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Event Coverage: HorrorCon UK 2017

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As any horror fan worth his/her salt will tell you, over in England we’ve been spoiled because in theory we have had two HorrorCons in one year. The 2016 edition, which presented us with the likes of Kane Hodder, Doug Bradley, David McNaughton and Linnea Quigley, rolled around last July; and this, the third edition of England’s premier horror event, was held earlier this month in Sheffield, England.

Wendy, Gill and her team of horror fiends (which is an ironic title since they couldn’t have been any friendlier) outdid themselves once again with a host of some of the most famous and iconic horror stars from the present and yesteryear. All eyes of course were on a veteran actor, the one and only Sid Haig, reanimated of sorts by the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Rob Zombie this past decade. Haig was incredibly down to earth and very cool; we knew he would be, but seeing him in the flesh just confirmed that. Haig even mentioned a certain Uncle Creepy and to give our regards to him!

All Photos: David Bronstein

The queue for Haig’s autograph complete with a chat was huge, but he remained animated telling each and every fan a small snippet from his incredible career. Later in the Q&A panel Haig was asked firstly about his exploitation movies with the great director Jack Hill and the many movies that he has starred in with 70’s star Pam Grier. Topic of conversation quickly turned to his Captain Spaulding role in Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses and then its sequel, The Devil’s Rejects. Haig reminded the audience that he wasn’t Captain Spaulding, meaning there was much more to him than the famed clown character; however, he did appreciate that his role had become, even after little more than a decade, an iconic horror villain. When a fan asked if he would ever revive the role – for instance, if Zombie decided to do a prequel, he confirmed that he would jump at the chance.

Haig was amusing throughout, and okay, even though he didn’t blurt out the lines ”tasty fried chicken” or ”What’s the matter? Don’t you think clowns are funny?,” he did something that was terrifically classy. Before he started his talk, he looked at the audience face to face and said, “Remember… I am only here because you are sitting there.”  It was 10 words that instantly filled your heart with even more gratitude for the man. In his photoshoot later on a fan actually came in with a Captain Spaulding 18-inch figure. “Look! It’s mini you,” said the fan. “So it is,” replied Haig.

The event organizers gave us a special introduction to the one and only Heather Langenkamp, whom the folks at HorrorCon UK had tried to get for a few years. Here she was in all her radiant glory. Langenkamp will of course always be remembered as Freddy Krueger’s nemesis in the classic A Nightmare on Elm Street where she played Nancy Thompson. Langenkamp was happy to talk about her own nightmares and the two movie sequels she appeared in, the fan favorite A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, where she revealed that she was happy to be killed off, especially in such shocking fashion when Freddy pretends to be her recently deceased father. And then of course she had positive words for the much missed Wes Craven and his underrated return to the franchise with New Nightmare, which Langenkamp agreed was still one of the scariest roles she had been in.

The beautiful Elvira, aka Cassandra Peterson (sadly, with no makeup on) was another guest, and she made up for the Elvira no-show with her warmth and gratitude towards the event. Plus there were plenty of Elvira fans present; let’s just say this reporter had to know when to duck and dive. Peterson talked about how her show as horror host in the classic “Movie Macabre” elevated her to stardom which culminated into the classic 1986 movie Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. But would you know that one of her very first roles on television was in “Happy Days”? Well there you go.

Thom Mathews was a late fill-in guest for David Warner, who unfortunately had to cancel due to commitments on the new Mary Poppins film, but Mathews was an inspired choice to have in the lineup. For one he arguably starred in one of the best horror movies of the 80’s in The Return of the Living Dead; his character died in that, but Mathews was presumed to be so cool that they just let him star again in the sequel. Sandwiched in between these movies he starred as Tommy Jarvis in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, which has a lot of love here at Dread Central and in the horror community. So to get the chance to be in Mathews’ presence was pretty special, and he mentioned that even more cuts were made to Jason Lives than the work print suggests.

Linda Hayden, most famous for her roles in Hammer Horror’s Dracula franchise, was also here. Stunning for her age, she signed autographs, posed for fans and reminisced about one of horror’s biggest icons, Christopher Lee.

And if that wasn’t enough, a certain Aussie was here, Mr. Mick Taylor, aka John Jarratt, and thank God Jarratt is one of the friendliest people you could ever wish to meet. (Note to self: That’s why he’s such a great actor.) For his Q&A Jarratt broke with tradition of sitting down to answer fans questions and stood up and walked around with the microphone. It was a very refreshing idea, and if horror ever deserts him, Jarratt certainly has a career as stand-up comedian. You read that here first!

Apart from the star-studded guests were the masses of stalls selling everything from model kits, masks, cushions, t-shirts, you name it… it was here. Then of course there were the fans dressed up as their favorite fiends from Freddy Krueger to Jason Voorhees. Kavity the Clown was back again from last year, and one fan went to a lot of trouble to dress up as the deceased character Nathan Grantham from Creepshow, “I want my cake!” One word: Wow!

HorrorCon UK will surely be returning next year, and we already want to know who the special guests will be! The event has outdone itself each passing year, and so the anticipation will be nail-biting. Until then, ghouls, you’ll have to catch up with all your classic horror movies and guess who’ll be coming to dinner in 2018.

You can find out even more information on this year’s event and be the first to know about HorrorCon UK 2018 by clicking here.

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Amazon Developing Stephen King’s The Dark Tower TV Series

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The Dark TowerIt’s been a while since we brought you guys an update on the planned TV series based on Stephen King’s The Dark Tower book series.

But today it looks like we have confirmation via Deadline that, “Amazon… is developing a slew of high-profile titles, including The Dark Tower…”

The series is being developed by Amazon as part of their bid to move into bigger budgeted spectacles ala their recent acquisition of the rights to The Lord of the Rings.

No further info is available at this time but we will keep you up to date as we hear word on Amazon’s “The Dark Tower.”

Are you excited about this series? Let us know below!

Synopsis:

Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.

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Rutger Hauer Says There Was No Love and No Soul in Blade Runner 2049

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I don’t know about you, but I dug the hell out of last summer’s Blade Runner 2049. I found the film to be a tonally perfect addition to the Blade Runner universe and appreciated how it built on the story established in the original film.

That said, there are some out there that aren’t fans of the sequel – most of all, it seems, is the original film’s baddie, Rutger Hauer.

Recently, Hauer spoke with THR and didn’t hold back on his dislike of the new film.

“I sniff and scratch at it,” Hauer says. “It looks great, but I struggle to see why that film was necessary. I just think if something is so beautiful, you should just leave it alone and make another film. Don’t lean with one elbow on the success that was earned over 30 years in the underground.”

He continues: “In many ways Blade Runner wasn’t about the replicants; it was about what does it mean to be human? It’s like E.T. But I’m not certain what the question was in the second Blade Runner. It’s not a character-driven movie and there’s no humor, there’s no love, there’s no soul. You can see the homage to the original. But that’s not enough to me. I knew that wasn’t going to work. But I think it’s not important what I think.”

Wow, don’t hold back, Hauer. Tell us how you really feel!

I’m kidding. And while I don’t agree with Hauer on this particular issue, the man has more than earned the right to think it IS “important what [he] thinks.

Do you agree with Rutger Hauer on Blade Runner 2049? Let us know below!

Synopsis:
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

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Ash vs Evil Dead Set Visit Part 2: Learning About Kelly, Pablo, and Brandy

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If you haven’t read through the first part of my set visit for the third season of “Ash vs Evil Dead”, make sure to do so here.

After walking through the halls of Brandy’s high school, the sperm bank clinic that has been seen in the trailer, Brock’s house, and the streets of Elk Grove (all through the magic of set designs), it was time to sit down with stars Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago, who told me about their characters Kelly and Pablo through this season of “Ash vs Evil Dead”! Oh, and there’s also a lot from Arielle Carver-O’Neill about her character Brandy as well, because who can resist hearing from Ash’s daughter?

After finding out that Dana, who is from Youngstown, Ohio, is a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, our interview nearly ended. After all, your boy is a Wolverine, through and through, and anyone who knows sports rivalries knows that Buckeyes and Wolverines don’t get along. That being said, we managed to put aside our differences so that I could learn a bit about Kelly and what she’ll be going through this season.

I really loved Kelly’s journey in season one and two. It was very exciting to play because, in a way, it mirrored my own as an actor coming into a franchise like this. Just like Kelly was dragged into this fight against evil and was caught completely off guard, it was very similar to the actor struggling for 10 years. I was living in Los Angeles working at a bar when I got this job. All of a sudden I’m being thrown into this with this incredible franchise, with the amazing producers of Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, where a franchise that’s built upon one man, a lone wolf as we’ve said, who is the star of this show and now he’s going to have sidekicks, that was terrifying as well! But it was really cool because I feel like I got to grow with Kelly and every time Kelly did something new, it was me doing something new,” DeLorenzo explains.

Expanding on that, DeLorenzo starts telling me more about Kelly and how she specifically changes through the upcoming season, saying, “At the end of season two, there’s the parade. And if you look, you can see that Kelly isn’t happy. Kelly is the smart one of that trifecta, the ghostbeaters. She knows that evil is not gone for good, which brings us to season three. Now that she’s tasted blood, she’s constantly chasing that high. So, at the start of season three, Kelly is a warrior without a war. She wants to stay on her game for when evil comes back. Her journey for season three…evil paints Kelly in a bloody corner and sets up her to fail where she can’t do what she does best, which is kick evil’s ass. She’s put in these catch-22 situations that she can’t fight her way out of without someone she cares about getting hurt. I think fans will be shocked at her transformation [this season].”

The theme of family running throughout this season of the show is not lost on DeLorenzo, who recognizes that Kelly’s ultimate purpose throughout this series is called into question through events that she wasn’t able to elaborate upon. However, she did tell me, “It was always about protecting and staying by the side of Ash and Pablo because they are not her family by blood but they are her family by bloodshed.

When describing the ghostbeaters, she calls Ash the “brawn”, Pablo the “heart”, and Kelly the “brains”. Later, as I sat with Arielle Carver-O’Neill, I asked what Brandy represents, to which she stated, “the hope”. “They all become very protective of Brandy and are very supportive of her journey,” Carver-O’Neill explains.

I asked her to envision a world where a fourth season is confirmed and how she’d like to see Brandy’s role expanded. Pondering this for a couple of moments, she then told me, “I’d like to see her find herself a bit more. I think just because she’s a teenager, you go through that journey at that age where you are figuring out who you are and your parents, either consciously or unconsciously, play a large role in that. For her, she only had her mum and then she found parts of herself in her dad. But she’s got a lot of growing up to do and I think that’d be really fun to explore how she goes about that.

For Santiago, the character and evolution of Pablo throughout the series has a very personal meaning for him. “As a kid, I grew up watching horror films and I always wanted to be the hero saving people from the monster and I always wanted to be the person chased by the monster. I think, in this show, I have the opportunity do that every day as Pablo and I’m one step closer to becoming the superhero I wanted to be as a kid,” he states.

As for his evolution, Santiago sees Pablo as going from a pushover in the first season to someone very important and potentially very powerful in the third season. “We’ve seen Pablo go from this naive guy [in the first season] that’s pushed through the ringer to last season and…the Necronomicon and Pablo have an undeniable relationship that will never end. As we move into this third season, Pablo sees things differently. He’s not just tormented by his visions of darkness, we see that he may not be just a sidekick but also psychic! We’re going back to his family and we callback to his roots. Perhaps it wasn’t just a coincidence that he met Ash and that he himself was always destined to be somewhat of a Jefé. I think season three is where we see all that coming to fruition. He’s not just along for the ride, he’s become an integral part of the team.

Part III of our set visit coming soon!

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