Screamfest L.A. 2017: Exclusive Opening Night Photos, Video, and Interviews with Dead Ant’s Ron Carlson and Tom Arnold - Dread Central
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Screamfest L.A. 2017: Exclusive Opening Night Photos, Video, and Interviews with Dead Ant’s Ron Carlson and Tom Arnold

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With the 17th Annual Screamfest Horror Film Festival having kicked off last night at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA, with the World Premiere of filmmaker Ron Carlson’s horror-comedy feature film Dead Ant, we were there on the carpet to capture the excitement. Read on for our photo gallery, video, and interviews.

Taking place mere yards away from the raucous premiere of Thor: Ragnarok and with a carpet similarly buzzing, in attendance for Screamfest’s prestigious kick-off was Dead Ant director and co-writer Ron Carlson, as well as the film’s stars Jake Busey (The Predator), comedian and actor Tom Arnold, Rhys Coiro (“Texas Rising”), Leisha Hailey, Danny Woodburn, Michael Horse (“Twin Peaks”), Sydney Sweeney (John Carpenter’s The Ward), Joi Liaye, Nic Novicki, and Amber Martinez (Rough Night).

Also gracing the carpet were Dead Ant co-writer and Snake Outta Compton filmmaker Hank Braxtan and actress and producer Arielle Braxtan, Dead Ant composer Edwin Wendler, filmmaker Mike Mendez (Tales of Halloween, Big Ass Spider), actress and Screamfest alumna Bel Delia (The Tunnel), and actresses Selma Blair (Hellboy), Sarah Nicklin (From Hell She Rises), and Hollin Haley.

Chatting with Carlson on the carpet pre-screening regarding Dead Ant (the official synopsis of which is: “When the 1989 ‘one-hit-wonder’ glam-metal band Sonic Grave embark on a trip to Coachella in hopes of a comeback, their peyote trip pit stop in Joshua Tree incites an ‘unworldly’ vicious attack, and they must ‘rock’ themselves out of harm’s way”), the filmmaker said of his inspiration for the film, “I’m a fan of hair metal, and I don’t admit that often. And it’s a sub-genre of music that’s not around today. I mean, twenty-year-olds don’t know about it. So I thought, ‘The band in the film would be the underdog trying to make a comeback,’ and that would be more interesting than having, say, a band of young kids.”

As for the hair sprayed quartet’s antagonists, “At the end of the first act, there’s an issue with some ants,” offered Carlson, “and the ants force the band to come together, or they will die. And it’s kind of a metaphor, in that the band is also struggling to write a song for the festival they are going to, and if they can’t come up with one to play there, their careers will also die. And I wrote the song (they come up with) in the film! I mean, making the movie was great, but writing the song was fucking awesome. I loved working with our music producer, who really brought this great element to it, and our cast members actually sang the song (in the film). And they’ve been rehearsing it, and will play it tonight.”

The name of the song? In true Steel Panther fashion, it’s called “Side Boob” (and here’s a video of cast members Coiro, Hailey, and Busey and producer Michael Lanoue performing it live at the after party).

Chatting with Tom Arnold, he stated of his experience on Dead Ant, “Well, I love (the 1954 film) Them! from my youth. You know, after I read the script, I just wanted to make sure they could do the visual effects (justice), because you need to be able to do those (correctly). And then we started talking about the cast, and I suggested Rhys (Coiro) and they said, ‘OK.’ And I was like, ‘Well, now I have to do it.’ But it turned out really well. I love the cast, and I got to have some fun with a little bit of ad-libbing. It’s a comedy, but it also has the monsters, which is fun. But I really like my character of the band manager, and I ‘get’ his mantra of, ‘The show must go on,’ whether it be in the music business or escaping killer ants.”

Photo Credit: Dave Quan

The cast and crew of Dead Ant

For more information visit the Screamfest website, “like” Screamfest on Facebook, and follow Screamfest on Twitter.

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Freddy’s Greatest Hits Vinyl Re-issue Is a Must-Own

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Strange Disc Records has just announced that it will be releasing “Freddy’s Greatest Hits – The Elm Street Group” on vinyl starting this Wednesday with pre-orders expected to ship in January 2018.

Not only that but Mondo announced they will be releasing an exclusive variant pressed on “Freddy Sweater” striped vinyl. This LP from Mondo is limited to 400 and will cost you $25.

For those who might not know, “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” was originally released in 1987. The record contains nine tracks (covers, originals, and instrumentals) with Robert Englund doing the voice of Freddy over the top.

I don’t know about you but this has just made my list of must-own items. But I’d prefer an original copy. That said an original copy is probably hundreds of buck on eBay as opposed to this version for a mere $25 bucks. Not bad.

You can check out the full track listing and a sample song below. Then make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’ll be snagging a copy in the comments below!

Track Listing

1. “Do The Freddy”
Freddy and the Dreamers cover, as well as a parody.
The lyrics were changed to fit Freddy Krueger persona and elements

2. “Obsession”
original song

3. “Wooly Bully”
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs cover.
Freddy (Robert Englund) provides the opening lyrics.

4. “Don’t Sleep”
original song

5. “In The Midnight Hour”
Wilson Pickett cover

6. “All I Have To Do Is Dream”
Everly Brothers cover

7. “Dance or Else”
original song

8. “Down in the Broiler Room”
original song

9. “Elm Street Dreams”
original song

Pre-orders begin Wednesday, November 22.

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That is One Gigantic Steampunk Squid…

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Perhaps one of the greatest sci-fi adventures novels ever written, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a landmark book, one that was decades ahead of its time. The story follows the crew of the Nautilus, a submarine commanded by Captain Nemo, as they venture in search of a giant sea monster. It was the basis for several film adaptations and the character of Captain Nemo played a pivotal role in the graphic novel series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

So why am I bringing this up, you ask? Because Tor Books is releasing Nemo Rising, a sequel, this Christmas! Written by C. Courtney Joyner, the story once again follows Nemo, although this book sees him a prisoner that must be pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant in order to face an onslaught of more sea monsters.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother you all with this, but I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the cover art for the book is fucking epic! I’ve always been a fan of cephalopods, and I’ve found the steampunk aesthetic to be pretty fascinating. Combine them both along with giant monsters, and you damn well better believe that I’m 100% into it! Plus, it’s wrapped itself around the Nautilus, which is already a giant vessel, so now I’m wondering just how large these mechanical monstrosities are…

Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26, 2017.

Synopsis:
Sea monsters are sinking ships up and down the Atlantic Coast. Enraged that his Navy is helpless against this onslaught and facing a possible World War as a result, President Ulysses S. Grant is forced to ask for assistance from the notorious Captain Nemo, in Federal prison for war crimes and scheduled for execution.

Grant returns Nemo’s submarine, the infamous Victorian Steampunk marvel Nautilus, and promises a full Presidential pardon if Nemo hunts down and destroys the source of the attacks. Accompanied by the beautiful niece of Grant’s chief advisor, Nemo sets off under the sea in search of answers. Unfortunately, the enemy may be closer than they realize…

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Filming On Blumhouse’s Halloween Pushed to January

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Looks like filming on Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween from Danny McBride and David Gordon Green has been pushed back a few months.

Not a huge deal, though. Only till January.

Filming on Halloween (2018) was supposed to begin this October (natch) but now it seems the film still has some cast to fill out.

The news comes to us via a South Carolina casting agency, The Island Packet, who are still seeking extras for the new film. In fact, if you are from the South Carolina area, you can be an extra in the film. Just click the link above for more details.

I wish I lived in or around South Carolina because being in this new Halloween would be a f*cking dream come true. If you’re in the area, get on it. You owe it to the rest of us! Haha?

How excited would you be to be an extra in this new Halloween? Let us know below!

Blumhouse’s Halloween is directed by David Gordon Green from a script he co-wrote with Danny McBride. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer and is executive produced and scored by John Carpenter.

Halloween (2018) hits theaters Oct. 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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