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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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Exclusive: Terror Universal Dare You to Look Through the Mirrors

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Alright horror metalheads, it’s time to raise those devil horns and get ready for some Terror Universal! On hand we’ve got the exclusive video premiere for the track “Through the Mirrors”, which comes from the band’s album Make Them Bleed. Directed by Wacy Jahn, the video mixes band performance with the hallucinations and troubles of a man who clearly has some issues going on.

Jahn tells us about making the video, saying, “As a director, I was given the freedom to give my visual interpretation of what the song meant to me personally. The inner self that tortures the outer self into being something different no matter the cost. Now mix a twist of insanity into the recipe and you get the “Through the Mirrors” official Terror Universal music video.

Band member Massacre adds, “I am very pumped to be releasing the “Through The Mirrors” video, as this track is one of my favorite songs on our new album ‘Make Them Bleed’. This song showcases many of Terror Universal’s diverse sounds, as it’s brutally heavy, and also has a very anthemic and memorable chorus.

Made up of current and past members of Machine Head, Ill Niño, Soulfly, and Upon A Burning Body, Terror Universal is a metal band dedicated to combining their love of all things heavy with their passion for horror. Make Them Bleed also features guest appearances from bassists John Moyer (Disturbed) and Tony Campos (Static-X).

You can buy Make Them Bleed on Bandcamp.

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The Sinking City Update Dives Into the Cthulhu Mythos That Drives the Game

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If you’ve been following our coverage of Frogwares’ The Sinking City, you’ll know that it’s probably my most anticipated game not just of the year but of a long, long time! An open world game that lives in the aesthetic and atmosphere of H.P. Lovecraft? Consider me 100% hooked! This game ticks all the boxes of my love of horror and my love of gaming.

A new update video has been released and this one goes right into the ways that H.P. Lovecraft and his works directly influenced the game, the developers and the story players will experience. On top of that, it also goes into how Lovecraft’s themes inspired the creators at Frogwares to forge their own paths and create their own mythology and terror. It’s a wonderful video because we get to see these people take an established universe and build upon it with reverence, respect, and passion.

Seriously, if The Sinking City isn’t on your radar, you’re going to be missing out when it’s released.

Synopsis:
The Sinking City interprets and develops the themes that Lovecraft explored: the fear of monsters and the unknown, the search for occult truths and madness. In the game, players step into the shoes of a private detective investigating the disappearance of an expedition to the imaginary town of Oakmont, Massachusetts. Oakmont is a city experiencing unprecedented flooding due to supernatural forces, leaving a large portion of the city submerged. Secret societies, dangers, intrigues and monstrous creatures will stand in your way…

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Meet Ash’s Moody Teenage Daughter in New Ash vs Evil Dead S3 Trailer

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“Mom, what’s a chainsaw geek doing here?”

Marketing for the return of Starz’s Ash vs Evil Dead has really been gearing up as it was just the other day that we shared a new trailer called, you know, “Gotta Gear Up.”

That trailer was quick but cool, and today we have a new quick-n-cool “Ash vs Evil Dead” trailer, this time highlighting Ash’s daughter.

The inclusion of Ash’s daughter into the splatter this new season has me excited as hell for the premiere in a few weeks. But now I just have Pearl Jam stuck in my head.

Check out the new trailer below and then let us know what you think!

The third season stars Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless and Arielle Carver-O’Neill. Campbell executive produces the series with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Ivan Raimi, and Rick Jacobson. Season 3 has new showrunners: Mark Verheiden and producer Moira Grant.

“Ash vs Evil Dead” season three begins Sunday, February 25.

S3 synopsis:

The third season finds Ash’s status in Elk Grove, Michigan has changed from murderous urban legend to humanity-saving hometown hero. When Kelly witnesses a televised massacre with Ruby’s fingerprints all over it, she returns with a new friend to warn Ash and Pablo that evil isn’t done with them yet. Blood is thicker than water in the battle of good vs Evil Dead!

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