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Travel Channel’s Third Annual Weekends to Die For Set to Begin September 27th

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Travel Channel's Third Annual Weekends to Die For Set to Begin September 27thTravel Channel’s third annual “Weekends to Die For” programming event begins on Friday, September 27th, kicking off the ultimate Halloween celebration featuring all-new season premieres, specials, and more.

Full “Weekends to Die For” Description:
Weekends just got a whole lot scarier! Travel Channel kicks off its third annual Weekends to Die For programming event on Friday, September 27, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT with “Ghost Adventures: Up Close & Personal” – a one-hour special that celebrates the most unforgettable moments throughout the “Ghost Adventures” series.

The Weekends to Die For lineup continues with a variety of returning series, specials, and special episodes to put you in the Halloween spirit: an all-new third season of “Making Monsters” featuring leading animatronics maker Distortions Unlimited; the “Ghost Adventures” milestone 100th episode at St. Louis’ infamous Exorcist House; a “Toy Hunter” Halloween special featuring Metallica’s Kirk Hammett; one-hour specials “Halloween Night Frights” and “Halloween Craziest”; and rounded out by an all-new fifth season of “The Dead Files.” Additionally, TravelChannel.com will host its first-ever “Ghost Adventures Fan Lair” social media hangout as well as the new original web series “Ghost Fit.”

NEW SEASONS

“MAKING MONSTERS” – Season Three
Premieres Sunday, September 29, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT with back-to-back episodes; moves to regular 9:00 p.m. timeslot beginning Sunday, October 20. Go behind the scenes and on the road with Distortions Unlimited, the Colorado-based “haunt industry” animatronic and prop-making company run by Ed and Marsha Edmunds. Each hour-long episode follows the Edmunds and their staff – including renowned Hollywood creature and mask maker Jordu Schell – as they build some of the scariest frightronics and props in the world. Season Three highlights include a new set of KISS animatronic band members for Las Vegas’ KISS Monster Mini Golf; a giant zombie head and arms podium for Adobe Senior Creative Director Russell Brown in Denver, CO; a mutilating buzz-saw blade attraction for Atlanta’s NetherWorld; a terrifying pregnant zombie in St. Louis; and more. Produced by Warm Springs Productions with Brian Leonard as Executive Producer.

“THE DEAD FILES” – Season Five
Premieres Friday, November 1, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. In each hour-long episode of the paranormal investigative series, retired NYPD Homicide Detective Steve DiSchiavi and physical medium Amy Allan explore all-new frightening cases of unexplained paranormal activity. The duo investigate each case separately, coming together only at the end to reveal their results. Season Five opens with an investigation of Iowa’s Villisca Axe Murder House – site of a gruesome century-old mass murder whose case still remains unsolved. Other highlights include a Chicago home where a woman has returned to confront childhood nightmares; violent forces terrorizing a family home in St. Clair Shores, MI, that leaves the team questioning the safety of the house; a special “Dead Files Revisited” episode in which a violent exorcism was recorded in a Flint, MI, home after the duo uncovered malicious entities; and more. Produced by Painless Entertainment, Inc. with Travel Channel’s David E. Gerber as Executive Producer.

SPECIALS and SPECIAL EPISODES

“GHOST ADVENTURES: UP CLOSE & PERSONAL” – One-Hour Special
Premieres Friday, September 27, at 9:00 p.m., ET/PT. In anticipation of the upcoming 100th episode of “Ghost Adventures,” paranormal investigators Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin look back on some of the most unforgettable moments from the show’s past seven seasons. Divided across ten different categories, the top picks were selected by the guys along with fans who voted on TravelChannel.com. Produced by My Tupelo Entertainment with Travel Channel’s Daniel A. Schwartz as Executive Producer.

“HALLOWEEN NIGHT FRIGHTS” – One-Hour Special
Premieres Sunday, September 29, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. It’s a heart-stopping spin through North America’s scariest Halloween-themed coaster parks. America’s beloved amusement parks by day transform into fright zones after dark, delivering the highest-octane Halloween thrills for adrenaline junkies. Whether it’s high-speed launches and stomach-lurching cobra rolls or haunted graveyards and zombie assaults, each attraction featured in this one-hour special promises you the ride of your life! Produced by High Noon Entertainment with Travel Channel’s Sean McKnight as Executive Producer.

“GHOST ADVENTURES” – 100th Episode
Premieres Friday, October 4, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. In the milestone 100th episode, which is part of the currently airing Season 8, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin travel to St. Louis for an unprecedented investigation – the Exorcist House, site of the actual petrifying events depicted in the popular novel and Hollywood film The Exorcist. Timed to the 40th anniversary of the film’s release, “Ghost Adventures” is the very first paranormal television show to ever investigate the home, which is the only building left in St. Louis in its original form that is tied to the Exorcist case. The team members seek answers to the mysteries behind what happened here in the past and in the home’s recent history. To further aid in the investigation, they interview the great niece of Father William Bowdern, who performed the exorcism in 1949.

“HALLOWEEN CRAZIEST” – One-Hour Special
Premieres Sunday, October 13, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. This one-hour special features the most terrifying, extreme, and absolute best of what Halloween has to offer. From America’s scariest, no-holds-barred haunted house in San Diego and a hair-raising coffin race in Colorado to the ultimate custom bodying painting studio in Las Vegas and British Columbia’s pumpkin drop celebration, each destination is more frightening and fun than the last! Produced by High Noon Entertainment with Travel Channel’s Sean McKnight as Executive Producer.

“TOY HUNTER” HALLOWEEN SPECIAL – One-Hour Special
Premieres Sunday, October 20, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. In this one-hour Halloween special, toy hunter and collectibles expert Jordan Hembrough is on the hunt for some of the scariest toys to sell at the Midwest’s HorrorHound convention. Meanwhile, Hembrough’s toy buddy Mark needs help with a special client – Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, who’s looking for extremely vintage, scary toys. In between scoring Ghostbusters memorabilia in Connecticut and a 1972 Parker Brothers Ouija board in Salem, MA, Hembrough scours for the perfect and rarest monster memorabilia for Hammett. When he locates just the right item, he not only makes Hammett a very happy customer but gains a new rock star client for himself. Produced by Sharp Entertainment with Travel Channel’s Daniel A. Schwartz as Executive Producer.

“GHOST ADVENTURES” – Two-Hour Special Halloween Episode
Premieres Thursday, October 31, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. In a special two-hour Halloween episode, Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin take viewers to Transylvania, where the team explores the truth behind the legend of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Bagans and the group explore the most terrifying haunted castles and locations in this intriguing and historical Romanian province, including Targoviste, where Vlad ruled from and ordered the impaling of thousands of people; Hunedoara, where Vlad was imprisoned for seven years; and the mysterious Hoia-Baciu Forest – locally referred to as the “Bermuda Triangle of Romania.”

“GHOST ADVENTURES FAN LAIR” SOCIAL HANGOUT AND ORIGINAL WEB SERIES “GHOST FIT”

Beginning this August, TravelChannel.com premieres “Ghost Fit” – an all-new original web series featuring the “Ghost Adventures” crew. Each of the nine webisodes divulges personal tips and techniques from Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin for staying in shape while on the road, pre-lockdown preparations, post-lockdown recovery, diet recommendations, secrets on how they stay alert during their all-night investigations, and more. It’s the fitness regime that will keep your spirit moving!

Then, beginning September 26, TravelChannel.com will launch the “Ghost Adventures Fan Lair” – a social media hangout where fans can get the latest show buzz through Twitter and Facebook, all in one place. The “Fan Lair” will include exclusive fan interaction, an Instagram photo wall, a special “fan heat map,” and more. The event culminates with TravelChannel.com’s first ever Google Hangout on October 31 at 11:00 p.m. ET, where Bagans, Groff, and Goodwin will answer fans’ burning questions.

For more info and the full schedule, be sure to visit TravelChannel.com.

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Night of the Living Dead 4k and The Silence of the Lambs Come to the Criterion Collection

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It’s been a long time coming for these two classics. Especially Night of the Living Dead, after the ridiculously bad transfer put out by Mill Creek Entertainment whose transfer was supposedly remastered from a new 2K scan. I swear I thought it was some kind of a joke when I first put it on to watch. In any event…

IndieWire is reporting that horror classics Night of the Living Dead and The Silence of the Lambs will be added to the 2018 Criterion Collection, a hallmark label for home video cinephiles.

According to the site Criterion will release a new 4K digital restoration of The Silence of the Lambs, which has been approved by the movie’s cinematographer Tak Fujimoto. Included on the DVD and Blu-ray sets are 35 minutes of deleted scenes and audio commentary from 1994 featuring Demme, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas. Night of the Living Dead will also be released in 4K, with never-before-seen 16mm dailies included as a bonus feature(!).

These will be added February of 2018.

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DIS Review – Not for the Faint of Heart!

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Starring Bill Oberst, Jr., Lori Jo Hendrix, Peter Gonzales Falcon

Directed by Adrian Corona


I’ve made this claim many a time on this website before, and in the company of film friends as well: Bill Oberst Jr. is one of those actors that can literally be thrust into ANY role, and deliver a performance with so much harnessed electricity that you couldn’t believe that it was possible. I was the lucky recipient chosen to get a look at his latest project, titled DIS, and I think that I can honestly say – this is the stuff that nightmares are constructed of.

Directed by Adrian Corona, this 60-minute dive into the black depths of hell, and in actuality DIS is located between circles # 6 and 9 in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and trust me when I tell you – there’s not a shred of comedic relief in this demented presentation. Oberst Jr plays an ex-soldier named Ariel, and his seemingly harmless jaunt through the woods will become anything but that, and judging from the film’s opening scenes, you are meant to feel as uncomfortable about this watch as any you might have checked out in recent memory.

Perversion is the norm here, and lord help you if you’re caught where you shouldn’t be…my skin’s crawling just thinking about what I saw. Ariel’s travels are basically dialogue-free, but it only adds to the infinite levels of creepiness – you can tell he’s being stalked, and the distance between he and the horrors that await are closing in rather quickly.

Visually by itself, this hour-long chiller can sell tickets without any assistance – hollowed-out buildings and long sweeping shots of a silent forest give the movie that look of complete desolation. Sliced up into three acts, the film wastes no time in setting up the story of a killer needing fresh blood to appease his Mandrake garden – seriously guys, I can’t type as much flashy stuff as there needs to be in order to describe this innately disturbing production.

If you’re one of those types who tends to shy away from the graphic side of things, then I’d HIGHLY advise you to keep your TV tuned to the Hallmark Channel for some holiday entertainment, because this one registers high on the “I can’t believe someone thought of this” meter. So the quick recap is this: Oberst Jr in a standout performance, visual excellence, and an unshakable sense of debasement on a cellular level – keep the kiddies out of the living room with this one. Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended, and one that I’ll throw down as a top 5 for me in 2017.

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Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End Review: A Heavy Metal Massacre In Cartoon Form

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Starring Alex House, Bill Turnbull, Maggie Castle, Melanie Leishman, Chris Leavins, Jason Mewes

Directed by Richard Duhaney and Craig David Wallace


“Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil” – Canadian television’s greatest blend of Evil Dead, Superbad and Deathgasm? Yes. That answer is yes. For two face-melting seasons, Todd “protected” Crowley High from episodic villains who were bested by metal riffs, stoner logic and hormonal companionship. Musical interruptions showcased stage theatrics like Sondheim meets pubescent Steel Panther and high school tropes manifested into vile, teen-hungry beasts. It was like a coming-of-age story got stuck between Fangoria pages – all the awkwardness with 100x more guts.

That – for worse – was until Todd fell to a premature cancellation after Season 2’s clone-club cliffhanger. Indiegogo became the show’s only way to deliver a feature-length finale, except to reduce costs and ensure completion, the project would have to be in cartoon form. Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End suggests an animated curtain call for this otherwise live-action production, and from a fan’s perspective, familiar maturation follies befall our favorite bloodsoaked friend group. But for new viewers? Start with the far-superior original show – you’ll be lost, underwhelmed and baffled otherwise.

Alex House retains his characterization of Todd Smith (in voice only). At this point, Todd has thwarted the book’s apocalyptic plan, Hannah (Melanie Leishman) has died, longtime crush Jenny (Maggie Castle) isn’t as horny for Todd anymore, and best friend Curtis (Bill Turnbull) has sworn Todd’s name to Hell (since Hannah was his girlfriend). Guidance Counselor Atticus Murphy Jr. (Chris Leavins) is now Janitor Atticus Murphy Jr. because Janitor Jimmy (Jason Mewes) is now Counselor Jimmy, yet Crowley High finds itself plagued by the same satanic uprisings despite these new changes. Why is evil still thriving! How is Hannah back in class! Who is the new “Pure Evil One” now that Todd has denied the book! Welcome to the end, friends – or is it a new beginning?

At just north of 80 minutes, structure runs a bit jagged. We’re used to Todd battling one baddie over a half-hour block – backstory given time to breathe – but in The End Of The End, two mini-boss cretins play second fifth-fiddle to the film’s big-bad monster (well, monsters – but you’ll see). A double-dose of high school killers followed by a larger, more important battle with the gang’s fate hanging in the balance. Not a problem, it’s just that more length is spent singing songs about Todd’s non-functioning schlong and salvaging relationships from the S2 finale. Exposition (what little there is) chews into necessary aggression time – fans left ravenous for more versatile carnage, underwhelmed by the umpteenth cartoon erection gag. Did I mention there’s a lot of boner material, yet?

These two mini “chapters” – “No Vest For The Wicked” (yarn demon)/”Zits Alors” (acid acne) – never come close to rivaling Hannah Williams’ doppelganger bombshell (“Songs About Boners”/”This Is The End Of The End Of the End”). Hannah [X]. Williams waking up in a room full of other Hannahs, emerging from some sleep-pod chamber; Todd’s gang facing off against this new “chosen one” in a way that erases “Sack Boy” and “Pizza Face” from memory. The End Of The End dashes dildoes-swinging into the show’s biggest mystery while dropping call-backs and bodies with equal speed – maybe too hastily for some.

Now, about the whole pivot to animation – a smooth rendering of Crowley High and all its mayhem, but never representative of Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil‘s very Ash Vs. Evil Dead vibe. All the practical death effects (gigantic man-eating cakes, zombie rockstars) are lost to one-dimensional drawings, notable chemistry between cast members replaced by edited recordings lacking signature wits. This isn’t Metalocalypse, where dismemberment and bloodshed are gruesome on levels that outshine even live-action horror flicks. There’s no denying some of the magic is missing without Chris Leavins’ “creepy uncle” overacting (a Will Forte breed) or the book’s living incarnations of evil. Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End plays hooded minion to Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil’s dark ruler – less powerful, a bit duncier, but still part of the coolest cult around. Just try not to think about how much radness is missing inside hand-traced Crowley High?

It’s hard not to strike comparisons between “reality” and ‘toon, because as noted above, live actors are sorely missed in a plethora of situations. Be they musical numbers, heretic slayings, Todd and Curtis’ constant references to wanking, wangs or other pelvic nods (no, for real, like every other sentence) – human reactions no longer temper such aggressive, self-gratifying cocksmanship. It doesn’t help that songs never reach the memorable level of “Horny Like The Devil,” but the likes of House, Leishman, Turnbull and Castle were masters of selling schlock, shock and Satan’s asshole of situations. Instead, lines now land flat like – for example – Leavins’ lessened ability to turn pervy, stalkerish quips into hilarious underage stranger-dangers. Again, it’s not Metalocalypse – and without that kind of designer depth, a wall prevents inter-dimensional immersion into Todd’s extracurricular madness.

If this review sounds over-negative, fret not – it’s merely wishes of what could have been. None of this is to say Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End should be skipped. When you’re already known for masterstrokes of ballbusting immaturity, metal-horned malevolence and vicious teen-angst creature vanquishing, expectations are going to be sky high. Directors Richard Duhaney and Craig David Wallace successfully service fans with a smile, ensuring that rivers of red scribbled blood spurt from decapitated school children just like we’re used to. It’s just, I mean – ugh, sorry, I just have to say it one more time. BY DIMEBAG’S BEARD, this would have been an epic live-action flick. As is? Still one fine-with-a-capital-F-YEAH return to Crowley High for the faithful who’ve been waiting some 5-or-so years in a Todd-less purgatory.

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