The Horrors of Fantasia: Day 5 & 6 - Dread Central
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The Horrors of Fantasia: Day 5 & 6

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Fantasia 2007 coverage (click to see it full size!)Ahhhhh… another beautiful day in Montreal. I really love this city in the summer, the only time I’ve ever been here really. It’s a beautiful city, the weather is just right, and the girls are plentiful.

But I guess I should talk about Fantasia for a bit, eh?

When I left you last, I had promised a review of Diary and Woman Transformation. Well, as you can see, I only made it to one of those. Diary was early in the day, and honestly, Monday it was pretty crappy here weather-wise. Michelle and I spent most of the day chilling at Evil Andy’s pad, made it out for Woman Transformation (review), then retired relatively early. One film at Fantasia and home before 11? That’s almost unheard of!

Yesterday we made up for it, though. The wife and I headed out early to visit Montreal’s China Town in the hunt for prawn crackers (my wife, being the picky girl she is, wanted one particular kind of course), then back to the pad to chill for a while, only for it dawn on me that the first film I wanted to see (Assmonster) was at 5pm and it was now 4:30. Shit!

Fantasia 2007 coverage (click to see it full size!)A quick hop onto the Metro, and we were off. I made it to the film about 30 minutes in and didn’t even stay till the end. Considering the film was a product of Bill Zebub, one of the subjects in J.T. Petty’s S&Man (review), I wasn’t looking forward to much but was told it would be pretty entertaining. Instead it was full of bad acting, bad camera work, and humor that just fell flat over and over again. I really don’t get this trend of making bad, low budget horror just for the sake of selling it to losers at cons (a demographic they were targeting specifically). Though the film was trying to show the trials and tribulations of making a movie with zero money, I just didn’t care how it turned out.

After meeting up with Andy and his lady Hazel as well as Paul and his lady Annouk, we joined the massive lineup of people waiting for Sion Sono’s Exte: Hair Extensions (review), which really blew everyone away. Of all the films the man has done (Suicide Club, Strange Circus, Hazard, Noriko’s Dinner Table, etc.), Exte is likely his most accessible film with a straightforward narrative and almost normal characters. Well, not normal, but normal for a Sion Sono movie …

Fantasia 2007 coverage (click to see it full size!)Sono did a quick Q&A after the film (quick mainly because he doesn’t speak or understand English very well and had to be translated to and for), in which some interesting and not-so-interesting questions were asked. The best of the bunch, though, was when someone asked him how he felt about Japanese movies being taken over by American producers for remakes. The question itself isn’t very thought-provoking, but there was a lot of back and forth between Sono and his translator for a good couple of minutes only for the answer to be “I don’t care”. Brilliant!

Then we were back in the same theater for Chris Gorak’s urban apocalypse flick Right at Your Door (review), a movie that’s been shocking audiences at film festivals for over a year now. As you can see from my review, it’s not really the kind of film that can be categorized very easily. Indeed it’s only horror in a very real-world way, but it’s a movie everyone should experience for themselves, I think.

Fantasia 2007 coverage (click to see it full size!)Gorak got on stage afterwards for a Q&A as well, and though he wasn’t the most talkative of guys, he was able to answer the questions thrown at him pretty quickly. For some reason the same question was asked three times, about how much research he did into the U.S. dealing with such a catastrophe, just in various ways. It was kind of annoying, but he took it in stride. Unfortunately he didn’t join us afterwards for drinks, being whisked away right after the Q&A, cause I would’ve like to pick his brain about it a little bit more.

Then: the drinking. John Fallon (aka Arrow in the Head) met up with us right after the movie, and we headed out for an hour or so to catch up, bullshit about movies, and, of course, talk about girls. I finally got to meet Todd Brown of Twitch Film, too, which was very cool because I love that damn site.

Today we have the first Mexican horror movie made in many years KM 31, the new Miike headfuck Big Bang Love: A Juvenile, and (FINALLY) David Arquette’s The Tripper so look for even more reviews and coverage tomorrow!

Johnny Butane

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George A. Romero’s Daughter, Tina, Wrote a Script For Queens of the Dead

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The loss last year of director George A. Romero was a huge blow to the horror community, as well as the filmmaking community at large. The passing of the man responsible for creating the modern day zombie and whose work influenced “The Walking Dead”, Dead Alive, 28 Days Later, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out was felt far and wide but we take solace knowing that his work and legacy will live on forever.

Something that brings a smile to my face is hearing that his daughter, Tina, who DJ’s under the name DJ TRx, has written a screenplay for a zombie film that is called Queens of the Dead. And yes, it’s very gay! Romero has not only written the script but also plans on directing the film herself.

Romero tells The Saunder Blog about the film, saying, “Queens of the Dead is a fusion of two huge parts of my world: zombies and Gay nightlife. It’s a tribute to my father as well as my entrée into the genre he grandfathered. I can’t say too much yet, but what I can tell you is that this film will have all the hallmarks of a George A. Romero classic: farce, politics, heroes, assholes, and most importantly, herds of silly and slow moving walkers that you can’t help but love. But I’m doing it Tina-style, and bringing the glitter, choreography, queers & queens.

Romero’s father always brought some sort of social message into his work, so to hear that she will continue that tradition is inspiring, especially since it comes on a topic that is so discussed and topical.

If you want to read more about Romero and her DJ career, click on the link above.

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Local 58 Contingency Emergency Broadcast

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

As a child of the Cold War born in the 1970s and traumatized by films like The Day After and Threads, I remember immediately panicking every time an Emergency Broadcast broke into a TV show I was watching. That alarming tone made my stomach drop and in the moments before it was confirmed to be “only a test” I had already imagined a barrage of nuclear warheads bursting overhead.

My heart went out to the residents of Hawaii who, due to a false alarm, believed a missile attack was imminent this weekend. For almost 40 minutes, families scrambled into fallout shelters, bathrooms, and even storm drains, believing war had begun between the United States and North Korea. Even after the all-clear was announced and the warning revealed as a mistake, nerves were severely rattled. I can only imagine the potential long-term damage done to the psyches of Hawaii’s youngest residents.

For a taste of the pandemonium that occurred, check out an excerpt from CNN’s reporting below.

While the shock must have been unprecedented for most, a bizarre alert that accidentally aired in the late 1960s puts the Hawaii debacle to shame. What viewers of a local station saw just before the end of programming at 3 am was a message announcing the fall of the US Government, and included instructions for committing suicide rather than surrendering to enemy forces.

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

The message bore the seal of The U.S. Department for the Preservation of American Dignity, included a statement from President Lyndon B. Johnson, and warned that failure to commit suicide as instructed would have consequences:

“Your local law enforcement has been ordered to ensure your compliance,” the message cautioned. “It is against the law to delay.” The final instructions remind adult viewers to put down their children and pets first while promising “There is nothing to fear.” Though the station later posted a statement ensuring viewers the message was a hoax, the potential loss of life this broadcast could have inspired is staggering. Have a look:

If the Local 58 Contingency, as it’s become known, seems too outlandish to be true, that’s because it isn’t. Though the video doesn’t include an admission of fiction, it’s written and directed by Kris Straub. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the writer of the popular creepypasta Candle Cove, recently adapted into a TV series on SyFy.

Still, the vintage look of the Local 58 Contingency, not to mention the current climate of heightened tensions between American and a rogue nuclear nation, make this video a truly terrifying viewing experience.

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

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The Housemaid Haunts a New Trailer

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Here’s the thing… if we had the choice between cleaning up our own house or being haunted by a vengeful spectral servant of sorts, well… just hand us a friggin’ mop, wouldja already? Still, in the case of The Housemaid, it looks like nothing is gonna stop her from sensing shivers! Dig on this new trailer.

Derek Nguyen directs the flick, which stars Kate Nhung, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan, Svitlana Kovalenko, and Rosie Fellner. Look for IFC Midnight’s release of The Housemaid coming to select theaters, VOD, and via Digital platforms in the U.S. on February 16, 2018.

Synopsis:
A forbidden passion awakens vengeful spirits within a haunted mansion in this bloodcurdling, erotic tour-de-force.

Vietnam, 1953: Linh (Nhung Kate), a poor, orphaned young woman, finds employment as a housemaid in a crumbling rubber plantation presided over by the emotionally fragile French officer Sebastien Laurent (Jean-Michel Richaud). Soon, a torrid love affair develops between the two – a taboo romance that rouses the ghost of Laurent’s dead wife, who won’t rest until blood flows.

Submerged in moody Gothic atmosphere, this stylish supernatural saga confronts the dark shadows of Vietnam’s colonial past while delivering heart-stopping scares.

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