American Vampire Trailer; King and Snyder Talk Scary, Not Sparkly, Vamps - Dread Central
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American Vampire Trailer; King and Snyder Talk Scary, Not Sparkly, Vamps

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The March 17th release date for Issue #1 of American Vampire from writers Scott Snyder and Stephen King and artist Rafael Albuquerque is only a few days away, and now a trailer for the comic is available. In addition, both Snyder and King have given recent interviews in which they promise they’re making vampires scary again.

First, though, here’s a summary of what American Vampire is all about: American Vampire will introduce readers to a new breed of vampire – a more muscular and vicious species of vampire with distinctly American characteristics. The series’ first story arc, to be told over the course of five issues, will feature two different stories, one written by Snyder, the other by King.

Snyder’s storyline is one of decadence and deception and Jazz Age glamour. Pearl is an ambitious modern woman with starlet dreams. She frequents Hollywood’s speakeasies and dance-halls searching for her first big break, only to find something far more sinister waiting for her.

King’s story provides the origin of the very first American vampire: Skinner Sweet, a bank robbing, murdering cowboy of the 1880s. Skinner is stronger and faster than previous vampires; he has rattlesnake fangs and is powered by … the sun? Following the conclusion of the first story arc, Snyder and Albuquerque will trace Skinner’s bloodline through various decades of American history.


American Vampire – Trailer
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Snyder, who created the series, recently spoke with The Faster Times, whom he told how he first came up with the idea, “I came up with it a few years ago in the most mundane way. I was in a hobby shop in the West Village, and I was looking at the statuettes and figurines for a present for my friend who’s a big Dr. Who fan. And there was this statue of an undead Confederate soldier, and I started thinking how I’m a big vampire fan. And other than certain films like Near Dark, which is my favorite vampire movie of all time, there haven’t been things that explored vampires in settings that aren’t gloomy, rainy, gargoyle, urban, and nocturnal.

The aesthetic of everything, from Underworld, Twilight, Blade, it always has that same greenlit leather-and-velvet thing going on. I thought it would be fun to see vampires with a different character to them, something more animalistic and feral. Not so sophisticated and snobby. They’re always in the same kind of settings, speak with that same aristocratic flair. I wanted something more down-and-dirty, more American.

As for how King ended up writing five issues of the series, Snyder said, “Originally he was only going to do a couple of issues. I gave him the original Western proposal for Skinner, which Vertigo didn’t want to start with, and asked if he wanted to pick a couple of moments to write. I knew he had (the novel) Under the Dome coming out, he was working on a musical on the West Coast, and I couldn’t imagine he’d have a lot of time for this. I wanted to make it as easy as possible so I gave him a very clear, almost a paint-by-numbers couple of short issues with Skinner. The majority of it was already written, but there was no dialogue. Just general outline, almost like page breakdowns. Then a couple of weeks in, he was going to do two sixteen-page issues, and he was going to cut them up so there was a teaser at the end of each issue. And he emailed me a couple of weeks after he started. He said he was having fun and wanted to know if he could go off the res a little bit. I was like, ‘Sure, do whatever you want.’

The next thing I got was a third issue with a cliff-hanger. And then he wrote a fourth issue, then a fifth issue. And he wound up doing five full sixteen-page issues about Skinner and his relationship with his adversary, a Pinkerton who caught him when he was alive. And it was just so good. I mean the series as a whole, not just his part of it, is exponentially better for his involvement. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Definitely hit the link for the full interview, but for us the real highlight is Snyder saying, “Twilight is appealing because it re-imagines vampires, but they’re not scary. True Blood does that, too — re-imagining them as this under-class — but again, they’re not really scary. They’re always like, ‘Sook-ay, you’re so purty.’ And the whole Bill versus Erik thing — that sort of romantic sex symbol pinup direction… I’m just not into that.

So part of the point of American Vampire is to make (vampires) scary again. In the original ads for the series, we wanted to do pictures of Skinner standing on a heap of dead old-fashioned vampire bodies, grinning, all bloody with smoking guns in his hands. And the tagline was ‘I don’t fucking sparkle.’ We thought about using another that said: ‘This ain’t your little sister’s vampire.’ The idea was that American Vampire is not a pin-up. When (Skinner) changes into a vampire, he’s fucking scary. You don’t want to kiss him.

American Vampire is meant to be completely badass. It’s not just, well, he can go out in the sun. He looks different, he’s a different breed. He’s got different claws, different fangs, different musculature. He’s vampire 2.0 in some ways, compared to the European vampires he’s facing off with. In terms of the evolutionary tree, we really are hoping for each cycle to get deeper into that.

American Vampire Issue #1American Vampire Issue #2

With regard to King, he recently chatted with The Daily Beast and echoed Snyder’s sentiments: “There’s been a whole spate of vampire stories where the vampires are kind of like boy toys, and they’re kind of beautiful, and you want to kind of pet them and take them home with you. This guy [Skinner] was a real, undomesticated animal, and I liked that.

Thanks to Lilja’s Library for pointing us in the direction of the interviews.

Be sure to pre-order Issue #1 and Issue #2 (which is coming April 21st) from TFAW by clicking the highlighted links.

Uncle Creepy

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A Demon Within Review – Familiar Possession Beats To A Dreary Tune

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Starring Charlene Amoia, Clint Hummel, Patricia Ashley, Michael Ehlers

Directed by Ayush Banker and Justin LaReau


Possession flicks don’t often hold a long shelf life in the horror community, with Ayush Banker and Justin LaReau’s A Demon Within suggesting why. Hands emerging from the darkness, exorcisms, anxious priests – you’ll see it all again as you’ve seen it before. Early scenes glimmer a polish unlike equal indie products, but that’s just the devil playing tricks on you. Once the film’s main satanic takeover begins, cursing teens and stony glares become the been-here-before norm. Low-budget filmmaking isn’t an immediate detractor like some high-society snobs may believe, yet it’s surely no excuse either. Today’s review being an example of both mindsets.

Charlene Amoia stars as Julia Larsen, a divorcee who moves into Crestwick, Illinois looking for a clean start with daughter Charlotte (Patricia Ashley). Their dusty toucher-upper is a quaint, aged farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, complete with electrical issues and weird noises at night. Nothing to worry about, right? Julia’s focus is better directed towards town doctor Jeremy Miller (Clint Hummel), who she immediately hits it off with (after almost hitting *him* with a car). She’s eating stir-fry at his place one night, all things going well, and that’s when it happens – Charlotte is possessed by an evil force who enacts its sinister plan. Charlotte may physically be present, but only as a vessel for “Nefas.”

Without hesitation, A Demon Within lays predictable groundwork as small-town haunters have for decades. Charlotte’s new home is already infested with a spiritual squatter, Jeremy bottles (and drinks down) a blemished past that’s exposed too late, there’s plenty of characters sneakin’ up on one another – never with much “oomph.” Charlotte’s teeny-bopper voice drops to truck-driver deep at the height of possession, but it’s a distracting sound design that alone strikes little fear. Serious scares are attempted, be it a pitch-black basement slashing or Charlotte’s hide-and-seek pounce, just never delivered. An inconsequential failure to unite tone and atmosphere.

Performances are…well…rigid, to say the least. Amoia and Ashley strike a surprisingly likable chemistry as living humans, but once Ashley goes demonic, chemistry bottoms out. The way A Demon Within positions Charlotte when possessed is utterly dull and undefined; Ashley playing an unenthusiastic harbinger of death. It’s bad enough that Hummel’s tortured doctor masters the emotional range of Mona Lisa and the town’s pastor is hardly a scene stealer – but to have a demon be so vanilla (without a side of nuts, no less)? Getting past the limited lighting and Charlotte’s manly demon voice is hard enough, let alone her mostly relenting threats.

Making matters worse, the film’s third act is hardly a religious salvation that flows with ease. I had more fun watching Julia stammer over pizza and beers with Jeremy than their final fight against ghastly hellspawns. The truths of Jeremy’s past leak out in flashback form, only to reveal his stubborn inability to comprehend one’s own possession encounter in the very house Julia bought (useful information, eh?). The local priest shows up in the nick of time, a few cutaway jolts attempt cheap thrills, and some holy water mucks up an old painting – but again, minimal notability. Er…not even minimal? Shaky last-minute framing makes it hard to even notice the touch-ups to Charlotte’s face that signify her unholy imprisonment, even worse than blackened CGI mists.

A Demon Within tries, fumbles, and tries some more, but it’s best treated as a reminder of better exorcism stories that exist elsewhere. Even something like The Vatican Tapes is an improvement over this possessive redundancy, hokier than the honky-tonk love song that plays atop a pizza-chain flirt scene. There’s something to be said about getting out and creating original horror, but herein lies the problem – this ain’t *that* original. With harsher scares and tension, such a fate could be ignored. As-is? It’s hard to see past anything more than a January release placeholder.

  • A Demon Within
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Summary

A Demon Within is a seen-it-before possession thriller that brings nothing new to the conversation. Not the worst, but also not a “hidden secret.”

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TONIGHT! #Brainwaves Episode 73: Powerman 5000’s Spider One

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For the 73rd edition of Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio, we’re being joined by Powerman 5000 frontman Spider One to talk about his latest album, his career, and just what happens when worlds collide! Are you ready to go?

Join us TONIGHT at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

SUPPORT BRAINWAVES ON PATREON!

Listen to Stitcher

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes. Not an iTunes user?  You can also listen right here on the site.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC and @JonathanBarkan using the hashtag #BrainWaves.

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

Brainwaves Contact!

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Armageddon’s Will Patton Joins Blumhouse Halloween as a Police Officer

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It was just the other day that we let you guys know that filming on Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s classic Halloween had kicked off in South Carolina.

And today we have news via The Tracking Board that yet another major member of the cast has been set with Will Patton joining Blumhouse’s Halloween as a police officer. Patton is a name you may recognize from such films as Armageddon, The Punisher, and The Puppet Masters.

No further details are known regarding Patton’s role at this point, but we will make sure to keep you guys up to date on any and all Halloween news as we hear it!

How excited are you for Blumhouse’s upcoming Halloween sequel from Danny McBride and director David Gordon Green? Let us know below!

Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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