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    One horror film that's been on our most anticipated list of the year, and one we've been eager to get a look at is James Wan's 'The Conjuring', the 'Saw' director's follow-up to 'Insidious'. And now the first official trailer has arrived, which plays more like a full scene from the film as opposed to a teaser. I don't know about you guys, but this trailer gave me chills! It stars Patrick Wilson (Insidious), Vera Farmiga (A&E's Bates Motel), Ron Livingston & Lily Taylor and hits theaters July 19th! Check it out below along with the new theatrical one-sheet poster.

    The Conjuring poster - trailer


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    Sienna GuilloryNBC’s Believe appears to be heading toward nerdy super group status. The Alfonso Cuaron/J.J. Abrams pilot just added Resident Evil star Sienna Guillory and Once Upon a Time's Jamie Chung to a cast that already includes Savages' Jake McLaughlin and The Chicago Code's Delroy Lindo. You may also recognize Jamie Chung from Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and The Hangover Part II and Sienna Guillory from the family fantasy, Inkheart. They are also joined by newcomer Johnny Sequoyah who plays Believe’s lead character, Bo.

    Alfonso Cuaron will write and direct the pilot, which has an I am Number Four quality to it. Believe revolves around Bo, a young girl who possesses great potential powers, and her guardian who is sworn to protect her for seven years. After sever years, these powers will be at full strength, and one can only assume Bo will be able to take care of herself.

    Guillory plays  “a cool hit-woman who has issues with her own mother” and Chung will play “a strong, practical and smart woman.” While those descriptions are super-lame, the fact that Cuaron and Abrams are involved with the show bodes very well for the pilot.

    via THR

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    ManitouGraham Masterton is an Edgar Award-winning writer of horror, mystery and non-fiction. Several of his books, including his first, The Manitou, have been adapted for film. He's known for intense, disturbing fiction, and emphasizes character and emotional connection in storytelling. Mr. Masterton took some time out to talk exclusively to FEARnet about his upcoming work and his thoughts on writing.

    You have several new works debuting, one of which is Community. What is that novel about?

    Community tells the story of a young man who is returning home to San Francisco with his girlfriend when they are involved in a crash on the freeway which appears to have been caused deliberately. He wakes up in a clinic in a small town in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, but he has completely lost his memory. He has no idea who he is or what happened to him. He doesn't even remember that he had a girlfriend.

    He is taken into the local community to live with a very attractive and sympathetic woman to help him recover. As time goes by, however, strange things start to happen. He sees people standing outside in the middle of the night, in the snow. He begins to doubt the reality of his own existence, and suspect that he might in fact be dead. The truth, however, is even more shocking -- and tragic, too.
    I wrote Community as a way of exploring our perception of ourselves and our own lives, and how we accept what people tell us without question. It is also a story of lost love.

    Your work is known for being pretty intense. As a writer working in the horror genre, what do you think the appeal is for fans?

    You have just used two words that I never do ... "genre" and "fans". Although I do write what are generally thought of as horror stories, I do not specifically write in the horror genre. Community for instance will be marketed as a horror novel because it is easier for the retail trade to identify its core readership, but it is more of a ghost story or even a love story. It was the same with my novel Descendant which appears to be a vampire-hunting story but is much more concerned with describing the intensity of human emotions than blood-sucking. I believe in facing up to the reality of life, no matter how disturbing it is.

    I am writing a novel at the moment with scenes set in London in the 18th century and the reality of everyday life in those days makes today's horror stories look positively anemic. Raw sewage running down the middle of the street, dead dogs rotting on the pavement, nobody washing or cleaning their teeth. Half of infants did not survive beyond the age of two, and adult life expectancy was 35. I know that some of my novels have disturbed or shocked people. But life is disturbing and shocking and we have to face up to it, and I think my readers appreciate this, and that is why they pick up my books.

    The other word I never use is "fans." People who read my books are readers, and most of them turn out to be friends.

    grahamHow do short stories and novels differ for you (besides the word count) and which do you prefer?

    I love writing short stories because they can be very intense and I can keep up the scare level all the way through. They are much more difficult in some ways than full-length novels because every word has to count, and there is usually a twist at the end which has to be clever and surprising. I have published five collections of short stories so far ... the latest Figures of Fear will be coming out later this year or early 2014.

    For those not familiar with your horror work, where do you think is a good place to start?

    I think my first horror novel The Manitou is a good place to find out what I do and how I do it. Then some of my 1980s - 1990s novels like The Pariah, Mirror and Family Portrait, all of which were re-published not long ago in the Hammer series of horror novels. Follow that up with later books like Burial, Blind Panic, Fire Spirit and Ghost Music.

    New readers will discover that my work is very varied, like Trauma, for instance, about a crime-scene cleaner in Los Angeles, which appears to have a supernatural element in it ... but does it? Is it all in her mind? Or Night of the Gargoyles which is more of a genetic thriller.

    What do you think are some of the challenges facing horror writers today?

    Apart from the challenges which face all writers -- that of making a living by telling stories -- I think that horror writers today have never had it so good. The audience is much more receptive to horror and of course we can reach our market much more directly through eBooks. The only limits are what horrors we can think up!

    What else are you working on?

    I have been trying to appeal to a wider audience than just "genre fans" and my crime novel White Bones will be published on March 1st. It is already well up in the Amazon bestsellers. It is set in Ireland where my late wife Wiescka and I lived for several years, and although it is a crime novel I think it is sufficiently graphic not to disappoint my horror readers.

    A follow-up novel Broken Angels will be published in September. I am currently working on Scarlet Widow which, as I mentioned, is set in the 18th century and contains elements of witchcraft. Or does it?

    Anything else you want to add?

    I think that horror writing has never been so creative and interesting as it is today. There are so many new talents emerging, and so many fascinating new ideas. All I would say to a new horror writer is, stay away from vampires and zombies and other hackneyed themes. I know that I have written about them myself (Manitou Blood and The Red Hotel) but I have always tried to see them from a completely different viewpoint.

    Nancy O. Greene started writing at the age of nine. Her short story collection, Portraits in the Dark, received a brief mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007. Other works have appeared or will appear in ChiZine; Lovecraft eZine; Cemetery Dance; Tales of Blood and Roses; Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror; Shroud Publishing's The Terror at Miskatonic Falls; Dark Recesses; Flames Rising; Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore!; and others. She has a BA in Cinema (Critical Studies) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Southern California, and is a Film Independent: Project Involve Fellow.

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    After their early days as leading pioneers of black metal, the Norwegian duo Darkthrone, that being Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, began to explore the full spectrum of the genre, including thrash and doom styles, even elements of early punk – but always with one boot firmly in the genre's classic era when it comes to songwriting, melody and technical finesse. Their music set the standard for the Norwegian black metal movement of the early '90s (their 1992 album A Blaze in the Northern Sky is a staple in every black metal fan's library), but for the most part, the pair eventually left that particular style behind – instead digging down to their '80s roots to draw inspiration from the likes of Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Dio and Mercyful Fate. They integrated those ingredients in a major way on their 2006 album The Cult is Alive, and they've stayed more or less on the same path ever since, while also continuing their long tradition of splitting the songwriting duties down the middle.
    Written and recorded over a two-year span, the band's fifteenth studio album The Underground Resistance again represents a creative balance of both members, with each creating three of the album's six enormous tracks, and both men handling virtually all of the vocals and instrumentation. In describing their individual writing chops, Fenriz explained that Nocturno's material was “flown from the universe of metal with his strongest voice ever,” while his own compositions were “torn from the wombs of the Riders of Rohan of metal, safely cradled in 1985 style.” While I admit that's a pretty awesome way of describing it, let's get down to the specifics of these tracks, which are as powerfully grim as you might expect from these kings of darkness... but ironically, they're also a stomping good time.
    Latter-day Darkthrone has often been compared to classic Motörhead, and the moment you press play on the cut "Dead Early,” you'll understand where that comes from: simple, crusty chugs, rolling up-tempo riffs, tight drums, and gruff, whiskey-soaked vocals are all there, although with much darker shades. Even doomier elements come to bear in the down-tempo "Valkyrie,” which begins as a gritty spaghetti western ballad and becomes a soaring, punk-tinged anthem in Nocturno's hands. Punk, thrash and speed metal collide and explode in the swirling mosh madness of "Lesser Men,” which sports some of the album's rock-hardest riffs and eerie leads. The most demonic-sounding track is "The Ones You Left Behind,” which has a dark ritualistic feel and some of the best riffs on the record. Death and doom metal surface in "Come Warfare, the Entire Doom,” in case you need a reminder of the band's churning, evil beginnings, although there's a more melodic edge than you would have expected from them a decade or so ago, and it really kicks into high gear after the break.
    Finally... well, you hear the word “epic” thrown around so much in the music biz, it's really lost its punch. But there's just no better word to describe the humongous track that closes this album. Clocking in at nearly fourteen minutes, “Leave No Cross Unturned” is epic in every sense, and takes this expansive opportunity to gallop all over the metal map, spending the lion's share in the realm of Mercyful Fate, complete with falsetto vocals (a la King Diamond) and breakneck tremolo riffs, but also voyaging into some cool mid-tempo grinds and wailing guitar leads; it has the feel of an extended jam, but it's surprisingly fat-free, and fired with enthusiasm and devil-may-care energy.
    Even if you're pining for the chaotic lo-fi savagery of Darkthrone's early days, you can't deny that these cats know every rule in the metal handbook – no matter what the genre – and only with that level of knowledge can musicians begin to change up the rules and invent their own. While there's a lot of familiar ground covered in The Underground Resistance, it all seems amazingly fresh, which itself is quite an accomplishment. It's also infectiously heavy, with enough memorable riffs and anthemic leads to fill a dozen albums, making it one of the best offerings in the band's long career, and as strange as it may have once seemed describing a Darkthrone album as a helluva good time... that's exactly what it is.
    Need proof? Fair enough. You can hear an abridged version – about half the album length – of the closing track “Leave No Cross Unturned” in the player below, and if that gets you worked up (which I'm guessing it will, if you've read this far), the album version is currently streaming exclusively at Pitchfork.


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    Although we tend to keep this series focused on monsters of myth and legend whose existence remains unconfirmed, we just couldn't pass up a story that's been shaking up the web recently. Earlier in the month, a series of photos showed up on Reddit showing a horrific sea creature that looks uncannily like the  alien larva nicknamed the “shit-weasel” from the Stephen King movie Dreamcatcher. It was reportedly pulled out of the Raritan River in New Jersey two summers ago by a man who was fishing with a bow and arrow. Since then, the photos went viral and have pulled in over a million hits to date, prompting articles on everything from Gawker to The Huffington Post to the New York Daily News.
    Experts at Outdoor Magazine, presumably a more astute authority on creatures of the wild (and they don't get much wilder than this), suggest this is a sea lamprey – a breed of parasitic eel common to the north Atlantic that can reach lengths of nearly three feet. That animal is monstrous enough as it is, since its voracious feeding habits involve latching onto fish with its concentric circles of hook-like teeth and dissolving its prey's flesh. So yeah, finding out this breed is starting to adapt to fresh water and infiltrate lakes and streams is not a pleasant thought at all. But what's even more horrifying is that the experts still aren't sure this actually is a lamprey, because its gills apparently don't match the pattern of its salt-water cousins.
    So, enjoy these nightmare-inducing images and then try to forget about them before summer, so you don't imagine one or two of these showing up in your swimming pool. Then again, there's always the toilet... 

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    The Last Exorcism 2 viral

    Talk about creative viral marketing! With 'The Last Exorcism Part 2' opening in theaters this Friday, you had to expect CBS Films to plan something clever and spooky to coincide with the release. And they've managed to pull off something both unique and spectacular. For the patrons of a local beauty salon, they're about to get more than they bargained for when they start seeing a possessed ghost in the mirror of the shop! And our possessed gal decides to reach out and get a little closer by the end of this clip. Check it out below; it's simultaneously scary and hilarious. And read our interview with star Ashley Bell from earlier this week! 'The Last Exorcism 2' opens in theaters this Friday, March 1st!


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    rhys coiroA new actor has joined the eigth season of Dexter: Rhys Coiro. Coiro will play a "tough bail jumper that Deb is tracking." So unless Deb has taken up bounty hunting, it sounds like she is still at Miami PD, even after she killed Laguerta at the end of last season.

    Coiro has a hefty amount of credits to his name. Recently he had TV roles in Entourage and A Gifted Man. On the feature side, he appeared in 30 Days of Night: Dark Days and the remake of Straw Dogs.

    Dexter returns to Showtime early this year, premiering on June 29th at 9pm. It is still up in the air as to whether or not this will be Dexter's last season.

    Source: Hollywood Reporter

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    Thale (Tail), the Norwegian-made horror fantasy about a pair of crime-scene cleaners at a remote woodland cabin who stumble across a captive mute woman sporting a tail, made quite an impact last year when it made the festival rounds, including Screamfest, TIFF and South by Southwest. Now it's got an official theatrical release set for the US via XLrator Media, hitting screens on April 5th, preceded by an On Demand premiere on March 21st.
    Directed by Aleksander Nordaas, Thale is based on Scandinavian folklore, specifically a female faerie creature known as the Huldra, which in the film is portrayed as a kind of succubus who has apparently been kept prisoner in a basement room for many years.
    Thale will also be released on DVD April 23rd. Check out the eerie trailer...


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    We've got a serious nerd-on for unique and unusual horror collectibles, and we're pretty sure a lot of you reading this share that obsession. We're not only here to say it's perfectly normal to feel this way (who's to say what's “normal” anyway?), but we're gonna feed your hunger with this new feature series focusing on horror-loving artists and entrepreneurs who set out to make their very own toys, statues, action figures and other oddities.
    To kick things off, we're putting the spotlight on Michigan-based artist Gabe LaPeer and his “Homemade Horror” Facebook page. Gabe's mini-bio describes him as a sculptor, graphic designer and illustrator who set up Homemade Horror as a place to showcase his custom designs, sculptures and action figures “with a slant towards the dark and gruesome.” Sounds good to us, so let's begin today with one of his most inventive genre-bending art series, “Karbonite Killers.” As the saying goes, it's exactly what you think it is: famous horror movie villains encased, Han Solo-style, in replica carbonite coffins inspired by the Star Wars saga.
    The roughly 9x12" resin-cast killers have all been “frozen” with their weapons and other items intact, and so far include Michael Myers with a butcher knife and Jack-O-Lantern, Jason Voorhees with his machete and a ripped-out human heart, Freddy Krueger with his razor-glove and hat, and Leatherface with his chainsaw and hammer.
    LaPeer does sell many of his creations, so if you want to find out what he's got available, you can contact him through his “Homemade Horror” Facebook page. We'll be revisiting his collection soon, so stay tuned!

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    Would it surprise you to learn that you have probably never heard of the most prolific serial killers in the world? Infamous names like Richard Ramirez, David Berkowitz, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Ted Bundy barely crack the top 30. So who were the worst?

    Determining the “world’s worst serial killer” is an impossible feat. Anyone who kills a person in cold blood is pretty horrible, so the only quantifiable way to determine the “worst” is by the number of kills. This too proves difficult, as many serial killers, once arrested, often confess to dozens or hundreds of murders they had nothing to do with. For example, Henry Lee Lucas confessed to over 600 different murders at one point or another, in what is widely believed to be a farce meant to waste law enforcement’s time and money. Even after all that, most law enforcement believe they have evidence that he was involved in at least 70-80 murders. He was convicted for 11.

    For the purposes of this article, I have gone solely based on conviction rate - the number of victims that the courts could convict the killer of. I have also not included so-called “Angels of Death,” doctors and nurses who kill their charges (usually with drug overdoses), often believing that they are doing the right thing by putting their patients out of their misery.

    serial killer luis garavitoKiller: Luis Garavito
    Area of Crimes: Columbia
    Convicted Kills: 139
    Suspected Kills: 300+
    Born in 1957 in Columbia, Luis Garavito was the eldest of seven sons in very poor family and was abused throughout his childhood. His chosen victims were street children, between nine and fourteen years old. Each was raped, tortured, killed, and dismembered.

    Garavito was captured in 1999 and confessed to killing at least 140 children. He was convicted of 139 murders. Almost as disturbing as his crimes is the Columbian justice system. While he was easily convicted of over 100 murders, a serial killer of this magnitude is unprecedented the Columbian justice system. As it stands, Columbia does not have life in prison or the death penalty; in fact, the most time any one person can spend in prison is 30 years, which was the sentence Garavito got. But by making a public apology and helping locate the remains of his victims (including victims he was not convicted of killing) he was able to have his sentence reduced to 22 years. On top of that, he could have a further reduction of prison time for good behavior. After a 2006 documentary aired and public outcry became fervent, judges agreed to look at the sentencing requirements to try to extend it. I cannot find anything one way or the other as to whether or not he is still in prison.

    serial killer pedro lopezKiller: Pedro Lopez
    Area of Crimes: Columbia, Peru, and Ecuador
    Convicted Kills: 110
    Suspected Kills: 300+
    Born in 1948, Lopez was also born in Columbia, to a cold-hearted and abusive prostitute with 12 other children. He was kicked out of the house at age eight when he was discovered molesting one of his sisters. Columbia was rife with street violence, warfare, and political upheaval at this time, making it an even more dangerous place than home. He was picked up by a man with promises of food and housing; instead he was raped repeatedly and discarded. A year later, an American couple took him in and sent him to school. He was molested by one of his teachers and returned to life on the street. He supported himself by stealing cars and selling them to chop shops. He was arrested at age 18 and sentenced to seven years in prison. He was gang raped upon entering prison, and killed the four men responsible. Deciding that it was self-defense, he had two years tacked on to his prison sentence. Upon his release in 1978, Lopez went to Peru, where he later claims to have murdered over 100 women and girls of native tribes. He was caught by one tribe leader in the middle of an abduction, and the tribe planned to torture and kill him. A missionary convinced the tribe to turn him over to the police, who didn’t want to waste time with  tribal murders and shipped him to Ecuador. Lopez continued his spree across Ecuador and Columbia. Authorities initially believed that the sudden uptick in young girls disappearing was due to human trafficking.

    Lopez was caught in 1980 when he brazenly tried to snatch a young girl from a market. When he eventually confessed, he claimed to have raped and murdered at least 110 girls in Ecuador, 100 in Columbia, and “many more than 100” in Peru. With a victim count like that hard to believe, he agreed to show police his burial sites. While many sites had no remains (likely due to flooding or animals) remains of 57 girls were discovered. Each one had been raped and strangled in broad daylight - he was sexually excited by watching the life leave their eyes. He would, on occasion, have macabre tea parties with their corpses. Because of his detailed confessions, Lopez was charged - and convicted - in the murders of 110 girls in Ecuador.

    There seems to be varying reports of his sentence and where it was served. It seems that Lopez was released from an Ecuadorian prison, arrested within an hour and deported to Columbia. Lopez seems to be currently behind bars.

    serial killer daniel camargoKiller: Daniel Camargo
    Area of Crimes: Columbia, Ecuador
    Convicted Kills: 72
    Suspected Kills: 150+
    Another Columbian killer, born in 1936, Daniel Camargo actually spent time in prison with Pedro Lopez. After his mother died, Camargo was raised by a distant father and abusive stepmother. He was obsessed with virgins and when he discovered that his fiancee was not one, agreed to stay with her only if she help him procure virgins. She assisted in luring and drugging five girls that Camargo would rape, but none were killed. The fifth victim reported the crime, and Barbosa went to prison. A three-year sentence became an eight-year sentence when a new judge took over, which is where Camargo claims the murderous rage began. Camargo served his full term. About a year after his release, in 1973, he kidnapped and raped a nine year old girl, then murdered her so she couldn’t rat him out like his last victim had. He was arrested in 1974, and while at the time he was believed to have committed at least 80 murders in Columbia, the nine-year-old was the only murder he was convicted of. He was sentenced to 25 years.

    Ten years into his sentence at “Columbia’s Alcatraz,” Camargo escaped. Authorities believe he drowned during the escape; the press said he was eaten by sharks. It was less than a month later that Camargo reappeared, this time in Ecuador. Between 1984 and 1986, he raped and murdered at least 54 girls. Police initially believed this to be the work of gangs. Eventually Camargo was arrested, mere minutes after killing another girl. He confessed to killing 71 girls in the two years since his escape from prison, and led police to the bodies as proof. He chose children because they were virgins and it gave him greater satisfaction to see his victims cry. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison, the maximum sentence in Ecuador. Before that release date came up, the cousin of one of Camargo’s victims killed him in prison in retaliation.

    serial killer pedro filhoKiller: Pedro Filho
    Area of Crimes: Brazil
    Convicted Kills: 71
    Suspected Kills: 100+
    We move out of Columbia, but not far... to Brazil. Pedro Filho was exposed to violence even before his birth in 1954. His father beat his mother while she was pregnant, resulting in Filho being born with a skull injury. His first murder was at age 14: he murdered the man who fired his father for alleged theft. Then he killed the man who had actually committed the theft. Filho was involved in drug and gang activities, and tortured and killed a number of gang bangers who had killed his girlfriend. Before he turned 18, Filho had killed ten people. When Filho’s father murdered his mother, Filho got revenge by killing his father, ripping out his heart, and eating a piece of it. His first arrest, in 1973, yielded a body count of at least 47 inmates he killed in prison, determining that each deserved it. He claims to have killed at least 100, but was eventually convicted on 71 counts. Filho was sentenced to several hundred years in prison, but like Columbia, Brazil has maximum sentencing, and he was released from prison in 2007. No other murders have been associated with Filho, but he has been arrested for incidents such as inciting a riot and false imprisonment.

    serial killer yang xinhaiKiller: Yang Xinhai
    Area of Crimes: China
    Convicted Kills: 67
    Suspected Kills: 67
    We finally leave South America and head to China, where Yang Xinhai was convicted of every murder he confessed to. Xinhai was born in 1968 and was the poorest family in an already-poor Chinese village. He is one of the rare serial killers who does not seem to have a history of abuse in their past. He was in and out of prison multiple times between 1988 and 1999 for various crimes, including theft and attempted rape.

    Xinhai did not begin murdering until 1999. Between then and 2003, Xinhai killed 67 people and raped 23 women. Upon his arrest - which occurred during a routine sweep of the entertainment district, at which point police determined he was acting suspicious - Xinhai confessed to the murders and the rape. He would break into homes at night and kill the occupants - often times entire families - with whatever weapons he found handy: axes, hammers, shovels. Xinhai contracted HIV from one of his victims.

    Xinhai never formally gave a reason for his crime wave. Many believe that it was “revenge” against society, although Xinhai is quoted as saying, “When I killed people I had a desire. This inspired me to kill more. I don't care whether they deserve to live or not. It is none of my concern...I have no desire to be part of society. Society is not my concern.” He was convicted on February 1st, 2004 and executed by firing squad thirteen days later.

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  • 02/28/13--17:30: Giallo Fever: 'Amer'
  • Amer_4

    Although we devoted the first few installments of our giallo spotlight series on classics from Italy's “Big Three” horror directors – Mario Bava, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci – today we're going to jump ahead to the 21st century to examine a loving homage to Italian thrillers created by French filmmaking team Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, whose you may also know thanks to their shocking segment "O is for Orgasm" in the horror anthology The ABCs of Death.Amer (“Bitter”) their first feature-length collaboration, was released in 2009 to international acclaim and multiple awards, and many giallo fans now say it's the type of film they wished Dario Argento was still making today.
    The plot – what there is of it – is divided into three acts, each representing a significant event in the life of the main character Ana, who is played by three different actresses. The first involves the birth of Ana's childhood fears during an incident in an eerie mansion on the French Riviera, where she is stalked by a faceless figure; the second examines Ana's sexual awakening in an encounter with a biker gang; and the final segment finds adult Ana back at the creepy mansion to confront the black-clad stranger once again.
    The loose story here serves mainly as a framework for the duo's stunning direction and cinematography, soaked in primary colors – a technique mastered by Bava – with widescreen compositions and extreme closeups familiar to fans of Argento and Fulci. In addition to those standard-bearers of giallo cinema, Amer owes a creative debt to the experimental art-house horrors of the '70s and '80s, most notably Andrej Zulawski's stream-of-consciousness epic Possession, and to the works of David Lynch. The music is pure vintage giallo as well, riffing on themes by Ennio Morricone (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) and Stelvio Cipriani (What Have They Done to Your Daughters?).
    Amer is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and with its gorgeous colors and widescreen compositions, this film is best experienced in HD (unless you're lucky enough to find a theatrical screening). However, the only Blu on the market is an import from Anchor Bay UK; hopefully it will surface in the US soon. You can still see the same duo at work in ABCs of Death online via iTunes and Amazon VOD, and it's also headed to DVD soon. Looking forward: the filmmakers are now at work on their second film The Strange Colour Of Your Body's Tears, and have uploaded the amazing still image below to the film's official Facebook page. Apparently this film will offer two (or more?) black-gloved killers for the price of one...

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    barbara cramptonIt's an iconic horror image that's proven inescapable for Barbara Crampton, the much-beloved cult actress and scream queen: being secured to a cold operating table while a demented, re-animated severed head licks at her with perverted glee, supported by it's deceased, but very much active former body. Luckily, the spirited actress is quick to inform all her fans and interviewers alike that scenes like this from Re-Animator may make your average, run of the mill actress run for the nearest phone to promptly fire their agents, but she welcomed it. Barbara Crampton was to be something more than more tits 'n ass slasher fodder, a pitfall often met by young actresses of the time.

    This adventurous attitude lead her from the bubbly land of soap operas like Days Of Our Lives to more fruitful work with the team of Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna and legendary genre actor Jeffrey Combs on what has become the more seminal genre titles of their time, with a fan base that still grows to this day. Of the fondly remembered projects on her impressive resume - aside from Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator, of course - most notable are From Beyond and Castle Freak. After a hiatus from the film industry to focus on family she is now back on our screens, having been cast in Adam Wingard's mysterious slasher You're Next and Rob Zombie's newest project, the eagerly anticipated Lords Of Salem.

    So, what's the word on Lords Of Salem?

    It's sort of like The Exorcist with great music, you know, it's a possession film for today's audience.

    Can you talk about your character?

    Well first of all I have to tell you that my scenes were deleted so I'm not in it any more!  If you look on IMBD you'll see that about six people's scenes got deleted. He used a lot of people for cameos which he normally does but then I think in the editing room they decided to go a different way, focus a different way so they cut a lot of us out which we're all sad about. It was a great experience working with him. I love his films, The Devil's Rejects and House Of 1000 Corpses, I love both of those, I thought they were brilliant. I was really nervous and excited to work with him. I was on the set really just for one day. I found him to be very collaborative and communicative He allowed us to ad lib a bit and add our own stuff. He was very chatty and very comfortable on the set. He was a real pleasure to be around..maybe I'll get another chance, I'll actually be on the screen! I think in the final version there is one close up of me. You'll see me and think 'oh there's an extra that looks like Barbara Crampton.. Oh, it is Barbara Crampton'!

    Can you tell us what you ended up doing?

    I don’t think I should.. I actually signed a confidentiality agreement where I'm not supposed to talk about what I did on the set and I'm sure that will be in the DVD extras, all of us cut out. I don’t think that Rob will want me to talk about it. I'll just say that it was very fun and interesting and everyone will be very shocked at what I did. It's pretty radical.

    So you've got You're Next ready to be released...

    Yeah it was almost two years ago I made that movie. It's coming out in the States on August 23rd. I don't know if you guys have a release date for that where you are now..

    Is it a starring role?

    Yeah its a really good role. I have a really nice role in that one. I hadn’t really been acting that much for the last twelve years or so. I moved up to San Francisco with my husband and sort of left Los Angeles behind and had two kids back to back. I was really busy, and have been still, raising them and volunteering at their school and being a mom. Two years ago out of the blue my agent called me and said, “Somebody wants you to play the mom in a horror movie!” I said “Well, who's that?” and he told me who they were, Simon Barrett is the writer, Adam Wingard the director and Keith Calder and Jessica Wu, the producers. They said, “You're gonna have four kids and a few significant others, you all meet up at a family reunion, things go wrong and there's a mad killer on the loose.” 

    I said, “Okay, but let me read the script!” I read the script and thought this is great, its a really good script I'd love to do it but don't they want me to come in and meet with them at least? Nobody's seen me in many years! I had a semi retirement in a way, I wasn't thinking about acting at all. They said no, they just wanna hire you! Two weeks later I was on a plane, I went to Missouri and shot the film with these guys. There's some really talented people involved in this. Ti West who's a director himself plays a part in the movie. Amy Seimetz, AJ Bowen and Joe Swanberg who all just wrapped a film directed by Ti West and produced by Eli Roth called The Sacrament.  It was such a wonderful experience. Everybody brought so much to it and it came to life. I saw it at the Toronto film festival and I couldn't believe how good it was. It was just fantastic! We've gotten great reviews from all the different film festivals and they're going to show it at South by South West in a couple of weeks again, to create some buzz for the première in August. There's another guy in it, Joe Swanberg, he plays one of my sons. He's been directing movies and he is hilarious in it! It's a very, kind of, dark movie but it's also very funny. The girl who really has the leading role in it is Sharni Vinson, she was in some of the Step Up'movies, she's from Australia. This is a career making role for her and she nails it. After this, people are going to want to see much more of her. You wont believe how good she is in it.

    Going back to your first big role – it was for Brian DePalma's Body Double.

    When I first auditioned for that movie, there were a lot more scenes involved! I think it was the day before shooting that they said pretty much every scene is cut except for that one scene. I thought, I wish I had a little more to do but working with Brian will definitely be a great opportunity and I'm sure it will lead to working with him again! But it never did! We had a great time, again that was a cameo role for me so I was only on set for one day. We probably did that scene sixty times! It was long, I mean, for hours we did that scene, just to get different looks.

    What was the direction like for a scene like that?

    It was so long ago its hard to remember but I don’t really remember him giving me that much direction for it, just “keep doing it, and do it differently” and see what happened and he would try for the best take.

    re-animatorRe-Animator was pretty extreme for its time. What was your initial reaction on reading the script?

    Definitely extreme but anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a shy person. The boldness of it did not bother me at all. I thought it was funny, cool and so outrageous! I loved that aspect of it! We all got to rehearse about four weeks before we started filming so we all got to know each other pretty well and I think that added a lot to our relationships with one another. I think the film is so popular because of Jeffrey Combs and what he brought to that character. If somebody else had played that part it would have been a different movie. That was a star making role for him. We all had to rise to his level – hopefully we did. I think between he and Stuart Gordon on that movie – 

    I feel that Bruce [Abbott] and I were along for the ride! I was able to be in such a wonderful film and something that people remember! Its thirty years now since we made that movie and its still so popular! A lot of people that I meet at conventions, they’re twenty years old and they say 'I just saw this movie and I love it!' It’s quite gratifying , really.

    Do think your past work and cult status is why the film industry still calls for you?

    Well yeah, I think that's why, especially being away from the business in the last ten years, I'm kind of back in it now, the kids are a little grown up a bit and I think I can work a little bit more. I'm sure that's why the people from You're Next called me, because of the cult status of Re-Animator and quite possibly From Beyond.

    I noticed there's a deleted scene on YouTube for Bride Of Re-Animator with your character Megan Halsey – but it’s not you. Why didn’t you come back for that?

    In Bride Of Re-Animator, I didn’t really have much to do. I wasn’t really there. They did ask me to play Megan for that one deleted but at the time my agent thought it was too small a part..actually now, thinking back on something like that, I probably would have done it. He suggested that I shouldn’t do it and I thought, “Oh, Okay. I shouldn't do it because it's so small”' and I had such a big part in the other one... I think that was kind of silly, thinking back on it. If somebody asked me today to play that part in Bride, I would have done it. If Stuart had written it and directed it, his theory was that – and I don’t want to misquote him – he wanted Bruce and I to live as a couple, and I was to be the re-animated bride. 

    You also appeared in a pictorial for Playboy called “Simply Beastly.”

    Yeah, they approached me because I think From Beyond was getting a lot of attention at the time and they wanted to do something monstrous. I'm not sure if it came around at Halloween time, it may have..I'd already shown everything and they were going to take some beautiful photographs of me and make it lovely. We were going back to Italy to shoot it and I thought,why not? That would be fun!  At the time my manager said that a lot of people that had done these pictorials, it really advanced their career..of course it didn’t advance my career at all but I still have that legacy. I got to meet Hugh Hefner and get my picture taken with him and get his autograph. Its a very, widely read and respected, loved magazine.

    You met Hugh Hefner? No way!

    Yeah, I went to the mansion! It was really fun. I went to a party there shortly after I did the pictorial. Then I went back one other time. Its an amazing place and he's an icon himself, so I didn’t have an misgivings about doing it at all. I enjoyed it, very much so.

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    Oh Lordi, here we go again! But I kid... I totally dig these guys. Not only are they from Finland, and it's been proven that the spirit of true metal bubbles up from the ground in all Scandinavian countries, but they're also right up there with GWAR when it comes to rocking out in elaborate makeup and costumes (some of their stage props were designed by New Zealand's acclaimed WETA effects workshop), they've played themselves in a big-budget Finnish horror film, they're the first metal group to win the Eurovision Song Contest, they've got their own comic book and even an official Finnish postage stamp, and of course their live shows are the stuff of legend. I mean, who doesn't love the idea of an explosive (literally) arena rock show with Alice Cooper theatrics and KISS pyrotechnics, performed by a lineup of hideous monsters? Nobody I'd hang out with, anyway.
    It's actually been nearly three years since Lordi's previous full-length record Babez for Breakfast hit US shores, and while that one didn't quite catch fire in the States, the follow-up To Beast or Not to Beast– which hits stores today – is less of an exercise in '80s nostalgia than its predecessor, and represents a good balance of KISS-inspired hard rock and gothic horror metal that might win over more converts. While they haven't exactly reinvented the wheel, they have made some significant changes to their well-established sound; the band's lineup changed a few times in the intervening three years, with drummer Kita and keyboardist Lady Awa departing the group and newcomers Mana and Hella stepping into their respective boots.
    The band's new look (which is revamped for each new album & tour) also got a cool metallic overhaul this time, and even the cover art is kinda classy (although to be honest, just about anything would be an improvement over that skeevy Babez cover). The gothic horror elements which stepped up in 2008's Deadache– and declined in Babez– are prominent again, with more synth atmospheres and spooky effects added to the mix. The quality of production, courtesy of Michael Wagener (who has worked with giants like Alice Cooper, Ozzy and Metallica), is one of the elements both this album and its predecessor have in common, and that's most welcome, but the band has stepped back in time a bit from the previous album's '80s metal vibe.
    The Alice Cooper spirit is all over this album, as indicated in the rowdy opening cut "We're Not Bad for the Kids (We're Worse),” with its blackly comic intro narration, and the blazing tempo of cuts like “I'm the Best.” The album's first single "The Riff” demonstrates how the band's skill with a good hook stands up to just about any kind of hard-rock style, and while some might balk at the dance beats, they should remember how KISS alienated some fans with their own disco phase until songs like “I Was Made for Loving You” became massive hits. Hella's keyboards are quite strong here and throughout the album, bringing much-needed gothic horror overtones to tracks like the moody "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and creepy "Horrifiction.” The latter makes good use of a nightmarish vocal intro, an element they use again in "Schizo Doll.”
    With that said, muscular riffage is still one of Lordi's greatest strengths, along with anthemic choruses just begging to be shouted at maximum volume, thanks to frontman Mr Lordi's ease with simple, effective hooks (although he changes things up with the creepy vocal effects of "Candy for the Cannibal"). To Beast is also one of the band's heaviest records, with lower tunings, a more distinctive bottom-end and thunderous rhythms from Mana, who proves his worthiness most admirably. As with all Lordi albums, we get another installment of their ongoing “SCG” (Scarctic Circle Gathering) instrumental series, here in the form of “Otus' Butcher Clinic,” which this time comes at the end of the album instead of the usual intro, with a drum-solo centerpiece that seems a bit out of place.
    There are a few awkward missteps ("Sincerely with Love" is the worst offender, aiming for badass attitude but instead coming off as snarky), but for the most part To Beast or Not to Beast is a solid return to Lordi form, with an added emphasis on horror elements, which is absolutely the right thing to do for a band who built a reputation as larger-than-life rock 'n' roll monsters. “The Riff” is a strong example of how they can do it right, so we'll send you off with that one, complete with lyrics...

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    Yes, you read that right: Bruce Campbell will pay for your next tattoo. At least, that's what he promised on Twitter. Tweets are legally binding, right? Of course, like anything in this world, it comes with stipulations. First, it has to be a tattoo representing the Evil Dead remake. Not the original, not Bubba Ho-Tep, and not a picture of your cat. It also must "beat" this stunning backpiece:

    evil dead tattoo

    No word on what exactly would "beat" this tattoo, but Bruce promises to "directly reimburse" you for the first Evil Dead remake tattoo that tops this one. Good luck folks.

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    Last Exorcism II PosterIt's one of the most familiar stories in the realm of horror cinema: a studio purchases a solid indie horror film, makes a pretty penny on the deal, and then settles down for a sequel parade. Paramount did it with Friday the 13th and then Paranormal Activity, Lionsgate did it with Saw... and it sure looked like they were about to franchise the heck out of Daniel Stamm's The Last Exorcism (which earned strong reviews and solid box office), but for some reason the sequel arrives courtesy of CBS Films. I've strayed from the original point: once a low-budget horror film rakes in some huge profits the sequels are inevitable, and that even holds true for horror movies that have the word "last" in the title. Three years after The Last Exorcism comes, of course, The Last Exorcism Part II -- and I bet it makes just enough money to warrant a Part 3, even if it is one that's released straight to DVD.

    Co-produced by the horror-obsessed Eli Roth and boasting a fantastic lead performance by Ashley Bell, The Last Exorcism Part II is, unfortunately, a severely mixed bag. The movie is shot in lovely fashion, for example, but it also suffers from a languid pace. Most of the performances and some of the scary bits are suitably strong, but they're used in service of a plot that's been rehashed, revisited, and retold since (at least) Brian De Palma's Carrie -- and that was in 1976. Director Ed Gass-Donnelly is clearly interested in presenting a delicate character study that focuses on a wounded young woman trapped in an awful situation, but the approach quickly goes from admirably restrained to frankly... kinda dull.

    To its credit, the sequel does dare to drop the "found footage" approach that the first Last Exorcism employed. As one of the few admirers of first-person / shaky-cam horror flicks, I was actually a little disappointed, but the change does allow the director and cinematographer Brendan Steacy to compose some rather attractive frames. (Note an early scene in which Ms. Bell peers down a hallway as she's led to her new bedroom. Lovely work all around.) Part 2 picks up right where we left off: the spiritually beleaguered Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) has been found in the woods, so she's shuttled off to a halfway house full of troubled young women and a plainly well-intentioned therapist.

    And that's pretty much where the dreariness sets in. Nell's slow introduction into normal society runs way too long, yet the horror sequences are cut in truly sloppy fashion (probably to keep the PG-13 rating intact). The other girls at the shelter start out as legitimately interesting minor characters, but then they're simply dropped once act three kicks in. The finale does, logically, manage to produce a little bit of energy and (at least) one cool shock, but those are minor rewards that evaporate too quickly. Were it not for the consistently fascinating work by Ashley Bell, a few stretches of Last Exorcism II would be truly yawn-inducing.

    Kudos to the filmmakers for not turning the flick into an occult-flavored slasher flick set in a "troubled girls" house, but a horror sequel needs a bit more meat on its bones than just "unhappy girl wanders around, sees visions that nobody else can see, and gingerly dips her toe into a real life." Last Exorcism II does add a slightly more sexual wrinkle to the typical occult story trappings, but aside from a fantastic lead performance and a few decent chills, there's nothing here that a seasoned horror fan hasn't seen before. None of the ostensible surprises are surprising, and once the scary stuff starts hitting the screen, very little of it feels particularly novel or exciting. This is not an example of people churning out a cheap sequel with no craft or effort; it's an earnest and well-made character-based horror flick that's simply not all that interesting.



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    Hannibal makes its long-awaited debut on NBC on April 4th, a last-minute addition to the midseason lineup. Within hours of the announcement being made, NBC premiered the trailer: a thirty-second teaser that gave us little to go on other than what we already knew (FBI criminal profiler teams with brilliant psychologist to catch a murderer, not knowing that the shrink is also a killer).

    But an international trailer has appeared, and this is a good two-minute look at the series. Apparently Hannibal Lecter isn't the only one with a dark side.

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    Children Shouldn't Play with Dead ThingsThis week in horror history, Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things introduced fans to Orville, a lovable dead guy who is horror’s answer to Bernie (of Weekend at Bernie’s fame.) When a groups of wacky theater folks dig him up fail to bring him back to life with a bit of dried baby blood and a book of black magic, they decide to keep him as their mascot, making him do all sort of things not fit for a corpse. What the group doesn’t know is they actually managed to reanimate the other occupants of Orville’s graveyard, and these zombies are hungry.

    The poster for House is so much more promising than the actual film. It's intent is confusing – the movie was rated R, but feels like a kid’s horror movie. House tells the story of troubled horror writer Roger Cobb who moves to his aunt’s house after she committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. His wife has left him and his son has disappeared. The house begins to play tricks on him. He suffers from hallucinations, is attacked by beasties, and in a moment of terror, conveys all his concerns to his annoying neighbor, played by George Wendt. Of course he isn’t crazy and (spoiler!) this house is a portal into an evil netherworld.

    In 1987 my all-time favorite installment of the Elm Street franchise hit theaters, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Why is this the best Nightmare on Elm Street?  Well for one, Freddy kills Zsa Zsa Gabor on a talk show, but most importantly, because of the amazing Taryn White. She is totally ahead of her time and, in her dreams, transforms into some kind of punk rock beauty queen to fight the razor-fingered Freddy. Her demise is equally killer.

    Title: Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
    Released: February 28, 1973
    Tagline: You're Invited To Orville's "Coming-Out" Party...It'll Be A Scream...YOURS!!!

    Released: February 28, 1986
    Tagline: Ding Dong, You're Dead

    Title: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
    Released: February 27, 1987
    Tagline: Freddy's just around the corner...



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    Maybe you’ve never really thought about it, but in the grand scheme of movie monsters, T-Rex is kind of a wiener. Check out this awesome infographic, comparing Chucky to the Cloverfield monster, courtesy of Geek Stir. (see the full size here)

    How Monsters Stack Up


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    Festival fave American Mary, the second horror feature from “Twisted Twins” Jen & Sylvia Soska, has been slated for theatrical release on May 31st from distributor XLrator Media (whom we previously announced would be bringing Norwegian horror-fantasy Thale to the big screen next month), and to accompany that release, the film now has a classy new poster accenting the film's supporters and awards.
    American Mary shocked and impressed festival audiences in 2012, won the praise of horror legend Clive Barker, and picked up five awards at last year's Screamfest, including a shared Best Director award for the Soska sisters and a Best Actress nod for star Katherine Isabelle (previously known for the Ginger Snaps films). The follow-up to the Twins' micro-budgeted Dead Hooker in a Trunk, American Mary is a much more elaborate production, focusing on a medical student (Isabelle) who becomes disillusioned with the profession – not to mention enraged by a sexually abusive teacher – and takes up a lucrative but dangerous gig performing illegal body-modification surgeries mainstream doctors won't touch. 
    Read our review of the film here, and stay tuned for more details...

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    Radcliffe to Play IgorHarry Potter is really working against bespeckled boy wizard type these days. The fancy-footed (did you see him at the Oscars?) British thespian is reported to be in final talks to play Igor in the Fox reboot of Frankenstein.

    The Hollywood Reporter writes that this Igor is very much the hairy, hunchbacked monster of Mary Shelley’s creation. “He is described as pathologically dirty, with long hair and wearing old clown clothes. (A circus tone permeates much of the project, according to sources.)”

    Lucky Number Slevin’s Paul McGuigan will direct and Max Landis is penning the script

    via THR

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