Ghost House & Universal Diving into Two New Frankenstein Projects; Summit & Columbia Working on Two More! - Dread Central
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Ghost House & Universal Diving into Two New Frankenstein Projects; Summit & Columbia Working on Two More!



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As a confirmed and proud Frankenstein fanatic, it always warms my heart when more tellings of the legendary tale go into production. Such is the case with the upcoming adaptations of the Peter Ackroyd novel The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein and the Kenneth Oppel novel This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein.

According to Deadline the first adaptation, which once had Timur Bekmambetov attached to direct, will see Pulitzer-winning Proof playwright David Auburn sign to write the script. The project is set with RT Features and Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures.

The story covers the youthful days of Frankenstein, who begins experimenting with corpses, influenced by the outspoken English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whose Mary wrote the book. She’s a character in the film as well.

But wait! There’s more!

Universal is developing a new version of the 1931 studio classic movie with Guillermo del Toro and Scott Stuber; Summit Entertainment is developing This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, an adaptation of the Kenneth Oppel novel which comes out this August that is being produced by The Twilight Saga’s Karen Rosenfelt; and Columbia Pictures and producer Matt Tomach recently acquired Frankenstein, a contemporary re-telling of the famous tale based on a pitch by Craig Fernandez.

Casebook Synopsis
When two nineteenth-century Oxford students–Victor Frankenstein, a serious researcher, and the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley–form an unlikely friendship, the result is a tour de force that could only come from one of the world’s most accomplished and prolific authors.

This haunting and atmospheric novel opens with a heated discussion, as Shelley challenges the conventionally religious Frankenstein to consider his atheistic notions of creation and life. Afterward, these concepts become an obsession for the young scientist. As Victor begins conducting anatomical experiments to reanimate the dead, he at first uses corpses supplied by the coroner. But these specimens prove imperfect for Victor’s purposes. Moving his makeshift laboratory to a deserted pottery factory in Limehouse, he makes contact with the Doomsday men–the resurrectionists–whose grisly methods put Frankenstein in great danger as he works feverishly to bring life to the terrifying creature that will bear his name for eternity.

Filled with literary lights of the day such as Bysshe Shelley, Godwin, Lord Byron, and Mary Shelley herself, and penned in period-perfect prose, The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein is sure to become a classic of the twenty-first century.

Ghost House and Universal Diving into Two New Frankenstein Projects

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#Brainwaves Episode 82: A Tribute to Jennifer Julian



Several days ago we lost someone who was integral to both the Dread Central family and the Brainwaves family, Mrs. Dark… Jennifer Julian. As a result this week there was no show. There was just too much shock. This coming week, though, we plan on honoring Jenn properly with an hour-long special cut of her antics while Mr. Dark was doing his paranormal news segment.

Jenn was hilarious. Her light was infectious and her tongue as sharp as Mr. Pointy from the “Buffy” days. It’s an honor to be able to preserve and celebrate her memory.

Thank you so very much for all that you gave, all the times that you helped, all the support, and most of all for that wonderful smile. Please watch over us all. We know you’re itchin’ to “staple our testicles to the ceiling” of Heaven, and not only do we probably deserve that, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jenn… this one is for you.

Special thanks to listener Scary Little Mary and Amy Martin for doing the legwork and getting this tribute assembled and to the Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas for donating their space for her memorial. Our hearts ache for Justin. We love you, brother.

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.


Listen to Stitcher

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.


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Eaten Alive! Blu-ray Review – The Jungle Retreat Where You’re What They Eat!




Starring Janet Agren, Robert Kerman, Me Me Lai, Ivan Rassimov

Directed by Umberto Lenzi

Distributed by Severin Films

Having just spent the past couple of weeks slowly listening to and digesting a five-part series on Jim Jones as heard on “Last Podcast on the Left” (which I highly recommend for fans of true crime and gallows humor), it was fascinating to watch a depraved slice of sleaze cinema combine elements of real-world tragedy with visceral, gory, and downright offensive horror. Think of Umberto Lenzi’s Eaten Alive! (1980) as the less-celebrated-but-still-accomplished brother to Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust (1980), and despite both being released the same year Lenzi got his project in front of cameras first. The exclamation point in the title is more of a warning than excitement because, yes, many things are eaten alive in this film: men, women – and animals. If the animal cruelty of Cannibal Holocaust causes bile to bubble in your gut then my advice would be to stay far away from Eaten Alive! because it ups the ante and then some. Lenzi goes straight for the jugular, spraying his feature with a geyser of gore and a buffet of body parts to ensure every viewer is thoroughly disturbed by the time those unexpectedly jazzy end credits start rolling.

After a mysterious South American blow-dart killer is run down on the streets of New York, the NYPD brings in Sheila (Janet Agren), whose sister, Diana (Paola Senatore), has gone missing in the jungles of South America. After viewing video of Diana involved in some unorthodox ritual Sheila hires Mark (Robert Kerman), a military deserter, to fly her down to New Guinea in hopes of rescuing her brainwashed sis. The jungles of South America are less hospitable than either of them had expected; the food chain is on full display as animals are routinely shown feasting on each other. Sheila and Mark stumble upon a group of cannibals eating a girl, cutting slices of meat from her breast and snacking on them like beef jerky. Titty jerky? They are “rescued” by Jonas Melvin (Ivan Rassimov), a Jim Jones-type cult leader who has a compound nestled deep within the jungle. Here, his followers perform manual labor and maintain the camp, and in return they receive frequent physical and sexual assault. It’s… not a great trade-off.

Sheila is desperate to get her sister to leave this questionable cult, but even once Diana comes around there’s the little problem of getting past armed guards, hungry jungle creatures, and that cannibal clan. Jonas, meanwhile, indoctrinates Sheila into the group via a ritual involving a large wooden dildo coated with snake blood. Another girl held at the compound, Mowara (Me Me Lai), is also tired of the daily rapes and so the three women, along with Mark, escape into the jungle in hopes of getting back to civilization in one piece. Unfortunately, those hungry, hungry cannibals catch up with a couple of them first and, well, the climax lives up to the film’s name and then some.

Although this feature was shot before Cannibal Holocaust, Lenzi actually used some footage from Deodato’s Jungle Holocaust (1977) here, not that anyone could notice. Eaten Alive! plays less like a full feature and more like some sick clip show, with a heinous act shown on screen every few minutes, lest the audience wise up and realize the plotting is skeletal at best. Lenzi capitalized not only on the current Italian cannibal craze but also the still-fresh memory of Jonestown and the largest mass suicide in history which is, of course, recreated here – and you know a film is chock full o’ sickness when a mass suicide is the least shocking thing seen on the screen. Seeing a few hundred people down some Flavor-Aid (it wasn’t Kool-Aid, people) pales in comparison to watching a woman have her breast cut off and munched on while another girl nearby has strips of flesh cut from her body and eaten in the same casual manner one might eat an orange. Don’t fret, ladies, because the guys get it bad, too; it wouldn’t be a proper cannibal film if someone didn’t have their dick chopped off. If there’s one thing Italian FX teams routinely nailed back in the ‘70s and ‘80s it was gore, and the work seen here is ooey and gooey and dripping crimson.

I could have done without all the animal death, though. The majority of these scenes are animal-on-animal action, reminding viewers nature is metal and savage and these things are a daily occurrence. But then, seeing these “natives” skin a living alligator more than once feels gratuitous. I could maybe understand if these scenes played some part in the overall narrative but they’re more like the porno scenes in Thriller: A Cruel Picture (1973), i.e. out of place and spliced in for maximum effect. This is a movie where a Jim Jones wannabe rapes a restrained woman with a snake-blood-covered wooden dildo – does it need any help in the depravity department?

The one thing that makes these Italian cannibal “classicks” stand apart from one another is the scoring. Cannibal Holocaust is the sickest film with the most beautiful music, courtesy of the legendary Riz Ortolani. Eaten Alive! is no slouch in that department either thanks to composers Roberto Donati & Fiamma Maglione’s funky, jazzy score that at times feels completely incongruous with the action on screen. The duo is credited under one pseudonym, Buddy Maglione. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn this feature was scored “cold”, with little regard given to how it would marry with the on-screen action. In one unintentionally hilarious moment at the end a close-up shot of a child, the only survivor of the Flavor-Aid cyanide suicide, quickly cuts the NYC skyline as Maglione’s upbeat theme begins to blast. A somber moment of reflection turns to near-comedy in an instant.

Here’s the thing, as abhorrent as virtually everything seen here is… I had a damn fun time with this one. You can’t possibly take any of this shit seriously. Eaten Alive! runs wild, packing so many mondo moments into its running time that viewers who aren’t too squeamish are going to be glued to the screen, wondering what wildness will be unleashed next. It’s like Lenzi directed under a mandate that every scene must feature dismemberment, cannibalism, boobs, animal cruelty – or all of the above. Seeing cannibal circuit stalwarts like Robert Kerman and Me Me Lai adds a nice touch of familiarity to the film, while Rassimov brings a brand of craziness to his Jonas that only a real-life inspiration such as Jim Jones could provide. This is a wild ride through rough terrain. Buckle up.

Severin touts Eaten Alive! as being “fully remastered for HD”, though it is clear the 1.66:1 1080p image still needs a bit of work. Expect to see plenty of white flecks, emulsion scratches, minor damage, and variations in color saturation and film grain but, I have to be honest here, that’s how I want to see a film like this. Color values fluctuate at times but the overall palette is strongly saturated and pleasing enough. The upgrade to HD has tightened up the image well enough that definition in objects and people is evident, revealing fine detail and looking more true to life. Black levels appeared dark and stable.

Audio is available in three varieties: English, Italian, and Spanish, all with a DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono track. I always opt for a dub on these Italian schlockers and the presentation here is crisp, with dialogue intelligible and clear at all times. There is some minor hissing on the high-end register but nothing distracting. Maglione’s score is delivered with excellent fidelity and depth. Subtitles are available in English and Italian.

“Welcome to the Jungle: Interview with Director Umberto Lenzi” is a new chat in which he discusses the state of cannibal films at the time, challenges during production, and more about the production history.

“Me Me Lai Bites Back: Feature Documentary on the Queen of Cannibal Movies” is a piece that runs for over an hour, with Lai discussing her oeuvre, what she’s been up to all these years, her legacy, and so much more fans will want to hear.

“The Sect of Purification: Interview with Production Designer Antonello Geleng” focuses on how Geleng was able to achieve the vision Lenzi had sought, even with most of the production taking place in a jungle clearly made by nature.

“Archive Interview with Actors Ivan Rassimov & Robert Kerman” features both leads briefly talking about their time on the production.

“2013 Q&A with Umberto Lenzi from the Festival of Fantastic Films, UK” and the film’s trailer are also included.

Special Features:

  • NEW 2K REMASTER of the film presented for the first time ever
  • Welcome To The Jungle: Interview With Director Umberto Lenzi
  • Me Me Lai Bites Back: Feature Documentary On The Queen Of Cannibal Movies
  • The Sect of The Purification: Interview With Production Designer Antonello Geleng
  • Archive Interviews With Actors Ivan Rassimov and Robert Kerman
  • 2013 Q&A With Umberto Lenzi from the Festival of Fantastic Films, UK
  • Eaten Alive!
  • Special Features


There is no false advertising with a title like Eaten Alive! and Lenzi does his damnedest to make viewers lose their lunch. Definitely for fans of distasteful and detestable cannibal crusades, this release from Severin is a bloody blast from start to finish.

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Llamageddon Trailer Lets You Witness the Wild and Wooly Alpacalypse



We seem to be living in a golden age of television. We also seem to be nearing the End Times of cinema. How else to explain the existence of a movie entitled Llamageddon? The trailer for it is a revelation. Or it’s from Revelation (the Book of).

Llamageddon vows to be nothing less than the greatest motion picture ever made about a killer space llama that attacks a house party in Ohio. Given how criminally overlooked the killer space llama sub-genre has been up until now, this is pretty much a no-brainer.

Llamageddon stars Howie Dewin (also the clearly demented filmmaker responsible for this magnum opus), Jacques M. Felin, Pinki Brainweis, L. Lean Burnside, E.B. Buxxner, Richard Cymbals, Leona L. Dandee, Mary Haddilam, Gooch Jesco III, Sunshine Phoenix, John Selmy, Aaron O.O. Shanson, Erin Stacy, Chet Steadman, and Luis the llama.

I understand Luis the llama was almost replaced by Christopher Plummer, but Pinki Brainweis refused to give up his $1 million reshoot fee.

About the only thing more improbable than the notion of a movie titled Llamageddon is the reality that this film has been in the works for over three years. We first reported on it back in the summer of 2015. Looks like this unlikely reality is almost upon us. God help us all.

Above you can witness with your own eyes the cinematic alpacalypse of an alien llama with glowing red eyes that fires laser beams and pummels victims with vicious llama fu as a man slowly mutates into a were-llama. What you see and hear will either leave you clamoring to see the insanity that is Llamageddon or leave you longing for the quiet dignity of a Sharknado flick.


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