly hugging/stroking the shark after it does something cool and telling the new guy how the shark (nicknamed Bruce) is just “misunderstood.”

…And then the shark saves everyone at the end. Called it.

The sequel is directed by Darin Scott from a screenplay by Erik Patterson, Hans Rodionoff, and Jessica Scott and stars Danielle Savre, Rob Mayes, and Michael Beach.

The movie is set to premiere on Syfy sometime next year. Once we know the exact date we’ll let us know so stay tuned!

“Deepest. Bluest. My head is like a shark’s fin…”

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror

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Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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