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Exclusive: Derek Lee and Clif Prowse Talk Afflicted and More

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Exclusive: Derek Lee and Clif Prowse Talk Afflicted and MoreAfter winning Best Picture in the Horror Features category at this year’s Fantastic Fest and screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center during the Scary Movies 7 series, Derek Lee and Clif Prowse are experiencing great success with their kinetic first feature Afflicted.

Centered on two friends who embark on a trip around the world, video logs turn into a documentary when Derek begins to transform into something not entirely human after being bitten by a kinky French girl. Both playing themselves to add realism, Clif and Derek film each other in order to have evidence of the horrific evolution that Derek is experiencing. Both Derek and Clif sat down with Dread Central in New York City to talk about Afflicted (review) and why something like it has never really been seen before in the world of horror.

DC: Are you both getting tired of the movie being referred to as found footage? It’s not really, but is the association with that subgenre something that’s helping you? Fans either love them or hate them, usually.

DL: We don’t mind it because it’s a shorthand for people to understand the style in which the movie was shot. You’re right; it isn’t really found footage. We wanted to make sure this film, storywise, was put together. The fact that it’s edited is actually a story point and it’s edited by the characters for a very specific reason. By taking that documentary, found footage style and then using it to depict – let’s call it ‘the creature’ for our purposes right now that’s used in this movie – in a realistic way, which is actually quite different than the way you usually see that creature which is normally in a super-cinematic style. We thought that was going to be really exciting. If you actually shot this movie as a conventional movie, I don’t think it’s nearly as effective as it is as a documentary.

CP: The only time that I get a little miffed about people calling us found footage is when people dismiss the film out-of-hand because they think it’s found footage. I feel like that’s just too judgmental too quickly.

DC: Is the mythology you’ve started with Afflicted something you’d like to expand on in another film?

DL: The things that we draw upon are very traditional ideas and then we took a spin on it that felt a little bit more modern; a little bit more realistic and biological. When we’re talking about the creature involved, it’s a very sexy, sensually oriented thing and we wanted to move it away from that and tell it in the context of a buddy movie. In terms of the supernatural elements, there are definitely things we’d like to explore but, having said that, we’re not chomping at the bit to do a sequel just yet!

CP: One of the fun parts about placing it in the documentary style was that we could take the pieces of the mythology that we liked. If this happened in reality, what would it look like? We could take something like the need to feed on blood and then take out the stuff like reflections in mirrors and crosses.

DC: For the record, Derek, I think you were very sexy at least up until the vomiting scene.

DL: Thank you very much.

DC: Can you talk about the design process around the body camera rig? You were really able to shoot dynamic action set pieces without “shaky cam”.

DL: Full credit goes to a guy named Sean Arden who designed our chest rig, our “strap-on”. It was based on a traditional older-style stunt harness and then he bolted on a plastic chest plate that would then hook on to the camera. It was really a conceit that we wanted so that our filmmakers could keep on filming even when things go crazy and the action would demand you put down the camera. It allowed us the excuse to keep filming during the action. It’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek thing so you get to see what happens next.

CP: In terms of the design, one of the coolest things was that it was like being Bruce Wayne because we’d come in with these sketches and [Sean Arden] would come in and re-design it, so you definitely felt like Bruce Wayne at that point.

DC: The sequences in the film are really thrilling at times. How long did those scenes take to shoot? Were there a lot of multiple takes and technical problems?

DL: Actually, that’s a really good question. You know the scene at the end?

DC: Yes.

DL: It was really ambitious given how little resources and time and toys we had to play with but, amazingly, in spite of it basically needing to be a four-minute, feels-like-one-shot scene, we were delighted when it just kind of came together. Getting all the wipes, working with the special effects team, it actually all worked out really, really well. Where it got really complicated was when you’re trying to get an emotional honesty out of your actors when they’re both directors and both holding the camera. That can really throw you off as a director, but getting the action beats was just a ton of fun.

CBS Films will release Afflicted sometime during the new year, most likely.

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DVD and Blu-ray Releases: November 21, 2017

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We have kind of a slow week for you, folks. Aside from 1957’s Daughter Of Dr. Jekyll, all seven of our other releases are from the past five years, and I hate to admit this but I don’t know much about them.

I can say that American Mary, is always a fun title to watch. Fans of Katharine Isabelle, take notice. You can grab this on both Blu-ray and DVD.

For more information on some of this week’s other titles, from other Dread Central contributors, check out the following links:

Dark Signal

The Night Watchmen

Scarecrowd

And

Under The Bed

Keep checking back each week, folks. Next week is another smaller list but they will begin picking up again for the Christmas season. As always, pleasant viewing.



MOVIES:

American Mary (2012)

Starring:

Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk

Synopsis:

Strapped for cash while putting herself through medical school, medical student Mary Mason takes a job as a waitress at a strip bar, run by Billy Barker. As she becomes increasingly disillusioned with her studies, Billy introduces Mary to a new and extremely lucrative sideline, performing extreme body modifications to an odd collection of flesh-obsessed characters. Subsequently forced to drop out of medical school, she soon takes refuge in her new career. But as her demeanor steadily darkens, and her actions take on an altogether more vengeful twist, she begins to be known and feared as ‘Bloody Mary’.

BUY IT NOW!


Dark Signal (2016)

Starring:

Siwan Morris, Gareth David-Lloyd, Joanna Ignaczewska, Duncan Pow

Synopsis:

The spirit of a murdered girl returns with a message. Now a stranded woman must team up with the staff of a local radio station to solve the mystery of her death.

BUY IT NOW!


Daughter Of Dr. Jekyll (1957)

Starring:

John Agar, Gloria Talbott, Arthur Shields

Synopsis:

Janet, a young woman discovers she is the daughter of the infamous Dr. Jekyll. She begins to believe that she may also have a split personality, one of whom is a ruthless killer after the bodies start to pile up around her. However, all is not what it seems…..

BUY IT NOW!


Housebound (2014)

Starring:

Morgana O’Reilly, Rima Te Wiati, Glen-Paul Waru

Synopsis:

Kylie Bucknell is forced to return to the house she grew up in when the court places her on home detention. Her punishment is all the more unbearable because she has to live with her mother, a blabbermouth who’s convinced that the house is haunted. But soon Kylie has reason to believe that her mother may be right.

BUY IT NOW!


The Night Watchmen (2016)

Starring:

James Remar, Matt Servitto

Synopsis:

Three inept night watchmen, aided by a young rookie and a fearless tabloid journalist, fight an epic battle to save their lives. A mistaken warehouse delivery unleashes a horde of hungry vampires, and these unlikely heroes must not only save themselves but also stop the scourge that threatens to take over the city of Baltimore.

BUY IT NOW!


Scarecrowd (2016)

Starring:

Fabrizio Occhipinti, Gabrielle Bergère, Antony Ferry

Synopsis:

Radiation from a nearby meteor strike turns farmer Tony Maio in a crazed mutant. He hides his appearance in the guise of a scarecrow, hunting down and killing nearby town folk to satisfy his newfound blood lust. The town will dread sundown and screams will be echo in the dark night when this Scarecrow hunts them down.

BUY IT NOW!


Teenage Slumber Party Nightmare (2014) (Limited Edition, Just 100 Sold)

Starring:

Kaitlyn Yurkiw, Lauren Richardson, Hillary Kaplan, Martha Staus, Kirk Munaweera, Payton John Bonn, Kevin Paynter

Synopsis:

Four teens on Spring Break plan the ultimate slumber party… Beer! Porn! Dancing! Girl Talk! There’s a first time for everything – including the deranged stalker who’s followed them home. He leaves them love notes, but the girls laugh it off. He spies through the windows, but they don’t know it. Soon he sneaks in, masked and carrying his rusty power drill. A young man’s obsession becomes a nightmare in this driller killer slasher.

BUY IT NOW!


Under the Bed (2012)

Starring:

Jonny Weston, Peter Holden, Musetta Vander

Synopsis:

Two brothers team up to battle a creature under the bed, in what is being described as a “suburban nightmare” tale.

BUY IT NOW!

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Three 1970’s Horrors That Remind Us Why We Enjoy Getting Mental at the Movies

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Crazy is always creepy in horror movies, and it usually comes in two forms: insane escapees or the sane among the crazies.

It’s one storytelling technique when a mental patient escapes and enters our own ordered, peaceful world. It’s quite another when a film drops us in the middle of an asylum to cope with crazy people who, in those movies, always seem to want to stab us.

First off, let me say the mentally ill are one of the most misunderstood and scapegoated minorities in movie history. Other stereotypes have disappeared from the silver screen over the years, but it’s still convenient to blame a killing rampage on an escaped mental patient. We’ll just chalk this up to lazy writing and move on.

Yes, “mentally ill” has become shorthand for “bloodthirsty and lacking in social etiquette.” Kudos to “American Horror Story’s” second season, subtitled “Asylum,” for adding some subtlety to that convention. Seventies horror movies, though, were riddled with stereotypes, enough so that when we travel back to that groovy and dangerous time, we can merrily ignore them and enjoy the scare.

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972) is a fairly standard who-is-the-killer flick that turns terrifying in the last 20 minutes, when all hell breaks loose and the inmates, quite literally, take over the asylum. There is a nice, icy buildup throughout.

The populace of a small town are suspiciously nervous when a local mansion that had once been a mental institution goes up for sale. Mary Woronov (Eating Raoul) plays it numbingly cool throughout, until the climax, adding punch to the big reveals.

Also known by Night of the Dark Full Moon and Death House, this film is directed by Theodore Gershuny and written by Gershuny, Jeffrey Konvitz and Ira Teller. It’s always a good sign for consistency of vision when the director is also a writer.

I don’t know a lot of people raving about this film. It’s certainly not perfect, but a solid effort in that ’70s B-movie category, seriously creepy, and worth watching. Recommended.

Asylum (1972) has everything I enjoy about well-done, early ’70s horror: a fairly simple premise, creepy sets, and solid acting. The anthology setup works well here, stringing four Robert Bloch stories together. Peter Cushing and Herbert Lom show up along with Britt Ekland and Barbara Parkins.

The effects are not at all bad. Hope you view a cut of this movie that shows a stagehand rather obviously moving a prop in the “Frozen Fear” segment because those kinds of mistakes are fun to see.

Directed by Roy Ward Baker, Asylum delivers like any of the Amicus horror movies: similar to Hammer in that you know you will be entertained. Recommended for classic pre-slasher horror movie fans.

Then there’s Don’t Look in the Basement (1973). I was smart enough to see this in a theater when it came out… but dumb enough to bring a date. What a terrible first date movie!

On the other hand, Don’t Look in the Basement is a very creepy horror film due to several elements that come together beautifully:

– First, it has that grainy, cheap look to it like many early ’70s B-movies that, for me, adds to the mood. That look tells me positively this is not a big studio production. “Oh, this is one of THOSE movies,” says my head. “Anything can happen!” Tension builds.

– Second, it has an obviousness to it that can be unnerving when filmed correctly. Hitchcock used to do this well: We in the audience know the danger, but the hero on screen is completely clueless. We know from the minute the blonde nurse accepts her new job she shouldn’t be there — heck, we knew she shouldn’t even have come into the house!

– Third, most all of the characters may be insane, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own distinct stories, personalities and phobias. Crazy is not random. As Grant Morrison wrote in Batman: Arkham Asylum, the thoughts of the insane are not unpatterned. Each person has his or her own complex view of reality, no matter how wrong that perception might be.

There’s also a good deal of blood. And a surprise reveal. Don’t Look in the Basement has been recognized as a B-movie classic, and I enthusiastically recommend it here.

Three 1972 to 1973 horror movies and all three recommended! You may or may not disagree, and if so, I want to hear why! What are your favorite asylum flicks? Comment below or on social media.

Gary Scott Beatty’s graphic novel Wounds is available on Amazon and Comixology. Is madness a way to survive the zombie apocalypse? The strangest zombie story ever written, Wounds throws us into a world where nothing is beyond doubt, except a father’s concern for his wife and daughter. If you enjoy that “What th-?” factor in graphic novels, you’ll enjoy Wounds.

For more from Gary Scott Beatty, visit him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Samuel L. Jackson Wraps on M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass

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That was fast. It was just two weeks ago that we shared your first on-set look at Samuel L. Jackson as Mr. Glass in M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming Unbreakable/Split sequel, and today we have news that Jackson has wrapped his role.

The update comes to us directly from Shyamalan himself who took to Twitter to let us all know that not only has Sam Jackson wrapped his role in Glass, but there is only one week left of filming overall.

Here is his tweet:

Does this mean the crew has gathered up enough footage to give us all a teaser trailer in the near future? I would think so, so let’s not be too surprised if that’s just what we get before the end of the year.

Fingers crossed.

The film is written & directed by M. Night Shyamalan and stars Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Anya-Taylor Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard, and Samuel L. Jackson as Mr. Glass.

Glass hits theaters January 18, 2019.

Synopsis:

Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

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