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Blair Erickson Opens Up the Banshee Chapter

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Blair Erickson Opens Up the Banshee ChapterFor me personally, it just hasn’t been a great year for independent American horror. That’s why it’s refreshing to end 2013 on a fairly high note with a film like Banshee Chapter. Based on actual testimony and uncovered documents, the story is based on the MK-ULTRA experiments conducted in the Sixties on people like Ken Kesey.

So, in theory, we can all probably blame the CIA for the invention of tie-dye.

It’s always encouraging to see a first-time director deliver, and Blair Erickson has done exactly that. Hear what he has to say about the film below.

Dread Central: I enjoyed the film and it’s nice when I don’t have to go back to old classics all the time to get my horror fix.

Blair Erickson: I know what you mean. A lot of times you feel like everything is just stale and repetitive and you’ve seen it before. We were definitely trying something weird, and it’s cool because horror fans are interesting enough people where they can give a chance to something different, unlike most genres where you kind of get in trouble if you do something a little too weird.

DC: “Weird” is my middle name! Had you been wanting to tell this story for a long time and what got you into horror and made you want to jump off the ledge and try directing in the first place?

BE: You know, I had. You could probably say the idea goes back to even college, maybe. The idea of this chemical that did something like that had been something that we played with for ages, and then, after reading so many books about MK-ULTRA experiments, I just started using that has a background to build a little mythology around. It ended up being more true than you’d think but it’s clearly a fictional story, but I think it became a great metaphorical vehicle for exploring what it is about our government that is so disturbing right now.

Why I decided to finally pull the trigger on it was I had been a creative director at this ad agency and we were doing these great, interactive, transmedia projects where I was writing and directing a lot of short, live-action content for “The Terminator” series or the new Dreamworks movie and it just sort of hit me, ‘Why am I doing this for other people’s stories when I could be coming up with my own and telling my own stories? I should just try that.’ The first draft was, of course, way too big and way too expansive and then just trimming it down to get ninety minutes of material.

DC: It makes sense that you first thought of the idea in college. I hope you weren’t experimented on, though.

BE: I’ve never, ever taken dimethyltryptamine [DMT]. I think, at this point, after researching it so much I don’t think I ever would. Ever since the script came out, people started offering it to me. I think there is something to it. You can call it other dimensions; you can call it just fucking with your mind. But there’s something that chemical does to your mind that I’m not comfortable screwing around with. I do think it serves as a great setup for the questions that it raises.

DC: Did you ever do acid? Did you ever want to go really psychedelic with the film at all and make it really out there?

BE: Years ago in college, absolutely. The prehistoric ancestor to this film was, in college, myself and Michael McMillian, who’s actually in the film, had made this short thirty-minute film called “Night Trip” about these three kids who drop acid and as they’re driving there’s a dead body in the middle of the road. From there, it increasingly becomes a more terrifying acid trip. In this one, it became less about the drugs and more about the creepy paranoia and how that really is a legitimate thing. What we ultimately ended up mining is the fear in this that the government would unleash something that would never go away and would follow you to the ends of the Earth and have these malicious intentions toward you. When you look at things like the NSA, is that really so far fetched? Does it really have to be a movie monster or is it something that might actually exist.

DC: You can explore that in a horror film and people agree with it and it becomes part of the collective unconscious as opposed to ramming it down our throats saying we have chips in our brains.

BE: Right. Exactly. I think saying “the collective unconscious” is exactly right. If you really trace the origins of this, this goes back many decades to our government doing stuff like this. In many ways, this is the origin story of the NSA. At some point, our government felt very comfortable doing terrible things to U.S. citizens and no one was ever called into account for it. If you think about it, why wouldn’t that be just the appetizer for something very terrible, and that’s exactly what it seems like right now. We have characters in their early twenties that are discovering this but I think anybody from the older generation, especially people in their fifties and sixties, these things were just like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re aware of that.’ What’s funny to me is that Americans tend to be the least aware of these things. When I go around and people ask what the movie’s about and I say the MK-ULTRA projects, five times out of ten in the U.S. I’m going to get a blank stare back. We have this idea that if we ignore, it goes away, but of course, we all know that’s now true and I think we’re seeing that more and more every day.

Banshee Chapter is now available for digital rental or purchase and also on DVD (for under ten bucks!) from Amazon.

The Banshee Chapter

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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Are Truth Seekers Playing by Slaughterhouse Rulez

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One of our favorite pairings of stars from the last twenty years is no doubt that of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Their chemistry is undeniable, and if you didn’t get enough of it in “Spaced,” Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Paul, you’re about to get a bellyful of it on both big and small screens.

Variety is reporting that Frost and Pegg will be starring in “Truth Seekers,” a half-hour comedy-horror TV show about a three-person paranormal investigation team.

According to the site, each installment of “Truth Seekers” will focus on a paranormal incident, a setup with clear monster-of-the-week potential. “Each episode is going to be an adventure, a potential haunting or something,” Pegg says. “It’ll start as a very parochial idea, a very small business venture for these people, but it will expand as the series goes on to be something far more global. It’s a language everyone understands, the mystery of the unknown. Shaun of the Dead was a very parochial story set in North London, and somehow it managed to get this global reach because everyone understands the language of zombie movies.

That’s not all, though… the pair are also working on the feature film Slaughterhouse Rulez, a horror-comedy now in post-production. Directed by Crispian Mills and set in a well-to-do public school, the movie is “very satirical, very much about the U.K. selling itself off,” Pegg says. “It’s about fracking as well, and that unleashes some awful subterranean demon.

Both of these projects will be released under their Stolen Picture shingle. Stay tuned, kids! More as we get it!

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Rest in Peace – Yôsuke Natsuki

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We’ve lost another Kaiju legend today as reports are coming in that famed Japanese actor Yôsuke Natsuki has passed on at age 81.

Natsuki was a familiar face in several Godzilla films including Godzilla 1985 and Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster. Born in 1936, Yôsuke has made over 100 appearances in film with the last being in 2012’s Kirin.

We here at Dread Central would like to take this time to honor Natsuki’s friends, family members, and constituents.

すべてのことを与え、すべてのことを作成するために役立っていただきありがとうございます。簡単に休め

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NSFW Kill Clip from Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories Now Available on VOD

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VOB now available on VOD!

For those who might not know, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is a sequel to the indie horror anthology Volumes of Blood, produced by P.J. Starks and Eric Huskisson (The Confession of Fred Krueger) and Christopher Bower (The Dooms Chapel Horror).

It features actor Moses Moseley, best known for his role as one of Michonne’s “Pet Walkers” on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; the acting debut of WWE legend Sir Mo from Men on a Mission; and original music by Rocky Gray (drummer for We Are the Fallen, Living Sacrifice, formerly of Evanescence) and Shane Prather (Sharknado franchise, Sinister Squad, Lavalantula).

The flick recently hit VOD and to celebrate the release, the filmmakers have shared a “Kill Clip” from the movie to spread the bloody word.

You can check out the NSFW Kill Clip called “All Torn Up” in all its gory glory below and then let us know what you think.

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is now available on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and more!

Synopsis:

A couple plan to purchase an old home but would like one last tour before the closing. They’re guided around the estate by a creepy realtor that may have more in store than they bargained for.

Searching floor by floor, they begin to discover the remnants of its sordid and terrifying past… A popular 80’s franchise gets a modern upgrade, but at what price? On Halloween night a teen left home alone meets a trick or treater that wants more than just candy. A door to door insurance salesman makes a Thanksgiving house call with monstrous consequences. Andrew and Sara are happily married and plan on spending some quality time together, but something sinister has other plans for their evening. Carol’s Christmas Eve turns into a fight for survival when a vengeful stranger isn’t feeling the holiday spirit. Lastly, a birthday party turns bloody when some unexpected guests drop by at the wrong time.

Seven interwoven tales of terror… how many stories does your house have?

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