Michael J. Bassett’s period piece Solomon Kane landed on VOD yesterday, August 24th, and to celebrate its long awaited release, a new clip has arrived that’s full of exactly what we were hoping to see from this flick. Check it out!
Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist), Pete Postlethwaite (The Omen remake), Rachel Hurd-Wood (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer), and Alice Krige (Silent Hill) all star alongside James Purefoy in Michael J. Bassett’s tale of a 16th Century Puritan tormented by his past evils. Following the film’s current VOD run, it will receive a limited theatrical release on September 28th.
Captain Solomon Kane (Purefoy) is a brutally efficient 16th Century killing machine. Armed with his signature pistols, cutlass and rapier, he and his men unleash their bloodlust as they fight for England in war after war on all continents.
As the story opens, Kane and his band of pillagers are carving a bloody path through hordes of defenders in an exotic city in northern Africa. But, when Kane decides to attack a mysterious nearby castle to plunder its rumored riches, his mission takes a fateful turn. One by one, Kane’s men are picked off by demonic creatures until he alone is left to face the Devil’s own Reaper — dispatched from the depths of Hell to lay claim to his hopelessly corrupt soul. Though Kane at last manages to escape, he knows that he now must redeem himself by renouncing violence and devoting himself wholly to a life of peace and purity.
His newfound spirituality, however, is quickly put to the ultimate test when he begins his journey across an England ravaged by diabolical human Raiders controlled by a terrifying, masked Overlord. After Kane fails to thwart the brutal slaughter of the Crowthorns, a Puritan family that has befriended him, he vows to find and free their enslaved daughter, Meredith (Hurd-Wood) — even if it means jeopardizing his own soul by re-embracing his murderous talents for a higher cause. His determined search eventually brings him face to face with his family’s own deadly secrets as he attempts to save Meredith and all of England from the forces of evil.
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Exclusive: Scream 2’s Jerry O’Connell and Kevin Williamson Talk Leaked Scripts and Different Killers!
Twenty years ago, Wes Craven’s Scream 2 managed to break box office records, opening with a domestic total of $39.2 million. Despite heavy competition against Titanic and Tomorrow Never Dies, the film went on to gross over $172 million worldwide. Due to the runaway success of the original film, anticipation for its sequel was high and come December 12th, 1997, audiences flocked to the theatre to follow the continued exploits of traumatized survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell); Woodsboro’s sheepish deputy Dewey (David Arquette); and his media-obsessed flame Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox).
While few would argue that any of the Scream sequels could top the original, Scream 2 comes pretty close; the series only consists of four films, so there’s not much room for competition (with each having their own strengths) — but Scream 2 has consistently rated as a fan favorite. The film takes the self-referential commentary to the next level with its dissection of horror sequels, as well as the introduction of the film-within-a-film Stab (based on the events of Scream).
Aside from its pop culture references, part of the appeal of the Scream franchise is that it isn’t your typical slasher series. Rather groundbreaking at the time, the films incorporate elements from all genres — horror, comedy, action, drama — all wrapped within an Agatha Christie-esque ‘whodunit?’ mystery thriller. The guessing game as to who is behind the Ghostface mask is what makes these films all the more enjoyable.
One of the more notorious killers of the series is Scream 2‘s Debbie Salt. Initially thought to be a pesky reporter looking to ride on Gale Weathers’ coattails… In a Friday the 13th-inspired(?) twist, it is revealed that Debbie Salt is none other than Mrs. Loomis — the mother of the previous film’s killer — seeking revenge on Sidney and Gale for the murder of her son. While Mrs. Loomis was always set to orchestrate the events at Windsor College… rather than “freaky Tarantino film student” Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), one particular draft implies the enraged mother was intended to have a different set of accomplices…
In response to the hype for Scream 2, major precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the film’s ending. Despite this, it is well known that a draft of the script was leaked onto the internet before production began. In the 2011 documentary Still Screaming, the late Wes Craven remarked, “[Writer] Kevin [Williamson] sent us, I think, something like thirty pages by email. We read it, it was fabulous — it was on the internet, in its entirety, that night.”
“One of the endings was definitely posted on the internet,” added producer Marianne Magdalena. Indeed! There is an online version of the script which features none other than Sidney’s boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell) and best friend Hallie (Elise Neal) as the killers.
On whether he was aware of this, Jerry O’Connell tells us, “I didn’t know about that until after — like years after. Somebody told me — I think at a comic con or something… because we never got the ending. When we first got the script, I got everything but the last twenty pages. I think they rewrote the ending — I’m not sure if it got leaked or what, but the script had a weird non-copyable pattern on it that you couldn’t make xerox copies of it.
It’s funny. Revisiting the film, I guess I could see that but Timothy Olyphant was so good in that — in that turn — it was sort of fun to see him do that.”
Initially believing this script to be real — with the change in killers an effort to combat the script’s leak — we caught up with writer Kevin Williamson to discuss this purported draft. As he revealed, this script (which has been circulating the web since 1997) isn’t real at all — but it’s not entirely fake either. “The Hallie and Derek ending was a dummy draft. At the time the script was written, the studio was determined to keep the plot details under wraps.
They were worried the killer’s identity would be leaked, so we wrote several endings. Three in all, if memory serves, and when actors and potential crew members asked to read the script, we would send the script with the dummy ending.”
As it turns out, Mickey was always intended to be Mrs. Loomis’ accomplice… but one can’t help but ponder the idea of different killers. “There was even a fake ending where Dewey was the killer. They existed as a decoy and nothing more. Extreme measures, but we really wanted to keep the killer’s identity a secret!”
The details of this particular script are rather interesting — it reads fairly similar to the final film, but contains a few extra scenes and reversed character roles. As in the film, Sidney is taken into protective custody after Randy’s death — but in this version, Hallie does not accompany her; she and Joel had to Windsor’s film department to retrieve footage for her film class. After watching Mickey fall prey during an attack with Ghostface, Sidney heads for the campus theatre, closely followed by Gale — who has just survived her own encounter with the killer; Dewey, on the other hand, not so much…
Inside the theatre, Sidney finds the bodies of Joel, Hallie, and Dewey — all strung up in the same manner as Derek in the film. Terrified, she tries to escape but comes across Cotton Weary — his arms and legs bound by tape. She attempts to help before Derek enters, revealing himself to be the killer.
This would have been an odd choice to consider — the Derek we know in the film is a genuinely likable character. Considering her poor taste in previous boyfriends, Derek as an innocent adds warmth to Sidney’s story (she would carry his gifted fraternity letters in Scream 3). But in this script, he’s totally whacked in the head…
The revelation scene follows closely to the final version. Derek begins taunting Sidney as she contemplates whether or not to unbind Cotton. Knowing that her boyfriend couldn’t have acted alone, Sidney fears Cotton might be his accomplice… until one of the nearby bodies springs to life. Hallie emerges from behind, grabs Sidney, and cackles.
Personally, I would’ve loved to have seen Elise Neal as the Ghostface killer… In the final film, when Dewey considers this, he notes, “Serial killers are typically white males,” to which Randy retorts, “But that’s why it’s perfect! It’s sort of against the rules, but not really!”
According to this script, Derek and Hallie had met on a horror movie chat board. Both serial killer fanatics, the two had forged a relationship and initiated themselves into Sidney’s life. O’Connell’s response? “That’s hilarious. My own relationship with Elise is still great. It’s super fun to see her career — everyone’s career — do well after that. I’ve really stayed in touch with Elise over the years and that would’ve been a lot of fun. She’s a great actress.”
The motive isn’t particularly fleshed out. Like Mickey, neither were preoccupied with being apprehended for the crimes. The only goal was to reap the rewards(?) of a high-profile media trial. Soon after, Mrs. Loomis arrives with Gale at gunpoint. She proceeds to shoot her helpful but worthless sidekicks, revealing she intends to frame Cotton Weary for the murders — the same man who was erroneously charged with the murder of Sidney’s mother.
Unbeknownst to Mrs. Loomis, Cotton has managed to free himself from his ties and lunges at the crazed woman, knife in hand. He repeatedly stabs her until the madness ceases. But Cotton has truly considered Mrs. Loomis’ words; he stabs Gale and tosses her body into the theatre’s orchestra pit. And with that, we now have Scream 2‘s pseudo-fourth(!) killer…
If we were to consider this version, having Sidney’s boyfriend serve as the killer again might’ve proved repetitive… but in turn, might’ve also served as a greater red herring — one wouldn’t have expected Kevin Williamson to tread down that road again. McConnell is equally dismissive of the possibility:
“No, I mean, I love that final ending. It’s a little disturbing — spoiler alert, everybody — to see a hole get blown through my chest. It was thrilling, sort of like an iconic ending — and a lot of people argue that the sequel was just as good as the first one. So it’s sort of fun to be a part of that whole crucifixtion ending… It’s fun to be a part of an iconic death scene. Between that and Piranha, I’m doing pretty well in the horror world.
But yeah, I would’ve had fun playing the killer! But I’m not here to tell Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven what they should be doing with their stories… If they felt I was dying at the end, then that was it, I was dying at the end!”
In any case, had this draft come to fruition, it would’ve been notable for featuring not two… not three… but four(!) killers, as well as the first (and so far only) African-American killer. Diversity? I don’t know… but I still say Elise Neal would’ve killed in that role — literally.
In honor of the 20th anniversary, O’Connell also reminisced on the film’s success, saying, “I think it was the first film that really set the tone — so a lot of praise has to go to that first film — and it was a combination of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson. Wes — God rest his soul — was just such a cool cat. And one of the most confident, kind, nice – one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with. Literally, every time I walk on a set, I really say a small prayer for him because he was the best. The best. And I think it was just him and Williamson getting together – it just made for a great team.
Also, it was a really fun, young cast. We had a lot of fun off set, we had a lot of fun on set… Liev Schreiber (Cotton Weary) was there to goof around with everyone as well. It was just… everything fell into place.
Big props have to also go to a guy named Richard Potter, who’s sort of an unsung hero of it. He worked at Dimension at the time and he had a lot to do with the story — I believe he was the Dimension executive on the project. He had a lot to do with everything as well, so Richard Potter was a dude that was really elementary. And also Julie Plec [Wes Craven’s assistant].
I know Richard had a lot to do with Scream and the decisions — the first film, the second film, the third film — he and Julie Plec were the real sort of advocates for the whole Scream world.
I love Scream 2 and anytime anybody wants to talk about it? It’s a real favorite of mine. I’m really proud of the film.”
Eight Nights of Horror: Celebrating Jews Who Have Brought Us Terror
Tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish holiday centered around the Maccabean rebellion against Antiochus IV, who pretty much made being a Jew illegal. There ya go. That’s your history lesson of the day because this article isn’t going to be about Hanukkah. Rather, it’s going to be a celebration of eight Jews in Hollywood who have been a major part of horror in some way, shape, or form.
I’m going to highlight people like Daniel Radcliffe, who embraced horror with films like Horns and The Woman in Black, Jon Bernthal and Lauren Cohan from “The Walking Dead,” Lizzy Caplan of “True Blood” and Cloverfield, and Jane Levy from Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe.
And while the names I just mentioned have done some incredibly important work of their own, it’s the following names that have helped shaped horror in some truly astonishing ways over the past few decades.
So without further ado, join me in lighting the first candle, spinning a dreidel, eating some latkes, and let’s get Hebrew up in here!
Jamie Lee Curtis
Often referred to as the first “scream queen”, Curtis has terrified audiences for a while now, starring in such classics as Prom Night, Terror Train, The Fog, Roadgames, Virus, and, of course, the Halloween series, where she played Laurie Strode. Curtis delighted horror fans the world over when she announced that she would be returning to reprise her role as Strode in Blumhouse’s Halloween, which will be coming out in October of 2018.
The director of An American Werewolf in London as well as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, which has been hailed as one of the best music videos of all time and was the first of its kind to be inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, Landis also brought us Twilight Zone: The Movie, Innocent Blood, and the ghoulish black comedy Burke and Hare. He’s also done cameo appearances in films like Darkman, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Vampirella, and Attack of the 50ft Cheerleader. He got his start with the low-budget horror comedy Schlock at the age of 21!
Perhaps one of the most esteemed names on this list, Steve Spielberg’s influence on horror simply cannot be denied. The director of Jaws and Jurassic Park, the producer of Poltergeist, Gremlins, Arachnophobia and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and the story writer of The Goonies, Spielberg’s impact on Hollywood is unmatched.
Here’s an interesting one as Campbell is a practicing Catholic. However, she has stated that when someone asks if she is Jewish, she says “yes”. But putting that to the side, Campbell led the Scream franchise and, in doing so, helped revitalize the slasher genre. Her strength and perseverance as Sidney Prescott has inspired countless people and we love her for it. Plus, she was in The Craft. ‘Nuff said.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
She’s Buffy. Do I really need to say anything else?
Okay, let’s go a bit deeper. She helped bring about the J-horror remake craze when she starred in 2004’s The Grudge and starred in two slasher franchises, Scream 2 and I Know What You Did Last Summer. But Gellar’s horror influence isn’t just for late teens and older. She was Daphne in both Scooby-Doo films, which brought a delightful taste of horror to younger audiences, setting a foundation upon which to love the genre for years to come.
One of the most vocal supporters of horror on this list, Harris’ work throughout the genre is staggering. On top of being Jamie Lloyd in the Halloween franchise, she starred in Urban Legend, Hatchet II and III, Stake Land, Inoperable, Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn, and Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. She is a director, producer, and voice actor, specializing in kids shows like “The Wild Thornberrys” and “Rugrats Go Wild”.
She has embraced her horror status and proudly appears at conventions and other horror gatherings.
One of the most recognized and lauded composers in cinema history, Elfman’s music has been heard in films such as Before I Wake, Goosebumps, Army of Darkness, Red Dragon, Dolores Claiborne, The Frighteners, Darkman, Nightbreed, and much, much more. But where most people know his work is his multitude of collaborations with director Tim Burton, such as Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Sleepy Hollow, and others.
Elfman was also a member of the 80’s rock group Oingo Boingo!
When it comes to horror royalty, a few names immediately spring to mind. There’s George A. Romero, whom we thank for essentially creating the modern zombie as we know it. There’s Wes Craven, whose multitude of horror films challenged viewers and pushed the genre every step of the way. There’s Tobe Hooper, whose Texas Chain Saw Massacre influenced countless independent filmmakers. And then there’s Sam Raimi, the man who brought us the Evil Dead franchise. It’s because of this man that we have the grooviest of heroes, Ash Campbell. We also give thanks to Raimi for Darkman, The Gift, and Drag Me to Hell.
Raimi and his frequent collaborator Rob Tapert founded the production company Ghost House Pictures in 2002. Some films under their company include Don’t Breathe, Evil Dead, 30 Days of Night, and The Grudge.
Did we miss any of your favorites? Chime in below!
Interview: Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson Discuss Upcoming Body Horror Comic Come Into Me
Recently, the folk over at Paste Magazine revealed a new body horror comic series titled Come Into Me. Written by The Dregs‘ Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson, the new mini-series will feature art from Piotr Kowalski (SEX) and will be published by Black Mask Studios in early 2018. Described as The Fly meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Come Into Me is a comic that immediately jumped to the top of our most anticipated titles of 2018, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to reach out to both Nadler and Thompson to discuss their upcoming project.
So, join me below to learn more about Come Into Me, the duo’s obsession with body horror, and what else they’ve got brewing their minds!
Dread Central: You and Zac Thompson burst onto the scene with The Dregs. What were some lessons you learned during that creation process that helped you with Come Into Me?
Lonnie Nadler: We actually conceived of Come Into Me before The Dregs. I’m really glad we got to do the latter first though because in many ways it’s a more self-contained story that follows a single character, and as such we learned a lot about how the medium works, both creatively and from a business perspective. Come Into Me is a far more ambitious story so I think if we’d done it first it would have been a horrible failure. It still might be, but I’m somewhat more prepared for that now. With The Dregs, the most important thing I learned was to trust my instincts as a storyteller. If something doesn’t feel right, even if it’s hard to pinpoint why, chances are it needs to change. The second most important thing was learning to play with tropes. Zac and I never want to be writers that rely on convention, but rather we want to be writers that break them to offer something new, to push storytelling in novel directions. We took a lot of risks with The Dregs to tell a story we wanted to tell, and for us at least, it paid off because we’re so proud of the final outcome. So we’re taking even more risks this time around and really trying to experiment with the unique format of the comic book medium. We’re still coming at this from the perspective of, “What do we want to see in a book?”, and trying to tread new ground while still paying homage to the works that inspired us.
Zac Thompson: As Lonnie said, Come Into Me was something we came with about a year before we even started working on The Dregs. This was the story we came together to tell. As we continued to toy with the concept we realized it was a lot more complex than we initially thought and most places we pitched it couldn’t get behind the concept. However, now that we’ve released The Dregs there seems to be a lot more trust in our abilities as storytellers.
The Dregs was a really interesting experiment in terms of taking a core idea and leaning into (or away from) genre conventions. In a lot of ways this taught me to take risks on every single page and to focus on storytelling from a visual perspective. Lonnie and I went out of our way to ensure we didn’t take any narrative shortcuts. The Dregs taught us to be economic in our approach but to also take risks. Every time we put out an issue and thought “what the fuck are we doing?” we had the best response. It led to the realization that we’re not here to hold people’s hands. Come Into Me is the culmination of that.
DC: What can you tell us about Come Into Me and what readers should expect from it?
ZT: Come Into Me is our love letter to the works of David Cronenberg and body horror in general. From the comic’s inception we set out to blend some of the conventions of the genre with a more “current” twist. That is to say, we’re trying to bring body horror to the social media generation. Exploring the concept of “how much sharing is too much sharing?” That idea is something that Lonnie and I kept coming back to as we started talking about the series. We want to really explore the harmful effects of sharing without really showing social media in its most conventional sense. You’re not going to see people on Facebook or Twitter. Instead you’re going to see people become literally entwined within one another’s memories, identities, and lives. We’re more interested in twisting and tangling our characters in a situation that slowly becomes more complicated and haunting before unraveling it all in an insane finale.
LN: Yeah, we’re really looking to explore contemporary American culture and the things that so many people around us seem infatuated by on a daily basis, but without being so on-the-nose about it all. Nobody wants a morality lesson, so we’re not trying to go down that path so much as one that asks a lot of questions. We want to explore the way we engage with technology, its effect on us and our minds, and what it means to cross the line between flesh and media. It’s also a lot about how our memories define us and our experiences, and trying to find the horror in that aspect of human life. It’s a slow burn to start, but we promise it gets crazy by the end of the series.
DC: Your love of body horror is abundantly clear to anyone who follows you on Twitter! What is it about that particular breed of horror that holds such a strong appeal for you?
LN: There’s a number of things as it relates to the body horror as a subgenre first of all, and second of all is the appeal of David Cronenberg’s work in particular. Horror at large, to me, is a genre that functions best when its employed as a means to question human existence, the very essence of it, and to unearth hidden truths by going through our most primal of emotions – fear. Body horror is specifically appealing to me because it boils that philosophy down to our most human aspects – that we exist in an inescapable physical form, and that said form is intimately linked with the mind or consciousness or whatever label you care to apply. It explores the unique and mysterious connection between mind and body, but also how bodies, and thus how we, relate to one another. It’s about trying to understand who we are and how we inhabit this world. It’s about how bizarre our bodies are and the idea that we sometimes feel like stranger in our own skin. To me, those have always been worthy subjects because they help me to understand myself and these vessels that carry us through life. This probably all sounds pretty lofty and metaphysical, but what I’m trying to say is that it’s about more than just making monsters out of our bodies and having a gore fest. It’s about the fear being something we cannot escape because it is inherent within all of us.
David Cronenberg is the master of body horror, and aside from the fact that he’s a fellow Canadian, his work is so inspiring because he was always so ahead of his time. Videodrome is more relevant now than ever. ExistenZ as well. That movie pre-dates Nintendo 64 and he’s predicted our obsession with virtual reality and started the “are videogames art?” debate. He used body horror as way to explore the physical relationship between humans and technology, and the implications of progress, and he did so in a very cerebral and completely original way. That’s what I strive for in my work, particularly with Come Into Me, to have horrors that are intimately connected to a socially relevant theme so that the fear lingers long after the experience of watching/reading is over.
ZT: For me body horror is about taking the central ideas of horror and turning them inward. Growing up I always felt a little divided from the idea of a slasher running through the woods with a machete. It didn’t do anything for me. When I saw David Cronenberg’s Videodrome for the first time I think my mind was irreparably damaged. The film took all these strange themes of violence in media and put them in a narrative where a man pulls a videotape from a vagina lodged inside his chest. I know that sounds like a strange way to have a revelation but for me body horror has always been about the ability to make horror physically manifest in the one place its inescapable: our our body, our own sense of identity. It’s about a fate that’s worse than death. It’s about losing your sense of self, your relationship to your own mind, and becoming alien in your own skin. It’s something that I explored in my novel, Weaponized and will continue to explore in Come Into Me.
Take Clive Barker’s Hellraiser for example. The film explores the dangerous intersection between being and non-being but most people just see it as a vehicle for the cenobites. It’s actually a really beautiful analysis of the delicate line between pleasure and pain. About the things we’re willing to do to our bodies in order to achieve pleasure. The delicate line is what I strive for every time we sit down to write Come Into Me. The intimate relationship between our remembered selves and our perceived selves seems like the perfect line to explore next.
DC: Tell me a bit about working with Piotr and what that’s done for your creative process.
ZT: We’re incredibly fortunate to be working with Piotr Kowalski on this series. We’ve been big fans of his since we spotted his work on the Nightbreed comic series. Piotr loves horror and is a phenomenal sequential storyteller. He’s brought a level of detail and craft to every single page and seems to really enjoy our incredibly dense scripts. Every time he turns in a new page he’s approaches it in a way that elevates our descriptions and brings his years of experience to really craft the narrative in new and interesting ways. Honestly, we’re learning things from Piotr on a daily basis. We’re still pretty new to this process and having an industry vet like Piotr is a huge asset.
LN: Like Zac said we feel so lucky to be working with a veteran like Piotr. He’s the kind of artist we love because he puts so much detail in every single panel, and a lot of other artists leave that stuff out. It’s a dream come true, really. We’re also working with Niko Guardia who is coloring Piotr’s art and Niko is a tremendous artist in his own right and his work on Come Into Me is really essential for the tone and mood we’re trying to set. He’s just a gem to work with as well.
DC: Horror has been evolving across mediums for a while now. Video games are entering VR, movies attempted a return to 3D, TV shows are being released en masse for people to binge, etc… What are ways that you think horror comics can evolve into something new and interesting?
LN: Yeah, it’s a really exciting time for horror. Just this year we had massive hits like IT and hugely important films like Get Out that are paving the way for bigger and more intelligent genre movies. But like you said, there are so many avenues out there and the potential is almost limitless. I think that’s what it comes down to for us, with Come Into Me, is understanding that there are many ways to tell a story, but trying to figure out how to tell it within the comic book medium. I mean, how can we use sequential art to tell this story in a way that film or VR never could? Horror comics come with a disadvantage because you don’t have the tools you can rely on in film or VR like audio queues, soundtrack, forcing tension through time manipulation, and all of those things are what really go toward creating scares and atmosphere in audio-visual storytelling. So to us it’s about trying to create unique page layouts and utilizing page design in a way people haven’t seen before to evoke certain moods. It’s about figuring out how the words and images work in tandem rather than seeing them as separate. There are plenty of things out there like soundtracks you’re supposed to listen to while reading a comic, or motion comics, but to me those are different mediums, not very effective, and at that point you might as well just make a movie. I think a lot of people working in comics don’t try hard enough to experiment and I’d like to see more of that. I don’t want to see something that really wants to be a movie or a novel. I want something that does its best to be a comic first and foremost.
ZT: Lonnie and I always treat our comics like comics first. We’re not worried about how “adaptable” they are. So in keeping with that we try to experiment with visual storytelling on every page. I think horror comics are incredibly unique because they are the one medium in which the reader controls the pacing. If they don’t want to turn a page they can pause and catch their breath before getting the reveal on the next page. They can really hold the thing in their hands and move it around as the experience the page. So we try to ensure that the actual process of reading Come Into Me is engaging and keeps the reader active as they descend into madness with us.
DC: Again, anyone who follows you on Twitter knows that you’re always keeping busy. Even though Come Into Me hasn’t released its first issue, I have a sneaking suspicion that you already have ideas for what’s to come after that story ends its run. Is this true and, if so, can you tell us what’s going through your mind?
ZT: Lonnie and I have a lot of projects we’re developing at the moment. Most of the stuff we can’t talk about. After you see how Come Into Me ends, you’ll understand why I’ll downplay the idea of anything continuing out of this story. I think we’re pretty dead set on exploring genre right now and want to continue to experiment in new arenas. I imagine we’ll dabble in body horror again, eventually, but next I think we’re setting our eyes on a weird literary fiction like The Dregs. Following that we’ve got a strange revisionist Western we’re pretty eager to start and a few other things that I’ll let Lonnie speak to.
LN: I mean, we’re always looking to tell more stories and to explore different genres. It’s what we grew up with and where we feel most at home. Zac and I are big genre nerds at the end of the day so I think it’s an arena we will always be part of. Other than the Western we’ve got a weird Kafkaesque book about office life we’re dying to write, but it will be a while before we get to that. Expect more announcements from us soon though!
DC: Last question for you: who are the artists and writers in the comic book world these days that inspire you?
LN: To this day my biggest influence in comics is, and always will be, Alan Moore. It’s kind of trite and cliche, but there really isn’t anyone who comes close to his understanding and command over the medium as far as writers go. Even his most recent work in books like Providence is unprecedented and his dedication to the craft is so admirable. In terms of more contemporary people in the industry I think David Mack does wonderful with with his Kabuki series. Tom King is doing very admirable work with superhero books at the moment. I really admire his strict use of page layouts. Curt Pires is always pushing himself to new places. Eric Zawadzki, our artist on The Dregs, is always looking to experiment and his next projects look killer. Vita Ayala has some amazing stuff coming out from Black Mask. I’m also a dedicated Charles Burns fanatic. His Last Look trilogy was just the kind of thing for me that while reading it I wished I’d made it. There’s so many more, but I’ll save some for Zac.
ZT: Lately I’ve been learning a lot from the work of Warren Ellis. That man has a really unique approach to comic book storytelling that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. His work routinely experiments with the conventions of the medium and really pushes to exist on its own. His run on Moon Knight with Declan Shalvey is a masterwork and Planetary completely changed the way I look at superhero books. As for others in the medium, I think Matthew Rosenberg brings a particular heart and sincerity to comics that is missing from most books on the shelves. He loves the medium with everything he has and you can feel it in his work for Marvel and his creator owned books. Eric Zawadzki holds a special place for me because he was our first creative partner and The Dregs would have not been what is was without him on the book. His new work at Black Mask, Eternal, is going to blow people’s minds. He’s doing that with an Australian writer, Ryan Lindsay who is one of the best writers in the business. Ram V and Devmalya Pramanik are doing insane things on Paradiso at Image. Everyone should be reading that book. I could go on… but we’d be here all day.
Exclusive: Scream 2’s Jerry O’Connell and Kevin Williamson Talk Leaked Scripts and Different Killers!
Eight Nights of Horror: Celebrating Jews Who Have Brought Us Terror
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