Exclusive: Evanescence's Rocky Gray Talks Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Evanescence’s Rocky Gray Talks Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories

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To celebrate the home video release of Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories on August 1, we decided to talk to former Evanescence musician Rocky Gray, who scored several of the anthology segments in the film.

If you enjoy his work, you can follow Rocky on Facebook.

Dread Central: How did you come to be involved?

Rocky Gray: After scoring the music for The Barn it had finally put me on the map as a new indie horror film composer and I wanted to get to work on another film as soon as possible. So I had gotten in contact with P.J. Starks and he and I were talking and trying to figure out how much I could get involved with VOB:HS because there were some other names already attached as composers. In the end I did 3 full segments and some themes scattered around the film. I was really happy with what I was able to bring to the film.

DC: Which of the segments did you work on?

RG: Deathday Party, Murder Death Killer and Fear, For Sinners Here were the complete segments I scored.

DC: How did you approach creating the score?

RG: Lots of discussing with Justin Seaman for his segment Deathday Party and Nathan Thomas Milliner for his segments Murder Death Killer and Fear, For Sinners Here.

Justin’s was probably the most difficult composing I’ve had to do because the characters are a bit quirky and we wanted to kind of turn it on its head at the same time. So it was a tricky balancing act between the quirky and full blown insanity. Nathan’s was more straight forward with a few details he wanted to convey a certain way but overall it was pretty smooth sailing on those two segments. P.J. had the few themes he needed and had ideas of where he wanted to go with those and we knocked it all out fairly quickly. It was a lot of fun really.

DC: How do you find the process of composing films compared to your usual work with bands?

RG: I like the composing process because its a subversive process for me. I’m totally in the movie and I’m trying to make sure I’m hitting everything the director wants plus I want to be as creative as I can as well and give the director some options if possible. Sometimes the director is thinking about music one way and I’ll do that for them but also show an alternate version to show maybe a different emotion or foreshadow things that are yet to come.

The scoring process is so unlike anything else, it’s hard to compare it to the band situation. Yes there are instruments and melody and a story but maybe it’s the approach that is so different. As a band we write music we like and were happy if the fans like the music but its a pretty selfish way of writing but in film we write for the story, it’s all about serving the film. The film is everything, it’s not about me, even though I want to be creative and bring something to the table in the end it’s all for the moving picture.

DC: You’re also working on 10/31 and Cryptids, which are also both being produced by P.J. Starks. What can we expect from them?

RG: You can definitely expect a good time. Our Halloween themed anthology 10/31 is just about finished and from everything I’ve seen from the directors (I’m directing a segment as well) it is really something special. I’m composing all but one of the segments. The other directors include Justin Seaman and Zane Hershberger from The Barn, Johnny Holt from The Dooms Chapel Horror and Brett DeJager of Bonejangles. It’s a solid lineup and I think we will all be doing a lot more stuff together. Speaking of, we pretty much are all working on the Cryptids movie too haha. I’m composing on that one as well. An anthology about cryptozoology monsters? You know you want to see that!

About Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories
Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is a sequel to the indie horror anthology Volumes of Blood, hailed by critics as “The best damn anthology of 2015!” The first project under the newly created Blood Moon Pictures, LLC. the film is 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).

Pre-orders are now available: DVD / Blu-ray

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Several Muppets Were Run Through The Walking Dead’s Zombie App and It’s Kind of Amazing

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For many people, a big part of their childhood were the Muppets from “Sesame Street”. The lessons they learned from characters such as Bert and Ernie, Count von Count, Big Bird, and more, were invaluable and set a foundation of how to live ones life. On top of educational lessons, they were taught compassion, sharing, decency, and other traits that form the basis of a civilized society. Then zombies came along and botched everything.

Using an app from “The Walking Dead”, several characters from “Sesame Street” have been zombified, resulting in images that will no doubt make some of you laugh while others might be horrified at what their childhood characters have gone through. It’s kinda hard to deny that Count von Count doesn’t look gruesome as hell with a dislocated and dangling jaw…

Below is a gallery of these images and, just for fun, underneath that is “The Walking Gingerbread”, an actual parody of “The Walking Dead” done by “Sesame Street” for Halloween!

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Josh Millican’s Best Horror Films of 2017

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It may just be that my love of horror grows every year, but it honestly feels as though 2017 has been a red-letter year for the genre. Not only are films like Andy Muschietti’s IT and Jordan Peele’s Get Out generating Oscar buzz but we’ve seen horror elements seep into mainstream movies and TV shows, from Logan to “Stranger Things”.

And this hasn’t merely been an amazing year for mainstream horror, with powerful indies emerging as some 2017’s best; it’s further proof that many of the most compelling and important genre flicks are being produced outside the traditional Hollywood system. Below, in no particular order, are my selections for the Best Horror Films of 2017. Let me know what you think in the Comments section!


Brawl in Cell Block 99

Though the subject matter is completely different, S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 has many parallels to his first film, 2015’s Bone Tomahawk. Both movies build slowly and are anchored by compelling characters and engrossing dialogue; furthermore, both films are deceptively understated until an explosive and shocking 3rd Act hits like a gut-punch.

Vince Vaughn delivers a genuinely poignant portrayal of Bradley Thomas, a down-on-his-luck drug runner willing to do anything to protect his family from disgruntled former associates. Don Johnson also deserves a shout-out for his turn as corrupt Warden Tuggs, the most unnerving fictional jailer since Cool Hand Luke.

Brawl in Cell Block 99 isn’t your typical horror movie, presenting a meandering narrative, but it’s still as entertaining as anything that follows an established formula. Horror is always most compelling when we can connect with a film’s protagonists, and this film delivers in spades.


Raw

Julia Ducournau’s Raw both benefited and suffered from reports of audience members fainting and falling ill during the film’s 2015 premiere at TIFF. Upon its limited theatrical release, The Nuart in Los Angeles passed barf bags out to moviegoers, a tactic usually reserved for the most extreme and outlandish of B-movies, films intentionally crafted to trigger the gag-reflex. While Raw does indeed contain scenes that are very difficult to stomach (pun intended!) it’s hardly a 2-dimensional gross-out.

Before classifying the film as horror, it’s a coming of age saga first and foremost. Themes of cannibalism and bodily mutilations become metaphors for sexual awakenings and transitions into adulthood. Raw is also a compelling study of sibling rivalries and the powerful influence of heredity on personal development.


The Blackcoat’s Daughter

Though released after I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is actually the debut film from Oz Perkins (son of horror icon Anthony Perkins). It combines the supernatural terrors of a possession movie with the compelling complexity of a murder mystery. The all-girls boarding school in winter provides a moody aesthetic with Gothic undertones while serving as an incubator for sexual awakenings and religious guilt.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter hinges on a powerful twist, but this doesn’t hit the audience like a ton of bricks; rather, the film’s secrets are gradually unraveled, resulting in a slow realization that’s as poignant as it is shocking. The film succeeds in no small part thanks to compelling performances by a trio of talented young thespians: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, and Lucy Boynton.


The Devil’s Candy

Sean Byrne is one of the most talented horror practitioners to emerge from Australia in the 21st Century. His debut film, The Loved Ones, is an under-seen sleeper that balances teen angst, dark comedy, and extreme violence. With his follow-up film, The Devil’s Candy, Byrne is finally getting the attention he deserves.

It’s less extreme than The Loved Ones, but The Devil’s Candy’s understated presentation, genuine drama, and slow-burn build-up delivers more palpable dread and a lasting resonance. The Devil’s Candy is a chaotic mix of heavy metal music and inner demons and can be viewed as a metaphor for how the blind pursuit of art can destroy families.

Ethan Embry deserves a shout out for his harrowing portrayal of father and artist Jesse Hellman. Who’d have thought the kid from Can’t Hardly Wait would develop into such a skilled actor?


Get OutGet Out

Historically, Q1 is a bad time for horror movies, as studios are prone to dumping films they have little faith in. Jordan Peele’s Get Out breaks the rules in many ways and, though released in February, it remains one of the most lauded and analyzed films of 2017—in any genre. The inclusion of sociopolitical elements makes Get Out both unique and timely, although even without its social agenda, Get Out is a compelling and unnerving experience, one that stokes paranoia by exacerbating primal fears related to deception and isolation.

Peele has become an exciting and refreshing figure in horror with plans for more socially-conscious thrillers in the years to come.


47 Meters Down

Nearly unceremoniously dumped directly to DVD in 2016, In the Deep was rebranded 47 Meters Down and given a theatrical release last Summer, where it became an unlikely hit. Perhaps hampered by preconceptions relating to lead actress Mandy Moore, 47 Meters Down is nonetheless immensely entertaining, eclipsing 2016’s shark-horror blockbuster The Shallows.

I do have doubts about the film’s ability to spawn a franchise (there’s currently a sequel in the works, being produced under the temporary title 48 Meters Down) considering this film hinges on a twist that can only be used once, so it’s difficult to imagine a sequel with the same impact—but who knows?

Ultimately, though, even a bad sequel won’t diminish the shine of 47 Meters Down. The film also proves there are still plenty of ways to pack legitimate terror into a PG-13 horror movie.

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Ash Vs Evil Dead Seasons 1 and 2 Are Now Streaming on Netflix

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The last word we brought you guys on the upcoming third season of Starz’s “Ash vs Evil Dead” starring Bruce Campbell was when we shared the show’s all-new teaser trailer (below).

Today we have awesome news that the first two seasons are now streaming on Netflix!

So if you’ve been putting off watching the series (for some reason) or have been waiting until the day where you could just binge-watch the series in one grand swoop, then today is your day. There isn’t a better time than now. Just make sure you’re caught up come February.

Hell, yeah.

Are you excited to watch (or rewatch) the first two seasons of “Ash vs Evil Dead” on Netflix? Let us know below!

“Ash vs Evil Dead” stars Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, and Lucy Lawless. Campbell executive produces the series with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Ivan Raimi, and Rick Jacobson. Season 3’s new showrunners are Mark Verheiden and Moira Grant.

“Ash vs Evil Dead” season 3 hits STARZ Sunday, February 25, 2018.

Synopsis:

Ash has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead until a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind and Ash becomes mankind’s only hope.

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