Exclusive: Director Jay Lee Talks Alyce Kills - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Director Jay Lee Talks Alyce Kills

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Exclusive: Director Jay Lee Talks Alyce KillsZombie Strippers! director Jay Lee moves in a new direction with Alyce Kills, a much darker psychological tale about a woman’s guilty conscience slowly driving her to the brink of insanity.

Then, she whips past Crazy Town and lands right in the middle of an all-out gorefest. Dread Central spoke to Lee about the character of Alyce (played confidently by newcomer Jade Dornfeld) and her unbelievable transformation from shy wallflower to bloodthirsty femme fatale.

Dread Central: Do you think Zombie Strippers! will create more interest in Alyce Kills? Would you say that fans of Zombie Strippers! will be open to watching this film? Do you think there are different types of horror fans or are we mostly all in the same camp?

Jay Lee: Here’s the thing that I learned about horror fans in the past two years, when I’ve been really knee-deep in horror films, is that I think they’re the smartest audiences out there. Because the thing about horror fans is they want to be surprised; they like experiencing new things. Most film genres you can pretty much predict an ending like a rom-com or a James Bond film. You pretty much know what’s going to happen and people are just there for the ride; whereas horror films, you don’t know what’s going to happen at the end. The genre is so varied and there’s so many different types of horror movies. And I think the true horror fans really just like to experience new filmmakers, new films, new plotlines, new twists, new endings, and I think that horror fans are the ones that appreciate that the most. The true horror fans that really enjoyed Zombie Strippers! for the horror comedy it was, I think they’re going to like the different twist that Alyce is, definitely.

DC: With horror fans, they’ll go out and pretty much watch everything but if you’re a fan of romantic comedies you’re not going to go out and watch every romantic comedy ever made.

JL: Right, exactly.

DC: So, even though this centers around a female character, how much of the fatalism in the film comes from you? Obviously, you wrote it. Did it kind of help you to exorcise some demons making this film?

JL: Actually, yes, it very much did. The original idea for the film was just to give some actors some really meaty parts to work with. So, I was working on this dark psychological thriller scene by scene just to create something that an actor can really sink their teeth into. But then I went through a really bad year and that’s when I was able to infuse it with dark tones and the desperation and the fatalism just from what I went through for a year. It is very much me.

DC: Speaking of the performances, Eddie [Rouse] as Rex puts in a pretty fearless performance. Was he the most fun character to write and who do you think is more nuts? Alyce or Rex?

JL: When I was working on it I was calling it a downward spiral into sanity. So, I was trying to make some crazy characters but at the same time make them as… it depends on how you looked at it. They could be more sane than crazy. Here’s Rex as this drug dealer but yet he can defend it against the perception of, say, white-collar crime. He’s not nearly as bad. Everybody thinks Eddie ad-libbed that part because that’s really kind of who he is, he’s not a drug dealer, but he’s very conspiracy oriented so everybody thinks that was actually him…

DC: Oh, that’s funny. Well, at one point, he’s called a ‘fucking cliche’ by Alyce. Does making the male characters into more predictable villains make it easier to believe that Alyce is going to go nuts? It just doesn’t feel like there’s any humanity around her, so I guess she feels a little bit more alone?

JL: I think making the male characters a little bit more predictable and, in a way, even weaker – like Vince is definitely the weakest character in the film – it’s stepping stones for Alyce for her downward spiral into sanity. Where I think the male characters become more predictable, she becomes more unpredictable. That was the thinking, at least.

DC: When she starts to go crazy, it starts to happen pretty quickly. Did you always want her to start to lose it and be that intense, or were there versions where that descent happened more gradually?

JL: Uh, no. What I was trying to do with her downward spiral was to do it in stages and do it in steps. First to start psychologically, to have her transmorph psychologically – like the funeral scene. And the scene with the news broadcast and the scene with Vince where she’s just manipulating in any way possible, going as far as having him punching her out. To really do it psychologically and then suddenly the physicality could start because she just can’t find the control in that scene and there’s really only one way to find that control with Vince. That just starts a whole new twist into her progression. Then, it gets physical because that’s the next step she has to take.

DC: Yeah, it gets VERY physical. There’s a real Fight Club quality to Alyce’s work scenes. It made me think that you probably had some shitty jobs back before you were directing, so what’s the shittiest job you’ve ever had, do you think?

JL: I don’t think I’ve ever really held an office job like that. That was actually shot in, um, one of the associate producers – her name is Shannon Malone – that was actually shot in her office and she’s been working that job for years. And I know how much she hated it…
But my worst job probably was I had to work for a cigarette company counting cigarettes, stale cigarettes once when I was in High School. Just repacking stale cigarettes and shipping them off in the flickering fluorescent lights in an inner city warehouse. So, for me, that was the worst job I ever had.

Alyce Kills is available now on DVD and VOD.

Synopsis
Life takes a downward spiral for Alyce after a night of partying goes terribly wrong and she accidentally pushes her best friend off of a building. Panicked, Alyce lies to the police about her involvement. When she later learns that her friend miraculously survived, she begins to unravel, losing sleep, her job and eventually her sanity. When she eventually decides to take control, she unleashes enough chaos to satisfy any gorehound.

Alyce Kills

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Gruesome Demonic Possession Video

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“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.

While The Blair Witch Project, released in 1999, didn’t invent the found footage subgenre of horror, it certainly popularized the concept, making it a common trope throughout the 2010s. The idea of finding misplaced film or video that reveals a terrifying truth is instantly compelling, and films like The Ring and Sinister have taken this concept outside of the found-footage arena, promoting the concept of cursed media.

One of the main goals of the found-footage presentation is to blur the line between fiction and reality. From this perspective, it’s as though a filmmaker is acting as an objective third party, offering a “discovery” without validating its authenticity. And while there are indeed real-life examples of lost media revealing compelling or harrowing secrets (surveillance footage, lost cameras, etc.) has anything ever been unearthed that compares to the terror induced by movies like Blair Witch.

Perhaps.

The Paranormal Scholar is a YouTube channel dedicated to scientific, academic explorations of supposed real-life supernatural phenomenon. While the majority of their video essays end by debunking popular urban legends and modern creepypastas, they recently explored a potentially legitimate reel of found film—and it’s utterly horrifying.

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

According to The Paranormal Scholar, the footage below was discovered in the attic of a newly purchased home in Iowa around 1973. Unfortunately, no other significant details are known—which is convenient if it’s a hoax. The video looks almost too good to be real (meaning it’s genuinely disturbing) but the fact that it can’t be immediately debunked is instantly unnerving.

The subject of this supposedly found footage is one many horror fans find intriguing: Demonic possession. Give it a spin and let us know what you think in the Comments section. Do you know anything about this mysterious footage? Do you think it’s real or a clever fake? Let the debate begin!

Warning: Mature Content!

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

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Class of 1999 Graduates to Blu-Ray in 2018

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Coming to blu-ray in early 2018 will be Class of 1999, which was originally released in 1990 and designed to be an unofficial sci-fi sequel to 1982’s Class of 1984, which itself received a special edition blu-ray in 2015. Confused yet?

In 1982, writer-director Mark L. Lester made Class of 1984, a slightly futuristic action thriller about teachers contending with teenage gangs in an inner-city high school. Lester would go on to grace us with Commando and Firestarter before returning to the premise in 1990 to give us the very futuristic Class of 1999. This time the action takes place near the turn of the millennium when gang violence overruns inner-city high schools to the point that the government steps in and replaces the teachers with reprogrammed military-grade battle androids. The super soldier cyborg faculty revert to their militaristic ways, naturally, and rack up quite a body count as they declare war on the student body leading to teenage gangs putting aside their difference to lead an anti-robot uprising in the halls of the school.

The time is the future, and youth gang violence is so high that the areas around some schools have become “free fire zones” into which not even the police will venture. When Miles Langford (Malcolm McDowell), the principal of Kennedy High School, decides to take his school back from the gangs, robotics specialist Dr. Robert Forrest (Stacy Keach) provides “tactical education units.” These human-like androids have been programmed to teach and are supplied with weapons to handle discipline problems. These kids will get a lesson in staying alive!

Boasting a screenplay by Full Moon stalwart C. Courtney Joyner and a cast including the likes of Stacy Keach, Pam Grier, Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Kilpatrick, and Traci Lind; Class of 1999 and its unique Stand and Deliver meets The Warriors meets The Terminator premise has garnered a loyal cult following over the years. We won’t mention the sequel. Forget I even brought it up. Sequel? What sequel?

Lionsgate Home Entertainment has announced Class of 1999 will be the next title getting a blu-ray release as part of their Vestron Collector’s Series in the first semester of 2018 with a fully loaded edition guaranteed to please fans and those that have yet to be educated on this enjoyable early Ninties b-movie extravaganza.

Disc extras will include:

Audio Commentary with Producer/Director Mark L. Lester
Interviews with Director/Producer Mark L. Lester and Co-Producer Eugene Mazzola
Interview with Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner
Interviews with Special Effects Creators Eric Allard and Rick Stratton
Interview with Director of Photography Mark Irwin
Trailer & TV Spot
Still Gallery
Video Promo
Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles for the main feature

Class of 1999 graduates to blu-ray on January 30th.

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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free

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Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.

The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.

Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!

All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.

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