Exclusive Q&A: Writer/Director Joe Nimziki Talks The Howling: Reborn - Dread Central
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Exclusive Q&A: Writer/Director Joe Nimziki Talks The Howling: Reborn

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Exclusive Q&A: Writer/Director Joe Nimziki Talks The Howling: RebornThirty years to the day that Joe Dante’s original The Howling hit theaters, writer/director Joe Nimziki is breathing new life into the long-dormant franchise with his contribution, The Howling: Reborn, which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray everywhere today, October 18th, courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Starring Lindsey Shaw (“Pretty Little Liars,” 10 Things I Hate About You), Landon Liboiron (“Terra Nova,” “Degrassi: The Next Generation”) and Ivana Milicevic (Casino Royale, Vanilla Sky), The Howling: Reborn (review here) is centered around a young man named Will (Liboiron) who discovers on the eve of his high school graduation that he’s a descendant from a long line of powerful werewolves, forcing Will to choose between his destiny and his desire for a normal life.

Dread Central recently caught up with Nimziki for a Q&A style interview to talk about the latest entry into the Howling franchise and whether or not there will be more werewolf mayhem in store for the series (and for himself).

Dread Central: Can you talk a bit about how you got involved with The Howling: Reborn– was the script something you had done independently or had the studio approached you for the project?

Joe Nimziki: I was approached to write and direct. I was a fan of the original but was asked to write an original new story with The Howling name.

DC: Had you known while working on the script that you were going to be the one at the helm? Do you think carrying dual roles helped while directing since you were so close to the source material?

Joe Nimziki: Yes, when writing I knew I would direct, which was nice. For example, when you’re writing for yourself, you’re extra careful to make sure whatever you’re coming up will work and is doable on your budget. And while directing, being the writer often came in handy on the set. Besides having little time and money, we had so many issues like bad weather, losing our lead actor for a few days with an eye infection, etc., and I could redo the script on the fly or know what story cuts to make to keep us on schedule.

DC: Had you been a fan of the original or the franchise? Did they have any influence on the story you had wanted to tell with The Howling: Reborn, or was this a way to breathe some new life into the Howling series?

Nimziki: Yes, when I was young, I thought the creatures in the original were great and that the story had some interesting things to say about the human condition. And I did tip my hat to the original in my story several times… but everybody was really clear from the start that they wanted this to be new and fresh, or as you put it, “breathe some new life into” the franchise.

DC: What I think is interesting is that you have a cast of relatively fresh and up-and-coming talents in The Howling: Reborn who are all quickly making names for themselves within and outside of the genre- how closely were you involved with the casting process? Can you talk a little bit about what the cast brought to the table on this project?

Nimziki: I was very involved and had the ultimate say in the casting process. I auditioned actors and actresses for the leads in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto for two months. It was so great to find Landon and Lindsey (Will and Eliana in the film), and even better when I put the two of them together for a final audition… I knew in that moment I had found my leads. I think they’re wonderful together in the film and hope they both have great things ahead of them.

We were also lucky enough to have some great options for Kay, but Ivana is someone I’ve always been a fan of and thought she was perfect for the part. The rest of the cast I found with the casting company in Montreal… but it was tough finding actors for the roles with American accents. In fact, for the part of Roland I ended up reconceiving the part and hiring the great French actor Neils Schneider because it was our best option.

DC: I noticed that this was your directorial debut- did you feel any sort of added pressure coming onto The Howling: Reborn due to this being your first feature film?

Nimziki: Not really. I joke that between being a studio exec so many years, directing so many commercials along with TV (like “Outer Limits” for Showtime) and having been a movie doctor on so many big films (coming in to re-write, direct, edit, etc.), I’m the most experienced first-time director ever. Of course, having your name front and center on anything creates a lot of pressure. Also, when we were shooting, there were eight other, much bigger American features also filming in Montreal, and everyone on our crew could have made more money on any of them. They were on our movie because they loved the project, and that probably created the most pressure internally because I wanted them to look back in retrospect and know they made the right decision.

DC: Do you feel like The Howling: Reborn is the start to a new series of films now, and if so, have you considered at all where you’d love to see the story go from here? Also, would you want to return to direct a follow-up if asked?

Nimziki: I do feel like this could be the start of a new series of films. I think our end credits show where the story could be headed. In fact, the next story was the one I was initially going to write for this film, but based on our budget I needed to step back and write a prequel of sorts to set it up. Anyway, I hope we get a chance to tell that story. And yes, I’d be happy to come back and make the next Howling.

DC: So what’s up next for you then?

Nimziki: I love the horror genre, but I’ll probably take a little break and do something lighter next (an ode to the 70’s action-comedy entitled The Sinisters).

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Gruesome Demonic Possession Video

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

While The Blair Witch Project, released in 1999, didn’t invent the found footage subgenre of horror, it certainly popularized the concept, making it a common trope throughout the 2010s. The idea of finding misplaced film or video that reveals a terrifying truth is instantly compelling, and films like The Ring and Sinister have taken this concept outside of the found-footage arena, promoting the concept of cursed media.

One of the main goals of the found-footage presentation is to blur the line between fiction and reality. From this perspective, it’s as though a filmmaker is acting as an objective third party, offering a “discovery” without validating its authenticity. And while there are indeed real-life examples of lost media revealing compelling or harrowing secrets (surveillance footage, lost cameras, etc.) has anything ever been unearthed that compares to the terror induced by movies like Blair Witch.

Perhaps.

The Paranormal Scholar is a YouTube channel dedicated to scientific, academic explorations of supposed real-life supernatural phenomenon. While the majority of their video essays end by debunking popular urban legends and modern creepypastas, they recently explored a potentially legitimate reel of found film—and it’s utterly horrifying.

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

According to The Paranormal Scholar, the footage below was discovered in the attic of a newly purchased home in Iowa around 1973. Unfortunately, no other significant details are known—which is convenient if it’s a hoax. The video looks almost too good to be real (meaning it’s genuinely disturbing) but the fact that it can’t be immediately debunked is instantly unnerving.

The subject of this supposedly found footage is one many horror fans find intriguing: Demonic possession. Give it a spin and let us know what you think in the Comments section. Do you know anything about this mysterious footage? Do you think it’s real or a clever fake? Let the debate begin!

Warning: Mature Content!

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

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Class of 1999 Graduates to Blu-Ray in 2018

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Coming to blu-ray in early 2018 will be Class of 1999, which was originally released in 1990 and designed to be an unofficial sci-fi sequel to 1982’s Class of 1984, which itself received a special edition blu-ray in 2015. Confused yet?

In 1982, writer-director Mark L. Lester made Class of 1984, a slightly futuristic action thriller about teachers contending with teenage gangs in an inner-city high school. Lester would go on to grace us with Commando and Firestarter before returning to the premise in 1990 to give us the very futuristic Class of 1999. This time the action takes place near the turn of the millennium when gang violence overruns inner-city high schools to the point that the government steps in and replaces the teachers with reprogrammed military-grade battle androids. The super soldier cyborg faculty revert to their militaristic ways, naturally, and rack up quite a body count as they declare war on the student body leading to teenage gangs putting aside their difference to lead an anti-robot uprising in the halls of the school.

The time is the future, and youth gang violence is so high that the areas around some schools have become “free fire zones” into which not even the police will venture. When Miles Langford (Malcolm McDowell), the principal of Kennedy High School, decides to take his school back from the gangs, robotics specialist Dr. Robert Forrest (Stacy Keach) provides “tactical education units.” These human-like androids have been programmed to teach and are supplied with weapons to handle discipline problems. These kids will get a lesson in staying alive!

Boasting a screenplay by Full Moon stalwart C. Courtney Joyner and a cast including the likes of Stacy Keach, Pam Grier, Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Kilpatrick, and Traci Lind; Class of 1999 and its unique Stand and Deliver meets The Warriors meets The Terminator premise has garnered a loyal cult following over the years. We won’t mention the sequel. Forget I even brought it up. Sequel? What sequel?

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has announced Class of 1999 will be the next title getting a blu-ray release as part of their Vestron Collector’s Series in the first semester of 2018 with a fully loaded edition guaranteed to please fans and those that have yet to be educated on this enjoyable early Ninties b-movie extravaganza.

Disc extras will include:

Audio Commentary with Producer/Director Mark L. Lester
Interviews with Director/Producer Mark L. Lester and Co-Producer Eugene Mazzola
Interview with Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner
Interviews with Special Effects Creators Eric Allard and Rick Stratton
Interview with Director of Photography Mark Irwin
Trailer & TV Spot
Still Gallery
Video Promo
Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles for the main feature

Class of 1999 graduates to blu-ray on January 30th.

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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free

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Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.

The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.

Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!

All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.

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