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A Mother’s Day Retrospective



The late 1970’s and early 1980’s ushered in the golden era of slasher films. In the early 80’s, the formula for a hit horror movie was to take the premise of Halloween and implement it into your own unique setting. 1980 alone gave us Friday the 13th (and many others) taking place at summer camp, Prom Night; a school dance, and Terror Train; you guessed it, on a train.

But 1980 also saw the release of one of the most unique slasher films. Mother’s Day, though not for everyone, is one of the true bright spots from the slasher golden era. It’s difficult to even categorize it in the slasher subgenre because of how different it was from others being made at the time. If you were to pitch it to a movie studio you’d call it “Last House on the Left meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Quite the combination.

The premise is simple. We have three former college roommates (Abbey, Jackie, and Trina) going on a camping trip 10 years after graduation. We’re shown brief scenes of each of them living out their different lives, including a pool party scene taking place in Beverly Hills that I’m almost certain Paul Thomas Anderson referenced when making Boogie Nights (roller blades and all). While on their trip they are stalked and kidnapped by 2 backwoods maniacs (Ike and Addley). Ike and Addley take the trio back to their house in the woods to show “Mother.” In a series of events that are not for the faint of heart, the maniac son’s brutally torture the trio, trying to garner praise from Mother.

This could very well be (and has been) written off as a cheap exploitation movie. Roger Ebert famously gave it zero stars in his scathing review. While Mother’s Day does suffer some of the setbacks that a low-budget film typically endures, there’s also plenty of merit to be had. Some of that merit is found in director Charles Kaufman’s play on pop culture. Littered throughout the maniac’s house is an excessive amount of pop culture items. We see Sesame Street clocks, Trix cereal boxes, and a Raggedy Anne doll, just to name a few. When Mother is not watching her boys rape and torture, she’s watching whatever junk is on the nearest television. We even get an entire training montage of Ike and Addley doing their best Rocky Balboa impression. Whether Kaufman was making a correlation to the amount of pop culture one consumes and their mental health is up for the viewer to decide.

Another element that makes Mother’s Day stand out is its call backs and payoffs to what we saw earlier in the film. The opening credits is a great scene where our protagonists go through a photo album of their days as college roommates. During this scene there is mention of lowering a sleeping bag out their dorm room window, occupied by one of them, to sneak out late at night. This reference would be a throwaway in a lesser script but here it is paid off when the girls use the same exact tactic to escape from the second floor of Mother’s shack.

Mostly ignored in slasher movies before and after Mother’s Day are compelling character traits. Other than the obvious stereotypes like jock, hot girl, and nerd, we typically do not see much character development in a slasher. Mother’s Day is one of the few slashers to break from this mold. Through some early exposition and a flashback where she’s saved from a horrible date, we’re shown that Jackie is always being taken care of and looked out for by Abbey and Trina. When Jackie is taken away by Ike and Addley to have extra brutality inflicted on her, it is up to Abbey and Trina to save her once again. Although they make a valiant effort, it is to no avail as Jackie dies from her injuries. In the movie’s most emotional moment, we’re shown Abbey and Trina taking care of Jackie’s corpse before going out to extract their revenge on Mother and her boys.

Mother’s Day has become a cult classic among horror fans for its unique premise, satirical look at pop culture, and dark humor. Even if you’re not a fan of its disturbing content, there’s quality found in its screenplay and direction. It is an incredibly ugly film but if you’re willing to look past that, you’ll also find a surprisingly smart one.

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31



The last time we gave you guys word on the upcoming Halloween horror anthology 10/31 was to bring you the knock-out exclusive official poster, which you can peep to your left (click for a higher-res version).

The new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S and Creepshow joins an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

The film’s stories are directed by the likes of Justin M. Seaman (The Barn), Zane Hershberger (Devilution), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Brett DeJager (Bonejangles) and Rocky Gray making his directing debut.

This past weekend we were able to catch up with producer-director Rocky Gray and ask him a few choice questions about the anticipated upcoming anthology film.

You can check out our quick interview below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are to check out 10/31 in the comments below!

Dread Central: How is the film coming along?

Rocky Gray: The film is now completed and we are getting the perks out to our Indiegogo backers. The backers and Death By Festival got to see the first cut of the film in October and they loved it so we’re very excited to get the film out to everyone else very soon.

DC: What can expect from this anthology?

RG: Expect to have a lot of Halloween themed fun. Each segment has its own flavor so the pacing and the look change throughout the film. With masked killers, vampires, scarecrows, tricksters and old hags there’s something for everyone.

DC: Will there be a sequel?

RG: If there was a demand for it we would make it happen!

Sounds good to us. Thanks for chatting with us, Rocky!

You can become a fan of the film on Facebook HERE.

A Halloween treat bag of all the things that go bump in the night. From masked killers to scarecrows, witches, and tricksters. There’s a scare for everyone in this anthology of horror and the macabre from the creators of The Barn and Volumes of Blood.

Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2), two-time Grammy-winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence. A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

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The Duffer Brothers Have Begun Working on Stranger Things 3



I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the first season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” to tell you the truth. That said, I absolutely loved the second season (read our reviews HERE).

It is with this in mind that we are all looking forward to “Stranger Things 3”.

Recently Deadline reported that at Vulture Festival LA the Duffer Brothers, producer Shawn Levy, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen talked about season two and teased season three.

“We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said, before taking a beat, then adding: “I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. That’s not official; that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement… for fun!”


We all know at this point that there is going to be a “Stranger Things 3” and that The Duffer Brothers will one day begin working on it. Don’t worry so much, Ross Duffer.

After all, your brother already let us know that season three will begin after a time jump:

“Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t,” says Matt Duffer. “Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. It’s a long way of saying that yeah, we’re going to do a time jump.”

What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Did you dig it more (or less) than season one? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

“Stranger Things 2” is currently streaming on Netflix.

It’s 1984, and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down, but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter



The last word we brought you guys on producer James Cameron and Deadpool-director Tim Miller’s new Terminator film was when we let you know that Paramount had set the film’s release date for July 26, 2019.

Today we have news via The Wrap that the studio is bringing in screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) to pen the movie’s script based on a story crafted by Cameron.

You may remember that Cameron and Miller created a writers room a while back to plan out an all-new trilogy of films, but while that writer’s room included David Goyer, Charles Eglee, and Josh Friedman, it seems like Ray will be the first film’s sole writer. For now.

Story details are, of course, being kept under wraps, but Cameron and Miller are treating the new movie as a direct sequel to Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day.

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream,” Cameron told THR. “Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

We also know that Cameron plans to center the new film/trilogy around a new group of younger characters, who will eventually carry on the baton as it were.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters,” Cameron said. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

How excited are you for James Cameron’s new Terminator flick? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social mdeia!

The new Terminator film is produced by James Cameron and will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Terminator 2.5 is expected to hit July 26, 2019.

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