Jeffrey Combs Talks Rock and Shock, Playing Poe, and Preparing for Nevermore in Boston - Dread Central
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Jeffrey Combs Talks Rock and Shock, Playing Poe, and Preparing for Nevermore in Boston

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Nevermore

Jeffrey Combs has been a mainstay in the horror genre for decades. This weekend he’ll be one of the featured guests at Rock and Shock in Worcester, MA (October 17-19), promoting his performance of Nevermore in Boston on October 31.

Nevermore is a one-man performance in which Combs channels Edgar Allan Poe. The show will be held in the Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA, on Halloween night at 8 p.m. This is a performance that is not to be missed. Combs is unforgettable in the role of Poe. Interested parties can purchase tickets here. A ticket to the Nevermore performance also entitles the bearer to a screening of Masque of the Red Death, which will be shown after Nevermore.

Nevermore
Combs discussed what audiences can expect when attending a Nevermore performance. “What we try to do is an imaginary recital,” Combs said. “In Poe’s day, that’s really the only way writers could augment their incomes. There was really no such thing as royalties. You sold your story or book once, and that was it. So a lot of writers in his day would hold recitals. They would hold forth in front of a paying audience and read their material or other people’s material. Kind of like a public appearance.”

However, in Combs’ performance things go a bit awry for the legendary writer. “Ours is a little bit different,” Combs said. “It starts out traditionally. If you know anything about Poe, he was kind of his own worst enemy. It corkscrews into self-destruction. He pulls out a bottle at one point, and that’s the catalyst to open the floodgates of frustration at other writers and the situation in America, his own biography, what’s going on in his life. It becomes a raw nerve. And, fortunately, at the end, he rallies and pulls himself together with some kind of grace and poise.”

Combs talked about the various sides of his version of Edgar Allan Poe. “It’s not your traditional ‘wasn’t that sweet’ sort of thing,” Combs says of Nevermore. “Having said that, there’s quite a bit of humor. Poe was quite a witty guy. Whenever I say I do a one-man show of Poe, people’s eyes glass over, and they think that might be a very dark evening indeed. But he had many colors on his palette. I liken him to America’s Van Gogh. A very complex man. I’m only scratching the surface with my little guesstimation. My Poe is sort of the dark version of what Hal Holbrook does with Mark Twain. In fact, he came to see my show, and I cherish that so much. He actually came and saw my show in Los Angeles. It meant so much to me.”

As they have frequently in the past, Combs and Stuart Gordon conceived this project together. “We first started performing Nevermore in 2009,” Combs said. “This all started when I did an episode of the Showtime series “Masters of Horror”. Stuart Gordon was directing and asked me to play Poe in an episode called “The Black Cat.” When we were on set, he kept saying, ‘You’ve gotta do a one-man show.’ And I kept saying, ‘Get outta here. Get outta my face. Not interested.’ So a couple of years go by when he gently, like Yoda, kept prodding me. So I finally asked him what it would be like. He kind of came up with a format, and long story short, we acquired a small black box theater in L.A. and had a four-week run that exploded into six months. Over the course of the next year or so, I was invited to do it all over the country. I’ve been to Alamo Drafthouse. I went to Fantasia in Montreal. I was invited to Baltimore to do it for Poe’s bicentennial as part of that celebration, right next to where he’s buried. That was a huge honor. Nashville, Lincoln Center, San Diego…and now Boston, Poe’s birthplace.”

Jeffrey Combs

With a career as long and storied as Combs’ has been, it carries particular weight to hear him talk about how much this role means to him. “It truly is one of the most meaningful things I’ve ever done,” Combs said. “The whole structure of the evening, about 85 to 90 percent of what I say, is Poe’s words from his essays, letters, poems. I keep discovering things every time I do it. It doesn’t get stale basically because Poe is so vibrant and so complex and there are so many facets to him that it’s kind of like doing Shakespeare. Every time you do it, you go, ‘Whoa, I didn’t hear that before.’ But there it is. My God, it’s layers upon layers of meaning. It’s just the gift that keeps on giving.”

So what does it take to transform from mild-mannered Jeffrey Combs into fiery Edgar Allan Poe? “An actor prepares,” Combs said. “The hardest thing is to get my stamina up. I’ve got to up my treadmill because it’s quite an energetic evening. Poe being Poe, I get pretty wound up. I’ve got to have my body and my voice and my emotion…one of the hardest things to do is to zero down into Poe mode. When I was in my long run, my wife was like, ‘Why are you so depressed or so…’ Melancholy, that was the word. And I was. Well, that’s because… Poe. You sort of stay in the zone. Nothing crazy. I mean, I’m not out in the street taking my underwear around my ankles screaming at the stars or anything. But there’s sort of a cone you buy into. As I get closer to this performance, that’s something I’m going to have to circle around and live with for a little bit.”

To help promote the October 31 performance of Nevermore, Combs is returning to Rock and Shock in Worcester, MA, for the convention on October 17-19. He speaks fondly of the convention itself and his memories of past appearances there. “I was there the first year. I was one of their first guests,” Combs said proudly. “Gina Migliozzi and the organizers are great! I didn’t know them when I first went there, and you never know when you go to these things; you go, ‘Who are these people?’ But they’re just so genuine. They put on such a great convention. It’s been years since I’ve been back. I went there the first year, and maybe two or three years later I went back. I always have a great time. They’re imaginative and they have such a great hybrid with the music and the fan base as well. Great locale, good people. I’m really looking forward to going back. I think it’s one of the premier events in the country. It’s really grown into that.”

Nevermore

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Ryan Schifrin’s Abominable Gets a Sasquatch-Sized Blu-Ray

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A recent scientific study concluded that since the year 2000 there have 4,374,139 killer Bigfoot movies. 2006’s Abominable is one of the better Sasquatch-ploitation flicks of the era. Now this creature feature is getting a collector’s edition blu-ray complete with a brand new cut of the gruesome flick.

MVD Rewind Collection has announced they’re planning a special edition of Ryan Schifrin’s gory Hitchcock-influenced Bigfoot flick Abominable, which cast Matt McCoy as a wheelchair bound man who begins Rear Window-ing a psycho Sasquatch terrorizing his hot-blooded cabin neighbors that then turns his big foot towards him. Lance Henriksen, Dee Wallace, Jeffrey Combs, Tiffany Shepis, Haley Joel, Karin Anna Cheung, and Paul Gleason co-star.

It has been sighted 42,000 times in 68 countries, a vicious creature of myth and legend called Sasquatch, Yeti, and perhaps most infamously, Bigfoot. It’s been hunted it for years. But what happens when it decides to hunt us?



After recovering from a horrific accident, paraplegic Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy) moves back into the remote cabin where he and his now-deceased wife once lived. When his new neighbor Karen, is attacked by a gigantic creature, Rogers contacts the local authorities. But after the police and those around him dismiss Rogers as a delusional widower, he sets out to stop the abominable creature himself.

This won’t be your typical collector’s edition as not only will be getting a new high definition transfer of the film originally shot on 35mm, this will also include an all-new cut of the film with improved CGI-effects overseen by filmmaker Schifrin and editor Chris Conlee with enhanced color timing and correction.

As if two cuts of the film weren’t enough, MVD’s Abominable release will also boast a ton of extras both new and ported over from the original DVD release:
-Brand New 2k Remaster of the Film from the Original Camera Negative
-Brand New Introduction from Director Ryan Schifrin (HD)
-‘Basil & Mobius: No Rest For The Wicked’ (16:28, HD) – New short film written and directed by Ryan Schifrin featuring a score by legendary composer Lalo Schifrin and starring Zachari Levi, Ray Park, Malcolm McDowell and Kane Hodder
-Audio Commentary with writer/director Ryan Schifrin, Actors Matt McCoy and Jeffrey Combs
-‘Back to Genre: Making ABOMINABLE” featurette (SD)
-Deleted and Extended Scenes (SD)
-Outtakes and Bloopers (SD)
-“Shadows” Director Ryan Schifrin’s USC Student Film (SD)
-The original 2005 version of “Abominable” (Blu-ray only, 94 mins, SD)
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Poster & Still Gallery Storyboard Gallery
-Collectible Poster
-Audio: 5.1 Surround Audio (Uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)

The MVD Rewind Collection release of Abomimable stomps its way to blu-ray on June 12th.

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Horror Retro Caps Boasts Hats Featuring The Lamp, The Video Dead, Rosemary’s Killer and more!

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Yesterday I was stumbling around on Instagram and I came across this killer account called @horrorretrocaps. They make horror movie-themed hats and I felt the need to share their work with you guys today.

It’s not so much the hats (which are cool), or the quality of the product (which looks sound as a pound) but it is the obvious love of horror by the guys behind the scenes that gets me all warm and fuzzy.

I mean sure there are products like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But they also have hats celebrating such classics as The Outing, The Lamp (hell, yeah!), The Gate, Zombie Lake, and The Video Dead.

Nice!

On top of that, the product that sealed the deal for me was their Rosemary’s Killer hat. As some of you might know, Rosemary’s Killer is the alternate title of Joseph Zito’s underrated slasher The Prowler. That alone just earned them horror-cred for days.

You can check out some of their choice caps below and then head on over to their account to purchase some product: @horrorretrocaps.

All caps are $15 plus $4 shipping in the U.S., and he also takes requests for $20.

Enjoy!

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Jurassic Park T-Rex Stomps Through Ready Player One Trailer #3

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Is that the f*cking T-Rex!?

It was only earlier this week that we brought you guys the new “pure 80’s nostalgia” poster (to the right) for Steven Spielberg’s new action-adventure film Ready Player One.

And if all the promotional materials we have seen thus far haven’t done anything to raise your interest in the film (including trailers which featured Freddy Krueger, Chucky, Christine, and King Kong) then today’s new might not help matters much.

But all the same today we have a new trailer which features the mighty T-Rex from Spielberg’s own Jurassic Park and a bunch of new character posters for good measure.

I’m just going to come right out and say that as impressed as I am with the trailers for this film, I can’t help but feel someone watched theImaginationland episode of “South Park” and thought, “Mother of God… call Steven Speilberg!”

You can check out the character posters and the new trailer below and then let us know what you think of the film thus far.

Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg from a script by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline, based on the novel by Cline. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Mark Rylance, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, and Ben Mendelsohn.

The film hits theaters March 29, 2018.

Synopsis:

When the creator of an MMO called the Oasis dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all Oasis users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.

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