Exclusive: Kathryn Leigh Scott Talks Dark Shadows, Dark Passages, and More! - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Kathryn Leigh Scott Talks Dark Shadows, Dark Passages, and More!

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For this writer one of the highlights of this past July’s San Diego Comic-Con was the chance to sit in on the “Dark Shadows” panel, which included actress turned author Kathryn Leigh Scott, whose first fiction novel, Dark Passages, was recently released by Pomegranate Press. To coincide with the release, Dread Central interviewed Ms. Scott about not only her new book but also the time she spent working both on the “Dark Shadows” TV series and in the Playboy Club during its heyday. We also managed to garner a tiny bit more info on what’s in store for fans of “Dark Shadows” in the upcoming Tim Burton film adaptation.

Kathryn Leigh Scott

Dread Central: “Dark Shadows” began airing 45 years ago, and now all these years later there’s a major motion picture based on the series on its way. How do you account for its continuing appeal to so many generations?

Kathryn Leigh Scott: I think its appeal lies in the chemistry among the actors who originated the roles, the plots based on stories from classic literature, and the sheer inventiveness of the series. It was so ahead of its time, and now it’s become a classic.

DC: Can you recall a time over the last 45 years when it wasn’t as popular, and if so, what do you think caused that decline?

KLS: There’s never been a time when the show was not popular, largely because it remained on the air in reruns and then was available on VHS and DVD. Also, the continued interest in “Dark Shadows” has much to do with the response of the fans to our annual festivals and to all the books the various “Dark Shadows” actors have written about the show. We’ve really supported the series. As a result, we now see a fourth generation of new fans!

DC: Any regrets about leaving the show when you did, especially since it ended just a few months later?

KLS: No regrets. It was time to move on, and even Dan Curtis wanted to try his hand at new projects … and there’s no truth to the rumor that the show went off the air because I left!

DC: You played, if I counted them right, five different characters on the show: present day governess Maggie Evans, Josette DuPres (Barnabas’ lover circa 1795), governess Rachel Drummond (circa 1897), Kitty Soames (aka Lady Hampshire, also circa 1897), and Maggie Collins (Quentin’s wife in parallel time 1970). Was that at all confusing for you? I know I’m confused just writing about the roles! What methods did you use to differentiate each one?

KLS: The roles were all so entirely different, and the time periods alone helped keep the characters very individual. I was invested in each one and appreciated the challenge of defining and developing more than one character on the show. What a gift for a young actor! The confusing part was in keeping the storylines straight! To this day, the fans watching the reruns seem to have a better grasp of the plots.

Kathryn Leigh Scott and Jonathan Frid in Dark Shadows

DC: Getting off the horror track for a second, the rights to your book The Bunny Years, a firsthand account and recollections of the time you spent working in the New York City Playboy Club before joining the cast of “Dark Shadows”, have been acquired by Imagine Television as a potential source of episodes for the upcoming new NBC TV show “The Playboy Club”. Besides the obvious influence of the phenomenal success of “Mad Men”, what do you think is the reason for the public’s ongoing fascination with the 1960’s?

KLS: It was a time of explosive change in our society, especially for women … a time of redefining the roles and relationships of the sexes, particularly in the workplace, which is really what The Bunny Years is about. Bunnies, stewardesses, and secretaries are all very much a part of that 60’s story. It was also a time of glamour, sophistication, and romance … as soon as cigars, martinis, banquette seating, and smart cocktail dresses came back into vogue, I knew we were in the midst of rediscovering the era.

DC: What about how women’s roles have changes since the 1960’s? Are you ever nostalgic for those days, or do you feel much better off now?

KLS: Women’s Lib was about equal opportunity and equal pay in the workplace, and we have come a long way. There’s greater respect for everyone’s rights, and I think we’re all better off. I also have great nostalgia for that period and don’t necessarily think the changing roles of men and women robbed us of what was wonderful about that time. There is a coarsening of our culture, and I think many other factors are to blame for that.

DC: Aside from The Bunny Years, you’ve primarily written non-fiction books regarding your time on “Dark Shadows” such as My Scrapbook: Memories of Dark Shadows, The Dark Shadows Companion: 25th Anniversary Collection, and The Dark Shadows Almanac: Millennium Edition for Pomegranate Press, the publishing company you launched in 1986. What made you decide to try your hand at fiction after all these years?

KLS: I’ve always wanted to write fiction, but it’s harder to sell than nonfiction, where subject matter is the key. Also, it’s taken me a while to develop the skills to write fiction. I think it was a “now or never” proposition, and I just dived in. I also had stories I wanted to tell and could only do so with fiction.

DC: There’s been a huge resurgence in popularity for vampire-themed movie and TV projects that started out as books such as Twilight, “True Blood”, and “The Vampire Diaries”. What do you think sets your new book, Dark Passages, apart from the rest of the pack?

KLS: I didn’t start out to write a paranormal novel with a vampire theme. I wrote the entire book as a coming-of-age story set in the early 60’s. When I finished it, I suddenly thought, “What if?” and then completely rewrote the book. So Meg Harrison in Dark Passages was a fully defined character with a complete story before I added the vampire dimension and gave her the added challenge of living as an “other” among mortals, some of whom are even family members.

DC: What else can you tell us about Dark Passages (review here) that you think both your followers and fans of “Dark Shadows” will find interesting? How much of it is autobiographical?

KLS: Even one of my brothers wondered why I didn’t call Dark Passages a memoir … and the answer is: None of it is true! Only the setting is drawn from real life and my knowledge of that time and place. Readers of my nonfiction books about “Dark Shadows” and the Playboy Club know what really happened … Dark Passages is about what could have happened.

Kathryn Leigh Scott's Dark Passages

DC: Checking IMDB, it appears your last acting project was Parasomnia – as a fan of both you and horror films, I was glad to see you return to the genre. Aside from your cameo in Tim Burton’s upcoming Dark Shadows (which we’ll get to next), any other acting projects on the horizon? And are you yourself a horror fan? If so, what horror films are among your favorites?

KLS: Parasomnia was fun because the director actually named the nurse I played “Margaret Evans, RN” because he was a fan of “Dark Shadows”. I enjoy some horror classics but not the current blood and guts movies. I need a good story that’s character driven.

DC: Now, about that cameo. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to attend the “Dark Shadows” panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con and learn that you, Lara Parker, David Selby, and the great Jonathan Frid were all flown to Pinewood Studios in England to participate in the film. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

KLS: We’ve not only been sworn to secrecy, we had to sign confidentiality agreements! I can only tell you that it was a joy for all of us to be so wonderfully transported into this new era of “Dark Shadows” … and this sort of homage and inclusiveness is rare! Johnny [Depp], Tim [Burton], Helena [Bonham Carter], Michelle [Pfeiffer], and everyone else on the set of the new Warner Bros. film made us feel so welcome and honored. And they are making a darn good movie!


Our thanks to Kathryn Leigh Scott for her time and to her publicist Darlene Chan for facilitating the interview. To stay up-to-date on what Ms. Scott has going on, be sure to visit her official site KathrynLeighScott.com.

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Joe Dante’s Matinee Starring John Goodman Blu-ray Special Features Announced!

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One of my favorite childhood movies was director Joe Dante’s Matinee starring John Goodman. I watched the flick all the time and still make sure to give it a peep as often as I can. In fact, I just rewatched the movie last month. Still holds up too!

As I’ve grown up and watched more horror movies, I have come to call this film “Popcorn for the whole family.” And visa versa, have labeled Popcorn as“Matinee for the 80’s slasher crowd.” Both of these statements as completely apt by the way.

It is with this love of the film in mind that I wanted to make sure to pass along the news that Shout! Factory is planning to release Matinee on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray January 9th, 2018. And it is a beauty.

You can check out the full list of special features below along with the Collector’s Edition cover art. Then make sure to let us know what you think of Matinee below!

Matinee hits Collector’s Edition Blu-ray via Shout! Factory January 9th, 2018!

PRE-ORDER HERE

Synopsis:

John Goodman is at his uproarious best as the William Castle-inspired movie promoter Lawrence Woolsey, who brings his unique brand of flashy showmanship to the unsuspecting residents of Key West, Florida.

It’s 1962, and fifteen-year-old fan Gene Loomis (Simone Fenton) can’t wait for the arrival of Woolsey, who is in town to promote his latest offering of atomic power gone berserk, Mant! But the absurd vision of Woolsey’s tale takes on a sudden urgency as the Cuban Missile Crises places the real threat of atomic horror just 90 miles off the coast. With the help of Woolsey’s leading lady, Ruth (Cathy Moriarty), the master showman gives Key West a premiere they’ll never forget. Anything can happen in the movies, and everything does in this hilarious tribute to a more innocent (and outrageous) time in American cinema.

Bonus Features:

NEW Master Of The Matinee – An Interview With Director Joe Dante

NEW The Leading Lady – An Interview with Cathy Moriarty

NEW MANTastic! The Making Of A Mant

NEW Out Of The Bunker – An Interview With Actress Lisa Jakub

NEW Making A Monster Theatre – An Interview With Production Designer Steven Legler

NEW The Monster Mix – An Interview With Editor Marshall Harvey

NEW Lights! Camera! Reunion! – An Interview With Director Of Photography John Hora

Paranoia In Ant Vision – Joe Dante Discusses The Making Of The Film

MANT! – The Full-Length Version Of The Film With Introduction By Joe Dante

Vintage Making-Of Featurette

Behind The Scenes Footage Courtesy Of Joe Dante

Deleted And Extended Scenes Sourced From Joe Dante’s Workprint

Still Galleries

Theatrical Trailer

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Exclusive: P.J. Starks Talks Volumes of Blood 3

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One of our favorite low-budget horror anthologies here at Dread Central is producer P.J. Stark’s Volumes of Blood (review). If you haven’t seen the film, get on it asap.

The film’s sequel Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (review) was also good horror times, and we would recommend that flick as much as – if not more – than the original.

It is with this in mind, all of us here at Dread Central are counting down the days until the release of the third (and final?) entry in the series, which is currently going by the killer title Devil’s Knight: Volumes of Blood 3.

While the new film is still in the scripting stages, we had a chance to speak with creator and producer P.J. Starks this weekend, and he dropped all types of new info on the film, including how many stories the new film will present, and what we can expect.

Mainly that Devil’s Knight: Volumes of Blood 3 may very well be the final chapter in the series, but a host of spin-offs are still very much a possibility.

You can read our quick interview with Starks below and then make sure to let us know what you think of the Volumes of Blood series in the comments below!

Dread Central: What can we expect from the third entry?

P.J. Starks: Eric and I want the third film to be everything fans of the first two films appreciate and more. The set pieces are larger, the stories are even stronger than in the previous two installments and the body count is probably the largest I know for any independent production. We wanted to really go out with a bang and I feel the script we’ve collaborated on will make good on that.

DC: How many stories will be included in this installment?

Starks: We’re going back to the basics with five stories. We’ve tossed around the idea of doing a sixth possible story, but nothing is set in stone. We don’t want to bog down audiences with too much. There’s a progressive story unfolding over two films already, so we’re being careful not to convolute things. We’re working hard to bring, what I’ve been calling the “Volumes of Blood Anthrillogy” to a smart and entertaining finale.

DC: Is it actually the final chapter?

Starks: Never say never. Right? We do have potential spin-offs planned. As for this being the nail in the coffin of an ongoing story arch, absolutely. I think that’s what separates our series from so many other anthologies. It’s not just a series of random shorts plucked off YouTube with some loose connective tissue. It’s a fun ride, but you still have to pay attention to details and follow the larger narrative developing. Wrap around segments tend to be throw away material, but that was never the intention on VOB.

Nice! Again we are all looking forward to the third entry in the VOB series and any spin-offs that may occur. The possibilities are f*cking endless. Bring ’em on!

Until we have further info on just when Devil’s Night: Volumes of Blood 3 will hit, you can always buy the first two Volumes of Blood flicks on Blu-ray HERE and HERE.

Thanks for chatting with us, P.J.!

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Read Darren Aronofsky’s Screenplay for mother!

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This past year we saw the release of writer-director Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (review) a film that was controversial, to say the least. Some loved it, others loathed it.

And speaking of mother!, Aronofsky has said before that he wrote the movie in a mere 5 days (!) and today we have the film’s screenplay for you to download. Paramount released it officially a few weeks back and I say it’s worth the download and the read.

Especially if you fancy yourself as a screenwriter, like me.

What I found most interesting about Aronofsky’s script is that he forgoes typical sluglines. Instead, he jumps from location to location, without any uses of INT./EXT. or DAY/NIGHT. For instance, instead of writing:

INT. HOUSE – LIVING ROOM – DAY, he just writes: LIVING ROOM.

Interesting approach.

You can download the screenplay for mother! right here.

After giving the script a read through, hit me up in the comments below and let’s start a dialogue about the screenplay, the format, the structure, and the finished film in general if you’d like. I’m big into the craft of screenwriting so let’s talk about it!

The film is written & directed by Darren Aronofsky and stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson, and Ed Harris.

mother! hits Digital HD Dec. 5 and 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Combo Packs Dec. 19.

PRE-ORDER HERE

Synopsis:

A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. From filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), mother! stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer in this riveting psychological thriller about love, devotion and sacrifice.’.

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