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The Blood Stream: Proteus

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The Blood Stream: ProteusThe Blood Stream mines the Internet for horror gold so you don’t have to, delivering streamable horror titles never before featured on Dread Central. Occasionally I’ll dredge up something good, maybe even great. To find those gems, I’ll have to sift through a lot of breathtakingly bad cinema. Enjoy!

It’s hard to think of many movies more intentionally, non-ironically derivative than Proteus (1995).

First the obvious: A group of unsuspecting people happens upon an oil rig housing a dark, mutated secret. Right off the bat we’ve got direct plagiarism of maritime monster movies like Leviathan and Deepstar Six, albeit a decade late and several million production dollars short. (Obviously Leviathan > Deepstar. I will hear no argument on the subject.) But Proteus‘ shameless cribbing doesn’t end there.

Proteus

With the exception of the finale’s more or less passable money shot, the gloppy, haphazard creature effects are a halfhearted knockoff of Bob Bottin’s work in The Thing. Wailing, drawn out violin tones make the comparison unavoidable. Instead of Bottin’s elaborately articulated nightmare creations, Proteus features little more than a few pulsating piles of rubber doused with motor oil. Occasionally, for no reason at all, the monsters take the form of actors wearing Halloween masks. Other times they’re literally just clumps of latex dangling from a string through a hole in the ceiling. The illusion is less than convincing.

Proteus

As if all that wasn’t enough to cram into one B-movie, somebody apparently decided to squeeze in The Usual Suspects as well. The exposition scenes of Proteus feature two elements that closely mirror the intro to The Usual Suspects: A boat explosion presented with no context and a tense, one-on-one dialogue between a bloodied hero and a half-seen, cigarette smoking aggressor.

Proteus

Both movies were released in August 1995, but The Usual Suspects screened at Cannes the preceding May. That would have been more than enough time for an opportunistic production company to order hasty reshoots in hopes of capitalizing on what everyone knew was going to be a big hit. Unfortunately, they must have run out of time. After the first two minutes, this interview scene — clearly intended to bookend the narrative — never shows up again. Just like that…it’s gone.

I still enjoyed parts of Proteus for sheer nostalgia. If you haven’t seen it yet and you have fond memories of cheesy, late 20th century sci-fi/horror, you might too. Proteus hits virtually every every 80s/90s action movie cliche with gusto.

Proteus

Our hero sports huge, perpetually oiled muscles. He wears his pants hiked up to the ribcage, matched with a puffy, tucked-in t-shirt. His girlfriend is inexplicably able to decipher technical schematics, often exclaiming, “It must have been some kind of genetic experiment!” Corporate conspiracies, ethical violations, human-voiced auto-destruct sequences, diving away from explosions…I could go on but I suddenly have an overpowering urge to listen to Smashing Pumpkins and play Magic: The Gathering.

Add Proteus to your Netflix queue.

Proteus

Though the effects, direction and editing are terrible (from the team that brought you Carnosaur!), the cast isn’t half bad. Granted, they’re forced to play New England heroin smugglers with names like Chrissy, Mark and Linda. (GANGSTA!) But they do a decent job with what they’re given. Especially fun is the macho leading man, Craig Fairbrass, whose gruff, London accent will be familiar to fans of the Modern Warfare video game series. I recognized him as Delmar, the hired gun/soccer enthusiast in Cliffhanger who almost kicked Michael Rooker off a mountain.

Fairbrass is a little like a cockney Nathan Fillion on steroids. I wonder if his toned physique got him typecast as a Stallone/Schwarzenegger wannabe, curtailing a possibly grander career. He has solid comedic timing, delivering jokes so naturally they feel ad libbed. In Proteus this hulking, machine gun toting man-beast spends the first act getting his ass handed to him by little old men and mousey research scientists. His wounded masculine pride leads to dry, exasperated quips like, “That’s the second time today I’ve been thrown around the room by a complete stranger. My confidence now is very, very low.”

Proteus

Alas, Proteus is a movie you’re likely to enjoy only if you’re hard up and/or partaking in a few cocktails. Instead, why not stream yourself a little Death Machine?

Vastly wackier and even more dated than Proteus, Death Machine is also derivative sci-fi horror that will never escape the era in which it was made. Nevertheless it’s a good deal more fun and feels much more like a viable piece of entertainment. And who doesn’t love goofy styrofoam power armor?

Proteus

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date

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Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December

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Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!

Synopsis:

Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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Waxwork Records Unveils Phenomenal 2018 Subscription Package

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Our pals over at Waxwork Records have unveiled their 2018 subscription bundle and it’s packed to the brim with some absolutely fantastic titles! Horror fans who enjoy spinning their music on turntables can look forward to two Romero titles, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and lastly they’ll have Jordan Peele’s smash success title Get Out. On top of getting those five records, those who join the subscription program will also receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, poster, notebook, magnet, enamel pin, calendar, and more.

For Night of the Living Dead, Waxwork Records worked closely with the film’s original creators, including Romero himself prior to his passing, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Criterion Collection so that they could source audio from the 4K restoration. It will be released as a 2xLP package.

Dawn of the Dead will also get a 2xLP release that will include brand new artwork, re-mastered audio, and more. The same kind of treatment is being given to The ‘Burbs. Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell soundtrack will be a single LP but will get the same level of attention and quality as the other titles.

As for Peele’s Get Out. Michael Abels; score will be released on a 2xLP vinyl set and will pay tribute to one of the most culturally significant movies of the past several years.

The Waxwork Records subscription package will be $250 ($285 in Canada) and will open up for sale this Friday, the 24th. More information can be found on Waxwork’s website.

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