Monday, December 2, 2013

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Top 10 Road Movies in Horror


The road. It can mean many things to different people and for some, it’s a way of escaping or it’s a pathway to the future. For others, the road is a deadly place full of the unknown. The “road movie” is the perfect element in horror because it’s a terrifying character in and of itself. The following are a list of the best road movies in the genre.

To read my list, check out the full article on Bloody Disgusting!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

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10 Horror Characters You Don't Want Home for the Holidays


Most people coincide the holidays with a feeling of joy, caring, and giving to others. Those people are clearly in denial about what the holidays truly mean.   It’s the time of the year filled with stress, such as the stresses of realizing how broke you are when you can’t afford to buy gifts for anyone, or the stresses of having your entire family gather in one place just so that they can bicker over dinner. The holidays are not fun, and the situation can worsen by whoever is on your guest list. Every family has that one person who you want to avoid at all costs, and then there are the people you pray don’t make it to the annual get-together. The following are the horror characters you definitely wouldn’t want showing up for the holidays.

To check out my list, head over to Shock Till You Drop here !

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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The Conjuring Blu-ray Giveaway!



While the winners for the Pacific Rim giveaway are still being decided, you now have a chance to win another awesome prize! Enter  to win a Blu-ray of The Conjuring--just in time for Halloween!

To enter:
  • Follow me on Twitter @LivnDeadGrl87 and share this post
  • "Like" Mandy's Morgue of Horror on Facebook and "SHARE" my page
  • Answer this trivia question: What other famous haunted house case did The Warren's investigate?
Please enter your response in the comments below with your full name and email. Contest ends 10/30/13. Winners will be notified Friday, November 1.

Each household is only eligible to win 1  Blu-ray. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Check out the cool facts about the movie below--and GOOD LUCK!










Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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Best Beards in Horror


Watching sports can make one develop certain routines they think will help their team make the big win. The fans aren't the only ones with superstitions during important games; the athletes have their specific ways of doing things to keep order too. The Boston Red Sox are currently in the MLB's ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, and in case you haven't noticed--the teammates all have playoff beards. In honor of the Sox and their totally sexy facial hair, I've decided to take a look back at some of my favorite beards in horror.    

10.) Richard Attenborough: Jurassic Park

Aside from the awesome dinosaurs and the irresistible duo Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum, the other beautiful thing in Jurassic Park was Richard Attenborough's beard. The facial hair only added to his character John Hammond's scientist-look and gave off the sweet, old grandpa vibe.


9.) Donald Pleasence: Prince of Darkness

Many horror fans fell in love with Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis in Halloween, but he was even more alluring with a a full beard as a man of the cloth in Prince of Darkness. Once again he captures the audience as the individual looking to do right and stop evil.

8.) Dexter Morgan: Dexter

 The Dexter series finale was disappointing in many ways, but one thing that made it better to watch for me was Dexter Morgan's lumber-jack beard. For some reason when a serial killer decides to fake his own death and live alone, it means growing out a creepy/awkward and unappealing ginger beard.

7.) Hershel: The Walking Dead

I thought that I was in love with Hershel's ponytail but when I thought about it and examined everyone's favorite one-legged old farmer more closely, I realized I was attracted to his beard. His disheveled and dirty new look made him stand out as a bad ass in the apocalypse and like a true one-time alcoholic.

6.) Kris Kristofferson: Blade

 One look into Kris Kristofferson's dreamy eyes and it's hard not get lost. Then take a look at his long, flowy hair and pure, white beard, and it's like you're in winter wonderland with Santa. The beard definitely made me more sympathetic and concerned for Blade's mentor, and I felt like I was watching the grandfather that I always wanted do his thing.

5.) AJ Bowen: A Horrible Way to Die

 AJ Bowen has rocked some awesome facial hair in a few movies but the beard I enjoyed the most is the one he sports in A Horrible Way to Die. Bowen plays a serial killer, and the beard definitely helps give off a killer vibe; however, I couldn't help but find him charming as the burly man trying to find his way back to his lady love.

4.) Richard Dreyfuss: Jaws

Richard Dreyfuss' character Hooper made marine biologists cool in Jaws. His witty remarks and intelligence were only accentuated with the help of his full beard and shaggy head of hair.

3.) James Brolin: The Amityville Horror 

It's easy to see why Kathy Lutz married George and uprooted her kids to a haunted house in Long Island. She was clearly hypnotized by his beard--and so were the spirits of the murdered family in their Amityville home. Brolin's beard made him look more like a tough, fatherly-figure and made whatever came out of his mouth sound serious.

2.) Bill Moseley: The Devil's Rejects

Not only did Bill Moseley's character Otis in The Devil's Rejects have the best lines, but he had the best overall look. His scraggly beard and ratty long hair made him fit the bill of psychotic redneck serial killer perfectly, and made him way more menacing to look at.

1.) Kurt Russell: The Thing

My favorite thing about John Carpenter's The Thing is Kurt Russell and his AMAZING hair. His perfectly feathered mane and neat full beard remained  intact while he tested his pals and handled flamethrowers in the midst of an alien takeover. Russell's beard SCREAMED action hero in the 1982 horror classic and set the bar for what facial hair should be.

Those are my favorite beards in horror. What are yours?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

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Pacific Rim Giveaway!






Want to win a Blu-Ray copy of Pacific Rim? It's easy! Just play the Superfan Quiz and comment your answers below! Please also provide your contact info such as Twitter handle, full name, and/or email so that I can contact you if you win!

 That's not all: make sure you "like" Mandy's Morgue of Horror on Facebook and follow me on Twitter: @LivnDeadgrl87!

Each household is only eligible to win 1 Pacific Rim Blu-Ray. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Contest ends Monday, October 21. The winner will be announced Friday, October 25! Good luck!

Play the trivia below:

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Top HOLY SHIT Moments in The Walking Dead


It's finally here! Today is the anticipated season 4 premiere of The Walking Dead! In honor of the big day I've decided to take a look back at the series and count down the most shocking moments over the past three years. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!








Daryl Kills Merle: Season 3


This moment was heartbreaking because audiences had to see Daryl physically break down at the sight of his brother, who had recently turned into a zombie. The duo had just been reunited and although they struggled with differences on their views in the apocalypse, Daryl wasn't ready to give up hope that his brother could change. In the end, Merle did redeem himself by bringing zombies to attack the Governor's men; however, it ended in his death. When Daryl finds his brother in zombie form he must put him down for good in a hard-to-watch scene where he mourns the loss of his only family while simultaneously stabbing Merle in the head.

Lori Dies: Season 3


Lori's character had been questionable throughout the series, and she was often hated among fans for being a total whore who liked to stir up trouble between her husband Rick and his best friend Shane. In season 3, audiences witnessed a change in Lori, who was 9 months pregnant, as she realized the consequences of her actions and tried her hardest to win back the support from her husband and son, Carl. When their home base is attacked by zombies, Lori, Maggie, and Carl are separated from the group and find themselves hiding in a room inside of the prison. Just at the perfect time, Lori's baby decides that it's time to come out, forcing the group to think quick on how to handle the situation. Lori must be cut open to save her baby's life, and she knows it means ending her own. Before the selfless act, she gives her words of wisdom to Carl in a tear-inducing speech that made viewers forget about all of the annoying things she did in the previous 2 seasons.

Shit Happens: Season 3


In season 3 we see a completely changed man in Rick, who had to kill his best friend at the end of the season. The events of the previous 2 seasons--especially the drama with his wife--made Rick realize that he needs to be a different way to keep order in the group. When their group is threatened by a clan of prisoners, Rick reacts in a ruthless and TOTALLY BADASS way, showing viewers his new mentality. When one of the prisoners attempts to kill Rick and fails, he brushes his actions off with the comment, "Shit Happens." An obviously angry and fed up Rick remains calm and just when we think he's going to let the action slide, he responds, "Shit Happens," followed with a machete to the guy's head. I was in awe and this scene made me fall completely in love with the new Rick!

Rick Kills Shane: Season 2


Viewers knew that the moment where Rick and Shane confront each other over Lori was coming, some just may not have expected it to go the way that it did. Shane's obsession with Lori and Carl made him snap and trick the group into thinking that the prisoner they were holding had tried to kill him and escape into the woods. When Shane suggests that the group split up and look for him, he takes Rick far enough away from everyone else so that he can fulfill his plans of killing his best friend. Surprisingly to Shane, Rick sensed what he was trying to do and was prepared to kill him, and succeeded in doing so. The scene was hard to watch because fans of the series saw the pain in Rick's eyes as his friendship with Shane flashed through his mind while having to take his life. He was crushed that things had come to that point and it only worsened when his friend turned into a zombie.

Dale Dies: Season 2


Dale was the voice of reason in the group, and although he could be pretty damn annoying sometimes, he made a lot of sense. He was the group's moral compass and he always made them question themselves whenever they found themselves in a devastating position. When the group had to decide what to do with a young stranger, they all thought it was best to kill him to save their lives. Dale was completely against the action and reminded everyone that they didn't have to be that way and let the new world change them. After the debacle while Dale is sweeping the grounds, he falls victim to a zombie who tears into his gut. The group hears his screams and find that it's too late for the old man, who's insides are practically falling onto the ground before them. The saddened group stand over him and when one of them pulls out a gun, Dale puts it to his head, begging to be put out of his misery. His death represented everything that was their old world, and it showcased the loss of their morality.

The CDC Explosion: Season 1


Just when the group thought that they had found their salvation in the CDC, they realize that they are in a worse situation than they were in outside with the zombies. After being let in by Dr. Jenner of the CDC, the group is ecstatic that they've found a new place to sleep--and that they can actually shower with hot water! Their happiness is cut short when Jenner explains that they are locked in and that the building will self-destruct after a certain time. Shocked by the revelation, the group comes together to figure a way out, while others in the group decide to stay and end their lives. The members of the group who make it out watch in horror as the building explodes, reminding them that nowhere is safe in the apocalypse.

Rick Shoots Zombie Child: Season 1

When the series opened with Rick Grimes shooting a little zombie girl, audiences knew that The Walking Dead was going to be intense. The moment highlighted the realness of the characters' situations, and it showed how heartbreaking the apocalypse could be. When Rick comes face to face with the zombified child, it's apparent that he's taken aback by the sight. When he is forced to shoot her to save his life, he understands what he will have to do from that moment on in order to make it.

There are tons of crazy moments that have happened in the series, and probably a ton of crazy moments to come. The list above are the moments that stood out for me the most, and actually took my breath away. One of the things that I love so much about The Walking Dead is that no character is safe, and that I am always on edge worrying about who is going to die next. The upcoming season is sure to bring more drama and plenty of HOLY SHIT moments. What have been your favorite?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

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Help Me Decide My Halloween Costume


I'm obviously obsessed with Halloween and every year I have to dress up...even if I don't have plans to be anywhere! I've narrowed my costume ideas to 3 options: Princess Peach, Daphne from Scooby Doo, and Jasmine from Aladdin. I'm having a little trouble deciding which one to be, so I've decided to ask my readers for help!

Who do YOU think I should dress up as this Halloween? Please comment below!
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Top Witches in Horror


With the season 3 premiere of American Horror Story: Coven just a day a way, it's hard not to think about witches and how far they have come in the world of horror. From the delightful wife and homemaker Samantha on Bewitched, to the vengeful and powerful witches from True Blood season 4, witches have been presented in different ways, and now it seems as though they are more powerful than ever. In honor of tomorrow's season premiere, I've compiled a list of some of my favorite witches in horror.


The Lords of Salem: The lords of Salem



Rob Zombie's latest film The Lords of Salem showcased a more realistic look at witches. His coven wasn't a group of sexpots; they were average-looking, ruthless, and evil. His witches weren't preoccupied with their love lives and they certainly didn't care about how pretty they looked. They were determined to wreak havoc on the people who wronged them, and they sought vengeance in a way that would make the devil proud.

Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson Sisters



The Sanderson sisters may have looked goofy and seemed harmless, but they once terrorized the town of Salem and its children. For the three witches, beauty is pain--just not their pain. In order to stay young and alive they had to take the lives of young children, and with their hypnotizing voices and book of spells they made it look easy.

The Witches: The Witches


The 1990 film was based off of the bestselling author Roald Dahl's children's book of the same name, and for any of you unfamiliar with Dahl's writing--it's pretty damn creepy. The females in The Witches weren't pretty; they had sharp claws, no hair, and their spit was blue! The witches were more like demons and their life's intent was to eat children. In the film one boy discovers their secret and is turned into a mouse, forcing him to figure out a way to stop the demon-women before it's too late and he's stuck in mouse-form forever!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow


When television audiences first met Willow she was the awkward, nerdy side-kick to Buffy. She often provided her friend insight on a situation and was able to research things for the team. Over the years Willow's interest in magic grew stronger--and so did her power.As the series progressed, Willow became a bonafide badass who struggled to control her power. Her desire for power became so strong that it almost consumed her, but in the end Willow learned how to harness her power for good.

The Witches of Eastwick: Alexandra, Jane, and Sukie


These witches were unlike the other witches previously mentioned: they were beautiful, they lived normal lives, and they used their witchcraft for love. The witches of Eastwick were a coven of three best friends who were unlucky in love. When a mysterious stranger comes into town, he seduces them and brings out their wild sides, making them realize their abilities. At first the women are excited about their powers; however, when lives are taken, they decide to stop. They soon learn that stopping isn't so easy and they work together and use their powers again...but they use them for good.

The Wizard of Oz: The Good Witch and The Wicked Witch of the West


The land of Oz is filled with many different witches, most notably The Good Witch and The Wicked Witch of the West. The Good Witch, Glinda, is just that: she's beautiful, kind, and she truly cares about the well-being of the people of Oz. She's not to be feared, but The Wicked Witch of the West is evil and selfish, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Plus, she's got flying monkeys! The witches were a perfect example of good versus evil, and each represented the choices that individuals must face in their daily lives.


The Blair Witch Project: The Blair Witch



If there was a town legend about a witch who would take children into the woods and kill them, I would probably stay out of the damn woods. However, in The Blair Witch Project a group of filmmakers are too tempted to unravel the mystery behind the town legend and they soon find themselves face to face with evil. The Blair Witch was menacing and terrifying, mostly because she taunted her victims and played with them without ever showing her face. Her attacks were drawn out because she wanted to make sure to weaken your physical and emotional state for the final moment before her full on attack, ensuring that you would be vulnerable enough for her to overpower you. Just remember: if you ever find a pile of branches strewn up together like a little doll--RUN!

Halloween III: Season of the Witch


The Halloween franchise took a step away from Michael Myers and his family-killing spree to focus on a macabre group of people practicing witchcraft to achieve their desires. These witches were primarily focused on gaining power and taking over authority on Halloween night. The men in the group of "witches" wanted to resurrect certain elements of Samhain and planned on terrorizing people with snakes and bugs. Oh, and lets not forget--they also wanted to kill children. What is it with witches and children?!

The Craft: Sarah, Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle


The Craft taught me that if everyone in school says a girl is an evil witch, she's probably an evil witch. Unfortunately, for new girl Sarah she finds this lesson out the hard way when she allows herself to be a part of a group of outcasts that like to hold seances and perform spells. It turns out that Sarah is a little into magic herself and when she puts her powers together with the powers of her new girl friends, they can do amazing things together--like make a bully's hair fall out, make a boy fall obsessively in love with you, and change the color of a traffic light with the blink of an eye. Eventually, things begin spiraling out of control when mega-witch Nancy takes a liking to having so much power and begins abusing it to harm others.

Suspiria: Helena Markos


When American dance student Suzy gets the opportunity to study the art at a prestigious academy in Germany, she jumps at the chance to fulfill her dreams. Little does Suzy know that the school is controlled by a coven of maniacal witches who begin killing off her classmates one by one. Eventually the timid dance student becomes aware of the situation when she discovers the coven of witches performing a ritual to kill her, and she finds herself in a harrowing predicament. The witches in Suspiria are clever and brutal in the ways they dispose of their victims, and they prove that they definitely aren't the homemaker who twitches her nose to get things done.

Witches have appeared in different ways over the years in the genre, and each has their own set of intentions. While some crave power and control, others are looking for love and affection from those they desire most. Whatever their intent, or however beautiful or ugly they may be, the power that witches hold in the palm of their hands is frightening. Who is your favorite witch?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

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My Favorite Freddy Kills


The Nightmare on Elm Street series has been played a few times on Syfy recently, bringing back childhood memories and reintroducing me to my favorite character deaths. I've always been A Nightmare on Elm Street girl; Freddy's invasion of your dreams and his creativity in the way he kills has always made him unique and terrifying. In honor of my love for the series, I've decided to create a list of my favorite Freddy kills. Here are the lucky 7:

7.) Carlos:Freddy's Dead
The sixth installment in the horror series is often argued to be the worst; however, I found it enjoyable to watch. Although the film is far off from the scary Freddy that audiences were introduced to in the first film, it was fun with its 90s references and creative deaths and dream sequences. Plus, the movie was New Line Cinema's first 3D release!The most memorable death from the film was Carlos, the hearing impaired troubled youth who unwittingly falls victim to Freddy in the home where the madness all began. While Carlos and his fellow runaways take refuge in everyone's favorite house on Elm Street, he falls asleep and finds himself in a nightmare. First Carlos runs into his abusive mother who decides to clean out his ear with a really big Q-Tip, and then Freddy messes with his hearing-aid, making him hear things at extremely loud levels. I guess Freddy doesn't give a damn if you're already down; he'll kick you no matter what!
   
6.)Greta:The Dream Child 

 Poor beautiful Greta. Her mother always hassled her about her eating habits, insisting that if she didn't watch what she ate she would become fat. Freddy preyed on the young girl's insecurity and intensified it by forcing her to deal with the issue in an unconventional way. Freddy showed his concern for Greta's low weight by making her eat...and eat, and eat, and eat. One can't help but feel sorry for Greta as she eats herself to death while her family watches on.

5.)Philip:Dream Warriors
 
It's bad enough that you're stuck in a mental institution, but it would REALLY suck if you were being terrorized by a psychopath in your dream. Poor Philip is awoken from his sleep when Freddy decides that he wants to play puppet master, using Philip's tendons as strings. The scene is cringeworthy and as a child I felt Philip's pain. Not only did Philip experience excruciating pain from being pulled along by his insides, he could do nothing but watch as Freddy forced him to jump to his death.

4.) Jennifer:Dream Warriors
As someone who loves her TV, I can understand how Jennifer feels when it comes to watching her shows. It totally must have been annoying to get to the psych ward common room and find someone using the television! Except, Jennifer didn't realize that when she turned on the tube for entertainment that Freddy had already joined her for some fun. She finds herself mesmerized by the charming man with the burnt face, until he comes out of the TV and decides to smash her head into it. Well, at least Jennifer became a television star...sort of.

3.) Debbie: The Dream Master 

Bugs are disgusting, but roaches are on a whole other level of nasty. It's understandable why Debbie wouldn't like them--those mofos can climb in your ear and SCREAM until you take them out. Hell, those bastards will survive a nuclear war! Anyway, Debbie just wanted to work on her fitness and be sexy for her schoolmates (understandable, Debbie) when all of a sudden she falls asleep during one of her workouts. Hmmm, probably should have had a spotter, Debbie. Freddy completely ruins her workout--and her life--by turning her into a roach inside of a roach motel. The helpless bug-girl almost makes you feel bad for bugs when we watch her fight for her life inside the bug prison...and then get squashed by Freddy. This entire scene was DISGUSTING. I'm itching just thinking about it!

 2.) Glen: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Glen just wanted to get laid by his girlfriend, but instead finds himself victim to a murderer in his dreams. The clueless sap--who didn't seem phased at all by the deaths of his close friends--falls asleep despite his girlfriend's demands, and gets himself sucked into a bed. The incident sucked for Glen, but it looked beautiful and AWESOME for the audience as we saw buckets of blood pour out of a mattress and fill his bedroom. As most of you all know, Glen was Johnny Depp's first role, and that's reason enough to love A Nightmare on Elm Street.

1.)Tina: A Nightmare on Elm Street

You know, Tina seemed pretty smart despite banging that asshole, Rod. She was aware of Freddy before anyone else, and she knew that he would do something bad to her in her sleep. She appeared to be a fighter, but when she was faced against Freddy she proved not strong enough when he overpowers her. Tina's death was not only an amazing onscreen sequence to watch, it was absolutely terrifying for the audience to see what Freddy was actually capable of. It introduced us to the monster we've all come to love and fear. Tina's screams and the length of her death set the tone for the first movie, and it is the scariest and best death of the nightmare series.

There's my list of favorite Freddy kills. There are so many memorable deaths, one-liners, and amazing outfits that complete the nightmare series, but the seven above are the ones that stood out the most for me. What are your favorite Freddy kills?
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Movie Review: Rabies


Just when I was in the mood for the usual backwoods gorefest and excited to meet a new psychotic family of killers, the Israeli horror movie "Rabies" (Blood Clan/Kalevet) threw me for a loop and gave me something I wasn't expecting. What trailers implied to be a typical slasher turned out to be far from it, and the film's characters found that their worst enemy was each other.

The 2010 horror, which had its world broadcast television premiere on FEARnet last month, opens with a young woman stuck in an underground trap in the woods with her brother struggling to find a way to get her out. The film sets the audience up to believe that our characters will be fighting for their lives against a madman; however, as time progresses, it becomes clear that there is no crazy killer or backwoods family stalking them.

After we meet the couple--who happen to be siblings (ICK)--we are then introduced to a car full of young adults on their way to a tennis match. Their trip is cut short when their world--and their car--collides with the brother from the film's opening. Desperate to rescue his sister, the hurt man recruits the two men from the car to help him in the woods while the two women stay by the car and wait for police. Because leaving the vulnerable women alone in the middle of nowhere is totally the smartest decision.  

Once the group breaks up, all hell breaks loose. Characters make poor decisions out of anger and stupidity, and love causes most of them to do things that they normally wouldn't do. In fact, love seemed to be an underlying theme throughout the film as many of the characters struggled with their forbidden love or unreciprocated love, while an innocent couple have their love broken after simply trying to do the right thing.

The film was a nice surprise and it had strong performances, particularly from Adi's Ania Bukstein who had the onscreen presence of a Final Girl. Although the film's plot was initially unexpected, it wasn't something that hasn't been done before. Rabies is comparable to films like Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, and the indie horror I Didn't Come Here to Die. Each film used the same ideas, but executed them differently.  I personally enjoyed Tucker and Dale more for its in-your-face humor and ridiculousness, while Rabies presented itself too seriously for my taste.

Rabies is a fun watch and the characters are engaging throughout. But if you're like me and were hoping to see an Israeli Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you'll be disappointed. If you're interested to see how the characters die you can watch Rabies on FEARnet onDemand now.

Monday, July 8, 2013

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Interview: Paul Soter Talks 'Dark Circles'




Paul Soter is mostly known for his slapstick comedy with Broken Lizard, so it was a surprise to see the comedian turn to horror for his latest movie Dark Circles. Soter stepped behind the director’s chair for a second time with a movie that follows the struggles of sleep-deprived new parents. Soter spoke with me about his personal story that inspired the film, whether or not his association with Broken Lizard has hindered his horror career, and his future with the genre.

You’re known mostly for your comedy with Broken Lizard. Were you nervous that horror fans would be hesitant toward Dark Circles because of that factor?

Our fans have a pretty definitive sense of what they like to see us do. I know that people kind of have the things that they like to see us do; they don’t like us to stray from that. I also figured, well since it’s just  me, on my own, that people wouldn’t get too hung up on me doing something very different than what I’ve done [with Broken Lizard]. Certainly there’s going to be a portion of people who are inevitably gonna be like “Come on, what the fuck? Why don’t you just do Super Troopers, and that’s just inevitable; that’s just how it is. But I also know that a genre audience is its own separate audience, and I felt like as long as I can get some of those people to see the movie , that’s really what this was all about.

How long had you been working on the script for Dark Circles before everything came into fruition?
 It was a while. Every stage of the process ended up being much longer than I would have liked. I shot the movie two years ago and so, I would say it was probably a good two years of working on the script before I got the ability to get it made. It all started from …having a baby. So, once I got out of the shit-storm that was sleep deprivation, it started to sort of formulate.

You’ve come from working on things with a large ensemble cast. Did you find it harder or feel more pressure to get things across the screen knowing you had to rely mainly on two actors?

No, it really was the opposite. The two movies that I’ve done—I directed a comedy before Dark Circles—I very deliberately wanted to have a small ensemble. The really hard thing actually about making a Broken Lizard movie that people don’t really think about is that coverage-wise there’s always at least 5 people in every scene and you know, even when we’ve done movies with Fox Searchlight and Warner Brothers, there’s never been a big enough budget where you could really shoot at a leisurely pace and make sure that everybody got proper coverage. So, it’s hard. It’s a pain in the ass trying to cover at least 5 people, sometimes 7 people in a scene; it eats up your day. So, when I decided to start directing it was actually a fairly deliberate decision making process to keep it small. 

Obviously with Dark Circles it’s a two-man show and frankly it’s still stressful, but it allows you to really concentrate on getting the composition just the way you want, getting things done just the way you want, as opposed to like in a Broken Lizard movie fuck, you get like 2 takes and you got to move on because you’ve got all these takes to get done and you don’t have money, and you gotta cover a ton of people. It actually was a great thing. That’s why I like the process of directing on my own. Shooting the movie is a lot less of a pain in the ass than shooting with an ensemble piece.

Pell James’ performance really carries the film. Was she the only actress you auditioned or wanted for the part of Penny?

Yeah, she came on before the movie was greenlit. I got to a point where I was like, “I’m just gonna pretend I’m making this movie." I started this exercise where I was like well, let’s get into casting. What if I pretend that I’m making the movie and it will start happening? So, I decided what I would do was kind of go through and make a list of actresses I really liked, who I maybe had some contact with or connection to, or I thought they still hadn’t broken out and would be interested in doing a super low-budget movie. And I made this list, and I kept coming back to Pell’s name because I had seen her in a bunch of things. 

Everything I saw her in, she had great likeability. And I kept going back to Zodiac. She’s in (David) Fincher’s Zodiac; she’s in that scene where the couple gets killed. That scene, what I took away from it, was how horrible it must be to be a perfectly nice person doing nothing wrong, trying to have a picnic, and have someone show up and just murder you. For me, that’s kind of what I wanted to do with Dark Circles. I wanted to have that sense of “these poor fucking people have done nothing wrong; they don’t deserve this ordeal." And so, basically I called up Pell’s agent and said “Look I got a script, I haven’t put the money together yet but I’m getting close, and I was wondering if she would want to get involved. She read the script and liked it, and we got together and it turned out actually that she had some contact in producing through her husband, and they put us in touch with After Dark. It was sort of a happy accident just because I decided to move forward with finding an actress, even though I didn’t have money. It was the process of finding her that was the last piece of getting financing for the film.

Penny is a very strong female character, yet she’s vulnerable at the same time. How would you compare her to other “final girls” in the genre?

She’s not so far off and that’s one of the things I like about the genre is that you have a female character who is being put through some gauntlet, and she finds a strength that she didn’t know she had. And so, to me I wanted her to not be typical, but a pretty classic character…here’s a woman who’s just being put through the ringer, and is becoming more and more ungrounded in a downward spiral. We have Rosemary’s Baby and we’ve got movies like Grace, [horror movies] that are about maternal issues, but I wanted to have a film about a woman trying to keep her shit together while trying to stay in touch with what’s real and what’s not real.

You’ve said that Dark Circles is based on your struggles as a new parent. Because the film really focuses a lot on a mother’s struggle, did you get any suggestions from your wife when writing the character of Penny?

Yeah, it was an interesting dynamic. I would write the script and show it to my wife. I was touchy about dredging up some things from really sort of an unhappy period of our lives. It was a rough year. So, I wanted her input, but I also wanted to make sure she was ok with me writing things that clearly were what my recollections were, and what she had been like as much as I had been like.  You look at what both of these characters are doing and you can say you don’t want to be seen  as like—like Pell as an actress, or [Katie]my wife as the model for the character—as somebody who did irresponsible things with the baby. I think that was the tricky part. There was some unflattering behavior in the film and that’s part of the point that I had to explain to Pell and I had to explain to Katie also, the movie has to be about how somebody who would otherwise never do something irresponsible with a child because of the extreme circumstance they find themselves in.

The film felt like Japanese horror movies like The Grudge (Ju-on)n and The Ring (Ringu). Did those movies inspire you at all when developing the direction and tone for Dark Circles?

Yeah, the first conversation I had with my DP is he wanted to know the palette for the movie, the colors and the light. It was the American version of the Ring that I told him was my model just because, I mean I’m a fan of Ringu, but I love the look of the Ring. I really like the way that the movie is shot. [Dark Circles]It was very low budget, but I wanted to have people look at it and say wow, this looks like a much more expensive movie. What I like about the Japanese movies and the Spanish movies is the horror stuff is very grounded in storytelling and human emotions; it’s  on an emotional level, things that weren’t just sort of “body-count movies” and horror for the sake of blood and gore, and that stupidity. They’re grounded and try to tell stories about real people going through horrible things.

What do you hope audiences will take away from the film?

I guess the general thing I wanted to get into was to have people appreciate it. The genre is great for telling people’s stories and having it be about more than just a dude in a mask cutting people’s heads off. What I love about the genre is that it’s not just about zombie movies. It’s a terrific avenue for saying other things like social commentary. So, in this case [Dark Circles] isn’t social commentary, but it’s a scary movie about an emotional situation that happens and people find themselves in once they have a child.

The film’s ending wasn’t over-the-top. Why did you choose to keep things simple and subtle all the way throughout the movie?

Without getting into spoilers, my feeling about horror movies, especially haunted house movies, is you don’t have a ton of choices what you’re gonna do in your third act other than to take it up to  another level. To me it’s sort of a frustrating corner that the genre itself has painted itself into. What can you do other than to blow it out, and with haunted house movies you don’t have a ton of options other than black goo starts spilling from the walls, and the toilets start exploding, and house starts rattling. How many times have we seen that ending?

Hopefully the audience asks am I watching a movie about “A” or am I watching a movie about “B”. Is it supernatural or is it psychological? At some point I thought it might be interesting if the answer was “C”. It was a trick I wanted to pull. Did I accomplish it? I don’t know.

Can you tell me anything about your other upcoming horror projects?


MTV is really into getting into teen-oriented horror but with detailed, visceral storytelling. I went in and talked about an idea, and basically they really liked it. We made a deal for me to direct a script for that. So, that will be exciting. I love that TV is now opening up into getting into horror. And I’ve got 2 indie scripts. One is sort of a black comedy in a horror space. The other one is a zombie, kind of an upside down zombie movie that I’ve been shopping around and I seem to be getting some interest. It’s kind of cool. Dark Circles was not sort of put out the certain way that I would have liked to have seen it, but it’s made enough of an impact that I’m starting to get submitted scripts to direct. 

To read my thoughts on Dark Circles click here. Make sure to check out Dark Circles now available on DVD!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

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Help Todd So He Can Save the World


Todd & the Book of Pure Evil was prematurely cancelled earlier this year, but that hasn't stopped the show or its fans from trying to bring audiences a true ending to the comedy-horror series. The last season ended with a cliffhanger and the guys behind the show want to give fans closure with a full-length animated feature, concluding Todd's saga to save the world from evil!

The series was filled with the kind of horror-related gross-out humor and the right amount of teen angst that made it the perfect series for any horror geek. To see where the story ends, and to help fans end their nerd erection with a nerdgasm, you can donate funds for the project.

Based on how much you donate, fans can be rewarded with prizes like a copy of the completed film, a t-shirt, a custom recorded message on your phone from Chris Leavins (Atticus), a signed copy of the script, a trip to the premiere, and my personal favorite--a tweet from Jason Mewes telling his followers how much dick or pussy you get.

There are only 23 days left to help the underrated horror series complete its story, and they've reached a little over $65,000 of their $75,000 goal. They are SO close! To help and donate (PLEASE DONATE), click here! Don't be a shit rooster!
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Zombies Made Me Do It


The more I read the news, the more that I love people--especially the crazies. And, Jeremiah Clyde Hartline of Tennessee is most definitely one of the crazies; however, thanks to him I think I have a new excuse to get out of a speeding ticket: zombies.

The Tennessee man explained that he was being chased by zombies after he caused a car pile-up on Interstate 15 in California, when he crashed the strawberry big rig he stole. The incident caused injuries to 7 people and this past Monday, May 13, Hartline plead guilty to charges of assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run causing death or injury, and vehicle theft. He will be sentenced on June 24, and hopefully for him the zombie apocalypse will have started.

The good news: no strawberries were harmed in the accident.
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Adam Green Helps Boston


Director Adam Green will be showing Boston some love for a 3-day fundraising event to help raise money for the Boston Marathon bombing victims from May 28-30. All proceeds from the events will go to The One Fund.

Green and fellow cast mates Joe Lynch and Laura Ortiz of FEARnet's Holliston will make an appearance in Green's hometown of Holliston, Ma on May 28. The cast will premiere 3 episodes of the show's upcoming second season and hold a Q&A session at the Holliston High auditorium. Following the screening and questions with the cast, attendees are invited to an afterparty at Casey's Publications, the local bar depicted as Casey's Crossing on the show. The best part? It only costs $5 to get in!

After the Holliston premiere, Green, Lynch, Ortiz, Kane Hodder, Zach Galligan, and more will be holding a Boston Strong Party at the Palladium in Worcester, Ma on May 29. An auction will be held, giving fans an opportunity to buy awesome memorabilia including Gwar's Oderus Urungus' real mask. And, for fans who are looking for a little something extra, and a chance to win Green's heart, you can bid to win a date with him before the party! The event costs a minimum donation of $5.

Lastly on May 30, Green and Hodder will host a Hatchet movie marathon and premiere Hatchet 3 at Revere Hotel's Theater One in Boston. Tickets for the event cost $25 and you can find out more information here.

Not only will you get to have some awesome horror-related fun for three days, you will be doing it all for an amazing cause! More information on the events and how you can purchase your tickets can be found here. Lets show Boston how awesome horror fans are by donating now!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

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10 Unassuming Actors Who Took on Villanious Roles


Some individuals have a presence that oozes evil from the moment that you see them. There’s something about the look in their eyes, a slant to their smile, and slyness to their personalities that makes them someone to maintain your guard around. These people make for perfect horror villains because they can present a believable performance as a merciless bad guy without having to try. However, there are some people who fail to fit the bill at first glance, because they are unassuming and almost too innocent and harmless-looking to believe that they would commit evil acts. 
 
When Elijah Wood was cast as Frank in the remake of Maniac, some people were probably left scratching their heads. Elijah Wood? The wide-eyed and soft-spoken guy from The Lord of the Rings is going to play a sadistic psychopath who takes pleasure in murdering women? He didn’t seem like the immediate person that people would picture for that type of role. In response to this somewhat unconventional casting, Shock Till You Drop takes a look at other inconspicuous people who have played evil characters.

To read my list, and to help mama get a new pair of shoes, click here!
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The Cw's Cult Never Stood a Chance


The new CW series Cult, starring Matt Davis (The Vampire Diaries) and Jessica Lucas (Evil Dead) has been removed from the network's Friday night schedule. Translation: it's dunzo.

The thriller series followed a reporter and a production assistant as they searched for their missing brother and father respectively, discovering that their disappearances may have been linked to a popular CW television series called Cult. The interesting concept involving a show within a show proved to be too much for the tween minds of CW viewers just two weeks into the series when the network moved it from Tuesdays to Fridays. The network has chosen to remove Cult completely and replace it with reruns of The Carrie Diaries.

In response to the news, Cult's star Davis tweeted, "Good news Cult fans! Cult has been renewed for the next ten season due to its brilliant marketing campaign! Good job everyone...All joking aside, thank you to all who watched. It was a wonderful learning experience, and exciting misadventure. On to bigger the better!"

Early on, the series was compared to the FOX hit The Following, starring Kevin Bacon; however, other than the idea of a cult, the two series are completely different from each other. I personally found Cult more interesting than The Following, which happens to have Bacon as its redeeming quality. The Following feels very predictable and cheesy. While Cult was at times equally cheesy, its idea was creative and different, so it was hard to figure out what is going to happen before it was in your face.

Watching Cult, it seemed like the series had a lot of potential to grow into a stronger show if it was given the chance, but obviously the CW would rather air an unoriginal teen soap instead of taking a chance on something different.

What are your thoughts on Cult? Are you sad to see it cancelled?

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