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Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd Talks The Walking Dead

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Another interview has come in for Frank Darabont’s take on the Robert Kirkman zombie epic The Walking Dead, this time with executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, who describes “The Walking Dead” TV show’s blockbuster potential, its commonalities with Piranha, and what makes zombies only the second-most dangerous characters in the series. In addition, we have some updated info on “The Walking Dead” at San Diego Comic-Con.

Hurd was previously a producer of such genre hits as The Terminator and Aliens. Read on for her interview with AMC.

“The Walking Dead” is based on Robert Kirkman’s popular comic series. It chronicles the months and years following a zombie apocalypse. Frank Darabont is the project’s writer, director of the pilot, and exec producer with Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert also exec producing. KNB will be handling the effects, and Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey DeMunn, IronE Singleton, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Chandler Riggs, Steven Yeun, Michael Rooker, Emma Bell, Adrian Kali Turner, Linds Edwards, Keith Allen Hayes, and Jim Colemanare are all set to star.

Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd Talks The Walking Dead

Q: What attracted you to “The Walking Dead”?

A: I have been a longtime fan of the comic. I also love the zombie genre, my zombie fandom going way back to Night of the Living Dead. And The Walking Dead is truly the ultimate representation of that sensibility in the comic book genre.

Q: You began your career working for Roger Corman. Does “The Walking Dead” remind you of his horror movies in any way?

A: Roger produced classic genre films as well as straightforward exploitation movies. If you go back to his Edgar Allan Poe films, the unpredictability of human nature is at the core of both. From Roger’s New World Pictures films, especially those written by John Sayles, like Piranha, they share the complex character elements of Robert Kirkman’s comic book series as adapted and directed by Frank Darabont.

Q: Frank Darabont directed the pilot, but other directors are helming the following episodes. Have you found it difficult to balance their visions with Frank’s?

A: No, it’s actually been ideal since Frank directed the pilot adjacent to the subsequent episodes. Typically a pilot is shot months in advance, and there’s an intervening period during which the cast might lose the cohesiveness they shared while filming the first episode. In out case, the cast worked with Frank for our 14-day pilot shoot and then immediately began work on the next five episodes. In addition, Frank has spent a great deal of time on set, and is always available to us. Frank’s writing is both evocative in setting the tone and feel of each scene and quite specific vis a vis character, so it’s pretty easy for our directors to stay on the same page.

Q: You’re known for producing blockbusters like Terminator and Aliens. How is “The Walking Dead” similar?

A: I think what our series shares in common with those films in particular is that the best genre films are character driven. And while they have an intriguing premise and terrific special effects, at the end of the day they’re rooted in complex characters and great stories. At the same time, neither compromises on production value: Every eight days we shoot a miniature version of a tentpole movie. What’s so wonderful about The Walking Dead is that we’re able to explore human nature in its most depraved as well as its most humanitarian in each episode. We strip each character down to their most basic survival instincts — or lack thereof. It’s actually the zombies who are the most predictable: You know what zombies are after. What you can’t anticipate is how one surviving human is going to interact with another. And that’s what keeps the series fresh and compelling.

Q: Robert Kirkman has said he hopes the show goes on for 27 seasons. Can you envision that?

A: Oh absolutely! He’s sitting next to me right now, and we’ve talked about how our ensemble cast members either transcend or fall victim to their baser human instincts, so there’s plenty of fodder for at least 27 seasons.

Q: You’re getting ready to head to Comic-Con. As a veteran there, what are you looking forward to?

A: We’re absolutely thrilled that AMC has agreed to let us screen exclusive footage from Frank’s pilot episode for our Comic-Con audience, for the very first time anywhere. Frank and I are fans ourselves, and we want fans of The Walking Dead to see sequences that can really sink their teeth into [laughs]. I’m hoping there will be a great deal of zombie love.

Q: Now that we’ve gotten a good look at the walkers, tell me honestly: Do they creep you out?

A: I love them, are you kidding?! I’m a genre girl from way back — this is my idea of heaven. Yesterday we were all looking at zombie bite tests Greg [Nicotero] created that almost made the videographer throw up, and all I could do was say, “That’s awesome, I love it!” I think that anyone who’s a fan of the genre or a fan of Robert Kirkman’s work will not be disappointed when they see the series.

Q: Speaking of Greg, he got dressed as a walker for one of the episodes. Do you have any inclination to do the same?

A: Well, you know, [laughs] maybe Season 2. You don’t want all of your dreams fulfilled in the first season. So I’m very much hoping that we’ll get an order for Season 2, and I’ll be first to send in my application to attend zombie school!

And speaking of Comic-Con, if you’re attending the show this year, make sure you stop by AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Comic-Con booth (#3721), which recreates a scene from the pilot episode. Attendees can either watch zombie footage playing on nearby televisions or use touch-screen monitors to “zombify” themselves. Also at the booth, staff will be distributing free swag like postcards, buttons and other goodies.

On Friday, July 23 from 4:00 to 4:45 PM, Frank Darabont will be at the booth to sign posters.

Uncle Creepy

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Universal Acquires Riley Sager’s Final Girls for Film Adaptation

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The “final girl” has long been a staple of the horror film genre, and lately there have been several films with just about that very same title focusing on her and/or them. Well, guess what… there’s another one coming as Deadline is reporting that Universal Pictures has won a bidding battle to option rights for Final Girls, the bestselling novel from Riley Sager that hit shelves this past July.

The movie adaptation will be produced by Anonymous Content’s Nicole Clemens along with Sugar23’s Ashley Zalta and Michael Sugar as that stand-alone company continues to ramp up.

Sager’s book centers on Quincy Carpenter, who 10 years ago as a college student went on vacation to Pine Cottage with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, the press dubbed her a “Final Girl,” coined for the group of similar survivors.

We’ll have more for you on this as it comes.

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Trailer: Paul Solet’s Bullet Head Hits Blu-ray This January

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After checking out writer-director Paul Solet’s pregnancy gone awry flick Grace a few years back, the talented filmmaker made my list of directors to watch out for.

And it is with this in mind that we’d like to share the trailer and Blu-ray/DVD release info for his newest action-survival-crime flick Bullet Head.

The movie stars Adrien Brody, John Malkovich, and Rory Culkin (Scream 4) as a group of thieves trapped in an abandoned warehouse with a vicious man-eating dog…

And Antonio Banderas?

That’ll work!

The trailer reminds me of Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe, but as we all know, that is NOT a bad thing. Throw in some crime-movie good times and this could be a sleeper hit.

You can check out the trailer for yourself below – along with a full list of special features – and then let us know what you think in the comments below or on social media!

The film has been rated R by the MPAA for “violence, bloody images, language, some drug use, and nudity.”

Bullet Head hits theaters December 8th, and Blu-ray/DVD January 9th, 2018.

PRE-ORDER NOW!

Synopsis:

Oscar winner Adrien Brody, Antonio Banderas and John Malkovich deliver the action in this riveting crime story about three career criminals trapped in a warehouse after a heist.

Special Features:

Deleted Scenes

Filmmakers’ Commentary

A Canine Point of View: Writing and Directing BULLET HEAD

Career Criminals and Fighting Dogs: The Iconic Cast of BULLET HEAD

Preparation and Performance: The Animal Actors of BULLET HEAD

Hymns and Fanfare: The Score of BULLET HEAD

BULLET HEAD: Proof of Concept –Lionsgate

 

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The Dollmaker Short Film Review – Welcome to Heebie Jeebie City!

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Starring Perri Lauren, Sean Meehan, Dan Berkey

Directed by Alan Lougher


The loss of a young child drives a mother to take a set of unusual measures to preserve his memory, and all it takes is one call to The Dollmaker.

When the short film by Alan Lougher opens up, we see a rather disturbing image of a little boy inside a casket, and the sound of a grieving mom speaking with an unidentified man in the background – he’s requesting something personal of the child to help “finish” his product, and it’s not before long that mom has her little boy back…well, kind of. What remains of the child is the representation of his former self, although it’s contained within the frame of a not-so-attractive doll, and the boy’s father isn’t a believer in this type of hocus-pocus (or the price to have this constructed, either). The doll comes with a specific set of instructions, but most importantly, you cannot spend more than one hour a day with the doll, or else you’ll go mad thinking that the soul inside of it is actually the person that you lost – sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Well this is just too good to be true for Mommy, and as the short film progresses, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens to her mind – it’s ultimately a depressing scenario, but Lougher gives it that creepy feel, almost like visiting a relative’s home and seeing their dearly departed pet stuffed and staring at you over the fireplace – HEEBIE-JEEBIE CITY, if you ask me. All in all, the quickie is gloomy, but ultimately chilling in nature, and is most definitely worth a watch, and if I might use a quote from one of my favorite films to apply to this subject matter: “Sometimes…dead is better.”

  • Film
3.5

Summary

Ultimately chilling in nature!

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User Rating 3.29 (7 votes)
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