Interview: Mandela Van Peebles Talks His Role in Jigsaw - Dread Central
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Interview: Mandela Van Peebles Talks His Role in Jigsaw

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We’re only 10 days away from Jigsaw, which marks the return of the Saw franchise! To celebrate the upcoming release, we’ve got an interview with star Mandela Van Peebles, who plays the character “Mitch” in the film. You can read everything below!

Tobin Bell, Mandela Van Peebles, Laura Vandervoort (interview), Brittany Allen, Callum Keith Rennie, Matt Passmore, Hannah Emily Anderson, Josiah Black, Shaquan Lewis, Michael Boisvert, and James Gomez star.

Brothers Peter and Michael Spierig (Daybreakers, Predestination) direct from a script by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfiner (Piranha 3D, Piranha 3DD, Sorority Row).

Jigsaw has been rated R for “grisly bloody violence and torture.” It comes out October 27th, just in time for Halloween!

Dread Central: In the Saw films, characters are often multi-dimensional, appearing friendly one minute and then evil the next. What can you tell me about your character, Mitch?

Mandela Van Peebles: Keeping with the traditions of past Saw films, Jigsaw definitely keeps the audience alert and engaged. I think they do a great job of that by often leaving the key character’s motivations and morals ambiguous to the audience. The characters are not always as black and white as they are in other horror films. There is a lot more grey area. I think this characteristic has contributed to the Saw franchise becoming so widespread and popular.

DC: The Saw franchise is known for being extreme and quite vicious. Did you have any trepidations joining the cast of such a series?

MVP: I’m a big fan of horror movies so all and all I was super excited about joining the cast of Jigsaw. It’s been 7 years since the last Saw movie, so I was really pumped to see how far the special effects and set design have come in that amount of time. Actually being on set and experiencing the traps first-hand was a really cool experience, and I am excited to relive the fun on October 27th.

DC: Jigsaw is your first horror film. What was the experience like for you?

MVP: I love trying new things, and I am always looking for ways to challenge myself while continuing to develop my craft. The opportunity to work on my first horror film, especially in a franchise of this caliber, was a humbling experience. It forced me to push myself physically and emotionally. In my everyday life I don’t raise my voice much so I was nervous I wasn’t going to get the scream right — definitely took me a week or two of practicing in the shower or car to feel prepared.

DC: The 8th entry in the franchise, Jigsaw is said to be a departure from the series in terms of its presentation and how it plays out. How do you think fans should approach this film?

MVP: I think it’s important for fans to approach Jigsaw with an open mind, for them to be ready for new and exciting surprises. That being said the elements that audience members have come to love about the franchise are also riddled throughout Jigsaw. Simply put, everything that has made Saw what it is today is still there, however the presentation is new and plot full of unexpected surprises.

DC: What’s next for you?

MVP: I just plan on continuing to grow in different facets of the industry, while challenging myself by not only acting but producing, writing, and directing as well. I’m constantly creating and educating myself on the business side because I think being well rounded is key to being successful in this industry.

Synopsis:
Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one man: John Kramer. But how can this be? The man known as Jigsaw has been dead for over a decade. Or has an apprentice picked up the mantle of Jigsaw, perhaps even someone inside the investigation?

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Jesper Kyd Returning to Score Vermintide 2

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From the cover of Kyd's first Vermintide OST

Get your headphones ready, Warhammer fans because State of Decay and Darksiders 2 composer Jesper Kyd is back to score the upcoming Warhammer title Vermintide 2! The game will be coming to PC and consoles early this year.

Kyd was inspired by Norse mythology, utilizing ancient tribal music as well as dark fantastical elements to build upon the acoustic soundscapes he composed for the first Vermintide game. Channeling his own Scandinavian roots, Kyd will blend Viking and Norse-inspired vocals with ritualistic percussion styles to create a unique soundtrack experience.

Three tracks from the score can be heard below.

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?

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Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler


While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can

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It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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