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San Diego Comic-Con 2011: More Horror TV from The WB, Dexter, and Locke & Key

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With TV set to dominate this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, more panel and screening info has come in with regard to some of our favorite shows, including one that is being admitted into the hallowed confines of Hall H! Read on for the details of who’ll be there from Warner Bros. TV and Showtime’s “Dexter” along with how you can get a sneak peek at Fox’s failed pilot for “Locke & Key”.

San Diego Comic-Con 2011: More Horror TV from The WB, Dexter, and Locke & KeyFirst up is the who, when, and where for The WB’s “The Vampire Diaries”, “The Secret Circle”, and “Supernatural” (which is indeed returning to the big show despite being left off a previous list):

SATURDAY, JULY 23:

“The Vampire Diaries”: 3:30–4:15 p.m., Ballroom 20
Stars Nina Dobrev, Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Candice Accola and Joseph Morgan join executive producers/writers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec.

“The Secret Circle”: 5:10–6:00 p.m., Room 6BCF
Stars Britt Robertson, Thomas Dekker, Phoebe Tonkin and Natasha Henstridge join executive producers/writers Kevin Williamson, Andrew Miller and Richard Hatem.

SUNDAY, JULY 24

“Supernatural”: 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Hall H
Series stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles will topline the panel, held this year for the first time ever in Hall H. Additional cast members and executive producers to be announced.

SPECIAL SNEAK PEEK PILOT SCREENINGS
WEDNESDAY, JULY 20 • 6–9 PM • BALLROOM 20

WBTVG continues its Comic-Con tradition of hosting a special sneak peek premiere event on preview night. This year the Studio is offering fans the opportunity to see some of the most anticipated new premieres of the year:

“The Secret Circle”: The ordinary becomes extraordinary in this romantic drama about a coven of young witches, from “The Vampire Diaries” executive producer Kevin Williamson, based upon the book series by L.J. Smith (“The Vampire Diaries”).

“Supernatural: The Anime Series”: The popular series “Supernatural” makes history this summer as the first-ever live-action show to be re-imagined in Japanese anime style. Renowned animation studio Madhouse — working with the full approval of series creator Eric Kripke — produced the anime series, which mirrors the story arc of “Supernatural’s” first two seasons, providing supplemental stories ranging from prequels and spin-offs to untold tales that fit within the “Supernatural” mythology.


Next is info from Showtime on the “Dexter” panel:

Showtime is returning to the San Diego Comic-Con this year with a stellar panel on opening day, Thursday, July 21 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM in Ballroom 20 (first up are “Shameless” and “Homeland”, followed by “Dexter”):

“DEXTER” SEASON SIX: Comic-Con fans will be the first to see the exclusive world premiere of the new season’s trailer; then moderator Ralph Garman (KROQ Entertainment Reporter) will preside over a revealing interview and Q&A session with the stars and executive producers. Featured panelists include Michael C. Hall (series star/executive producer), series stars C.S. Lee (Vince Masuka) and David Zayas (Sgt. Angel Batista), guest star Colin Hanks (Peter Jackson’s King Kong, Roswell) and more. Also appearing will be executive producers John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Scott Buck and Manny Coto.


Lastly, courtesy of Deadline comes word that a “Locke & Key” session will be held Friday, July 22, at 10:30 AM and will include a screening of the pilot, followed by a panel discussion featuring Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, the pilot’s writer/executive producer Josh Friedman and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Behind the event is the publisher of the Locke & Key comic, IDW Publishing. IDW asked the pilot’s producer, 20th Century Fox TV, for permission, and with the studio’s blessing, it moved to book space for the screening. Because the convention is so packed, there was some juggling involved so the screening will be in Room 8 and the panel next door in Room 9. “This one-time-only screening of the entire pilot will show you just what a void there will be on your TVs this fall,” IDW’s ad materials say.

“Locke & Key”, directed by Mark Romanek and starring Miranda Otto and Nick Stahl, was one of the highest-profile pilots this past season. It was given an early pilot order and originally envisioned as a summer series before it was switched to fall consideration. Despite its great pedigree and top auspices involved, the pilot didn’t make the cut at Fox, and after shopping the show to cable networks, the studio, faced with mounting costs of keeping the production alive, decided to pull the plug. While IDW will no doubt use the the footage to drum up interest for the next chapter in the comic book series, it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction the pilot will get. Can the power of the Comic-Con crowd make network chiefs change their mind?


All right — got your calendars marked? And this is just the beginning! Keep it here for more San Diego Comic-Con 2011 news as it comes.

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Night of the Living Dead 4K and The Silence of the Lambs Come to the Criterion Collection

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It’s been a long time coming for these two classics, especially Night of the Living Dead after the ridiculously bad transfer put out by Mill Creek Entertainment, whose transfer was supposedly remastered from a new 2K scan. I swear I thought it was some kind of a joke when I first put it on to watch. In any event…

IndieWire is reporting that horror classics Night of the Living Dead and The Silence of the Lambs will be added to the 2018 Criterion Collection, a hallmark label for home video cinephiles.

According to the site, Criterion will release a new 4K digital restoration of The Silence of the Lambs, which has been approved by the movie’s cinematographer Tak Fujimoto. Included on the DVD and Blu-ray sets are 35 minutes of deleted scenes and audio commentary from 1994 featuring the late Jonathan Demme (director), stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas.

Night of the Living Dead will also be released in 4K with never-before-seen 16mm dailies included as a bonus feature(!).

These will be added in February of 2018 so make sure you save up some cash after the holidays!

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DIS Review – Not for the Faint of Heart!

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Starring Bill Oberst, Jr., Lori Jo Hendrix, Peter Gonzales Falcon

Directed by Adrian Corona


I’ve made this claim many a time on this website before, and in the company of film friends as well: Bill Oberst Jr. is one of those actors that can literally be thrust into ANY role, and deliver a performance with so much harnessed electricity that you couldn’t believe that it was possible. I was the lucky recipient chosen to get a look at his latest project, titled DIS, and I think that I can honestly say – this is the stuff that nightmares are constructed of.

Directed by Adrian Corona, this 60-minute dive into the black depths of hell, and in actuality DIS is located between circles # 6 and 9 in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and trust me when I tell you – there’s not a shred of comedic relief in this demented presentation. Oberst Jr plays an ex-soldier named Ariel, and his seemingly harmless jaunt through the woods will become anything but that, and judging from the film’s opening scenes, you are meant to feel as uncomfortable about this watch as any you might have checked out in recent memory.

Perversion is the norm here, and lord help you if you’re caught where you shouldn’t be…my skin’s crawling just thinking about what I saw. Ariel’s travels are basically dialogue-free, but it only adds to the infinite levels of creepiness – you can tell he’s being stalked, and the distance between he and the horrors that await are closing in rather quickly.

Visually by itself, this hour-long chiller can sell tickets without any assistance – hollowed-out buildings and long sweeping shots of a silent forest give the movie that look of complete desolation. Sliced up into three acts, the film wastes no time in setting up the story of a killer needing fresh blood to appease his Mandrake garden – seriously guys, I can’t type as much flashy stuff as there needs to be in order to describe this innately disturbing production.

If you’re one of those types who tends to shy away from the graphic side of things, then I’d HIGHLY advise you to keep your TV tuned to the Hallmark Channel for some holiday entertainment, because this one registers high on the “I can’t believe someone thought of this” meter. So the quick recap is this: Oberst Jr in a standout performance, visual excellence, and an unshakable sense of debasement on a cellular level – keep the kiddies out of the living room with this one. Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended, and one that I’ll throw down as a top 5 for me in 2017.

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4.5

Summary

Director Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended!

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User Rating 5 (2 votes)
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Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End Review – A Heavy Metal Massacre In Cartoon Form

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Starring Alex House, Bill Turnbull, Maggie Castle, Melanie Leishman, Chris Leavins, Jason Mewes

Directed by Richard Duhaney and Craig David Wallace


“Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil” – Canadian television’s greatest blend of Evil Dead, Superbad and Deathgasm? Yes. That answer is yes. For two face-melting seasons, Todd “protected” Crowley High from episodic villains who were bested by metal riffs, stoner logic and hormonal companionship. Musical interruptions showcased stage theatrics like Sondheim meets pubescent Steel Panther and high school tropes manifested into vile, teen-hungry beasts. It was like a coming-of-age story got stuck between Fangoria pages – all the awkwardness with 100x more guts.

That – for worse – was until Todd fell to a premature cancellation after Season 2’s clone-club cliffhanger. Indiegogo became the show’s only way to deliver a feature-length finale, except to reduce costs and ensure completion, the project would have to be in cartoon form. Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End suggests an animated curtain call for this otherwise live-action production, and from a fan’s perspective, familiar maturation follies befall our favorite bloodsoaked friend group. But for new viewers? Start with the far-superior original show – you’ll be lost, underwhelmed and baffled otherwise.

Alex House retains his characterization of Todd Smith (in voice only). At this point, Todd has thwarted the book’s apocalyptic plan, Hannah (Melanie Leishman) has died, longtime crush Jenny (Maggie Castle) isn’t as horny for Todd anymore, and best friend Curtis (Bill Turnbull) has sworn Todd’s name to Hell (since Hannah was his girlfriend). Guidance Counselor Atticus Murphy Jr. (Chris Leavins) is now Janitor Atticus Murphy Jr. because Janitor Jimmy (Jason Mewes) is now Counselor Jimmy, yet Crowley High finds itself plagued by the same satanic uprisings despite these new changes. Why is evil still thriving! How is Hannah back in class! Who is the new “Pure Evil One” now that Todd has denied the book! Welcome to the end, friends – or is it a new beginning?

At just north of 80 minutes, structure runs a bit jagged. We’re used to Todd battling one baddie over a half-hour block – backstory given time to breathe – but in The End Of The End, two mini-boss cretins play second fifth-fiddle to the film’s big-bad monster (well, monsters – but you’ll see). A double-dose of high school killers followed by a larger, more important battle with the gang’s fate hanging in the balance. Not a problem, it’s just that more length is spent singing songs about Todd’s non-functioning schlong and salvaging relationships from the S2 finale. Exposition (what little there is) chews into necessary aggression time – fans left ravenous for more versatile carnage, underwhelmed by the umpteenth cartoon erection gag. Did I mention there’s a lot of boner material, yet?

These two mini “chapters” – “No Vest For The Wicked” (yarn demon)/”Zits Alors” (acid acne) – never come close to rivaling Hannah Williams’ doppelganger bombshell (“Songs About Boners”/”This Is The End Of The End Of the End”). Hannah [X]. Williams waking up in a room full of other Hannahs, emerging from some sleep-pod chamber; Todd’s gang facing off against this new “chosen one” in a way that erases “Sack Boy” and “Pizza Face” from memory. The End Of The End dashes dildoes-swinging into the show’s biggest mystery while dropping call-backs and bodies with equal speed – maybe too hastily for some.

Now, about the whole pivot to animation – a smooth rendering of Crowley High and all its mayhem, but never representative of Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil‘s very Ash Vs. Evil Dead vibe. All the practical death effects (gigantic man-eating cakes, zombie rockstars) are lost to one-dimensional drawings, notable chemistry between cast members replaced by edited recordings lacking signature wits. This isn’t Metalocalypse, where dismemberment and bloodshed are gruesome on levels that outshine even live-action horror flicks. There’s no denying some of the magic is missing without Chris Leavins’ “creepy uncle” overacting (a Will Forte breed) or the book’s living incarnations of evil. Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End plays hooded minion to Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil’s dark ruler – less powerful, a bit duncier, but still part of the coolest cult around. Just try not to think about how much radness is missing inside hand-traced Crowley High?

It’s hard not to strike comparisons between “reality” and ‘toon, because as noted above, live actors are sorely missed in a plethora of situations. Be they musical numbers, heretic slayings, Todd and Curtis’ constant references to wanking, wangs or other pelvic nods (no, for real, like every other sentence) – human reactions no longer temper such aggressive, self-gratifying cocksmanship. It doesn’t help that songs never reach the memorable level of “Horny Like The Devil,” but the likes of House, Leishman, Turnbull and Castle were masters of selling schlock, shock and Satan’s asshole of situations. Instead, lines now land flat like – for example – Leavins’ lessened ability to turn pervy, stalkerish quips into hilarious underage stranger-dangers. Again, it’s not Metalocalypse – and without that kind of designer depth, a wall prevents inter-dimensional immersion into Todd’s extracurricular madness.

If this review sounds over-negative, fret not – it’s merely wishes of what could have been. None of this is to say Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End should be skipped. When you’re already known for masterstrokes of ballbusting immaturity, metal-horned malevolence and vicious teen-angst creature vanquishing, expectations are going to be sky high. Directors Richard Duhaney and Craig David Wallace successfully service fans with a smile, ensuring that rivers of red scribbled blood spurt from decapitated school children just like we’re used to. It’s just, I mean – ugh, sorry, I just have to say it one more time. BY DIMEBAG’S BEARD, this would have been an epic live-action flick. As is? Still one fine-with-a-capital-F-YEAH return to Crowley High for the faithful who’ve been waiting some 5-or-so years in a Todd-less purgatory.

  • Film
3.0

Summary

Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End brings closure to hungry fans in all the ways they’d hope – albeit turned down a notch through animation. Over-the-top kills and headbanging metal riffs still reign supreme, they’re just drawn by hand instead of oozing practical effects this time.

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User Rating 3.11 (9 votes)
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