Horror Grinder

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Scary vs. Gorey

Posted by Horror Grinder on January 8, 2013

I love scary movies and I love blood and guts and severed heads and tangled up intestines everywhere. I guess tangled-up intestines are kind of the same thing as guts, but, wow, do I love grisly gore. It seems like older horror movies often focused more on the psychology of how horrifying a situation or act was and newer horror movies put more attention into convincingly showing every stab and every spurting artery on camera. For example, especially when you factor in what audiences of the time were used to, Last House on the Left was really shocking in 1972. It’s slogan was “To avoid fainting, keep repeating it’s only a movie, only a movie, only a movie.” Most of the most horrible events in the movie, you hear the suffering, but you can’t really see what is going on. By contrast, the 2009 version seems to be shot somehow higher quality, partly just due to the technology of modern cinematography. To my modern eyes, the color palette is more pleasing in the 2009 Last House on the Left. More of the gruesome parts are visible, although they could still go more extreme with that, for my taste. But the new one somehow loses some of the aura of menace, while at the same time vastly improving special effects and general overall look. Partly I suppose Aaron Paul just didn’t seem very scary to begin with and he already seemed like a tragic hero to anyone who had seen him play Jesse in Breaking Bad. You can research more about both the 1972 film version and the more recent 2009 remake at Wikipedia and you can read a bit about Last House on the Left distribution channels for horror at Blue Blood.

Horror special effects definitely have come a long way since the seventies. Now though, the special effects are, not to sound ironic, to die for. Trust me, if the quality of movies were still the same as they were a few decades ago, you can bet that I wouldn’t drop what I was doing over at http://www.partybingo.com just to watch some crappy special effects, and acting that we will just label as sub-par. Thank god though, that isn’t the case! To prove my point, just go watch one of the many (I think there are eight) movies in the Saw series, or if you are really up for some cringing, then watch Hostel.

So, in conclusion, I’ll watch the seventies movies for the acting and the newer ones for the special effects, but the special effects really have to be pretty impressive. I’m thinking about going to see Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. I figure, even if the acting is all Disney Channel, the special effects on that have to be worth a theater ticket.

Hannibal – True Detective Villain Cast for Season 3

Posted by Steve Barton on January 28, 2015

The name Glenn Fleshler may not exactly jump out at you, but if you’re at all familiar with HBO’s “True Detective” then you are more than a little acquainted with the evil this man does.

TVLine is reporting that Fleshler has been cast as Cordell, the personal doctor of the disfigured Mason Verger (now played by The Divide‘s Joe Anderson). The character is described as “quiet, very intelligent and definitely creepy,” yet “attentive and gentle with Mason. He’s a professional who cares about his work, but we get a sense he might be as sadistic as his boss — and a perfect fit to become his potential henchman.

Glenn Fleshler

Season 3 of the dark drama will premiere in the summer of 2015 with no firm date announced just yet. It picks up one year after Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) and Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) were seen jetting off to Europe.

For more info be sure to visit “Hannibal” on NBC.com, “like” “Hannibal” on Facebook, and follow “Hannibal” on Twitter.

Hannibal Season 2

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Spend a Long Weekend With Synapse Films

Posted by Steve Barton on January 28, 2015

Synapse Films is bringing one of their most requested films to Blu-ray this April so pack up your bags, Dreadies! It’s time to spend a Long Weekend come April 12th!

From the Press Release:
Attempting to resurrect their failing marriage, Peter (John Hargreaves, THE ODD ANGRY SHOT) and Marcia (Briony Behets) set out on a camping trip to a deserted stretch of the Australian coastline hoping a long weekend in the sunshine will help them patch their differences. They are a careless couple, littering the countryside with garbage, shooting guns and even driving away after wounding a kangaroo with their automobile. Their callous disregard for the environment soon becomes apparent when the animals start to seek vengeance. Marcia and Peter have proven themselves to be destroyers of nature. Will the animals allow them to leave or will they too be destroyed? From the writer of ROAD GAMES and RAZORBACK comes this “spooky little gem” (Premiere Magazine), presented in a high-definition transfer from original vault materials with a re-mastered DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround soundtrack created by Synapse Films.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary from Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton
  • Motion Still Gallery Featuring an Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves
  • Theatrical Trailer

Long Weekend

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Jessabelle (Blu-ray / DVD)

Posted by Anthony Arrigo on January 28, 2015

Jessabelle BLu-rayStarring Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, Joelle Carter

Directed by Kevin Greutert

Distributed by Lionsgate


If 2014 cemented one key fact for horror fans, it’s that the big studios don’t have a clue how to craft engaging, unique and truly terrifying horror anymore. Not a single one of last year’s cinematic efforts was praised by a majority genre fans; not even the year’s top-grossing horror hit – Annabelle (2014) – was well liked. It’s hard to harp on the lack of originality because, let’s face it, very few films are actually all that novel – but in some cases it’s like the writers are using a template, changing only the character names and setting. The worst offender at the moment is anything involving hauntings. Nine out of ten times, what you end up watching is some afflicted person being jump-scared every ten minutes as people around them die while they play connect-the-dots to uncover some lame mystery that usually involves a sibling who died at birth, or some old family curse, or any other dead-horse trope. And the spirits doing the haunting always look like Sadako from Ring (1998). Yawn.

Don’t look for Jessabelle (2014) to be any better. For one thing, the title makes it sound like the sister of Annabelle, something I’m certain the producers were banking on boosting interest. It’s the same old yarn that’s been spun a thousand times, only this one features one mildly interesting addition: writer Robert Ben Garant. Does that name sound slightly familiar? Drop the “Robert” and you get Ben Garant, as in the same Ben Garant who was a featured player on MTV’s long-defunct The State (1993-1995) and went on to achieve some level of infamy on Reno 911 (2003-2009). He’s exclusively written comedy for almost his entire career, only now taking a sharp detour into darker territory. Per his commentary track, he’s just a long-time horror fan who felt it was time to write something of his own when an enticing idea ran across his brain. The idea may have evolved into something seen a million and a half times, but at the onset I’ll admit to a twinge of excitement that maybe he’d written a sleeper hit. After all, plenty of comedians are dark, emotionally ruined people despite what their outward appearance suggests.

After a car crash takes her fiancé, unborn child and (temporarily) her ability to walk, Jessie (Sarah Snook) goes on the mend at her estranged father’s home down in the Louisiana bayou. While there, she comes across a box of tapes featuring her long-dead mother speaking to her from beyond the grave. Mom made these tapes for her daughter before she died, figuring this would be the only way they could have any sort of relationship. Her mother was a medium, and on the tapes she tells Jessie her future. As expected, it’s all ominous and bleak, plus it has the unintended effect of turning Jessie’s dad into a crazed loon. In between viewings of her bad news video tapes, Jessie is plagued by visions of spirits that enjoy shrieking at a high pitch and catching her during moments of serenity, like when she’s taking a bath or trying to get some sleep. With the help of an old high school friend (who else?), she’s wheeled around town long enough to put together the conveniently-placed pieces of the puzzle, leading to an ending you’d have to be blind not to see coming.

The biggest compliment I can give Jessabelle is that it was competently directed and it looks quite stunning in hi-def. Actually, that’s the only compliment I can give it. This here is what you call low-hanging fruit – a movie full of overused plot elements that doesn’t even attempt to employ a shred of originality. Maybe it deserves minor props for attempting a voodoo angle, although it’s such a minor part of the plot it could have been excised and not made one lick of difference. The only mystery here is why studios keep pumping money into these hackneyed tales.

While the film may be riddled with faults, the video quality sure isn’t. Jessabelle features a stunning 1.78:1 1080p image that is virtually flawless. Digital shooting may get a bad rap from film purists, who find it lacks the vibrancy and life of celluloid – and that may be true – but it’s hard to argue with the results. Colors are faithfully reproduced, except in instances where post-production grading has been applied. The palette is intentionally dour, lacking vibrant hues and utilizing more rustic colors. Black levels look dark and stable, which is important as many scenes take place in darkness. Detail is exceptional, allowing minute details found in clothing, textures and faces to come through with perfect clarity.

Likewise, you’ll find no fault in the English DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround sound track, which handles moments of quiet unease just as ably as boisterous, booming activity. The film’s opening crash comes, much like a real accident, out of nowhere, packing a serious audible wallop before moving to the eerie serenity of the bayou. The rear speakers are frequently engaged, providing a true sense of immersion as Jessie goes about her quest. Nothing about the score is remarkable; it simply conveys the appropriate mood for a generic horror film. A Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound track is also included. Subtitles are available in English SDH and Spanish.

The three audio commentary participants – director Kevin Greutert, writer Robert Ben Garant and executive producer Jerry Jacobs – deliver a lively, enthusiastic track that was done before the film had even been released. I suspect things may not have been as cheery were this done afterward. Regardless, Greutert focuses on the technical aspects of making the film, while Garant discusses his segue from comedy writing to horror.

Jessabelle: Deep in the Bayou” ventures into typical EPK territory, with cast & crew getting some time to speak about their respective roles on set, while footage of everyone working together is also included. A reel of deleted scenes, outtakes and an extended ending are also included.

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Kevin Greutert, Writer Robert Ben Garant, and Executive Producer Jerry P. Jacobs
  • “Jessabelle: Deep in the Bayou” featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Extended Ending

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Fear Clinic – Two New Clips Check In

Posted by Steve Barton on January 28, 2015

On tap right now are two clips from Rob Hall’s feature-length version of his web series Fear Clinic. Check it out, and start counting the days to recovery.

Fear Clinic Release Details:
After terrifying audiences from coast to coast – Closing Night Event at Screamfest 2014 Los Angeles and Opening Night Screening at 2014 New York City Horror Film Festival – Fear Clinic, the latest excursion into unrelenting terror, will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on February 10, 2015, by Anchor Bay Entertainment.

The highly anticipated shocker stars horror icon Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund, Fiona Dourif, Angelina Armani, and Thomas Dekker as well as Stone Sour and Slipknot lead vocalist Corey Taylor in his acting debut. It is directed by Robert G. Hall (Lightning Bug, Laid to Rest, ChromeSkull: Laid To Rest II).

Related Story:  Exclusive: FX Legend Steve Johnson Talks Fear Clinic – Part 1

With blood-chilling special effects by award-winning FX creators Robert Kurtzman and Steve Johnson, Fear Clinic will take viewers on an unforgettable journey into the very soul of terror itself. SRP is $26.99 for the Blu-ray and $22.98 for the DVD.

Synopsis:
Co-written by Hall and Aaron Drane, the film is based on the critically acclaimed and fan favorite 2009 FEARnet.com series. When trauma-induced phobias begin to re-emerge in five survivors a year after their horrifying tragedy, they return to the “Fear Clinic,” hoping to find the answers they need to get cured.

Dr. Andover (Englund), a fear doctor who runs the clinic, uses his “Fear Chamber” to animate their fears in the form of terrifying hallucinations. However, the good doctor soon begins to suspect that something more sinister may be at work, something that yearns to be more than just an hallucination…

Fear Clinic

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Mortal Kombat X – Reptile Tears Through the Competition

Posted by Steve Barton on January 28, 2015

Another new character unveiling video is here, this time for the much beloved returning character of Reptile, who’s come a LONG way from being the plodding green ninja in Mortal Kombat II.

Today, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and NetherRealm Studios unveiled the Mortal Kombat X Reptile Official Trailer, showcasing the two-legged humanoid raptor, who is the newest combatant to join the ever-expanding character roster for the game. The new trailer shows off Reptile’s special moves, including his iconic acid spit, invisibility, and x-ray move.

Mortal Kombat X will be released worldwide on April 14, 2015, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

Mortal Kombat X

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Anchor Bay Hears Echoes

Posted by Steve Barton on January 28, 2015

Once again the phenomenon of sleep paralysis comes into play in the new chiller Echoes. You won’t have to look to hard to find this one as Anchor Bay will be giving it a Blu-ray and DVD release in the coming months.

From the Press Release:
An official selection of the New York City International Film Festival and FilmQuest Film Festival, winning Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Director honors, the highly anticipated supernatural thriller Echoes arrives on Blu-ray™ and DVD April 15th from Anchor Bay Entertainment. The feature directorial debut of Nils Timm (who also wrote the screenplay), Echoes explores the murky realm between reality and dreams, and what could happen when these worlds collide. With a stellar cast including Steven Brand (“Teen Wolf,” The Scorpion King), Kate French (Channeling, “Gossip Girl,” “One Tree Hill”), Billy Wirth (“Chicago P.D.”, The Lost Boys) and Steve Hanks (12/12/12, Hold Your Breath), Echoes will have viewers guessing until the final fade-out! SRP is $26.99 for the Blu-ray™ and $22.98 for the DVD.

Struggling with horrifying, sleep-paralysis induced visions, Anna (French), a young writer, retreats with her boyfriend (Brand) to an isolated yet beautiful glass house in the desert. Hoping that the desert vistas surrounding her will spur her creative juices, she welcomes the opportunity to stay behind when her boyfriend must return to the city for urgent business.

However, Anna’s sleep paralysis does not abate, despite the calming environment. And now, her attacks are accompanied by a mysterious figure, caked with dirt as if it was made of sand itself. As the visions intensify, she finds herself on the verge of losing her mind…or is she being lead to uncover a life-threatening secret?

Echoes

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The Walking Deceased Find a Home

Posted by Steve Barton on January 28, 2015

The Walking Dead have invaded every facet of pop culture and they don’t look to be slowing down any time soon either so you’d better get used to it! Another spoof is on the horizon and we have some details and the first still.

Variety reports that ARC Entertainment has acquired North American rights to The Walking Deceased, a sendup of zombie movies and TV shows that aims to be a Scary Movie-style takedown of the genre.

Written by Tim Ogletree and directed by Scott Dow, The Walking Deceased centers on a ragtag bunch of zombie-apocalypse survivors as they set out for a fabled safe haven. Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie), Joel Oglesby and Ogletree star.

Release date and platforms for The Walking Deceased remain to be set.

The Walking Deceased

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The Originals: Sneak Peek of Ep. 2.12 – Sanctuary; Images from Ep. 2.13 – The Devil Is Damned

Posted by Debi Moore on January 28, 2015

We’re doubling up today with goods from “The Originals,” and first is a sneak peek of next week’s Episode 2.12, “Sanctuary,” in which we see if Klaus can keep his secret hidden from the wolves. Next we have over a half-dozen stills from the following week’s Episode 2.13, “The Devil Is Damned,” which remind us that no matter what, family is power!

“The Originals” Episode 2.12 – “Sanctuary” (airs 2/2/15)
THE GIRL IN BLACK After a series of strange encounters, Rebekah (guest star Maisie Richardson-Sellers) becomes intrigued by a mysterious girl who has recently arrived to the insane asylum. 

At the bayou, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) struggles with coming clean to Jackson (guest star Nathan Parsons) about the secrets she’s keeping and is surprised when he shares his own secret involving Hayley’s parents.  Meanwhile, after learning the details of a particular marriage ritual that Hayley and Jackson must complete, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) heads to the bayou to put an end to it, but not before running into Jackson’s grandmother Mary (guest star Debra Mooney). 

Elsewhere, Vincent (guest star Yusuf Gatewood) remains determined to uncover the secret he knows Klaus is hiding and sets his eyes on Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) for answers. 

Lastly, when Davina (Danielle Campbell) discovers that Josh (guest star Steven Kruger) and Marcel are in danger, she enlists the help of Kaleb (guest star Daniel Sharman) and Aiden (guest star Colin Woodell) to rescue them.  Matt Hastings directed the episode written by Declan de Barra and Michael Narducci.

Related Story:  New Images from The Originals Episode and 2.12 – Sanctuary

“The Originals” Episode 2.12 – “The Devil Is Damned” (airs 2/9/15)
FAMILY IS POWER More dangerous than ever, Vincent (guest star Yusuf Gatewood) remains one step ahead after joining forces with a powerful figure from his past. As the threat to Hope’s life grows stronger, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) realizes he has no choice but to place his trust in his siblings to ensure she remains protected.

Meanwhile, after being presented with an enticing proposition, Kaleb (guest star Daniel Sharman) is forced to make a difficult life or death decision, and Elijah (Daniel Gillies) finds himself in the fight of his life after an unexpected visitor arrives at the safe house.

At the bayou, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) and Jackson (guest star Nathan Parsons) continue to prepare for the unification ritual, but things quickly go awry when they become pawns in Vincent’s dangerous plan. Charles Michael Davis and Leah Pipes also star. Lance Anderson directed the episode written by Christopher Hollier and Julie Plec.

For more info visit “The Originals” on CWTV.com, “like” “The Originals” on Facebook, and follow “The Originals” on Twitter.

The Originals Season 2

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UPDATE: Real Life Pet Sematary Cat Claws its Way From the Grave

Posted by Steve Barton on January 28, 2015

Following up on our story yesterday regarding Bart, the cat who was hit by a car, buried, and then clawed his way out of his grave, you’ll be happy to know that the little guy is doing fine!

As per the Humane Society of Tampa Bay:

“Bart The Miracle Cat has successful surgery! He was a brave boy and is now resting comfortably. He is spending the night with our good friends at Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency Service so he can be monitored. He will return to us in the morning and need a week or so to recover before going back home!”

Someone gets this fella some treats ASAP! He only has 7 lives left!

Bart

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Unboxing Day: McFarlane’s 10″ Rick Grimes

Posted by Steve Barton on January 28, 2015

Every now and again we’re planning on unboxing some collectible for you guys to check out. They could be new… they could be old… they could be sexual in nature. Well, okay, maybe not that, but still! Just like Somerset and Mills’ special delivery to an open field… you’ll never know “what’s in the box” next!

First up is a look at McFarlane Toys’ 10″ Rick Grimes figure!

  • This highly detailed 10-inch figure features the exact likeness of the actor, taken from a full 3D scan of Andrew Lincoln
  • Figure stands approximately 10″ tall
  • Figure includes a pistol
  • Figure includes an alternate arm
  • Figure includes a rifle

Rick Grimes

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