Exclusive Interview: Actress Debbie Rochon Talks Psychic Experiment and More! - Dread Central
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Exclusive Interview: Actress Debbie Rochon Talks Psychic Experiment and More!

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Exclusive Interview: Actress Debbie Rochon Talks Psychic Experiment and More!On Tuesday, December 6th, Lionsgate is set to release writer/director Mel House’s latest genre offering, Psychic Experiment, which features an all-star cast including Katie Featherston, Debbie Rochon, Adrienne King, Reggie Bannister, Glenn Morshower, Kathy Lamkin and Shannon Lark just to name a few.

Psychic Experiment is centered around an idyllic, small, self-sufficient community which seems like the perfect neighborhood on the surface. After all, everything you could possibly need is within walking distance. But eventually the pastoral exterior conceals a dark past and an even darker secret, and as a group of individuals – each with their own ties and agendas with the town and each other – converge on the enclave, strange things begin to happen. Very strange things. Strange enough to test – and then break – the very fabric of reality itself.

In honor of Psychic Experiment‘s upcoming home release bow, Dread Central had the opportunity to talk with the insanely busy Rochon (just check out her IMDB profile and see the staggering amount of projects genre fans have yet to enjoy her work in) to talk about her experiences working on Psychic Experiment, what the actress looks for when considering roles and what we can expect from a few of Rochon’s upcoming projects.

Dread Central: Talk a little bit about how you got involved with Psychic Experiment and what your first impressions of the script were.

Debbie Rochon: Mel House approached me about playing Maria a few months before filming began. When he sent the script, I immediately started reading it and couldn’t put it down. It was so original and fresh, something that’s pretty rare with lower budget movies. I read it in one sitting and knew right away I wanted to be in the film. I saw what he was doing with the story, and it really blew me away. I was hooked! It was complex and layered and very engaging. So well-written.

Dread Central: I love that you have such a diverse slate of projects lately- what do you look for when you’re considering a project?

Rochon: I look for films where I can play a character I have never played before. I try and do different things, although I will always relish being a bad guy! Who is making the film matters; it’s important to work with people who are really there to serve the film and are interested in trying new things. Creativity is very important because I have made good movies and bad ones. The bad ones were never from a lack of trying, but funny enough, I feel the last slate of films I have made all have something really great about them, and for that I am happy.

Dread Central: How was it working with Mel? Did you guys collaborate on fleshing out your character Marie at all?

Rochon: Working with Mel is a dream. He is so easy to work with, and whatever I do with a character he adds to the mix and gives terrific direction. He loves making movies so it is really fun to be on his set because of that. The stress level was pretty much non-existent because he handled things so well- Mel’s a real pro. We were definitely on the same page as far as the Maria character goes. She is ‘inspired’ by a real life relative of his so I was happy to help him exorcise that demon. Maria is terrifically selfish, and that was a LOT of fun to play. Psychic Experiment is really an ensemble effort, and I think it works so well- not one actor drops the ball in this film.

Dread Central: So what were your experiences like working on set for Psychic Experiment?

Rochon: Great times. I have a scene in a bar where I see my son for the first time in years, and it was really explosive. The characters can’t stand each other, and during the scene I hit the actor playing my son across the face. It really engaged him so when he got up and pushed me backwards, I went flying into the bar tables. That part was cut out, but it was really intense so I am grateful to him that we, in a pretty controlled fashion, really let go and did the scene with as much tension and venom as possible, setting up their relationship in just a few lines – perfectly!

Dread Central: Since this has been such a long journey for everyone, how does it feel now that Psychic Experiment is about to be released by Lionsgate?

Rochon: I am very proud and excited! I am hoping not just the terrific actors, but also Mel of course will get notice for this film. It is really special, and he has worked hard on it for a while now. I think it will be pretty easy for it to find its fans, and Mel deserves to get some real recognition for this movie.

Dread Central: I noticed you have about a zillion other projects either recently wrapped, in production or coming up in the near future – can you talk a bit about some of those projects as well?

Rochon: Well, it’s hard to single just a few out without pissing off folks (LOL) so I will mention just a couple of movies. This year I wrapped Wrath of the Crows, which I shot with Ivan Zuccon in Italy. He also directed Colour from the Dark, which is another film I did with him, and it will be a real mind-bender for sure. I also shot another film in Italy for the first time with Stefano Milla making his ‘rock and roll, meteor hits Earth, zombie film’ called Solid State, which will also be super cool.

I also just wrapped some scenes on Disciples, which was directed by Joe Hollow, and we will be finishing it next month. I also did a short film called The Tell-Tale Heart, which is currently working its way through fests and has already won some awards; I am very proud of that movie, too! There’s also Razor Days, Gallery of Fear and Sick Boy, which are all wrapped and will be coming out next year. I’ve also been keeping busy with a few web series, too. I just shot two: Mel House’s Placeholders about a public access station, which is hilarious, and I shot a few episodes on The Chainsaw Sally Show, which is always a terrific experience. Good people, good times!

Exclusive Interview: Actress Debbie Rochon Talks Psychic Experiment and More!

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New Insidious: The Last Key Trailer Speaks Softly But Carries a Big Whistle

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The last word we brought you guys on the fourth installment in the Insidious franchise was when we let you know the new film had snagged a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for “disturbing thematic content, violence and terror, and brief strong language”.

Today we have a new trailer/TV spot for Insidious: The Last Key, and if you aren’t already on board for a fourth round of spooky shite courtesy of screenwriter Leigh Whannel, maybe this quick trailer will do the trick.

You can check out the new trailer below; then let us know how excited you are for Insidious: The Last Key!

I’m digging what I’ve seen from the new film thus far, and this new trailer only strengthens that. Plus I’m excited to see what director Adam Robitel can do with this series after his fucking terrifying previous film The Taking of Deborah Logan.

The film is directed by Adam Robitel from a script by Leigh Whannell and stars Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Josh Stewart, Caitlin Gerard, Kirk Acevedo, Javier Botet, Bruce Davison, Spencer Locke, Tessa Ferrer, Ava Kolker, and Marcus Henderson.

Insidious: The Last Key hits theaters January 5, 2018.

Synopsis:

Parapsychologist Elise Rainier and her team travel to Five Keys, N.M., to investigate a man’s claim of a haunting. Terror soon strikes when Rainier realizes that the house he lives in was her family’s old home.

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Luke Genton’s The Bone Box Trailer Proves Not All Graves Are Quiet

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Sometimes a fright flick comes along that sells me on the logline itself. And writer-director Luke Genton’s upcoming supernatural horror movie The Bone Box has just such a premise.

The film follows the story of a grave robber who comes to believe he’s being haunted by those he stole from. And if that premise doesn’t sell you on at least checking out the film’s trailer, I don’t know what to do for you.

Speaking of the trailer, you can check it out below. Then let us know what you think below!

The film stars Gareth Koorzen (The Black That Follows), Michelle Krusiec (The Invitation), and Maria Olsen (Starry Eyes), Jamie Bernadette (I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu), David Chokachi (Baywatch), Aaron Schwartz (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), and Tess Bellomo (Liked).

Look for updates on Facebook HERE and the Director’s Instagram: @lukegenton.

The Bone Box is currently in post-production. It is scheduled to be completed by November 2017 and is seeking distribution.

Synopsis:

Depressed and reeling from the recent death of his wife, Tom (Koorzen) has built up quite a gambling debt. He goes to stay with his wealthy Aunt Florence (Olsen) in hopes that she will write him into her will. When a nasty creditor makes it clear that Tom is out of time, he devises a plan with Elodie (Krusiec), the undertaker’s daughter, to rob the graves of the rich townspeople buried in the cemetery across the road. After plundering the graves, Tom begins hearing and seeing strange things that seem to coincide with the deaths of the people he robbed. Even more disconcerting… he appears to be the only one sensing the occurrences. One question lingers: Is Tom’s conscience playing a trick on him… or is he really being haunted by those he stole from?

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Last Meeple Standing

H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game, Overview and Review – Last Meeple Standing

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Yeah, I know. I’ve said it before, and I will scream it to the heavens again: There is an abysmal glut of Lovecraft Mythos games out there (and still streaming into the market). For a while there, it was vampire games (wanna take a sparkly guess why?). Then, it was zombie games (only Robert Kirkman knows why). Now it is Lovecraft games, and it is a LOT of them. Shambling, fish-headed masses of them, weighing down the game shop shelves like heavily laden buckets of freshly shorn tentacles (calm down, hentai fans). It’s true, and a lot of them seem to be sad doppelgangers of other games, just skinned with a rotting coat of Elder God goo.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Hahn

For that reason, it is nice to run across a Lovecraft-themed game that is GOOD. H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game is one of those… it’s good, but it’s not great (for ONE painful reason). But, for our nefarious purposes today, that’s good enough. The stars are PARTIALLY in alignment. There is one little detail to get out of the way before we wade into the spawn-infested miasma of this game: it is the hellish offspring of an earlier, more complex game called (you guessed it) H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival the board game. Much has been said about the relationship between these two games and many comparisons have been made, but since I neither own the board game nor have I played it, let’s leave it to fester in cold, barren space all by its lonesome for now. I’m sure its time will come…when the stars are right (rolling his eyes).

COMPONENTS:
It is RARE (like fresh Deep One filets) that the components of a game are as nice as the gameplay, but there are two elements of Kingsport Festival: TCG that really make it shine. The first is the titular cards that make up the bulk of the game. The artwork on the tarot-sized cards depicting the various gods, lesser gods, demons, and evil corgis (I kid) from the Mythos is dark and shows off the creatures to good/evil effect. I have to admit that these are some of my favorite depictions of the creatures from Lovecraft’s mind I’ve seen. They really look threatening here. The portraits on the cards presenting the investigators/evil cultists look dignified, a little creepy, and mysterious, as is only right for nogoodniks taking on Cthulhu’s worst. The graphic design is really classy with easily interpreted iconography and border artwork. Equal care has been taken with the backs of the cards, which have appropriately aged and Victorian elements. The only parts to this game are the cards and the dice. Wait, this is a card game, right?

Well, yes and no.

Although cards make up the lion’s share of the game, there is a heavy dice aspect as well, and these are some NICE dice. I’m a SUCKER for custom dice, and Kingsport Festival: TCG comes loaded with them. There are three types of dice: a white d10 with a clock icon on one face, brain-pink (a nice touch) d12 dice representing the player’s sanity with a Sanity icon on one face, and grey Domain d6 dice with three types of domain faces: purple Evil, black Death, and red Destruction. All of the dice are high-quality and engraved, not printed, with easily recognizable faces for ease of play and match up nicely with the icons on the game’s cards. Squee! Wonderfully evil custom dice!

SETUP:
Set up is pretty basic. All of the cards depicting the horrid gods are displayed in order of their power in six rows within reach of all of the players. The total number of copies of each type of god card is dictated by how many people are playing, so the number varies. Each player gets one of the brain-ilicious d12s with which to track their sanity and sets it to 10. All players white timer die, with the high roller taking the role of the starting player. Then each player sets their Sanity die to 10 (yes, the value can be increased up to 12 through game effects. That player takes the white d10 and sets it to the clock face. Players can pick an investigator card, but I suggest dealing them out at random to each player to liven things up (before they get driven insane, of course).

GAMEPLAY:
Gameplay is equally simple, yet strangely engaging. The first player takes the white timer d10, passes it to the next player to their left, who turns it to the number 1, effectively creating a timer that will count up from 1 to 10, ending the game. That player becomes the starting player. Once the white die is passed, the passing player increases their Sanity by one, as will be the mechanic throughout the rest of the game.

At the start of a game, the players will have no cards in their hands. They acquire them throughout the game, but we’ll talk about a general turn. The starting player rolls one of the domain dice and notes the resultant face. If they have cards to play, now is when they would play them. The card effects are varied. They might instruct the player to roll more dice, add specified domains to their pool of domains, change rolled die faces, etc. There are many possibilities. After the player has played all the cards they wish to and resolved the card effects, the player may spend the resources/domains gained through the dice they’ve rolled and the cards they have played to buy ONE god from the displayed cards and add it to their hand. It should be noted that players are limited to one and only one copy of each available god.

Once the player has completed their turn, they check to see if the round indicator on the white d10 matches one of the Raid rounds shown on the investigator card at the very bottom. If the numbers match, the player must compare the Gun icons on his cards to the strength of the raid indicated on his character card. If the Cultist’s strength is greater, he gains the difference in Sanity points. If the Cultist’s strength matches the Raid strength, they neither gain nor lose Sanity. If the Cultist’s strength is less than the Raid strength, they lose the difference in Sanity points. After this, the next player to the left will take their turn.

WINNING:
The game ends at the end of the ninth round, unless a Cultist is able to invoke the Elder God Azathoth, which results in dogs and cats sleeping together (no, not really). The cultists look at all of their god cards and add up the Elder God symbols at the bottom of each card. The Cultist with the most Elder God symbols/points at the end of the game WINS!

FINAL THOUGHTS:
So, there you have it: an epic battle between creepy Cultists and ghoulish Gods in one rather small box. I’ll get to the point. I really like H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game. I happen to be fond of little filler games like this. The box lists the playtime for this game as 30 min, but once the players know the rules, you can cut playtime down to 20 min, easy. It lists the age limit at 13+, which I think is absurd. There is nothing in the theme or artwork that would preclude players 10 and up from playing, other than rule complexity. Between the awesome art, the devilish dice, and the rad rules (ugh…), there is not much to dislike about this game… other than the hellish rules. You may be asking what I mean. The rules seem easy. They ARE. It’s the rulebook that is a pain in the neck. For some reason, the graphic designer (I’m looking at you, Savini -no, not Tom-) decided to print all of the rule examples in the book in a nearly unreadable “old-timey” font that is TINY. I think they thought they were adding flavor. If so, that flavor is YUCKY. When learning a new game, you want crystal-clear rules, not something you have to squint and struggle over, like this sad, arcane tome. The same hellish font appears on the cards in places, as well, making me one unhappy game collector. You may look past it, but I had a hard time doing so. Other than that, though, the game is great fun, a nice way to fill in time between bigger games, and beautiful to look at. You make your own judgement.

PRODUCT DETAILS:
Designer: Gianluca Santopietro
Artist: Maichol Quinto and Demis Savini
Publisher: Passport Games/ Giochi Uniti
Published: 2016
Players/Playtime/Age Rating: 3 -5 players/30 min/13+ (seriously?)

RATING:
3/5


Last Meeple Standing is brought to you by Villainous Lair Comics & Games, the ultimate destination for board game fanatics in Southern California. For more information visit the official Villainous Lair Comics & Games website, “Like” the Villainous Lair Facebook page and be sure to follow Villainous Lair on Twitter and Instagram.

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