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More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead – The Official Word Is In!

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A few weeks ago we told you about a new retrospective focusing on The Return of the Living Dead, cleverly entitled More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead. The first word was early, and there weren’t a lot of details to be found. That changes. Now.

From the Press Release
Just when you thought it was safe to be dead! Members of the creative team behind the award-winning Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy and Bio Channel’s Inside Story: Scream have joined forces once again to unearth the story behind cinema’s coolest zombie movie, The Return of the Living Dead.

More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead is the definitive exploration of the outrageous splatter classic which has continued to terrify and entertain horror fans for over twenty-five years with its delicious mix of blood, guts, sex and punk. Boasting off-beat humor, plenty of attitude and one of the most famous zombies ever committed to celluloid, it’s easy to see why the film’s legacy continues to grow.

Filming on the two-hour retrospective began in April 2011 in and around Los Angeles, and fans will finally be able to explore the film’s journey from the world of Night of the Living Dead to the mind of acclaimed writer/director Dan O’Bannon. Narrator Brian Peck (“Scuz” from the original 1985 film) guides you through the blood, sweat and tears as cast and crew look back on their graveyard experience creating the movie that’s been called “a beauty of a cult classic!”

This entertaining and informative project will be the ultimate account of the tongue-in-cheek, stylish and apocalyptic zombie movie. It features — for the first time ever! — contributions from all the main cast as well as clips, photographs, storyboards, conceptual art, publicity materials, archival documents and behind-the-scenes footage.

“Watching movies like Return of the Living Dead at a young age set me on a course for the horror films I love today,” says director Bill Philputt. “It’s an honor to work so closely with people I’ve known for years. Getting such great insight into the making of the film, as only the cast and crew can give, has been a fantastic experience.”

Executive producer Michael Perez agrees, “Working with the cast of the film very closely for the last five years, they became more than clients and turned into great friends. Being able to see the impact they and the film have had on fans all around the world is incredible, making me realize Return of the Living Dead has a real story to tell. I decided I wanted to help bring that to life, and I hope the fans of the franchise will embrace this incredible retrospective as they have the movie.”

“When I was approached to produce the project, I quickly proceeded to rewatch the original film,” adds producer Thommy Hutson, who has some experience unlocking the behind-the-scenes secrets of horror genre classics as writer/producer of Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy and Inside Story: Scream, among others. “Within minutes I realized I couldn’t pass the opportunity up. Return of the Living Dead is classic 80s horror: it’s scary, funny, gory, sexy and completely cool. I just really loved the idea of exploring how the film was made and quickly realized the behind-the-scenes stories were sometimes as scary, funny, gory and sexy as the film itself!”

Beverly Randolph, star of the original 1985 film and executive producer of the retrospective, adds, “It has been so wonderful to finally set the record straight. Our incredible fans have so many great questions that they want answered, and we are finally able to give them what they want. It has been such a wonderful and warm stroll down memory lane, and I am forever grateful for this chance to remember something so special and to be able to capture it forever!”

In addition to the comprehensive two-hour documentary, the October DVD release of More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead features an additional two hours of killer extras that will make viewers want to come back from the grave and party!

More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead - The Official Word Is In!

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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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American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review

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Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis


Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic
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Summary

Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

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