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The Horrors of Fantasia: Day Seven

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We’re mid-week and the first seven days into Fantasia, and things are starting to seem a little more sedate around the Hall building. The opening week excitement has faded a little, and folks are mentally starting to prepare for the second weekend, which promises to be wild as the Rue Morgue crew is slated to roll in any day now.

From left to  right; Mitch, Andy, Scooter, Mark, Harvey, and Mike On to the screenings… Even though the trailer made it look exceedingly dumb, I had heard good things about SARS Wars and decided to take a gamble on it. I’m glad I did because after a couple of slow-paced clunkers the past few days, SARS Wars provided just the irreverent zombie energy injection the audience needed. Check out my review here.

Afterwards a few of us caught dinner at a shamefully overpriced tourist trap. Stories were shared, much sub-par food was consumed, and we all lamented the news that legendary Montreal strip club, Cleopatra’s, is going to be demolished.

Bellies full, we meandered back to the Hall building for a screening of David Moreau and Xavier Palud’s Ils (aka Them). Horror fans have come to expect a lot of nastiness from French horror films of late, and Them delivers. Though the film isn’t gory in the slightest, it is a moderately creepy crowd pleaser with a pitch black ending. At the very least it’ll have you checking your locks an extra time before you go to bed. Check out McCannibal’s review here.

July 13th is promising to be one of the most fun days of the festival. We’ll be seeing the Swedish vampire flick Frostbite, and Suicide Club director Sion Sono will be on hand to screen his latest film Strange Circus.

Evil Andy

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Video: The Shape of Water Q&A with Guillermo del Toro and Doug Jones at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre

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This past weekend at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA betwixt a double screening of The Shape of Water and the classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the former’s director Guillermo del Toro (and star Doug Jones) sat down to discuss the latter’s influence on the film, Gill-man sex, “one sock movies,” his career in the genre, and more with moderator Jonah Ray, and we were there to film a portion of it.

Our sincere thanks to American Cinematheque general manager Dennis Bartok for extending the invitation.

For more Cinematheque screenings, visit the official website here.

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Michael C. Hall Buried in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

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Now here’s an audio book we can REALLY get behind! Entertainment Weekly is reporting that former “Dexter” star Michael C. Hall will be narrating the first ever unabridged recording of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Sometime’s audio is better!

Readers have been asking for this audiobook for a very long time,” Stephen King said in a statement. “I know the listening experience will be worth the wait with Michael as narrator.

We’re thrilled to finally bring Pet Sematary to King’s audiobook fans,” Simon & Schuster Audio president and publisher Chris Lynch added. “Michael C. Hall is a perfect match for this timeless story, which has long deserved an unabridged production.

The unabridged audiobook of Pet Sematary will be released by Simon & Schuster Audio on March 27. Speaking of Hall… you know he would make a pretty friggin’ good casting choice to play Victor Pascow in the upcoming Pet Sematary remake. Just sayin’.

BUY IT NOW!

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Saw-inspired Game Play With Me Sets a Trap on Steam

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Saw fans have a lot to be happy about right now. In addition to Jigsaw being teased for Dead by Daylight, a new Saw-themed game called Play With Me has launched on Steam, and although it’s not officially connected with the franchise in any way, developer Airem promised that they created a videogame which looks and plays as though it were made by Jigsaw himself. As you can tell from the trailer and screenshots, the production values and overall quality of Play With Me appear to be considerably higher than most other indie horror games released on Steam, and you’ll probably be very happy to see that Airem took the time and effort to create stylized hand drawn environments rather than using purchased assets from the Unity Store.

The killer behind the sinister traps in Play With Me is known as the Illusion, with the player taking control of investigative journalist Robert Hawk as he tries to fight his way through a series of sick and twisted obstacles created by the lunatic. The voice acting in the trailer was a little cheesy, although we see at 1:09 that the player will be tasked with using a kitchen knife to cut open a dead body (presumably to retrieve an item hidden in the cadaver’s stomach), which is not an image you’ll be forgetting anytime soon.

IQ Publishing are offering a 15% discount off Play With Me for those who purchase the game before January 24, so Saw fans might want to mark that deadline in their calendars and purchase it from Steam before the time is up. After all, it can’t be worse than Konami’s awful official Saw videogames.

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