Exclusive: Carlos Gallardo, Kevin Eastman, and Chee Keong Cheung on the Zombie Action Martial Arts Film REDCON-1 - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Carlos Gallardo, Kevin Eastman, and Chee Keong Cheung on the Zombie Action Martial Arts Film REDCON-1

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When you’ve got a film that’s produced by Carlos Gallardo (El Mariachi, Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico) and Kevin Eastman (co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, editor/publisher of “Heavy Metal” magazine), it’s a film that you pay attention to. That kind of caliber and creativity doesn’t team up on an independent feature all too often, so when it does, there’s a certain obligation to at least keep it on your radar. That film, my friends, is REDCON-1.

Directed by Chee Keong Cheung (Underground, Bodyguard: A New Beginning), the film follows, “A squad of eight Special Forces soldiers [who] are assigned a suicide mission to rescue a scientist from a city ruled by the undead.” Shot in the UK, the film promises to bring a mix of action, horror, and martial arts to the table.

I got the chance to speak with Cheung, Gallardo, and Eastman about the film while also getting several exclusive images. You can see everything below.

REDCON-1 stars Oris Erhuero, Carlos Gallardo, Akira Koieyama, Joshua Dickinson, Martyn Ford, Katarina Waters, Mark Strange, Michael Sheehan, Euan Macnaughton, and Marc Baylis. There is no confirmed release date as of yet.

Photo by Zak Chowdhury

It was really an awesome meeting of the minds that was incidental,” Kevin Eastman, who acts as an executive producer on REDCON-1, tells me, regarding how the project launched. “We all have a mutual friend, Digger Mesch, who, whenever possible, would try to get a bunch of people together for dinner that he thought would hit it off. Digger invited Chee, Carlos, and I and we all just started talking about things that we love. We all just sort of hit it off.” Laughing, he adds, “It was like, ‘You’re awesome and you’re awesome and you’re awesome! Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could all be awesome together?’

Clearly both Eastman and Carlos Gallardo, who not only executive produces but also stars as SGT Frederick Reeves, see something in writer/director Chee Keong Cheung. Gallardo offers a rather impressive comparison, saying, “We got along right away because he reminds me of Robert [Rodriguez] a lot.” That vision saw Gallardo take an interest in giving Cheung a chance at something really special.

It was Chee that, first of all, I saw a director that, if nourished enough and supported enough, he could become a great Hollywood studio director. A lot of people need that break. That was one of the the first things that attracted me to working with him. Then he reminded me of Robert in the way we used to work and we used to create. He loves action and we came to the conclusion that when you do action low budget, what you need is time. If you get enough time, you get those shots that compete with the studio movies,” Gallardo explains.

Eastman connected with the director and his independent mentality, adding, “Chee felt very strongly that the way to maintain his vision with REDCON-1 was to do it independently. Having started out as a self-published independent comic, we linked up mentally.” No stranger to how films are made, Eastman comments, “I’ve been around enough directors to know that when you’re amidst the chaos and Chee is standing in the middle of it saying ‘I’ve got it, it’s under control’, that’s infectious.

Cheung doesn’t take this kind of praise lightly. During our interview, I lost track of how many times he used the word “humbling”, which he meant every time he said it. He knows that making a film like this is no easy task and that having people behind you means everything. “The support of Carlos, Kevin, Shaked [Berenson] and Patrick [Ewald] over at Epic, the overall feeling was ‘Let’s try and make this as big as possible’. That, of course, does pose challenges but the support of everyone made it all possible,” he related.

Photo by Adam Crowther

But what does the movie bring new to the table? After all, we’ve all seen horror that blends various genres. Resident Evil added in sci-fi and martial arts. Deathwatch brought in the war element. What makes REDCON-1 stand out to these three?

Cheung knows that horror fans have seen it before, which is why he purposefully aimed to bring something different to the table, saying, “I wanted to take the story of a viral outbreak and take this premise, which is quite familiar with audiences, and add a little bit of a spin to it.” He continues, “I was always fascinated by war films and I directed a few small, indie action/martial arts films. I thought a fusion of the genres, action, war, martial arts, we could do something quite cool and interesting that could be really unique on screen. I wanted to make something for genre fans, that was the aim.

Gallardo, whose work in the action genre cannot be denied, sees something special about REDCON-1. “It’s a zombie movie with martial arts and a different type of action, a different type of genre that I’ve seen. I saw a little bit of Saving Private Ryan with Black Hawk Down in a zombie world,” he put forward.

For Eastman, he acknowledges the delicate balance that can go awry if not handled carefully. “To me, it was a difficult nut to crack the use of the martial arts as a concept within the horror stuff, which I think he’s done wonderfully. It’s grounding it and making it an important part of the story rather than including it because we think it’d look cool,” he states.

He then adds, “I remember going to the drive-in theater when I was a kid and seeing movies like Night of the Living Dead and I’ve been passionate about zombies and mutated characters since. You always look for something that takes the concept deeper. It’s been done often enough that, how many different things can you do with a zombie? I just felt that what Chee wanted to, with mixing genres…I like the detail, the depth. Chee really thought it through. The multiple genres, the fearlessness of Chee to try take this on and make it what it is and what it’s going to be is fantastic.

Cheung knows that blending multiple genres into one film can be a challenge, but it’s one he’s thrilled to have undertaken. “The film does take inspiration from a lot of films within the genre. We ground the film in a sense of reality. At the heart, at the core, it’s a human story. It’s about the obstacles that these characters encounter and face. I think the aim is to try for audiences to go on a roller coaster ride and go on an adventure.

Photo by Zak Chowdhury

Photo by Zak Chowdhury

Photo by Zak Chowdhury

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Blumhouse’s New Halloween Will Change The Original Film’s Ending (Slightly)

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As you can imagine, one of the films all of us here at Dread Central are looking forward to the most is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The new film is co-written by Danny McBride (as strange as that may sound) and David Gordon Green and will be directed by Green.

Speaking of Kenny Powers himself, Danny McBride, the actor was recently out and about promoting the new season of HBO’s “Vice Principals” and dropped some new insights into Halloween (2018).

“We’re kind of ignoring all the films past the first one,” McBride told Yahoo! “It picks up after the first one, but it’s sort of an alternate reality. It’s as if the first Halloween ended in a slightly different way.”

Really? Interesting… But what about the new film’s tone? Should we be scared, Danny?

“I think you should be very scared,” McBride says. “I mean, this isn’t a comedy at all. I think there was, like, maybe one joke on the page, but the rest is straight horror. So hopefully it gets in people’s heads and keeps them up late at night.”

Sounds good to us!

McBride then talked a bit about how original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis came back into the fold for this new installment.

“I think everyone was kind of on the mindset of it’d be a grab to get her, but no one really knew if we would be able to,” McBride said. “So Dave and I just busted our ass on this script to really make that Laurie Strode character something she wouldn’t be able to say no to. When we finished the script, we sent it to her, and she said she was in. So we just flipped out. We were over the moon about her involvement.”

And finally, Kenny Powers spoke a bit about the huge pressures that are on him and his collaborator David Gordon Green with taking on such a beloved series.

“I just hope that we don’t f*** it up and piss people off,” he said. “This is such a diehard fan base. You don’t want horror fans being your enemies because they show up at your house with masks on. We are diehard fans of Halloween. We’re watching all the sequels and where things have taken left turns here and there that maybe bites for fans, and at least trying to deliver what we would have wanted to see. Hopefully, that will line up with most fans.”

What do you think of McBride’s new comments regarding Blumhouse’s Halloween? Do they make you more (or less) excited to check out the new installent?

Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Halloween (2018) is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green with Green directing. Creator and original director John Carpenter will be acting as executive producer on the new film with franchise regular Malek Akkad producing.

Look for the next Halloween film worldwide on October 19, 2018.

Synopsis:
Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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Exclusive: This Nails Clip Proves Dingy Hospitals Will Always Be Creepy

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Today sees the VOD release of Dark Sky Films’ Nails, the directorial debut of screenwriter and Cinelicious Pics Head of Distribution Dennis Bartok. Following the story of a woman who goes through a near-death car accident only to find herself paralyzed and trapped in her own body. She then becomes convinced that a strange and malevolent entity that she dubs “Nails” is set on destroying her marriage, her family, and, ultimately, her life.

To celebrate the release of the film, we’ve got an exclusive clip that you can watch below. In it, Leah McNamara’s Gemma is walking through the bowels of a hospital when she stumbles across a bed with a working gas mask. When an alarm suddenly goes off, she jumps in surprise, knocking over a nearby tray, spilling sharp instruments across the floor. It’s while she attempts to clean the mess that Nails makes an appearance…

Nails also stars Shauna McDonald, Ross Noble, Steve Wall, and Charlotte Bradley. You can watch the film on iTunes.

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Are You Afraid of the Dark? Film Will Be Dark and Scary

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I don’t know about you guys, but I am a huge fan of Nickelodeon’s 90’s kid’s horror anthology “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”. I even own the entire series on DVD with some of my favorite episodes being “Laughing the Dark” and “Dead Man’s Float”.

It is with this in mind, we are excited as hell to pass along the news that the classic series will be making it’s way to the big screen in the near future!

Gary Dauberman the screenwriter behind such recent horror hits as IT, Annabelle: Creation and The Nun has been tasked with penning the script for the new feature film.

“The show is about the shared experience of telling stories — especially scary ones,” Dauberman told THR. “We’re going to celebrate that with this movie and honor the darker, scarier tone of the show, which was really groundbreaking for Nickelodeon at the time. I hope the Midnight Society approves.”

The flick will be hitting us via producer Matt Kaplan (The Darkness) and Paramount’s new division Paramount Players. Which is headed by Brian Robbins (Varsity Blues) and will work with Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and BET to generate projects.

Did you watch “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” as a kid on Snick? What’re your favorite episodes? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

We will let you know as soon as we hear more on Are You Afraid of the Dark? so stay tuned! Until then, you can buy the entire series on DVD starting right HERE!

Synopsis:

This spooky anthology series for kids recounts ghost stories told by the young members of the Midnight Society as they gather around a campfire. Each episode opens with members of the Midnight Society at their secret spot in the woods, where they prepare their fire and the night’s storyteller announces the title of his or her offering. However, the cameras soon leave the storyteller and switch to the tale being told.

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