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#SDCC16: Thom Mathews and John Philbin Talk The Return of the Living Dead

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Thanks to Scream Factory, while milling about the San Diego Comic-Con, we had a chance to sit down with two of the actors from the classic film The Return of the Living Dead (Blu-ray review): Thom Mathews, who played the lead role of  Freddy, and John Philbin, who played one of the punks, Chuck.

We were just kids when we did this movie, man,” said Mathews. “We had no idea that decades later people would still be talking about it. I did most of my scenes with Jimmy Karen and Don Calfa. Let me tell you; if I were a film producer, I would have Jimmy up on every set just to be there. I learned so much from him, and he was such a genuinely nice man. Calfa, though? He was intense, and he brought those manic sensibilities to the role. It all plays out perfectly onscreen. The three of us had great chemistry.

Philbin went on to describe how it was on the set. “It was funny; on set there were like two groups of people… there was Clu (Gulager), Thom, Jimmy, and Don at one end of the spectrum, and then there were us, the punks. Over the years, the two groups have come together and we’re just like this big family now who get together every so often to celebrate this crazy movie we made, which still very much holds up.

Return of the living Dead

Given how beloved the film has become, we asked the guys what they attribute its longevity to.  “Part of the reason it holds up so well I think is due in part to the wonderful effects work, which still hold up to this very day, even in the age of ‘The Walking Dead,'”  says Mathews. “Then there was the music, man! It’s timeless stuff! So very punk rock. Then of course there’s Dan’s direction, which was just so very precise amongst the chaos. He was such a great guy.

It’s the fans,” says Philbin. “They love these movies so much! Going out there, meeting them… seeing the tattoos and the t-shirts; it’s really humbling. Horror fans are some of the best people I’ve ever met! Now I wanna make more horror movies!

Matthews continued, “What’s cool about the movie was the fact that it ended up having so much humor and being so lively despite the subject matter. However, on set we played everything as straight as could be. We were making a horror movie, and the humor came together very organically.

Return of the living Dead

Each actor had a favorite day on set…

For Thom… “Man, it was the day with the half corpse. That thing… it was just the coolest thing I’d ever seen. It still is.” For John… “Being there for Linnea’s gravestone dance… for obvious reasons.

On an unrelated note… I couldn’t help but ask Matthews the magic question… would he return to Friday the 13th as an older Tommy Jarvis?

Hey, you know what? I’m the only actor in the history of the franchise to ever awaken Jason and then put him back to rest in the same movie and live to tell about it. Hell yes, I’d come back!

About The Return of the Living Dead Blu-ray Release:
Writer/director Dan O’Bannon (Alien, Lifeforce) puts an uproarious spin on the zombie apocalypse movie in 1985’s cult classic THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, starring Clu Gulager (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge), James Karen (Mulholland Drive) and Don Calfa (Weekend at Bernie’s). Considered one of the campiest undead romps of its time, the film helped launch the career of scream queen Linnea Quigley (Night of the Demons) and features a killer soundtrack with tracks from many songs from punk artists such as The Cramps, T.S.O.L. SSQ and 45 Grave.

This definitive set includes a collectible slipcover featuring newly rendered artwork and a reversible cover wrap featuring original theatrical key art. A must-have for movie collectors, zombie horror enthusiasts and loyal fans, THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD Collector’s Edition Blu-ray is available for pre-order now at ShoutFactory.com and will be made available to other fine retailers.

Synopsis:
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the cemetery, those brain-eating zombies are back and hungry for more tasty mortals. A fiendish mix of outrageous humor and heart-stopping terror, THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is a veritable smorgasbord of fun (LA Herald-Examiner) filled with skin-crawling jolts, eye-popping visuals and relentless surprise! On his first day on the job at an army surplus store, poor Freddy unwittingly releases nerve gas from a secret U.S. military canister, unleashing an unbelievable terror. The gas re-animates an army of corpses, who arise from their graves with a ravenous hunger for human brains! And luckily for those carnivorous cadavers, there is a group of partying teens nearby, just waiting to be eaten!

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Special Features:

Disc 1:

  • NEW 2K scan of the inter-positive
  • NEW Audio Commentary with Gary Smart (co-author of The Complete History of the Return of the Living Dead) and Chris Griffiths
  • Audio Commentary with director Dan O’Bannon and Production Designer William Stout
  • Audio Commentary with the cast and crew featuring Production Designer William Stout and actors Don Calfa, Linnea Quigley, Brian Peck, Beverly Randolph, Allan Trautman
  • The Decade of Darkness – featurette on ‘80s horror films (23 minutes)
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery – Posters, Lobby Cards, Movie Stills and Behind-the-Scenes photos
  • Still Gallery – Behind-the-Scenes photos from special make-up effects artist Kenny Myers’ personal collection
  • Zombie Subtitles for the Film
  • In Their Own Words – The Zombies Speak

Disc 2:

  • NEW The FX of the Living Dead with Production Designer William Stout, FX make-up artists William Munns, Tony Gardner, Kenny Myers and Craig Caton-Largnet, Visual Effects artists Bret Mixon and Gene Warren Jr. and actor Brian Peck (Expanded Version) (30 minutes)
  • NEW Party Time: The Music of The Return of the Living Dead with music consultants Budd Carr and Steve Pross and soundtrack artists Dinah Cancer (45 Grave), Chris D (The Flesh Eaters), Roky Erickson, Karl Moet (SSQ), Joe Wood (T.S.O.L.), Mark Robertson (Tall Boys) plus musicians Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks) and John Sox (The F.U.’s, Straw Dogs), (Expanded Version) (30 minutes)
  • NEW HORROR’S HALLOWED GROUNDS – revisiting the locations of the film
  • Return of the Living Dead Workprint – includes 20 minutes of additional footage (in Standard Definition)
  • More Brains: A Return to the Living Dead – The definitive documentary on The Return of the Living Dead (120 minutes)
  • A Conversation with Dan O’Bannon – His final interview (28 minutes)
  • The Origins of the Living Dead – an interview with John A. Russo (16 minutes)
  • The Return of the Living Dead – The Dead Have Risen – interviews with cast members Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Brian Peck, Thom Mathews, Beverly Randolph, Linnea Quigley and more… (21 minutes)
  • Designing the Dead – interviews with writer/director Dan O’Bannon and production designer William Stout (15 minutes)

Avid fans of the film will want to take note of two exclusive offers on the release—which are only available through Scream Factory while supplies last…

Standard Offer:

  • Receive a limited-edition 18” x 24” poster of the newly-designed art from artist Graham Humphries
  • Product will be shipped two weeks earlier than National Street date of July 19th

Deluxe Officer (Limited to 1,000 orders only – pictured below):

  • Receive a limited-edition 18” x 24” poster of the newly-designed art from artist Graham Humphries
  • Product will be shipped three weeks earlier than National Street date of July 19th
  • Receive a second slipcover—made exclusively for this promotion and newly-designed from artist Joel Robinson
  • Receive a second 18” x 24” poster of the newly designed art from Joel Robinson

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Jordan Peele Is Open to the Idea of Get Out Sequel

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Recently we shared the baffling news that this year, the Golden Globes were considering writer-director Jordan Peele’s psychological horror-thriller Get Out a comedy.

Hurm. While that bit of news still doesn’t make a bit of sense to me, today we have an update on Jordan Peele’s possible sequel Get Out 2. Which is always welcome.

Deadline was recently speaking with the filmmaker and Peele told them that although he still hasn’t cracked the sequel, if he comes up with a fresh spin he would have no problem revisiting the first film.

“I haven’t decided anything yet,” Peele told the site. “I am allowing the creative part to bubble up, and not force it. I know if a follow-up is meant to happen, it will. I’m open to figuring out what it is. But I also don’t want to let down the original and its fans. I simply would not do something like that for the cash.”

Good to hear!

I don’t know about you, but if Jordan Peele does decide to revisit the world of Get Out again in the future, I will be there. After reading these comments, I have faith the man will not return unless the story deserves it. Money be damned!

Unless… the sequel is called Sell Out… Ooohh. Snap. All jokes aside, in this world of sequels and remakes, it feels pretty damn good to hear a filmmaker talk this way.

What do you think of a Get Out sequel? Do you think the first film needs a continuation? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Get Out on Blu-ray HERE.

Synopsis:

Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

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Joe Dante’s Matinee Starring John Goodman Blu-ray Special Features Announced!

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One of my favorite childhood movies was director Joe Dante’s Matinee starring John Goodman. I watched the flick all the time and still make sure to give it a peep as often as I can. In fact, I just rewatched the movie last month. Still holds up too!

As I’ve grown up and watched more horror movies, I have come to call this film “Popcorn for the whole family.” And visa versa, have labeled Popcorn as“Matinee for the 80’s slasher crowd.” Both of these statements as completely apt by the way.

It is with this love of the film in mind that I wanted to make sure to pass along the news that Shout! Factory is planning to release Matinee on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray January 9th, 2018. And it is a beauty.

You can check out the full list of special features below along with the Collector’s Edition cover art. Then make sure to let us know what you think of Matinee below!

Matinee hits Collector’s Edition Blu-ray via Shout! Factory January 9th, 2018!

PRE-ORDER HERE

Synopsis:

John Goodman is at his uproarious best as the William Castle-inspired movie promoter Lawrence Woolsey, who brings his unique brand of flashy showmanship to the unsuspecting residents of Key West, Florida.

It’s 1962, and fifteen-year-old fan Gene Loomis (Simone Fenton) can’t wait for the arrival of Woolsey, who is in town to promote his latest offering of atomic power gone berserk, Mant! But the absurd vision of Woolsey’s tale takes on a sudden urgency as the Cuban Missile Crises places the real threat of atomic horror just 90 miles off the coast. With the help of Woolsey’s leading lady, Ruth (Cathy Moriarty), the master showman gives Key West a premiere they’ll never forget. Anything can happen in the movies, and everything does in this hilarious tribute to a more innocent (and outrageous) time in American cinema.

Bonus Features:

NEW Master Of The Matinee – An Interview With Director Joe Dante

NEW The Leading Lady – An Interview with Cathy Moriarty

NEW MANTastic! The Making Of A Mant

NEW Out Of The Bunker – An Interview With Actress Lisa Jakub

NEW Making A Monster Theatre – An Interview With Production Designer Steven Legler

NEW The Monster Mix – An Interview With Editor Marshall Harvey

NEW Lights! Camera! Reunion! – An Interview With Director Of Photography John Hora

Paranoia In Ant Vision – Joe Dante Discusses The Making Of The Film

MANT! – The Full-Length Version Of The Film With Introduction By Joe Dante

Vintage Making-Of Featurette

Behind The Scenes Footage Courtesy Of Joe Dante

Deleted And Extended Scenes Sourced From Joe Dante’s Workprint

Still Galleries

Theatrical Trailer

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Exclusive: P.J. Starks Talks Volumes of Blood 3

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One of our favorite low-budget horror anthologies here at Dread Central is producer P.J. Stark’s Volumes of Blood (review). If you haven’t seen the film, get on it asap.

The film’s sequel Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (review) was also good horror times, and we would recommend that flick as much as – if not more – than the original.

It is with this in mind, all of us here at Dread Central are counting down the days until the release of the third (and final?) entry in the series, which is currently going by the killer title Devil’s Knight: Volumes of Blood 3.

While the new film is still in the scripting stages, we had a chance to speak with creator and producer P.J. Starks this weekend, and he dropped all types of new info on the film, including how many stories the new film will present, and what we can expect.

Mainly that Devil’s Knight: Volumes of Blood 3 may very well be the final chapter in the series, but a host of spin-offs are still very much a possibility.

You can read our quick interview with Starks below and then make sure to let us know what you think of the Volumes of Blood series in the comments below!

Dread Central: What can we expect from the third entry?

P.J. Starks: Eric and I want the third film to be everything fans of the first two films appreciate and more. The set pieces are larger, the stories are even stronger than in the previous two installments and the body count is probably the largest I know for any independent production. We wanted to really go out with a bang and I feel the script we’ve collaborated on will make good on that.

DC: How many stories will be included in this installment?

Starks: We’re going back to the basics with five stories. We’ve tossed around the idea of doing a sixth possible story, but nothing is set in stone. We don’t want to bog down audiences with too much. There’s a progressive story unfolding over two films already, so we’re being careful not to convolute things. We’re working hard to bring, what I’ve been calling the “Volumes of Blood Anthrillogy” to a smart and entertaining finale.

DC: Is it actually the final chapter?

Starks: Never say never. Right? We do have potential spin-offs planned. As for this being the nail in the coffin of an ongoing story arch, absolutely. I think that’s what separates our series from so many other anthologies. It’s not just a series of random shorts plucked off YouTube with some loose connective tissue. It’s a fun ride, but you still have to pay attention to details and follow the larger narrative developing. Wrap around segments tend to be throw away material, but that was never the intention on VOB.

Nice! Again we are all looking forward to the third entry in the VOB series and any spin-offs that may occur. The possibilities are f*cking endless. Bring ’em on!

Until we have further info on just when Devil’s Night: Volumes of Blood 3 will hit, you can always buy the first two Volumes of Blood flicks on Blu-ray HERE and HERE.

Thanks for chatting with us, P.J.!

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