Exclusive: New Artwork, Casting, and Distro News - Tales of an Ancient Empire - Dread Central
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Exclusive: New Artwork, Casting, and Distro News – Tales of an Ancient Empire

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Many things are happening for Albert Pyun’s latest film Tales of an Ancient Empire, and they are all good. The flick has landed some new players, some new eye candy, and even some solid distro. Read on for the details.

In terms of casting Pyun dropped the following on us:

Michael Pare plays “Oda”, father of Kevin Sorbo’s character – Aedan – as well as Victoria Maurette’s Kara (via Whitney Able’s Xia – the vampire sorceress). He also fathers Princess Tanis (Melissa Ordway) and Rajan (Janelle Taylor) amongst others. The film is about how Oda’s womanizing has created both the extreme good and evil in the world. And how parental abandonment colors each character’s life and behavior. And Sorbo’s character – Aedan – has a child with his half-human/half-vampire half-sister Kara – Hekate – played by newcomer Cazzy Golomb. Hekate narrates Tales and becomes one of the principal villains in the Tales sequel “Red Moon” – shooting in July.

Also added to the cast are Sasha Mitchell (Kickboxer series and the “Step by Step” TV series) along with Olivier Gruner (Nemesis). Sasha and Olivier play mercenary cohorts of Oda’s who stay on in Abelar only to arise hatred from the women in the palace for their jerk behavior and overt harassment.

My longtime collaborators Norbert Weisser (as Xuxia, Xia’s father) and Scott Paulin (as Toubou the Demon Priest) add a lot of humor and substance in appearances.

It’a a gnarly family tree that brings the world close to destruction. I think the relationships are fun and detailed. It makes the film more in the vein of HBO’s “Rome”. More character-based and less simple plot/action.

Mainly, I know the film is unique as we’ve strived the past three years to create something different and a bit off the wall … certainly an original and twisted take on the sword and sorcerer genre.”

The next screenings for Tales of an Ancient Empire will be at Combat Con in Las Vegas – June 25 at 7:30 PM at the Tuscany Hotel, then it begins rolling out across North America (with confirmed stops in Honolulu, Southern California, Detroit, San Francisco, Louisville – FrightNight Fest, and B Movie Celebration in Indiana).

Lionsgate has picked up the flick and will release it on DVD this fall.

Exclusive: New Artwork, Casting, and Distro News - Tales of an Ancient Empire

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Annihilation – New Trailer and First Stills!

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We’ve been talking about Alex Garland’s new film, Annihilation, for a couple of years now, and finally Paramount has released some eye candy for you to digest in the form of a brand new trailer and several stills! Dig in!

Based upon Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, and Gina Rodriguez.

Look for it in theaters on February 23, 2018.

Synopsis:
A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

Left to right: Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson in Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

Natalie Portman plays Lena in Annihilation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance.

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Desolation Review: Campers + Lunatic = Simplicity, But Not Always a Better Product

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DesolationStarring Jaimi Page, Alyshia Ochse, Toby Nichols

Directed by Sam Patton


I’m usually all in when it comes to a psycho in the woods flick, but there was just something about Sam Patton’s Desolation that seemed a bit distant for me…distance…desolation – I’m sure there’s a connection in there somewhere. Either that or I’m suffering from a minor case of sleep-deprivation. Either way, make sure you’ve got your backpack stuffed, cause we’re hitting the timber-lands for this one.

The film focuses on mother and son tandem Abby and Sam, and the tragic notion that Abby’s love and father to her son, has passed away. The absence has been a crippling one, and Abby’s idea of closure is to take her adolescent offspring to the woods where her husband used to love to run and scatter his ashes as a memorial tribute. Abby invites her best friend Jenn along as emotional support, and together all three are planning on making this trip a fitting and dedicatory experience…until the mystery man shows up. Looking like a member of the Ted Kaczynski clan (The Unabomber himself), this creepy fellow seems content to simply watch the threesome, and when he ultimately decides to close the distance, it’ll be a jaunt in the forest that this close-knit group will never forget.

So there you have it – doesn’t beg a long, descriptive, bled-out dissertation – Patton tosses all of his cards on the table in plain view for the audience to scan at their leisure. While the tension is palpable at times, it’s the equivalent of watching someone stumble towards the edge of a cliff, and NEVER tumble over…for a long time – you literally watch them do the drunken two-step near the lip for what seems like an eternity. What I’m getting at is that the movie has the bells and whistles to give white-knucklers something to get amped about, yet it never all seems to come into complete focus, or allow itself to spread out in such a way that you can feel satisfied after the credits roll. If I may harp on the performance-aspect for a few, it basically broke down this way for me: both Abby and Jenn’s characters were well-displayed, making you feel as if you really were watching long-time besties at play. Sam’s character was a bit tough to swallow, as he was the sadder-than-sad kid due to his father’s absence, but JEEZ this kid was a friggin malcontented little jerk – all I can say is “role well-played, young man.”

As we get to our leading transient, kook, outsider – whatever you want to call him: he simply shaved down into a hum-drum personality – no sizzle here, folks. Truly a disappointment for someone who was hoping for an enigmatic nutbag to terrorize our not-so-merry band of backpackers – oh well, Santa isn’t always listening, I guess. Simplicity has its place and time when displaying the picture-perfect lunatic, and before everyone gets a wild hair across their ass because of what I’m saying, all this is was the wish to have THIS PARTICULAR psycho be a bit more colorful – I can still appreciate face-biters like Hannibal Lecter and those of the restrained lunacy set. Overall, Desolation is one of those films that had all the pieces meticulously set in place, like a house of cards…until that drunk friend stumbled into the table, sending everything crumbling down. A one-timer if you can’t find anything else readily available to watch.

  • Film
2.5

Summary

Looking for a little direction way out in the woods? Look elsewhere, because this guide doesn’t have a whole lot to offer.

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New 78/52 Clip Showers Off

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To celebrate the UK DVD release of the Psycho doc 78/52, we have a brand spanking new clip for you cats to go crazy over. Watch it quick; you don’t want to keep Mother waiting!

The flick, from director Alexandre O. Phillipe, features interviews with Walter Murch, Peter Bogdanovich, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Osgood Perkins, Danny Elfman, Eli Roth, Elijah Wood, Bret Easton Ellis, Marli Renfro – body double for Janet Leigh in Psycho, Karyn Kusama, Neil Marshall, Richard Stanley, and many more.

An unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the ‘Man behind the Curtain’, and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema, 78/52 references the number of set-ups (78) and the number of cuts (52) in the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. One entire week out of the four weeks scheduled to shoot Psycho — a full quarter of the film’s production schedule — was dedicated to the infamous shower scene.

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