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    Gale Anne Hurd is bringing a new invasion to television screens. USA Networks has bought an alien-invasion series from The Walking Dead producer. Horizon is set during WWII and it follows "a secretary at the FBI who discovers that her husband might have been killed in a battle with a spaceship in the South Pacific. Obsessed with learning the truth, she becomes the only person standing between Earth and an alien invasion." Hurd will executive produce the series along with Bridget Tyler (Burn Notice), who will write the pilot.

    Source: Hollywood Reporter

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    The Vampire Diaries Episode 408
    “We’ll Always Have Bourbon Street”
    Written By: Charlie Charbonneau & Jose Molina
    Directed By: Jesse Warn
    Original Airdate: 6 December 2012

    In This Episode...

    Picking up where we left off, Elena and Damon are enjoying each other - a lot. Damon begs her not to tell Stefan about them - he just wants one perfect, private day. As she leaves for school, Stefan shows up. He tells Damon that he thinks Elena is sired to him, which naturally pisses off Damon - he doesn’t want to think Elena only loves him because she has been “brainwashed.” Stefan asks him to do a test, which Damon goes along with. He visits Elena at school with a bag of blood and tells her it would mean a lot to him if she would give it another try - he thinks she will really like it now. Sure enough, Elena drinks the bagged blood and enjoys it. She is overjoyed; Damon is upset that his brother was right.

    So now the question becomes, how does he un-sire Elena? As we learn in flashbacks, Damon ran into a similar problem in 1942. He was hanging out in New Orleans, and a girl named Charlotte fell for him. She begged him to turn her, and being Damon, he did. She became obsessed with him, and when it got all “Fatal Attraction-y” he told her to count all the bricks in all the buildings of New Orleans and left. He found a witch who claimed she could break the sire bond, but the cost would be the souls of 12 innocents. Damon slaughtered those 12, but for reasons that are never really explored, nothing else happens with the curse, or with Charlotte.

    Damon and Stefan road trip to New Orleans, seeking the witch, Val. Instead, they find Charlotte, who literally counted every brick in New Orleans, then waited for Damon to return. So clearly, the witch did not break the sire bond. She helps them locate Val’s new shop, only Val is no longer alive. The place is being run by her granddaughter, Naomi, who says that she doesn’t practice; she mostly sells voodoo relics to tourists. If a spell like Damon describes does exist, it was in one of Val’s grimoires, which were all destroyed in Katrina. Damon comes back a short time later, believing Naomi to be lying to him. He remembers the first time he visited Val - Naomi was her daughter, not granddaughter. Naomi finally admits that there is no spell that Damon speaks of. Her mother practiced a form of witchcraft called expression (what a shit name) that was darker than black magic. All Val was doing was getting Damon to sacrifice humans for her so she could grow more powerful. The only way to break a vampire-sire bond is the old fashioned way: break up. Damon does just that with Charlotte, in a surprisingly gentlemanly way. He knows that he has to do the same with Elena. He doesn’t want to, especially when Naomi says that the sire bond only amplifies feelings that were there before the person was turned. But Damon realizes he has to do right - not by him, not by Stefan, but by Elena.

    While the boys are away, the girls play. Elena invites Caroline and Bonnie over to the Salvatore house to enjoy a case of Dom. She wants to tell them about her and Damon, but Caroline gets super-judgmental the moment Damon’s name comes up. She promises not to mention Damon for the rest of the night, and the girls get good and drunk. Once they pass the “silly dancing” stage of drunkenness and get to the quiet, introspective stage of drunkenness, shit goes downhill. Caroline and Elena again butt heads over Damon, and Elena announces that she slept with him. Caroline reveals that she is sired to Damon and Elena gets mad and tells them to leave. But then they are accosted by Kim and Adrian.

    Adrian is the last hybrid still sired to Klaus. He isn’t strong enough to make it through the sire-bond breaking, and Kim, the girl who was broken last week, takes pity on him and takes him from the barn. She and Tyler are at odds: she thinks he is being just as domineering as Klaus was; Tyler is just trying to assert his dominance as pack alpha. Kim challenges this by kidnapping Caroline and torturing her in the barn. Tyler and Elena go to rescue her. Elena offers herself up in Caroline’s place, saying that if they want to get back at Klaus, she is far more valuable to him. Kim buys it, and in the transfer, Tyler steps in and jams his hand into Kim’s chest. He swears he will kill her if she doesn’t submit. So she does, and Tyler lets her live. The rest of the pack bows, accepting Tyler as their alpha.

    So the girls make up and the boys return home. Elena tells Damon she knows she is sired, but doesn’t believe it changes her feelings towards him. Damon still has to turn into Angry Damon and “break up” with Elena.

    Also: We learn a little more about Shane and Hayley. He needs an army of 12 un-sired hybrids. Hayley has to break Adrian, otherwise Shane is taking Tyler. In exchange, he gives Hayley everything she ever wanted to know about her biological parents. When Hayley finally announces that Adrian has been broken, Shane turns over the thumb drive and tells Hayley that her parents are dead - but that doesn’t mean she can’t see them again. We also learn from Bonnie that the “exciting new nature witchcraft” Shane is teacher her is called (wait for it...) “expression.”

    Dig It or Bury It?

    Surprisingly, the heightened drama and low level of action didn’t bother me tonight. Maybe it helped that the boys and girls were separate. Maybe it is because we are finally getting some insight into Shane and whatever his evil plot is. Did anyone get the feeling he was talking about zombies when he told Hayley just because her parents were dead didn’t mean she couldn’t see them again? I’m not sure how zombies would fit into the mythology of The Vampire Diaries. It could be ghosts, visions, more vampires, some crazy ju-ju we haven’t seen yet.


    Bonnie and Shane help break Jeremy of some of his hunter instincts, and Elena and Damon just can’t keep their hands off each other.

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  • 12/07/12--09:00: Gift Guide: Brain Cube
  • Rubick's Cube takes on a dark twist with the Brain Cube. It's just like Rubick's puzzle, but instead of matching colors, you match the folds of the brain. It's pretty cool if you like brainteasers, but let's be honest: this toy needs a hearty splash of blood. Maybe a bite mark. You know, zombie it up (and disguise the fact that this is kinda-sorta an educational toy.)

    $34.99 at Marbles: The Brain Store

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    Founded by Christofer Johnsson over a quarter-century ago and heralded as one of the standard-bearers of symphonic metal, Swedish band Therion tend to set musical trends rather than follow them... so it wasn't so much a surprise to me to discover that the band has moved even further out of the metal domain to explore other realms of grand-scale gothic rock in their fifteenth studio album Les Fleurs Du Mal. The title (which translates as “The Flowers of Evil”) comes from a collection of darkly erotic poems by controversial 19th-century writer Charles Baudelaire, and it's a fitting concept for a band whose lyrics often focus on grandiose nightmare imagery and sinister seduction – except I guess this isn't technically a concept record; it's actually more of a unique approach to a covers album. Very unique in fact, since the tunes being covered here are all vintage French “chanson” pop songs and ballads (mainly from the '60s and '70s), all performed in their original language.
    Yeah, I did a little WTF double-take there too. So we have that choice of theme, along with a further departure from the heavier side of gothic metal (a path the band was already taking in their previous release Sitra Ahra) and into the realm of operatic rock, which I imagine might piss off a few purists who want their symphonic metal to be more... well, metal. It seemed the band may have anticipated this, releasing the record indendently, instead of on their usual label, the legendary Nuclear Blast Records. But even as a huge fan of that genre myself, I resolved to go into this record with an open mind nestled between my headphones, and I was surprised at what I discovered after pressing play.
    Although they've usually maintained a well-balanced variety of male and female vocals, Therion's increased tendency toward the latter comes fully into play on Les Fleurs, and the more feminine dynamic works best for these lighter retro pop melodies, some of which have a lighter feel in comparison to the band's previous material, especially on tracks like “Polichinelle” and the manically playful “Wahala Manitou.” But there's no mistaking that flamboyant, multi-layered and theatrically over-the-top approach that bears the Therion trademark, even if the only tracks here that truly feel like old-school Therion are  the closing track (more on that below) and the hauntingly seductive “Lilith"...
    While I'm not too familiar with the original versions, I do know that songs of the “chanson” period were intimate, playful and sometimes painfully melanchcoly (“J'ai le Mal de Toi” is a definite tear-jerker), but usually in a charming way; on this album, what began as simple and catchy melodies tend to become excessively melodramatic. While the scope of the music is not as overtly operatic as Sitra Ahra, the arrangements sometimes feel too big for the material – although to their credit, it does add some cinematic dimension in cuts like “Mon Amour, Mon Ami” and “Une Fleur Dans le Cœur,” which feature the band's full vocal ensemble at their best, and they do manage to serve up some hearty '80s era glam metal for the infectious “Je n’ai besoin que de tendresse,” and bring a more progressive, meditative mood to "Initials B.B." Also interesting is how the album is bookended with two different recordings of “Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son,” both of which rank among the most memorable tracks in the collection. The first take is more rock-oriented, with a solo female vocal, while the second finds the band in classic mode, with mixed vocals and a more symphonic scope.
    It's hard to compare Les Fleurs Du Mal to just about anything in Therion's catalog, but I have to commend them for taking such a daring and unique creative turn on this record. It's often excessive, flamboyant and flashy, but honestly that's not much of a sin in the world of gothic metal. It's actually a very cool way to breathe new life into these long-lost melodies, and the band's sweeping theatrical sound is still alive and well.

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    There are so many ways for a "biopic" to go wrong: actors who mistake caricature for character, history that's been sanitized to make for a more simplistic story; filmmakers who admire their subjects too much to be truly frank and honest about their flaws, and on and on. The light and unexpectedly colorful new bio-pic known simply as Hitchcock suffers from a variety of the standard problems, and perhaps even a few egregious ones -- but there's also a handsome look, admirable tone, and a lot of amusing novelty to be found in Sacha Gervasi's affectionate story about the mad genius who made Psycho.
    Those who are looking for a scandalous tell-all biopic of the man who gave us Rear Window, Vertigo, Strangers on a Train, and North By Northwest may find this rendition a bit over-scrubbed and, yes, sanitized -- but taken as a sly and affectionate look at a sad man and his desire to become something new and relevant, there's a lot here for a film buff to enjoy. Fictionalized, simplified, and intermittently way too earnest for its own good, Hitchcock still earns major points in departments other than historical veracity.
    The massive ensemble, for example, is a strong selling point in its own right. Not only is there the diverting novelty of watching a porcine Anthony Hopkins portray Alfred Hitchcock, but there always seems to be another stray nugget of amusement in every other scene. Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh and Jessica Biel as Vera Miles? Yes, please. Michael Stuhlbarg as legendary agent Lew Wasserman and James D'Arcy as a sweet but twitchy Anthony Perkins? Both great. And the casting directors don't stop there. Perhaps it's just difficult to dislike a film that finds use for folks like Michael Wincott, Kurtwood Smith, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, and Richard Portnow, but given that Hitchcock is already a film made for movie geeks, the eclectic ensemble feels like an extra layer of icing.
    And Helen Mirren gets her very own paragraph break for reigning supreme over such a massive cast of characters. Whether you consider Hitchcock an admirable look at a wonderful filmmaker or a broad misfire that wastes valuable resources, there's little denying that Ms. Mirren's performance as Hitchcock's long-devoted, frequently suffering, and endlessly ingenious wife, Alma Reville, is an absolute delight. Even when the always-classy actress is saddled with some basic dialogue about being trapped as "the woman behind the man," Mirren infuses the lines with an irrepressible charm and quiet strength. In a movie boasting about 15 big-name actors, Ms. Mirren still manages to steal the whole damn show.

    Ensemble aside, as well as some stellar contributions in the departments of costume and 1959 production design, Hitchcock is sort of a mixed bag. John McLaughlin's screenplay is at is cleverest and most appealing when it remains focused on the inception and production of the now-classic known as Psycho, and is considerably more maudlin and predictable when it casts its gaze upon Hitchcock's rather bland and generic private life. A third thread involving the specter of Ed Gein, the maniac who inspired Robert Block to write Psycho, is ham-fisted and in rather poor taste, although Michael Wincott as Ed Gein is rather an inspired bit of casting.

    Doubtlessly too scattershot to impress the true Hitchcock scholars of the world, Gervasi's odd duck of a biopic is half comedy, half romance, very little conflict, and a generous share of assets in numerous technical departments. Hopkins makes for a charming and compelling, if not entirely believable, Alfred Hitchcock, and he's flanked by enough support on both sides of the camera to make Hitchcock an appealing piece of fluff for movie buffs, and sometimes that's just good enough. 


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    I file The Descent away in a category all its own. I love pretty much everything Neil Marshall creates and The Descent is such an interesting and nuanced film. It’s packed with nods to other films, but somehow manages to be an original story.

    Final girl pick of the week, Sarah Carter battles creeping hairless monsters straight out of a nightmare while trapped in a cave in the middle of the earth. On top of that, the poor woman is fighting personal demons of loss and betrayal, literally and figuratively clawing her way back to the land of the living. I never equate The Descent with "final girl movies," but Sarah Cater is every bit a final girl.

Movie:The Descent
    Year: 2005

    Final Girl: Sarah Carter (Shauna Macdonald)
    The Issues: This needs to be set up a bit, but I’ll try not to spoil too much. Sarah is still reeling from an accident that killed her husband and small child. She agrees to go on a girl’s spelunking weekend as a means of escape, only to be confronted with the knowledge that her friend and husband betrayed her. Prior to getting to the cave she’s already begun to descend into the mouth of madness, but it’s this final truth that totally tips her over the edge.
    The Resolve: Like all final girls, Sarah has lost nearly everything. She is at a point where she doesn’t want to live, and her last moments are spent in primal abandon. Obviously, the descent is a giant metaphor for Sarah’s headspace, but that’s almost secondary. The actual oppressiveness of the movie is what makes it unforgettable. The deeper the women go into the cave, the more cathartic each kill becomes.
    The Best Kill: Sarah's metamorphosis throughout the movie is so incredibly physical, by the end she appears almost superhuman. While the film doesn’t offer redemption for Sarah, sticking her best friend with a pickaxe probably offered her a little piece of mind. Watch her battle crawlers below.

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    Ew. It’s real.

    Perfect for the backwoods inbred mutant killer in your life who keeps losing their keys, this beaver foot hook offers a helpful claw for whatever you want to hang.

    According to the EvasFeathers, no animals were hurt or killed in the making of this keychain, so we’ll just assume all the beavers died of natural causes.

    “Beaver foot wall mounts can also be used to hang other items such as necklaces, lanyards, charms, etc, and they also just look plain weird and creepy sticking out of a wall all by themselves as if a real fantasy horror creature is actually coming out of your wall.”  Too true. The shop also offers other pieces of dead animals to display including a squirrel foot hook, and an alligator backscratcher.


    $16.95 on Etsy


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    The week was a great week in classic horror history.

    House of Dracula, starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and John Carradine, is part of the Universal Studio's monster movie tome. It’s a story that includes all the heavy hitters: Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein. The general gist is that Dracula is looking for something to cure his never-ending desire to nibble on people’s necks. He shows up at Dr. Franz Edelmann’s castle seeking help. In a strange coincidence,  Lawrence Talbot also stops by Edelmann’s castle. He too is looking for a cure, but in his case, it’s for lycanthropy.  On top of this Dr. Edelmann has been working on a few experiments of his own with the help of a surpisingly attractive hunchbacked woman. Not surprisingly things go very awry and get more than a little chompy.

    Title:House of Dracula
    Released: December 7, 1945
    Tagline: HORROR UPON HORROR in the House of Dracula

    Cat People is a simple story of a woman who turns into a cat when she gets turned on. Not so much in the special effects department, Val Lewton relies more on suspense, and giant cat shadows to create mood.

    Title:Cat People
    Released: December 6, 1942
    Tagline:  She knew strange, fierce pleasures that no other woman could ever feel!


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    Sexy Beetlejuice. Two words I wouldn’t put together. But Candace “VampireKitten” Miller makes it work in her Ghoul Girls calendar.

    Ghoul Girls began in 2007 as a fun way for horror fans to get experience as photographers, make up artists and models. It’s expanded into a models-meet-monsters business that provides tutorials for working models and photographers as well as a place to sell their work.

    “The goal was to create a niche within the horror genre with a twist that would not only be entertaining, but also a tribute to our favorite things. We give long time and new models exposure in a high traffic/non-exclusive setting that is fun for all involved,” Miller said.

    Check out images from their 2013 calendar below, including tributes to My Bloody Valentine and Twilight Zone, and order it here.


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    New comic book Wednesday has come and gone. The dust at your local comic shop has settled. An eerie silence descends as you finish reading your last superhero book of the week. Now it's time for something a little more sinister. Welcome to Bagged and Boarded: comic reviews of the sick, spooky, twisted and terrifying!

    Hellboy in Hell No. 1

    He's back! Hellboy's back and everything's going to be… okay? Our favorite big red muscle-bound hero is back in his own story again. After realizing he was the rightful king of Britain, he fought a giant dragon and has his heart ripped out, sending him to hell. Now we pick up with his descent into the depths: as he awakens in the abyss, a place full of chaos, an old foe with a giant hammer comes to beat the piss out of him. With the help of a mysterious warlock, Hellboy has to pummel his way through the afterlife.

    Bag it or board it up? Oh, Hellboy, we missed you. The series that surround you are great (some of the best comic writing around, in fact), but there's no replacing the original. This adventure has a lot of potential and is promising some pretty big stuff. While this issue may feel like a bit of a recap for someone who's been following along since the beginning, it still greatly entertains. Check it out, it's a lot of fun!

    Willow: Wonderland No. 2

    The story of Willow attempting to infuse her world with the magic it lost continues with issue two. With a giant monster bearing down on her and her comrades (on an alternate plane full of magic) Willow shows us her full capabilities. In this magic charged world she's super-powered and in her prime. After coming across an old friend, Willow may have found the wellspring she's been looking for.

    Bag it or board it up? An awesome cameo from a cool character. A fight with a giant slug monster. Quirky quips and barbs and jabs. It has good Buffy written all over it. This is a fun, adventuresome comic series that may not scare the pants off you, but definitely takes a good look at witches. This is classic adventure with that classic Buffy tongue-in-cheek attitude.

    Chasing the Dead No. 2

    Chasing the Dead follows a mother whose daughter has been kidnapped. The kidnapper keeps the mother on the phone, instructing her to follow his directions perfectly or risk being "punished." In this issue she sets out on the trail he's described, and a young man tries to help her at his own peril.

    Bag it or board it up? I don't know. I liked the first issue, but this one meanders. The writer seems in love with his own ideas so much that it becomes tangled. He leaves threads for things I'm sure won't come up for another two issues. It's not a bad comic; there are way worse out there. But if you like straightforward horror comics this isn't for you. That being said, when all the issues come out and you can sit down and read it as one solid story this could be a blast to read.

    Colder No. 2

    Declan (the freezing cold 100 year old young man) and Reece (his nurse/caregiver up until he "woke up") are out walking around Boston. Declan wants to show Reece the other world, the world of insanity, the world where chaos reigns. So, by peering into the mind of a crazed man on the street, the two are transported to "The Hungry World." With a psychotic sprite named Jack hot on their trail, Declan must quickly get Reece to understand his world before it's too late.

    Bag it or board it up? Okay, okay, so it's not the easiest comic to summarize, but this is a good one. Full of gore, psychosis, and an awesome messed-up villain, Colder hits a strange place in the comic market. It feels like a serial killer comic, it looks like a psychotic dark/secret world comic, and it reads like an action comic. The ideas are big and the pace is fast. It's a nice combination and worth your attention.

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    How many times can you hear "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" before you want to jam sharp sticks into your ears? While I haven't done a scientific study, I know that I have reached my limit. Here are some darker carols (or "scarols") to lighten your holidays.

    Disneyland's Haunted Mansion Holiday truly started the "scarol" tradition. A recording of those scarols (with titles like "We Wish You a Scary Christmas," "Wreck the Halls" and "The 13 Days of Christmas") will now cost you an obscene amount on eBay but you can get the lyric book for a very reasonable price.

    $12.95 at

    "We wish you a zombie Christmas / We hope you have a death wish / We wish you a zombie Christmas / 'Cause you won't see next year."

    Zombie Christmas album, $9 to download / $15 for the CD

    The Cryptkeeper got in on the Christmas action.

    Starting at $31.98 on Amazon

    It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies!

    $4 at Amazon

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    Fringe Episode 508
    “The Human Kind”
    Written By: Alison Schapker
    Directed By: Dennis Smith
    Original Airdate: 7 December 2012

    In This Episode...

    Walter and Astrid have dug out tape eight, which says they need to retrieve an industrial magnet from Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Peter is not there, but he does call. He is in New York, predicting Windmark’s timeline to ultimately kill him. He called to warn them not to go back to Etta’s apartment - the Observers tracked him there (or he led them there) and it is no longer safe. Walter is very worried, because at this point, he is more Observer than man, and Walter is terrified of losing his son. Olivia is fearful of losing Peter again, so she throws herself into work and volunteers to go get the industrial magnet.

    While Olivia is doing that, Walter and Astrid experiment with the Observers tech that she brought back. It will only interact with organic material - luckily Walter is the kind of guy who has preserved brains just hanging around. They run some tests on the tech. It implants itself in the brain, but once it realizes the brain is not living, it shuts down. Astrid still gets enough data to run some simulations. They figure out that the tech is creating an insane amount of brain folds, which force back the emotional center in order to make room for higher thinking and more advanced logic. Eventually, the process will become permanent. 

    Peter is running Windmark’s timeline, and thinks he has it figured out. But Windmark figures this out too, and eventually catches up with Peter. They have an awesome fight, with both of them slipping in and out of the fabric of space and time. Windmark forces Peter to see Etta’s last thoughts, which were that sunny day in the park before the Observers took over. Peter knifes an Observer henchman who shows up, then blinks away. Windmark realizes he has met a worth opponent.

    Olivia has found the wreckage yard that holds the industrial magnet. When she asks a young man named Carlos about bartering for it, his eyes grow wide and he rushes in to tell Simone. As Simone explains to Olivia, many years ago, shortly after the invaders came, an older man (obviously Walter) came to see her mother, told her to put aside one of the giant industrial magnets, plus a truck to tow it with. He told her that one day it would save the world. Many people thought this was hooey, but Simone’s mother believed it was true, and she passed that faith on to her daughter. So Simone was overjoyed, thinking that Olivia will be their savior. Simone is a touch psychic, which has no bearing on what happens tonight, but they spent a lot of time on it, so I imagine she will be back in a later episode. Anyway, Olivia just has to wait for some diesel for the truck. She gets more and more edgy as she waits. When a little girl comes up and tells her that there is a reward for turning her in, Olivia immediately goes on the defensive. She pulls a gun on Simone when she is offered water. Simone is a bit frightened, but merely sips the water to show it is not drugged. The diesel arrives and Olivia relaxes. She takes her magnet with thanks, and calls Anil for a place to hide it.

    As she is driving, Olivia sees a car wreck and some bodies in the road. She gets out to check on them and discovers the bodies were dummies. This was a set up, and she is held at gunpoint by a couple robbers. They do a face scan on her and discover there is a high reward for turning her in. Olivia fights, but they fight back, knocking her unconscious and taking her back to their warehouse. She overhears them plotting to turn her in for a huge reward. Luckily she is in some huge workshop or warehouse. She finds a giant drill machine, cuts through her binds on it, and sets up a small fire to attract her abductors’ attention, then uses the bullet that Etta gave her in a makeshift air gun. Bandit #1 responds to the smoke signal, and gets a bullet right through the head. She then takes his gun and kills Bandit #2. She stops for Etta’s bullet on the way out.

    Peter has returned to the lab. After his fight with Windmark, he needs Walter to suture his shoulder. Walter is happy to do so, but is scared that he might never get Peter back. Peter’s mind is about 75% of the way to Observer-ville, so this has little effect on him. He is fully consumed with setting Windmark on a path that would put him back on the proper timeline, allowing him to be killed the following day at precisely 5:13. And he is gone. 

    Olivia checks in with Walter, who fills her in on Peter. She goes to Peter, who is observing (pun intended) Windmark from a balcony. She begs him to remember that Etta is always with them, that if he goes full baldy he will lose his memories and love for her, yadda yadda yadda. It doesn’t seem to be getting through to Peter. Olivia keeps talking, telling him how much she loves him, how she won’t lose him again, more yadda yadda yadda. Peter takes out his knife, and for a moment it hovers between them, as if he can’t decide on his next move. But he makes the right one and cuts the tech out of his neck.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    Another middle episode. It was enjoyable because Fringe is a high-quality project, but this episode just didn’t stand out in any way. Peter and Windmark’s fight scene was pretty badass. I like the effect they use to make them slip in and out of the space-time continuum. 


    Walter drops acid, has a conversation with a green fairy, and takes Peter on a trip to the land of Oz. 

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    Malcolm McDowell hardly needs an introduction, but here goes: The British actor, with over 100 credits to his resume, is best known for his lead role in Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking, genre-defying film A Clockwork Orange. His most recent project is Silent Night, a “loose remake” of 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night. In the new version, which just hit DVD and blu-ray last week, McDowell plays a small town sheriff who must find a Christmas killer dressed as Santa. We spoke with Malcolm about the film, about Clockwork, and about what scares him so much about Santa Claus.

    How did you get involved with Silent Night?

    Well, they asked me to do it! I read it and I was quite intrigued. I liked it a lot. I thought we could make a good movie. I met the director, Steven Miller, and he came up with some really great ideas. Even though we only had something like 17 days to shoot it - I think I was only in for eight days - it was fast. I love shooting fast like that, so it appealed to me. That is why I got involved. I liked the director immediately, and I think he did a wonderful job. I think he’s a very talented director.

    Were you familiar with the original Silent Night, Deadly Night?

    I didn’t see the original, but I heard about it when I decided I would do this. I didn’t want to see it - I felt it was pointless [McDowell’s character does not exist in Silent Night, Deadly Night.] And also, it’s not a remake; it’s just “inspired” by that movie. Of course, they had to buy the title,  but I think the script is completely different, from what I’ve heard.

    I’m glad they put the sheriff in. It’s quite fun, and it adds a layer to the relationship with Jamie King’s character. He is a little bit all-knowing and thinks he can keep a cap on it. But he is used to writing parking tickets and throwing drunks into jail on a Saturday night. He is totally ill-equipped [to deal with a killer] but he’ll never admit that. That’s a nice figure to poke a bit of fun at - but not too much. You don’t want to be disrespectful. I found it a fun role to do, and I don’t think I’ve ever played a sheriff before.

    Did you get to improvise any of your lines or scenes?

    Oh yes, a lot of those one-liners are mine. The fun bits. It lends itself to that, but you have to be careful not to go too over-the-top. You’ve got to keep it real; you’ve got to believe that he is a law enforcement officer. I think when I’m on set I just come out with whatever is going on in my brain at the time. It’s instinctive. I don’t think about it too much; I just sort of do it when I get there and see what’s going on. That’s how “Singing in the Rain” came out of my mouth all those years ago with Stanley Kubrick [for A Clockwork Orange.] It was the same sort of formula: you just let your intuition take over.

    And you have generally worked with directors who have let your intuition take over, and let you go off-script?

    Yeah, unless they tell me they don’t want it. But that’s my M.O. I love to improvise - if it works for the scene. I’d prefer not to improvise. If the script is great, you don’t have to. You just do the script. It’s a rare thing, but it does happen.

    Did you worry at all that there would be a backlash or controversy around a movie about a killer Santa? Even though it is not a new concept, it seems that - in this country at least - many people are paranoid about this “war” on Christmas.

    I never really thought about that. Honestly, it has been so long since the original one, and people got upset then that they were taking this mythical, wonderful character of Santa Claus.... Let’s face it - and this is why I like the film - the whole thing with Christmas is that it is completely commercial and being taken over by Hallmark cards. It’s just something to drive the economy. That’s basically what has happened to Christmas as we know it. Santa Claus is a beautiful, mythical figure for young kids - personally, I’ve always been rather suspicious of Santa Claus - I called him Father Christmas, back in England. I was a little afraid of him, with his great big white beard and red suit, and those big boots and his big stomach...

    Plus, he is a stranger, breaking into your house.

    Exactly! And he comes down a chimney, but most people don’t have a chimney, so parents are now telling kids they are leaving the door open or something. My kids are practical about it. They ask me, “Won’t he get burnt, coming down a chimney?” I try to explain that he has fireproof underwear, so he should be alright. 

    I’m sure, though, that the producers would love some controversy. It always helps ticket sales. When the original came out, Siskel and Ebert said, “Do not go see this film - it’s horrendous.” So of course, everyone flocked to see it. If they say it’s that bad, it must be good.

    You are certainly no stranger to controversy with the roles you take, especially A Clockwork Orange. Do you think appearing in Clockwork so early in your career changed the trajectory of your career?

    I’m sure it did. But who knows? If you asked me now if I would have preferred not to have done A Clockwork Orange, I would say, “Hell no!” You are dealt the cards, and I was spectacularly lucky to work with such an extraordinary director as Stanley Kubrick. It’s a very indelible character and, if I may say, performance. Coming out when it did, when nobody had seen anything like it, it was an overwhelming success. People probably couldn’t see me in anything else, they just wanted to see me play that part over and over again, which I refused to do. I’m an actor, I’m from England, I grew up on the stage, basically. I don’t want to play the same part every time. 

    I felt much more of a seismic change in my life after I did my first film, which was directed by Lindsay Anderson, called If... No one had ever heard of me before that. I had never done a movie before that, let alone been the lead in a movie. That was a huge shift from poverty into a normal life where you didn’t have to worry about paying the bills month to month. In terms of my life, the first one meant more to me. By the time I got to Clockwork, which was the fourth movie I did, I didn’t really have time to relish the success of Clockwork because I was thrown into another movie almost immediately. Which is good. But Clockwork is the movie I assume I will always be remembered for, and to be associated with Kubrick is not a bad thing. I am very privileged to have played that part. To be part of the Kubrick film [legacy], and one of his best films at that, is wonderful.

    Are you ever asked to speak at any of the Kubrick retrospectives?

    Oh yes, hundreds of them. When you get to be my age, and you’ve been doing it for as long as I have - which is going on 50 years - I think it would be fun to do a retrospective of all the worst films I’ve done. That would be a really embarrassing evening!

    And what would some of those be?

    That, I’m not going to say. But I know a couple right off the top of my head, but the people that worked on them are still around, and they wouldn’t want me knocking something that they worked hard on. But some just don’t work out the way they had hoped, and that’s it.

    You have a fair amount of genre credits on your resume. Are you a horror fan, or is that just the byproduct of a long and successful career?

    I enjoy science fiction, definitely. I think it’s amazing because we really use our imaginations for science fiction, where anything is possible. So you’ve got to love that. I love science fiction writers. I was friends with Ray Bradbury and I think he was the American version of Jules Verne, and I always loved Jules Verne. H.G. Wells, too. There are a lot of wonderful stories in science fiction. Edgar Allen Poe, too - one of the greatest writers of his period or any others. So yes, I am a fan of the genre. At its very best, it is incredibly beautiful and very imaginative.

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    Looking for a creepy kid for your upcoming horror project? Then go to the experts: Kreepy Kids Kasting. Stan and Don have been casting the creepiest horror movie kids for decades, and have a horrifying youngster for every occasion.

    Via Laughing Squid

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    I love pop culture mashups. Due to economic woes and a cutback in hours (or so I assume), the Pac-Man ghosts have gotten  night jobs as the ghosts in Paranormal Activity. Inky, Blinky, and Clyde are hard-working ghosts; they deserve a little more recognition and a pay bump. This t-shirt brings the plight of these colorful ghosts to the forefront. 

    $19.88 at Stylin Online

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    The description “bloodthirsty savages” always sounds promising, so the news that Summit has acquired the rights to adapt Chase Novak’s story Breed is very exciting.

    The twisted family tale follows the story of a couple who undergo an experimental fertility treatment that turns them into bloodthirsty savages, leading them on a desperate quest to find a cure.

    It’s no secret that Chase Novak is writer Chris Spencer’s pseudonym, and Chris Spencer has penned more than his fair share of novels that have been successfully adapted to film, including Endless Love and Waking the Dead.

    Burr Steers, the man behind Charlie St. Cloud and 17 Again, will write and direct. According to the NY Times, "... Breed is just the first installment. Mr. Spencer has said that Brood will come next."

    via Coming Soon

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    Charles Burns continues to bend reality to his own warped will in The Hive, the second part of the trilogy begun back in 2010 with X’ed Out. That volume introduced us to Doug, a sad-sack loser type who was in pretty sorry shape when we joined his story. Doug was heavily medicated, trudging through life in the aftermath of some incident which had left him with a bandaged head and a reliance upon pain pills. As a result, Doug was constantly fading in and out of the real world, slipping from remembrances of a relationship with a girl named Sarah to fever dreams involving otherworldly creatures, floods, crying maggots and other oddities.

    The Hive slips right back into the same surreal groove; and yes, it’s highly recommended that you read X’ed Out before diving in here. It’s not that things will make more sense, exactly – Burns is far from ready for explanations at this point – but there are lots of little clues that harken back to what came in that first book.

    As in X’ed Out, Burns skips through a number of different timelines and realities throughout the course of The Hive, each of them echoing back on one another in a dizzying game of “what’s real?” There’s Doug with a young blonde woman, telling stories about Sarah that are getting closer to the incident that seemed to kick off events in the first book. There’s Doug in his other, dreamlike world, a place where he looks like the comic character TinTin (and is, in fact, called NitNit); here, he works as some sort of lowly mail clerk, delivering comic books and magazines to young women called “Breeders” in the enormous hive we glimpsed at the end of X’ed Out. And there’s Doug with Sarah, a woman he once loved, in a relationship that feels increasingly doomed the more we learn about it.

    With only one book left to go (Sugar Skull, which maddeningly does not yet have a release date), you might hope that Burns at least begins to hint at some answers here, but you’d be disappointed. Or maybe not; I’m as mad as anyone to know what’s going on, but Burns’ withholding of truth is more tantalizing than frustrating. This is an intricate piece of work that rewards more and more with each careful read, and I’m almost okay with the fact that it may be two more years before we get the conclusion. That gives me plenty of time to pore over the beautiful artwork and off-kilter storytelling to try and piece things together on my own.

    Burns’ artwork is amazing as always; his clean style, coupled with the uncluttered layouts and bold colors make this reminiscent of the Sunday funnies – except, of course, for all of the nudity and the blood and the maggots and the pig fetuses. Pantheon’s decision to publish these in a larger format really gives the artwork room to breathe.

    With The Hive, Burns continues to produce some of the best, most thought-provoking and engaging graphic novels you can find. Although you’ve got plenty of time to catch up before Burns concludes this particular story, go ahead and track these volumes down now – trust me, the more time you can spend with it, the better.

    Order The Hiveby Charles Burns (Pantheon Books).

    Blu Gilliand is a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction. He covers horror fiction at his blog, October Country, and contributes interviews to the Horror World website. Follow him on Twitter at @BluGilliand.

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    One can argue that the late ‘80s is the heyday for evil doll movies and Don Mancini and Tom Holland’s Child’s Play is the ultimate in over-the-top killer toy fun. Five installments later the franchise is still enduring and the original is considered a “classic” among many fans.

    Film:Child’s Play
    Director: Tom Holland
    Year: 1988
    Lies They Tell: The Good Guy doll. There’s a misnomer. No normal doll kills with such ferocity, moves with such agility while wearing overalls, or has such an amazing gift for delivering one-liners.
    Devilish Dolly Moment: Oh man, there are so many devil doll moments, it’s tough to choose. Child’s Play is lighter on the kills compared to the next two installments, but the murder of Doctor Ardmore by electroshock therapy gives fans a taste of Chucky’s creativity and love for a punchline. I'm a big fan of Goth guy Damien Baylock’s death scene in Bride of Chucky. Chucky rips his lip ring out and then suffocates him with a pillow. Thankfully, I don’t have to choose just one for you all. This supercut has all his kills – watch closely, Damien is in there.


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    First off, if you’ve never seen Haxan/ Witchcraft Through the Ages you should get on that. It’s a potent brew of a silent film that looks like the Gates of Hell come to life and includes Satan’s minions doing all sorts of hilarious things like bleeding babies, torturing innocents, and giving birth to the Dark Lord and Master’s demons. It’s both beautiful and fun to watch.

    Wandering Genie’s painted VHS box pays tribute to the classic horror film and the antiquated nature of VHS technology with intricate hand-wrought illustrations on a custom-made wooden box. It’s the perfect gift for a fan of the film, a really gorgeous piece of art, and extremely metal. It also includes a copy of the film.

    Here’s the description from Wandering Genie: “I painted this for a Halloween art show with the theme of redesigning vhs packaging. The wooden box is meant to look like a book and has a removable spine which reveals the included tape inside. It is hand stained and painted and one of a kind.”

    The seller has other pieces for sale including a painted wooden egg and some awesome screen prints. Check them out.

    $200 at Etsy


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    Even in his youngest years, Damien Thorn was a classy fellow. With his serious expression and dapper ensembles, he was a young man who commanded respect. It only follows he should have a classy drink. It’s easy to imagine Damien and his governess enjoying this 'Omen'-inspired elixir while planning the enslavement of humanity. It would make a perfect punch for a holiday party, just be mindful of the stairs after having a few.

    Remember, according to Father Brennan you must drink the blood of Christ! Or failing that, try this delicious concoction.


    1½ oz. SVEDKA Cherry Vodka
    ¾ oz. cherry brandy
    ½ oz. Benedictine
    ½ oz. grapefruit juice
    ½ oz. lime juice
    Soda water
    Ice spear

    Pour all ingredients (except for soda water) into a shaker filled with ice. Shake gently and strain into a chilled highball glass. Add a spear of ice. Top with soda water and garnish with fresh cherries.

    The recipe is via Timmy Kitchens, mixologist at West Hollywood's Rock & Reilly created the drink in honor of the film's pivotal stabbing scene. "If only Robert and Damien had discussed their differences over this cocktail, maybe they would have both lived," he joked.


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