Demian Bichir Talks Alien: Covenant, Working with Ridley Scott, and More - Dread Central
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Demian Bichir Talks Alien: Covenant, Working with Ridley Scott, and More

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Alien Covenant

Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.

Demian Bichir plays one of the astronauts in Alien: Covenant, premiering on Friday, and we had a chance to chat with him recently.

Dread Central: What are your on thoughts on the story?

Demian Bichir: You know, we actors always hope and dream to be able to work with the best in this industry, anywhere, whether that’s film or TV or theater so that alone, Ridley Scott’s name, that means everything. I would go anywhere he wants me to go, I would attend any call to do anything, whether that’s having dinner, playing tennis, anything; but if that invitation was to work in one of his films, you can only imagine what that represents for any actor. I just consider myself very lucky to be a part of this.

DC: To what do you attribute our fascination about space? And why is it never good?

DB: Well, we make it bad because it’s very attractive, because that’s when drama happens and when terror happens. I personally want to think there’s something happier out there, that there’s a fascist-free type of world, not in this movie, but I think our fascination with the unknown is the fascination with exploring. That’s what happens when we are kids; they tell us not to go there and we go there. So in this case, we all hope that’s going to be a happy ending, a happy journey, but it doesn’t happen.

DC: Is this your first sci-fi/horror project?

DB: Yes. As an actor, you hope that if you’re going to be part of a new genre, that you will do the best, be the master of it. Ridley Scott is probably the best; I would say he’s a genius as far as I’m concerned so that is a safety type of feeling because you know you will be safe and you will be fine, anywhere he wants to take us. It’s like having the perfect guide; you know that he knows, and that doesn’t happen on every project.

DC: Was it intimidating working with Scott?

DB: He makes sure that fear, whether it’s somewhat present or not, goes away. He’s an artist and an extraordinary human being. Before being so famous, before what his name represents, he knows that the only way he can create art is through collaboration and the only way he can bring to the table the best of you is if he creates that environment so he’s a noble man, a generous artist, and he loves his actors; and that’s a joy.

DC: Tell us about filming in Australia.

DB: All that… all that and more. The first thing that we all said when we arrived in that natural set in New Zealand was, “Shit, this looks like a different planet, like another planet I’ve never seen before!” Nowadays it’s really easy to go on the Web and explore New Zealand and see this and that, there’s some really weird shaped mountains, they’re not “earthy” so… it all begins there. But then he builds these sets and in the Fox studios in Sydney, three different stages were taken by him and we actually saw the entrance form as we were shooting, they were getting ready, and by the time we stepped onto those sets and everything was ready to go, it was very difficult for us to understand it was fiction in the movie. I’m sorry, let me just finish very quickly with that idea. There were some times that we forgot our trailers were outside and it was a safe place to go and get shelter, sometimes we couldn’t even see where the cameras were because of the darkness, because of the set design, everybody was there to create this environment, we all needed to reproduce that.

DC: How does Covenant fit in after Prometheus?

DB: This ship is a microcosm of what represents humanity. Everything that we are, as we know it, is on that ship, we’re all there, all kinds of human beings, all kinds of beliefs, all kinds of everything and as always happens in a closed environment we share the same roof with different people, you will find some challenges. Even in your own family, even if you all know each other, there’s always discrepancies, there’s always something to discuss about and fight about and fight for so you will find all that there and this is like a revolutionary act, when you involve yourself in such an experience as this, an inter galactic journey, in search of a new place to probably live in and colonize. You know there is a possibility that you won’t make it, there’s a big possibility that you will die during the process and that’s what revolutions are for. When you are part of a revolution you know there’s a pretty good chance you won’t make it. Revolutions are always perfect and fantastic for other people, for new generations, for other generations so hopefully we will get this chance to save humanity in our new home.

Alien Covenant

DC: How about working with Fassbender? Did you have many scenes with him?

DB: Yeah, we all share a lot of the action that goes on in the film and sometimes it’s difficult when you get to work with a superstar, such a big name like Michael, sometimes that can be difficult. But I insist, it’s the head of the project that makes everything flow easily and Ridley and Michael have known each other for many years and I know now why they love each other so much because they’re the same type of artists. This man is also such a noble and generous man, Michael, he’s there for you and you know he’s covering your back, not only on the set but living together. Having this chance to be together for such a long time, it’s always about that, the human experience on any project is what captivates you at the end of the project because that’s what you can keep in your heart and this was one of the happiest experiences because everybody was there for the same reason, in the same spirit and it was really, really easy to deal with everyone.

DC: There’s a lot of talk about using the word “alien” when it pertains to people and immigrants…

DB: We are fighting. We all know that this is a fight we need to put up and this resistance that’s happening from day zero its real and it’s around the world. It’s millions and millions fighting stupidity and we will win because of that, because we’re not in our homes, kicking back, scratching our tummies eating sandwiches. We are all worried about the same so we, this is really interesting, we are united in a really powerful way so maybe this character, this clown, this is what he made possible, shaking this environment he made us all come together to fight for the same goal. It is very serious, no one should take this lightly and I think art, as well as science and sports, which are the best face of us as human beings, it can create that change. We want to think that we do that every time we are responsible with a note, with something we write, with a comment we make, the power, we have space in the newspaper, radio station, TV station, what you say matters, what you write will make a difference, what we do makes a difference. We are doing a play right now at the Taper Forum, and it’s about that, it’s about discrimination that Mexican-Americans have suffered for many, many years. This immigration reform that we’ve been fighting for is nothing new, is nothing that just happened from top to bottom now. No, this is an old issue that is one of those social struggles that will be won, like many others in the history of this country but we’re up there, we’re up there, we’re awake, we’re aware and we’re fighting.

Look for Alien: Covenant (review) everywhere on May 19th.

Synopsis:
Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with ALIEN: COVENANT, a new chapter in his groundbreaking ALIEN franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

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Last Meeple Standing

Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination – Last Meeple Standing Game Overview and Review

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I’m going to kill you. Well, actually, me and few friends are going to snuff you. We are going to use… ummmmm… a bunch of old socks, a bucket of lighter fluid, and a piece of quartz to do it. Believe it. This is all because a machine that took a drop of your blood told you your cause of death would be “Blaze,” whatever that means. As assassins, it is our job to see you shuffle off your mortal coil in that manner (somehow, no matter how vague) using only a random assortment of items to force that death upon you. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. And we LIKE our job. It makes us laugh, you see.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Hahn

In the world of Machine of Death: The Game of Creative Assassination (MoD for short), a device has been invented that uses as single drop of your blood it takes when you stick your hand in it to predict, in VERY vague terms, how you are going to die. The catch lies in that vagueness. When the machine spits out the card with your cause of death, it is going to be one or two words that may or may not make any sense to you. For example, the card that pops out of the machine might say “Elephant.” How the hell is an elephant going to kill you if you live in Modesto? Just avoid circuses and trips to Jakarta, right? Wrong. What about that billboard for Elephant brand tires that falls off a four-story building and squishes you into strawberry jam?

MoD puts players in the role of killers whose job it is to make sure the Machine of Death pays off in…well…death. The problem, and the fun, of the challenge is that you HAVE to use a randomly drawn assortment of items to send your victim on to the next life. If MoD didn’t have such a dark theme, I’d call it a party game. Wait…fuck it. It IS a party game. Who am I kidding? It is hysterically funny to try, within a limited amount of time, to bring about the timely end of your target.

 

 

COMPONENTS:

Shall I start drooling all over this game right away? Yes! Commence drooling. The hefty, glossy game box comes packed with goodies: a huge pack of Death Cards, the cards that pop out of the MoD; a big box of Black Market Gift Cards, the items used to kill the victims with; a pack of Specialist Cards, bonus cards you can be awarded with to aid in our murderous adventures; a book of Target Intel Sheets, slips where you list various important traits for your victim; a wooden Fate Coin, which is flipped at various points in the game to help with decisions; a Mission booklet; and a nifty, red, custom die with a skull symbol for the “1.” All of this schwag is top-notch, high-quality stuff. The art on the cards is whimsical and very functional. The Death Cards look like those cards that used to pop out of the Fortune-Telling Gypsy booths on the boardwalk when you put a quarter in. The Black Market Gift Cards are designed to look like credit cards on one side with cute iconography identifying the item in question. The Specialist Cards have really fun artwork depicting the helpers you are awarded with if you kill particularly well. Lastly, anyone who frequents this column knows I’m totally nutty for custom dice, and this game scores with theirs. An embossed skull? Yes, please!

 

 

SETUP:

Separate out and shuffle the Death, Black Market Gift, and Specialist Card decks, and place each deck nearby face down. Draw one Death Card face down to the table. Count out 20 of the Black Market Gift Cards face down as your “shopping budget” for the game and put the rest away. Create your victim on an Intel slip using the tables in the rule book or select one from the Mission booklet. This will give the players some important and helpful insight into the target, allowing them to manipulate both their tools and the target for the kill. Turn over the Death Card and draw three Black Market Gift Cards face up in a row. Put the sand timer nearby, and you are ready to annihilate the victim.

 

 

GAMEPLAY:

It is important to remember that the game is more about fun storytelling than beating the dice. The more the players work together to come up with good stories, the better the gameplay is going to be. If you lose, so what? The game sets up in moments and is ready to go again, with fresh people just lining up to visit with Death.

Each game lasts for four rounds (four assassination targets). Each round you will do the following in order:

  1. Generate a target.
  2. Make an assassination plan.
  3. Attempt the kill.

If you fail at any kill, you lose. Too bad, so sad. If the kill is successful, you stand a chance to earn bonus Specialist Cards before moving on to the next assassination.

To generate a target, you use a series of simple tables and basically answer questions Mad Libs style to come up with Name, two pieces of intel (such as likes, dislikes, fears, beliefs, etc.), and a location for them. This meta-game is sorta fun all by itself. Making up goofy characters to slaughter shortly thereafter is a good time, right?

Next, the players look at the gift cards that have been turned up and try to come up with a way to use them to bring about the demise of the target. Keep in mind that these gifts are not going to be simple, single words, like: chainsaw, acid, or rifle. More than likely, they will be something like “something red.” In this case you could say, for example, it is a pile of bricks, a red dump truck, or a red baseball bat. String together a story of sorts from all of the items you have to form the death plan. If you had the cards music, something red, and batteries, you could come up with: “We’re going to block him into an alley with a red dump truck, confuse him with loud Skinny Puppy music so he doesn’t try to escape, and then pour battery acid on him from above.” All is good and well, but now you have to, as a team, try to assign a difficulty, from 2 (easy) to 6 (hella hard), for each of the three parts. How hard is it to accomplish each part? You might say that backing the truck block the alley is easy, so a 2, but getting enough battery acid together to kill the person might be hard, so maybe a 5.

 

 

To attempt the kill, you turn over the sand timer and get started as quickly as possible, because once the timer runs out, it’s game over, man! Starting with the first item in your plan, select a player to roll the die, in an attempt to roll the decided-upon difficulty level or greater. If you succeed, move on to the next item! If you fail, discard that item card, draw another, and revise you plan using the remaining items. The remaining items can operate the same way they did before, or you can create new uses and new difficulty levels for them. Then start over, attempting to succeed with all three items in your plan. If you roll greater than the difficulty level you set for all three items, your assassination is carried off for that victim. If you still have time on the clock, roll the die and consult the Aftermath table, which will let you attempt to flee the scene, establish an alibi, cater the target’s wake (really), etc. by drawing one item card and attempting a plan against that item. Win and you get to roll again, draw again, and try again if there is still time on the timer. For each successful roll, you get to draw a Specialist card and set it aside for the moment. These cards allow you to switch them out for item cards on subsequent assassination attempts, basically giving you more options of a unique and interesting kind (e.g., “water into wine,” “killer solo,” or “flying saucer ride”).

WINNING:

You win by successfully killing all four targets. Good job. You’re a serial killer. You lose if at any time you run out of both Gift Cards and Specialists before all four targets are dead. You also lose if you fail to kill a target before the timer runs out. What? You think you get a lifetime to snuff anyone you want? Guess again, killer!

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

By now, my enthusiasm for this game should be self-evident. I fricking LOVE MoD! The components are great, but the gameplay is even better! You’ve got a winner already, but I’ve been holding some info back from you, readers. This game is based on two awesome books of short stories delving into the possibilities of the wicked machine: Machine of Death and This Is How You Die. Both of them are chock full of hysterical…and creepy…stories of the fates of folks who fall victim to the machine. Not only that, but the website dedicated to this game, machineofdeath.net, is packed with bonus goodies for players: an Intel randomizer, timer music albums you can use in place of the sand timer (fun!), more missions, and target Intel blank sheets. Wow! The website also has pins, patches, posters, death certificates, t-shirts, etc. for fans to pick up if they love the game, which I suspect they will. Mind you, I’m not trying to sell you anything here, but WOW! What a bunch of cool-ass stuff! But wait, there’s MORE, and this may be the best part: there is a gigantor expansion for MoD. The Side Effects expansion includes more than 600 additional cards to plan deaths with: Death Cards, a Genre Deck, Intel, and what they call “Web Pals + Chums,” cards designed by famous Web personalities and illustrators (these cards are particularly awesome, according to ME).

There you have it…one of my favorite games in my collection. I’m happy to admit I have pretty much everything available for this game. Yes, I love assassination THAT much! This game is perfect for nights when you need a break from heavier games but are still in the mood for some mayhem and murder. I’ve rarely played MoD in public without some random stranger begging to please sit in on the next game. I strongly urge all of my readers to take the time and effort to find a copy and pick this up as soon as possible…or my friends and I will kill you.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

Designer: David Fooden, David Malki, and Kris Straub
Artists: Kris Straub
Publisher: TopatoCo
Published: 2013
Players/Playtime: 2-4 players/30 min
Suggested Player Age: 15+

RATING:
5/5

Last Meeple Standing is brought to you by Villainous Lair Comics & Games, the ultimate destination for board game fanatics in Southern California. For more information visit the official Villainous Lair Comics & Games website, “Like” the Villainous Lair Facebook page and be sure to follow Villainous Lair on Twitter and Instagram.

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Exclusive: Killer Klowns Live On in This Hell’s Kitty Clip!

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At this point, I think we’re all in agreement that the 1988 sci-fi horror/comedy Killer Klowns From Outer Space is a beloved cult classic, adored by horror fans the world over. Fans have been clamoring for a sequel for years and it always seems like one is right over the horizon but never quite within grasp.

While I can’t give you the sequel news you’ve been waiting decades for, I can give you a fresh taste of Killer Klowns with this exclusive clip from the upcoming horror/comedy Hell’s Kitty in which Charlie Chiodo himself dons the coulrophobia-inducing suit!

Synopsis:
Hell’s Kitty tells of a covetous feline that acts possessed and possessive of his owner around women.

Hell’s Kitty is written and directed by Nicholas Tana, based on his own comic, and is produced by Denise Acosta. It stars Doug Jones (The Shape of Water), Dale Midkiff (Pet Sematary), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Courtney Gains (The Children of The Corn), Lynn Lowry (Cat People), Kelli Maroni (Night of The Comet), Ashley C. Williams (The Human Centipede), Barbara Nedeljakova (Hostel), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog), and John Franklin (The Addams Family).

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Kane Hodder Wants to Play Michael Myers In a Halloween Movie

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While there are some names in horror that elude even the biggest fans, one name that I think is all but a household name at this point is Kane Hodder.

But for the few out there that might not know, Kane Hodder is most famous for playing Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood through Jason X.

On top of that, Hodder is known for playing Victor Crowley in Adam Green’s Hatchet series and he has been the stunt coordinator on endless feature films.

But some cool things people might not know about Hodder, however, is that on top of playing Jason and Victor Crowley, Hodder has played Freddy Krueger (at least his glove in Jason Goes to Hell) and a brief stint as Leatherface in Jeff Burr’s Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.

As you can imagine, for a man that had played so many of horror’s most classic characters there probably isn’t much on the man’s bucket list. That said, there is one iconic mask Hodder would still love the chance to wear in a feature film.

Can you guess which one?

Of course, you can. It’s in the headline. But all the same, yes, Hodder was recently speaking with We Got this Covered at Astronomicon and revealed that he would love a chance to play Michael Myers in a Halloween flick.

“It’s pretty cool to say I did one shot as Freddy, several scenes as Leatherface, four of the movies as Jason,” Hodder told the site. “I just need to do a movie version somehow of Michael [Myers].”

Kane Hodder as Michael Myers? This almost sounds too good to be true. I can only hope that this fanboy dream comes to fruition in the near future. After all, Hodder would make a… wait for it… killer Michael Myers.

What do you think? Let us know below!

To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story (review) will be released this July.

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