Macaluso, Jerry (SOTA Toys) - Dread Central
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Macaluso, Jerry (SOTA Toys)



Ever since McFarlane Toys started making the Movie Maniacs line in the late ’90s, us horror fans have had a wish list of figures we wanted to see come out in seven-inch plastic form toys that we could just walk into any comic book shop an pick up for about $15.

Over the years that list has grown shorter as more and more toy companies have stepped into the game, and this year SOTA Toys is ready to make a huge name for themselves with the Now Playing line. The first series alone consists of a Nightmare Zombie from An American Werewolf In London, Darkman from Darkman, and an amazing new sculpt of The Toxic Avenger!

With such a great lineup planned for their entry into our black little hearts (and Series Two will kick ass as well with The Creeper, The Mummy, and a Killer Klown!), we had to have a talk with the man that made it all possible, SOTA president Jerry Macaluso. Jerry generously agreed to a back-and-forth e-mail interview an gave us a lot of amazing info. Hope you dig it!

Johnny Butane: Let’s start from the beginning. How did SOTA Toys get
its start?

Jerry Macaluso: SOTA Toys was originally a development house for other toy companies. I got a little bored doing movie FX and was really excited about what McFarlane, ReSaurus and some other companies were doing with action figures in the mid 90’s. So I sent out some packages to those companies showing some of our movie maquette work and saying we’d like to do some toy work.

Pretty much everyone ignored me except ReSaurus. At that time Jay Borman, Chris Borman (who both later formed Plan B Toys) and Ken Lilly (now VP at Palisades) ran ReSaurus and they got back to me within a week and offered me a project. So they’re to blame.

Truthfully I way underestimated the amount of work that went into an action figure. I thought I would sculpt a cool monster and they would have some magic process in China where the articulation was incorporated into the figure. When they told me I had to sculpt the figure with the 30 POA (points of articulation) into it I almost turned the job down. I’m not a machinist and I knew the budget, and it wasn’t enough to have an FX guy machine the parts and still have any money left over for me.

Because I’m a glutton for punishment I took the job and thought Id figure something out. Well let me tell you, it took myself and a friend almost 2 months to sculpt this thing…I made maybe $200 a week when it was all said an done (laughs). I SHOULD have just turned around and went back to FX full time but I took it as a challenge to figure out a way to make it a more efficient process. I was still doing FX work to be able to pay bills, but I REALLY liked sculpting toys.

Anyway… The guys at ReSaurus introduced me to some other toy sculptors and through their generosity I started to get the hang of it.

My work for ReSaurus then led to working for other toy companies, which in turn led to frustration at the process. ReSaurus was great because the people there thought like I did, and I felt like I was making toys the way I’d do it if it were my own company. Once I started working for other companies it was so different. It was very rigid and unsatisfying. Unfortunately ReSaurus went out of business so I had no choice.

I had heard all the stories about how it costs millions to start a toy company and how there was no room left for any “newbies” etc. I was too stupid or hard headed to listen and thought I could break in with my brilliant idea…the Jenna Jameson Figure.

Jenna was a friend of a friend and she thought it would be fun. I kind of jumped into it without knowing what it would cost. I figured we just start with a sculpt. I was a huge fan of Clay Moore’s females and thought we should do Jenna in a similar style.

Ken Lilly walked me through the process and I sent the sculpt off to China. Looking back the amount of money they charged was complete rape…but I learned. I mortgaged my house, borrowed a little and finally got the Jenna figure made… course we had NO sales. Nobody wanted it. I had promised the factory 100,000 units in orders. I almost just called it a day (yet again) and was going to eat my loss (which by the way was tens of thousands NOT millions – you just have to do as much yourself as possible). Then Diamond Comics came knocking and wanted a couple thousand. Woo Hoo! Almost enough to break even! Well, that thousand turned into TENS of thousands. When it was all said and done the Jenna figure hit 40,000 units.

Okay so a smart guy would pay back his loans, invest and go buy a Ferrari right? Yeah, right. In my ridiculous delusion of grandeur I thought I would take this newfound cash and hire a bunch of people and have a real toy company! I figured if a Jenna Jameson toy sold 40,000 units a whole line of porn toys would sell hundreds of thousands…

So I proceeded to hire a sales person and a shipping person and bought licenses to all the porn stars I could find. Of course we burned through cash like it was going out of style using the most expensive laser scanners and paying (what I know now to be) ridiculously high licensing fees. About a year later (and ZERO cash left) the first line came out and guess what? They did sell well, just nowhere near what I estimated. I realized we had made enough cash to make it another 4 months and then we’d be broke again, so we had to get moving on the next series, (this is when I realized that it is a snowball going down hill and you are running for your life to keep out of its path or it will crush you).

So that’s the beginning of SOTA.

JB: What a great story! Who knew porn starts could be so profitable outside of, you know, actual porn movies?

You mentioned effects work, how long had you been doing effects at this point?

JM: I started in Special FX professionally at 17 on the film Scarecrows, assisting Norman Cabrera who later went on to fame and fortune being one of Rick Baker’s lead artists. Previous to that I spent most of my waking hours in my parents laundry room making masks and prosthetics.

I was 28 when I started working for ReSaurus so I had been doing FX for 11 years prior to getting into toys (which also goes to show that you are never too old to start a new profession).

JB: So how did you go from porn stars to video game stars?

JM: My/SOTA’s big break came in the form a very cool lady by the name of Juanita Palomino. Juanita worked for Paramount Studios in licensing and was looking for a toy company to do figures for the second Tomb Raider film. Problem was the company that did figures for the original film kind of dropped the ball and the mass retailers didn’t want any more figures. Juanita saw our little 10′ booth at SDCC promoting the Adult Superstars and figured since nobody wanted the license, and we could make hot chick figures, maybe we could pull off this project.

I immediately thought “Wow…big break!” The only problem was that when we showed Paramount our prototype, they realized we were not on the same page creatively. They wanted a “statue” style figure with limited articulation to show off Angelina’s curves. I wanted to make a fully articulate “action” figure. By this point it was too late to turn back and they accepted what we had sculpted. Lucky for me sales indicated I was right. Whew!

Tomb Raider opened many, many doors as it was nominated (and won) several figure awards.

The major door it opened was Street Fighter. Palisades had a deal for Street Fighter already in place but for some reason it just didn’t gel. Capcom’s representative, Marc Mostman, knew our work and that there was a good chance we would have sculpted the Street Fighter figures for Palisades had the deal gone through. He also loved our Tomb Raider figures, which showed we could manage production in China (ah… if he only knew at the time). Street Fighter was going to be costly for us and I initially didn’t want to do it because I had no funds to develop such a big line (I had just made a deal with Paramount for “Charmed” and a deal with my buddies Insane Clown Posse). Plus the word coming back from retail was that it was dead and nobody wanted it. The final nail in the coffin was that I was told it couldn’t be an exclusive deal as High Dreams and Jazzwares both had Street Fighter deals already.

To Marc’s credit he kept leaning on me and telling me retail doesn’t have a clue (which I now know for the most part to be true), and that High Dreams and Jazzwares were targeting different markets and if we did them right it would work.

Truth is I would never enter into a deal like that again where there were so many negatives stacked against me, so ignorance truly is bliss on occasion.

JB: What kind of time line are we talking about for all these?

JM: Lets see… Adult Superstars, Series 1 came out Fall 2002, Tomb Raider Summer 2003, and Street Fighter Fall 2004.

JB: So what about the other big license, The Chronicles of Riddick? How did that come to pass?

JM: Well…I was trying to get Van Helsing and I just couldn’t come up with the Dinero they wanted. They said they had a sequel to Pitch Black (which I’m a fan of) and would I be interested in the license? I felt that even if the movie bombed people would want a Vin Diesel figure from Pitch Black (and his costume was virtually the same). Once I saw some of the amour designs I thought the movie really stood a chance of being cool. I’m not a big Vin fan but the Riddick character is his best role so I went for it. Needless to say we lost money on it.

The good thing is we formed a very tight relationship with Universal and we are approached about everything they do now.

JB: Did they ever approach you for doing figures from the Dawn of the Dead remake?

JM: No they didn’t approach anyone, actually. The film was kind of a bastard stepson that the consumer products group looked down on. As a matter of fact when I approached THEM, we couldn’t do a deal because their lack of faith in the film caused them to not bother to secure actors likeness rights for action figures. Its still possible, but would be costly as they’d have to go back to the actors and negotiate rights.

JB: Well, that brings us up to the here and now, I think. Let’s talk the meat of this interview; the Now Playing line. Where’d you get the idea from for such a diverse line?

JM: A lot of people think Now Playing is a rip-off of Movie Maniacs, but the truth is I had that idea before McFarlane ever announced Movie Maniacs. As a matter of fact I had sculpted a Pumpkinhead and an Ash to present to the licensors about a year before MM came out. That’s how I wanted to “break into” manufacturing. By the time I contacted the licensors with our sculpts in hand, they had done deals with McFarlane. So I forgot about it and was content as McFarlane did a great job…and I was buying them all.

Unfortunately, after MM series 4 our tastes seem to have severely diverged and I was disappointed that the characters I wanted to buy seemed to be doomed to never being made. I like Aliens and Predators but I LOVE Killer Klowns and American Werewolf, etc. THOSE are the figures I wanted. I will leave the Freddys, Jasons, Leatherfaces etc., to NECA and McFarlane…When it comes to Now Playing expect to see the unexpected.

So it’s summer of 2003. After Tomb Raider became a hit I started to nose around and see if any of my “dream” film licenses were available. I had figured McFarlane had them all tied up but to my surprise, they were available! By this time we had paid for Street Fighter, “Charmed”, ICP and Riddick so I was broke…but these great licenses were staring me in the face. Time to mortgage the house again (literally)! So I got some cash together and went on a serious spending spree…

I understood why McFarlane steered away from some of these…they wouldn’t sell enough for them to make a profit. Myself on the other hand…well we are a small company and if we priced them slightly higher, we could make a profit and sell only half of what McFarlane would need to sell to make a profit.

Truth is I don’t know how Now Playing is going to do. I have enough film licenses for almost 5 years worth of figures…this is a serious labor of love by a serious fan. As some associates have told me, my vision of this line is blurred by my obsession for it. We have fought for retail space, as nobody wanted it. I have had to agree to buy back any unsold pieces…all sorts of things. Does anyone other than me want a Killer Klown? Or an Imhotep? Man I really don’t know. But I believe in these figures. I believe in the line. I don’t need to make money at this. As long as we don’t lose money it will go on for years.

There are two lines we are making for the simple fact that I am personally in love with them. Now Playing is one, and the other will be announced at Toy Fair.

JB: Wow, you’re really putting your all into this series, that’s very admirable. What kind of distribution is Now Playing going to be getting? We will see them in the Suncoasts and Musiclands of the world?

JM: So far we have gotten Spencers, Musicland, Hastings and Tower to take them. Though none of them ordered huge amounts. Other than those it’s an online/comic store kind of thing. We’re talking about production runs of 10,000 units each…that’s very small. But it’s fine by me.

JB: So you’re hoping, essentially, that the fans want these toys as much as you? I think you’re safe there, I really do.

JM: Let’s hope so, cause I have some amazing licenses waiting in the wings that I know are going to make the fans happy!

JB: What kind of work was involved getting the American Werewolf In London license? Had Universal been approached about it previously?

JM: Universal had never been approached. It took several months of legal work to figure out the rights. It ended up being co-owned by Universal and John Landis (who has now become a good friend). John was totally stoked when he found out, as was Rick Baker…they took me to lunch to talk about their ideas for the line. For me, American Werewolf has at least half dozen cool figures to do. That’s one of the ones I was very surprised Movie Maniacs hadn’t picked up.

This leads to an interesting story on Darkman. Universal didn’t know they owned the merchandise rights. It didn’t show up on any of their merchandise sheets. I had to convince them to spend a little time and have their lawyers look into it. I knew at the time that film was made Sam (Raimi) didn’t have the power to retain those rights so it HAD to be Universal even though they said they didn’t have them. Turns out I was right and afterwards Darkman started to show up in all their catalogs of films available to license…

JB: Nice work, it’s good to know the fans know more about the movies and their rights than the studios that made them!

So is the plan to try and do multiple figures from the same over the course of a few lines like you said you plan for AWIL?

JM: Basically, yeah. Some licenses, like AWIL and Mummy Returns, have several characters I think will kick ass. Some, like Darkman, are really only good for one. I will try and not put two characters from the same license into the same line. I like diversity.

JB: What was Raimi’s reaction to finally seeing Darkman in glorious 7″?

JM: Sam called the other day and loved it. He authorized us to quote him in all ads, etc. I think we’ll be working together in the future 🙂

Darkman was one of the very first films I ever worked on in Hollywood (I sculpted the 12″ Darkmans for miniature shots), so it holds a very warm place in my heart. Everyone on that film was great. Making that and Toxie was a real full circle closure thing for me. So many of these figures are simply me indulging myself on recreating characters I grew up with. It’s very nostalgic and extremely satisfying in so many ways.

JB: Tell me more about the company. How many sculptors do you have working for you?

JM: We currently have 6 full time sculptors. Alexi Bustamante who has been with us for 4 1/2 years, since we were just a prototype company, is the lead sculptor for most lines including Now Playing. Will Harbottle has been with us only a year, but he was hand picked to head up the Street Fighter sculpting. Assisting on sculpting are Aaron McNaught, Jon Stevens, Dave Chamberlain and Conor McCullagh. Kat Sapene is our painter (and way overworked). Jed Haigh is in charge of molds/casts and has two interns we found through the internet forums, Rene Aldrete and Stephen Gomez. We also have some freelance FX sculptors doing some Now Playing work such as Len Burge, Russ Luckich, Tim Martin, Dave Smith and Patrick McGee. They all have extensive sculpting experience on film creatures. I also sculpt when I can find the time (usually during the weekend).

JB: How long does it take, in general, for a figure to go from conception to the final sculpt?

JM: In terms of development time everything is different. We don’t do a lot of concept sketches or anything like that because the sculptors are right here with me every day and I can make comments hourly. I’m not so interested in the studios ideas for the figures. Many times I will rough out the pose of the figure, as I know in my head what I want it to look like. This really speeds things along. A typical Now Playing figure takes about 3 weeks from start to finish. So far every figure has passed through studio approvals with no changes. This is generally because we know these characters better than the studio does. Street Fighters take a lot longer to prototype than your average Now Playing figure because of the articulation levels. Maybe double the time.

JB: Sorry to ask, but what does SOTA stand for, anyway?

JM: SOTA is State-Of-The-Art. It was what I had always hoped the FX company would be, but alas we never achieved that. I do believe we are living up to our name on the toy side though.

JB: Was it important to you that your sculptors had film experience rather than previous toy experience when you were considering them?

JM: For Now Playing I definitely wanted sculptors with creature FX backgrounds. There are a few toy industry sculptors I would trust with these characters, such as [NECA’s] Tankman and Dave Cortez, but their schedules are pretty booked. I know most of the sculptors in the FX industry and they were very excited about getting an opportunity to sculpt some of these classic characters.

JB: Can you give our readers an idea of what to expect from Now Playing, Series 3, or is it too soon?

JM: Series 3 will be announced at Toy Fair, and unfortunately I can’t divulge anything about it before then.

JB: When can we expect to see the wolf from An American Werewolf In London?

JM: Honestly, the wolf from AWIL is not on the schedule yet. I won’t start thinking about series 4 until summer. It might be in 4, might not…

JB: I wanted to ask you about the puppets from “When Zombies Attack!” that you recently put out. How did you get hooked up with the Grim Grotto Goods guys?

JM: I met Chad and Matt years ago during my FX career. They are two of the most talented FX guys out there and their “When Zombies Attack!” video is hilarious.

Truth is though that it didn’t occur to me to mass-produce the puppets, that idea came from my VP Jess Bansal (who coincidentally enough didn’t know that I knew Matt and Chad). So Jess came to me with this “great product” he saw at SDCC and it was the puppets.

I believe Matt and Chad were working on a deal with someone else but that didn’t pan out, so we jumped back in and started development. Funny thing is we sculpted about a half dozen different monster style heads to complement the zombies but when we showed them to retail, other then the pumpkin and witch, all they wanted were the zombies.

We some new ones planned for 2005 and we’re revising the mechanism to be sturdier.

JB: What will be part of the new Puppets line up?

JM: Nothing too crazy, just some new head sculpts.

JB: One last thing I wanted to touch on was the upcoming line of toys based on the Cthulhu mythos. What can you tell us about them at this point?

JM: Well its a 3 figure line, the scale and price haven’t been set in stone yet. We’re going to see the reaction at ToyFair first. Chances are they will be $19.99 though.

The first line will include Cthulhu, Dagon, and Pickman’s Model. If all goes well we will do a second series Halloween 06.

JB: Who designed the monsters?

JM: I did Cthulhu and Pickman’s Model, with Dagon being designed by Jon Stevens and myself.

JB: And they’ll all be on display at Toy Fair this year?

JM: Yessir!

A huge thank you to Jerry for taking the time for the interview. This is truly a fan making the kind of toys fans want to own, so the more support we can give them the better they’ll get! Now Playing: Series 1 is due out in stores sometime in February, but you can pre-order the first line though Evilshop right here! And be sure to keep your eyes peeled on SOTA’s official site for the latest announcements!

Discuss SOTA Toys in our forums!


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Spoilers: Which Major Walking Dead Actor Might Leave the Series After This Season?




Like many of you out there, I gave up on AMC’s The Walking Dead a long time ago. In fact, I gave up after they fired Frank Darabont following the horrendous second season.

That said, I’m not bitter towards the series, and hell, even I watched the season premiere where Negan beat the brains off Big Red and the dude from Mayhem.

Also, I’m aware there has been some controversy surrounding the “death” (yeah, right) of Chandler Rigg’s character. I have no opinion on the matter.

Speaking of character deaths, we might want to expect another this season as it looks like Lauren Cohan, aka Maggie, has taken another job on the ABC pilot “Whiskey Cavalier.”

While this doesn’t immediately mean Cohan’s Maggie character will kick the big old zombie-bucket… it pretty much means that.

Variety reports that Cohan has been in negotiations with AMC for months over her return, but she does not currently have a contract for the ninth season and will instead take the lead in the new ABC pilot.

Do you think this means Maggie is done for? Let us know below!

“The Walking Dead” returns on Sunday, February 25th.

Season 8B Synopsis:
All-out war has had a devastating impact on every person involved. The communities themselves are fractured. Alexandria has been destroyed, the people at Hilltop finds themselves pinned, and the Kingdom is shattered — half of them dead, the other half controlled by the Saviors.

At the very center — Rick, having been distracted by the conflict, has just returned home to learn that Carl, who heroically shepherded the Alexandrians to safety during Negan’s attack, has been bitten by a walker. Once his sole motivation in this otherwise stark existence, Rick is forced to deal with this reality. Carl has always been a beacon of hope, a symbol for the remaining thread of humanity — lessons that the survivors around him would be wise to take with them as this war surges onward.

But Rick isn’t the only person who’s living in peril. Aaron and Enid are in a dire situation at Oceanside — unclear if they’re in friendly territory, or if they’ve just made new enemies. Father Gabriel will do his part in attempting to smuggle Dr. Carson safely back to the Hilltop, and a pregnant Maggie is wrestling with the many moral gray areas that come with leadership during war. In a standoff with the Saviors, she must decide how to proceed with the dozens of POW lives she’s currently in control of, as well as new complications that come with being a leader.

In addition to the war, Negan continues to deal with struggles within his ranks as workers, traitors, and others’ thirst for power cause conflict at the Sanctuary. Having gifted the Saviors a major victory, Eugene’s loyalty is repeatedly tested as new obstacles present themselves.

As all-out war consumes us, the line between good and evil continues to blur. People fighting for what they believe in. Everybody working together for something bigger — to feel safe and have a world worth living in.


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Filthy and Fine! The Best Shots of Ash vs. Evil Dead



The Evil Dead franchise is my all time favorite horror series, which evolves its mythos with each entry. Of course, the original Evil Dead has been just a straight-up horror film, but thanks to the fateful meeting of filmmaker Scott Spiegel, director Sam Raimi took the franchise into a strange comedic territory, using slapstick while still keeping the tones of sheer terror. What makes this terror stay with the franchise even with Ash’s loudmouth persona is it’s influential and inspiring camera work that Sam Raimi makes a legend behind the camera.

After years of waiting for the master of horror to return to the Evil Dead franchise, our palates were satiated with “Ash Vs Evil Dead” which continued the inspiring cinematography. With two seasons of a television show under Raimi’s watchful eye and a third season on the way, I took a look at every episode in the series to see if each director on board the project kept that eye for cinematography and shooting style. The series was notorious for it’s over the top gore and gags and I could’ve sat here and just gushed over the geysers of blood emitting from every orifice in the show, but, what I found in each episode brought more and more to the table. There are still horrifying shots to balance out the comedy of the show, but there are also amazing character moments within that foreshadow and evolve each character.

Think about it, other than Ash we’ve never had a cast of characters that survived more than two minutes but now there’s a crew of Ghostbeaters! Don’t worry as we still have randoms coming in and out that leave you to ponder, “How long can this poor Shemp live?” as they burst into blood and viscera. There are shots that revel in the grotesque, but there are also shots that revel in who our heroes are and delve into their psyches, the specialty of the Deadites! For those who’d like to follow along with the shots in the show, I’ve given you the time these shots show up if you’re watching the show on Netflix skipping the recaps.

To see the images in their full-size glory, give them a groovy little click!

S1E1: “El Jefe”
Directed By Sam Raimi
The flashlight twirling on the ground illuminating the scene as it spins on the two detectives faces gives way to one of the best sequences in the series. As Amanda’s deadite partner attacks her, the light spins furiously with the actions of the scene as she tries to retrieve her gun. When she retrieves the gun and aims it at the deadite the audience member would get a sigh of relief that she would triumph but is then tricked into terror. The flashlight spinning becomes slower and slower on both their faces as the man cries in pain pleading to his partner. The light illuminates his transformation back into a deadite horrifyingly for a slow dread filled shot. This shot and sequence show Sam still has it and sets up the series for what’s to come.

S1E2: “Bait”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
As Ash brings down the cross upon the ground the camera pans to Pablo and Kelly with a bright sunrise upon them. While the horrors of the night are over it is this sunrise the signifies the dawning of Kelley’s new life and her dialogue over this shot swears her vengeance.

S1E3: “Books From Beyond”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
Up until this point, Ruby has remained a mystery and not given us a sense of danger. Against the howl of the windmill in the background bathing in the moonlight we see her unleash the Kandarian dagger upon the already impaled deadite with a smirk on her face. This shot unravels her mystery bit by bit hauntingly as the first person besides Ash to stare down a Deadite with no fear.

S1E4: “Brujo”
Directed By David Frazee
The Brujo’s entire set up is pretty creepy with all sorts of totems that he utilizes for good but look haunting. When Kelly steps into the barn possessed by Eligos the totems come to life and react to the evil stepping before them. The best one though is the face that quickly begins to disappear bit by bit as Kelly approaches. It utters the word Mentirosa, Spanish for a liar, as she steps forth, giving way to a visually striking and terrifying warning.

S1E5: “The Host”
Directed By: David Frazee
Pablo bids farewell to his youth and tutelage under the Brujo while stepping into a new life with Ash that is more in tune with his family’s spiritual upbringing. With each totem lighting up as Pablo walks by the shots build Pablo’s feelings of loss toward a teacher as Pablo emerges a warrior that foreshadows his importance later to come as the first magical force of good in a fight that’s only ever cast spells of evil.

S1E6: “The Killer of Killers”
Directed By Michael Hurst
This is one of the most hilarious yet meaningful shots of the episode. Amanda’s boss has become a deadite ready to kill her. Ash shoots Amanda’s boss in the head, making her question the authority she had adhered to so much. Her idea of Ash as a villain changed with that charming Smile and look to Amanda in a gory pose over the lower jaw of her former boss. Ash looks to her like Uncle Sam simply saying join us! Blood and viscera flowing around him like a fountain. Dangling legs in the background as an added bonus!

S1E7: “Fire In The Hole”
Directed By Michael Hurst
Actions in combat can tell a story just like any dance. The compatibility between our heroes is evocative of Ash and Amanda’s budding romance during the entire sequence. However, it is this one masterful shot of the two working in unison dodging hellfire that tells the story of warrior’s love lit by demon fire!

S1E8: “Ashes to Ashes”
Directed By Tony Tilse
Ash can never escape the past it seems as the series goes on. He is hesitant to trust Pablo and Kelly as friends in his adventure for fear of losing them like he has lost so many others. This infamous shot from Evil Dead 2 is one of the few things that could make him question his machismo. This time he doesn’t even bring the chainsaw down on his beloved Linda but is forced to watch as an invisible chainsaw comes down upon her head forcing him to be reminded of what he did. This plays heavily into his decision making near the end of the season.

S1E9: “Bound In Flesh”
Directed By Tony Tilse
We finally get to see the book speak and beg Ash to not destroy it. This is something we’ve become accustomed to in the comic series, but have never been treated to the book itself speaking to Ash otherwise. We as the audience become the eye of the book and in true Evil Dead fashion watch, Pablo scream as the camera rushes toward him and he fuses with the book. This moment is the change in Pablo that clashes with his new direction discovered in the shot in Episode 5, which then tortures him internally until the end of season 2 where he is constantly being pulled by the necklace of the Brujo and the evil of the books spells.

S1E10: “The Dark One”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
A dreary moonlight shot of blues against the cabin looking ominous as Kelly stares on drenched in blood and anger. It’s a hauntingly beautiful shot. Kelly has fully embraced herself as a ghost beater and is done being tormented ready to start saving her boys. For a lot of characters, this could easily be a breaking point, but this shot affirms Dana Delorenzo as Kelly among some of the most powerful and able Final Girls on the rise.

S2E1: “Home”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
This shot is very telling of Ruby’s betrayal to evil. As her children surround and attack her, she is obscured by darkness and where she lies in terror a bright light emanates from behind her illuminating the scene as if to show her becoming a hero against evil.

S2E2: “The Morgue”
Directed By Tony Tilse
When this episode aired it was one of the most talked about and disgustingly depraved things to see. A simple Camera rig in front of Ash as he struggles to get out of a corpse, pubic hairs and dick swinging in his face. If Dead Alive wanted to take Evil Dead’s title of biggest gross-out scenes, then “Ash Vs Evil Dead” took the title back with excrement and body fluids all over our hero.

S2E3: “Last Call”
Directed By Tony Tilse
There are a ton of great shots of the evil Delta but perhaps the best one is this single frame of Lacey telling her boyfriend she loves him as he is splattered across the windshield. Blood and glass between them as they try for one last kiss against the fire and demonic lighting coming from the Delta and then splat! It’s a small touching moment that makes Lacey’s character a bit more sympathetic as the show goes on. As for her boyfriend? Well, I told you there would be plenty of Shemps to kill off.

S2E4: “DUI”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
After splattering Ash’s dad across the street, The Delta pulls up with a camera spin into the grill revealing an eye stuck in it. Ash’s one true love, his car, that’s survived everything has turned against him and killed his father just as they had reconnected. A perfect role reversal as Brock William’s severed eye is now staring down Ash through the grill of the car. No longer a window into Brock’s soul, but a sick vision of Ash’s love turned enemy.

S2E5: “Confinement”
Directed By Michael J. Bassett
Flashing between light and darkness as the skin is ripped and blood is splattered gives us a horrifying look for the first time at the main antagonist of the season. Baal emerges from the flesh of humanity showing how we are all merely tools for his psychological deceptions.

S2E6: “Trapped Inside”
Directed By Mark Beesley
The moon reflects an eerie light upon Cheryl’s picture as it begins to bleed like the statue of Mary. The innocence of Ash’s sister was never saved and her soul weeps as the flesh is resurrected for evil’s bidding.

S2E7: “Delusion”
Directed By Mark Beesley
This entire episode is about breaking down Ash’s spirit and character, making him think he’s truly insane. As he’s at the breaking point he sees his friends and his love for them saves him. It’s a really simple shot that’s amplified by Bruce’s performance, but that disturbed look against the shadowy bars across his face in the dreary room give him his eureka moment where he comes down from his insanity and understands what he has to do to win.

S2E8: “Ashy Slashy”
Directed By Tony Tilse
Throughout the season the town builds up a boogeyman mythos in Ashy Slashy that we know as an audience member isn’t true but this shot brings Ashy Slashy to life. That boogeyman becomes real as the straight jacket becomes Ashy Slashy’s costume and the fire created by the chainsaw shows a side of Ash we’ve never seen. In this shot, we are convinced he had become a mindless killer.

S2E9: “Home Again”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
We’ve only ever heard his voice and seen his ghost save for a few shots of him discovering the Necronomicon in Evil Dead 2. Professor Knowby watches his student, Tanya, bleed out on the floor. She looks up at her mentor with horror as light swings back and forth casting shadows on his face. He is almost serial killer in nature and the shot reflects how his quest for knowledge outweighs his humanity. We see Professor Knowby and his daughter Ruby are not too dissimilar.

S2E10: “Second Coming”
Directed By Rick Jacobson
The finale brings Ash back to the cabin having to completely confront his past to change the future. With Pablo dead, because of Ash’s own follies, it is in the ashes of Ash’s dark past that Pablo is reborn, no longer tormented by the Necronomicon he takes his first breath as a new human. The evil within him gone and his life ready to begin anew.


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McKenna Grace Snags Lead in Rob Lowe’s Remake of The Bad Seed



Okay so, evidently Rob Lowe is remaking The Bad Seed. Meh, I’m interested. But wait, evidently it will be a Lifetime original film. Urgh, interest is waning.

All jokes aside, I’m intrigued by this remake. Not only is it set to star Rob Lowe, but the man will be directing and executive producing as well.

Another interesting variation is that this film will follow Lowe’s father figure dealing with the evil child, instead of the original film’s mother character played by Nancy Kelly.

And on top of that, today we have news via Deadline that McKenna Grace (Amityville: The Awakening) has been cast as the titular bad seed, Emma, and Patty McCormack – who played the evil little girl in the original, and received an Oscar nomination for performance – will co-star as the psychiatrist who treats Emma.

Grace will next be seen in the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House from director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Gerald’s Game).

The Lifetime remake is directed and executive produced by Rob Lowe from a script by Barbara Marshall. Lowe as executive produces with Mark Wolper and Elizabeth Stephen and stars alongside Patty McCormack and McKenna Grace.


Lowe plays a single father who seems to have everything under control. But when there is a terrible tragedy takes place at his daughter Emma’s (Grace) school, he is forced to question everything he thought he knew about his beloved daughter. He slowly begins to question if Emma’s exemplary behavior is just a façade and she played a role in the horrific incident. When more strange things begin to happen, he’s faced with keeping a terrible secret to protect Emma, but ultimately must stop her from striking again.


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