The Weekly Wrap-Up: May 24-30, 2009 - Dread Central
Connect with us

The Weekly Wrap-Up: May 24-30, 2009

Published

on

The Weekly Wrap-Up: May 24-30, 2009

Memorial Day officially kicked off the summer movie season, but it’s still several more months until 2009’s most high-profile star-powered horror offerings like Zombieland, The Road, The Box, andThe Wolfman hit theatres in the late fall.

So to help pass the time and keep your minds off the never-ending surplus of punch-to-the-gut remake/prequel/sequel stories, here’s a quick rundown of five likely prospects to make it worth your while to keep faith in the genre even after it continues to kick you to the curb over and over again.

  • Aussie horror/comedy I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer seems promising. Click here for the trailer of this tale of a cricket team who are dismissed by a mustachioed serial killer with a razor sharp cricket glove and an arsenal of sharpened stumps.

  • It isn’t often we hear about any genre films coming out of The Netherlands, much less four at one time! But House of Netherhorror has a slate of four original Dutch horror movies, to be shot in 2010. We first reported on Children of the Moor, but Bijlmer Voodoo sounds pretty intriguing, too:

    While investigating the disappearance of one of her clients, Anna, a lawyer specializing in illegal immigration cases, becomes entangled in a web of Nigerian people-smuggling in the Amsterdam ‘Bijlmer’ district. It turns out that this criminal network not only uses threats of violence to enslave its victims, but also a potent form of African voodoo. As Anna descends into an urban-magical underworld, her Western rationality is challenged – and her life endangered.

    Be sure to visit Netherhorror’s site for a rundown of their other two projects, New Blood and Green Teeth.

  • One guy who hasn’t let me down (too much) is David Twohy, so I’ve been following the progress of his upcoming The Perfect Getaway closely. We finally got a trailer for the film this past Wednesday, and while yeah, it looks a little slick, as long as it follows in the footsteps of the director’s stellar and suspenseful Below, we should be okay.

  • Sneaking in under the radar on June 12 in limited release is Moon, which, if there is any justice left in this world, will generate a big enough positive response to ensure Sony expands its number of screens to make it available to as many people as possible. It shouldn’t have any problem reaching an international audience since its numerous distribution deals have it covering just about the entire globe. Our review will be up shortly.

  • I never said every item on this list had to be a film. Closing things out is the new vampire novel The Strain, co-written by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. If you’ve been on the fence about starting the trilogy, check out Elaine’s review and also the promotional video trailer. Nothing says fun in the sun (or misery in the shade if that’s your preference) like a good, thick book to sink your teeth into over your summer vacation.
  • But screw those hot-ass days of a 100-degree heat index and 90% humidity anyway. What we care about most is Halloween, right?!? Which is why the Woman’s Story of the Week for May 24-30, 2009, is Dear Dracula Gets the CGI Feature Treatment. Forget about Twilight and its spin-offs. This is where the next generation of horror fans will spring from — kids who were raised on stories like Dear Dracula, which is about a young scary movie fan named Sam who writes to Dracula, asking the vampire king if he can become a real vampire for Halloween.

    The fact that they’ve switched from stop-motion to CGI animation isn’t the best news of course, but Dear Dracula sounds more character-driven than anything else — and we know how time-consuming and expensive stop-motion has become — so if they get the voices and the tone right, everything else could fall into place.

    Joshua Williamson and Vincente Navarrete' Dear Dracula

    Until next time …

    The Woman In Black

    VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
    Got news? Click here to submit it!
    Discuss the week that was in the Dread Central forums!

    Image Type 1:

    Continue Reading
    Comments

    Fearsome Facts

    Fearsome Facts – Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

    Published

    on

    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!

     

    Continue Reading

    Reviews

    Desolation Review – The Joy of Being Rescued and All the Surprises That Come With It

    Published

    on

    Starring Raymond J. Barry, Brock Kelly, Dominik Garcia-Lorido

    Directed by David Moscow


    It’s those random, once-in-a-lifetime encounters that only a select few get the chance to experience: when we as regular participants in this wonderful thing known as The Rat Race, stumble across a soul that we’ve only witnessed on the big screen. I’m talking about a celebrity encounter, and while some of the masses will chalk the experience up as nothing more than a passing moment, others hold it to a much larger interior scale…then you REALLY get to know the person, and that’s when things get interesting.

    Director David Moscow’s thriller, Desolation follows shy hotel employee Katie (Lorido) and her “fortuitous” brush with Hollywood pretty-boy Jay (Kelly) during one of his stops – the two hit it off, and together they begin a sort of whirlwind-romance that takes her away from her job and drops her in the heart of Los Angeles at the apartment building he resides in. You can clearly see that she has been a woman who’s suffered some emotional trauma in her past, and this golden boy just happens to gallop in on his steed and sweep her off of her feet, essentially rescuing her from a life of mundane activity. She gets the full-blown treatment: a revamped wardrobe, plenty of lovin’, and generally the life she’s wanted for some time.

    Things return to a bit of normalcy when Jay has to return to work, leaving Katie to spread out at his place, but something clearly isn’t kosher with this joint. With its odd inhabitants (a very creepy priest played by Raymond J. Barry), even more bizarre occurrences, and when one scared young woman cannot even rely on the protection from the local police, it all adds up to a series of red flags that would have even the strongest of psyches crying for their mothers. What Moscow does with this movie is give it just enough swerves so that it keeps your skull churning, but doesn’t overdo its potential to conclusively surprise you, and that’s what makes the film an entertaining watch.

    While Lorido more than holds her ground with her portrayal of a woman who has been hurt in the past, and is attempting to place her faith in a new relationship, it’s Barry that comes out on top here. His performance as Father Bill is the kind of stuff that wouldn’t exactly chill you to the bone, but he’s definitely not a man of the cloth that you’d want to be stuck behind closed doors with – generally unsettling. As I mentioned earlier, the plot twists are well-placed, and keep things fresh just when you think you’ve got your junior private investigator badge all shined up. Desolation is well-worth a look, and really has kicked off 2018 in a promising fashion – let’s see what the other 11 months will feed us beasts.

    • Film
    3.0

    Summary

    Got your eye on that shining movie star or starlet? Better make sure it’s what you really want in life – you know what they say about curiosity.

    Sending
    User Rating 0 (0 votes)
    Continue Reading

    News

    Carnivore: Werewolf of London Howls on VOD

    Published

    on

    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.

    Continue Reading

    Recent Comments

    Advertisement

    Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

    * indicates required

    Go Ad Free!

    Support Dread Central on Patreon!

    Trending

    Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC