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Diablo Cody Offers an Update on Breathers and Damage Control on Jen’s Body

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Diablo Cody Offers an Update on Breathers and Damage Control on Jen's BodyIt was last February when we first heard that Diablo Cody would be producing the film version of S.G. Browne’s debut novel, Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament, and finally she provided an update on the project this weekend during Showtime’s presentation to the Television Critics Association (for her United States of Tara).

In addition Cody offered some explanations for the failure of her last feature film, Jennifer’s Body, to, in her words, find its audience.

With regard to Breathers, which is being written by Geoff LaTulippe (so hopefully audiences will be spared the “hip” and “clever” dialogue we were subjected to in Jen’s Body), Cody tells If Magazine, “We have a script, and I am thrilled with it and hope we can go into production with it soon. It’s a zombie love story. Zombies are so hot now, but I like to think it’s about the personal side of being a zombie and being ostracized.

For an idea of what to expect, here’s a synopsis of Brown’s novel from the official Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament website:

Meet Andy Warner, a recently deceased everyman and newly minted zombie. Resented by his parents, abandoned by his friends, and reviled by a society that no longer considers him human, Andy is having a bit of trouble adjusting to his new existence. But all that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and finds kindred souls in Rita, an impossibly sexy recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a twenty-one-year-old car crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography.

When they meet a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere.

Sounds like it could be fun enough, which is more than I can say for Jennifer’s Body (for a different point of view read Matt’s Jennifer’s Body Blu-ray/DVD review). What’s Cody’s take on why the film fared so poorly?

The marketing was a little messed up. It was marketed mostly to boys, and I think we could have had a large female audience that was ignored. I have faith. I’m on Twitter and I get a lot of feedback from people all day. The DVD came out, and I’ve heard from an avalanche of people saying, ‘I didn’t think I would like this movie, and I’ve watched the DVD five times.’

She continues, “As much as I love that movie, and I’m incredibly proud of that movie and I will love it forever, I feel it’s very unusual, and I don’t think it’s super accessible in a lot of ways. I don’t think it was a typical, mass appeal popcorn horror movie. I think it was more like an art film. I know some people would laugh at that.

Yeah, I admit that last comment brought forth a chuckle. Let’s hope LaTulippe knows zombies better than Cody knows females … especially female horror fans.

Debi Moore

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DVD and Blu-ray Releases: January 16, 2018

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Welcome back, friends.  One would imagine that a release list containing only five entries wouldn’t contain any discrepancies, right? Nope. The Amicus Collection may have come out on December 5th, but it popped up again this week, so if you missed it then, go get yours now.

The big hit of this week, and of 2017, Happy Death Day gets it release this week on both Blu-ray and DVD.  This was a great movie and recently surpassed $100 million dollars worldwide. I highly recommend it.

Up next is The Snowman.  You can check out the Dread Central review of this winter time serial killer thriller here.

If you’re feeling more of a science fiction kind of vibe, check out Beyond Skyline.  Basically there’s a little something for everyone this week.  What are you going to watch?

Pleasant viewing, friends.



MOVIES

Beyond Skyline (2017)

Starring:

Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Iko Uwais, Jonny Weston

Synopsis:

When the population of Los Angeles is vacuumed off the face of the Earth, Detective Mark Corley storms his way onto an alien ship to rescue his estranged son. But after crashing the ship in Southeast Asia, he must forge an alliance with a band of survivors to discover the key to saving his son and taking back the planet once and for all.

BUY IT NOW!


Eye Of The Cat (1969)

Starring:

Michael Sarrazin, Eleanor Parker

Synopsis:

A man and his girlfriend plan to rob the mansion of the man’s eccentric but wealthy aunt. However, the aunt keeps dozens of cats in her home, and the man is deathly afraid of cats.

BUY IT NOW!


Happy Death Day (2017)

Starring:

Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, Charles Aitken

Synopsis:

Blumhouse (Split, Get Out, The Purge) produces an original and inventive rewinding thriller in Happy Death Day, in which a college student relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity. The thrills continue with an Alternate Ending never-before-seen in theaters.

BUY IT NOW!


Snowman, The (2017)

Starring:

Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Chloe Sevigny

Synopsis:

From executive producer Martin Scorsese, The Snowman is based on Jo Nesbø’s New York Times bestselling thriller series. When an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Michael Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

BUY IT NOW!



COLLECTIONS

The Amicus Collection

Starring:

Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham

Synopsis:

Known as The Studio That Dripped Blood , the British film company Amicus Productions founded by American writer/producers Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky built a legacy of horror anthologies and twisted thrillers that remains among the very best genre movies of the 70s. In this trio of Amicus classics featuring stars that include Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Britt Ekland, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham, Calvin Lockhart, Michael Gambon and Charlotte Rampling you ll discover the studio s legendary portmanteau Asylum, their insane gothic shocker And Now The Screaming Starts, and exclusive to this set the infamous werewolf whodunit The Beast Must Die, as well as a Bonus Disc of Amicus trailers, TV commercials, rare interviews and more all in this 4 disc box set.

BUY IT NOW!

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Pride and Prometheus Fuses the Horror of Mary Shelley with the Romance of Jane Austen

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This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein so you can expect to see several articles tied in with that momentous occasion over the next several months. Today we have your first word on Pride and Prometheus from John Kessel, which fuses Shelley’s Gothic horror with the Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Kessel holds a B.A. in Physics and English and a Ph.D. in American Literature. He helped found and served as the first director of the MFA program in creative writing at North Carolina State University, where he has taught since 1982. He is the author of the novels Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and, in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. His short story collections are Meeting in Infinity (a New York Times Notable Book), The Pure Product, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence. Also with Jim Kelly, he has edited five anthologies of stories re-visioning contemporary short sci-fi, most recently Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology.

Pride and Prometheus arrives February 13th from Sega Press. Look for a guest blog from John Kessel in the coming weeks!

Synopsis:
Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion of two popular classics.

Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature, Victor Frankenstein travels to England, where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet, the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice. As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find a female body from which to create the monster’s mate?

Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is keeping from her.

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Why Brad Anderson’s Session 9 Scared the Hell Out of Me

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“Hello, Gordon.”

Invariably working for sites such as Dread Central I am always asked the question, “What is the scariest movie you have ever seen?” And, well, truth be told movies don’t tend to scare me that often. Sure there are my go-to flicks time and time again, such as The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and Lake Mungo. But sure enough everytime I spout out that list to a fellow horror fan they always follow up with, “Well, what is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen that ISN’T found footage?” Fair enough question.

Now while I’m not going to go into what I consider to be the scariest non-found footage horror movies (we’ll get into all of that at some later date) I do want to point out a movie in particular here today. The way it goes is that when I tell people my list of scariest non-found footage films, they always nod in agreement. Until that is, I get to a film called Session 9. It is at that point that whomever I am talking to cocks their head to the side and says, “I’ve never heard of that one.” Which is a shame and it happens far too often. So today I want to, yet again, give any and everyone who’s willing to listen the recommend.

Let’s begin with a quick rundown of the film. Session 9 was written and directed by Brad Anderson, who is a name you might recognize as the creative force behind such films as The Vanishing on 7th Street, Transsiberian, and the “Christian Bale is as skinny as a skeleton” mindfuck The Machinist.

But as good as those film may (or may not) be, without a doubt Anderson’s masterpiece is Session 9. Written specifically to be filmed inside the Danvers State Mental Hospital, the film stars David Caruso (don’t let that stop you), Peter Mullan, Josh Lucas and a few other gents as a group of asbestos removal guys who are possibly haunted within the walls of the institute while on a job.

If that rundown isn’t the best, here is the film’s official synopsis: “A tale of terror when a group of asbestos removal workers starts work in an abandoned insane asylum. The complex of buildings looms up out of the woods like a dormant beast. Grand, imposing…abandoned, deteriorating. The residents of Danvers, Massachusetts steer well clear of the place. But Danvers State Mental Hospital closed down for 15 years is about to receive five new visitors…”

Brrr… freaky enough, right? Well, trust me, the actual film is leaps and bounds better than even that creeper synopsis lets on. And best of all, with all horror and terror aside, the film is a tight flick about a group of men and how they interact as a team. While that may not sound too appealing, the actors, yes, even David Caruso, make for a lovable group of grumps that I enjoyed spending 90 minutes with.

Let’s talk about the horror for a second. You have to wait until the end, but once it hits (full-force) it is well worth the wait. The first 2/3 of the film are creepy but are mostly about the men and the job. Horror looms in the background at all times, sure, but it isn’t until the final act that the shit really hits the fan. And boy, does it. The final act is as bloody as any slasher you could ever hope for and even features a fun, very cool cameo by Mr. Larry Fessenden himself. But it is the final, give or take, 30 seconds of the film that still haunts me to this day.

You see the film is constantly playing a game of “Is it ghosts? Is it all in your head? Or is there a human element to the horror?” And that game comes to nightmarish reality in the film’s final moments. I specifically remember having fun with the film until its last frames. That was when I needed to turn the lights on. But that still didn’t help. The horror that Session 9 presents in its final moments are horrors where there is nowhere to run, no way to prevent it from finding you in the darkness, and no way to save yourself, or your loved ones, if it finds you.

“I live in the weak and the wounded.”

Being that I am prone to being one of those dudes that let’s shit bottle up inside until I explode (sad but true), this film is fu*king terrifying to me. I get it. I fear it. And I hope you will too. As kids, we need cautionary tales, and let’s not forget that we as adults do too sometimes. Session 9 is a warning for grown-ups. You almost deserve it to yourself and your loved ones to see this film and allow it sink in. Just don’t expect to sleep for a few nights…

In the end, why did Session 9 scare the hell out me so bad? Was it that voice that haunts my dreams to this day, or was it what the voice says? I’m still not sure. But trust me when I say that Brad Anderson’s Session 9 is one of the absolute scariest films I have ever seen. If you haven’t given the film its day in court yet, remedy that ASAP and thank me (or hate me) later.

You can buy Session 9 on Blu-ray HERE. And while you’re at it make sure to check out Villmark Asylum now on VOD.

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