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Event Report: Freakshow Film Festival Showcases The Third Day

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This past summer I had the pleasure of reporting on a newly formed classic horror festival operating out of central Michigan. Not in one of the major locations like Lansing or Battle Creek, mind you, but the fairly small dot in between known as Charlotte. The Freakshow Film Festival began at the historic Eaton Theater as a humble operation, but one with lots of potential. Over the following months they’ve continued to have showings of classic horror films, primarily at their second location, Windwalker Underground Gallery, just a block away from the theater. Due to work requirements, I’ve been unable to attend these showings, but it’s been reassuring knowing they’ve been able to continue.

During the crisp nights of October, the Freakshow returned to their original home at the Eaton Theater for a few Halloween themed showings. The group invited me to return for their October 29th showcase of the original classic Halloween, along with a Lansing made short film titled The Third Day. Beyond that, the group had planned an after party and Q&A session with the cast and crew of The Third Day, complete with wet bar and food. It was a full scale Halloween event, and I’d been offered the chance to host the Q&A.

Unfortunately, work interfered with my ability to watch the films in person, though my shift did end in time for me to be able to attend the party. Luckily, the short film’s director made it possible to see his work on my own time in preparation for the event.

The night of the show I arrived a little while before Halloween wrapped up, which gave me the opportunity to socialize not only with one of the actresses from the short, but also with both of the festival’s hosts. It turned out that that night was the final planned appearance of the show’s original host, Molotov the Clown, who was handing his duties off to his successor, Doctor Colonel Nutjob.

As the movie let out, I was pleased to see how much the audience had grown since my last visit. There was a healthy mix of old and new fans, even some families. Similar to my previous visit, it was a larger audience than I’d seen at some new releases this year, which is definitely a good sign for the group moving forward.

Finally, it was time for the party, which took place a short distance away at an event hall rather cheekily named The Hall. That meant it was time to put on my best car salesman smile for Q&A hosting duties. Thankfully, Doctor Colonel Nutjob provided some proper back-up with introductions and a few zingers.

The cast and crew up for questioning provided a nice range of personalities from the writer/producer/actress who was very much into horror, and her co-star who claimed to not like horror, an odd revelation from someone you recently witnessed dealing with the undead. Finally, there was the director, who’s previous work had been in the realm of documentaries, presenting this, his first fictional piece.

The story behind The Third Day is that everyone involved in its production knew each other in some form or fashion and came together to make this short for an online competition that had rules pertaining to run time, character names, and the final line of dialogue. Using those parameters, the lead actress wrote a tale about a young woman being bitten by a vampire, and the subsequent days post-bite which dealt with her transformation. The short didn’t win, and the group soon retooled the product with some new scenes and a total reedit in order to submit to a wider outlet of conventions and festivals, leading to an award at Scream Fest. Overall there were some good insights on the production, music acquisition, using Faygo as projectile blood, and even paying an actor with tea kettles. The whole crew expressed interest in maybe making a sequel or spin-off somewhere down the road. For now they’ve all returned to their fairly private lives.

Currently, Freakshow Film Festival has slowed down slightly for the holiday months. Their next event will be a special screening of the Christmas classic Silent Night, Deadly Night on December 17th, complete with presents for certain attendees. Beginning in January the group plans to return to at least two films per month with a few more special events sprinkled across the calendar. I also have it on good authority that they’re looking into premiering more independent fare and shorts. I for one would be pleased to see the Halloween party become a larger annual event.

I’ve gotta say I’m impressed with the Freakshow, and proud of how much it has grown in such a short time. In just a few months, it went from something of a local experiment to a legitimate event. If the group can continue at this pace, there’s a good chance of it becoming a focal point for Michigan-based horror fans. For anyone who wants to keep an eye on the group or attend an upcoming show, you can follow them at their Facebook page.

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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free

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Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.

The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.

Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!

All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.

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KISS Meets Army of Darkness in New Comic Miniseries!

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Dynamite Entertainment just announced that they are planning to bring two of their bestselling brands together in “KISS/Army of Darkness #1”. The new comic book series will unite the rock band with none other than Ash for some Deadite ass kicking.

The series will be written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims and illustrated by Ruairi Coleman. And the debut issue of “KISS/Army of Darkness” features three art covers from Kyle Strahm, Goni Montes, and Ken Haeser.

You can find all three covers below along with quotes from the creative team. After looking through all of that make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are about this new hybrid comic series in the comments below or on social media!

With Ash vs. The Army of Darkness, Chris and I were given kind of carte blanche to do whatever we wanted to the world of AOD, and we went for broke,” Co-writer Chad Bowers says. “We introduced some new characters and concepts, and built a legacy for Ash’s comics adventures that I’m immensely proud of, but not in a million years could I have guessed we’d get to continue that momentum with the added bonus of tossing the world’s greatest rock n’ roll band into the mix! I’ve been in the tank for KISS since I was in middle school. I remember buying the KISS tribute album, KISS My Ass for the Lemonheads (they covered Plaster Caster), which lead to me picking up Greatest Hits, and so on. But when I found out there was a KISS comic with blood in it, I signed up for life! Of course, I adore the songs (literally listening to Do You Love Me right now), but I’m just as obsessed with the way KISS transcends the music to become something of a genre themselves. It’s something I think about a lot, honestly, so no surprise, it’s a big part of our story too!”

“When it comes to Army of Darkness, I guess you could say that Ash is a bit of a gambler, but he’s nobody’s fool,” Co-writer Chris Sims says. “And since our first story was set back at Alan Shepard High, we’re looking forward to showing him some things that you can’t learn in school. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the deep-cut lyrics now, but for real — if you thought Deadites at Homecoming and the Supernatural Military-Adjacent Response Team were taking Ash in a new direction, just wait until you see how we team him up with the Starchild, Space Ace, the Demon, and the Catman. In the grand tradition of the film, we’re tearing up the entire space-time continuum and if you think you know how weird this is gonna get… well, you sure know somethin’!”

“Having done some work for Dynamite in the past, I’ve really been wanting to get my foot in the door here for a long time so I can play in the sandbox of the amazing licenses they have,” Artist Ruairi Coleman says. “Chief among those, and high up on my bucket list, is Army of Darkness: Hail to the king, baby! So, when I was offered the job of drawing the KISS/Army of Darkness crossover, I couldn’t believe my luck! The concept is totally bonkers, but in a way, that would make complete sense in the world of Army of Darkness. Thinking about it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done already and I’m honored (and more than a little intimidated) to be the guy who draws it.”

“After a more than 40-year career, KISS continues to be one of rock’s most celebrated bands, while Army of Darkness continues to be a staple in the comic book industry. We’re both honored to have the opportunity to work so closely with Gene and Paul to bring their world-renowned alter-egos to comics alongside our very own Ashy Slashy,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “The raging guitar chords and pyrotechnic spectacle of their stage shows could have come straight from the pages of the Necronomicon, and this epic battle between The Demon and Deadites will appeal to the hellions in all of us!”

Issue #1 will be available on digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.

The KISS/Army of Darkness miniseries event hits February 2018.

Synopsis:

KISS is on top of the world and rocking faces until the night disciples of The Destroyer show up and the band disappears. With the tour canceled, a young Ash misses one of the most important events of his life that will change his destiny. Now the Chosen One has to get back on the right path and join the KISS ARMY OF DARKNESS!

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Jason Lives Director Pitched Follow-Up: Jason Vs Cheech and Chong

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One of my favorite entries in the Friday the 13th series is director ‘s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. The mixture of old-school gothic horror and comedy is always a welcome treat around these parts.

But why wasn’t McLoughlin asked to write and direct the follow-up?

Actually, it turns out he was asked to follow up Jason Lives, McLoughlin recently told Mick Garris on the Post Mortem podcast.

But his pitch – Jason vs Cheech and Chong – didn’t go over so well…

“[Frank Mancuso Jr.] wanted me to do another film after we did Jason,” McLoughlin says. “And I said, ‘What are you thinking? I don’t know what it could be now.’ And he said, ‘Well, what do you think about Freddy (Krueger) and Jason?’ And I go, ‘But Freddy’s at New Line and the guys at Paramount have [Jason].’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to try and see if we can work something out.’ So, I started thinking about that, going, It doesn’t make sense. I mean he lives in one realm and — you know, I take this stuff very seriously, what realm a monster’s supposed to stay in. And he came back, he goes, ‘Eh, forget it, it’s not going to work anyway.’ And I said, ‘You know what? You guys own Cheech and Chong. What if we do Cheech and Chong-meets-Jason? They’re like camp counselors or something. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, I saw Jason out there.’ ‘No, man, that’s a myth.’ But he said, ‘You know what? No.’”

Too bad. While I don’t know how well a Cheech and Chong/Friday the 13th flick would go, with McLoughlin at the helm, the film would have at least been funny as hell.

Plus we already got these two knuckleheads in Part III.

Are you upset we never got Tom McLoughlin’s Jason vs Cheech and Chong? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Friday the 13th: Part VI – Jason Lives on Blu-ray HERE.

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