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Animal Planet to Debut New Series About Not Finding Bigfoot



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I’ve been fascinated by the subject of Sasquatch my entire life. I’ve probably read more books about Bigfoot than most people even know exist. There was a time when TV shows about Bigfoot fascinated me; that was until I noticed a trend of them never finding a damn thing. Will Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” continue or end the trend?

Animal Planet is throwing their hat into the televised Sasquatch hunting ring with a new six-part series beginning Sunday, June 5th, at 10/9 Central called “Finding Bigfoot” that hopefully won’t end with nothing more than conjecture and inconclusive evidence as is so typically the case with these cable cryptid shows. Oh, if only Bigfoot hunting was as exciting as Syfy original movies make it out to be.

A four-person team from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) – the leading scientific research organization exploring the Bigfoot/Sasquatch mystery – investigates supposed Sasquatch sightings by interviewing locals, examining evidence and infiltrating the woodlands and forests in places where Bigfoot has been reported, including Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, Oregon and Alaska. In each state, the team listens to harrowing tales of run-ins with Bigfoot before generating reconstructions of the encounters to judge their plausibility or dismiss them as hoaxes. Then, outfitted with the latest technology, including night-vision and infrared cameras, the team sets out on exhilarating and eerie investigations where any broken branch or peculiar noise could mean a Sasquatch is lurking nearby.

The BFRO Team is comprised of a former roadie (Bobo), a science teacher (Cliff), the BFRO president (Matt) and a skeptical scientist (Ranae); each teammate has varying experiences with Bigfoot and differing beliefs about the existence of this enigma. What binds them together, however, is their longing to understand the creature, passion for proving its existence and willingness to stop at nothing to finally track down Bigfoot. In the end, will they verify the presence of Bigfoot and convert skeptics, or will this obscure American legend elude them too?

I think we all know how this is going to end.

Animal Planet to Debut New Series About Not Finding Bigfoot

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The House That Dripped Blood Hits Blu-ray For the First Time Via Scream Factory This May



Vampires! Voodoo! Vixens! Victims!

Horror anthology The House That Dripped Blood will be hitting Blu-ray for the first time ever via Scream Factory this May. The film tells four separate tales of terror written by Robert Block (the author of Psycho) and stars horror legends Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Ingrid Pitt.

You can check out the disc’s cover art to the right and the special features and trailer below. Then let us know if you plan to pick up a copy on Blu-ray this May 8th!

Special Features:

  • NEW Audio Commentary by film historian/author Troy Howarth
  • NEW interview with second assistant director Mike Higgins
  • Audio Commentary with director Peter Duffell and author Jonathan Rigby
  • Vintage Featurette – A-Rated Horror Film – featuring interviews with director Peter Duffell, actors Geoffrey Bayldon, Ingrid Pitt and Chloe Franks
  • Theatrical Trailers (English and Spanish)
  • Radio Spots
  • The Amicus Radio Spots Collection
  • Still Gallery



A Scotland Yard inspector’s search for a missing film star leads him to a haunted house. The house sets the framework for four separate tales of terror written by the author of Psycho, Robert Bloch, and starring horror icons Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Ingrid Pitt. All four stories center on the mysterious fates of tenants who have leased the mansion over the years.


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Maternal Madness: Why Pyewacket Is Lady Bird for Horror Fans



Please don’t read this editorial as an attempt to stoke the fires of horror classification and Oscar-worthy representation. Adam MacDonald’s Pyewacket is, so substantially, a child’s diary that’s shredded to bits during ritualistic sacrifice. Doors that should remain forever boarded are flung open with impulsive negligence, spared not by impunity as pitchfork-scarred figures charge towards the now unblocked opening. Generational unreset and Satan’s deceit lead a cacophonous moral charge, yet even amidst MacDonald’s familial kerfuffle, it takes little sleuthing to proclaim Pyewacket the horror genre’s answer to Greta Gerwig’s Best Picture Nominee Lady Bird.

This is an exercise in theme, tone and tale – plenty more, never less.

It is quite true that both projects differ in climax – one a heart-swelling reunion (Lady Bird), the other a black magic kiss of death (Pyewacket) – but neither narrative dismisses two deeply moving stories about maternal relations. Two intentionally blurry impressions (do you even know how being alive works?), both tremendously rich in their abilities to exploit the unpredictability of emotion and a parent’s eternal love. Each project’s young female protagonist thinks they’re being imprisoned, even mistreated, only to highlight the live-and-learn faults in misunderstanding. We were all kids once, and someday we’ll be parents too (if you choose). Look no further to find equal films that so honestly address both points of view – albeit it in uniquely separate ways.

Nicole Muñoz stars as Pyewacket’s Leah Reyes, your average goth-punk “outcast” who’s obsessed with occult practices. Her mother (played by Laurie Holden) is usually drunk or distraught, a hollow shell of herself ever since the death of Leah’s father. Mrs. Reyes reaches a point where she can no longer endure her current living arrangement so she decides to purchase a woodsy, secluded cabin (without haunting memories). Leah lashes out as any transplanted child would, even though Mrs. Reyes fairly keeps her enrolled in current schooling situations. Nevertheless, Leah turns to her ritualistic hobby and calls for the demon Pyewacket as a form of adolescent overreacting – a deadly curse that must be broken when imbalanced hormones subside in the dumbstruck youth.

Where Lady Bird takes the road more often traveled – a mother and daughter’s symbiotic tug-of-war that’s rooted in sarcastic loveliness – Pyewacket allows for something more malicious. This nightmare scenario where a teenager acts on momentary inhibitions to cause harm unto their parent. It’s that gut-punch family moment where a child screams “I WISH YOU WERE DEAD” from behind cascading tears because he or she isn’t allowed to stay up past 10:00 PM or something just as trivial – but MacDonald *actually* rationalizes such a heartless and empty gesture. This is, destructively, Pyewacket’s grinning premise – except without take-backsies. Extreme to the max, because horror’s most meaningful representations understand and exploit far-reaching depths of our most questionable experiences.

Imagine. Lady Bird is so honest, open and painstakingly enthralled by its flaws, but Pyewacket ups the game with a thick layer of Salem-scented dread. There’s no phone call that erases bitterness once Leah realizes her mother is just trying to do her best in an unspeakable situation. Pyewacket has been summoned from the woods and does not stop advancing – resurrected in anger, acting on ill wishes that can’t be erased. A demon that represents the materialization of dwelled-upon negative thoughts. One girl damned by the stigma of unforgiveness. I might argue that Pyewacket harbors a stronger bond for audiences to detect versus Lady Bird, if only because viewers can sense an *avoidable* (and horrific) end for one, maybe even two lives.

In throwing Laurie Holden and Laurie Metcalf comparisons around (both mamas), yes – it’s acknowledged that Holden portrays a more volatile arc. She’s grief-stricken, typically passing out whilst “enjoying” red wine or saying the wrong thing to her daughter. It’s never intentional, but emotions are so inherently complicated and subject to personal comprehension – something we often forget ourselves (like Leah does). She’s a strong girl who happens to find comfort in pentagram shapes and incantations. Her mother? Smashed to jagged pieces. But here she is trying to piece together a crumbled existence, asking her kin for help. The move isn’t an act of betrayal, it’s permission for understanding (much like how Lady Bird and her mother take everything personally). As (self-obsessed) children, it’s hard to see the big picture.

So important is a reminder that we’re all just sacks of flesh and cerebral neurons that are trying to make sense of infinite existential unknowns. Maturity provides no one an answer key. Metcalf’s decision to abstain from conversation when Saoirse Ronan flies away and Holden’s depleted capacity to “deal” are both neither “wrong” nor “right.” Good decisions? Hardly – but that’s not for you to say. I love this brand of steadfast imperfection because it allows for latter-act breakthroughs where two characters finally channel the same wavelength. Both stories trace these lines so incomparably well, which is an easy inclination of similarity. Pyewacket as vividly wounded as Lady Bird despite horror sadism.

MacDonald makes the most of his film’s satanic roots with heretic details. Leah’s Pyewacket awakening so researched (oil, milk, herbs, blood from her wrist, subject’s hair), her ensuing torments chilled to the bone. This, of course, is the biggest gap between Lady Bird and Pyewacket – Lady never had to fake sleeping while a midnight demon sat *on* her bedroom wall (downright paralyzing sight) – but that’s what gives Leah’s struggle its signature genre stench. There is no fear of pushing boundaries too far as a “wannabe Manson chick” must live with decisions poised to haunt her every waking hour – if they’re proven real (you better believe there’s a sick psychological duality at play).

Of course, Muñoz’s performance is just as important as Holden’s given the situation. How is a child with no worldly experience suppose to take her mother’s exclamation of “Moving on is impossible with your father’s face?” The weight here is heavy, with Muñoz dealt a much uglier hand given Ronan’s intermittent department store banter and more obvious hints of mixed messages. Leah’s HIM posters and Rowan Dove books (an occult writer she admires) are her safety net – an escape from depression. Lady Bird acts out in her own way, but for genre fans, this is a familiar trope – executed so beautifully by both MacDonald and his young starlet. Muñoz sells her angst, paranoia and teenage selfishness like a pro (ditto Ronan). Be careful, this is one of those feely, decadently rich emotional horror flicks some of y’all are afraid of (jk WATCH THIS MOVIE).

Am I using broad strokes to latch Gerwig’s California-hazed coming-of-age dramedy onto a movie about a malevolent spirit set free by a woefully unprepared child? Maybe, but not as blindly as you’d think. Both films run a tremendously relationship-driven undercurrent that evolves with analogous devotion, creepy Pyewacket chase sequence or not. Both proficiently understand parental dynamics (and fears), both highlight egregious Hollywood misconceptions about raising children and love, both connect messy characters through blood and experience – don’t be fooled by monsters in one and Timothée Chalamet in the other. Pyewacket is a brooding rumination on hasty decisions and stewing over perceptions we create ourselves, but also the power in coming-of-age – and the unknowingness that remains in adulthood.

Horror fans, do not skip out on such a genrefied dagger to the heart as Pyewacket – one marvelous movie about our human condition in horrific form. As tragically beautiful as is it cautiously forthcoming. Pure, bare-it-all art laced with the devil’s strongest brew.


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Unearthed Exclusive Part 1 of 2: Twenty-Four Years After its Release, Screenwriter David J. Schow Talks The Crow



For many readers of Fangoria in the 1990’s, the magazine’s provocative and insightful column “Raving & Drooling” (appearing from 1992 to 1996) written by American author David J. Schow was cause in and of itself to pick up an issue (and for those who missed it, those forty-one installments were collected into the award-winning 2000 book release Wild Hairs). For devotees of the literary subgenre of “splatterpunk” (a term Schow himself coined in the 1980’s, populated by the likes of fellow writers John Skipp, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Bright and the late Jack Ketchum), Schow’s also well revered, from his 1988 novel The Kill Rift to his latest, 2012’s Upgunned. And for fans of horror cinema, his name will undoubtedly spark recognition as the subversive screenwriter of 1990’s Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and director Dave Parker’s 2009 film The Hills Run Red, among others.

Late last year I sat down with Schow to discuss the film he’s most known for however, New Line Cinema’s cult classic The Crow, a feature which, much like the oversized French poster of the same mounted upon the writer’s Hollywood Hills’ living room wall, will forever loom large in his life.

Based on James O’Barr’s 1989 comic of the same name, which tells the story of slain musician Eric Draven who returns from the grave (accompanied by a crow as his guide) to avenge the rape and murder of his fiancée on the eve of their impending nuptials, the stylized dark fantasy film opened on May 11, 1994, and was a sleeper hit at the box office, garnering critical praise, grossing more than twice its budget and arguably providing the then burgeoning goth movement a celluloid altar at which to collectively worship. A series of flagging sequels soon followed, as did an ill-conceived television series, and in October of next year an impending reboot titled The Crow Reborn, starring Jason Momoa, in which vocal fans of the original seem at present less than interested. Perhaps unsurprising really, for the tragic death of lead Brandon Lee, son of martial arts and screen legend Bruce Lee, on March 31, 1993, during the indigenous production has rendered the film a veritable cinematic headstone.

“I got into New Line Cinema because of Mike De Luca, who got his first screen credit as a producer on Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and who was working there at the time in development, was a fan of my printed fiction,” Schow offered of his work with the studio, as well as the eventual script for The Crow, which he was hired to re-write following screenwriter John Shirley’s initial four drafts of the same.

“Caldecot Chubb, a producer who was later to work with Ed Pressman on The Crow, had called me into his office to work with Penelope Spheeris on a film called Deadly Metal, which was basically about a metal band that ate its groupies,” Schow continued of his circuitous journey to attachment. “And I had this great meeting with Penelope, and we were firing on all cylinders, and Deadly Metal went, which is where most film projects go, nowhere fast. But, in the interim, Cotty became one of the guys that I showed to every spec project or set of notes that I’d worked on subsequent to Leatherface, and one of these was sort of a time travel horror script called Dead Reckoning, and when The Crow came around and Pressman asked Cotty if they had any ideas who could re-write Shirley’s script, Cotty called me.”

“So in 1991 we sat down with an idea to address and develop (The Crow),” said Schow, “and thanks to Cotty’s recommendation, we were very quickly taking meetings at Pressman, where I met (The Crow director Alex) Proyas and Brandon (Lee) and everyone involved in the prep, and we probably spent about a year and a half rewriting the script.”

Based on O’Barr’s at the time incomplete comic series, itself partially inspired by the real-life death of the comic book writer’s fiancée at the hands of a drunk driver in 1978, Schow said of adapting for the screen the rather violent source material, “The comic is about a guy that comes back from the dead, shoots a lot of heroin, plays a guitar, kills some guys, shoots some more heroin, and kills some more guys. Shirley’s script was very beholden to the comic book, sometimes to its detriment, because John had written the version with the talking bird in it, which was probably not a good idea. I think that concept works better in the comic than it would have on the screen.”

“Frequently with these projects it’s not the quality of the script that gets another writer assigned to it, it’s the fact that the people in the production food chain want to pull rank and flush, rinse, and repeat,” he mused. “So it’s not a bad mark against the quality of the original script at all, but you go into a job like this—and I’ve been rewritten too—so I’ve seen it from both ends, knowing that they’re going to want ‘different’ and you’re going to have to think on your feet and come up with something that they appreciate, or at least comprehend.”

Expounding on the challenges of adapting the comic to screen, “We were functioning on a set of three issues out of five, with the remaining two issues as a set of incomplete pencils, and we couldn’t really get a definitive answer on how it wrapped up, so we had to make up whatever the conclusion of this ‘arc’ – to use one of those dreaded Hollywood words – would be,” said Schow. “If you have a story for example, with a great deal of killings in it, or a novel with a mass murder and then another mass murder and then another, when you translate that to a film, there is no build. How do you make a subsequent incident worthy of paying attention to, or in the cheapest terms possible, how do you make this ‘whammy’ bigger than the one that came before it in order to keep everyone’s attention until everything finally blows up with a big explosion at the end so that everyone knows that the movie’s over?”

“So, that’s the simplistic version of it.”

“Having then also spent the entirety of 1992 working on the script, one of the things that we stumbled over or deduced or figured out over the long course of many, many drafts where we tried a whole bunch of different things—and this includes trial and error and trying things and failing—is that this film had a brain of sorts, and it had plenty of guts, but it required heart in the middle of it somewhere,” offered Schow.

“There’s certainly one in the middle of O’Barr’s comic, which was based on his own personal tragedy, and we had to come up with an equivalent for that, and it literally happened in Brandon’s (hotel) suite. This is a flash forward all the way to pre-production of the film in January of 1993, when we were in Wilmington, North Carolina. Some of production was staying at a place called the Greystone Inn, which was an elaborated hotel, a bed and breakfast sort of place, with amenities, and in Brandon’s suite—he had a third or a half of an entire floor there—he and I found a door that opened in to this little storage area. And we looked at each other, and said at about the same time—and this sounds like the kind of story you’d make up for a script—‘That’s what The Crow needs. It needs a secret room.’ And the secret room became the attic that you see in the film’s flashbacks (with Eric and his fiancée Shelly), so it was that late in the process (where we found the film’s heart).”

As for what had been discarded during the trial and error process in his previous drafts, “We specifically had an Asian villain, that Brandon and (stunt coordinator) Jeff Imada thought was a bad idea,” Schow elaborated. “The size of the gang (also) changed, and it literally resulted in a stack of scripts that’s over a foot high, and I couldn’t tell you how many versions there are. If I went downstairs to the office and hauled them out of the foot locker and counted them that wouldn’t even be accurate, because there were a lot of intermediates, and then when we were shooting, a very strange thing happened, which was that for all of the writing we had done on this project, there was no script that reflected what we were shooting in its totality. So one of my jobs of many in Wilmington, was to take the notes of the things we had changed or scripted perhaps the previous day, and render those into a form that could be included into some kind of big collated script, or at least something that resembled a shooting script.”

As a result of this,” he continued, “today I have a version of the script that we could send to people that basically reflects the movie as shot, but that script didn’t exist while we were shooting the movie, because we pieced it together a scene at a time, from scenes we changed, from scenes according to the shooting schedule, that we would alter the day before, because another one of my jobs during the shooting—and this was the beginning of February through the end of March, and then June and part of July of ’93—was at two thirty in the morning during lunch, because we were constantly shooting at night, were my ten minutes with Alex (Proyas) in his trailer, and we’d dope out what I’d write for the next twenty four hours. Then Peter Pound, the storyboard guy, would come in, and get his five minutes with Alex, and he would thrash out what he was going to storyboard for the next day. So it was really run and gun, because we had to accommodate changes—constantly and unendingly. Some of the changes were due to budget, schedule, to the availability of other actors, so it was really me and the storyboard guy taking some heat off of Proyas by helping him change things at the last minute, and by honing the film by making better individual scenes and individual lines of dialogue that we had spent over a year on already.”

Pertaining to Lee’s influence on the narrative, “Brandon had the ability to go to Alex, and say, ‘This scene should be longer. We should explore this more,’” continued the screenwriter. “And he had several opportunities to write his own dialogue which he mostly did around stunt scenes. It was very collaborative. But Brandon did have the power to specifically object to something he didn’t like, like having an Asian bad guy, for example, and we paid attention. Because other times, day to day, it was like dealing with the character instead of the actor, because you were getting Eric Draven’s viewpoint on the script as opposed to Brandon’s.”

As for Lee’s well documented commitment to immersing himself in the character of Draven, “People think this is a made up story, but Brandon literally got into a bathtub of ice at the Greystone Inn to lower his body temperature, so he could better prepare for being a dead guy,” said Schow (no small feat given that during principle photography the actor was more often than not filmed outdoors in frigid winter conditions – and under rain machines to boot).

“So he took it very seriously,” continued Schow, “and I remember Brandon in Alex’s office one day on set, where he just kind of hit the wall with his back and sank down on his haunches and just kind of hung his head. It was really just too much for him, because he was living in that skin 24/7, and it was beginning to get to him sometimes, because we had a pretty brutal shooting schedule on top of that. It affected everyone to a greater or lesser degree, but what it also did was bond the crew into a really good unit. It sounds dreary and depressing, and it did get bad at times, but there were wonderful things that would happen on the production every day.. .”

Schow paused.

“But you really can’t talk about an upside to a production where your star gets killed—that’s the ultimate tragedy that can happen on a film set.”

Part 2 coming soon.

Note: This interview is an excerpt from the forthcoming book Unearthed: A Look Behind the Terror, currently being written by Sean James Decker. For more, follow Decker on Twitter and Instagram @seanjdecker.


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