Articles on this Page
- 12/13/12--16:00: _Zombify Your Xmas -...
- 12/13/12--17:00: _Horrifying Scenes B...
- 12/14/12--10:00: _Gift Guide: All Wor...
- 12/14/12--11:00: _Obsessed with 'Texa...
- 12/14/12--11:30: _Check Into A&E's 'B...
- 12/14/12--12:00: _This Day in Horror:...
- 12/14/12--13:00: _Behind-the-Scenes P...
- 12/14/12--14:00: _Bagged and Boarded ...
- 12/14/12--15:00: _Final Girl Friday: ...
- 12/14/12--16:00: _Mark Frost Talks Cr...
- 12/14/12--17:00: _Exclusive: We Talk ...
- 12/15/12--08:00: _TV Recap: 'Fringe' ...
- 12/17/12--10:00: _Revisiting Post Mor...
- 12/17/12--11:00: _Our Favorite Horror...
- 12/17/12--12:00: _Collector's Edition...
- 12/17/12--13:00: _Gift Guide: Bloody ...
- 12/17/12--14:00: _Book Review: Don’t ...
- 12/17/12--16:00: _Revisiting Post Mor...
- 12/17/12--17:00: _Gift Guide: 'Origi...
- 12/18/12--08:00: _Fantasic Fest Winne...
- 12/13/12--16:00: Zombify Your Xmas - Scary Gingerbread
- 12/13/12--17:00: Horrifying Scenes Built Entirely Out of Legos
- 12/14/12--10:00: Gift Guide: All Work and No Play 'The Shining' Tee
- 12/14/12--11:00: Obsessed with 'Texas Chainsaw 3D'? Join the Club!
- 12/14/12--11:30: Check Into A&E's 'Bates Motel' In This New Featurette
- 12/14/12--12:00: This Day in Horror: 'Tarantula', 'Cabin Fever' and 'King Kong'
- 12/14/12--15:00: Final Girl Friday: Sally Hardesty from 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre'
- 12/15/12--08:00: TV Recap: 'Fringe' Episode 509 - 'Black Blotter'
- 12/17/12--10:00: Revisiting Post Mortem: Rob Zombie
- 12/17/12--11:00: Our Favorite Horror Sidekicks: 'Scream's' Tatum Riley
- 12/17/12--12:00: Collector's Edition Grimm Magazine Will Hit Newsstands in 2013
- 12/17/12--13:00: Gift Guide: Bloody Severed Ear Key Chain
- 12/17/12--14:00: Book Review: Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Eric A. Jackson's Novella
- 12/17/12--16:00: Revisiting Post Mortem: John Carpenter
- 12/17/12--17:00: Gift Guide: 'Original' 1777 Vampire Slaying Kit
Whether it is gingerbread cookies or houses, gingerbread is the cookie of choice for the Christmas season.
If you aren't creatively-inclined, use these pre-made gingerdead cookie cutters.
And your devilish gingerbread men will need an equally spooky house to live in. You know, until you eat them. (I tried to pick out ones that didn't look too Halloween-y.)
And for year-round fun, try this non-edible version
Legos were one of my favorite toys as a kid. I have discovered that as an adult, the joy hasn't faded - I just have more money to spend on them.
Recently, Lego released a series called Monster Hunters that includes sets like a vampire castle, a ghost train, and a werewolf set. I went insane for the haunted house set which just came out (and should be at my doorstep any day.) Lego fans are pretty hardcore, and create some amazing, original designs that are on part with any traditional sculptor's creation. Unsurprisingly, many of these come from the minds of horror fans. I have culled together some of the most impressive horror scenes built from nothing but Legos. Enjoy.
Alex Eylar is a hardcore Lego builder and photographer. My favorite?
The Psycho House
In 2008, zombies were the theme at the annual BrickCon. This is an overview of the Lego zombie apocalypse.
This guy did a whole series of scenes from various installments of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
This impressive The Ring setup allows you to have Samara crawl out of the well and right through the TV set.
I'm not sure what the Sanctuary of the Damned is from, but holy monkey, it is impressive.
An amazing homage to H.P. Lovecraft
An even more amazing tribute to horror movies, Hill House is an original creation that includes around 10,000 Lego pieces!
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." That phrase has become synonymous with psychopathic tendencies. This t-shirt with the famous phrase from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining looks like it was ripped directly from Jack's typewriter.
Can’t wait for Texas Chainsaw 3D? You are not alone. Lionsgate just launched the Lionsgate Horror Club as a hub for fans to share articles and content and earn points while they are doing it. What will the points get you? Some awesome swag. Details below.
The Horror club will be destination for fans to earn points every time they share our trailers, articles, etc. They will also earn points for submitting content and blog posts to the hub. We will be ranking fans by their points in a leaderboard and also allowing fans to redeem points for items like posters, t-shirts, DVDs, tickets. We will also be rewarding our top bloggers by featuring them on the site. Fans who register for the club now get an automatic entry to win a Horror Home Theater from Break.
Visit the Lionsgate Horror Club here.
Ready for your first good look at A&E's upcoming series 'Bates Motel'? Ever since the project was announced, it's been met with much scrutiny and doubt, especially among die-hard Psycho fans and Hitchcock enthusiasts. But when you've got one of the producers of 'Lost' (Carlton Cuse) and one of the writers of 'Friday Night Lights' (Kerry Ehrin), not to mention the inspired casting of Vera Farmiga (as Mother) and Freddie Highmore (as Norman Bates), well then you've got us intrigued. The teasers we got a few weeks back were interesting, but now this trailer/making-of featurette really gives us a better look at what to expect from this modern interpretation inspired by 'Psycho'. And it's looking good so far!
With the success of such shows as American Horror Story and The Walking Dead, I think it's time that Norman Bates got his due. What do you guys think?
December 14 is quite a day for genre film. In 1955 moviegoers were introduced to the terror of Ray Bradbury’s killer arachnids. 2002 put horror heavy-hitter Eli Roth on the map with a gory tale of a group of college kids who lose their clothes and their flesh. 2005 saw a monster movie mainstay re-imagined by one of film’s greatest directors into an Academy Award-winning picture.
Tagline: Giant spider strikes! Crawling terror 100 feet high!
Tagline: Cabin Fever... catch it.
Tagline: The eighth wonder of the world.
It’s always a treat to get a behind-the-scenes look at your favorite films. You may not agree, but I think there’s something reassuring in knowing that there are real people behind the monsters. The UK Daily Mail posted some fun images of actors between takes on the sets of filmland's most-beloved movies.
These photos include Steven Spielberg hamming it up in the jaws of his Great White, Nick Castle taking a soda break, Bolaji Badejo hanging out in his Alien costume, Pennywise in a moment of reflection, and Linda Blair looking far too delighted about having her head on backwards.
See a few below and check out the full post over at the Daily Mail.
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!
Ghostbusters No. 16
It's the holiday season, and Winston Zeddemore finally popped the question to his long-time girlfriend. But instead of spending the holidays upstate with her and the family, he goes head-first into a mission with the boys to save the ghost of a boy who's been kidnapped. Meanwhile, an old lackey gets used by ghosts once again, and big bad things are on the horizon for the Ghostbusters.
Bag it or board it up? I'm usually a bit hard on the Ghostbusters comics, but this issue is a lot of fun. I have to remember that even though the movies were quick, sharp-witted, and inventive, they still managed to cater to younger audiences as well. This comic does just that. You could let your kid read this comic, but this story arc seems to finally have enough meat for adults, too.
Criminal Macabre: Final Night - The 30 Days of Night Crossover No. 1
Horror comic/vampire fans rejoice! Here's the Steve Niles crossover you've been waiting for with Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing working together to tell this story. Cal McDonald, star of the Criminal Macabre franchise, has recently come back from the dead to continue his fight against the darkness. When he teams up with 30 Days' current hero, Alice Blood, the two begin an investigation into the whereabouts of Eben Olemaun, the-once-sheriff-now-scourge-of-mankind.
Bag it or board it up? This crossover is a no-brainer. The tone of Criminal Macabre, which is much lighter than the self-serious 30 Days, mixes nicely. Finally, a thrust of personality in a world full of sleepy vampires! The showdown between Cal and Eben is three issues away, but I'm already giddy with anticipation.
The Hollows No. 1
Craig lives in a super-tree city, genetically created to shelter the best and brightest high above the burnt out, radiated earth. Down below, hordes of ghosts (who exist only to feed on the living), swarm the streets. On a routine fly-by (he has giant, cybernetic wings) for supplies, he crashes into a sign and gets taken in and bandaged up by survivors. From there, a whole new world of struggle and strife is opened up before his eyes.
Bag it or board it up? The artwork in this comic is lovely. The attention to detail is all there while the penciling retains a sort of messy, honest feel to it. This is fine-art, full of expressionist strokes of color and gothic indulgences. The story feels ambitious, if a little young. I'm confident they'll hit their stride, find their voice, and create a powerful, creative comic. They're almost there, I can feel it.
30 Days of Night No. 12
Alice commandeers a sweet ride, follows a party-bus full of vampires into their underground lair, and watches Eben fight The Master, a gigantic, ancient vampire. The fight that ensues is epic, pages long, and full of knock-down-drag-out action.
Bag it or board it up? Whaaaat? Another 30 Days of Night entry on this list? Yes, another. Because this is the epic show-down between Eben and "The Master" we've been waiting for. I love how quiet this issue is. There is a lot of action, and great sprays of blood, but almost no dialogue. It's just Alice watching Eben fight The Master. The stakes are raising to unheard-of heights in this series. It's about to get messy. The question is, how will the Criminal Macabre crossover effect this comic as a stand-alone entity?
Sally Hardesty (played by Marilyn Burns) is arguably the first Final Girl of modern slashers. But it's not just that she was the last man standing in Tobe Hooper's seminal The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). It's that she fought mightily for - and earned - that title.
You know the story by now: Sally, her brother, and a handful of friends travel across rural Texas to visit their family home and discover a family of bloodthirsty cannibals living nearby. The cannibals, led by Leatherface, pick off the kids one by one, except for Sally. Sally spends the final thirty minutes - a full third of the film - fighting for her life. She is tortured and terrorized, runs and screams - boy, does she scream. Sally does enjoy a bit of luck, if you can call it that. Her friends were all killed outright; the Sawyer family chose to keep her alive to play with. Perhaps it is because she showed such fight. Early on in her ordeal, Sally leaps out a second-floor window without a moment of hesitation, all in the name of escaping. And she does escape, but only temporarily, when a local she goes to for help turns out to be in cahoots with the Sawyers and brings Sally for their demented family dinner.
Sally escapes once again (and again, it is by jumping through a window - first floor this time), and makes it to the main road, where she jumps into the truck bed of a passing motorist. Leatherface is still hot on her heels, but she is younger and clearly in better shape, though the viewer is left to wonder how long could Sally have run before Leatherface would have inevitably caught her.
Sally is the earliest example of the Final Girl; the argument could be made that she is one of the weakest Final Girls. As the Final Girl has evolved over the decades (as with the female's role in films), she has gotten stronger and almost always kills her attacker. Sally does not. She screams, she runs, she fights, and she survives. But in Sally's mind, escape is the only option. With an entire family of lunatics out for her blood, I have to imagine she made the right choice.
Mark Frost began his career writing teleplays for The Six Million Dollar Man in the mid-70's. But his climb to prominence actually happened with the 29 episodes of Hill Street Blues that he penned. From that springboard he teamed up with David Lynch and co-created one of the most iconoclastic series of the 1990s - Twin Peaks. It only ran two seasons but its approach to story-telling changed television forever. Mark sat down with me in Dark Delicacies and talked about Twin Peaks and television in general.
With it being so different from anything else on television how did you know Twin Peaks would work?
What made Twin Peaks work was that we never thought it would work. We never had the slightest expectation that they would ever want it. So we just told the executives going in, because they had called us and said they wanted the show, was that they could not touch it or tell us what to do. We weren't going to take notes from them. They bought it much to our surprise.
Obviously they never did touch it.
They tried. I said "uh, uh, uh." That's how it happened. Then we kept saying we'll go one more step. We'll make the pilot. Our connection was a guy named Chad Hoffman, who's actually a pretty smart guy. He ended up becoming a professor at a university in Boston. He got out of television altogether years later. Then Bob Eiger came in because Cap Cities had bought ABC. Bob changed things up. He put the kibosh to it in its second year. Cap Cities was a very conservative company and the show made them intensely uncomfortable. They didn't want anything to upset them. Implied sex and death, let's not do that. We'll scare off the advertisers. So that was the end of that.
Of course by the end of the second season none of the viewers were sure where anything was going anyway.
Neither was I. But we came back and we were ready to do a really cool third season. But we had some problems. The Gulf War happened in the middle of the second year and we got pre-empted seven out of nine weeks. This was a hard show to follow in the best of times. People didn't know how to work their VCRs. So if they lost a thread of a story, and there was period in there in the second half of the second season where we lost the thread. So those two things happened simultaneously and they kind of put the end to it. But we made a strong come back, I thought, at the end of that year. David directed that last episode.
Are you on DVD now?
Oh yeah we did a big box set about 5 years ago. That was a huge hit because we owned the show. We owned it outright.
So now looking back at Twin Peaks and that entire experience in that light how do you feel?
David and I always had this feeling of ourselves as outsiders. Even though I'd done three years on Hill Street Blues and had worked in kind of main street television during that period I never felt like I had ever been embraced by the main stream. I wasn't too interested in that. I was trained as a playwright. I came from a family that was in the theater. I thought of the show as subversive and radical. I was trying to subvert the whole format of the nighttime soap. We were trying to undermine the falsities that those things relied upon, melodrama and ridiculous emotional scenes. They didn't get to the truth of anything.
For instance, our main story is about incest inside of a family that results in murder. Nothing that dark had ever really been on television for a sustained period of time. But we approached it from a mythic kind of storytelling. We didn't want to tell it like an after school special would. Here's a social problem and here's a solution. We wanted to approach from the angle of life is deep and dark and mysterious and sometimes terrible, dreadful unspeakable things happen. I think the show succeeded in doing that. Even though some people thought the show was violent, when there was violence it was for real. It wasn't like fake violence. It was terrifying violence. Because real violence, if you've been near it, is terrifying.
The horror genre has always been great at serving as a kind of catharsis for that, particularly for younger kids. I know I was attracted to horror because I didn't want to think about death. I didn't want to think about disease. I didn't want to think about aging and dying. You need to be kind of inoculated with those ideas and horror is a way to have that happen in a safe environment because the stories are a little outlandish and they're outside of what we think of as reality. The best writers in that genre have always let that have a real underpinning.
When writing, where does your self-censorship sit?
It's funny. If you do this for a really long time, like I have, you are able to forget about craft because it has been assimilated. You're not thinking about it. It's like watching a really good carpenter make a cabinet. He's not thinking about measurements so much anymore, he's thinking about the finished product in his head and he's making something resemble it in reality. That's what the job is at this point in my life.
You're beyond the fundamentals?
I hope so because at this point I've been studying it for so long. I can now say I'm not an apprentice anymore. I was lucky because I found an outlet for creativity very early and knew that I didn't want to do anything else and I haven't since the age of fifteen. I was very fortunate. To really do the deep work of bringing your self out into the open, you can't just accomplish through your writing. We all know how many miserable, broken, drunken artists there are. Doing that, by itself, isn't enough.
How did you start?
My first gig was writing for The Six Million-Dollar Man when I was nineteen. So I've been at this a long time. The Mark of Seven was my first book.
At the time you wrote that did you blow off media?
Kind of. I mean my plan was I wanted to write books and I wanted to get movies made of the books. I thought that was a nice business to be in. So of the nine books I think I've sold six of them to the movies and we've made one.
I see myself continuing along the same path. This has to do with a philosophical attitude toward life that we're primarily on a spiritual journey. That what we're after is some kind of enlightenment. I'm lucky in that the work that I do can help you in that quest. I'm not just doing a job that is unrelated to that. It's a job that involves self-discovery. I have no interest in not working in that regard. I want to be involved with other people's lives. I've thought about wanting to do some teaching about writing but using writing as a gateway to talking about bigger stuff. I'm a big Joseph Campbell fan. I think Joseph Campbell is the great illuminated age of the twentieth century in American letters.
You reach a point where you say "Ok. I'm one of the elders of the tribe now. It's our job, whether they want to hear it or not, to dispense what we know."
Do you think children did that to you?
Yeah, that definitely helped me cross the threshold. This was a really different book for me. It forced me to go deeper into myself. Not just in biographical detail but in asking yourself some of the biggest questions. When you can kind of break off whatever shackles your early life put on you, if you can kind of cast those off, you're more free to be an authentic person more of the time.
So at the end of the day everybody has their tombstone. What would yours say?
I would like it to say...I'll make it a pun...He left his Mark.
Read part one of the interview here.
Del Howison is a journalist, writer and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor. He is also the co-founder and owner of Dark Delicacies “The Home of Horror” in Burbank, CA. He can be reached at Del@darkdel.com.
Season seven of Dexter comes to a close this weekend, and I am anxious and excited for it. I am way too obsessed with this show, but luckily there is someone who doesn’t mind - or was at least polite enough not to tease me about it: writer Scott Reynolds. Reynolds has been on Dexter since season one and is a self-proclaimed fanboy. We talked at length about the evolution of the series, with special attention paid to the insane developments of the last season and a half.
It has been seven years in the making, but Deb finally knows Dexter’s secret. How did you guys tackle that? It’s such a delicate thing.
Well, in the books - I think at the end of the first book - Deb finds out. Then in the books they are working together - well, not really working together, but she knows and she is fine with it. Dexter does what he does, and she does what she does. So we always knew that this was going to happen. We came close to it in season five, with Lumen... but she didn’t quite.
Yes. I always felt like Deb didn’t put it together because she didn’t want to put it together.
Yes, that’s definitely a strong thread in Deb’s life, throughout season seven. Even now, we are finding out things that Deb didn’t want to think about. It’s like people who come to faith, they say that they only know as much as they can handle at that point - if they knew what was required of them, they might not go for it. Deb was definitely the same way. Even in the first episode, it took her awhile to figure out that this wasn’t just Dexter losing his mind for a few minutes, or even killing someone in cold blood - this was a lifestyle choice.
I haven’t read the books, but from what I understand, you guys stray from the books quite a bit.
Yes, significantly. We followed the first book - we did have to add a lot of twists and turns - but after book one, we parted ways. At the end of book one, Laguerta gets killed by the Ice Truck Killer... everything changes. At the end of book two, Doakes finds out who Dexter is and this bad killer kidnaps Doakes and cuts out his tongue and hands and feet, so even though he knows who Dexter is, he can’t tell on him. We went a different with Doakes. I don’t think any of us [writers] have even read any of the books past book three. In book three, Dexter finds out he is possessed by a demon, which makes it an entirely different idea. I think it’s cool that there are two different versions of Dexter out there in the world, and both are doing very well. And now he is in a comic book from Marvel, based off the Jeff Lindsay version of Dexter. So he won’t even look like Michael C. Hall!
I don’t know if I could ever imagine Dexter as someone other than Michael C. Hall.
There are a lot of fans that keep up with the books. Dexter in an intriguing character. It’s fun to root for the bad guy. You work at FEARnet - the home of rooting for the bad guy!
How has the response been to season seven? It has taken a big turn. We are no longer doing the “seasonal big bad.”
Speaking as me, Scott Reynolds, I feel like the handcuffs have been taken off, to a certain extent. I’m a big fan of season six - I know a lot of critics were not - but I had a good time putting it together. I liked the reflection of Brother Sam against the Doomsday Killer, and Dexter stuck in the middle, then Dexter thinking he could save people. It was all very pointed on Dexter’s journey to humanity. But the response to this season has been incredibly, overwhelmingly positive. But there have been a lot of backhanded compliments: “Oh, they’re back on track finally!” But at the end of the day, everyone on the crew has to feel good about what they do and I think, for the most part, we feel pretty good. It’s a fun story.
In this season, Dexter truly is closer to his humanity than ever before. He’s in love - or he thinks he’s in love. Surely, there is no way this can have a happy ending. [Scott giggles evilly.] Obviously, I don’t want you to give anything away, but I suspect things are going to go off the rails for the final season.
That part has been fun. Writing towards a clearly defined ending - yeah, it’s fun. The stakes have never been higher. If you are a fan of the show, at the beginning, Dexter was a monster. He considered himself a monster. A very neat monster, but someone whose entire life was focused on the kill. Everything else was a beard, in service of his Dark Passenger. It has been fun to help guide Dexter along, making him wonder, “Am I human?” This season, he’s no longer a puppet. He’s no longer Pinocchio; he’s a real boy. That has been our goal.
I love Breaking Bad. That is one of my favorite shows - I cannot wait to watch it. Walter White is on a very different trajectory than Dexter. He’s this innocent guy to whom all these horrible things happen, and he makes the decision to be the bad guy. But Dexter, as of episode 710, he decides there is no longer a Dark Passenger; no long an “other” that he can blame things on. It’s very childish to an extent. I’ve got an 11-year-old and an 8-year-old, and they are still blaming “something else” for everything that happens to them. And that’s what Dexter has been doing! His whole life, he has been blaming his Dark Passenger, but here he is, losing that. I think it’s very telling that the first kill he does after recognizing that there is no Dark Passenger is something he does out of love for Hannah. It is a very human kill, to a certain extent. Who hasn’t thought about killing their in-laws? Maybe someone?
Um, no comment.
So on the one hand it is sort of beautiful; on the other hand it is sort of terrifying, because what’s next? Being human is messy.
I imagine that, in Dexter’s world, killing is a lot less scary than being in love. I’ve never killed anyone, but being in love is fucking terrifying.
Yes! Exactly. It’s out of your control. That was Dexter’s realization in episode 709 with Isaak, that he is going to embrace this strange, out-of-control life of being capable of love. Everyone has different ideas on this this, but I don’t think Dexter ever felt love like this, outside of Hannah. He’s very fond of his sister. He said “I love you” to Rita, but he “learned” to say that from a killer. I do not doubt that he cared for Rita deeply. With Lila, she pursued him, and he liked that.
I loved the character of Isaak. He didn’t seem like a “big bad” to me. It feels like every season, we meet someone who knows what Dexter is, and accepts his Dark Passenger in one way or another. But with Isaak, it was like he was accepting Dexter’s human side, like Hannah does.
Yeah. There are lots of people who consider Dexter a friend - I think everyone at the station considers him a friend. But as we know by his unreliable narrations, he doesn’t necessarily consider them friends.
Isaak was fascinating to watch this season. We in the writers room knew that episode nine was it, because he had to leave and do Thor. We figured Dexter would get this guy on his table one way or another. But as we watched him unfold, as Ray Stevenson brilliantly portrayed him, we realize we couldn’t do that with this guy. It would have been disturbing in a bad way if Dexter were capable of putting this guy on his table.
His performance was so layered.
Yeah. I talked to him on our podcast, and he revealed that the whole reason for playing this role is that he has played lots of violent men - I mean, the Punisher is like the most violent guy in the history of superhero movies - but even Isaak seeks revenge out of love. Playing a gay character was exciting to him, too.
When you guys made the deal for seasons seven and eight, you knew that eight would be the end. Did that help you decide when to let Deb in on Dexter’s secret? In essence, were you beginning to wrap up the series starting this season?
I think that even if we went two more seasons, the end of season six was the exact right time to reveal to Deb who Dexter is. It was kind of tough watching Dexter with Rita after awhile, because we were watching Dexter get away with so much stuff. Anybody who is married to someone like Dexter would have to say, “Wait a minute, you can’t tell me you are coming home from work at 6am again, smelling of sea salt.” So I think viewers start turning against characters if they are perceived as dumb. I think Deb would have been perceived in the same sort of way, and we had to protect the truth of who Debra is.
Debra was going to find out. Julie Benz had said that even if [her character, Rita] had seen Dexter kill someone, she’s not sure she would have been capable of believing that Dexter was a serial killer. Jennifer Carpenter’s Debra Morgan had that capability. She’s a cop! She’s a detective. This is who she is. She has spent her life rooting out evil and putting people behind bars.
When we break a season, we break the whole season. We have to know where we are going from the start, and we have to get that cleared through the executive producers and through Showtime. Things change, things move up and step back, but for the most part, we pretty much know where we are going, episode by episode, character by character, before we start writing the first script. That’s not to say we won’t pull an audible halfway through, but on a “global” sense, we know where we are going, every season.
You wrote this season’s “Early Cuts.” How did that all come about?
This is my comic book nerd coming out, but I loved Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. I thought we should do that with Dexter. It floated around for a little bit, then Showtime said, “Let’s do the early years of Dexter!” Tim Schlattmann did the first year, then Lauren Gussis did the second year, then finally it was my turn to step up to the plate. I did a different version. Their stories are connected to Dexter in that they explain certain parts of Dexter’s life. Why he takes the blood slide; why he dumps people in the ocean. They are sort of origin story things. By the time we got to this one, I wanted to do something that was more “spiritually connected,” to be the bridge between seasons six and seven and eight, to a certain extent. David Mack, who wrote Kabuki, which is one of my favorite comic books of all time - they are violent and beautiful and scary and exciting... when I found out I was paired with him, I lost my mind. I was nervous to talk to him - because I am a fan!
This season, as the bridger between seasons six and seven, it shows dexter in 1999, just before the series starts. He is a much darker character. He is watching everyone on New Years Eve, and he realizes that New Years Eve is the one time of the year that he almost feels like he connects with human beings. This is the one time of year that they let loose with their darker sides - all their urges. The difference between Dexter and the rest of the world is that they regret what they’ve done the next day. They make penance, and Dexter doesn’t understand that at all. So the “Early Cuts” is about Dexter’s first connection with humanity, which is very prescient with season seven. I think when people see the finale of the season, I think people will really enjoy it. At the end of “Early Cuts,” Dexter has a very different reaction than to something that happens in the finale, something that he does 12 years later. So it shows his journey in a very strong way.
So I have to ask about the whole “Deb being in love with Dexter thing.” How did you guys even come to that point? I have to admit, that just skeeved me out.
Isn’t that funny how we can watch Dexter cut someone’s head off or stick a knife in them, or attack with a power drill or something, and we just accept that. But when his sister has this weird realization, it’s like “That’s disgusting!”
It’s so weird! Maybe it is because incest is more taboo in the sense that, every TV show and movie has people dying; not every TV show and movie has siblings - even adopted siblings - proclaiming they are in love with each other.
Here is how we came to it. We felt like this was kind of in the DNA of the show. Even in season one, there was a flashback with Dexter, where he is like 14 or 15 years old, and these kids at school taunt him, “Hey Dexter, you been fucking your sister?” So even at the very beginning, there was this strange closeness Debra had with her brother. For me personally, I feel like this was in the DNA of the show all along. Deb wasn’t able to find the closeness with her father that she wanted, so she pursued this with Dexter. When she had this realization with the psychologist, it wasn’t that she wanted to run off with him, get married and have children. It was more like, “This is the root of all my problems. I have this unhealthy love for my brother.” So she wants to work on this, but unfortunately, the same time she was going to admit this to him, she walks in on her brother stabbing someone and she finds out he is a serial killer.
I’ve read some of the blog posts, from people who think this has come out of nowhere. But in the writer’s room, this has been a part of the show all along. This is why she picks the sort of people she had dated. There have been sides of Dexter in all of them. We were certainly never thinking that they would run off together. Dexter never had those thoughts [about his sister.]
I think I was literally shouting at the TV when she realized that.
That’s good! That’s the reaction we want.
Dexter season seven comes to a close Sunday on Showtime.
Fringe Episode 509
Written By: Kristin Cantrell
Directed By: Tommy Gormley
Original Airdate: 14 December 2012
In This Episode...
Walter has dropped acid, which makes this one trippy, non-linear episode.
Astrid wakes in the middle of the night to find the radio they retrieved from the pocket universe is receiving a transmission. It is a Morse code of sorts, but one that Astrid cannot decipher. Walter is far gone down the acid hole by this point, so Peter calls Anil and he helps them trace the source of the signal.
Olivia and Peter trace the source of the signal to a spot in the woods. They discover what must have been an early fight against the Observers. Three bodies on the ground, and a fourth behind the wheel of a trailer. All died in a gunfight, at least 10-15 years ago. Two were Observers; one was a loyalist. The one in the trailer was, according to his ID, Sam Weiss. The signal is not originating from this spot; there is a repeater high up in the trees. With the repeater out of the equation, they are able to get a more accurate read on where the signal is coming from: an island.
Astrid and Walter join Olivia and Peter at a small dock. They rent a little motorboat, but before they can board a boat full of loyalists pulls up. A firefight ensues, with Peter and Liv easily killing all the loyalists.
Our group (I’m still calling them Fringe Division) land on the island and venture inland. They end up at a small, well kept house. The signal originates from inside. A man, Richard, greets them on the porch with a shotgun. His wife, Caroline, and their “son,” Michael, join him. Michael is the child Observer. Olivia tries her best to calmly describe who they are and why they are there. Caroline is inclined to believe them; Richard is not. He says if they were the ones they were waiting for, they would know the password that was encoded in the signal. No one does, so they turn to Walter. His acid-riddled brain takes him on a Monty Python journey (literally) to the answer: Black Umbrella. Caroline invites them in and tells them their story. Just after the invaders arrived, Caroline and Richard joined the resistance (though it wasn’t called that at the time.) They were deeply involved and eventually came one of the most trusted allies in the fight. Donald came to them with Michael and the transmitter, promising that a scientist from Boston would come for the boy - that he was the key to destroying the invaders. This was 20 years ago. Michael has not aged a day. Though they have come to love Michael like their own, they see him off with the Fringe team.
Okay, straight forward plot out of the way; let’s dig into Walter’s insanity. So he is on acid for the entire episode, and his guide is a green absinthe fairy (I don’t know why.) He is having visions of Carla Warren, his old lab assistant who died in a fire. Astrid tries to pretend that she doesn’t notice Walter talking to Carla. She is both a siren and a combatant to Walter throughout the episode, on the one hand leading him to his most prized journal; on the other, “haunting” him for her death, which she perceives to be Walter’s fault. That journal, Walter’s life work, contains all of his wildest creations, including the device that opened up a wormhole between the universes. Carla fought him every step of the way on the wormhole, insisting that there must be a limit to what they can do. Walter, naturally, refused. She went to the lab to set it on fire but instead she went up in flames. She directs Walter to the journal beneath the floor, and entices him to read it. By the end of the episode, Walter has realized it has brought him nothing but pain, and he burns it himself. Only it doesn’t exist - Walter is burning nothing in a large glass bowl. Carla was merely there to help him unlock his memories of what projects the book contained. Walter desperately does not want Carla around. “You’ve been him longer than you’ve been you,” she taunts. I have to imagine that “him” is the Walter we know and adore, since the “you” would be the Walter that Carla worked with.
Dig It or Bury It?
Even when Fringe has a fun episode, it is still fucked up. Walter’s (further) descent into madness is tragic. I’m glad we have moved away from the “scavenger hunt” format that most of the season so far has had. That felt like a crutch to get us to the final few episodes. I feel like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop on Peter. He recovered awfully fast from the Observer tech in his neck. Other than the headaches and the regret, he seems like his old self.
Again, Walter was fucked up on acid all night, but easily the coolest part of tonight’s episode was the Monty Python-inspired animated segment. While on the island, Olivia asks Walter if he remembers what the password might have been. It is at that point that the giant Monty Python fingers pluck Walter from the real world and dump him into Terry Gilliam-land. It takes him to an animated factory, led by a frog, a puppy, a sea horse, and the green fairy. They leave the factory and encounter a knight sleeping against a tree. Walter takes a key from the knight (an “evil” version of Walter), uses it to unlock the tree, and takes a black umbrella from a group of infants. He is then dropped into a tube and delivered to the real world with the password: Black Umbrella.
Hell, just watch it:
Now the Fringe team has to figure out what secrets Michael holds that can help them defeat the Observers.
Whether you like the films of Rob Zombie or not, you can't argue that he always makes for a fascinating interview. I tend to fall in the camp that loves The Devil's Rejects, Zombie's second feature length film as a writer/director, and although I have mixed feelings on the other titles in his filmography, I still find them all to be intriguing projects worth revisiting. Next year's Lords Of Salem is already among one of my most anticipated genre titles of 2013. That said, when Mick Garris sat down with Zombie for his episode of Post Mortem, I was again stuck by how down to earth, straight forward and well spoken Zombie is, especially when it comes to discussing both his experiences as a filmmaker and his love of movies in general. We're representing his interview below in 5 parts which cover a myriad of topics.
In Part 1, Garris gets Zombie to open up on his decision to tackle the Halloween remake, his ambitious plan to split up the first movie into two parts and how he somewhat regrets making the second half too close to Carpenter's original. In Part 2, Zombie talks about how he came back into the fold to do Halloween 2 and his approach to revisiting those characters, in particular his & Malcolm McDowell's version of Dr. Loomis. Curious about Zombie's filmmaking process? In Part 3, he goes into detail about his preparation and writing, as well as how he approaches casting. He also elaborates on his bizarre animated movie The Haunted World of el Superbeasto and his general love of art and painting.
Part 4 covers his first forey into directing with the Universal Horror Nights video segments and how that led to the long process of making his debut feature House Of 1000 Corpses. And finally in Part 5, he points out the relation to heavy metal music and horror movies as both never getting their due respect. All in all, this interview makes for an intimate and candid portrait of one of the most interesting genre filmmakers currently working. Check out Post Mortem: Rob Zombie!
While many horror movies that came before it referenced other movies, Scream was one of the first to really spell out “the rules” of the slasher genre. Tatum Riley fits nicely into the rules for the Final Girl's sidekick. Loud, brash, and much more easygoing in the sack, Tatum is the perfect match to reserved best-friend Sidney Prescott.
Sidekick: Tatum Riley (Rose McGowan)
Why the Sidekick Is Better Than the Lead: Tatum is just so much more fun than the broken Sydney. She has a big mouth and a big rack and delivers the best one-liners in the movie. She’s also very set in her beliefs, sticking up for the ladies when Stew suggests a woman couldn’t have committed Casey’s murders, “That is so sexist, the killer could easily be female. Basic Instinct.” and putting her older brother in his place when he leaves them in the police station for too long "I'm sorry Deputy Dewey, but we are ready to go! Now! OK?"
Moment of Glory: Tatum never stops looking out for Sydney in her time of crisis, supporting her in everything, especially when it comes to Sydney’s extremely suspect boyfriend, summing Billy up with a few choice words, "Billy and his penis don't deserve you."
Moment of Gory: Sadly the rules of the slasher film state that the promiscuous best friend eventually has to die. Tatum’s death is pretty great. She never breaks from character, being a sarcastic snot until the very end, asking “What movie is this from? I spit on your garage.”
Tatum - "Oh, you wanna play psycho killer?"
Ghostface - *Nods*
Tatum - "Can I play the helpless victim?"
Ghostface - *Nods*
Tatum - "Ok, lets see ... No, please don't kill me Mr. Ghostface, I want to be in the sequel!"
Following the success of The Walking Dead Magazine, Titan will be introducing two Grimm special collector’s edition magazines. Fans of NBC’s supernatural fairytale can look for the first edition to hit stands on March 12. More from the press release:
“This exciting 148-page Grimm Magazine is licensed through NBCUniversal Television Consumer Products, and is jam-packed full of interviews and behind-the-scenes secrets! It features talks with the stars including: David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby (Hank), Bitsie Tulloch (Juliette), Silas Weir Mitchell (Monroe), Sasha Roiz (Captain Renard), and Bree Turner (Rosalee).
The producers provide insight on the show’s direction going forward, and the writers let us in on their secrets! Plus, find out what goes into the making of Grimm from the show’s special effects, costuming, stunts, and production design teams.”
Issue #1 is available to preorder now. Catch up on Grimm with FEARnet’s episodic recaps.
Here’s a way to never lose your keys again: Attach them to a bloody ear.
File this one under gifts for the cannibal who has everything. This bloody ear is incredibly life-like and really gross. The key chain is hand made by Hollywood FX artist Simpat from Severed Souls, which means, like a snowflake, no two severed ears are exactly alike. Even better, it’s on sale and can fit into the special someone’s stocking for a creepy surprise on Christmas day.
Graverides magazine also sells a severed tongue and finger key chain. Collect the whole set.
I'm not usually a big fan of experimental fiction. I'm old-fashioned that way. To me, the traditional story structure works so well, I don't often see a good reason to monkey with it. I understand that some storytellers are compelled to work that way because they feel too constricted by conventional methods and that is, of course, their prerogative. If you're writing a particular way because that's the best way to serve your story, I'm fine with that. But when an author is simply trying to show off some new tricks, whether those tricks are appropriate for the story or not, it’s obvious and it loses me. It's like filmmakers who use CGI to blow up a car when they could just, you know, blow up a car. It takes me right out of whatever story they are trying to tell.
The first few pages of Eric A. Jackson's A Blind Eye to the Rearview told me a couple of things: one, Jackson was not using a conventional storytelling style; and two, this was not a case of someone simply showing off. Maybe this wasn't the only route he could've taken to tell this story, but it certainly seems to have been the best possible choice.
Jebediah Crane is a troubled young man in a disorienting situation: he's been given an anonymous note ordering him to kill his father within the next 24 hours. Jeb might not have a problem with that, seeing as how Charles Nelson Crane tore Jed's eye out with a golf tee when the boy was only six years old, but there's one issue Jeb can't get past - his father has been dead for 15 years.
As Jeb tries to unravel who gave him the note, his life takes a turn for the surreal. He begins having conversations with a voice in his head, a voice that may or may not be his own. A sister he never had blinks in and out of existence; sometimes she's a little girl, sometimes a young woman. He's reunited with a long-ago girlfriend, but he seems to have traveled back in time to do so, and when things take a violent turn between them his present-day existence branches into alternate realities, with Jeb rapidly losing the ability to tell what's real and what's all in his mind.
Jackson walks a tightrope here with remarkable ease - he's able to keep the readers as off-balance as poor Jeb without making the story too incomprehensible to follow. Yes, we're as lost as Jeb is many times during the book, but it's the kind of lost that makes you turn the page rather than the kind that makes you fling the book down in disgust. This kind of stream-of-conscious storytelling is difficult to pull off, but Jackson does it here with relative ease.
This is a book that requires concentrated reading, not something to skim while keeping one eye on the television. Those that take the time to delve in will find a book that’s full of twists and turns, family drama, suspense, and a healthy dose of black humor to enjoy. I’m glad I ignored my usual misgivings about experimental storytelling to give this one a shot, and I recommend you do the same.
Order A Blind Eye to the Rearview by Eric A. Jackson (Abattoir Press)
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.
Earlier today, we revisited an episode of Mick Garris' Post Mortem featuring Rob Zombie. Well, why not go back and revisit the episode with the director behind the original Halloween now? Let's run down his filmography. Halloween. The Fog. Escape From New York. The Thing. They Live. Prince Of Darkness. In The Mouth Of Madness. In terms of directing, John Carpenter is most certainly one of the all time greats. He has a very distinct style, pacing and tone to his films, which makes it easy to describe them as "Carpenter-esque", and the man himself is also very straight forward when it comes to discussing his work and tastes. It's nice to see him open up a little more than he usually does with his friend and peer Mick Garris for this 5 part episode of Post Mortem.
In Part 1, Carpenter talks a bit about keeping up with what's going on in the genre these days, his dislike of sequels and remakes and the Halloween movies after his and he also shares his thoughts on the ever growing "practical versus CGI" debate. In Part 2 - we get a little backstory into the beginning of Carpenter's career and ambition to break into the film business to make Westerns and he talks in detail about several filmmakers that inspired his own filmmaking approach. Themes are big in all of Carpenter's movies so in Part 3, he talks about his distrust of authority figures and how that theme often plays into his films. Part 4 is a fun discussion on his enjoyment of working with actors, yet his own personal dislike of acting himself despite doing it behind make-up in Body Bags. The 5th and final part is a rare break down of how he approaches his process from the script stage to storyboards to actually shooting his projects.
Rest assured, if you're a fan of John Carpenter, then this episode is a must watch! We give you Post Mortem: John Carpenter!
Pesky neighbor trying to steal your girl? Is your honey distracted by a mysterious man in a cloak and your best friend suddenly nowhere to be found? You may have a vampire problem.
Here’s the solution: an epic 1777 vampire killing kit created by Crystobal.
It’s an impeccable recreation that includes (among other things) a non-firing replica of a late 18th Century Flintlock, a small silver dagger, and one leaflet Exorcism Rite, printed on authentic-era paper made on the antique paper machine at the Franklin Institute in 1976 and used to cast the vampire to hell. Garlic, holy water and silver nails also come in the killing kit along with other replica pieces from the 18th Century.
Vampire killing is a pricey business and this kit is going to cost you, but the seller does state “Offers are considered.” Think about it, a vampire slaying kit is something you pass down through generations, vampire hunter to vampire hunter, so, you want to pay a little more for quality that lasts.
Michael Paul Stephenson’s award-winning and very fun documentary, The American Scream, is available right now on DVD and Blu Ray. The documentary follows three different households as they ready their homes for Halloween, transforming them into epic haunted houses filled with handmade monsters and mayhem. Stephenson is the director behind the Best Worst Movie a film dedicated to the story behind cult favorite Troll 2.
You can’t get the movie in stores until Fall of 2013, but it’s available now in Blu/Ray combo pack for $17.99 exclusively at The American Scream website and includes a follow-up featurette. Hoping to see the film on the big screen in your town? Go to Tugg.com to request a screening.
Watch FEARnet’s Fantastic Fest interviews with the director, producer and cast of The American Scream and buy the movie here.