Exclusive Interview - Kim Newman Talks Anno Dracula: Dracula Cha Cha Cha - Dread Central
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Exclusive Interview – Kim Newman Talks Anno Dracula: Dracula Cha Cha Cha



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With Halloween right around the corner, we decided to sit down with award-winning novelist Kim Newman to discuss the third installment of the Anno Dracula series―Anno Dracula: Dracula Cha Cha Cha. Read on to learn more!

Rome. 1959. Count Dracula is about to marry the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda – his sixth wife. Journalist Kate Reed flies into the city to visit the ailing Charles Beauregard and his vampire companion, Geneviève. Finding herself caught up in the mystery of the Crimson Executioner who is bloodily dispatching vampire elders in the city, Kate discovers that she is not the only one on his trail… the undead British secret agent Bond is as well.

AMANDA DYAR: Many of your works are written with an important emphasis on Dracula as a protagonist. What inspires you to continue writing about the infamous character time and again, and how are you able to breathe life into this classic character to make him completely your own?

KIM NEWMAN: So far, I’ve mostly avoided using Dracula as protagonist – which some other authors have played with, from Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula comic to Fred Saberhagen’s The Dracula Tapes and sequels – and kept him as the antagonist the way Bram Stoker did, much talked-about but not onstage that much. I also take a cue from Stoker in having Dracula look different every time he appears, though he usually relates to versions of the character who’ve been around in pop culture for over a century (in The Bloody Red Baron, it’s a plot-point that he looks like – or sometimes looks like – Bela Lugosi). I doubt I could ever make Dracula completely my own, since the character is in almost perpetual usage, but I keep trying to think of ways of making him different. I’ve played down some interpretations that I feel are overdone and taken Dracula back to be closer to Stoker’s conception of a human-shaped incarnation of Everything Evil (of course, my idea of Everything Evil and Stoker’s are different).

AMANDA: Anno Dracula: Dracula Cha Cha Cha is actually the third novella in the Anno Dracula series. For those who haven’t read the first two books, can you tell us what makes the series so special, and can you give us a brief summary of what has happened in the series so far leading into the third book?

KIM: I have tried to make each novel self-contained, though with the reissues and the added-in novellas, I’m starting to feel like the series is one long book. Briefly, in Anno Dracula (review here), the Count has come to England in 1885, as in Stoker’s novel, but defeated Van Helsing and his allies, and risen to power, marrying Queen Victoria and spreading vampirism throughout British society, encouraging other long-lived vampires to join his court and generally put himself about. In The Bloody Red Baron (review here), Dracula has – after a struggle – been booted out of Britain, but become a powerful figure in the Kaiser’s Germany during the First World War. Dracula Cha Cha Cha is set in Rome in 1959, where the Prince is in exile and entering into a political marriage with another vampire elder. Though I use a lot of Stoker’s cast – and characters from other fictions – I’ve also been following my own core cast of characters, who thread throughout the series and have their own storylines.

AMANDA: As you continue to tell your own version of the character of Dracula in your novels, do you find it more challenging to complete your own narrative while remaining true to the classic character? Also, how long do you believe you will continue telling his tale in the Anno Dracula series?

KIM: I find Dracula the easiest of pre-existing characters to incorporate, since he’s so mercurial and yet so vivid. I’ve delivered a fourth novel, Johnny Alucard, set mostly in Romania and America (focusing on the entertainment industry and illicit drugs) in the ’70s and ’80s. This features more of Dracula, and more versions of Dracula, than the three earlier novels put together. I will write at least one more novel, but I’m not sure what form that will take. I might well try to bring the series into the 21st Century, but I’m also tempted to fill in some of the backstory of my own characters – maybe do a Western or a samurai/cyberpunk take on Anno Dracula.

AMANDA: Anno Dracula is clearly in a realm of its own, but in what major ways would you say your series differentiates itself from the other vampire-driven narratives that have become such a common occurrence in today’s society?

KIM: I’ve always thought of Anno Dracula as literally a vampire novel, in that it battens on and bleeds dry other books – and films, TV shows, etc. I suppose the major difference in my series is that it doesn’t present just one type of vampire but encompasses every conceivable incarnation of the myth, from Nosferatu to Sesame Street.

AMANDA: Fans will also be able to get their hands on your other new title Aquarius when picking up Anno Dracula: Dracula Cha Cha Cha. Can you tell us what this novella is about and how it relates to the Anno Dracula series as a standalone title?

KIM: With The Bloody Red Baron, set in 1918, I added an extra novella, Vampire Romance, set in 1923; now, with a book set in 1959, I’ve added a novella set in Swinging London in 1968. In both cases, I wanted to fill a historical gap in the overall series – and play with some aspects of vampire culture that hadn’t been covered in the novels. It’s about a series of old-fashioned vampire murders, investigated by Scotland Yard’s B Division (whom I borrowed from R. Chetwynd-Hayes) and my continuing character, journalist Kate Reed. It touches on student protest, hallucinogenics, Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech (here, not a metaphor) and other fun, candy-coloured stuff.

You can visit the official Titan Books website to learn more about the book.

Exclusive Interview - Kim Newman Talks Anno Dracula: Dracula Cha Cha Cha

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Jesper Kyd Returning to Score Vermintide 2



From the cover of Kyd's first Vermintide OST

Get your headphones ready, Warhammer fans because State of Decay and Darksiders 2 composer Jesper Kyd is back to score the upcoming Warhammer title Vermintide 2! The game will be coming to PC and consoles early this year.

Kyd was inspired by Norse mythology, utilizing ancient tribal music as well as dark fantastical elements to build upon the acoustic soundscapes he composed for the first Vermintide game. Channeling his own Scandinavian roots, Kyd will blend Viking and Norse-inspired vocals with ritualistic percussion styles to create a unique soundtrack experience.

Three tracks from the score can be heard below.

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?



Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler

While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can



It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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