Production Begins on Dracula: Year Zero - Dread Central
Connect with us

Production Begins on Dracula: Year Zero

Published

on

Production Begins on Dracula: Year ZeroYep, that’s right, kids! You’ll soon be seeing Sam Worthington taking up the role of Count Dracula in Alex Proyas’ Dracula: Year Zero. Excited? We are. Though we’re more curious to see how someone who is usually as wooden as the stakes that can take down even the baddest of bloodsuckers will handle playing one of horror’s most charismatic heroes.

According to Encore Magazine Universal Pictures has announced production on the toothy new flick, which will be shot in Australia.

As mentioned, Worthington will be donning the fangs to play Dracula himself in a film whose script chronicles the epic origin of Dracula, weaving vampire mythology with the true history of Prince Vlad the Impaler. It depicts Dracula as a flawed hero in a tragic love story set in a dark age of magic and war, repositioning him more as a vengeful hero than the monster seen in Bram Stoker’s classic novel.

Uncle Creepy

VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Fear splinters in the Dread Central forums!

Image Type 1:

Continue Reading
Comments

News

John Carpenter … NOT DEAD!

Published

on

We currently live in a world of false alarms. Within the last several days we’ve suffered everything from warnings of doomsday to Rotten Tomatoes accidentally celebrating the passing(!) and career of the very much still alive, John Carpenter.

That’s right, kids, earlier today, RT tweeted, “John Carpenter would have been 70 years old today! We celebrate his birthday by looking back at his five favorite films.” The tweet… has since been deleted.

We are here to tell you… John is very much alive! Alive and well, even. Carpenter himself responded on Twitter, by alerting the site that, “despite how it appears, I’m actually not dead.

This is great news indeed. One of horror’s best and brightest is still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Now then let’s take this time to celebrate the man’s birthday PROPERLY by talking about our favorite films of his. Speaking personally for myself…

Prince of Darkness is a movie that both unnerves and scares the hell out of me. One of Carpenter’s most thought provoking works is just as frightening now as it was when we first received that grainy transmission as a dream from the year…

Tell us your favorite Carpenter movie in our comments section below.

…and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

Continue Reading

Reviews

Wolf Guy Blu-ray Review – Sonny Chiba As A Werewolf Cop In ’70s Japan

Published

on

Wolf Guy UK SleeveStarring Sonny Chiba, Etsuko Nami, Kyosuke Machida

Directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi

Distributed by Arrow Video


As virtually every American adaptation has proven, translating manga to the big screen is a job best left to Japanese filmmakers. There is an inherent weirdness – for lack of a better term – to their cultural media that should be kept “in house” if there is to be any hope for success. Ironically, the stories are often so fantastical and wildly creative that a big American studio budget would be necessary to fully realize such a live-action vision. But I digress. Back in 1975, Toei Studios (home of Gamera) adapted the 1970 manga series Wolf Guy into a feature of the same name. Starring the legendary Shin’ichi Chiba (a.k.a. Sonny Chiba), who at that time was in his prime, the film combines elements of crime and psychedelic cinema, delivering less of a werewolf film (despite the title suggesting otherwise) and more of a boilerplate crime caper with a cop who has a few tricks up his hairy sleeve. I should stress it is the story that plays fairly straightforward, while the film itself is a wild kaleidoscope of strange characters and confounding situations… mostly.

An unseen killer, known only as “The Tiger”, prowls the streets at night slashing victims to death and leaving behind no trace. Beat cop Akira Inugami (Sonny Chiba) is on the case, and he has an advantage over his fellow brothers in blue: being a werewolf. As the opening credits flashback shows, Akira is the sole survivor of the Inugami clan of werewolves after a slaughter wiped out the rest of his kind. Now, as the last of his brethren, he uses his acute lycanthropic skills, under the auspices of the moon, to track down underworld thugs and solve cases uniquely tailored to his abilities. As the lunar cycle of the moon sees it growing fuller Akira’s powers, too, increase to superhuman levels.

Searching for this mysterious “Tiger”, Akira is led into a subterranean world of clandestine government organizations, nightclub antics, and corrupt politicians. One night, Akira is attacked and taken prisoner by a government research lab that wants to use his blood to create werewolves they can control. Only problem is – which they don’t realize – Akira’s blood cannot be mixed with that of a human; the only end result is death. Miki (Etsuko Nami), a drug user with syphilis, comes to Akira’s aid and proves to be quite useful. She holds a secret that has the potential to vastly change Akira’s world but, first, a showdown with the criminal underbelly looms on the horizon… as does the fifteenth day of the Lunar Cycle, when Akira will be made nearly invincible.

First, some bad news: Sonny Chiba never attains full werewolf status. This is not that movie. Sure, he growls and snarls and sneers and possesses many of the traits of a werewolf but in terms of physical characteristics he more or less remains “human” the entire time. Yes, even during “Lunar Cycle Day 15”, a.k.a. the moment every viewer is waiting for, to see him turn into a wolf. Instead, he just winds up kicking a lot of ass and taking very little damage. To be fair, a grizzled Sonny Chiba is still enough of a formidable presence, but, man, to see him decked out as a full-on kung-fu fighting werewolf would’ve been badass. The film could have done better at tempering expectations because it builds up “Day 15” like viewers are going to see an explosion of fur and flesh, instead it’s just plenty of the latter. Aw, well.

Lack of werewolf-ing aside, the film plays out a bit uneven. The opening offers up a strong start, with The Tiger attack, wily underworld characters being introduced, and a tripped-out acid garage rock soundtrack (which I’d kill for a copy of). But Second Act Lag is a real thing here and many of the elements that may have piqued viewer curiosity in the first act are scuttled, and although the third act and climax bring forth fresh action and a solution to the mystery it also feels a bit restrained. Then again, this is Toei, often seen as a cheaper Toho. Wolf Guy serves as a good introduction to Akira Inugami and his way of life, which makes it a greater shame no sequels were produced.

Presented with a 2.35:1 1080p image, Wolf Guy hits Blu-ray with a master supplied by Toei, meaning Arrow did no restorative work of their own on the picture – and it shows. Japanese film elements, especially those of older films, are often notorious for being poorly housed and feebly restored. This transfer is emblematic of those issues, with hazy black levels, average-to-poor definition, minimal shadow detail, and film grain that gets awfully noisy at times. The best compliment I can give is daylight close-up scenes exhibit a pleasing level of fine detail, though nothing too eye-popping. This is a decidedly mediocre transfer across the board.

The score fares a bit better, not because the Japanese LPCM 1.0 mono mix is a beast but because the soundtrack is so wildly kinetic, exploding with wild garage rock and fuzzy riffs right from the get-go. Dialogue has a slight hiss on the letter “s” but is otherwise nicely balanced within the mix. Subtitles are available in English.

“Kazuhiko Yamaguchi: Movies with Guts” is a September 2016 sit-down with the film’s director, who reflects on his career and working with an icon like Sonny Chiba.

“Toru Yoshida: B-Movie Master” is an interview with Yoshida, a former producer at Toei who oversaw this film and many others.

“Sonny Chiba: A Life in Action, Vol. 1” covers the man’s career up to a point, with the remainder finished on Arrow’s other 2017 Chiba release, Doberman Cop.

A theatrical trailer is also included, as is a DVD copy of the feature.

Special Features:

  • Kazuhiko Yamaguchi: Movies with Guts
  • Toru Yoshida: B-Movie Master
  • Sonny Chiba: A Life in Action, Vol. 1
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Wolf Guy
  • Special Features
2.8

Summary

While the film might be a bit of a letdown given what is suggested, fans of bizarre Japanese ’70s cinema – and certainly fans of Chiba’s work – should, at the least, have fun with this title.

Sending
User Rating 0 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)
Continue Reading

News

Amityville Arcade Does What Nintendon’t – Kills You!

Published

on

Oh, Amityville, is there nothing you cannot possess with your horror? Not even retro video games are immune from your evil for soon we shall experience the haunted coin-op horror that is Amityville Arcade.

The other day I told you about Amityville Cop and a slew of other forthcoming Amityville movies in the works. This prompted the makers of yet another that I somehow missed out on at the time to pass along info on their foray into this haunted horror subgenre: Amityville Arcade. Pay to get in! Pray to survive!

A down-on-his-luck arcade owner purchases an arcade cabinet from the legendary Amityville murder house. The plan is to turn it into a tacky roadside attraction to round up business in time for Halloween but it does not take long for them to realize they got more than they bargained for when the owner’s daughter is sucked into a Lovecraftian digital hellscape. And the arcade’s three half-wit employees are, sadly for the rest of us, the only thing standing between our world and whatever lays inside the game.

Who knew the Lutz family even owned an arcade cabinet?

Makes you wonder what other possessed objects from that house of horrors are still lurking out there waiting to be taken in by some unfortunate souls?

Amityville Bird Feeder?

Amityville Pet Rock?

Amityville Waterbed?

Amityville 8-Track?

Amityville Lava Lamp?

Amityville Stretch Armstrong?

Amityville Cuckoo Clock?

Oh, wait. I believe Amityville 1992: It’s About Time already did the cursed clock.

Anyway, unlike some of these other upcoming Amityville productions in development that I’ve written about, the writer of Amityville Arcade, Newt Wallen, assures me that in addition to being a horrific love letter to retro gaming his film will also carry a satirical edge poking fun at the glut of Amityville cash-in movies and the very notion of a long-running series out of fresh ideas.

Libby Chapman directs this retro gaming horror comedy that begins filming this February at TNT Amusements in Philadelphia. Look for special appearances by horror movie host Mr. Lobo and scream queen Crystal Quin and practical f/x and prop fabrication by Ryan Hickey and Joe La Scolla.

They’re hoping to deliver some top notch special effects on a small budget. Something tells me whatever they come up with for Amityville Arcade will still prove better than Full Moon’s disastrous Arcade from back in the day. The horror… The horror…

If the finished film is half as good as the promotional artwork I’m ready to plunk down a few quarters for it.

Now if you’ll excuse me I really need to get back to work on my screenplay for Amityville Mr. Microphone. You see, the Mr. Microphone came from the Amityville murder house and now after being discovered in an abandoned storage locker it finds its way into the hands of luddite who collect retro gadgets. But, being that the mic is possessed by evil, whenever he uses it, the voice coming through the radio speakers is that of an demonic entity that makes whoever hears its voice obey its evil commands, which, in turn, begins turning the lonely loser using it into a power-mad maniac. Only polyester clad priest Father Ronco can help– Oh, geez! Someone reading this is probably going to steal my million dollar idea. I better write faster.

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC