Dustin Mills and Dave Parker Unleash Free Family-Friendly Horror Anthology as a Halloween Treat - Dread Central
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Dustin Mills and Dave Parker Unleash Free Family-Friendly Horror Anthology as a Halloween Treat

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Halloween Spookies opens with the warning: ‘If your kids watch Gremlins, Ghostbusters, Monster Squad, etc., they’ll be fine watching Halloween Spookies.’ And that’s exactly the type of movie it is – a spooky throwback that’s fun for the whole family, but also one that’s pretty ballsy and edgy.

Dustin Mills has been a steam train of momentum in the underground scene ever since he unleashed his puppet splatter comedy The Puppet Monster Massacre a few years ago.  Since then, he’s proven himself to be quite the prolific force, averaging AT LEAST 3 movies per year, all of which have managed to hit that outlandish sweet spot. They’re weird, experimental, fun and unlike anything else out there, which makes him one of the most exciting filmmakers in the game for the considerable cult audience he’s garnered.  The beauty of a Mills joint is that you don’t quite know what you’re going to get.  His body of work is diverse; consisting of gore comedies with puppets, Grindhouse neo-westerns with zombies, Faustian pacts with tentacles, and transgressive avant-garde silent films which hold the power to unsettle.

Whether they are making you laugh or trying to disturb you to your very core, Mills’ movies are unique, exciting and unpredictable – and now he’s taken another unexpected turn into kid-friendly terrains along with friend, actor and budding filmmaker Dave Parker (who some of you will know as Mrparka on Youtube).

Parker himself is a talented rising star among aficionados of the macabre. His channel is the go to place if you want to stay on top of the latest horror releases, big and small, and his first feature length directorial effort, Slimy Little Bastards, saw him unleash his own little creature feature to a positive response from the community.  Together, they’re a match made in Halloween heaven.

Halloween Spookies consists of three tales of terror: “The Babysitter”, “The Messenger”, and “The Familiars”, all of which are introduced by a pair of witches, who are entertaining their next child meal while they boil their cauldron of disgusting delights. I don’t want to give away spoilers as you should experience it first hand, but there are killer clowns, rockabilly zombies and ghoulish little rascals from the underworld summoned to chew on metalheads.  It’s steeped in mythology, provides constant laughs and is actually pretty damn inspirational.  If anything it’ll make you want to go out there and create something of your own.  Furthermore, the wraparound segments with the sexy hags are quite reminiscent of the Tales from the Darkside movie, which is some of the best praise I can give anything in this world.

So go grab your kids or someone else’s and reconnect with your own inner brat, grab some snacks, light up a Jack-o’-lantern  and enjoy some edgy PG horror.  Halloween Spookies is so celebratory of the holiday and intent on recapturing its spirit that they’re giving it away for free, just to rekindle that spooky spark.  You can’t argue with some free holiday horror, but Halloween Spookies will remind you why you fell in love with the genre in the first place.

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Video: The Shape of Water Q&A with Guillermo del Toro and Doug Jones at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre

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This past weekend at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA betwixt a double screening of The Shape of Water and the classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the former’s director Guillermo del Toro (and star Doug Jones) sat down to discuss the latter’s influence on the film, Gill-man sex, “one sock movies,” his career in the genre, and more with moderator Jonah Ray, and we were there to film a portion of it.

Our sincere thanks to American Cinematheque general manager Dennis Bartok for extending the invitation.

For more Cinematheque screenings, visit the official website here.

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Michael C. Hall Buried in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

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Now here’s an audio book we can REALLY get behind! Entertainment Weekly is reporting that former “Dexter” star Michael C. Hall will be narrating the first ever unabridged recording of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Sometime’s audio is better!

Readers have been asking for this audiobook for a very long time,” Stephen King said in a statement. “I know the listening experience will be worth the wait with Michael as narrator.

We’re thrilled to finally bring Pet Sematary to King’s audiobook fans,” Simon & Schuster Audio president and publisher Chris Lynch added. “Michael C. Hall is a perfect match for this timeless story, which has long deserved an unabridged production.

The unabridged audiobook of Pet Sematary will be released by Simon & Schuster Audio on March 27. Speaking of Hall… you know he would make a pretty friggin’ good casting choice to play Victor Pascow in the upcoming Pet Sematary remake. Just sayin’.

BUY IT NOW!

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Saw-inspired Game Play With Me Sets a Trap on Steam

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Saw fans have a lot to be happy about right now. In addition to Jigsaw being teased for Dead by Daylight, a new Saw-themed game called Play With Me has launched on Steam, and although it’s not officially connected with the franchise in any way, developer Airem promised that they created a videogame which looks and plays as though it were made by Jigsaw himself. As you can tell from the trailer and screenshots, the production values and overall quality of Play With Me appear to be considerably higher than most other indie horror games released on Steam, and you’ll probably be very happy to see that Airem took the time and effort to create stylized hand drawn environments rather than using purchased assets from the Unity Store.

The killer behind the sinister traps in Play With Me is known as the Illusion, with the player taking control of investigative journalist Robert Hawk as he tries to fight his way through a series of sick and twisted obstacles created by the lunatic. The voice acting in the trailer was a little cheesy, although we see at 1:09 that the player will be tasked with using a kitchen knife to cut open a dead body (presumably to retrieve an item hidden in the cadaver’s stomach), which is not an image you’ll be forgetting anytime soon.

IQ Publishing are offering a 15% discount off Play With Me for those who purchase the game before January 24, so Saw fans might want to mark that deadline in their calendars and purchase it from Steam before the time is up. After all, it can’t be worse than Konami’s awful official Saw videogames.

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