AFM 2017: Day 1 Recap and Introduction - Dread Central
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AFM 2017: Day 1 Recap and Introduction



Setting: Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
Time: 8:15am
Mood: High energy and frantic
Smell: Cash, lots and lots of it

Truth be told, I first came to the Loews Hotel yesterday to pick up my press badge and help the Epic Pictures Group (Booth #747) people help set up stuff in their rooms. Turns out I’m really good at hanging up curtain rods, y’all! However, since everyone was in “setup” mode, there wasn’t much of a reason to go meandering around to meet up with anyone. After all, why would they want to chat when they don’t feel like they’re putting on their A game? That’d piss them off and leave them feeling flustered and we can’t have that, now can we? So let’s consider Halloween as American Film Market Day -1 and today, November 1st, AFM Day 1, alright?

After coming into the hotel and setting up shop at Epic’s booth (this is my home base and will be for the rest of the fest), it’s time to make my way around the hotel, where it feels like literally every single room has been converted for AFM purposes. That means that all beds have been taken out (the headboards are still up against the wall) and each room has been converted to allow for standing displays, easels, tables for meetings, additional chairs, and so on and so forth. I can’t imagine what kind of logistical nightmare the staff had to go through to make this happen, but bless ’em for all their hard work.

Now, some of you might be wondering what the purpose of AFM is, and that’s a totally legitimate question. Simply put, it’s a place where ungodly amounts of deals are made in the entertainment industry. In fact, the average amount of money spent on deals at this Market is around $1 billion dollars. Yes, that’s a “b” and not an “m.” People bring films from around the world, and as a result, buyers come from the far reaches of the globe to get their hands on titles that they think are good for their markets.

So who comes to AFM? The answer to that question can be broken down into three specific groups (with a great amount of generalization, admittedly):

Buyers: These are the people who are looking for films to add to their library. They buy films for specific markets, which are regions across the globe. If you want to know how specific this gets, it can be as focused as free TV rights in Germany or subscription VOD rights in Bulgaria. They’re here to spend money.

Sellers: These are the people who have films and want to sell them to buyers in regions and markets across the globe. They’re here to make money.

Creators: These are the directors, producers, etc. They’re in a rather interesting place because they are looking for both buyers AND sellers. They are often seeking sales agents who will take care of the negotiating and selling of their property to buyers, who want the films for certain markets.

There’s a fourth group of people, and that’s press, who are people like me. Ergo, no one important.

What happens throughout the day is buyers go to the rooms of sellers during predetermined meetings to do some research, check out trailers/promos/sizzle reels/behind-the-scenes videos of available titles, do some negotiating, and see if a deal can be made. If yes, great! If not, on to the next room. As for the creators, they’re around… somewhere.

As for myself, I’m out making the rounds going to various rooms to chat with the distributors to establish relationships and do some networking so that I can get information about films that I think will interest you, the readers. I also get to watch the same trailers/promos/sizzle reels/behind-the-scenes videos that I previously mentioned so that I can keep certain films in mind for when the press circus begins and we get to publicly talk about movies that I think deserve serious recognition.

One example is when I stopped by Bank Side Films’ display and watched their trailers for Possum and The Hole in the Ground. The former is an arthouse film that stars Sean Harris (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) and is about a man who returns home and stays with his cruel stepfather, all while dealing with a bothersome (and frankly terrifying looking) puppet. The latter is best described as an Irish The Babadook. That alone should be enough to get some of your ears twitching, so I’ll simply leave it at that.

Other rooms that I stopped by include Full Moon Empire (seeing all those Puppet Master 1:1 scale figures is just awesome, I assure you), Raven Banner, High Octane Pictures, Octane Entertainment, The Asylum, and a lot more. I hit my FitBit step goal by midday, so I’m not terribly concerned about those In-N-Out burgers that I had for lunch.

Each room that has relevant titles is quite fascinating as you can see the range of genre fare being offered. From B-horror schlock to serious, intense scares, the Market offers options for every kind of moviegoer imaginable.

Since AFM goes through November 8th, you’ll definitely be seeing additional information come out, including photos, exclusives, and more. For now, it’s past midnight LA time (which is past 3am ET in my home state of Michigan), so I’m going to leave you with these photos from the hallways and the official poster.

If there is anything you want me to check out or grab photos of, hit me up on Twitter and let me know!

More to come soon, I promise!

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Buy Stuff From Eibon Press, Get More Stuff For Free



Eibon Press have announced that they’re starting Black Friday a day early and will be running their specials for almost a week, through November 28th. This year, they’re doing something a little different, a little more interesting. Rather than reduce prices on their inventory, they’re doing a deal where depending on how much you buy from their store, you’ll get a certain amount of free swag in addition to your order.

The first tier sees anyone who makes a purchase getting two double-sided mini-posters featuring art from their upcoming Bottomfeeder and Maniac and The New York Ripper series. The second tier sees anyone who spends at least $30 getting a free copy of their VHS Comics titles Laserblast plus the mini-posters. The final tier is for those who spend $50 and more and that will net the mini-posters, the #1 issue of Laserblast, and a free copy of Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell #2.

Lastly, five random people will receive an extra bonus gift, which they won’t reveal but promise that, “…you’ll love it!

All order cans be placed via Eibon Press.

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KISS Meets Army of Darkness in New Comic Miniseries!



Dynamite Entertainment just announced that they are planning to bring two of their bestselling brands together in “KISS/Army of Darkness #1”. The new comic book series will unite the rock band with none other than Ash for some Deadite ass kicking.

The series will be written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims and illustrated by Ruairi Coleman. And the debut issue of “KISS/Army of Darkness” features three art covers from Kyle Strahm, Goni Montes, and Ken Haeser.

You can find all three covers below along with quotes from the creative team. After looking through all of that make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are about this new hybrid comic series in the comments below or on social media!

With Ash vs. The Army of Darkness, Chris and I were given kind of carte blanche to do whatever we wanted to the world of AOD, and we went for broke,” Co-writer Chad Bowers says. “We introduced some new characters and concepts, and built a legacy for Ash’s comics adventures that I’m immensely proud of, but not in a million years could I have guessed we’d get to continue that momentum with the added bonus of tossing the world’s greatest rock n’ roll band into the mix! I’ve been in the tank for KISS since I was in middle school. I remember buying the KISS tribute album, KISS My Ass for the Lemonheads (they covered Plaster Caster), which lead to me picking up Greatest Hits, and so on. But when I found out there was a KISS comic with blood in it, I signed up for life! Of course, I adore the songs (literally listening to Do You Love Me right now), but I’m just as obsessed with the way KISS transcends the music to become something of a genre themselves. It’s something I think about a lot, honestly, so no surprise, it’s a big part of our story too!”

“When it comes to Army of Darkness, I guess you could say that Ash is a bit of a gambler, but he’s nobody’s fool,” Co-writer Chris Sims says. “And since our first story was set back at Alan Shepard High, we’re looking forward to showing him some things that you can’t learn in school. Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the deep-cut lyrics now, but for real — if you thought Deadites at Homecoming and the Supernatural Military-Adjacent Response Team were taking Ash in a new direction, just wait until you see how we team him up with the Starchild, Space Ace, the Demon, and the Catman. In the grand tradition of the film, we’re tearing up the entire space-time continuum and if you think you know how weird this is gonna get… well, you sure know somethin’!”

“Having done some work for Dynamite in the past, I’ve really been wanting to get my foot in the door here for a long time so I can play in the sandbox of the amazing licenses they have,” Artist Ruairi Coleman says. “Chief among those, and high up on my bucket list, is Army of Darkness: Hail to the king, baby! So, when I was offered the job of drawing the KISS/Army of Darkness crossover, I couldn’t believe my luck! The concept is totally bonkers, but in a way, that would make complete sense in the world of Army of Darkness. Thinking about it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done already and I’m honored (and more than a little intimidated) to be the guy who draws it.”

“After a more than 40-year career, KISS continues to be one of rock’s most celebrated bands, while Army of Darkness continues to be a staple in the comic book industry. We’re both honored to have the opportunity to work so closely with Gene and Paul to bring their world-renowned alter-egos to comics alongside our very own Ashy Slashy,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “The raging guitar chords and pyrotechnic spectacle of their stage shows could have come straight from the pages of the Necronomicon, and this epic battle between The Demon and Deadites will appeal to the hellions in all of us!”

Issue #1 will be available on digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, Kindle, iBooks, Google Play, Dynamite Digital, iVerse, Madefire, and Dark Horse Digital.

The KISS/Army of Darkness miniseries event hits February 2018.


KISS is on top of the world and rocking faces until the night disciples of The Destroyer show up and the band disappears. With the tour canceled, a young Ash misses one of the most important events of his life that will change his destiny. Now the Chosen One has to get back on the right path and join the KISS ARMY OF DARKNESS!

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Jason Lives Director Pitched Follow-Up: Jason Vs Cheech and Chong



One of my favorite entries in the Friday the 13th series is director ‘s Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. The mixture of old-school gothic horror and comedy is always a welcome treat around these parts.

But why wasn’t McLoughlin asked to write and direct the follow-up?

Actually, it turns out he was asked to follow up Jason Lives, McLoughlin recently told Mick Garris on the Post Mortem podcast.

But his pitch – Jason vs Cheech and Chong – didn’t go over so well…

“[Frank Mancuso Jr.] wanted me to do another film after we did Jason,” McLoughlin says. “And I said, ‘What are you thinking? I don’t know what it could be now.’ And he said, ‘Well, what do you think about Freddy (Krueger) and Jason?’ And I go, ‘But Freddy’s at New Line and the guys at Paramount have [Jason].’ And it’s like, ‘Well, we’re going to try and see if we can work something out.’ So, I started thinking about that, going, It doesn’t make sense. I mean he lives in one realm and — you know, I take this stuff very seriously, what realm a monster’s supposed to stay in. And he came back, he goes, ‘Eh, forget it, it’s not going to work anyway.’ And I said, ‘You know what? You guys own Cheech and Chong. What if we do Cheech and Chong-meets-Jason? They’re like camp counselors or something. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, I saw Jason out there.’ ‘No, man, that’s a myth.’ But he said, ‘You know what? No.’”

Too bad. While I don’t know how well a Cheech and Chong/Friday the 13th flick would go, with McLoughlin at the helm, the film would have at least been funny as hell.

Plus we already got these two knuckleheads in Part III.

Are you upset we never got Tom McLoughlin’s Jason vs Cheech and Chong? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

You can buy Friday the 13th: Part VI – Jason Lives on Blu-ray HERE.

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