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Sitges 2017: Lineup Announced for Fest’s 50th Anniversary

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This year the Sitges Film Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary with a lineup looking to the new millennium. It will open with Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and close with Gothic horror The Lodgers, and there’s a ton of other exciting genre projects in between. Read on for the full details!

From the Press Release:
The Sitges Film Festival reaches its 50th year paying tribute to the classics, and it will be doing so accompanied by four important guests: Guillermo del Toro, Susan Sarandon, Dario Argento, and William Friedkin, who are all key for understanding the evolution that fantasy has experienced over the last few decades. To this end, its lineup is fueled by filmmakers, men and women, who are destined to become the fantastic genre leaders of the new millennium. In addition, the Festival will be entering headlong into the future of the universe of virtual reality screening, thanks to Samsung Sitges Cocoon, and of the new frontiers of distribution, where online platforms have a lot to say. This is the chronicle of Sitges 2017.

The Sitges Festival reaches its half-century mark, and it’s doing it staying true to its roots: remembering the fantastic film classics that have passed through its theaters since that first screening that took place in the Prado movie theater in 1968. To recall this milestone, this upcoming September 28th, the Prado will be welcoming the screening of Aelita (Yakov Protazanov, 1924), now a Soviet science fiction classic. But there will be more. Along with Guillermo del Toro, Dario Argento, and William Friedkin, Sitges will be rediscovering films like The Exorcist (1973), Suspiria (1977), and Crimson Peak (2015), key to understanding the evolution of fantastic genre from the late 20th century until reaching the new millennium. The Festival will also be paying tribute to actress Susan Sarandon, star of the cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and who would later become one of the great ladies of Hollywood.

Irish director Brian O’Malley will be closing Sitges’ 50th anniversary edition with The Lodgers, a Gothic horror story set in early 20th century rural Ireland, just recently presented at the Toronto Festival.

The framework behind the lineup that can be seen at the Festival, from October 5th to 15th, is made up of the work of young filmmakers from the United States, Latin America, Asia, and Europe who are destined to become the leaders of fantastic genre over the upcoming years. Brian Taylor, Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani, Emilio Portes, Cho Sun-ho, Andrés Goteira, among others, will be making their mark at a Festival that, far from conforming, searches for new talent capable of reinventing genre both in its language and its storylines.

Writer and director Brian Taylor directs Mom and Dad, his first solo film following the indispensable Crank. Mom and Dad’s hilarious storyline, a bizarre epidemic that causes lethally violent attacks of parents against their kids, stars Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair in a genre fan fest. Meanwhile, S. Craig Zahler–who dazzled us with his feature length debut, Bone Tomahawk–returns to Sitges with the brutal Brawl in Cell Block 99, where an ex-boxer turned drug dealer lands in a prison that will wind up becoming a genuine battlefield. Arriving from the United States we can also see Happy Death Day, an amusing horror comedy directed by Christopher Landon, which combines the storylines of Scream and Groundhog Day until it drives Jessica Rothe (La La Land) crazy, seeing a masked man kill her over and over again.

Time is also featured in the Korean film A Day, by newbie Cho Sun-ho, where a famous surgeon witnesses an accident during which he sees his daughter die. It’s a scene that will be repeated in an endless loop, with the father trying to change his daughter’s fate. Following 2016, when the big Asian authors cornered the Sitges Festival’s lineup, this year viewers will be able to confirm that there is life beyond great titles like The Handmaiden with films like, for example, the Taiwanese mon mon mon Monsters, by Giddens Ko, which combines high school bullying with supernatural horror in a film overflowing with talent and ingenuity. Other outstanding debuts in the Asian selection are a film by Jonathan Li (assistant director on the Infernal Affairs trilogy), who presents The Brink, a 100% made in Hong Kong thriller, starring Shawn Yue, that’s going to be a shocker; and the new film from Lee Sa-Rang who, with Real, achieves a cross between Nicolas Winding Refn and the best Korean thrillers.

The Canadian Les affamés, by Robin Aubert–known for the unsettling Saints-Martyrs-des-Damnés, reinvents the zombie genre with an intellectualized and now almost cult vision, after its screening at the Toronto and Austin festivals. Another one of this year’s big debuts, which consolidates the role of female filmmakers in genre film, is the one from French director Coralie Fargeat. Her debut feature Revenge exudes a violence with a nod to the 70s classics and contains a final climax that will be a dream for fantastic genre lovers. From Hungary comes Jupiter’s Moon, by Kornél Mundruczó–author of the extraordinary White God, a director who has always intelligently introduced the fantasy element in his films, making it a perfect visual mechanism. On the other hand, in The Ritual British David Bruckner plays with textures that go beyond Blair Witch or The Witch to achieve a horror movie that enjoyed an excellent reception in Toronto. More European talent this year in Sitges includes Thelma, by Norwegian Joachim Trier, who, from an auteur point of view, presents a supernatural thriller that examines human existence; the Russian blockbuster Salyut-7, a film that narrates the rescue of the Salyut 7 space station in 1985; and the spectacular Dutch western Brimstone, starring Dakota Fanning and Guy Pearce.

Latin America continues banking on the fantastic genre with the Brazilian film As boas maneiras, a story halfway between real and oneiric about the power of motherly love, directed by Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas; El habitante, by Uruguayan Guillermo Amoedo, winner of the Award for Best Latin American Feature Film with The Stranger in 2014; and the terrifying Belzebuth, by Mexican Emilio Portes.

Once again, Catalan talent will be present at the Festival with several productions, including the latest work by Jaume Balagueró: Muse. Sitges will also be offering Sergio G. Sánchez’s debut feature with Marrowbone and programming films like Dhogs by Andrés Goteira, an independent production that tells the story of a chance meeting between a businessman and a mysterious woman, which leads us to a clandestine adventure, a desert, and a crime; and Black Hollow Cage, by Sadrac González-Perellón, a film that blends the horror genre with science fiction. Completing the Spanish scene are Errementari, the latest production by Álex de la Iglesia and Carolina Bang, directed by Paul Urkijo; Most Beautiful Island, directed by female filmmaker Ana Asensio, which will open the Noves Visions One section; and Arder, Compulsión, and The Biggest Thing That Ever Hit Broadway, three titles from the most contemporary Spanish independent cinema.

The documentary, always present in the Festival’s lineup, will be represented by films like 78/52, by Alexandre O. Philippe–who has presented several documentaries at previous Festival editions, which will be in the Official In-competition Selection. The piece closely analyzes the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Along with it, we can also see Caniba, following its screening at the Venice Mostra, a film directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, which reflects the disconcerting importance of cannibalistic desire in human existence.

Samsung Sitges Cocoon, Series, Animation…

Also this year, on its 50th anniversary, the Sitges Festival is taking a step forward and reinforcing the presence of virtual reality through Samsung Sitges Cocoon, which is expanding its lineup with two new venues and now includes an Official In-competition Selection that will be evaluated by an official jury, presided over by Jaume Balagueró and Javier Olivares. French director Alexandre Aja (High Tension) will be presenting Campfire Creepers, the first virtual reality horror series with 360º vision; and Guy Shelmerdine, director of Catatonic, a stunning piece that could be seen in last year’s Samsung Sitges Cocoon, returns with Night, Night, a terrifying experience about children’s fears.

Genre series productions will also be playing an important role this year with screenings at the Auditori itself. Movistar+ premieres “La Zona”; and we can also see the presentation of the second season of “Stranger Things” attended by Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp, two of its stars, and the screening of the Korean Okja and What Happened to Monday?, made by a director who’s very well-known at the Festival, Norwegian Tommy Wirkola.

Since 1995, Sitges has dedicated a space to animation. This year it will be paying tribute to the hundred years of Japanese animation, and it will be doing it with the programming of five animated films from Japan in the Anima’t section, including the multi award-winning Lu Over the Wall, or A Silent Voice, which has enjoyed a spectacular run on Asian screens. Without forgetting European animation, gems like the French Loving Vincent will also be present.

The Festival takes place on the Catalan coast approximately 35 kilometers south of Barcelona, Spain. This upcoming Monday, September 18th (at 13:00), will be the start of the presale of tickets for ticket pack holders, and on Tuesday the 19th (at 13:00), general tickets will go on sale.

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Brainwaves

#Brainwaves Episode 86: Darin Scott – Director of DEEP BLUE SEA 2, Producer of TALES FROM THE HOOD, and Lots More! LISTEN NOW!

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For the 86th episode of Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio, we went deep… deep into… well, trouble, per usual; but aside from that, filmmaker Darin Scott, whose latest film, Deep Blue Sea 2, is currently taking a shark-sized bite out of home video, joined us for some talk about that flick, Tales from the Hood, working with Spike Lee, and a whole lot more!

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

SUPPORT BRAINWAVES ON PATREON!

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 UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com 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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Exclusive: Concept Art and Video From Tim Burton’s Cancelled SUPERMAN Plus Art From Clive Barker’s MUMMY Project

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Special FX artist Steve Johnson has a long and storied career in Hollywood. From working on films such as Predator, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Lord of Illusions, and more, to to makeup on Return of the Living Dead III, Nightwatch, and Night of the Demons 2, his work has been seen in a swath of films that genre fans know and love. Hell, the guy even created Slimer from Ghostbusters! If that doesn’t make him Hollywood royalty, I honestly don’t know what does.

Right now, Johnson has a Kickstarter going for Rubberhead Volume 2: Sex, Drugs, and Special Effects, the second book in a five volume series that chronicles the work he’s done over the years. Included in this particular book is a section called “The Ones That Got Away”. That’s what brings us to today and to this particular article.

We were absolutely fascinated with some of the films that Johnson got to work on that never ended up seeing the light of day and we managed to get our hands on some exclusive concept art from both Tim Burton’s cancelled Superman and Clive Barker’s Mummy project. We also have a suit test video from the former, which features Danny Elfman’s music from Batman, so it’s extra thrilling.

You can read about both projects and see the concept art below (the Superman suit video is above). Also, click on the Kickstarter link above if you want to help make Johnson’s second book a reality!


Tim Burton’s Superman:

For the ill-fated Tim Burton Superman movie, Johnson was contracted to craft all manner of elaborate costumes, props, puppets, and prosthetics for a project that was to be doomed by an overextended budget.

It was absolutely massive because not only were we working on these Superman suits, we were doing Doomsday, we were doing a Menagerie, a Brainiac and an entire spaceship that was literally filled with creatures. It looked like the Star Wars cantina on steroids,” Steve Johnson exclaims.

Of the standout pieces were multiple bioluminescent Superman regeneration suits, all of which glowed purely by way of practical effects. The effect was created using cyalume, the active liquid in glow sticks, strategically pumped through a series of elaborate tubing patterns which gave the appearance of glowing blood pumping through veins.

Other suits were powered by a fiber-optic light setup informed heavily by Johnson’s groundbreaking work on James Cameron’s The Abyss, a creation he claims pleased him more than any other in his entire career.


Clive Barker’s Mummy:

Clive Barker had teamed up with Mick Garris (Critters 2, Psycho IV) on a brand new Mummy concept that the two pitched to Universal. The hyper erotic plot involved a transsexual occultist protagonist who attempted to reanimate mummies within a prestigious museum setting.

Shortly after collaborating with Barker on Lord of Illusions, Steve Johnson signed up to help him create a visual proof-of-concept in order to help Barker pitch the project which had not yet been greenlit. Johnson signed on and even built proof-of-concept creatures, funding the endeavor entirely out of his own pocket to help Barker sell it in to Universal.

For inspiration, Barker and Johnson exhaustively researched museums, Egyptian sculptures, statues and artifacts to ensure historical accuracy while imbuing the mummies with a heavy dose of classic sadomasochistic Clive Barker style.

Johnson explained, “If you do your research on real mummies in Egypt they look nothing like Boris Karloff mummies or mummies in the new mummy movies. The goal was to include all of the realistic detail and adornment in a way that was accurate to real Egyptian mummies which had never been done before. We were going to make them fascinating, cenobite-like creatures but based entirely in reality and history.

Unfortunately, the project was never greenlit by Universal. Clive Barker told Fangoria, “Looking back, our version of The Mummy was precisely what the powers that were at Universal did not want.


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TREMORS: A COLD DAY IN HELL Clip Features Graboids on Ice!

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The newest entry in the always lovable Tremors series will be hitting Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand, and Digital on May 1st.

And today we have a fun new clip from Tremors: A Cold Day In Hell to share! It features a sequence that reminds me A LOT of the ice planet creature vs Kirk scene in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek.

You can check out the clip below and then make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below or on FacebookTwitter, and/or Instagram!

Tremors: The Complete Collection will be available on DVD on May 1; and Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell hits Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand, and Digital also on May 1st.

Special features include:

  • The Making of Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell: Filmmakers, cast, and crew discuss why Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell is the most bone-blasting Tremors movie yet.
  • Anatomy of a Scene: Watch as we break down the various elements that need to come together to film the first underwater Graboid attack.
  • Inside Chang’s Market: Chang’s Market is an iconic location in Tremors history. See how it was recreated and updated for this installment of the franchise.

Synopsis:
Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) and his son, Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy), find themselves up to their ears in Graboids and Ass-Blasters when they head to Canada to investigate a series of deadly giant worm attacks. Arriving at a remote research facility in the Arctic tundra, Burt begins to suspect that Graboids are secretly being weaponized, but before he can prove his theory, he is sidelined by Graboid venom. With just 48 hours to live, the only hope is to create an antidote from fresh venom — but to do that, someone will have to figure out how to milk a Graboid!

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