Cinematographer Sam McCurdy on Hills 2! - Dread Central
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Cinematographer Sam McCurdy on Hills 2!



Sam McCurdy interview from the set of The Hills Have Eyes 2 (click to see bigger)!Our bombardment of Hills Have Eyes 2 coverage continues today with another look behind-the-scenes of the making of the sequel, this time in the form of a chat with cinematographer Sam McCurdy.

When we got to the set in Morocco we were given a very sleek call sheet and a cast & crew breakdown so we could familiarize ourselves with whose brains we were going to pick during our time there. One of the most exciting names on the list for me was cameraman Sam McCurdy, whose previous cinematographer credits include both Neil Marshall films, Dog Soldiers and The Descent. Considering the latter of those films takes place almost entirely underground, it only makes sense that McCurdy would be brought in for Hills 2, which also sees a good portion of the action occurring subtera. That’s all right with Sam, though, as he confesses this is the genre he loves the most.

“[I’m a ] massive horror fan, yeah, “ he told us during our interview. “It’s something I’ve grown up with, from the first movies I used to watch…they were like the early 80’s bad movies and almost none of it got re-released [until now], so you craved it, it was phenomenal stuff. “

The move from loving horror movies to making horror movies was pretty much a no-brainer and McCurdy really couldn’t be happier. Even though he’s working with similar environments as he did with The Descent, he says things on Hills 2 were different for one big reason; “With Hills, we have a larger budget so we can really move in between the sets and have the chance to light them a bit bolder and bigger, “ That being said, the caverns under the New Mexico desert our heroes find themselves in are actually a tighter fit than the heroines of The Descent had to deal with “This one is a lot more enclosed that the Descent, the sets are a lot bigger, and all have ceiling pieces on. In The Descent we had tunnels on the bottom with lids off the top so you could move in and out more easily”

Sam McCurdy interview from the set of The Hills Have Eyes 2 (click to see it biggger)!But things were a bit easier to work with in the sequel because, unlike The Descent, people had been in these caves before; “We are in disused mines that have since been overtaken by scientists doing their experiments, so a lot of the lighting and cave exploration equipment is left over and lying around from all that. So certain things have helped me out by being written into the script, but it’s certainly nasty work with the lids [on top of the set] being put back on.”

The question of influence was posed and to say his answer was unexpected is an understatement; “One of the most bizarre movies [used for inspiration] was one that Neil put us on to and that’s the first Rambo movie, First Blood,” he revealed. “There’s this whole sequence underground that I had forgotten all about, and it was one of the first movies that I watched. Neil asked me to watch it and to figure out how they lighted. And really you can’t tell! I figured out that you have to use the practical lighting in order to make sure you’re giving the audience what they want as well and make the stars look good. There are a lot of really good looking people in the films, so you want to make sure that the girls look beautiful from the moment they arrive in the morning until the end of the day.” Needless to say this kind of homework helped a lot on both films.

Sam McCurdy interview from the set of The Hills Have Eyes 2!Sam and Neil had known one another for a very long time, growing up in the same area of England, but Hills 2 helmer Martin Weisz was a stranger to McCurdy when he began the project. Luckily the director knew what he wanted and was able to make Sam’s job that much easier; “Martin is an incredible director; an incredibly technical director who comes from big budget music videos. Bizarrely enough, when [producer] Marianne and everyone said who the director was going to be, I knew who it was going to be because I had I seen his Korn video so I knew we were in good hands,” he told us. “I knew that he was from that big budget music video background, doing videos with the likes of Puff Daddy, which can either bring with it a big ego or a lack of understanding of how things work—especially with horror movies, because there is a lot of waiting around with like prosthetics and effects. So it’s a different from a lot of other genres, but the guy knows his shit and has been fantastic to work with from beginning to end

Thought we’ve heard a lot about how both funny and scary it is, McCurdy said one particular scene in The Hills Have Eyes 2 will stick in viewers’ heads; “At the beginning of the movie before we know which direction the film is going to take is one of the nastier ones. It’s set in a PortaPottie … and we’ll leave it at that. We shot it about 2 weeks ago, and even shooting it half the crew was in absolute hysterics and the other half was turning away in disgust. “ Now that’s what we liked to hear!

Finally, since Sam is in the unusual position of shooting a sequel to a remake whose original also had a sequel, we had to ask his thoughts on the whole remake phenomenon going down these days. ” I’m not usually a big fan of horror remakes, because I love the originals, but you can’t compare them to the originals because they’re in a league of their own. I have to say this is as stunning as Texas Chainsaw Massacre ever was by keeping the film gritty and dirty, but visually appealing.”

That was our time with Sam McCurdy, one of the coolest guys we met during our set, not just because he could give us dirt on Neil Marshall (which, sadly, he did not). You can see how he did on The Hills Have Eyes 2 when its released on March 23rd and look for more of his camera skills to be on display in Marshall’s next film, Doomsday, currently rolling down in South Africa!

Keep it here for more Hills 2 coverage very soon!

Johnny Butane

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Kevin Bacon Lets Us Know the Tremors Reboot Pilot Has Wrapped Filming



Two weeks ago we let you guys know that Tremors mainstay Michael Gross, aka Burt Gummer, was, unfortunately, not asked to be a part of the upcoming Syfy reboot series starring Kevin Bacon.

While that news upsets us a bit, being that the series has only filmed its pilot episode, we feel that there is still a big chance we could see Burt return to kick some more Graboids in the tentacle-thingies with elephant guns.

Fingers crossed.

Speaking of the “Tremors Syfy pilot, recently star Kevin Bacon took to Instagram to let us all know that filming has wrapped!

You can check out The Bacon’s post below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are for Syfy’s “Tremors” series in the comments below!

In the Tremors follow-up, written by Andrew Miller, the killer Graboid worms that nearly destroyed Perfection, NV, 25 years ago are back; and the town’s only hope for survival is Valentine McKee (Bacon), who beat them once. But to do it again he’ll have to overcome age, alcohol, and a delusional hero complex.

“Tremors” the TV series is headed our way courtesy of Jason Blum’s Blumhouse TV and Universal Cable Prods.

We’ll let you know when we hear more about the series!

So long to NM. Had an amazing time shooting this pilot. Hope I can keep walking in these boots #Tremors

A post shared by Kevin Bacon (@kevinbacon) on

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Exclusive: Buzzard Hollow Beef Brings Cannibal Gore to the Holidays



Holidays at the end of the year seem to be focused on one major aspect: food. From Christmas hams to Thanksgiving turkeys to Hanukkah latkes to who knows what else, eating is a very important part for end-of-the-year festivities. Personally, I’m totally okay with it because it means great food and TONS of leftovers, ensuring that I don’t have to concern myself with cooking for at least a couple of days.

But what if the holiday season were a bit more sinister and what if the food was a bit more…unsavory? Allow us to introduce you to Buzzard Hollow Beef, a new vision of horror that blends cannibal hillbillies, intense and terrifying hallucinations, and small town mysteries. If this sounds up your alley, then don’t fret about waiting because the film comes to Amazon Prime, iTunes, and other transactional platforms on Tuesday, November 21!

We’ve got a trailer, poster, and several stills for you to check out, so peruse at your will and enjoy!

Directed by Joshua M. Johnson, who co-wrote the film with Tara C. Hall, Buzzard Hollow Beef stars Bruce Jennings, Nadia Kamil, Scott C. Brown, Emily Letts, Janet Chiarabaglio, Amanda Spinella, Will Frazier, Gabriel Caste, and Doug Perkins.

Still reeling from her divorce and struggling as the single mother of a 9 month old, Jordan Vollmer looks forward to a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend with her family and her best friend, Paige. As the group ventures into the small town of Buzzard Hollow, they are greeted with strange and unsavory characters, known around these parts as the Solomon family. Their suspicions surrounding the Solomons are aroused by the fact that they all seem unwilling to talk about the beef that they serve in their hamburgers and sell in their butcher shop. When the Vollmers experience horrifying hallucinations, they begin to suspect that the Solomons are somehow involved.

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Exclusive: Confrontational Bewitches and Hypnotizes With Fade/Into the Burning Dawn



Earlier this year, I introduced you readers to Italian synthwave artist Confrontational and his cover of Sabrina’s “Boys (Summertime Love)”. While that track was pure summertime brightness, we recognize that many of you are more interested in the darker side of music, where songs are melancholic yet brimming with a hypnotic sexual tension. To that end, we’ve teamed up once again to bring you the exclusive track premiere of “Fade/Into the Burning Dawn” featuring Tying Tiffany, which you can listen to below.

Melding equal parts of The Cure and John Carpenter, the song pulsates sensually, evoking imagery of electric blue and hot pink lasers piercing through vantablack darkness. Furthermore, the dynamic between the female and male vocals adds a wonderful sense of intimacy. This song was clearly a child of the 80’s that is now grown up and ready to stand on its own.

Confrontational tells Dread Central:
The final chapter in the triptych, once again graced by Branca Studio’s outstanding artwork, recounts the striving for light in spite of the devouring darkness that surrounds us all. Unrequited love, loss of innocence, loss of identity, temptation and anger – the story finally comes to a close. There is a deep and heartfelt sense of longing throughout each of the tracks, a hard-hitting feeling of nostalgia – which is something Tiffany found out to be a constant in my songwriting. I have been a fan of her work for a long time and I am ecstatic to have finally worked together on this. Her unique take on the lyrics is what makes it so very special, and her vocals blending seamlessly with mine throughout the choruses turned it into a true personal favorite. To have Tiffany on the album along with these amazing heroes of mine – Cody, Tobias and Trevor – is simply dream-like, and makes me so very proud to finally share the effort with you all. I look forward to checking out everyone’s comments on this and I can’t wait to bring it to the stage soon!

“Fade/Into the Burning Dawn” comes from Confrontational’s upcoming album The Burning Dawn, which can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. Guest appearances on the album include Tobias Bernstrup, Cody Carpenter, and more!

Confrontational can be followed at his official website, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify.

Upcoming tour dates:
January 25 – Milano (TBA)
January 26 – Savona (TBA)
January 27 – Ravenna (Bronson)

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