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Preview: True Blood Season 2: Episodes 1-4

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True Blood Season 2 (click for larger image)When writing a quick review of the series premiere of True Blood last September, I cited its “unflinching eroticism and brutality” and hailed it as “poised to take its rightful place in the pantheon of great vampire epics.” As the season unfolded and the show improved week-to-week, I felt vindicated in my assessment, which was pretty much mirrored by Heather’s review of all 12 episodes.

So it was with a great deal of anticipation and, I’ll admit, extremely high expectations that I settled in to watch the first four chapters of True Blood Season 2: “Nothing But the Blood”, “Keep This Party Going”, “Scratch My Back”, and “Let’s Take a Trip Together”. All I can say is WHEW! If you thought last season was hot, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Things start up shortly after the events that ended Season 1 with Bill (Stephen Moyer) teaching his new vamp progeny Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) the ropes, with some much needed help from Sookie (Anna Paquin) once she warms up to the idea of sharing her man with another; Tara (Rutina Wesley) adapting to her cushy new life with the enigmatic Maryann (Michelle Forbes) and bad boy housemate Eggs (Mehcad Brooks); Sam (Sam Trammell) continuing to battle his inner demons but finding a little respite by becoming chummy with new waitress Daphne (Ashley Jones); Jason (Ryan Kwanten) still trying to find himself but being drawn to the anti-vampire church Fellowship of the Sun; and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) … well, let’s just leave a few things a mystery for the time being.

HBO's True Blood Season 2 (click for larger image)Now that the audience has familiarized itself with True Blood‘s core characters, it’s a good move on creator Alan Ball et al’s part to inject several new ones into the mix. And what an assorted group they are! Maryann continues her “Earth Mother” ways by taking in strays and hosting gatherings that more often than not turn into wild orgies of food and fondling. She and Sam have a history, however, that keeps him on his guard and wary of her intentions with regard to Tara. Jessica is a delight with her combination of innocence and cruelty. She reminds me at times of Claire from Ball’s “Six Feet Under” — quite child-like in a number of ways but wise beyond her years in others. She is so far my favorite new addition to the cast. Michael McMillian and Anna Camp as the Fellowship’s Rev. Steve Newlin and his wife Sarah are perfection, leading Jason down a path that is certain to result in some of True Blood‘s most comical situations. Hopefully, though, Jason won’t be stuck in this same storyline for the duration of the season as I feel Kwanten has just begun tapping into his and the role’s potential.

Oh, and did I mention that, like its predecessor, Season 2 starts out with a murder? Only this time, instead of being strangled, the victim’s heart is ripped out. So you can expect to see a lot of William Sanderson’s Sheriff Dearborne and Chris Bauer’s Deputy Bellefleur snooping around the scene.

HBO's True Blood Season 2 (click for larger image)But don’t think that because all these other characters are being given their due, Bill and Sookie have been put on the back burner. Their story arcs are still the focus of True Blood, and they fight and fuck just as much as, if not more than, they did in Season 1. She acts silly and threatens to call things off on occasion, he still has trouble fully opening himself up to her, and they are both impossibly stubborn; but fortunately, their relationship deepens and matures over the course of these four episodes, and certainly their bond will only grow closer as we approach the finale.

So, thanks to Bill and Sookie, plus Maryann’s as yet unexplained powers, we’ve got that eroticism thing I discussed earlier well in hand. What about the brutality element? That is provided courtesy of bloodthirsty Eric (Alexander Skarsgård), who shows off his dark side as he figures prominently in this season’s events. Along with Eric’s evil ways, there’s a new monster in town that promises extra carnage and mayhem. All in all, there’s more graphic gore and violence in these four entries than we saw in all of Season 1. There’s also a very juicy subplot that involves a threesome heading out of Bon Temps to track down a missing vamp “Sheriff” named Godric. Their arrival in Dallas coincides with the end of Episode 4, the appropriately titled “Let’s Take a Trip Together”, which additionally reveals just enough info about Maryann to further confuse viewers as to her true identity.

And that should be enough to whet your appetite to tune in this Sunday, June 14th, when True Blood returns to HBO. It’s one of those treasured instances of a series taking everything that was good about its first season and building on that by amping up the sex and slaughter. The only bummer is that while all of you are reveling in Season 2 this weekend, I have to wait a whole ‘nother month to re-dig my teeth into it!

Debi Moore

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Alien: Covenant’s Carmen Ejogo Joins True Detective Season 3

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“From the dusty mesa her looming shadow grows…”

The first season of HBO’s “True Detective” was one of the best seasons ever put on a TV screen. Hands down. The second season was another story altogether. While not a complete waste of time (Colin Farrell owed) the season was basically merely ‘meh’.

But what about “True Detective” season 3?

Well, a few months back it was announced that the third season had been greenlit by HBO, with creator Nic Pizzolatto returning to pen the series and director Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) taking the helm of the episodes.

Today we have news that Carmen Ejogo – who you may recognize Ejogo from such recent fright flicks as It Comes at Night, Alien: Covenant, and The Purge: Anarchy – will be joining the previously announced Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) for Season 3.

Ejogo will play the female lead, Amelia Reardon, who THR describes as “an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980.”

Nice Pizzolatto will serve as showrunner and direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown are also credited as exec producers.

Synopsis:

A macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

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Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie

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One of the top films all of us are looking forward to the most here at Dread Central is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel/reboot thing to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The new Halloween (2018) film is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and is all set to be directed by Green this year. Recently we learned that original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis was going to be returning to the new film.

Not only that, but Curtis’ classic character Laurie Strode would have a daughter… played by Judy Greer. But what about Danielle Harris?

After all, Harris was the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers. Let alone, she had a starring role in both Rob Zombie’s remake and it’s sequel. So how about the new film?

Turns out Harris tried to get her character Jamie Llyod (aka the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode) from Halloween 4 and 5 into the new film… but she was turned down by Blumhouse and the new creative team. That sucks.

Harris was pretty bummed about the whole deal and took to Facebook recently to clear the air. You can check out quotes from her video, along with the video itself, below.

After that make sure to hit us up and let us know how much you would have liked to see Harris return to Halloween in the comments below or on social media!

“What I am bummed about is… [Laurie] has a daughter,” Harris says. “I was okay with it when she had a son… but they’re saying it’s the last one and… she has a daughter. And it’s not Jamie. It’s just kind of a bummer, I guess. I think somebody had said, it wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have Jamie reunited with [Laurie]. But that didn’t happen.”

“We did put in a call, thought it’d be kinda cool even just to have a little flashback…” She continues. “They were not interested. So. I tried.”

Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

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Posted by Danielle Harris on Monday, November 6, 2017

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Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review

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Starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Glen Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne

Directed by Charles Martin Smith


I have been a horror fan for more than half of my life at this point. Meaning I have seen most of the quality horror offerings under the sun. But that said, every once in awhile a classic sneaks past so we wanted to create this “Through the Cracks” review section for such films.

Case in point, I had never seen the Halloween horror flick Trick or Treat until last night. I know, right? How the hell did that happen? But these things do happen and so for everyone that has seen the flick a million times, this will be a review of the movie from a super horror fan that – at the age of 33 – is seeing Trick or Treat for the very first time.

Now let’s get to it.

First off you have to love the movie’s plot. Mixing horror and heavy metal seems like a given, yet preciously few films Frankenstein these two great tastes together.

Like many of you out there, I am a big metal fan as well as a big horror fan. The two seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or Jason and horny campers.

I dig bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and even those hair metal bands (Dokken forever!) and I’m well aware of the legends surrounding playing these records backward.

Off the top of my head, the only other flick that combines the two to this degree is the (relatively) recent horror-comedy Deathgasm. I say more horror-metal flicks! Or should we call it Metal-Horror? Yeah, that’s a much more metal title.

It only makes sense that someone, somewhere would take the idea of “What if Ozzy Osbourne really was evil and came back from the dead (you know, if he had passed away during his heyday) to torment a loner fan?” Great premise for a movie!

And Trick or Treat delivers on the promise of this premise in spades. Sammi Curr is an epic hybrid of the best of the best metal frontmen and his resurrection via speaker is one of the great horror birthing scenes I have seen in all my years.

Add to that the film feels like a lost entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More specifically the film feels like it would fit snugly in between two of my favorite entries in that series, Dream Warriors and The Dream Master.

This movie is 80’s as all f*ck and I loved every minute of it.

And speaking of how this film brought other minor classics to the forefront of my brain, let’s talk about the film’s central villain, Sammi Curr. This guy looks like he could share an epic horror band with the likes of Mary Lou from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the Drill Killer rocker from Slumber Party Massacre Part II.

Picture that band for a moment and tell me they aren’t currently playing the most epic set in Hell as we speak. I say let’s see an Avengers-style series of films based on these minor horror icons sharing the stage and touring the country’s high school proms!

In the end Trick or Treat has more than it’s fair share of issues. Sammi Curr doesn’t enter the film until much too late and is dispatched way too easily. Water? Really? That’s it?

That said, the film is still a blast as director Charles Martin Smith keeps the movie rocking like an 80’s music video with highlights being Sammi’s rock show massacre at the prom and his final assault on our hero teens in the family bathroom.

Rockstar lighting for days.

Even though the film has issues (zero blood, a rushed ending) none of that mattered much to this horror hound as the film was filled to the brim with striking horror/metal imagery and a killer soundtrack via Fastway and composer Christopher Young.

Plus you’ve got to love the cameos by Gene Simmons (boy, his character just dropped right out of the movie, huh?) and Ozzy Osbourne as a mad-as-hell Preacher that isn’t going to take any more of this devil music. P.S. Watch for the post-credits tag.

More than a few of my closest horror buddies have this film placed high on their annual Halloween must-watch lists. And after (finally) viewing the film for myself, I think I just may have to add the film to mine as well. Preferably on VHS.

Trick or Treat is an 80’s horror classic. If you dig films like Popcornand if you put the film off like I did, remedy that tonight and slap a copy in the old VHS/DVD player.

Just don’t play it backward… God knows what could happen.

All said and done, I enjoyed the hell out of my first viewing of Trick or Treat. But what do YOU think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know below or on social media!

Now bring on Trick or Treat 2: The Prom Band from Hell, featuring Sammi Curr, Mary Lou Maloney, and Atanas Ilitch’s Driller Killer from Slumber Party Massacre Part II!

  • Trick or Treat (1986) 3.5
3.5

Summary

Charles Martin Smith’s Trick or Treat is a sure-fire Halloween treat for fans of 80’s horror flicks, as well as fans of heavy metal music.

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User Rating 3.25 (12 votes)
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