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Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood – Dread Central Attends the Red Carpet Kick-Off; Photo Gallery

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This past Friday, September 15th, marked the commencement of Universal Studios Hollywood’s annual Halloween Horror Nights, and we were in attendance to shoot the red carpet roll-out as well as to get a few words from HHN’s Creative Director John Murdy, Insidious series’ star Lin Shaye and more. Read on!

Also on hand for the evening were IT actors Chosen Jacobs, Jake Sim, Owen Teague and Wyatt Oleff, Jason Blum of Blumhouse, Happy Death Day director Chris Landon and stars Israel Broussard, Jessica Rothe, Rachel Matthews and Ruby Modine, actress Vanessa Hudgens (wearing a Frankenhooker tee), Jennifer Tilly and Fiona Dourif (Cult of Chucky), writer Leigh Whannell (Insidious, Saw series), Tobin Bell (Saw series), Matt Passmore (Jigsaw), Halloween series’ Malek Akkad, Dana DeLorenzo (“Ash vs Evil Dead”), Frank Grillo (The Purge series), actress Breeda Wool of the Stephen King series “Mr. Mercedes”, Tales of Halloween directors Mike Mendez and Axelle Carolyn, composer Joseph Bishara, Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, and the previously mentioned Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of Halloween Horror Nights, among others.

Speaking with Murdy on the carpet, he stated of his and his team’s creative direction and design of one of the haunt’s more buzzed-about mazes The Shining, ”What I was particularly excited about in our rehearsals last night, was the ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene, because right out of the gate, the first time through the performers got it. And that’s a difficult bit of choreography they had to do.”

As for Murdy’s favorite maze of 2017 (he refused to pick one), he did offer, “Personally, on a creative side, it’s The Shining, because that’s a movie that was massively inspirational to me when I first saw it, many, many years ago. It’s a movie that I’ve always loved, and it’s always been in my top five favorite horror movies, and it’s also a movie that scared me, in terms of bringing it to life for Horror Nights, because it is very challenging to try and place the work of Stanley Kubrick into a live event. So part of the trick of that was resisting the temptation to put scares where there shouldn’t be. So like, when you go into the Grady Twins hallway, that scene plays out as a special effect, and there’s not anyone jumping out to scare you, because that would not be true to the film, and we very much wanted to honor (the film).”

With Murdy and his team literally having worked year round for over a decade in creating Halloween Horror Nights (the team’s already in prep for the 2018 season), we asked: what keeps him going?

“When I started this,” reflected Murdy, “I had a goal of ten years, but what’s kept me going past that, are the fans. They keep me going. I mean, I was speaking at a horror convention and this little kid came up to me, and gave me this as a present.”

Murdy fished from his pocket a plastic key fob, emblazoned with The Overlook Hotel, Room 237.

“And this kid, probably with his own money, bought this for me,” he continued. “Our fans are so passionate, and that’s what drives our passion. And every year, no matter how tired we are, and we have never really come up for air after twelve continuous years with this never ending cycle of horror, these kids that want to do what I get to do, and are inspired by this event, are what inspires me and keeps us going.”

With the latest entry in the Saw series, Jigsaw, releasing theatrically on October 27 (and an HHN Saw maze in effect), we chatted with Aussie actor Matt Passmore regarding the film, in which he plays a coroner caught up in a series of grisly murders.

“This isn’t a reboot,” he said of the film. “It’s taking the chronology into account of everything that’s happened before, even in a very visual way, (and) they are using different directors than they’ve ever used before,” he said of co-directors and brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, whose entrance into the genre world came with the bat-shit insane feature Undead in 2003, and whose work will next be seen in the Helen Mirren supernatural vehicle Winchester in 2018.

“They really have gone outside the family that they’ve used before,” he continued. “There’s a different feeling to it, and while it still pays homage (to its predecessors), it’s also a Saw for 2017, and I think that’s kind of exciting.”

Actress Breeda Wool, who portrays Lou Linklatter in the David E. Kelley created series “Mr. Mercedes”, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, chatted with us on the carpet regarding the author.

“I bought Stephen King’s book On Writing,” she offered, “and it’s quite a testament to fear and failure, because of his resilience and his extraordinary body of work, and I get very inspired by his mantra of, ‘Just make it, and just make more.’ And it’s incredible, in that charging forward to make things, and in collaborating with different people in making at times even some the same stories, like you see with IT. It’s a man who has generated a wild body of work, and an incredible amalgamation of collaborators. So it’s really exciting to be in some way part of a body of that work, and it’s beautiful.”

Insidious series’ star Lin Shaye, who was on hand to experience the HHN maze based on the series, said of what we may anticipate of her character Dr. Rainier in the upcoming film, director Adam Robitel’s Insidious: The Last Key (due in theaters January 5th, 2018), “I think you really will learn who Elise is and why she is who she is, and that she goes through the same pain everyone else goes through. I think that’s important when you have someone helping you in anyway, that you know that they’re not just authorities, but that they’ve experienced what you’ve experienced and really understand where you are, where you have been and where you hope you go. So I think it’s a really wonderful story, and if the franchise continues, sort of puts Elise into the family of everyone who sees the film.”

Following that, fellow Dread Central writer Andrew Kasch and I and our enthusiastic crew set out to experience Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood 2017.

Writer’s note: My thanks to Universal Studios’ Gail Moscoso for arranging our visit.

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Michael Bay Adapting Duke Nukem with John Cena in Talks For Lead Role

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I think we can all agree that this may very well be one of those times when we see an announcement and go, “Huh… That actually makes 100% sense and I’m completely behind it!”

It’s been announced that the classic FPS shooter series Duke Nukem is getting a film adaptation out of Paramount with Platinum Dunes, the company owned by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller, producing the movie. As of now, there is no script but the plan is to have WWE superstar John Cena taking on the lead role. As of now, it’s still in early stages but this is actually very exciting news as this combination seems like a match made in heaven.

Just think about some of Bay’s films, like Transformers, Bad Boys, The Rock, The Island, etc… Now imagine that kind of gleeful explosive action as the backdrop for Cena to kick untold amounts of alien ass. For those who worry that Bay won’t go hard enough in terms of violence or offensive language, don’t forget that both Bad Boys films as well as Pain & Gain were rated R for very good reasons.

Duke Nukem was originally released back in 1991 in the self-titled game made by Apogee Software. The character has since been in multiple sequels, although there are only four titles to the main storyline, and spin-offs as well as appearing in cameos in other games such as Death Rally, Blood, Serious Sam 2, Balls of Steel and can be seen in the trailer for Ready Player One. Nukem’s last video game appearance was 2011’s Duke Nuke Forever, a game that went through countless delays only to be met with critical panning upon release.

Horror fans who have played Duke Nukem will recognize many of the character’s iconic one-liners as being lifted from several horror films. Quotes from They Live, Army of Darkness, Aliens, Predator, Jaws, Full Metal Jacket, Evil Dead 2, and many more. The references were littered throughout and many delighted in their homages. However, Bruce Campbell wasn’t a fan when asked about the game back in 1999. He told IGN, “…they’re rip-off artists. Let them get their own damn material. It’s called hiring a writer.” [Source].

That being said, how cool would it be if Campbell made an appearance in the film to put Cena’s Duke Nukem in his place should he use one of those quotes? Apart from being a treat for fans of the games, it’d be a great moment in a film that’s meant to be chock full of bravado, machismo, and strong chins!

Coming back to Platinum Dunes’ adaptation, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on this project! In the meanwhile, why not tell us your favorite Duke Nukem moment in the comments!

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Ellen Page and The Cured Come Home to VOD

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We’ve been talking about the new zombie flick starring Ellen Page entitled The Cured for quite some time now, and we’ll soon be able to sink our teeth into it courtesy of IFC Films.

The flick stars Page (Juno, Hard Candy), Sam Keeley (Anthropoid, In the Heart of the Sea), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers: Infinity War, The Infiltrator), and Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games trilogy, “Ray Donovan”) and is directed and written by David Freyne in his first feature film. Look for it in theaters and On Demand on February 23, 2018​.

Synopsis:
What happens when the undead return to life? In a world ravaged for years by a virus that turns the infected into zombie-like cannibals, a cure is at last found and the wrenching process of reintegrating the survivors back into society begins. Among the formerly afflicted is Senan (Sam Keeley), a young man haunted by the horrific acts he committed while infected. Welcomed back into the family of his widowed sister-in-law (Ellen Page), Senan attempts to restart his life—but is society ready to forgive him and those like him? Or will fear and prejudice once again tear the world apart? 

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#Brainwaves Episode 74 Guest Announcement: Creature Designer Mike Hill – The Shape of Water and More!

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We’re getting monstrous on Episode 74 of Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio as joining us will be award-winning artist, filmmaker, and creature designer Mike Hill, whose work you can see right now in a little film called The Shape of Water.

Join us this coming Wednesday, January 24th, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

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.

Brainwaves Contact!

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