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Exclusive: Connor Paolo Talks Stake Land



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Horror fans may not necessarily recognize the name Connor Paolo, but there are millions of people worldwide who will. The up-and-coming actor is part of the ensemble of young talent that makes up The CW’s hit show “Gossip Girl.” Now Paolo is set to leave his impression on the genre everywhere when Jim Mickle’s Stake Land opens in limited theatrical release this Friday.

Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with Paolo about what attracted him to the project, the difficulties of juggling a hit television series and his role in Stake Land, and how he prepared to take on bloodthirsty vampires alongside co-star Nick Damici.

Paolo said he knew from the moment he picked up the script that he had to play the role of Martin, a tragic young man who gets saved by a mysterious stranger named Mister (Damici). The pair then set off for the fabled New Eden community in hopes of escaping the perils of the vampire-plagued world around them. “As soon as I read the script in the spring of 2009, I immediately saw how brilliant the part of Martin was and knew I wanted to be a part of it. Then, when I read with Nick, I just absolutely knew I wanted this role and I had to work alongside this guy. His delivery and range was amazing.”

Exclusive: Connor Paolo Talks Stake Land

“The day that I got the offer with Stake Land, I basically tried to be around Nick as much as humanly possible for training since he’s a professionally trained martial artist. In Stake Land he worked martial arts techniques into staking vampires so I would train with him just to get a sense of the technique and timing. It was exhausting but worth it because I think that adds a little something to the film when you see us actually doing the moves. You believe it,” added Paolo.

When production was set to begin on Stake Land, both Paolo and Damici decided to head to set early to settle into their roles before the cameras started rolling.

“We both arrived to set about a week early so Nick and I actually camped out together the entire time before we started shooting just so we could get used to spending all our time together,” said Paolo. “We both believed that Stake Land’s success hinged a lot on Mister and Martin’s relationship so we knew what we needed to do to ‘get there’ as actors. We wouldn’t even shower or anything, which I know drove everyone crazy.”

For Paolo one of the more challenging aspects of Stake Land was that he was still continuing to work on “Gossip Girl” while in production on the indie horror feature. “I had made a commitment to the role of Eric (van der Woodsen) so I couldn’t just completely stop working on ‘Gossip Girl’ while making the movie. It was nice when we had the break for a few months to let the seasons change for Stake Land so I wasn’t nearly as stressful.”

“When we came back to film the second part of the movie, I was a little nervous that the time away would have changed dynamics on set, but it did the opposite,” added Paolo. “Everyone fell right back into the swing of things, and I think the time away from set actually made all of our bonds that much stronger.”

There’s no doubt that the heart and soul of Stake Land is the relationship between Mister and Martin. Paolo discussed what drove the relationship between the two men.

“Throughout Stake Land Martin’s character really evolves and comes to have such a love and respect for Mister,” explained Paolo. “I think a lot of that comes from the idea that once you save someone, they become your responsibility. At the start of the film, Mister made a promise to Martin’s father that he’d keep him safe, and from there a bond begins growing between Nick and my character that becomes very familial- he’s a father figure to Martin but also much more than that. You don’t see those kinds of relationships in horror movies very often these days.”

Even though Paolo was excited about coming on board his first horror film, it wasn’t necessarily the vampires that lured him onto the project. “Vampires weren’t quite everywhere like they are now when we made Stake Land, but I’ve always thought the movie is so much more than just about fighting vampires. There are cannibals, religious zealots, closed borders and a failed government, which all sort of came together to make a statement on the state of our country these days.”

“If you take away the vampires, there’s still a very powerful film at the core of Stake Land, which was all Nick and Jim’s approach to the script. They did something amazing and created a movie that would still be interesting to audiences if there weren’t any vampires in it. There’s so much going on in Stake Land that even though the vampire aspect is what will attract people’s interest, I think what will keep them watching are the relationships between the characters and what they must endure overall in order to survive,” Paolo added.

Another aspect of the story that Paolo appreciated was the realistic take on modern vampires- there are no suave vampires in Stake Land trying to seduce the ladies or planning for world domination. These vampires are visceral, brutal killers, and the young actor found that refreshing.

Paolo said, “Jim and Nick went with the genetic approach to vampires so these aren’t supernatural vampires by any means, which is why they have sort of a zombie-like quality to them. They’re essentially brain-dead creatures so they don’t have the ability to reason or be suave or even articulate like a lot of vamps these days. They only know one thing, and that’s feeding, and I think that makes the Stake Land vampires truly terrifying. You can’t reason with them.”

Our thanks to Connor for taking the time to speak with us. For more visit the Stake Land viral site On to New Eden. When you’re done there, be sure to visit the new official Stake Land page on Facebook.

Exclusive: Connor Paolo Talks Stake Land

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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Are Truth Seekers Playing by Slaughterhouse Rulez



One of our favorite pairings of stars from the last twenty years is no doubt that of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Their chemistry is undeniable, and if you didn’t get enough of it in “Spaced,” Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Paul, you’re about to get a bellyful of it on both big and small screens.

Variety is reporting that Frost and Pegg will be starring in “Truth Seekers,” a half-hour comedy-horror TV show about a three-person paranormal investigation team.

According to the site, each installment of “Truth Seekers” will focus on a paranormal incident, a setup with clear monster-of-the-week potential. “Each episode is going to be an adventure, a potential haunting or something,” Pegg says. “It’ll start as a very parochial idea, a very small business venture for these people, but it will expand as the series goes on to be something far more global. It’s a language everyone understands, the mystery of the unknown. Shaun of the Dead was a very parochial story set in North London, and somehow it managed to get this global reach because everyone understands the language of zombie movies.

That’s not all, though… the pair are also working on the feature film Slaughterhouse Rulez, a horror-comedy now in post-production. Directed by Crispian Mills and set in a well-to-do public school, the movie is “very satirical, very much about the U.K. selling itself off,” Pegg says. “It’s about fracking as well, and that unleashes some awful subterranean demon.

Both of these projects will be released under their Stolen Picture shingle. Stay tuned, kids! More as we get it!

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Rest in Peace – Yôsuke Natsuki



We’ve lost another Kaiju legend today as reports are coming in that famed Japanese actor Yôsuke Natsuki has passed on at age 81.

Natsuki was a familiar face in several Godzilla films including Godzilla 1985 and Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster. Born in 1936, Yôsuke has made over 100 appearances in film with the last being in 2012’s Kirin.

We here at Dread Central would like to take this time to honor Natsuki’s friends, family members, and constituents.


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NSFW Kill Clip from Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories Now Available on VOD



VOB now available on VOD!

For those who might not know, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is a sequel to the indie horror anthology Volumes of Blood, produced by P.J. Starks and Eric Huskisson (The Confession of Fred Krueger) and Christopher Bower (The Dooms Chapel Horror).

It features actor Moses Moseley, best known for his role as one of Michonne’s “Pet Walkers” on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; the acting debut of WWE legend Sir Mo from Men on a Mission; and original music by Rocky Gray (drummer for We Are the Fallen, Living Sacrifice, formerly of Evanescence) and Shane Prather (Sharknado franchise, Sinister Squad, Lavalantula).

The flick recently hit VOD and to celebrate the release, the filmmakers have shared a “Kill Clip” from the movie to spread the bloody word.

You can check out the NSFW Kill Clip called “All Torn Up” in all its gory glory below and then let us know what you think.

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is now available on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and more!


A couple plan to purchase an old home but would like one last tour before the closing. They’re guided around the estate by a creepy realtor that may have more in store than they bargained for.

Searching floor by floor, they begin to discover the remnants of its sordid and terrifying past… A popular 80’s franchise gets a modern upgrade, but at what price? On Halloween night a teen left home alone meets a trick or treater that wants more than just candy. A door to door insurance salesman makes a Thanksgiving house call with monstrous consequences. Andrew and Sara are happily married and plan on spending some quality time together, but something sinister has other plans for their evening. Carol’s Christmas Eve turns into a fight for survival when a vengeful stranger isn’t feeling the holiday spirit. Lastly, a birthday party turns bloody when some unexpected guests drop by at the wrong time.

Seven interwoven tales of terror… how many stories does your house have?

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