Exclusive: Hills 2 Producer! - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Hills 2 Producer!



The journalist's room on the set of Hill Have Eyes 2! (click to see it bigger)The first thing our team noticed when we hit the set of The Hills Have Eyes 2 was how … well, advanced the whole operation looked. I mean, we’re talking about a massive studio built in the middle of the desert, but it’s full of state-of-the-art equipment and facilities; like a little slice of Hollywood about as far from Hollywood as you can get.

After being shown to our room (yeah, that’s right, they set aside a full room for us reporters, complete with food and drink!) we were quickly ushered to the set while the first round of interviews were being finalized. One of the first people we saw when we got on set was long-time Wes Craven producer Marianne Maddalena, who’s been behind every Craven film since 1989’s Shocker (now there’s a film that deserves a decent DVD release!). She was thrilled, literally thrilled, to sit down and shoot the shit with a bunch of film geeks, picking our brains about the best new horror directors working today and chatting freely about pretty much any subject we could think of. It was a great way to start off our visit!

Once we got comfortable and realized this was pretty much a casual interview, we let the Hills 2 inquiries fly, starting with the burning question as to how Wes and his son Jonathan came to write the script. “We had offered it to Alexandre, but he just didn’t have the time because of prior commitments,” she explained. “We took two years to develop the first one, so he was able to work at a good pace, but the turnaround for Hills 2 was much shorter. Then Wes said, ‘Hey, if I can write it with my son, I’ll do it’. And they were like ‘great!'”

Obviously getting the creator of the original film to work on it, along with his son Johnathan, was a big coup for the legitimacy of churning out a sequel so quickly, and the duo brought a lot to the project that wasn’t really present in the first film. “We have some really fun stuff; this movie has a bit more of a sense of humor than the last one. It’s got a little bit more of the Wes/Jonathan sensibility than the last one,” Maddalena enthused. “The humor isn’t so much in your face but more of a tension release than anything. It’s really a lot more fun than the first.”

Marianne is the pretty girl on the left (click to see it bigger)The Hills Have Eyes fun? We’ll have to wait and see how well that translates to the big screen.

With the script in solid hands it was then time to seek out a worthy director since Aja would not be able to return to that role either due to other commitments. “We actually had a meeting with (Wilderness and Deathwatch director) Michael Bassett, but he dropped out to make a movie that unfortunately never got made,” Marianne revealed. Though this would’ve been great for Bassett in terms of exposure, they had to move forward, shifting their focus overseas in the hopes that they’d get lucky like they did with the remake.

Luck was on their side because they were able to nail down Grimm Love director Martin Weisz, fresh off of his first full-length feature. He already had about 300 music videos under his belt, so he was certainly no novice to getting the job done, and from all accounts he was doing a fantastic job so far. “Martin’s really a wonderful director, I love working with him,” Marianne told us. “A lot of the older European directors are a bit old school, but the younger directors have such an fascinating perspective. They really have a love/hate relationship with America because they’ve seen everything, but they see it through very different circumstances and through fresh eyes, so you end up with a really interesting outlook.”

Me in Morocco! (click to see it bigger)And really that’s what made the remake so much better than anyone expected; Aja and co-screenwriter Greg Levassuer had bonded over the original film when they were young, but their unique point of view, being from France, allowed a new spin on the tale that no one else would have been able to bring to the project. “For the first movie it was really great to have a French director on board because their view of America is much different than other countries, which is one of the reasons there was so much political subtext brought forth,” Marianne said as we prepared to watch the first scene (well, for us anyway) being filmed.

Indeed, it worked out pretty well for the team behind the Hills remake, and with a new perspective on board in the form of Weisz, the hope is that the sequel will be just as compelling.

So that wrapped up our chat with producer Marianne Maddalena, but there was a lot more to see and do on the Hills 2 set, which I’ll be more than happy to share with you over the coming weeks!

For more on The Hills Have Eyes 2, be sure to hit up the official site for Fox Atomic to see bucketloads of cool shit. The Hills Have Eyes 2 opens everywhere on March 23rd!

Johnny Butane

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KISS Meets Army of Darkness in New Comic Miniseries!



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.


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



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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Blade Runner 2049’s Lackluster Box-Office Still a Mystery to Director Denis Villeneuve



This past summer we were hit by director Denis Villeneuve’s stunning sequel to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. While a hit with the critics and the audience that saw it, the film didn’t pull in quite the money the studio hoped for. Especially considering its budget.

With a budget of $150 million Blade Runner 2049 only managed to gather $89 million at the domestic box-office and $163 million worldwide.

Why didn’t the film make more cash? Well, director Denis Villeneuve has a few theories that he recently shared with Cinema Blend.

“I’m still digesting it,” he told the site. “I think because maybe people were not familiar enough with the universe. And the fact that the movie’s long [2 hours, 44 minutes run time]. I don’t know. It’s still a mystery to me. I make movies — I don’t sell them.”

Why do you think Blade Runner 2049 didn’t pull in more cash at the domestic box-office? Let us know in the comments below!

Blade Runner 2049 is directed by Denis Villeneuve from a script by Hampton Fancher (who wrote the original) and Michael Green. The script is based off a story by Hampton Fancher, which is in turn based on the original film’s source material “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Phillip K. Dick.

The film stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Edward James Olmos, David Dastmalchian, Lennie James, Barkhad Abdi, Sylvia Hoeks, Hiam Abbass, Carla Juri, David Benson, Ellie Wright, and Kingston Taylor.


Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

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