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Henry to Celebrate 30th Anniversary at Home!

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Henry

A brand spanking new 30th Anniversary Edition of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is on its way to Blu-ray and we have all the details you need right here.

From the Press Release:
It was a true game-changer, a film so upsetting in its blunt depiction of an amoral murderer that it made the slasher films of its time look like cartoons by comparison. HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER became a lightning rod in heated debates about cinema and censorship but has only grown in stature since its first showing in 1986. Now, on the 30th anniversary of its momentous debut, it returns in a 4K restoration on digital platforms and Blu-ray on DECEMBER 6th, following a nationwide theatrical release.

HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER is a chilling profile of a cold-blooded killer that, 30 years after its historic festival premiere, has lost none of its power to shock. The film, loosely based on a true story, has been hailed as one of the most disturbing and terrifying examinations of mass murderers ever filmed. Henry (Michael Rooker, The Walking Dead) is a psychopathic drifter who has coldly murdered a number of people for no particular reason and without any remorse. Leaving bodies in his wake, Henry makes his way to Chicago, where his he settles into the run-down apartment of his drug-dealing former prison friend and occasional roommate Otis (Tom Towles).

Also moving into the space is Otis’s younger sister Becky (Tracy Arnold), who is fleeing her abusive husband. As she fends off her brother’s incestuous advances, Becky finds herself attracted to Henry – unaware that he, along with Otis, are continuing their murderous rampage.

Director John McNaughton completed the film in 1986, and it was shown at that year’s Chicago International Film Festival. But it wasn’t until 1990 that a U.S. distributor was brave enough to give it a wide release. Henry predates the NC-17 rating and received its predecessor, the X rating, on three separate occasions. As a result of it and related issues with Almodovar’s “Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down,” Phillip Kaufman’s “Henry & June” and Peter Greenaway’s “the Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover,” the MPAA created the NC-17 as its replacement on 9/26/1990. Henry’s current rating is “X (Surrendered)” though a renewed rating is pending. The film’s violence, and the clinical, detached portrayal of Henry by the unforgettable Michael Rooker, originally earned it the MPAA’s highly restrictive NC-17 rating.

The response from both critics and the public was as visceral as the film itself, and it went on to gain praise as one of the most compelling and disturbing films of modern cinema.

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER returns with a thrilling, cinematic presentation that cements its reputation as one of the most harrowing and original American films of all time. Dark Sky Films, a division of MPI Media Group, proudly presents it in a brand-new 4K scan and restoration from the 16mm original camera negatives, and featuring a new 5.1 audio mix from the stereo 35mm mag reels, all approved by director John McNaughton.

Special Features:

  • “In Defense of Henry: An Appreciation”
  • “Henry vs MPAA: A Visual History”
  • “Henry at the BBFC”
  • “It’s Either You or Them: An Interview with Artist Joe Coleman”
  • “In The Round: A Conversion with John McNaughton”
  • “Portrait: The Making of Henry”
  • Deleted Scenes & Outtakes
  • Feature Commentary with John McNaughton
  • Interview with John McNaughton, 1998
  • Trailer (original)
  • Trailer (30th anniversary)
  • Still Gallery
  • Storyboards
  • Reversible Sleeve featuring original Joe Coleman artwork

Henry

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Supernatural Irish Horror Beyond the Woods Hits Home Video and VOD This February

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Supernatural Irish horror Beyond the Woods makes its way to DVD and VOD from Left Films!

Shot on location in Ireland, Beyond the Woods echoes the creepy supernatural horror of recent Irish genre hits The Hallow and The Canal, with its eerie and grisly tale of an unknown evil.

Synopsis:
Seven friends meet up in the Irish countryside for a secluded weekend getaway but unfortunately for them a fiery sinkhole has opened up in the mountains nearby. It’s burning hot, spewing out sulphur and casting a hellish stench over the local area. Determined to make the most of the weekend, the group decide not to let the noxious atmosphere get to them…but it’s getting worse. Soon the troubling hallucinations begin as an ancient evil starts to take hold. What malevolent force has crawled from the sinkhole and will any of them survive the weekend?

Following a successful run on the festival circuit where it picked up the Best Feature Film Award at the World International Film Festival Montreal in 2017, Seán Breathnach’s spine-chilling low budget nightmare finally makes its way to UK and North American DVD and VOD courtesy of Left Films.

On digital/VOD February 5th, DVD February 19th.

UK DVD AMAZON
UK VOD ITUNES
US VOD ITUNES

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Interview: The Cured’s David Freyne and Sam Keeley Talk Zombies, Politics, and PTSD

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The Walking Dead, once the flagship of AMC and the envy of all networks, has been suffering a significant decline in both ratings and viewership over the past couple seasons. While many place blame on writers and producers, it could simply reflect changes in tastes and trends. The zombie subgenre of horror has become, objectively, saturated with few infusions of originality over the past few years.

In this climate, The Cured can be considered the cure for the 21st Century zombie movie, which has become stagnant and formulaic. It’s the debut feature from Irish filmmaker David Freyne and it stars Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. We’ve seen more outbreak movies than we can count, but The Cured takes place many years after an apocalypse that devastated Europe.

The hook is simple but brilliant: The infected are cured but returning to their pre-zombie lives proves a difficult transition. Though no longer compelled to kill and cannibalize, The Cured (as they are referred to) nonetheless remember every atrocity they committed.

Dread Central was lucky enough to sit down with Freyne and Keeley to discuss the film, their approaches, and the parallels to international politics. Check out the trailer for The Cured below, followed by our interviews.

The Cured arrives in theaters and on VOD February 23, courtesy of IFC films.

Synopsis:
A disease that turns people into zombies has been cured. The once-infected zombies are discriminated against by society and their own families, which causes social issues to arise. This leads to militant government interference.

Dread Central: One of the most compelling aspects of The Cured is the cure! I’m hard-pressed to think of another film that explores the idea of zombies becoming human again. It’s a great innovation. Where did the idea come from?

David Freyne: I love zombie films and the idea for The Cured came about in 2011, so I’ve been working on this for quite some time. I really liked I am Legend, but I recalled that at the end, the patient, the female zombie gets the cure from Will Smith, and then she dies. I was like, “Hang on, this just got interesting!”  That’s pretty much the moment when the idea came. But it also has to do with what was going on in Ireland at the time; we were going through a recession. The banks were closing and we were all losing our jobs and it was like we were being blamed for things that were beyond our control. That’s the analogy for The Cured because they were being blamed for things that were beyond their control. All of that melded together and became the inspiration for the film.

There have been a lot of zombie films that mention a cure but like you said, it’s something we haven’t seen before.

DC: Yeah, we’ve seen reformed zombies, like in Day of the Dead and Fido, but they’re still zombies. We’ve never seen these fully cured zombies. It really sets The Cured apart and makes it worth seeing. Now, I saw a lot of potential parallels with current world issues, like the refugee crisis, the prison system, and soldiers returning home from war. The way The Cured were treated reminded me of how Vietnam Veterans were harassed when they returned home from war. Were any of these parallels intentional, or was it just the recession?

DF: PTSD and the treatment of soldiers was definitely something I had in mind. Like you mentioned, Vietnam wasn’t like World War II, where the soldiers returned as heroes. And the refugee crisis as well; we have a camp here in Ireland, where these people were institutionalized—almost like they were being quarantined from the rest of society. This isn’t just how we treat these people in Europe, it’s the way the world treats asylum seekers where they’re regarded as rapist and criminals and all the terrible things Trump is saying—like other countries are giving us their worst, which has been proven to be totally false. That crisis was definitely an inspiration.

But yeah, studying the effects of PTSD was a big part of my research for The Cured. I wanted to explore what would happen if these people remembered the things they had done when they were infected. With the memories of all that killing, how do you normalize again? Is it even possible?

But yeah, I don’t even know if you can separate the recession and the refugee crisis. Especially the way asylum seekers are portrayed as these boogeymen. We saw the rise of all of these populist politicians that stoked this hate to serve their own ends. That’s why there’s a character in the film who uses this fear to get The Cured all riled up, but it’s just to serve his own ambitions. I think that’s what we have now. The rise in racism and hate crime is all connected to the recession.

DC: The ending of The Cured was ambiguous, or rather, open-ended. Were you setting up a sequel or is your intention to let this story stand?

DF: I definitely want to do something non-zombie, but it will depend on the response to the film. I wanted the story to end with redemption, so its complete in that way. But there’s still a story left to tell so we’ll see. Maybe it will proceed as a graphic novel.

DC: Anything else you want to tell our readers?

DF: To me, the scariest things are real, not unreal, so I hope The Cured sparks discussions, whether it be about politics or something else. Nothing is black and white; none of the characters are all right or all wrong.


Dread Central: How’d you get into acting?

Sam Keeley: I wanted to be a singer/songwriter. I was working on an album in order to become a rock star. But I had this high school guidance counselor who was like, “Look, I’m not going to let you do this. You need to at least have a backup plan.” After banging her head against a wall for a week or so, she said, “What about drama? With a drama degree, you can teach, do film studies, or become a critic.” I loved the idea!

DC: You’ve been in a handful of horror movies. What are your thoughts on the genre?

SK: I love horror movies and thrillers. These films are filled with such interesting characters. There’s the opportunity to be a bit bigger, more eccentric if you will. There are so many great parts in these films.

DC: Your role [in The Cured] couldn’t have been easy; Senan is nothing short of tortured. How did you prepare to play the part?

SK: When David first offered me the part, I had to think very seriously about whether I could pull it off. I wanted to make it as realistic as possible, despite the fantastic elements. I did a lot of research about people who had been institutionalized and reintegrated back into society; murderers and sex offenders who have to go through a system to be reintegrated and accepted by society. I looked at the human side of that.

I did a lot of reading about stressful situations. It was heavy work but it was worth it.

DC: One of the most compelling parts of the film was your relationship with Abbie. Can you talk about what it was like to work with Ellen Page and did she influence your performance?

SK: Great question. Ellen is a wonderful human being; so unbelievably talented. I had only known her from her work before we met on set. It was a tricky character for her because it was a mother role, but there was something else to it. She never missed a beat, and it really helped me to see my character through her eyes.

DC: What were the most difficult parts of the role for you?

SK: I lost a lot of weight for the shoot; I went vegetarian. But mostly, it was staying in a perplexed state—keeping one foot in that world. It was tough to do because it weighs you down. It was nice to wrap and let go of the character go, to let Senan dissolve into the air. It was hard to maintain that guilt; it was mentally taxing.

DC: What’s next for you?

SK: I just finished a project called Peace, directed by Robert David Port based on a novel by Richard Bausch. It’s the story of four soldiers during World War II. It’s a psychological story about these characters who become lost and have to rely on each other to survive the situation. We filmed in British Columbia for four weeks and it was amazing; all outdoors in freezing weather! I’m really excited about that.

DC: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers about The Cured?

SK: We worked really hard to bring something new to the genre and I hope people will see it with an open mind. The market is flooded with zombie movies, some of them good, some of them not so good. I think people have become somewhat jaded, but I hope they’ll see it with an open mind. Don’t expect your typical zombie movie.


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Joe Dante Will Executive Produce Teddy Bears Are For Lovers Feature Film!

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“Ahhh!” or “Awww”?

I’m a big fan of films that combine horror with, for lack of a better term, “cute shit.” Take for instances movies like Critters and Gremlins. Love them.

It is with this in mind that not only do I love the short film Teddy Bears Are For Lovers but I am excited about today’s news.

Today Deadline reports that “Lost” and Cloverfield cinematographer Michael Bonvillain will be making his directorial debut with the feature adaptation of the classic short (which you can peep in its entirtly below).

Yes, not only are we getting a Teddy Bears Are For Lovers feature, but Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop will be creating the film’s killer teddys, and Joe f*cking Dante (Gremlins, Piranha) will be executive producer.

Cool, huh?

“It’s rare to find a project with the right balance of humor, scares and emotions that can make a film entertaining on so many various levels,” director Michael Bonvillain said in a statement. “This project, which at its heart is a love story, builds so many different layers on top of it to create an absolutely horrifying and hilarious thrill ride that keeps you entertained from start to finish. Having been involved as a cinematographer on a number of great films over the years that blended elements of horror and thriller with comedy, I’m excited to direct a project that I think hits all those notes and is hugely entertaining”.

Najeeb Khuda, Gavin Lurie, and Andrew Joustra, who run Endless Media added: “Teddy Bears immediately drew us in from page one because it has something that has become increasingly lacking at the multiplex… it’s a blast. Taking inspiration from the type of films we grew up with, this film hits every chord of why we love going to the movies: mixing just the right amount of thrills and scares with a fun joyride.”

I hoping and thinking that this film could be the new “cute sh*t” horror movie I have been waiting for since the release of Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat (gotta love Sam). I don’t mean to get my expectations up TOO high, but if you’ve seen the original short film (again, available in its entirety below) then you know this premise and characters are utterly classic.

The original short film was directed by David Ernesto Vendrell, Matthew Hawksworth, and Almog Avidan Antonir. David Vendrell penned the script for the upcoming feature.

What do you think of the original short? Let us know below!

Synopsis:

Set during a Valentine’s Day party, follows college playboy Collin and his current head-over-heels girlfriend Sarah as they are targeted by a group of bloodthirsty, but adorable teddy bears who come to life seeking revenge for the broken hearts of Collin’s ex-girlfriends. Together, the couple must evade the teddy bears and earn the forgiveness of these begrudged and wildly different ex-girlfriends before the sun rises in order to break the curse, all while confronting whether their current relationship is meant to be.

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