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San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

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It’s become a Dread Central tradition to close out our Comic-Con work week with the “Supernatural” panel. Few sessions are as funny, informative, and entertaining year after year. And 2010 was no exception. All the tidbits and mini-spoilers Kripke and crew revealed can be found here, along with a description of the clip that was shown from Episode 4 of the upcoming Season 6, “Weekend at Bobby’s”, directed by Jensen Ackles.

San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?Instead of making the audience wait until the end of the panel for the really good stuff, “Supernatural” always starts things off with video, in this case the aforesaid “Weekend at Bobby’s” sneak peek, which Ackles introduced. Even though it’s not the season opener, they shot it first to give him time for prep and so he can then return to straight acting throughout the rest of the episodes. Here’s the description of a scene between Bobby Singer and the demon/angel Crowley, which followed a quick montage recap of Season 5.

A TV newscast from Galveston, Texas, reports the end of 10-foot swells and 150-mph winds as Hurricane Tiffany winds down. Residents can expect more sun and back to normal conditions. Bobby, who’s listening, is invoking a spell of some sort. Crowley appears, telling Bobby to “cheer up, mate!” Bobby, of course, is having none of it and offers him a drink. Nope, Bobby’s six-day old rot gut isn’t good enough. Cutting to the chase, Bobby asks for his soul back. He lived up to his side of the bargain; the world was saved. But Crowley taunts him, “Didn’t you read the contract … ‘use best efforts’. Meaning I’d like to, but can’t.” Bobby calls him a lying sack of shit. “Leopard … spots. Ten years,” says Crowley. Yeah, Bobby kind of figured he’d say that and flips the black light on. Crowley is trapped in a special symbol drawn on Bobby’s floor. Dogs, presumably hellhounds, growl. “Ball’s in your court, Robert.”

And with that out came newly promoted showrunner Sera Gamble, creator Eric Kripke, Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Jim Beaver, and co-executive producer/writer Ben Edlung. Here are the highlights:

  • What is Kripke’s involvement in the show now that he’s passed the torch to Sera? He joked he’s the “loving, gentle pain in Sera and [executive producer] Bob [Singer]’s asses … fuzzy hemorrhoids.” As we’ve mentioned in previous stories, he’s still around and offering advice, ideas, etc.
  • What can we expect in Season 6? Gamble promises monsters — more monsters this season than ever. The last few years have been epic, but she misses the boys shooting monsters in the face so look for still a bit of mythology but with monsters looped in.
  • Ackles was asked how difficult it was to both direct and act in “Weekend at Bobby’s”, but for five out of the eight days of the shoot, he only had to direct. Look for the episode to be very Dean-lite.
  • Of course the question was asked of Padalecki: How did Sam get out of hell? And of course he couldn’t tell us. “I have no idea … that’s a question for Eric and Sera,” was all he said.
  • With regard to Castiel’s role now that the apocalypse is over, Collins explained that he’s “on clean-up detail in heaven.” From what little he knows about the storyline, he described it as being like post-Soviet Russia with the government in disarray, and he’s helping form a functioning coalition. Then he breaks out his Russian accent.
  • Poor Bobby — Will he ever get a girl friend or be able to keep his soul? According to Beaver hell will freeze over before Bobby gets the girl, although, as the other panel members joked, this is “Supernatural” we’re talking about. Hell could very easily freeze over one day. He also said that Bobby and Crowley will have their confrontation. But no more kissing.
  • Edlund, whose episodes are always dark, twisted, and insanely creepy, spoke of a new one that’s “just insane.” One with “some of the fairy.” He talked about walking a tightrope as “little people” will be involved. Apparently the boys have to fight a tiny pinprick of light – Tinkerbell. Edlund’s “rich in absurdity” description sounds just about right!
  • Gamble discusses the female characters we can look forward to in Season 6: One is new – Sam and Dean’s relative on their mother’s side, a Campbell. And yes, Lisa Braeden (played by Cindy Sampson) will be back.
  • The “Supernatural” anime project was brought out. Sadly, it’s not being made available in the US, although Kripke said if enough calls and emails get to Warner Brothers requesting it, they might change their minds. He loves the idea – so much stuff in it they can’t do on TV. Tentacles! Jensen and Jared re doing voice work in a couple of the chapters.
  • Then a biggie: Was Chuck God? Of course we didn’t get an answer. Per Kripke it’s “open to interpretation.” A side conversation ensues about “M. Night Douchy” and how coming out and saying Chuck is God would be an “M. Night-level douche” move. Hilarious.
  • In a head-scratcher, Jensen was asked what advice he’d give himself about directing Jensen Ackles, and he said, “You don’t have to convince me to do anything.” Although he doesn’t consider himself a *director*, he does appreciate the opportunity. So far the other guys — Jared, Jim, and Misha — aren’t interested in following in his footsteps.
  • On the flip side, Beaver was asked about Ackles’ abilities as a director, and he said he’d never felt more secure or well guided as an actor than when Jensen was directing him.
  • Who wouldn’t love to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan back on the show? But he’s a busy guy … a movie star! As Gamble mentioned (and we’ve known for a while now), we will be seeing Mitch Pileggi’s return as the boys’ grandfather.
  • Jared was asked about the challenges of playing against himself during his Lucifer phase. He laid out three typical techniques he could have chosen from: look in a mirror, have another actor stand in, or use a photograph. He opted instead to use a small piece of tape. And then had to confess he hasn’t even seen the final footage yet as he’s a “few episodes behind.” Again, hilarious.
  • J&J did some joking about their chemistry. Jared claims it’s not real … he’s just acting. Jensen pipes up with, “He’s not that good of an actor.”
  • Did changes have to be made to Kripke’s vision of the finale once the renewal was confirmed? “There wouldn’t have been as many living characters,” Kripke taunted us. In the end it was about 80% as planned.
  • Sera was asked about the show’s large female audience, and while she acknowledged there are a lot of good-looking men on it, she also brought up a very valid point that she’s always been a horror/genre fan and so are a lot of her friends so no, it’s no surprise.
  • Will we be seeing the Ghostfacers? It depends on the storyline, but don’t forget to check them out online Ghostfacers.com).
  • The “favorite episode” question came up, and Jensen reminded the questioner there have been 107 of them. But Jared had a great answer: the premiere and finale of each season. For Misha it’s the one where the guys were chasing this monster demony thing. The Impala was in it, too! Beaver hates the demon eps since “all that spiritual/supernatural stuff takes away from the show.” By then Jensen had an answer: the funny ones like “Hollywood Babylon, “Changing Channels”, and “Monster Movie”.
  • For Kripke actually watching the final episode was bittersweet. It was great to be able to wrap up every issue the show was about and express his message about family, to be so clear and have all the mythology come together. But then he went online and read some not so positive comments from a few of the fans. He had a moment of feeling horribly misunderstood but then moved on. [And no doubt the outpouring of love in Ballroom 20 today will help some more in that regard.]
  • At last we got to a few more spoilers. We’ll be seeing a real progression for Dean in Season 6. Twelve months have passed. He’s domesticated and living a somewhat normal life. But it’s all about how he gets pulled back into the hunting life and learns to deal with who he really is. And, in answer to a fan’s question, so far the only demons he’ll be kissing this year are his own.
  • To close out the Q&A, J&J were asked to name their favorite monsters. For Jared it’s the shapeshifters. Jensen prefers Todd Stashwick’s Dracula from “Monster Movie.” And then he brings down the house with a promise that he “will be killing some vampires properly this year. Cut this pasty, waify shit out!”

    As the participants left the stage, another “Supernatural” tradition began: our first look at the gag reel from the Season 5 DVD/Blu-ray sets. What else can I say but … hilarious.

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    As for these last three pictures, they’re not the best quality-wise, but if you’re a fan of the show and know the characters, they should give you a chuckle or two.

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    San Diego Comic-Con 2010: Supernatural Panel: How Do You Top the End of the World?

    Debi Moore

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    Dread Central UK Enjoys a Box of IT

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    One of the best things about writing for Dread Central is the cool gifts companies send us in exchange for covering their releases.

    With Stephen King’s It now being available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK, Warner Bros. were kind enough to send me an It-themed gift box absolutely free of charge. I collected this beautiful piece of merchandise from Organic Marketing’s London headquarters, and it is quite possibly my favorite thing in the world. And that’s not an exaggeration.

    Inside this beautiful box were four Pennywise-themed cupcakes, a Pennywise Vinyl Pop figure in its original packaging, a laminated flyer, and of course, a copy of the film on Blu-ray. As you can see from the images below, a red balloon, just like the one held by Pennywise in the film, was attached to the box, although I’m sorry to say that it has now been burst (and I’m keeping the remains).

    It, which now has the honor of being the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all time, was directed by Andy Muschietti and stars Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, and Finn Wolfhard. With the film now being available on home video in the UK, you shouldn’t waste any time ordering your copy, especially since we gave it a perfect score in our review.

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    Fearsome Facts

    Fearsome Facts – Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

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    Sir Christopher Lee returned to portray the charismatic count of Transylvania in Hammer’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) for the first time since taking on the iconic role in 1958’s Horror of Dracula – an eight year absence. 

    And while Lee endured a love/hate relationship playing the Carpathian Count over the years, the actor reluctantly tackled the role a total of 10 times for the Silver Screen. Three of those performances came outside of the purview of Hammer Horror, but this list is dedicated to the first Hammer Dracula sequel to feature the return of Christopher Lee in the lead role.

    Now, here are 5 Things You May Not Know About Dracula: Prince of Darkness.

    5. Dracula: Speechless

    Dialogue never played a crucial part in Christopher Lee’s portrayals as Count Dracula, but this film is the epitome of that contentious notion. Lee doesn’t utter a single word during Dracula: Prince of Darkness’ 90 minutes of run time. In interviews over the years, Lee said that he was so unhappy with his lines that he protested and refused to say them during the filming process. “Because I had read the script and refused to say any of the lines,” Lee said in an interview at the University College of Dublin.

    However, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster insisted that the original script was written without any dialogue for Dracula. There was even a theory that circulated for a time which postulated that Hammer could not afford Lee’s growing salary, so the studio decided to limit the Count’s screen time. Did this lead to the demise of Dracula’s dialogue? Regardless of whom you want to believe, Dracula is the strong, silent type in Prince of Darkness. 

    4. Double Duty for Drac

    Hammer Film Productions doubled down, so to speak, on the production and post-production aspects of Dracula: Prince of Darkness. First, the studio filmed the vampire flick back-to-back with another project titled Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966). In doing so, Hammer used many of the same sets, actors – including Francis Matthews and Suzan Farmer – and crew members to shoot both motion pictures.

    Second, Dracula: Prince of Darkness was featured in a double billing alongside the film The Plague of the Zombies (1966) when it screened in London. Insert cheesy cliche: “Double your pleasure, double your fun with Doublemint Gum.” 

    3. Stunt Double Nearly Drowned

    Dracula: Prince of Darkness introduced a new weakness in the wicked baddie, but it nearly cost a stuntman his life. During the film, it was revealed that running water could destroy Dracula. Wait, what? Apparently, leaving the faucets on at night not only prevents frozen pipes, but blood-sucking vampires, too.

    All kidding aside, it was during the climactic battle scene in which Christopher Lee’s stunt double almost succumb to the icy waters on set. Stuntman Eddie Powell stepped in as the Count during that pivotal moment, as Dracula slipped into the watery grave, but Powell was trapped under the water himself and almost died.

    2. Lee Loathed What Hammer Did to Stoker’s Character

    Christopher Lee’s return to Hammer’s Dracula franchise was a stroke of genius on the part of producers, but Lee was more than a little reticent when it came to initially voicing his dislike for playing the iconic role. As mentioned above, a lot of speculation swirled around the lack of dialogue given to Lee in the Prince of Darkness script. And if you don’t count the opening flashback sequence, which revisits the ending of Horror of Dracula (1958), Count Dracula doesn’t appear on screen until the 45-minute mark of the film.

    Dracula’s lack of character, and presence, began to affect Lee particularly when it came to signing on to play the character in the three films following Prince of Darkness. Indeed, the lack of meaningful character development led to Lee initially turning down Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) and Scars of Dracula (1970). Lee said in countless interviews that he never got to play the real version of Count Dracula created by Bram Stoker, at least via Hammer Studios. This was a true disappointment to the late actor.

    But Hammer guilt Lee into taking on the role over and over again, because the studio claimed to have already sold the aforementioned films to the United States with Lee’s name attached to the projects. Hammer informed Lee that if he didn’t return the company would have to lay off many of their workers. The tactic worked, since Lee was friends with many of the Dracula crew members. Fortunately for fans, Lee kept coming back for blood.

    1. Faux Pas

    Outside of the character of Dracula only appearing on screen for the last half of the movie, Dracula: Prince of Darkness had even more pressing issues that unfortunately survived all the way to the final cut of the film. One of the most appalling of these occurrences happens during the picture’s climatic confrontation. Watch the skies above Dracula and you will see the trail of a jet-engine plane staining the sky.

    Another faux pas occurs in this same sequence when Dracula succumbs to the icy waters. Watch closely as the camera’s long shot clearly reveals the pivots holding the ice up underneath Chris Lee. Finally, watch the dead girl who is being carried during the opening funeral sequence. She is clearly breathing and quite heavily at that.

    ***

    Which Dracula: Prince of Darkness moments did you find the most interesting? Were there any obscure facts you would have enjoyed seeing make our list? Sound off on social media!

     

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    Desolation Review – The Joy of Being Rescued and All the Surprises That Come With It

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    Starring Raymond J. Barry, Brock Kelly, Dominik Garcia-Lorido

    Directed by David Moscow


    It’s those random, once-in-a-lifetime encounters that only a select few get the chance to experience: when we as regular participants in this wonderful thing known as The Rat Race, stumble across a soul that we’ve only witnessed on the big screen. I’m talking about a celebrity encounter, and while some of the masses will chalk the experience up as nothing more than a passing moment, others hold it to a much larger interior scale…then you REALLY get to know the person, and that’s when things get interesting.

    Director David Moscow’s thriller, Desolation follows shy hotel employee Katie (Lorido) and her “fortuitous” brush with Hollywood pretty-boy Jay (Kelly) during one of his stops – the two hit it off, and together they begin a sort of whirlwind-romance that takes her away from her job and drops her in the heart of Los Angeles at the apartment building he resides in. You can clearly see that she has been a woman who’s suffered some emotional trauma in her past, and this golden boy just happens to gallop in on his steed and sweep her off of her feet, essentially rescuing her from a life of mundane activity. She gets the full-blown treatment: a revamped wardrobe, plenty of lovin’, and generally the life she’s wanted for some time.

    Things return to a bit of normalcy when Jay has to return to work, leaving Katie to spread out at his place, but something clearly isn’t kosher with this joint. With its odd inhabitants (a very creepy priest played by Raymond J. Barry), even more bizarre occurrences, and when one scared young woman cannot even rely on the protection from the local police, it all adds up to a series of red flags that would have even the strongest of psyches crying for their mothers. What Moscow does with this movie is give it just enough swerves so that it keeps your skull churning, but doesn’t overdo its potential to conclusively surprise you, and that’s what makes the film an entertaining watch.

    While Lorido more than holds her ground with her portrayal of a woman who has been hurt in the past, and is attempting to place her faith in a new relationship, it’s Barry that comes out on top here. His performance as Father Bill is the kind of stuff that wouldn’t exactly chill you to the bone, but he’s definitely not a man of the cloth that you’d want to be stuck behind closed doors with – generally unsettling. As I mentioned earlier, the plot twists are well-placed, and keep things fresh just when you think you’ve got your junior private investigator badge all shined up. Desolation is well-worth a look, and really has kicked off 2018 in a promising fashion – let’s see what the other 11 months will feed us beasts.

    • Film
    3.0

    Summary

    Got your eye on that shining movie star or starlet? Better make sure it’s what you really want in life – you know what they say about curiosity.

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