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Director Gary Shore Tells On Dracula Untold

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Director Gary Shore likens the Dracula myth to a game of Chinese Whispers. Also known as Telephone or Pass It On, this is an age-old game played around the world, in which one person whispers a message to another, and the words are then passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. The story from first to last is often drastically changed.

Having said that, Shore’s version of Dracula is actually quite traditional.

Gary Shore Draciula Untold

In the movie Prince Vlad Dracul (Luke Evans) is forced to choose between losing as a mortal or becoming invincible as an immortal. Some choice, eh? Of course, it is a dilemma because as a vampire Vlad is not only cursed with an insatiable lust for blood, he risks losing the two people he loves most: his wife and young son.

Read on to see what Shore has to say about being far down in a long line of Chinese whisperers (by way of Dublin) and how he strove to make his film a standout.

Dread Central: I’ve gotta say your lead, Luke Evans, has this old world look that’s very believable. He’s not a pretty boy, which is what the studios usually want, so, how did he come on board?

Gary Shore: Luke had worked at the studio, Universal, on Fast and Furious 6, and he had already done a ton of research on Dracula. And he just came with a lot of ideas. He was the first, last, and only person that I spoke to; and I was blessed to have him. And you’re right: He does have a very old world look, like one of those 1960s leading men. He is a man’s man. He does give it a bit of character and history.

DC: Can you talk a little bit about how you came to the project? Was it already set in stone, like the script and everything, or did you help develop it?

GS: The script development was in flux when I came on to the project two and a half years ago; it was probably about 70% of what it is now. There is more of the film, and we shot a lot more than what ends up in the final film. There were a couple characters that were there, that we had to unfortunately cut out, but other than that, it’s always just a process. And then I’ll have a particular version that I’ll work on with producers and then the studio, and then once you get the actors, a lot of that is sort of moved around. It’s like what Harrison Ford once said to George Lucas, he said, “George, you can type this shit, but you sure as hell can’t say it.”

DC: That’s true. Dialogue has to flow. So does the imagery. Where’d you shoot? And it looks like there’s a lot of CGI, but it seems organic to the whole dark fantasy look of the film.

GS: We shot it in Northern Ireland around Belfast. I would say that maybe 60% of the film was shot interior. We had some really beautiful locations to give you more forest and the mountains. We shot it on film because we wanted to take the opportunity while it is still being used… and may finish up being used in the next couple of years or five years. But I wanted to take that opportunity and use it, and so it was all trying to make things grounded and be real, but it was also shot in a very kind of classical way. And when we needed to have fun with the camera, we would wait for the appropriate times, but for the most part it’s done in quite a classical way. The effects that are there and the effects that we tried to use were trying to complement the scene.

DC: Are you an aficionado of the Dracula legend, or did the more grounded aspects of the story draw you in?

GS: I think I was more fascinated with the real life of Vlad the Third of Romania. I just have an interest in history… I had been reading up about him, and when I got the script, I had this great opportunity to try and take some of that history up. You can’t go into it all, but take some of those seeds of history and combine it or bridge it to the task. Regarding previous Dracula movies, there has been so much mythology that has been made up through those different films. There’s all these different kinds of bonkers versions — at one time I remember seeing one Dracula film where he was playing in a snooker championship!

Dracula Untold (review) stars Luke Evans as the titular bloodsucker alongside Charles Dance, Sarah Gadon, Samantha Barks, Thor Kristjansson, Art Parkinson, Zach McGowan, and Dominic Cooper.

Universal’s dramatic horror movie tells the origin story of the most famous of vampires. Michael De Luca is producing the project, and commercials helmer Gary Shore is making his directorial debut.

Synopsis
Luke Evans is starring as the most famous of vampires in an origin story that sees a Transylvanian prince risk eternal damnation in order to save his wife and son from a Turkish horde. Barks plays a figure in Eastern European folk tales known as a baba yaga, a beautiful young woman who turns into a savage witch. Kristjansson is Bright Eyes, an Eastern European taken as a slave as a young boy and now a vicious assassin in the Ottoman Army. Parkinson portrays Dracula’s son, named Ingeras.

Dracula Untold

Dracula Untold
Dracula Untold

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Check Out the Opening 2 Minutes of Another WolfCop

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It was just earlier today that we brought you guys The Dude Design’s the newest poster for writer-director Lowell Dean’s horror-comedy sequel Another WolfCop.

And now we have the movie’s opening 2 minutes!

The clip showcases the new flick’s villain trying to sell us on his “Chicken Milk Beer” before losing his cool and taking it out the commercial’s crew. We then cut to a ragtag group of criminals, dressed as homeless Santas trying to outrun the cops.

A fun two-minutes if you ask me!

You can check out Another WolfCop‘s opening scene below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on social media!

The film is written and directed by Lowell Dean, produced by Bernie Hernando, Deborah Marks, and Hugh Patterson, and distributed worldwide by Cineplex.

Another WolfCop co-stars Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, and Serena Miller. The film also features special appearances from Canadian music icon Gowan and legendary filmmaker Kevin Smith. It was executive produced by Sean Buckley, J. Joly, Bill Marks, Brian Wideen, Michael Kennedy, and Michael Hirsch.

The film is slated for a wide Cineplex theatrical release on Friday, December 8, 2017, with the film seeing a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital home entertainment release through A71 and Black Fawn in 2018.

Synopsis:

A month has passed since the eclipse transformed hard-drinking Officer Lou Garou into the crime-fighting hellion WolfCop. Although the Shape Shifters controlling the town have been extinguished, Woodhaven is far from returning to normal. Lou’s liquor-fueled antics and full moon outbursts are seriously testing his relationship with Officer Tina Walsh – the new Chief of Police. An old friend has mysteriously reappeared with a truly bizarre secret to share, and a homicidal new villain has emerged from the shadows looking to finish what the Shape Shifters started. To defeat this lethal adversary, it will take more than a lone wolf packing a pistol.

Prepare for the next chapter of WolfCop that will be more dirty and hairy than the original! Consider yourself warned.

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The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror

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Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods


The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom
4.0

Summary

In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

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User Rating 3.9 (10 votes)
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Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – First Trailer and Artwork!

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As a fan of flicks like Mad Monster Party, I was surprisingly pleased with the last two Hotel Transylvania affairs. For my money you can put the classic monsters in just about anything, and I’ll watch it happily, and these animated features feel like a natural progression of the 1967 Rankin and Bass classic. Which is why I’m looking forward to Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and if you are too, check out the film’s new trailer and poster.

Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who co-wrote the film with Michael McCullers, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation features the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, and Mel Brooks.

Look for it in theaters on July 13, 2018.

Synopsis:
In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans.

But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

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