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Dinosaurs Getting Ready to Attack Los Angeles

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Deadline

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http://www.deadline.com/2012/04/warner-bros-acquires-sci-fi-dinosaur-pitc/

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Dinosaurs Getting Ready to Attack Los AngelesSometimes news comes that has us grinning from ear-to-ear. This is exactly one of those times. The mere thought of dinosaurs tearing up L.A. is truly enough to warrant a wet dream. Maybe even two wet dreams. No, really. Here’s hoping they start by taking a shit on the 101.

Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has purchased a sci-fi action pitch about a rapidly evolving species of dinosaurs who attack modern Los Angeles.

John Clisham, a longtime employee at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and who recently worked on the Titanic 3D conversion, is directing and will write the script with Mike Bayman.

The rest of the plot is being kept under wraps, but the project was developed by online network Break Media as a large-scale web series. Warners’ Greg Silverman and Sarah Schechter saw early tests and stepped up to acquire it as a feature film. Bayman will produce; Scott Nocas and Break Media’s Greg Siegel will executive produce.

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Ash vs Evil Dead Set Visit Part 1: It’s All Laughs and Guts

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We few, we Band of Brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.” – William Shakespeare, King Henry V

Oh yes, there will be blood.” – Jigsaw, Saw II


When you step foot onto the set of STARZ’ “Ash vs Evil Dead”, the one think you know you’re going to come across is fake blood. But I’m not talking a few splashes here and there. Oh no, I’m talking about bucket after bucket and gallon after gallon. Remember that scene from Ghostbusters II where Ray is lowered into the sewers only find a river of pink, gelatinous slime? I imagine that if the “Ash vs Evil Dead” crew wanted to recreate that with fake blood, they would have enough leftover to film a completely different horror movie just for the fun of it.

That’s part of the joy of being on the set of “Ash vs Evil Dead”, which filmed last year in Auckland, New Zealand. The cast and crew are there to obviously create a professional show that STARZ will be proud to air. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t having fun while doing so. And who can blame them? When you’re making the third season to one of television’s most outrageous, gory, violent, irreverent, and audacious series, you’re bound to have a few laughs along the way.

That feeling permeated every square foot that “Ash vs Evil Dead’s” set took up. In between takes, crew members were laughing and smiling while setting up the next scene. Don Brooker and Shay Lawrence of PROFX, the company behind the FX of the show, couldn’t stop giggling with glee and beaming with pride as I got to see, and play with, their delightfully gruesome creations, including a head that was severed multiple times due to, “Ash stomping on a harp and the strings slicing through“, which created an accordion-like effect that I’m sure will be one of the highlights of the 3rd season. Even the cast couldn’t stop loving every second of the production. Dana DeLorenzo made sure to stop and talk with the crew as she walked through the set, cracking jokes and making what I can only assume were inside references, while Bruce Campbell was often found creating Snapchats with silly filters to keep fans engaged.

All this being said, there was a strange tension that hovered over the crew throughout this camaraderie. Sure, they were having a blast shooting the 3rd season…but would there be a 4th? The uncertainty palpably hung in the air and everyone’s faces went quickly from wide grins to concerned expressions when asked about the possibility of a return. Nothing was signed and, while everyone had their hopes up, it was really up in the air as to what the next year would bring.

Says producer Rob Tapert, who has been a part of the Evil Dead universe since Sam Raimi’s first film, “It’s a battle for the fourth [season]. I think STARZ as a subscriber-based network that skews a little bit older and a little bit more ethnic has issues trying to properly monetize this and grow their subscriber base out of it. They’re very happy critically how it’s been received. They love the show, they’ve been great partners, but I know in their own mind they go, ‘Well, we’re not certain it’s grown our subscriber base.’ It’s worked on Amazon Prime and it’s worked really, really well on Bit Torrent. On the weekends, when it’s on, it’s often the first or second most illegally downloaded show over the weekend, which doesn’t help anybody really.” This theme rang heavy over each interview, with each cast and crew member talking about how the fans drove STARZ to want to make this show in the first place but are also the same force that may potentially halt it from continuing.

If you want our show to raise your subscriptions, you’d better find out how to get your company in front of people so that they know what your company is! It’s not our job to create a brand for your company. You guys do that on your own and we’ll help out with content,” says star Bruce Campbell about STARZ. However, this attitude is not meant to be aggressive. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

We’re always going to be grateful to STARZ, because they were the only ones who were willing to pony up, to give us the budget we needed, and the creative freedom,” he continues. “This is an unrated TV show and normally that’s not what you go into with television. Television is designed to reach the greatest audience possible. So, if this was cable, the edges would be shaved right off this thing. And it could actually be more popular! We are not the most popular show on television, by a long shot. Are we the most fervently watched? I’d put us top 10. You see the DVDs flying off the shelf. We sold more DVDs in the first season than any other show in five years!

Tapert remains hopeful, telling me, “The good news is that we’re certainly in discussions for a fourth season. They’ve been great partners so far!

So what have the cast and crew of the third season of “Ash vs Evil Dead” dreamt up for us this time? Well, the biggest reveal that’s come out so far is that Ash is a father! We’re going to be introduced to Arielle Carver’s character Brandy this season and see what it means for someone like Ash to pony up to that kind of responsibility.

She’s fiercely independent and very strong-willed. She doesn’t trust easily,” says Carver, who tells us that her character’s foundational knowledge of Ash is less than approving. “[Brandy’s] mom told her that Ash was a crack dealer who got shanked in prison! They only thing they heard about Ash is that he was a psychotic axe murderer who killed his friends. They heard these horrible stories about him, so of course she wanted to protect her daughter from that. That’s the only experience Brandy has of Ash up until she meets him.

Still, Ash is never one to give up when it comes to fighting for something…if he deems it worthy of his time, of course. “Ash starts doing something he doesn’t often do, which is try. He starts putting in active effort. He’s trying to be this great dad, this cool dad…just trying to be a dad! Because he has no idea. His only example is Brock and that wasn’t the most loving of relationships. He kinda fails miserably but, through some awful events, they come together and she realizes they have more in common than she thought,” she explains.

While I wasn’t given the full rundown of events that occur within this season, I was told that this time evil has “gone global” and, as can be expected, it’s all Ash’s fault. It’ll all lead up to a climax where we’re introduced to the giant monster known as Kandar, which will be the largest foe Ash has ever had to face. However, with greater demons come greater weapons and Ash will get to use what Campbell calls “the ultimate boomstick” when he comes into possession of a tank! I have to tell you readers that walking past a tank on a set is quite an interesting experience. It’s not often that you pass by one under any circumstance, so consider me intrigued to see what kinds of trouble Ash gets into when he gets his hands on this massive weapon of destruction.

Part II of our set visit coming soon!

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? The Brave Little Toaster Dream Scene

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“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.

Earlier this week, I published an article highlighting terrifying moments from kids’ movies, scenes that haunted those of us who were mere youngsters in the 1980s. One example that wasn’t included, but that Dread Central Head Honcho Uncle Creepy agrees was a real sucker-punch, is the dream scene from the animated film The Brave Little Toaster, Released in 1987.

Before Beauty and the Beast personified teapots and candelabras, and before Toy Story brought us the story of dated action figures looking for their owner, Jerry Rees directed a mostly-benign tale that followed the meanderings of abandoned appliances trying to find their way home; the main character is the titular toaster who is, obviously, brave. Give the trailer a look-see.

Okay, the fact that the appliances refer to their owner as “Master” is definitely weird, but nothing could prepare viewers (especially younger ones) for a terrifying moment that comes completely out of left-field. The brave toaster has a bad dream that proves appliances have worse nightmares than most humans!

Everyone credits the 1990 IT miniseries with creating a generation of coulrophobia sufferers, but The Brave Little Toaster also came out first. Not only are we visually assaulted by a terrifying clown, he’s also a fireman, a fact that might have perplexed and disturbed kids to no end. Luckily, there don’t appear to be any lingering or widespread phobias associated with first responders!

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

Give the dream sequence from The Brave Little Toaster a spin below and just imagine what it might have been like to see it at a tender age!

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

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

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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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