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Fantasia: Days 1 and 2

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Fantasia 2009 (click for larger image)It’s been an insomnia inducing start to Fantasia’s thirteenth year. The opening night screenings had no noteworthy horror entries, so Paul and I spent the evening reconnecting with festival regulars, watched some non-genre movies, and plotted the next three weeks of cinematic mayhem. On Friday, after a rest-free three hours of sleep, we soldiered through a painful midnight screening, and are already feeling delirious, just two days in. This is going to be our sixth year covering the fest, and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

First, a little bit of bookkeeping. In addition to this blog, you can also follow us on Twitter, under @dreadfantasia. Also, if our under slept ramblings don’t satisfy your taste for intelligent movie writing, we recommend you check out Kier-La Janisse’s official Fantasia blog. She’s also doing “whatever the verb of twitter is, and I refuse to say ‘tweet’” under the moniker @FantasiaFest.

Fantasia 2009 (click for larger image)Now, getting to the films. While it doesn’t fit into our genre, the first movie we saw this year was a great little one hour documentary titled Thief of Times Square. We don’t normally mention the non-horror titles, but this one is worth tracking down, especially if you’re the kind of fan who has a misplaced nostalgia for the oft mythologized 80’s era Times Square. The film follows the director, in his attempt to track down the author of a found diary, which, recounts the destitute and desperate lives of the residents of the legendarily ramshackle Times Square Hotel. The movie is unexpectedly tender and un-exploitative, the polar opposite of what one would expect, given the subject matter.

Our first horror film of the fest may turn out to be one of the most enjoyable of the year. Andreas Schaap’s film Must Love Death may have single handedly created a new sub-genre that blends romatic comedy and torture porn. One can only hope that Schaap’s “traumantic comedy” signals the end of the dark, post-Hostel days of horror cinema. The less you know about Must Love Death the better, but if you just can’t wait to see it for yourself (and I’d be shocked if this didn’t get picked up for wide distribution, it’s a legitimate date movie), you can read Paul’s Must Love Death (review here).

Fantasia 2009 (click for larger image)

We followed up this sick-chick-flick with the far inferior, though, come to think of it, oddly similarly themed Lesbian Vampire Killers. The midnight Fantasia crowd is rowdy and appreciative, and to give the film credit, a lot of people showed up, and had a good time. However, this is popcorn horror movie of a variety I find particularly distasteful. It’s a movie predicated on exploitation cinema that has only the strictest commercial aspirations. It’s slick, and watchable, but it has more in common with Pirates of the Caribbean than Vampyros Lesbos. Read the Lesbian Vampire Killers (review here).

Finally, we’ve got to mention Richard Gale’s (Fantasia 2008’s Criticized) astoundingly crowd pleasing and hilarious The Horribly Slow Murderer With The Extremely Inefficient Weapon. This faux-trailer is all the way up there with Hobo with a Shotgun, in terms of “gosh I wish they’d make that movie for real”, and is likely the most epic mock horror trailer ever made. In THSMWTEIW, a cadaverous grim reaper in a black hoodie chases the tortured protagonist, whacking him repeatedly with a spoon. The fact that Gale is able to make being beaten to death by cutlery over an interminable period of years, both believable, and immensely enjoyable is amazing. Try to see this one if you can.

Fantasia 2009 (click for larger image)

Tomorrow we’ll be seeing the alien bug invasion film Infestation, and the Canadian rape/revenge movie Sweet Karma, and maybe, just maybe Sion Sono’s extravagantly lengthy Love Exposure (4 hours!).

Evil Andy

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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free

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Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.

The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.

Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!

All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.

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KISS Meets Army of Darkness in New Comic Miniseries!

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Dynamite Entertainment just announced that they are planning to bring two of their bestselling brands together in “KISS/Army of Darkness #1”. The new comic book series will unite the rock band with none other than Ash for some Deadite ass kicking.

The series will be written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims and illustrated by Ruairi Coleman. And the debut issue of “KISS/Army of Darkness” features three art covers from Kyle Strahm, Goni Montes, and Ken Haeser.

You can find all three covers below along with quotes from the creative team. After looking through all of that make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are about this new hybrid comic series in the comments below or on social media!

With Ash vs. The Army of Darkness, Chris and I were given kind of carte blanche to do whatever we wanted to the world of AOD, and we went for broke,” Co-writer Chad Bowers says. “We introduced some new characters and concepts, and built a legacy for Ash’s comics adventures that I’m immensely proud of, but not in a million years could I have guessed we’d get to continue that momentum with the added bonus of tossing the world’s greatest rock n’ roll band into the mix! I’ve been in the tank for KISS since I was in middle school. I remember buying the KISS tribute album, KISS My Ass for the Lemonheads (they covered Plaster Caster), which lead to me picking up Greatest Hits, and so on. But when I found out there was a KISS comic with blood in it, I signed up for life! Of course, I adore the songs (literally listening to Do You Love Me right now), but I’m just as obsessed with the way KISS transcends the music to become something of a genre themselves. It’s something I think about a lot, honestly, so no surprise, it’s a big part of our story too!”

“When it comes to Army of Darkness, I guess you could say that Ash is a bit of a gambler, but he’s nobody’s fool,” Co-writer Chris Sims says. “And since our first story was set back at Alan Shepard High, we’re looking forward to showing him some things that you can’t learn in school. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the deep-cut lyrics now, but for real — if you thought Deadites at Homecoming and the Supernatural Military-Adjacent Response Team were taking Ash in a new direction, just wait until you see how we team him up with the Starchild, Space Ace, the Demon, and the Catman. In the grand tradition of the film, we’re tearing up the entire space-time continuum and if you think you know how weird this is gonna get… well, you sure know somethin’!”

“Having done some work for Dynamite in the past, I’ve really been wanting to get my foot in the door here for a long time so I can play in the sandbox of the amazing licenses they have,” Artist Ruairi Coleman says. “Chief among those, and high up on my bucket list, is Army of Darkness: Hail to the king, baby! So, when I was offered the job of drawing the KISS/Army of Darkness crossover, I couldn’t believe my luck! The concept is totally bonkers, but in a way, that would make complete sense in the world of Army of Darkness. Thinking about it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done already and I’m honored (and more than a little intimidated) to be the guy who draws it.”

“After a more than 40-year career, KISS continues to be one of rock’s most celebrated bands, while Army of Darkness continues to be a staple in the comic book industry. We’re both honored to have the opportunity to work so closely with Gene and Paul to bring their world-renowned alter-egos to comics alongside our very own Ashy Slashy,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “The raging guitar chords and pyrotechnic spectacle of their stage shows could have come straight from the pages of the Necronomicon, and this epic battle between The Demon and Deadites will appeal to the hellions in all of us!”

Issue #1 will be available on digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.

The KISS/Army of Darkness miniseries event hits February 2018.

Synopsis:

KISS is on top of the world and rocking faces until the night disciples of The Destroyer show up and the band disappears. With the tour canceled, a young Ash misses one of the most important events of his life that will change his destiny. Now the Chosen One has to get back on the right path and join the KISS ARMY OF DARKNESS!

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Jason Lives Director Pitched Follow-Up: Jason Vs Cheech and Chong

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One of my favorite entries in the Friday the 13th series is director ‘s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. The mixture of old-school gothic horror and comedy is always a welcome treat around these parts.

But why wasn’t McLoughlin asked to write and direct the follow-up?

Actually, it turns out he was asked to follow up Jason Lives, McLoughlin recently told Mick Garris on the Post Mortem podcast.

But his pitch – Jason vs Cheech and Chong – didn’t go over so well…

“[Frank Mancuso Jr.] wanted me to do another film after we did Jason,” McLoughlin says. “And I said, ‘What are you thinking? I don’t know what it could be now.’ And he said, ‘Well, what do you think about Freddy (Krueger) and Jason?’ And I go, ‘But Freddy’s at New Line and the guys at Paramount have [Jason].’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to try and see if we can work something out.’ So, I started thinking about that, going, It doesn’t make sense. I mean he lives in one realm and — you know, I take this stuff very seriously, what realm a monster’s supposed to stay in. And he came back, he goes, ‘Eh, forget it, it’s not going to work anyway.’ And I said, ‘You know what? You guys own Cheech and Chong. What if we do Cheech and Chong-meets-Jason? They’re like camp counselors or something. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, I saw Jason out there.’ ‘No, man, that’s a myth.’ But he said, ‘You know what? No.’”

Too bad. While I don’t know how well a Cheech and Chong/Friday the 13th flick would go, with McLoughlin at the helm, the film would have at least been funny as hell.

Plus we already got these two knuckleheads in Part III.

Are you upset we never got Tom McLoughlin’s Jason vs Cheech and Chong? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Friday the 13th: Part VI – Jason Lives on Blu-ray HERE.

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