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Michael Jackson Rises from the Grave for Animated Halloween Special on CBS

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Thriller

It’s still kind of hard to believe that Michael Jackson is gone… while that may be true, his legacy continues to live on, especially amongst horror fans as John Landis’ music video for his song “Thriller” continues to be a much beloved favorite and rightly so.

There’s more spooky to come, however…

From the Press Release:
“MICHAEL JACKSON’S HALLOWEEN,” a new one-hour animated adventure with Michael Jackson’s acclaimed music as its soundtrack, will be broadcast for the first time this fall on the CBS Television Network.

Created and produced by Optimum Productions, the Michael Jackson company now owned by his estate, the special will feature the voices of actors Christine Baranski, Kiersey Clemons, Alan Cumming, George Eads, Brad Garrett, Lucy Liu, Jim Parsons, and Lucas Till.

Michael Jackson's Halloween Special

The special follows millennials Vincent (Lucas Till) and Victoria (Kiersey Clemons), who meet “accidentally” on Halloween night and find themselves, along with Ichabod the dog, at a mysterious hotel located at 777 Jackson Street called This Place Hotel. Once inside, Vincent and Victoria are sent on an unexpected, magical adventure of personal discovery, culminating in a spectacular dance finale featuring an animated Michael Jackson.

“MICHAEL JACKSON’S HALLOWEEN” was created and produced by Optimum Productions, with animation production by Hammerhead. John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, serve as executive producers. Daniel Chuba is the producer, and Mark A.Z. Dippé is the director.

That being said…

Darkness falls across the land
The midnite hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’awl’s neighborhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse’s shell
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of … the thriller!

Thriller

Michael Jackson's Thriller

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Interview: Publishing Director Tom Walker on the Love Folio Society Gives to Horror Novels

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Horror fans are quite often collectors. Whether its posters, Blu-rays and/or DVDs, figures, memorabilia, or something else, we’ve always been archivists of the genre in some way, shape, or form. For many, the love of horror extends off the screen and into the pages of a book, where the writings of King, Lovecraft, Koontz, Shelley, and Stoker raise the hairs on the back of our neck and make us afraid to turn to the next page for fear of what our imagination will conjure.

Much like the difference between a bargain bin Blu-ray pales in comparison to a Scream Factory or Arrow Video treatment, the world of books has a similar situation. One can get a generic paperback edition of a book and enjoy a story for all that it has to offer and no one can, or should, fault them for appreciating it in that method. But I think we all know the feeling when we get our hands on a product where love and care exudes from every portion of what we hold. Just think back to that feeling when you got your first Blu-ray with a loving HD restoration, a robust special features section, and gorgeous artwork that made your eyes linger. When it comes to books, that kind of treatment is offered with everyone of Folio Society‘s releases.

Founded in 1947, the London-based publisher aims to release editions that should be “…presented in a form worthy of their contents.” Painstakingly crafted, each book that they release takes months, if not years, for a final product to be agreed upon where every aspect is considered to the nth degree. As they themselves explain, “…each book is considered as an individual object of value in its own right, there is a variety to our aesthetic – the only uniformity is in the quality of every single book.”

While Folio Society does not focus solely on genre fare, they have released many classic titles from that world, including the recent edition of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, which featured brand new artwork by frequent Neil Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean. To celebrate those who put enormous amounts of effort into celebrating and cherishing the genre we so dearly appreciate and love, I had the chance to interview Folio Society’s Publishing Director Tom Walker about the company, specific titles they’ve released, and what’s coming next. Please enjoy!


Dread Central: The Folio Society has been creating beautiful editions for over 70 years. Can you tell me a bit about how you not only honour the legacy of the books you have in your catalogue but also the legacy of The Folio Society itself?

Tom Walker: I often feel overwhelmed walking through our library at the scale of what we have produced since 1947 – I know how much energy it takes to get one book right, so to do it with thousands, the library is an extraordinary feat. The thing that surprises me most though is how little we have changed since then. Our goal is fundamentally the same – to bring classic books to new audiences by producing them in a spectacular and lasting form. It’s a thrilling and a noble ideal really, so it feels an honour to be part of a publisher which has such a living tradition running through it.

DC: What do you look for in a book to find it worthy of The Folio Society treatment?

TW: That is a never-ending question, and one we constantly debate within our publishing team. Beyond the perhaps obvious considerations of the book having a stature to carry a fine edition, I look for books that are the best within their genre and will lend themselves well to an illustrated edition. Definitions of ‘classic’ works are slippery, but I like to think that Folio plays its part in helping to canonise certain books and authors, and to ensure they are read and re-read down the generations. The most important consideration for me is always that someone within Folio must love the book – it takes a certain level of obsession to create books like ours.

DC: Clearly an enormous amount of love and care goes into every book that you release. From the paper to the binding, the lettering to the new forewords, the slipcases and the printing… It all combines into something that is as much a work of art as the story the book itself contains. How does this process work for each novel?

TW: Well there are certain elements which are consistent but fundamentally we treat each book uniquely and with the respect it deserves, so when we decide to publish something we’ll think long and hard about how it could best be published, and over the course of it production we will consider every tiny detail. The editor and the art directors will likely have a vision of the final book quite early on, but it will always change through various stages of creative intervention – from the typographer, from the commissioned artist, from the author or introducer. We’re trying to match the form with the content and often that can involve restraint as much as it can involve a lavish design. So long as the aesthetics match those of the book and interplay in interesting ways, we have done our job well. We’re hugely fortunate to have an in-house team which loves creative collaboration and makes such a process possible.

DC: The Folio Society doesn’t discriminate by genre, offering anything from comedy to tragedy with everything in between. For horror fans, that means a great deal as the genre often gets looked down upon. What responsibility do you feel The Folio Society has in showcasing the validity and importance of all styles of writing?

TW: Often the very best writing is to be found in non-traditional genres, as I’m sure your readers will have noticed. Writers – particularly those with something genuinely new to say – don’t always like being confined to the expectations of a conventional genre. Horror, science fiction and other genres have undoubtedly been a refuge for some of the finest writers over the years. Folio is also in a unique position for a publisher in being able to showcase a wide range of genres – most publishers will tend to specialise in certain areas where we range quite freely. A lot of our readers will buy whole libraries from us, and no good private library will ever contain one genre. It’s thrilling too to be able to introduce readers to new authors they wouldn’t otherwise have considered except through us.

DC: Getting into specific titles, what can you tell me about the creation of your release of The Call of Cthulhu & Other Weird Stories? Was there anything that stands out about that particular release?

TW: That was an unusual project in a number of ways, not least because we produced two editions at the same time – a limited edition alongside our collector’s edition – and I must say the collector’s edition is in itself quite an extraordinary thing. Two elements stand out most for me with this edition. The first is the introduction by Alan Moore. It’s one of the finest I’ve commissioned in a decade of working at Folio, and makes the case for Lovecraft in a hugely compelling fashion. Secondly the vision at work here is very much that of the artist, Dan Hillier, who was involved in every level, from the artwork to the slipcase and solander-box box design to the decision to blacken the foredges of the book. It’s one of those projects where everything came together in a serendipitous and very fun way, and I think it stands up to Lovecraft’s extraordinary tales.

DC: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist is obviously a huge title for horror fans across generations. How do you go about honoring such a title?

TW: When we decided to publish this novel –an easy decision! – we were looking at artists to commission and came across the Lonely Road edition which had been illustrated by Caniglia. We knew of his work already and were so impressed by it that we asked Lonely Road if they would allow us to re-use it for our edition. They were graciousness itself, and through working with Caniglia we were able to include some material from him unique to our edition and what we ultimately produced is, I think, quite stunning.

DC: You have a glorious edition of The Shining from Stephen King. Will we see any more offerings from The Folio Society for King’s work?

TW: I do hope so. Watch this space!

DC: It seemed over the past several years that physical media was going to slowly disappear as electronic options became more and more popular. However, we’re seeing a resurgence of love for being able to have something tangible. What is your stance on physical versus digital, especially in your field where Kindles and Nooks and tablets are obviously very convenient?

TW: I’ve always felt that the rise of digital media has been Folio’s greatest opportunity. We all read so much online and on tablets but the pull of the physical isn’t going away, and I think Folio is part of a resurgence in crafted and thought-through objects – and writing – which people appreciate all the more as so much of our media is so ephemeral.

DC: What is coming up that you’re excited for at The Folio Society?

TW: It takes somewhere between eighteen months and three years to create a Folio Society edition, and I am always most excited about the books we have in the programme that far ahead. But I can’t tell you about any of them! A couple which have just been released I’m particularly proud of are Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, and Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf – both amazing novels, and both now in Folio formats which are utterly addictive.

DC: To end things, I’d love to know what is your dream book that you would love to be able to bring into The Folio Society’s catalogue?

TW: My dream book is always the next book I add to the catalogue, so luckily for me I don’t have to choose – you do!

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Bob & Mews Return in STRANGER THINGS 3 Promo

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One of the best surprises held within this past season’s Stranger Things 2 was Sean Astin as Bob. Another great addition was Dustin’s kitty Mews. But alas these two things were not meant to be.

And so it is utterly delightful to see them together for the first time in this new promo trailer for the upcoming Stranger Things 3.

You can check out the promo below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The show stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, and Charlie Heaton.

Synopsis:

A love letter to the supernatural classics of the 80’s, Stranger Things is the story of a young boy who vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one very strange little girl.

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Which Classic Movie Would Rob Zombie Like to Remake?

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This past year, Rob Zombie hosted HDNet’s 13 Nights of Halloween. During the gig, he was asked a series of fan questions in a fun video, which you can check out in its entirety below. One of the fun questions was “Which horror movie would you like to remake?” And Zombie’s reply was very interesting.

One thing I always thought was possible was to remake The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” Zombie said. “Because the creature itself, in that phenomenal suit they constructed, could be exactly the same. So I think Creature from the Black Lagoon could be a cool one.”

How would you feel about a Rob Zombie directed remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon? Make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

Synopsis:

Remnants of a mysterious animal have come to light in a remote jungle, and a group of scientists intends to determine if the find is an anomaly or evidence of an undiscovered beast. To accomplish their goal, the scientists (Antonio Moreno, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Whit Bissell) must brave the most perilous pieces of land South America has to offer. But the terrain is nothing compared to the danger posed by an otherworldly being that endangers their work and their lives.

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