Sundance 2013: Q&A with Filmmakers Simon Barrett, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Adam Wingard, Jamie Nash, and Kyle Crosby - Dread Central
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Sundance 2013: Q&A with Filmmakers Simon Barrett, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Adam Wingard, Jamie Nash, and Kyle Crosby

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S-VHS, the sequel to found footage anthology V/H/S, has had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (look for a review soon), and we have a transcript of the Q&A that followed right here for you.

Be warned though… spoilers abound!

In attendance: Filmmakers Simon Barrett, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Adam Wingard, Jamie Nash, and Kyle Crosby

Q: If you make another one, what are you going to call it?

A: VHS-C Maybe.

Q: In the scene with the dog and the aliens, I was looking for a disclaimer at the end saying “no animals were harmed.” I didn’t see one so I thought there might be some people here concerned.

A: Yeah… no disclaimer at the end… yeah. Jason would have some funny stories about that because the kids were like feeding that dog hot dogs all the time. The date was almost comatose, so it didn’t have to die cuz all it wanted to do was lay on its side all the time. So off screen we started shaking it. If we stopped shaking it, the dog doesn’t move. It’s Jason’s family dog, and it is alive and well.

Q: I wanted to congratulate you guys; that is some of the best use of first-person consistently through a movie that I have ever seen. Is that what you started with or is that something you put together with the stories that you created?

A: With this series, when everyone is pitching their ideas from the found footage angle, like a zombie movie idea, everyone wants to know “Whats the perspective of it?” What’s cool about the whole VHS series is that we all went out of our way to try and find new ways that you haven’t seen done before. The whole thing with found footage is kinda cool cuz you can tell stories you’ve seen before about ghosts and zombies and satanic crazy shit, but you can do it in a new light. Showing it from that found footage perspective just makes everything more interesting.

Q: Do you have a distributor yet?

A: No, we don’t have a distributor yet, but we;re hoping someone will buy this film. It’s running in Park City later this week, but hopefully we’ll know soon.

Q: Was the zombie segment always supposed to be as funny as it ended up being?

A: We were definitely pushing it toward the comedic side but still trying to gross people out. I think we succeeded.

Q: I rarely see a horror film where the sequel surpasses the first one so I would like to congratulate you guys on that. This movie blew me away. I love that genre. So I was wondering are you guys all friends?

A: No, we’re not (laughter). We have all gotten together at various festivals like this and SXSW. I would say we’re all friends. We didn’t know Eduardo and Gregg before this, but Simon and I [Adam Wingard] met here in 2011. Then Jason, we’re friends now cuz he stays on my couch for weeks at a time when he comes to visit LA (laughter).

Q: Is there a common mythology between the first one and this movie?

A: I wrote them both, and I don’t really have any idea (laughter). Nothing is intentional. Like the little kid’s ghost is a low budget way to accomplish a supernatural effect. The Skype thing was originally supposed to be part of the alien segment, but I didn’t know how to do that cuz I’m not scared of aliens so I had the idea of the Skype haunted house thing so Brad was like, ‘Fuck it, I’ll get my alien segment eventually.’ Jason finally gave it to him. The one with the retinal implant was just trying to be a more straightforward ghost story. So yeah, nothing was meant to be common.

Q: If you do make a trilogy, are you going to reveal a central plot to the conspiracy behind all three?

A: Yeah, definitely. The first one hints at a mythology so obliquely that there is no need to try and figure out what it’s talking about. This film goes slightly further. For the 2 or 3 people in the world that would actually be interested, there are some things that would actually tie together. I think if we did make a third film, which is a significant IF at this juncture, we would try to make the wraparound actually answer these questions. It’s a lot more difficult to answer questions than just present them so I probably wouldn’t write that, I would hire someone else to do it (laughter).

Moderator: We have time for one more.

Q: I know that there was a lot of criticism in the first one over the date rape scene. I noticed there were a lot of frat boys in the first one and none in this one. Was that intentional?

A: That’s a fair question. I think these films always have the same unifying theme. If there was a unifying theme for the first VHS, it would be the idea of found footage based on the failed sex tape. Every segment had the failed sex tape aspect. Some people just responded more negatively to it than we thought they would. We weren’t necessarily regretful; it was more like we have nothing else to say on that subject so… here are some zombies (laughter). Thank you all for coming out.

Synopsis:
S-VHS / USA, Canada (directors: Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans, Jason Eisener; screenwriters: Simon Barrett, Jamie Nash, Timo Tjahjanto & Gareth Huw Evans, John Davies) — Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his abandoned house and find another collection of mysterious VHS tapes. In viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be terrifying motives behind the student’s disappearance.

The cast for this go-round includes Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L.C Holt, Kelsy Abbott, and Hannah Hughes.

Sundance runs from January 17th-27th. Visit the official 2013 Sundance Film Festival website for more info.

Sundance 2013: Q&A with Filmmakers Simon Barrett, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Adam Wingard, Jamie Nash, and Kyle Crosby

Sundance 2013: Q&A with Filmmakers Simon Barrett, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Adam Wingard, Jamie Nash, and Kyle Crosby

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Whatever Happened to Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving?

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Back in April of 2007, we all sat in our local darkened theater and watched as Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s exploitation double feature Grindhouse (review) blew the roof off the place for 3 hours straight.

Well, it’s ten years later, and I think we are all asking ourselves the same question: Where the hell is Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving?

Like every other human out there, I enjoyed both Tarantino and Rodriguez’s films – along with the fake trailers by Rob Zombie and Edgar Wright – but the big takeaway was Eli Roth’s faux trailer for the greatest 80’s slasher that never was.

So what happened to the feature?

Well, Roth was originally working on the feature back in 2007 after finishing his work helming Hostel: Part II, telling Cinema Blend:

“I’ve been working on the script with my co-writer, Jeff Rendell, who plays the pilgrim in the trailer,” Roth told the site. “And it’s me imitating Jeff’s voice [for the narration]. But Jeff has been working. I said that his deal is he has to work on the script while I’m promoting The Last Exorcism, and as soon as I’m done in mid-September he’s going to fly to California, we’re going to sit down, and bang out the script.”

But then the planned film died out as Grindhouse flopped at the box-office. Following the film’s underperformance, all talks surrounding Edgar Wright and Eli Roth’s Grindhouse double feature spin-off were silenced in a single weekend.

In fact, the last update we received on the possible standalone Thanksgiving film was last year when Roth did a Reddit AMA, and said this about the film’s current development:

“Have a draft not totally happy with. I want to put some more work into it so the film lives up to the trailer. We have the story and mythology cracked so now it’s about getting the kills right.”

Nice. Seemed like the film was making some headway. Nothing to do but gut the T’s and cut the heads off the I’s. But then nothing happened. At all. No updates. No nothing.

With that in mind, we here at Dread Central decided to reach out to Roth personally and see if there were any new happenings in regards to the film. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach him so I guess we’ll all just have to keep wondering and waiting.

Maybe it’s the pressure he no doubt feels making the much loved faux trailer into a feature. After all, he did say this back in 2007: “No matter how many movies I make my whole life, that two-and-a-half minute trailer is what I’ll be remembered for: ‘Eli Roth — he had a guy fucking a turkey with a decapitated head on it.’”

Or maybe the rights to the film were just tied up with the now infamous Weinstein company. But with that company finally going under (thank God) maybe now the rights could be sold off to new producers and finally, we’ll see not only Thanksgiving but features based on Don’t and possibly even Werewolf Women of the S.S.

But I dream…

Until we get the full-length feature flick of Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving, we can always look back on the comments he made to Rolling Stone way back in April of 2007, in which he talked a bit about the Pilgrim’s backstory.

“My friend Jeff… we had the whole movie worked out,” Roth told the magazine. “A kid who’s in love with a turkey and then his father killed it and then he killed his family and went away to a mental institution and came back and took revenge on the town.”

Jesus, please us. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the f*cking perfect setup/backstory for an 80’s slasher throwback flick set on Thanksgiving.

So ten years later, let me be the one to come right out and say it: Please, Eli Roth, make Thanksgiving. Please. Every horror fan in the world would thank you. Forever.

Sigh…

We’ll make sure to update this article in another ten years.

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Charles Manson Has Died: These Are the Victims of His Murderous Cult

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Sharon Tate

Yesterday brought the news that famed cult leader Charles Manson had passed away at the age of 83. He passed away from natural causes after spending the last 48 years in jail. While he was supposedly never present at any of the murders caused by his “family”, he was convicted of ordering the deaths of several people and sending his followers to commit the horrible acts.

But let us not dwell upon him anymore. Another psychopath passes on and we should continue about our lives. That being said, instead of discussing him any more, I think we need to take this time to say the names of the victims of Manson and his “family”:

Abigail Folger
Wojciech Frykowski
Gary Hinman
Leno LaBianca
Rosemary LaBianca
Steven Parent
Jay Sebring
Donald Shea
Sharon Tate

These people were each taken from this world too soon, robbed of their lives by those who wished to start a “Helter Skelter” race war. They had families. They were sons, daughters, wives, husbands, fathers, mothers… They were innocent people who were murdered by the worst of the worst.

Today, I do not mourn the death of Charles Manson. Rather, I mourn again the death of nine people who had yet to experience and offer all that life brings. I mourn the death of Sharon Tate’s unborn child, who never even got to breathe the same air we breathe now. I feel saddened by the devastating impact that these murders had upon their families, a pain still felt to this day.

Rest in peace to the victims of a man who wanted to incite war and cause divisiveness. May his passing bring you some semblance of peace. And may we forget his name as quickly as possible.

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This Valentine’s Day Experience the Death of Love

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On the hunt for a new comic and like a bit of humor with your horror? Then the upcoming Death of Love from Image Comics should be right up your alley! Dealing with a broken heart? Even better!

Writer Justin Jordan (The Family Trade, Spread) teams up with artist Donal DeLay (You are Not Alone, My Geek Family), colorist Omar Estévez (Heavy Metal Magazine, Batman ‘66), and letterer Rachel Deering (In the Dark, Vertigo Quarterly) for the least romantic Valentine’s comic ever: Death of Love.

“Love is funny. Chainsaws are funny. Love AND chainsaws, therefore, is gonna be super funny,” says Jordan. “Basically, if you’ve ever wanted to see Cupid torn apart in increasingly hilarious ways, this is definitely the comic for you.”

“I just want everyone to laugh the same way they would watching Army of Darkness or This Is the End,” added DeLay.

Issue #1 arrives on Valentine’s Day (February 14th) next year, and we have a preview of several pages to share below.

Synopsis:
Love sucks. And Philo Harris is going to do something about it.

After a particularly bad, drunken decision, Philo gains the ability to see the Cupidae, the creatures responsible for all the love in the world, and declares war on love itself. With a chainsaw.

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