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Rooker, Michael (Pennhurst)

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As promised, we’re back with Part Two of our recent chat with Dread Central favorite Michael Rooker (click here to check out Part One, which is mostly about “The Walking Dead” and his character Merle). This time Rooker provides us with details on his directorial debut, Pennhurst.


Michael Rooker Talks Pennhurst, His Directorial DebutDread Central: Not to change the subject TOO abruptly, as we ALL love talking about Merle and “The Walking Dead”, but I’m curious about your latest project, Pennhurst, and how you came to be sitting in the director’s chair. For those not already in the know about Pennhurst, here is one of the synopses:

For decades Pennhurst psychiatric hospital has been haunted by turbulent supernatural forces. When a local TV reality show embarks on a mission to capture this paranormal activity, they discover something completely unexpected. As restless souls from the past torment the crew members, they fear for their lives as one by one they are gruesomely murdered. In a surprising revelation, they discover something more terrifying than ghosts is responsible.

Michael Rooker: Pennhurst is an ongoing project that was shot at the real Pennhurst State School and Mental Hospital outside of Philadelphia.

DC: Why did you choose your directorial debut to be in the horror genre (not that anyone is complaining)?

MR: I started my career in horror with Henry so it was a no-brainer. And the project chose me as well. I was already attached to the film when I was asked if I would like to direct it. And I did NOT know how much bullshit directors have to put up with! I will never give any director ANY trouble after seeing what they have to put up with! Directors need “idea bodyguards” so they don’t have everyone from the producers on down to the caterers offering how THEY think a scene should be shot. As an actor, I could just retreat to my trailer until needed on set again. Directors have to be there almost 24/7. Still, it is a fun project: spooky, scary and violent.

DC: Violent, huh? What sort of rating can fans expect from a Rooker-directed film?

MR: I don’t agree with MPAA ratings. I am doing the film the way I want it, not to get one rating or another. This little indie film is a labor of love for everyone involved, and if its gore effects get a little too gory, well, that’s just how it was meant to be.

DC: You are acting in the film as well as directing. What can you tell us about your character?

MR: My character is a survivor of Pennhurst. He owns a little business in town and pays Pennhurst a visit every once in a while. A reality paranormal show, desperately in need of a good story, goes to Pennhurst to get hard evidence; and all hell breaks loose.

DC: What is the status of the film now? And is there a release date?

MR: Right now the film is in post-production hell. I am definitely no expert in post-production, but the film is in editing although I reserve the right (hopefully) to film some pick-up shots and add some more gore. Depends on money and friends willing to do favors at this point But once I know a release date, you will be the first to know, darlin’.

DC: I’m holding you to that promise, Rooker. And how about the cast? I read that Haylie Duff and Saw II’s Beverley Mitchell are on board. Any other names?

MR: Actors are cattle to me – beautiful cattle (laughing). No, we have a bunch of theater people among the cast along with Amanda Dunn (look for her in Dan Pritzker’s Bolden and Louis as well), the very talented Robb Pruitt who made me laugh every time he opened his motherfuckin’ mouth as well as his sidekick, Jimmy Palumbo. Michael McKiddy and J. LaRose from Saw III rounded out our cast. They were all great to work with and brought their “A” game to my little movie. There is so much potential with “small” films.

DC: And how would you feel about stepping into a director’s position again?

MR: I would direct again ONLY for a LOT of money (laughs)!!


Check out some photos of Rooker in full-on director mode below, and keep it here for more on Pennhurst soon! In the meantime stay entertained by following @Michael_Rooker on Twitter.

Michael Rooker Talks Pennhurst, His Directorial Debut

Michael Rooker Talks Pennhurst, His Directorial Debut

Michael Rooker Talks Pennhurst, His Directorial Debut

Elaine Lamkin

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 140 – Pet Sematary 2

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Ahoy there, fuckos! This week’s episode is brought to you by none other than Chris Franco! That’s right, it’s a Chris pick! So you know what that means, we’re cranking the cheese factor up to eleven! This week we’ve got $5 Furlongs, naked women with dog heads, and accents that are more forced than a Bill Cosby sexual encounter! That’s right, we watched  Pet Sematary 2 so you don’t have to!

Ever wonder which of us knows more lyrics to Ice, Ice, Baby? Well, Patreon found out, but perhaps there’s more singing in the actual episode. Download to find out!

Sometimes, dumb is better. It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 140!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Night of the Living Dead 4K and The Silence of the Lambs Come to the Criterion Collection

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It’s been a long time coming for these two classics, especially Night of the Living Dead after the ridiculously bad transfer put out by Mill Creek Entertainment, whose transfer was supposedly remastered from a new 2K scan. I swear I thought it was some kind of a joke when I first put it on to watch. In any event…

IndieWire is reporting that horror classics Night of the Living Dead and The Silence of the Lambs will be added to the 2018 Criterion Collection, a hallmark label for home video cinephiles.

According to the site, Criterion will release a new 4K digital restoration of The Silence of the Lambs, which has been approved by the movie’s cinematographer Tak Fujimoto. Included on the DVD and Blu-ray sets are 35 minutes of deleted scenes and audio commentary from 1994 featuring the late Jonathan Demme (director), stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas.

Night of the Living Dead will also be released in 4K with never-before-seen 16mm dailies included as a bonus feature(!).

These will be added in February of 2018 so make sure you save up some cash after the holidays!

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DIS Review – Not for the Faint of Heart!

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Starring Bill Oberst, Jr., Lori Jo Hendrix, Peter Gonzales Falcon

Directed by Adrian Corona


I’ve made this claim many a time on this website before, and in the company of film friends as well: Bill Oberst Jr. is one of those actors that can literally be thrust into ANY role, and deliver a performance with so much harnessed electricity that you couldn’t believe that it was possible. I was the lucky recipient chosen to get a look at his latest project, titled DIS, and I think that I can honestly say – this is the stuff that nightmares are constructed of.

Directed by Adrian Corona, this 60-minute dive into the black depths of hell, and in actuality DIS is located between circles # 6 and 9 in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and trust me when I tell you – there’s not a shred of comedic relief in this demented presentation. Oberst Jr plays an ex-soldier named Ariel, and his seemingly harmless jaunt through the woods will become anything but that, and judging from the film’s opening scenes, you are meant to feel as uncomfortable about this watch as any you might have checked out in recent memory.

Perversion is the norm here, and lord help you if you’re caught where you shouldn’t be…my skin’s crawling just thinking about what I saw. Ariel’s travels are basically dialogue-free, but it only adds to the infinite levels of creepiness – you can tell he’s being stalked, and the distance between he and the horrors that await are closing in rather quickly.

Visually by itself, this hour-long chiller can sell tickets without any assistance – hollowed-out buildings and long sweeping shots of a silent forest give the movie that look of complete desolation. Sliced up into three acts, the film wastes no time in setting up the story of a killer needing fresh blood to appease his Mandrake garden – seriously guys, I can’t type as much flashy stuff as there needs to be in order to describe this innately disturbing production.

If you’re one of those types who tends to shy away from the graphic side of things, then I’d HIGHLY advise you to keep your TV tuned to the Hallmark Channel for some holiday entertainment, because this one registers high on the “I can’t believe someone thought of this” meter. So the quick recap is this: Oberst Jr in a standout performance, visual excellence, and an unshakable sense of debasement on a cellular level – keep the kiddies out of the living room with this one. Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended, and one that I’ll throw down as a top 5 for me in 2017.

  • Film
4.5

Summary

Director Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended!

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User Rating 5 (2 votes)
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