Vitals Interview Series Part 4: Kalex Reno - Dread Central
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Vitals Interview Series Part 4: Kalex Reno



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Vitals Interview Series Part 4: Kalex RenoVitals tells the harrowing tale of a man (Christopher Showerman) who is kidnapped while on vacation in India. He wakes up in an abandoned motel room in a tub of ice with a kidney missing. Little does he know, it’s his heart his captors want next…

And it’s only a matter of time before he discovers his wife (Charlene Amoia) in the adjacent room waiting to be the next victim to the organ-harvesting goons. Having taken the vacation to work on their failing marriage, the couple must now set their differences aside and use each other’s intellects and skills to escape before their captors return.

We sat down with Vitals producer on set one day, midway through shooting, to see what was up.

Dread Central: So, you’re the producer. What does that mean, exactly, on this set? Seems to me like you’re doing a little bit of everything!

Kalex Reno: It is so very ambiguous. I do whatever needs to be done. I met Marc after the screenwriting conference and he and I started talking about a different project. We got together for lunch afterwards and it wasn’t something I could really take on but I was looking forward to the project about this scope and well I got a script like that and I already read the other scripts and I said let’s do it. He said do you want to read the scripts. You pitched it to me, I know what it is. I read the other script, I know you can write, so let’s go. So we got going.

DC: Now that’s one of the things that sort of the pervading theme here in my interviews is been how very well written this script is…

KR: Well I don’t, as a producer, I don’t take on scripts. That’s not I’m looking for. I started off as a writer myself so I got enough of my own stuff to do. I don’t need to find other people’s projects. I’m actually looking more for people to collaborate with. To answer your question, in the script itself you have fairly complex characters which is unusual. The fact that you have a strong female lead which is very rare, I like that. The fact that, even when you get down to, you know you have Kaliah and then you have these three henchmen. These henchmen have very distinct voices and they also have a sense of what they’re back story might be and how those relationships work. You don’t see that a lot in scripts to this level. You don’t see that sense of a fullness of the world. That makes it a good script just from a storytelling point of view. It takes a kind of urban legend cliche but a lot of writers would say oh and yeah the twist is at the end, he gets his kidney taken out. It’s where our movie opens up. That’s what happens. It’s like okay. It’s not really about how it got there but you know it twist and turns from there. That’s also, it’s that sense of elevation makes it good just as a story. In terms of this project it was something that I know I could shoot in a space like this with a cast like this. It’s a self-contained casters there’s no extra, it’s like a cast of thousands of unnecessary characters. It’s a fairly self-contained show. There’s maybe five locations, five six locations, in the entire piece, a lot of which is these two hotel rooms that we built, I’m like okay. We get the hotel rooms. We need half a dozen, six to eight, really great actors. I know we can get those, I know some people I can plug into it. Sending it to them you know we get Chris, we get Charlene, how we get Tim and it’s a combination of those things. It’s a story that comes together but it’s also a story I can produce because I hear stories, like that’s a good story but I can’t make it. And then I also hear stories that’s like okay I can make that but it’s not a very good story.

DC: Chris mentioned that he heard about Vitals while he was vacation, that you emailed him the script.

KR: I’ve worked with Chris on a couple of other projects and he jumped to mind. I recommended him. Funny thing was that I hadn’t worked with him in a couple of years and I literally just put him a web pilot that I was doing. So he was fresh in my mind and I’m talking to Marc, I say well hey Marc I just put Chris in this other thing you should take a look at him. Yeah the casting process in this was incredibly simple because it’s such a great show. We moved very quickly once we got a cast out, we’re getting calls like hey I got these people that want to be in it, we’ve already casted sorry. I tend to find, when a project picks up momentum like this you can feel who you’re supposed to get.

DC: What, about this story, made you want to make the movie?

KR: Well, one of the things that I like about this show is that it, I don’t work in horror. The last show I did was a thriller before that it was a comedy. I don’t do a lot of horror work and what I like about this show is that it’s not just about a man who gets his kidney taken out. It’s about this relationship between these two people and whether or not their relationship is redeemable and I can’t spoil for anybody what happens in the end. But you know it’s, the twists and turns are about these two characters and their relationship. Marc and I talked early on and fairly regularly about us looking for that touch tone, that true line of what’s going on. For everybody it’s about love and for everybody it’s about relationship. When you look at Kaliyah as the villain. We’ve talked to all the actors, it’s like okay what you know you look at the story of the surgeon. Tim’s character, his motivation by a love that was ripped from him and that to me elevates this sort of thing. It’s easy to do blood. It’s easy to do jump scares and to scare people but it’s when you get down to the heart of who humanity really is and these characters. That’s what appeals to me about this sort of thing.

Vitals comes to us from writer/director Marc Morgenstern. Christopher Showerman, Charlene Amoia, Sachin Metha, Tim Russ, and Claudia Wells co-star. In it Showerman stars as an unassuming electrician who wakes up in an abandoned motel room in a tub of ice with his kidney missing. It’s only a matter of time before he finds his wife in the adjacent room waiting to be the next victim to a horrible organ harvesting organization. Now they must use each other’s wits and skills to escape before their captors return and their dark secrets are revealed.


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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free



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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KISS Meets Army of Darkness in New Comic Miniseries!



Dynamite Entertainment just announced that they are planning to bring two of their bestselling brands together in “KISS/Army of Darkness #1”. The new comic book series will unite the rock band with none other than Ash for some Deadite ass kicking.

The series will be written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims and illustrated by Ruairi Coleman. And the debut issue of “KISS/Army of Darkness” features three art covers from Kyle Strahm, Goni Montes, and Ken Haeser.

You can find all three covers below along with quotes from the creative team. After looking through all of that make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are about this new hybrid comic series in the comments below or on social media!

With Ash vs. The Army of Darkness, Chris and I were given kind of carte blanche to do whatever we wanted to the world of AOD, and we went for broke,” Co-writer Chad Bowers says. “We introduced some new characters and concepts, and built a legacy for Ash’s comics adventures that I’m immensely proud of, but not in a million years could I have guessed we’d get to continue that momentum with the added bonus of tossing the world’s greatest rock n’ roll band into the mix! I’ve been in the tank for KISS since I was in middle school. I remember buying the KISS tribute album, KISS My Ass for the Lemonheads (they covered Plaster Caster), which lead to me picking up Greatest Hits, and so on. But when I found out there was a KISS comic with blood in it, I signed up for life! Of course, I adore the songs (literally listening to Do You Love Me right now), but I’m just as obsessed with the way KISS transcends the music to become something of a genre themselves. It’s something I think about a lot, honestly, so no surprise, it’s a big part of our story too!”

“When it comes to Army of Darkness, I guess you could say that Ash is a bit of a gambler, but he’s nobody’s fool,” Co-writer Chris Sims says. “And since our first story was set back at Alan Shepard High, we’re looking forward to showing him some things that you can’t learn in school. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the deep-cut lyrics now, but for real — if you thought Deadites at Homecoming and the Supernatural Military-Adjacent Response Team were taking Ash in a new direction, just wait until you see how we team him up with the Starchild, Space Ace, the Demon, and the Catman. In the grand tradition of the film, we’re tearing up the entire space-time continuum and if you think you know how weird this is gonna get… well, you sure know somethin’!”

“Having done some work for Dynamite in the past, I’ve really been wanting to get my foot in the door here for a long time so I can play in the sandbox of the amazing licenses they have,” Artist Ruairi Coleman says. “Chief among those, and high up on my bucket list, is Army of Darkness: Hail to the king, baby! So, when I was offered the job of drawing the KISS/Army of Darkness crossover, I couldn’t believe my luck! The concept is totally bonkers, but in a way, that would make complete sense in the world of Army of Darkness. Thinking about it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done already and I’m honored (and more than a little intimidated) to be the guy who draws it.”

“After a more than 40-year career, KISS continues to be one of rock’s most celebrated bands, while Army of Darkness continues to be a staple in the comic book industry. We’re both honored to have the opportunity to work so closely with Gene and Paul to bring their world-renowned alter-egos to comics alongside our very own Ashy Slashy,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “The raging guitar chords and pyrotechnic spectacle of their stage shows could have come straight from the pages of the Necronomicon, and this epic battle between The Demon and Deadites will appeal to the hellions in all of us!”

Issue #1 will be available on digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.

The KISS/Army of Darkness miniseries event hits February 2018.


KISS is on top of the world and rocking faces until the night disciples of The Destroyer show up and the band disappears. With the tour canceled, a young Ash misses one of the most important events of his life that will change his destiny. Now the Chosen One has to get back on the right path and join the KISS ARMY OF DARKNESS!

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Jason Lives Director Pitched Follow-Up: Jason Vs Cheech and Chong



One of my favorite entries in the Friday the 13th series is director ‘s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. The mixture of old-school gothic horror and comedy is always a welcome treat around these parts.

But why wasn’t McLoughlin asked to write and direct the follow-up?

Actually, it turns out he was asked to follow up Jason Lives, McLoughlin recently told Mick Garris on the Post Mortem podcast.

But his pitch – Jason vs Cheech and Chong – didn’t go over so well…

“[Frank Mancuso Jr.] wanted me to do another film after we did Jason,” McLoughlin says. “And I said, ‘What are you thinking? I don’t know what it could be now.’ And he said, ‘Well, what do you think about Freddy (Krueger) and Jason?’ And I go, ‘But Freddy’s at New Line and the guys at Paramount have [Jason].’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to try and see if we can work something out.’ So, I started thinking about that, going, It doesn’t make sense. I mean he lives in one realm and — you know, I take this stuff very seriously, what realm a monster’s supposed to stay in. And he came back, he goes, ‘Eh, forget it, it’s not going to work anyway.’ And I said, ‘You know what? You guys own Cheech and Chong. What if we do Cheech and Chong-meets-Jason? They’re like camp counselors or something. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, I saw Jason out there.’ ‘No, man, that’s a myth.’ But he said, ‘You know what? No.’”

Too bad. While I don’t know how well a Cheech and Chong/Friday the 13th flick would go, with McLoughlin at the helm, the film would have at least been funny as hell.

Plus we already got these two knuckleheads in Part III.

Are you upset we never got Tom McLoughlin’s Jason vs Cheech and Chong? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Friday the 13th: Part VI – Jason Lives on Blu-ray HERE.

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