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Teases of What’s Ahead in American Horror Story: Coven Episode 3.08 – The Sacred Taking – and Beyond

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Spoilery Teases of What's Ahead in American Horror Story: Coven Episode 3.08 - The Sacred Taking - and Beyond“American Horror Story: Coven” graces the cover of this week’s EW so along with some tidbits about Ep. 308, “The Sacred Taking,” we have a few badass photos and teasers about the end of Season 3 like the possible return of Stevie Nicks!

What can we look forward to in “AHS: Coven” Episode 3.08, “The Sacred Taking,” which doesn’t air until December 4th? Here are the highlights from EW.com‘s recent chat with exec producer Ryan Murphy.

“American Horror Story: Coven” Episode 3.08 – “The Sacred Taking” (airs 12/4/13)
Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) rallies the girls in the fight to stop Fiona (Jessica Lange) while a dangerous new enemy puts Misty (Lily Rabe) in the cross hairs. The rivalry between Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) and Delphine (Kathy Bates) comes to a head.

Q: What can you say about LaLaurie’s future?
Well, I just think now that Marie Laveau has her back, she is going to make her life a living hell and she’s going to get her revenge. I think if LaLaurie thought living underground for all eternity was hell, she hasn’t seen nothing yet! It’s sort of an interesting synthesis of the rock up the hill idea because she can’t die. So Marie Laveau can really make her pay over and over and over again and feel pain and yet not die. So we have a lot of interesting episodes dealing with that.

Q: Is Queenie fully immersed in the voodoo witches?
Yes, she’s trying to acclimate with that culture. She finds it both liberating, but the truth of the matter is she does miss her friends over at the Robichaux house. She’s a lady torn.

Q: Is that truly the end of Spalding?
…[H]e does come back of course. I think Spalding as a ghostly entity is almost more interesting than real life Spalding because he has many, many, many secrets. He knows where literally all the bodies are buried. The question is: Who is he going to come back to protect?

Q: Will we see more flashbacks like Kyle’s?
We’re working on a great one right now that shows you how Madame LaLaurie became Madame LaLaurie. So we’re researching what actually happened to her. How did she go from being this creature to Jeffrey Dahmer? What happened?

Q: Will the final eps be about Cordelia plotting Fiona’s death?
Well, something happens in the next episode that is very eye-opening and illuminating for Cordelia which is this idea that no matter how much she hates her mother and no matter how horrible she is, Fiona really is the strongest witch of them all. Do you get rid of your strongest player at a time when the witch hunters are trying to kill you? Also, Fiona is so smart she’s going to know if her daughter is trying to off her. Do you think she’s going to stand for that? I don’t think so. I feel something bad is in the works for Ms. Cordelia.

Q: Is Hank going to unleash war on the witches?
Well, he’s planning a big, big, big doomsday event, which we deal with in our winter cliffhanger, which is two episodes from now. It’s not pretty. It’s a great episode called “Head.” Everything is about things that happen in the head. If you saw the cover of Entertainment Weekly, you can kind surmise what happens to Kathy Bates.

Q: What can you say about the next episode?
It’s called “The Sacred Taking.” It’s a tradition that dates back to the Salem days. Sometimes to protect other witches, a witch is allowed to create a sacred act, which is taking her own life. It is about that idea, and the question is you know Fiona’s not going to go there on her own accord so the other witches try and get her to a place of trying to do that.

Q: How did Stevie Nicks’ guest appearance go?
You know, Stevie is just fantastic. I don’t think Lily Rabe has recovered. She was great. She gets to sing. She does a little acting, which she was great in. The great thing is Stevie has some wonderful ideas based on some of her songs so we were like, “Oh we’re going to use that.” So we’re actually going to try and have Stevie come back and do another episode because she’s so good.

Spoilery Teases of What's Ahead in American Horror Story: Coven Episode 3.08 - The Sacred Taking - and Beyond

Spoilery Teases of What's Ahead in American Horror Story: Coven Episode 3.08 - The Sacred Taking - and Beyond

Spoilery Teases of What's Ahead in American Horror Story: Coven Episode 3.08 - The Sacred Taking - and Beyond

Now here are five of the ten teases Murphy gave the magazine. Be sure to hit the link below for the rest!

1. A new Supreme will be chosen: “Coven’s” January 29th finale, which reveals Fiona’s (Jessica Lange) successor, will unfold a tad differently from previous “AHS” conclusions. “It usually is a very nihilistic ending. But this year is different because it’s an incredibly dark-comedy ending, which I like,” says Murphy, who continues, “Nobody has guessed who the Supreme is.”

2. Cordelia will regain her sight: Miss Robichaux’s headmistress will see again…at least for a while. “She does get her sight back from something Myrtle (Frances Conroy) does that’s incredibly gory and devious,” explains Murphy. “She’s also going to find out a lot of secrets about her husband that throw her into a midlife-crisis breakdown, which is very juicy.”

3. We haven’t seen the last of the religious-fanatic neighbors: Promises the producer, “Joan [Patti LuPone] has a big story coming up. She has many episodes left.” [Writer’s note: YAY!]

4. Get ready for voodoo Satan: That would be “Coven’s” take on Papa Legba, who stands between the living and the dead. “You find out that’s how come Marie Laveau looks so good — because she sold her soul years ago. He’s a very dark, funny, popular spirit.”

5. We will see the Seven Wonders: The new Supreme will perform the much-talked-about series of challenges that prove her dominance. “We have not done that ceremony [yet], and I always knew that would be the last episode.”

For more info visit the show’s Facebook page and Twitter feed along with “American Horror Story” on FX.

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Basket Case Blu-ray Review – Find Out What’s In Arrow’s Basket On This Definitive Release

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Starring Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner, Lloyd Pace

Directed by Frank Henenlotter

Distributed by Arrow Video


Director Frank Henenlotter doesn’t boast a lengthy filmography but he is the rare director whose work is instantly recognizable and nearly every one of his pictures is a veritable cult classic. His decision to reject the studio system in favor of remaining in the dingy alleyways of independent cinema may have something to do with that limited output, but the films he has delivered are wildly original and patently weird – and it all began with a freak in a basket. Even Henenlotter must be astounded that he went from maximizing a $35,000 budget to film his debut, Basket Case (1982), to thirty-something years later seeing it lovingly restored in 4K by the Museum of Modern Art (and, boy, what a job they have done). Henenlotter’s films are pitch black comedic Cronenberg, taking body horror into the gutter and always ensuring his audience festers down there with it.

Duane Bradley (Kevin VanHentenryck) is an affable guy with boyish charm who has just arrived on the seedy streets of New York City with a wad of cash and a large wicker basket. His friendly nature and apparent naiveté belie the fact he has come to the city with a singular purpose – one with deadly intentions. Duane checks into a shitty room at Hotel Broslin and gets to work on his first task: tracking down a Dr. Needleman (Lloyd Pace). He succeeds and quickly heads downtown to meet the doctor, at first offering up his real name before deciding to use a pseudonym (Duane isn’t terribly bright). After blowing the doc’s mind with his body-length scar, Duane returns later that night, basket in tow, to pay the old “family friend” a visit and to answer the question on everyone’s lips: “What’s in the basket?”

The answer is Belial, Duane’s detached and deformed Siamese twin. Belial may be no larger than a basketball with T-Rex arms but what he lacks in stature he makes up for with brute physical strength and a savage bloodlust. Dr. Needleman is quickly torn to pieces and the duo begins to hunt down their next target. You see, Duane and Belial had a strong connection when they were younger and attached, one that included a psychic link that only Belial is now able to control, but after their father demanded an ad hoc team of doctors forcibly separate the two they’ve made it their mission to kill everyone involved in the surgery. Duane is committed to helping his brother complete their task, but he’s also trying to live a normal life – something Belial doesn’t understand. When Duane meets Sharon (Terri Susan Smith), suddenly his dynamic with Belial begins to shift, and when Belial gets angry it usually means one thing: someone is going to die.

Rex Reed famously called Basket Case “the sickest movie ever made!” and although sicker pictures had been produced before this (clearly Rex never ventured into Italian cannibal territory) he isn’t too far off the mark. It isn’t just about the buckets of blood Henenlotter spills here but the locations, too. Viewers will feel like a freshly steamed street vendor hot dog that’s been dropped into the gutter and kicked around for 90 minutes by the time the credits begin rolling. The squalor of early ‘80s NYC permeates the screen and forces audiences into a sticky, unsavory world. Henenlotter brings viewers to the underside of his “backyard” in a cinéma vérité style reminiscent of Abel Ferrara.

But also, there is a lot of gore. And grue. The bloodletting seen here reminded me of low-budget schlock like Blood Feast, where the filmmakers try to cover up cheaply done effects using lots of little bits – intended to be flesh, bone, skin, etc. – and the result is like chunky blood red mashed potatoes. It just looks sick. Belial kills with impunity and a complete disregard for suffering, often leaving his victims mutilated beyond recognition.

Henenlotter brings Belial to life via a handful of mediums. There is a puppet, a head appliance that is able to have a physical person bring facial life to Belial, and then there is the stop-motion animation, which is always a joy to see on screen no matter how crudely it may be rendered. The craftsmanship just oozes off the screen; you can’t not love it. Nearly every scene with Belial in attack mode strains belief that this thing could do much more than gnaw at some ankles but, hey, that’s the magic of movies.

One thing that is surprising: pathos. Duane and Belial have the closest bond siblings ever could, literally attached at the hip, and the flashback sequence treats their relationship and eventual removal with a degree of respect and heartbreak that, frankly, made the film feel much more tragic. I’m not saying viewers will be moved to tears but it’s a testament to Henenlotter that in the middle of all this death and dismemberment is a touching reminder of how these two came to be killers. Basket Case doesn’t hit the insane heights of my favorite Henenlotter picture, Brain Damage, but it does offer up a bit more heart alongside so much head-ripping.

Although Basket Case has been issued on Blu-ray a couple of times, this is the debut of MoMA’s 4K restoration and, just as you might suspect, it smokes every previous release. It would be easy to forget this no-budget feature was shot on 16mm because the clean-up of dirt and debris, as well as the finessing of film grain, has left the 1.33:1 1080p picture looking immaculate. Colors appear lifelike and rich, striking new life into the glitz of Times Square and the ever-present flow of blood. Black levels are excellent; deeply dark and never hazy. Soft shots abound, inherent to the source, but many close-ups and the handful of 35mm blow-up shows included in this transfer offer up strong definition and minute details. I can’t imagine the film could or will look any better, ever – and really, it shouldn’t. Clean as this picture is, it still retains enough grit and roughness to maintain its grindhouse aesthetic.

An English LPCM 1.0 mono track delivers the audio, which is free from hissing and other deficiencies, offering a finessed and simple delivery of the lo-fi soundfield. Gus Russo’s score bounces between moody keyboard synth cues and upbeat jazzy tunes that come into play when Duane has his big date. Scoring is minimal but effective when present. Also, expect to hear lots and lots and lots of screaming. Subtitles are available in English SDH.

Two audio commentary tracks have been included; the first, an all-new track featuring Fran Henenlotter and Kevin Van Hentenryck; the second, a legacy track with Henenlotter, producer Edgar Ievins, actress Beverly Bonner, and filmmaker Scooter McRae.

“Basket Case 3 ½: An Interview with Duane Bradley” is a fun short by Henenlotter in which he and a film crew head out to meet Bradley (Van Hentenryck) and interview him about life with Belial in present day, with an appearance by his diminutive double (naturally).

“Me & the Bradley Boys” is a new interview with Kevin Van Hentenryck, reflecting back on working with Henenlotter and making a cult classic.

“A Brief Interview with director Frank Henenlotter” is a weird, goofy thing that captures the director’s sense of humor, whether he’s in it or not.

“Seeing Double: The Basket Case Twins” is a sit-down with twin actresses Florence and Maryellen Shultz, who play the nurses in the film.

“Blood, Basket and Beyond” is a new interview with co-star Beverly Bonner, who has apparently taken her character outside the film world and into theater.

“The Latvian Connection” features interviews with a few of the film’s key personnel who share a heritage.

“Belial Goes to the Drive-In” is a great new interview with legendary film critic Joe Bob Briggs, who was a key figure in helping the film gain traction upon release.

“Basket Case at MoMA” is a lengthy Q&A from the film’s 2017 premiere.

“What’s in the Basket?” is a feature-length documentary that covers all three films in the series. This was previously seen on the Second Sight U.K. trilogy set, which is still available.

“In Search of the Hotel Broslin” has Henenlotter and his guest, R.A. “The Rugged Man”, searching out the remaining locations from the film, occasionally getting shut down along the way.

“Basket Case Outtakes” is a reel of quick, cut clips along with brief text descriptions.

“The Frission of Fission” is a video essay by Travis Crawford on freaks and twins in cinema, with emphasis placed on Basket Case.

Image galleries are included for Promotional Stills, Behind the Scenes, Ephemera, Advertisements, and Home Video Releases.

A promo gallery contains trailers, a TV spot, and radio spots.

The Slash of the Knife (1972) is a mock PSA short film made by Henenlotter and starring many familiar faces from Basket Case, about the dangers of the uncircumcised in America. It is available with optional commentary by Henenlotter and Mike Bencivenga. Outtakes and an image gallery for the short are also included.

Belial’s Dream is an animated short inspired by Basket Case. A featurette, “Making Belial’s Dream” is also included.

The package also includes a booklet with writings on the film, as well as reversible cover art and a basket-themed slipcover. All in all, a stellar release from Arrow Video.

Special Features:

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original 16mm negative by MoMA
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original Uncompressed Mono Audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary with writer/director Frank Henenlotter and star Kevin Van Hentenryck
  • Basket Case 3-1/2: An Interview with Duane Bradley – Frank Henenlotter revisits Duane Bradley decades after the events of the original Basket Case
  • Seeing Double: The Basket Case Twins – a brand new interview with Florence and Maryellen Schultz, the twin nurses from Basket Case
  • Brand new making-of featurette containing new interviews with producer Edgar Ievins, casting person/actress Ilze Balodis, associate producer/effects artist Ugis Nigals and Belial performer Kika Nigals
  • Blood, BASKET and Beyond – a brand new interview with actress Beverly Bonner
  • Belial Goes to the Drive-In – a brand new interview with film critic Joe Bob Briggs
  • Outtakes Featurette
  • In Search of the Hotel Broslin – archive location featurette
  • Slash of the Knife (1972) – short film by Frank Henenlotter
  • Belial’s Dream (2017, 5 mins) – brand new Basket Case-inspired animated short by filmmaker Robert Morgan
  • Behind-the-scenes of Belial’s Dream
  • Trailers, TV Spots and Radio Spots
  • Extensive Still Galleries
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Michael Gingold
  • Basket Case
  • Special Features
4.3

Summary

Basket Case might be a dingy and gruesome slice of subterranean cinema but this excellent release from Arrow, touting the stunning 4K restoration by MoMA and packed with hours of awesome bonus features, is the kind of treatment Criterion usually provides. Highly recommended.

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Los Angeles Readers! Win a Pair of Tickets For a Revenge/Descent/Mad Max/Aliens Marathon!

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Hey Los Angeles readers! We’ve got one helluva giveaway for those of you who are into movie marathons! Starting Saturday, April 28 at 7:30pm over at the Aero Theater, there will be a four-movie marathon that will open with an advance screening of Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge which will end with a Q&A with Fargeat. After that, moviegoers can sit back and get comfortable as they get to see a 35mm print of The Descent followed by a Q&A with director Neil Marshall, the Black & Chrome edition of Mad Max: Fury Road, and finally James Cameron’s Aliens!

For three of you in the LA area (and only if you’re 17 or older), we’ve got three pairs of tickets to give away for the entire marathon! To enter, all you have to do is fill out the form below!

Jen (Matilda Lutz) is enjoying a romantic getaway with her wealthy boyfriend which is suddenly disrupted when his sleazy friends arrive for an unannounced hunting trip. Tension mounts in the house until the situation abruptly––and viciously––intensifies, culminating in a shocking act that leaves Jen left for dead. Unfortunately for her assailants, Jen survives and reemerges with a relentless, wrathful intent: revenge.

Written and directed by Coralie Fargeat and starring Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, and Guillaume Bouchède, Revenge hits theaters and VOD May 11. It will come to the horror streaming service Shudder later this year.

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Hover Poster and Trailer Fear What Flies

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Fear What Flies

Syfy Films recently announced that Matt Osterman’s new film Hover from producer Travis Stevens (We Are Still Here) will be hitting theaters June 29 and VOD/Digital HD July 3.

And to celebrate today we have the film’s trailer and poster. You can check out the poster to the right and the trailer below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The film is directed by Matt Osterman (400 Days) from a script written by Cleopatra Coleman, is produced by Travis Stevens and Claire Haley and stars Coleman, Shane Coffey (Pretty Little Liars), Craig muMs Grant (Birdman), Beth Grant (No Country for Old Men), Fabianne Therese (Southbound) and Rhoda Griffis (Walk the Line).

It hits theaters June 29 and VOD/Digital HD July 3.

Synopsis:

Hover takes place in the near future, where environmental strain has caused food shortages around the world. Technology provides a narrow path forward, with agricultural drones maximizing the yield from what land remains. Two compassionate care providers, Claudia (Coleman) and her mentor John, work to assist sick farmland inhabitants in ending their lives. After John dies under mysterious circumstances, a group of locals helps Claudia to uncover a deadly connection between the health of her clients and the technology they are using.

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