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Fantastic Fest 2011: 100 Best Kills Recap!

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2011 marked the fourth consecutive year of “100 Best Kills” at Fantastic Fest – a celebration of horror’s most memorable and outrageous death scenes, no matter how obscure. This year Cinefamily, which has its own version of this sick celebration, joined in on the fun, adding a new technological breakthrough allowing the controller to move frame-by-frame, back-and-forth, and even record scratch each kill like some sort of sadistic DJ.

A montage set to “Stairway to Heaven” kicked off the midnight fun, featuring all of the classic kills from favorites like Scanners, The Thing, Zombie, The Omen, Chopping Mall, Maniac, and more. Instead of watching these scenes that have all been indelibly marked on our twisted psyches over the years, why not get them out of the way first so the more obscure kills can get their due, right?

Fantastic Fest 2011: 100 Best Kills Recap!

There was a noticeable rift in the theater between horror fans last night: those that wanted to see some of the kills they grew up watching and cheer along with fans, and those that were intent on showing the most obscure piece of footage – preferably from a film only available on VHS – even if the randomness of the clip vastly outshined the death scene.

It felt somewhat elitist and marked a trend seen from time to time when fans become lost in B-movie limbo, tracking down films for the honor of claiming they’ve watched the unwatchable. Each clip at 100 Best Kills is submitted so ask yourself if you’re choosing a scene because no one has seen it or because you really love it passionately and think others will, too.

Last night John Houseman was struck by lightning and thrown through glass in Murder By Phone and a priest was killed with a possessed buzzsaw in Superstition. That’s about the level of obscurity I’d like to see in an event like this since the real fun is getting to scream, laugh, and shout at the screen with a theater full of fans that are used to watching these moments alone on television. That’s special …

Below you’ll find a few clips shown last night and lots of death!

What’s your favorite death scene? You can go crazy and obscure. I won’t get mad.

Cinefamily 100 Most Outrageous Kills Promo


Murder By Phone

Murder by Phone from Louis Perchikoff on Vimeo.

Ghost Ship


Scanners

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The Cured Review – Ellen Page Fights for Her Life

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Starring Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Paula Malcomson

Written by David Freyne

Directed by David Freyne


Taking a cue from AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the new Irish horror film The Cured begins where most zombie stories end. Drawing more comparisons, the themes of mistrust and social upheaval are front and center here as well. We’re the real villains and the infectious disease turning humans into monsters is only there to hold up a mirror to show the worst sides of ourselves. The Cured uses the Zombie mythos as Romero intended as a commentary on culture, with a little cannibalism thrown in for good measure.

Against the backdrop of a military takeover attempting to reintroduce the recently cured back into society, two people try to return to some kind of normalcy in a war torn Ireland that’s been turned upside down by the Zombie menace. Recently widowed, Abbey (Page) allows her now virus free brother-in-law Senan (Keeley) to live with her and her son even though most survivors are forced to live in an army encampment. Under constant surveillance, Senan’s old friend Conor (Vaughan-Lawlor) radicalizes the mistreated survivors of the virus into open rebellion.

The treatment of the survivors isn’t entirely unfair considering that they still have a connection and are not detected by a small percentage of the infected that haven’t responded to the cure. As both sides size each other up, Abbey and Senan are caught in the middle as they try and restore their humanity before the powder keg around them erupts.

Given its far out premise, the story stays firmly grounded in reality focusing on the growing resistance and  its political implications drawing parallels to the protest movements such as the “Black Block” that have dominated some recent news cycles. When the virus divided the population it was easy to know what side you were on; now, the cure has created a new class structure where the lower class is maligned until they cross the line and overthrow the uninfected. Clearly still affected and haunted by the heinous acts they committed when they were infected, the cannibalistic rage they still carry reflects the rage felt by the mistreated masses hellbent on overthrowing the powers that be.

Whether for budget reasons or simply a style choice, the eating frenzies that occurred before the cure are never fully shown so any gore and graphic images that could’ve been showcases for effects are left to the imagination. Maybe they weren’t shown because these acts were so unspeakable that they are too horrific to see and too painful to fully be remembered by the survivors. The top-notch sound design ratchets up instead and roars to life to the point where just hearing the carnage is enough to make you turn away.

Page’s performance is the emotional core of the film as she goes from understanding to fear to dealing with the ultimate betrayal. It’s important for a slow-developing story like this to have an actress with some star power, and director David Freyne and his team were fortunate to have a high caliber actress ready to deliver in some of the film’s quieter, more intense moments. Freyne directs these smaller character moments with care and also delivers once things open up to show the inevitable anarchy brimming under the surface.

The Cured may feel too closed off at times to allow its bigger ideas to fully breathe but it never pretends to encompass a more epic scope that would be more in the vein of something like World War Z. Without ever addressing it directly, Freyne, as an Irishman, seems well aware of the history of the country and he and cinematographer Piers McGrail inject their film with a pathos that makes Dublin come to life inside the world of the undead.

  • The Cured
3.5

Summary

The Cured is a gritty take on the genre that fits nicely into the new type of storytelling that these stories need to embrace in a post-Romero world.

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Director Brian Taylor Introduces Us to Mom & Dad

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Director Brian Taylor was more than kind enough to sit down with us for a few minutes to discuss his latest film, Mom & Dad starring Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair. This parental-units gone mad flick has already had it’s share of buzz during its release back on January 19th, and with a DVD and Blu-ray street date of February 20th, this is sure to be one film that will define the term “smothering parenting.” Read on and enjoy this little dive into paternal and maternal madness!

DC: Brian – let’s start off by having you give us a brief synopsis of the film, as well as where in the deep recesses of your mind did you manage to come up with an idea such as this?

BT: Well, the germination of the idea is pretty straightforward – I am a parent, so I think it’s something we can all relate to, and I will say that when I told my son about the idea of what the film was about, he looked at me as if I was insane. The movie is like one of those “one fine day” films…One fine day, in the world, the birds are singing and the sprinklers are happily watering away on millions of lawns, some phenomenon happens, and it’s never explained why or how, but it’s just a thing that everyone needs to react to. Simultaneously, all across the country – maybe all across the world, all the parents turn on their own children in a homicidal rage, and they don’t attack anyone else’s children – only their own. In the movie we follow two kids who have to survive 24 hours in the house they grew up in to avoid killing (or being killed) by the two people they love most in the world, and are supposed to love them the most in the world.

DC: Without giving away any spoilers, is this something that could have a continuation piece attached to it in the future?

BT: Well the way it works is if people love this story, we’re more than happy to give it to them, so let’s see how it goes (laughs).

DC: With you having worked with Nicolas Cage in the past, and knowing of his capabilities, was this an instance of you saying “here you go, have at it,” or was there a bit more direction in the process?

BT: Directing Nicolas is understanding that he’s not like other actors – first of all, he’s one of the most professional actors that you will ever encounter. This is a guy that may seem to be unhinged, over-the-top and crazy when you watch some of the stuff he’s done, but I assure you that he’s an actor of incredible precision and everything he does is under control and well thought-out, to a level that I think would surprise a lot of people. We did a table read for the film the day before we started shooting, and this is usually a time when the actors break out their pencils and make notes and try different things – he walked in and did the entire movie off-book with full-intensity in front of a packed room – nobody does that. The other actors were in awe, so he’s the real deal, and he’s capable of doing things that other actors wouldn’t even begin to try. It’s like being the visor for Cyclops in X-Men – if the visor comes off, he’s able to shred buildings, so that’s it – you’re basically the visor and the funnel for all that energy that’s potentially destructive.

DC: I’m sure this answer will be somewhat of a foregone conclusion, but I’ll ask anyway – Nicolas was your first choice for this role, correct?

BT: Oh yeah, and you never know how people are going to react to material like this because it’s pretty unorthodox, but I kind of knew that he’d get it. I sent him the script and he got back to me a day later and said “I’m in.” He got the humor and satire and most of all he personalized it on a level that the angst of the lost-soul parents is something he can relate to.

DC: After the release of Mom & Dad, what’s going to be keeping you busy for work?

BT: Right now I’m doing the TV show on SyFy called “Happy” which is based on the Grant Morrison comic book, and it’s completely bananas. I’ve got a few more episodes to finish up the first season, and if we’re picked up for a second season I’ll most likely dive straight into that.

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Fight Zombies and Aliens in Rainbow Six Siege’s Outbreak Mode

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Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is about to enter sci-fi horror territory with the launch of the new Outbreak cooperative game mode, which will run from March 6-April 3.

Originally released by Ubisoft back in 2015, most of Rainbow Six Siege’s game modes up until this point had you fighting terrorists, although during the Outbreak event you’ll be facing off against everything from zombies to hulking alien monstrosities. The premise of Outbreak is fairly simple: A spacecraft crashes in the town of Truth or Consequences in New Mexico, unleashing a parasite which mutates the local populace. As a member of the elite Rainbow Six task force, your job is to eliminate the mutated creatures and contain the parasite before it spreads.

If you’re one of the 25 million people who already plays Rainbow Six Siege, you can learn more about the Outbreak event ahead of its launch on the game’s official website.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege: Outbreak Synopsis:
A few days ago, a mysterious space capsule crashed near Truth or Consequences in New Mexico. It turned out to be carrying an exotic parasite, the Apex, which infected the area and turned the town’s populace into monsters. The Quarantine Zone is the only thing keeping it contained, but it will not last for long. If the parasite gets out, it would be a disaster of global proportions. Millions would die. Rainbow’s mission is to enter the devastated town and destroy the parasite’s roots before this happens.

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