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FEARNET.com News and Reviews

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    cultWhile it hasn't officially been canceled, CW's Cult may as well be. This morning, the network quietly pulled the remaining episodes from the schedule.

    The show debuted in March in a cozy Tuesday timeslot, but was quickly shipped off to Friday nights after a disappointing debut. I still maintain that the Friday repositioning was less about crap ratings and more about trying to give it a better lead-in, but that seems moot now. I just got listing updates directly from the CW publicity team that reveal they have pulled Cult from their lineup for at least the next three weeks, effective immediately.

    Cult was an interesting idea (a TV show-within-a-TV show that inspires real-world crimes in an intricately woven conspiracy) that suffered from too many bad aspects to pull it all together. The biggest problem with the show is that there were way too many elements thrown in, with too many hidden meanings and secrets and not enough answers to keep away the frustration.

    Repeats of The Carrie Diaries and reality-competition show Oh Sit! will air in Cult's 9pm Friday time slot through the rest of April.


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  • 04/10/13--17:00: Gift Guide: Zombie Fragrance
  • demeter fragrance

    When I think of perfume and sweet scents, I do not think of zombies. I don't want to smell of putrid, rotting flesh. And yet here is Demeter Fragrances (known for strange scents) releasing Zombie for Him and Zombie for Her scents.

    Zombie for Him is described as "a combination of dried leaves, mushrooms, mildew, moss and earth - think forest floor." Um, okay. Zombie for Her is described as a lighter version, with "a touch of Dregs from the bottom of the wine barrel for that feminine touch."

    No word on whether or not the perfumes actually repel zombies, or just help camoflauge the scent of your sweet, raw flesh.

    $20 each at DemeterFragrance.com


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    alamo drafthouseCinephiles love the Alamo Drafthouse. The Texas-based theater chain is known across the country for hosting a wide variety of themed screening series, movie marathons, serving food and booze in the theater, and strictly enforcing the no-talking, no-texting policy. It is a movie geek's nerdvana. In the last few years, Alamo has expanded into a number of states, including Colorado, Missouri, Virginia, and New York. With locations in cities both large and small, Alamo is finally bringing their theater chain to Los Angeles.

    While the lease hasn't been signed yet, a letter of intent has been signed. The proposed theater would be eight-screens, 30,000 square feet, with a rooftop garden. The theater would be built atop the site of a 300-space parking lot (which will undoubtedly piss off downtown denizens, where parking is at a premium) and partially built into the side of a hill. If all goes according to plan, the lease would be signed by the end of April and the theater could open in 18 months.

    At one point, I had heard that the Drafthouse was eyeing a theater in Westwood, a college community that is home to UCLA and a number of large classic cinemas (many with only one screen!) Obviously, that never happened.

    Source: LA Downtown News


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    jamie foxxJamie Foxx is bringing a new horror anthology series to the Syfy Channel. The actor will write, direct and produce the untitled series, and he hints that he will appear in an episode or two.

    The series will be five episodes, set to air during Syfy's 31 Days of Halloween programming in October, and is being compared to shows like The Twilight Zone and Tales From the Crypt.  “This is a project that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’m so happy to see it come to life,” Foxx said at the Syfy Channel's upfront presentation. The show is said to be a morality tale focusing on issues like jealousy, envy and superficiality.

    In addition to Foxx, other writers signed on to the series include Michael Ferris (Terminator Salvation, Primeval) and John Pogue (Everwood, Army Wives).

    Source: Deadline


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    glen mazzaraIt looks like Glen Mazzara, former showrunner of The Walking Dead, is very near a deal to write The Shining prequel.

    Details seem to be scarce on the project. It will be called The Overlook Hotel and is meant as a prequel to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 classic The Shining, so the focus will be on what transpired at the Overlook Hotel before the Torrance family arrived. I am thinking the story will focus on what transpired at the Overlook to make it haunted.

    The Shining author Stephen King was never entirely happy with Kubrick's adaptation of his novel. He has continued the story of young Danny Torrance with Doctor Sleep, which follows Danny as an adult.

    Mazzara is well-known for taking over The Walking Dead after series creator Frank Darabont was unceremoniously fired at the end of season one. He oversaw season two and most of season three, and most critics (myself included) credit Mazzara with turning the series into the ratings juggernaut it is today. Following in Darabont's footsteps, Mazzara left The Walking Dead in December, before the completion of season three. Though there are plenty of rumors as to the reasons he left, it still seems murky as to whether he left on his own accord or was flat-out fired.

    The Overlook Hotel is being developed at Warner Bros.

    Source: Hollywood Reporter


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    The patently familiar new psycho thriller 6 Souls actually played film festivals back in 2010 under the title Shelter before collecting dust on a Weinstein shelf for a few years, only to pop up on VOD this week. In April of 2013. That's not meant to imply that every genre title that suffers a long release delay is a generic, tiresome, and already outdated piece of low-end cable TV fodder, but in the case of 6 Souls (as well as the recent John Cusack flick The Factory) the plain truth is that it would have been a forgettable turkey three years ago. Today it's just a three-year-old turkey with some mild curiosity value.

    The curious will be rewarded with a psychological thriller about a man with multiple personalities that seem to correspond to a half-dozen murder victims. Jonathan Rhys Myers is the lunatic suffering from what I call "early-career Edward Norton" psychoses; Julianne Moore is the ever-so-dedicated psychologist who dares to delve into a madman's fractured psyche; Jeffrey DeMunn is her (also psychologist) dad who exists mainly to keep the audience up to speed with a handy presentation of exposition blather ever fifteen minutes; and Frances Conroy is on hand as a dour old lady who is also creepy.

    To imply that 6 Souls delivers a surprise ending would be to imply that the plot pieces actually add up to anything prior to the "surprises," but unfortunately the flick is little more than a half-baked casserole of every "psycho vs. therapist" thriller from Primal Fear to Identity. The screenplay wavers between familiar, redundant, and absurd, and aside from some worthwhile acting performances (DeMunn in particular is a hoot), and a couple of decent jolts hidden deep within Act III, there's nothing here one hasn't seen before.

    Co-directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein (Underworld: Awakening) do manage to compose some impressive frames -- 6 Souls has a bit of style in the visual department if not in the narrative -- but their work exists mainly in the service of a patchwork, conventional, and oft-told story that's a whole lot sillier than was probably intended.

    READ FEARnet's PARTNER REVIEWS OF 6 SOULS


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    The Vampire Diaries is branching out with a potential spinoff called The Originals - and have just released a poster:

    the originals

    The show will star Joseph Morgan (Klaus), Claire Holt (Rebekah), and Daniel Gillies (Elijah), the three remaining Original vampire siblings, and be set in New Orleans. Also joining the cast are Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley) who will repriese her TVD role as the werewolf who helped Tyler break his curse. New to the show(s) is Charles Michael Davis, who will play Marcel, Klaus's former protege.

    The Originals is a "backdoor pilot," which means it was shot and will air as part of The Vampire Diaries. The episode, titled "The Originals" airs April 25th on the CW. A decision as to whether or not the show will go into production is expected in May.

    Source: ET

     


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    hannibalHannibal Episode 102
    “Amuse-Bouche”
    Written By: Jim Danger Gray
    Directed By: Michael Rymer
    Original Airdate: 11 April 2013

    In This Episode...

    Will accompanies the FBI to investigate the Shrike’s nest - aka Hobbs’s mountain cabin. Inside, along with plenty of taxidermy, they find the entire attic/loft/second story hung floor to ceiling with antlers. They cannot find any other bodies or pieces of bodies. Will reminds Jack that there isn’t any part of the human body that you can’t eat; Jack starts to wonder if Hobbs had an accomplice - and if that accomplice could be his daughter Abigail. This makes Will uncomfortable for, as Hannibal will later diagnose Will, he feels a certain responsibility for Abigail.

    Jack wants Will back in the field permanently. Will just needs a psych eval to show the bosses, and one to help him sleep at night - he is worried that he has broken Will. Naturally, Will goes to Hannibal, who happily “rubber stamps” him back into duty. Not a moment too soon, for Will is called out on another case. And this one is damned fucked up.

    Some kids are hiking in the woods when they find something weird. It turns out to be nine people in very shallow graves. They are all lined up in a neat row - and they all have mushrooms and various fungi growing out of them. It seems the unsub has been burying these people in shallow graves made of a nutrient-rich mulch. The victims went into the ground alive, but unconscious (none show signs of being restrained), hooked up to crude respirators and force fed a sugar solution to keep the bodies alive. They are, for all intents and purposes, there to be fertilizer for fungus. In fact, one of the victims is actually alive - he reaches out for Will’s ankle, knocking him from his killer’s POV reverie. The victim dies on the way to the hospital. It is Will who figures out that every victim is a diabetic, forced into diabetic comas after having their insulin monkeyed with. From there is is a quick journey to identifying the perp: he has to be a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist - someone with easy access to insulin. Ten diabetics have gone missing after visiting one particular pharmacy chain, where all were helped by the same pharmacist: Eldin Stannis.

    The FBI just misses Eldin, though they do rescue his next victim from the trunk of his car, already coated in mulch and fitted with a respirator. It looks like Eldin had been inadvertently tipped off by tabloid reporter Freddie Lounds. As one might expect from a tabloid reporter, she ranks very low on the ethics scale. Freddie lied about being the mother of one of the boys who found the bodies so that she could get a local detective to give her the dirt on the crime scene. She arranged an appointment with Dr. Lecter immediately after his appointment with Will. She records their session through the door, something that Hannibal picks up on immediately. She then writes a “tell-all” article about Will on her website, which is what spooked Eldin. He realized that Will was looking to make connections like he was. Jack and a few agents later storm Freddie’s hotel room and threaten to arrest her for obstruction. She left a hair behind in the Shrike’s nest, which means she trespassed on a crime scene. She agrees not to write another word about Will.

    The next morning, on the way to her car, Freddie is confronted by the detective she deceived. She promises him a cushy private security job when he was inevitably fired, but that promise is interrupted with a gunshot to the head. Eldin is there, and has shot the detective’s brain matter all over Freddie. He wants information on Will Graham. Fearing for her life, Freddie tells Eldin about Will’s obsession with Abigail Hobbs.

    Jack calls Will to warn him about Eldin. Will is just arriving at the hospital, so he pulls his gun. Abigail is not in her room; she was “taken for tests,” by Eldin. Will finds him pushing Abigail’s gurney and shoots him without warning. It goes through Eldin’s shoulder, dropping him but not killing him. Will hovers over the injured man, gun pointed at his head. Eldin insists he should have let him bury Abigail - that way, she could reach out and connect with Will in a real and tangible way.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    I love the method of “murder” here. I put “murder” in quotes because clearly murder is not Stanis’s motive. He is using people as fertilizer to connect. It is very poetic, but it also makes me wonder if he was eating the mushrooms. This is a show about cannibalism, after all. Frankly, it is inventive and horrifying.

    I am fascinated by Will Graham. He is such a complex character. Television has gotten continually smarter over the last decade or so, but Will seems to be the first true character that is painted in shades of gray. He isn’t the pure-of-heart cop (or even the dirty cop with good intentions), nor is he the cold-blooded killer. He is all of this. I cannot recall a TV character who has been so conflicted over killing because he liked it

    I have one complaint about this episode: we did not get to see Will’s dogs.

    Psychotherapy

    Throughout the episode, Will has been haunted by visions of Hobbs, dead. He admits to Hannibal that when he shot Eldin, he did not see Hobbs - he just saw a perp who needed to be stopped. Hannibal believes that Will continues to see him (despite Will’s insistence that he cannot be analyzed) because he is concerned that the “sprig of zest” he felt when killing Hobbs was because he saved Abigail, not because he killed Hobbs. He liked killing Hobbs.

    Bon Appetit

    Hannibal has Jack over for dinner, and serves him “loin.” “What kind of loin?” Beat. “Pork.”

    Prophecies?

    Abigail wakes from her coma. Will does not want to believe that she could have been her father’s accomplice. Hannibal promises to keep Abigail’s secret - and she promises to keep his.


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

    Buffy Season 9 No. 20

    Buffy and Xander are on the outs in this continuation of the beloved franchise. Tensions are boiling over for the watcher and the slayer as Dawn is fading out of existence. But if Xander and Buffy can't work together, there's not much anyone can do, until a mysterious villain takes Xander away… and an old friend finally comes back into the picture.

    Bag it or board it up? This is an issue about crossroads. This is about characters making hard choices and choosing specific paths. There isn't a lot of action in this issue. There isn't even that famous quirky dialogue. It's just a very plot driven, well structured issue for the previously initiated.

     

    Roadkill Du Jour No. 1

    Here's a brand new comic from an indie publisher with a fun idea. A man living in the bayou's been cursed by Mama Houdoo. Along with killing his loved ones, she's condemned him to a rather lowly existence. To eat, he must feed on roadkill. And what he eats changes him. He morphs into the form of his long-dead meal. It's an exciting and disgusting premise.

    Bag it or board it up? I love a good bayou tale. I love the setting, the accent, the general feel of a comic like this. While the artwork at times can feel a little frenetic and unfocused, I think this comic has a ton of potential. I want to see our hero, Du Jour, eat more roadkill and transform into different types of animals. I want to see how it all plays out. It's rare to feel that way with a tiny issue 1. Keep an eye on this comic. 

    X No. 0

    The zero issue to this comic tells the story of a masked vigilante hunting down criminals in the city of Arcadia. Arcadia, now a burnt down crime haven, is being cleaned up by a guy the baddies call the X-Killer. He's brutal, strong, fast, and on the prowl. This issue shows the lengths X will go to in the hunt for his prey.

    Bag it or board it up? This is a fun comic, with big spurts of blood and lots of cat-and-mouse chasing to it. If you like to see the bad guy get his in the end, I recommend X. The artwork is dark and gloomy, and very well executed. The bright red of the blood against the dark grays and blues really make the comic pop. 

     

    Mars Attacks No. 9

    The Martians have fully conquered Earth. Most of the population is dead, and the rest are in hiding. One kid, a genius with machines and programming, has so far survived the invasion. He meets up with a fast-shooting apocalypse cowboy and they head off to rescue the only scientist who knows how to destroy the Martians.

    Bag it or board it up? I usually don't like the Mars Attacks comics and spin-offs. I tried this issue out because it wasn't trying any gimmicks. It wasn't teaming the Martians up with Kiss, or something ridiculous like that. It was just a continuation of a Martian story. And I was rewarded. This is a fun issue. This is pretty standard alien invasion fare, but it was an extremely enjoyable read.


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    Peter CushingThis May marks the centennial birthday of Hammer horror icon Peter Cushing. The English actor's long and distinguished career includes productions in theater, Broadway, and television, but cinema was where the steely Cushing held court. He'll forever be associated with the gothic melodrama and technicolor carnage from the house of Hammer as gentleman vampire hunter, Dr. Van Helsing — a symbol of good conquering evil.

    Titan Books' 'Peter Cushing: A Life in Film' by David Miller explores the admirable star's horror career and reveals the intimate stories behind the actor's beginnings in fright cinema with Terence Fisher's The Curse of Frankenstein and Horror of Dracula. Cushing played an active role in shaping his characters, continuously challenging their motives and perfecting his own vision of them. Victor Frankenstein's wardrobe was largely Cushing's invention, something he would continue to take an interest in throughout his career. The actor often sketched and painted fashion designs in the margins of his scripts. Cushing also altered Dracula's finale, adding the gymnastic confrontation between man and monster in which Cushing leaps to expose Christopher Lee's vamp to the sun. The candlestick cross was also Cushing's contribution. Miller's book reveals a playful relationship between the titans of terror. Cushing and Lee would often be found on set performing impromptu song and dance numbers or doing goofy impersonations.

    'A Life in Film' explores Cushing's complete filmography (from the stage, to Hollywood, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and beyond), but also personal and poignant off-screen moments — including a friendship with Laurence Olivier, the joys and sorrows of Cushing's relationship with beloved wife Helen, and the dark period in his life that followed after her death. Miller does a fine job at revealing how the private and professional fed each other throughout Cushing's lifetime. One brief, but stunning example of this comes from his childhood. Cushing's father punished him by locking him in a dark cellar, which continued to haunt him. Cushing's mother wanted a girl and would outfit her son with dresses and ribbons for his long hair. She would also play a morbid game to terrify young Cushing when he misbehaved, which he admitted left him with an "unreasonable fear of death." How fascinating that the actor would spend the most notable days of his film career edging his way close to the darkness and facing the monsters within.

    'Peter Cushing: A Life in Film' is a must-have for Hammer Films completists or horror fans that want to know more about the man behind the stake and hammer. Enjoy this photo preview from Titan Books and author David Miller before you pick up a copy on April 16.




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    Scream Factory - Shout Factory Blu-Ray/DVD titles

    Earlier this year, FEARnet's own Rob Galluzzo, Fangoria's Rebekah McKendry and Inside Horror's Elric Kane kicked off a brand new horror talkshow podcast for GeekNation called 'Killer POV.' Among the special guests that have stopped by include Derek Mears ('Friday The 13th'), Tyler Mane (Rob Zombie's 'Halloween'), directors Mike Mendez ('Big Ass Spider'), Dave Parker ('The Hills Run Red'), Roy Frumkes ('Street Trash') and Horror Movie A Day's Brian Collins. The brand new 8th episode just went live this morning and it features Jeff Nelson, the director of marketing at Scream Factory, the horror banner from Shout! Factory that's been cranking out some amazing Blu-Ray/DVD releases of some horror cult classics. If you're a fan of Scream Factory or any of the titles they put out, or just miss the days of discovering the horror classics on VHS at your local mom & pop video store, then sit back and get nostolgic with the entire Killer POV crew. Be sure to catch up on previous episodes on GeekNation's website and also "like" the official Killer POV Facebook page.
     

     


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    In preparation for this weekend's Monsterpalooza convention in Burbank, California, Dark Skies has released the official teaser poster for their upcoming Hatchet III.

    At Monsterpalooza, fans will be treated to a special panel with Adam Green, BJ McDonnell, Kane Hodder, Danielle Harris, Derek Mears, Rileah Vanderbilt and Robert Pendergraft, talking about "The FX of the Hatchet Series." At the panel, never-before-seen footage from the third installment will be shown, and the teaser poster will be given to guests who wish to get it signed.

    Hatchet III continues the tale of the now-iconic villain Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder). As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades. The film opens in New York and Los Angeles on June 14th, with more cities to be announced.


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    Even zombies want to look their best. I'm not sure what a zombie considers looking their best, but the good folks at z'Ombeal know what their clients want. And apparently it is makeup made out 50% living human cells. I'm not sure how zombies can put it on without eating it... but there ya go. Karen Gillan from Doctor Who is the official spokeszombie.

    Source: Nerdist


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    As Dexter winds its way towards its eighth and final season, you can own a piece of Dexter history. Showtime is auctioning off a few key Dexter props.

    There are a wide range of items available: the Barrel Girls case file and creepy hair scrapbook from season five; the lion head mask worn by Harrison in season six; Dexter's Miami Metro ID badge; Dexter's leather knife roll from season one (knives not included); even a kill suit worn on-screen by star Michael C. Hall.

    Current bids run from over $600 (for Vera's urn from the Trinity season) to $40 (for the Jordan Chase promo pack from season five). The auctions end on April 19th. Dexter's eighth season begins June 30th.

    Source: Showtime Auctions


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    eddie the sleepwalking cannibalIn Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal, a once world-renown painter - who seems to have lost his muse - comes to a small art school to teach. There he is introduced to Eddie, a mute man-child who hangs around the school because his family donates a lot of money to the school. Eddie has a peculiar problem: when he is stressed out, he tends to sleepwalk, kill, and eat small animals. We spoke with director and co-writer Boris Rodriguez, who spoke about the catchy title and being a tortured artist.

    Where did the idea for Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal come from?

    It came from my friend and co-writer John Rannells, who pitched it to me originally. It wasn’t a sleepwalking cannibal; it was a retarded werewolf and a novelist, and it was on the outer banks of North Carolina. Gradually, as we kept reworking the story, he went to Los Angeles and I went back up to Canada, and the retarded werewolf became a sleepwalking cannibal; the novelist became a painter; and the sand dunes became the snowy landscapes of Canada.

    I love the title, The Sleepwalking Cannibal. I don’t know if The Retarded Werewolf would have had the same ring.

    Originally, the title was supposed to be Eddie, not Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal. The distributors came up with that, and initially I was reluctant because I feel that gives it a slightly more exploitative feel. The film does satirize exploitation films, but it isn’t so much one itself. But I have to say the [new] title really helped get the film noticed, so I am glad they convinced me to change my mind.

    To me, it’s not so much exploitative, it’s more...

    Campy?

    Yes, campy. I find it funny and quirky and more descriptive than just Eddie. How did you go about casting Eddie?

    I was lucky with Dylan Smith. The first person we cast was Lars - Thure Lindhardt. We wanted a star, someone who could carry a whole movie, who could do both drama and comedy. As you can imagine, Canadian stars get a lot of work in the US and become prohibitively expensive. So we turned to Europe, and I didn’t care what accent he had, I just wanted him to be a star and carry the movie. Our London casting guy suggested two Spaniards and this Danish guy, Thure Lindhardt. I was immediately blown away by him. Once he came on board, we got the Danish producers on board, the German sales agent came on board... and then we came to cast Eddie. I thought we had a monumental task ahead of us: to cast someone who was physically large and imposing, but who could also convey subtle emotions with facial expressions. Luckily, the second person who walked into the room was Dylan Smith. I didn’t tell him at the time, but I knew he was the guy, and I felt so lucky.

    In the film, art and tortured artists are inextricably linked. Can you talk a little bit about that? Do you consider yourself a tortured artist?

    Not nearly as tortured as Lars, thank god. There are many different ideas that feed into that, that inform the role of Lars. One of them is the idea, “Can you create great art without suffering?” There is an ongoing debate about that - some would argue that it is as old as art itself. If you are a professional artist or have sacrificed everything for your art, you will likely face dire poverty or enormous rejection. The only out of that dire situation is to create amazing art. That kind of pressure creates great art. The other aspect of that idea is that, to create really good art, you need to delve deep into who you are; explore emotional scars and difficult memories to create an honest work. You need to be tapped into your own vulnerabilities. So in that sense, I think suffering is part of the creative process. Does it have to be forcibly? I think that is part of the debate. I certainly had a myopic intensity in getting my first film made - I think anyone will tell you how hard it is to get that first one made - so in that sense, as often happens, your art and your life start to resemble each other. But only to that extent - no cannibalism or murder whatsoever!

    Other than Eddie’s paintings, you didn’t show anyone else’s art in the film. Why was that?

    If you show art, you create a debate about whether the art is actually good or not, and it distracts from the story. Or you hire an artist or take art that has success, and you are preaching down to the audience - especially if the audience is not part of the art world. You can’t create art greater than what you can imagine yourself. Everyone really wanted Eddie’s paintings - those went really fast.


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    bates motelBates Motel Episode 105
    “Ocean View”
    Written By: Jeff Wadlow
    Directed By: David Straiton
    Original Airdate: 15 April 2013

    In This Episode...

    The morning after sleeping with Bradley, Norman is feeling pretty damn good about himself - until he goes home and Dylan casually informs him that Norma has been arrested. The boys go visit her in jail but she isn’t interested in their help. She is convinced it will all clear itself up, but really she is hurt that Norman wasn’t home when she needed him.

    Against Mother’s wishes, Norman puts the deed to the motel up for Norma’s bail. Norma is quietly furious with him, and will barely look at him, even though he accompanies her to her attorney’s office. The attorney, Rebecca Craig, is preparing Norma’s defense, but she storms out Norma believes she doesn’t need a defense because she didn’t do anything.  Mother and son fight on the way home, and she literally throws him out of the car and makes him walk. Dylan happens by and gives Norman a ride home on the back of his motorcycle, giving Dylan another chance to be the hero. Dylan is planning on getting his own place, and he hopes Norman will come live with him - regardless of whether or not Norma goes to prison.

    Norma and Shelby meet late at night down by the shore. Shelby doesn’t think they should see each other for awhile - yet another chance for Norma to quietly seethe with rage. Shelby won’t let her leave: “I love you, you idiot.” He promises to find a way to fix all this. When he returns to the sheriff’s office, Shelby sneaks into the evidence closet and steals the carpet fiber they found in Keith’s watch. When Rebecca files a motion to examine the evidence, the cops discover the fiber is gone and they have no choice but to dismiss the case.

    Norman has told Emma about seeing the sex slave in a “police officer’s basement” but declines to say any more. He also refuses to go to the authorities until after his mom’s legal case blows over. This isn’t good enough for Emma, who does some research on her own and discovers that Keith Summers has a boat under his name. She and Norman go investigate the boat and discover the sex slave hidden in a tiny cabinet. She comes out swinging but is easily subdued. The kids take her back to the motel and intend to clean her up. Norma sees the light on in one of the rooms and checks it out. She discovers the sex slave on the bed, Emma at her side, and Norman emerging from the bathroom. This does not look good. “This is the girl from the basement,” Norman insists. “Tell her.” Norma doesn’t want to believe it. She grabs the local paper and shows the sex slave a picture of Shelby. The girl confirms that is the man who imprisoned her. 

    Also: Dylan’s co-worker, Ethan, loans him some money so he and Norman can get their own place. While sitting in Ethan’s truck, a skeezy junkie comes up. He apparently owes Ethan’s employer some money, but the junkie is there to shoot Ethan in the neck. He scrams and Dylan does the best he can to staunch the bleeding while he races Ethan to the hospital. When a cop shows up to take Dylan’s statement, he disappears. On his way home, Dylan sees the junkie in an alley. He backs up, turns down the alley, and guns it, running over the junkie without a bit of remorse.

    Finally: Norman has been waiting for two days to hear from Bradley. She hasn’t returned his calls or texts. Emma breaks the news to him: they aren’t “together,” it was just a “hookup.” She is a little bitter because she kissed him earlier and he rebuffed her advances.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    So are we all on the same page about Bradley and Norman not actually sleeping together? Okay, good. It does kind of raise the question about what else is a machination of Norman’s diseased mind - and what is real. And boy, Norma just gets crazier and crazier as the episodes go by. Good-crazy. The kind of crazy you love to watch. She is clearly a sociopathic narcissist. 

    Mother Dearest

    When Norma is released on bail, Norman is waiting for her with a bouquet of flowers and a waiting cab - it’s almost like he is picking her up for a date. Later, when Norma confronts her son about not being there when she was arrested, she is jealous - she knows he was out “getting laid.” She is also hurt that Norman told Dylan their “personal business,” like a wife mad at her husband for sharing secrets.

    Also, when Norma tells Norman that Shelby promised to take care of the fiber evidence, Norman gets pissed off. “What are you going to have to do for that?” he accuses. Norman clearly believes his mother is selling herself in exchange for protection. She would never willingly have sex.

    Prophecies?

    If you thought Norma was crazy before, wait until you see what happens when she discovers her boyfriend is trafficking sex slaves.


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    the followingThe Following Episode 113
    “Havenport”
    Written By: David Wilcox & Vincent Angell 
    Directed By: Nicole Kassell
    Original Airdate: 15 April 2013

    In This Episode...

    The FBI is now in Havenport, Maryland, working with the local sheriff’s office, which is of course led by Roderick. Mike recognizes Roderick the moment he sees him and draws his gun. The local cops see Mike as a threat and tackle him while Roderick escapes.

    Roderick goes straight to Joe, in a panic. He wants Joe to enact the backup plan, something about the cult splitting up into small splinter cells and going into hiding. Joe will have none of this. “It’s not time to leave yet.” When the men see Ryan on the news, offering full immunity to any cult member who comes forward, Roderick becomes agitated, paranoid, and the two men choke each other. Upon their mutual release, Roderick runs from Joe’s study and leaves the house. On the way out, he passes Claire and Joey, who make a concerted effort not to look at him. Roderick turns back, shoves Claire to the ground, and grabs Joey on an impulse. He drives away with the boy in the backseat. 

    Claire goes to Joe in hysterics - Joe actually smacks her to quiet her down. He’s having a really bad day. He sends out Jacob - with a couple cult goons - to find Joey, since Joey trusts him. He wants Joey brought back to him unharmed, but wants Roderick dead. “Make him suffer, if possible.” Before they leave, Claire pulls Jacob aside and appeals to his compassionate side: “Take Joey far from here, leave him someplace the police will find him.”

    Roderick - real name Tim Nelson - pays an unexpected visit to Betty, a waitress at a crab shack who knew him under the name Tim. He has a gun and is clearly unbalanced, and makes her drive. Joey is not with him. Betty grows increasingly nervous as they approach a police checkpoint. Roderick and Betty hand over their IDs (his fake, of course) but the cop asks Roderick to step out of the car. He does - and shoots both cops dead. Betty is losing her shit and continues to drive out of fear for her own life. She pulls over and gets out of the car at some point, just as authorities surround them. Betty screams that she is the victim, and after a pat down she is taken away as such. Roderick weighs his options and decides he only has one: surrender.

    In custody, Roderick tries to strike a deal with Ryan: he will take him to Joey, and in exchange Roderick walks away a free man. Ryan insists on proof that he has Joey, so they call Joe. The caller ID shows Roderick’s number, so Joe is surprised to hear Ryan on the other end. Joe tries to hide the fact that he is slowly coming unglued, but it doesn’t work so well. He confirms that Roderick took his son, and warns that if anything untoward happens to Joey, he will personally peel Roderick’s skin off. Ryan hangs up, to “let Joe sweat,” and Joe is clearly shaken by this.

    Nick refuses to deal with a madman. So Ryan goes back into the interrogation room, turns off the cameras, and agrees to Roderick’s terms. Once Ryan has the kid, he will personally drive Roderick past the police barricades out of town, where he is on his own. Ryan steals the FBI hat and jacket off a young agent who happens by, and sneaks Roderick out of the station. Roderick insists that Ryan leave his gun and cell phone behind; Ryan agrees with some hesitance. As they pull out, they pass Jacob and his goons, who follow.

    The two drive to a small house in the middle of nowhere. Once they are inside, the trunk of the car pops open - Mike had been hiding inside the whole time. He is fully armed and calls Debra and Nick to put them on alert, but not to move in just yet. Inside the house, Ryan finds Joey in a closet - bound but unharmed. Roderick pulls out a gun he had hidden in the house, and Mike pulls his own weapon on him. The men face off - then Roderick drops, shot multiple times through the sliding glass door - not by the FBI. Ryan figures out that this must be Joe’s guys, so he sends Mike to find someplace safe for Joey while he deals with Joe’s goons. Joey hides out in a bedroom (where he trips over the corpse of the homeowner) and Mike joins the fight. The guys take out the two generic goons, and Jacob takes off with Joey. Ryan follows them into the woods and the two standoff behind trees. Ryan tries to reason with Jacob, remind him that he cares about Joey and that the cult is no place for a boy. Ryan creeps forward and finally pounces on Jacob’s hiding spot. Jacob is gone - but Joey is there. Ryan scoops him up and takes him to the fleet of cops that have swarmed the area. “You’re Ryan Hardy. Mom said you were one of the good guys.”

    Emma goes to see Joe, but he is distracted by all the other shit that is falling apart in his plan. She makes a move on Joe, who puts the kibosh on it immediately. He blames her for Joey being kidnapped (“It was your job to protect him”) and reminds her harshly that their “relationship” is just sex. Claire watches Joey’s rescue on the news, overwhelmed with relief. She is the next woman who pays a visit to Joe. For what it’s worth, Joe is turning his no-good, very-bad day productive, writing fervently. He doesn’t want to be distracted by Claire, but she has an offer for him he can’t refuse: let Joey go, and she will stay with him, do whatever he says, and try to learn to love him again. They lean in to kiss, and Claire stabs him in the gut with a knife. He throws her across the room and thugs come to drag Claire out, leaving the badly-bleeding Joe doubled over in pain. With the wound poorly bandaged and a stiff drink in his hand (nothing goes better with a gaping wound than blood-thinning alcohol) Joe calls Ryan to alert him that Claire is no longer the “leading lady.” It is time for her to die. Ryan can hear in his voice that Joe has been wounded.

    A woman comes into the police station to take Ryan up on his offer for immunity. After she has been thoroughly searched, Ryan, Debra, and Nick take her into the back. The woman jumps on Nick’s back and stabs him in the eye with her hairpin before she is thrown to the floor and shot dead. It is kind of a weird place to end the show, because it was weirdly undramatic. 

    Dig It or Bury It?

    This show is exhausting. When I sit down to write my recap, and I think back over the last hour, it all feels like a repeat of the week before and the week before that. And yet, during the episode, I am wholly engulfed in the show. I am transfixed. I cannot look away. It is so engrossing - but logically, I know it is rather rote storytelling. But I am totally hooked. I did really like the device of Ryan taking Roderick out of the station, but it all being a setup - it’s about time they started playing on the cult’s level.

    I am looking forward to the final two episodes. I think that the show has to go in a significantly different direction for the second season, and it looks like Kevin Williamson is ready to do that.

    Prophecies?

    Two more episodes left in the season. The cult is unravelling. Normally this would mean a mass suicide is the plan, but not with Joe’s cult. It looks like a stand-off and refugee center are in the cult’s cards.


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    Earlier this year, Dawn of Ashes frontman Kristof Bathory paid a visit to FEARnet, where he talked about the coming release of the band's long-awaited full length studio album Anathema. The interim EPsFarewell to the Flesh and Hollywood Made in Gehenna involved a new creative hybridization for the band, hinting that the new record would represent more of the powerful fusion of their electro-industrial beginnings (the track “Torture Device,” which originated on their 2007 album The Crypt Injection, makes an encore here in a new form) and the blackened horror-metal of their 2010 release Genocide Chapters. I'm happy to report that Anathema is much more than the sum of those elements... and by more, I mean more shocking, more perverse, more aggressive, more evil. Plus it's structured like a loose concept album, providing a grander thematic playground for the band's splattery cinematic tendencies. Adding further spice to the stew is the guest appearance of Psyclon Nine frontman Nero Bellum; P9 turned out one of 2009's most terrifying records (We the Fallen), and Nero brings the same game to his vocals in "Poisoning the Steps of Babel,” one of the strongest (and scariest) cuts.
     
     
    The album's title track, which plays out in three parts, serves as a three-act framework, beginning with the intro “Scorned Upon,” the middle section “Burned at the Stake” and the coda “Primordial Abomination.” Old-school industrial noise (think Throbbing Gristle, Coil or Einstürzende Neubaten) blends with grimy loops and orchestral/choral samples in these tracks, with incantations from Kristof lending a black mass ceremonial vibe and a very high creep factor; the closing piece, with its lurching percussion and ominous brass, is full-on horror soundtrack material. The lyric tracks tap into the same pattern and mood, but ramp up the intensity: buzzing synth bass and drum crashes are the dark pulse of "A Breathing Holocaust,” and the mid-tempo industrial dirge "Insidious (Of the Judas Breed)" is juiced with chugging riffs in the mode of early KMFDM, but with a black metal sensibility. "Sex, Blood, & Black Magic" infuses the low bass and thudding beats with dissonant synth wails and lecherous multi-tracked vocals, resulting in a sonic blend of sleaze and menace.
     
    "Ending a Harrowing Wish" puts more emphasis on harsh mid-range synth & guitar chords that come together like well-tuned power saws, counterbalanced with moody, gothic choruses. The metronome ticking of "Morphine Addiction" gives way to a cleaner, more open beat pattern and tense vocals strongly reminiscent of Skinny Puppy, but with a sweet metal guitar break that kicks off the dark, creepy-crawling second half. "Torture Device (The Final Formula for Torment)" reworks an earlier DOA track with more intensity, beefed up with some solid guitar riffs, while the rhythm driving "Systematic Guillotine" is reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails' “Reptile,” with a similar production style. Gary Zon of electro-industrial unit Dismantled lends his more melodic voice to the track "Scars on Scars," layered with Kristof's rasping vocals to create a demonic buzz.
     
    If you like your horror music served straight, without a wink and a smile to disarm the true terror, Anathema will satisfy your appetites. It's definitely this band's most focused and intense work in their dozen-year career, taking only the strongest elements from their history of aggro-tech, industrial and horror metal and synthesizing them into a potent – even lethal – sonic cocktail.
     
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    You can find out how horror movies, Lovecraft tales, witch-burnings and other sinister themes impacted the making of Anathema in our exclusive interview with Kristof Bathory... be sure to check it out below!
     

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    NOS4A2 is the kind of novel I think people have been waiting for Joe Hill to write. I think they were expecting it to come along sooner; directly after the one-two punch of 20th Century Ghosts and Heart-Shaped Box, perhaps, and certainly after we all found out that Hill’s dad is that Stephen King fella from Maine. Instead, Heart-Shaped Box begat Horns, a book that was something of a curve in the road, an existential left turn that was well received but still caught us by surprise.

    Now, when none of us were sure what to expect next, Hill comes at us with another straight-up horror novel, a sometimes hopeful, sometimes nasty piece of work that shows he’s not only willing to embrace the genre, but fully equipped to expand it beyond its own bounds.

    NOS4A2 is the story of Victoria “Vic” McQueen, a young woman who discovers early in life that she can travel anywhere she wants by crossing a rickety wooden bridge that she summons at will. It’s the story of Charles Manx, an ageless predator who feeds on the souls of children, taking them to a place of misery and darkness that he calls Christmasland. It’s the story of The Wraith, a classic Rolls-Royce that does Manx’s bidding. It’s the story of a desperate man named Bing, a good man named Lou, and a lost boy named Wayne. It’s the sum of Hill’s influences, the culmination of his growth as a writer thus far, and, most importantly, one helluva good read.

    Hill’s growth, honed via those early novels as well as the ongoing comic book he writes, Locke & Key, is quickly evident. Heart-Shaped Box was a solid effort, the work of a natural talent feeling his way through the process. With Horns, it was like you could see Hill at work, sweating out sentences, rearranging words, trying to be a WRITER. With NOS4A2, Hill has at last made the transition to effortless storyteller. Instead of feeling like a work that Hill had to labor over, this novel unspools smoothly and effortlessly.

    In a book this size (over 680 pages), it’s good to have a varied and interesting cast, and in this Hill does not disappoint. The heroes are flawed and relatable, ultimately likeable even as they remain miles from perfect. The villains would fit right into one of Hill’s beloved comics (Manx’s weapon of choice is a silver autopsy hammer, and Bing, Manx’s own Igor, often wears a gas mask to do his dirty work), yet Hill manages to ground them in heartbreaking reality. This kind of character work is vital to a piece of horror fiction – without it, you’re left reading the equivalent of a Friday the 13th novelization.

    As people read NOS4A2, there will inevitably be parallels drawn to the work that Hill’s father has done. Whereas Hill spent the early part of his career dodging such comparisons, here he encourages them. The Wraith could be the kind of car driven by low men in yellow coats, or a distant cousin of Christine. There are mentions of Pennywise, that awful clown, and a nod or two to elements of King’s upcoming Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep. There’s also a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference to Hill’s own Locke & Key. Is he telling us that his universe is part of King’s, one giant playground for the two of them to stomp around in? It certainly seems that way, and I’m glad to see that he’s gained the confidence to fully embrace his roots.

    NOS4A2 is a signal that Hill has settled into his own abilities, got his tools in order, and is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work. It’s an amazing burst of pure imagination, a novel that simultaneously feels hopelessly bleak and endlessly hopeful. It’s also a sign of great things yet to come from Hill. I, for one, am more than happy to join him for what I hope is a long, demented ride.

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


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    The chair creaks as you settle onto it. The candlelight flickers. All around you the ravenous faces of your so-called friends twist in delight as you slowly open the box laid out on the table. Welcome to Dangerous Games! Each week, we'll feature a horror/thriller/monster tabletop game you should be playing. Don't be scared… roll the dice… what's the worst that could happen?

    Mr. Jack Board GameMr. Jack

    Published in Europe (France/Sweden) in 2006, Mr. Jack is a game that delights in secrets, shadows, and clever thinking. With players assuming the roles of Jack the Ripper and a detective searching for the killer, there’s plenty of intrigue and tactics in this generally family-friendly horror/thriller board game. Mr. Jack employs a clever mixture of tactical game play and deduction, making this game a mixture of Clue and Checkers.

    If you want to start getting the young ones into the genre of the ghastly and gory, but don’t actually want to scare them or traumatize them (just yet) Mr. Jack could be the key you’re looking for. It evokes that oft-hard to describe feeling of lighthearted dread that follows all well told frightful tales for children.

    Game Mechanics
    Mr. Jack is a two-player game that pits player against player in the foggy gaslight district of London. One player assumes the role of Jack (the Ripper) and the other player assumes the role of the Investigator. Jack’s job is to slip through the grasp of Scotland Yard and remain in shadow, while the Investigator must try to draw the impostor into the light.

    Mr. Jack Board GameThe game lasts eight rounds and there are eight playable characters that each player will have a chance to control. Jack is assuming the identity of one of the playable characters, and only Jack knows who’s identity he’s assumed. The goal of the player playing as Jack is to slip out of the city before he’s discovered and collared by the Investigator.

    The tricky part of the game is that Jack and the Investigator could, at different points during the game, move the piece representing Jack’s secret identity. The players move the characters, use their special abilities, and at the end of the round certain characters will be “visible” (either next to a street light or next to another character) while others are not. The player playing Jack declares whether his secret identity is visible or not, and the suspects are then reduced for the investigator.

    This continues, with careful movement of characters, until either Jack has escaped through a city exit or the Investigator has figured out who Jack is and moves a character onto the same hexagon as Jack.

    Replay Value
    We had a blast playing this game and my co-conspirator and I are both itching to play again. The board is always set-up the same way, but the high variance comes from a number of factors, including: which character is secretly Jack, which characters get to move first, where various obstacles are placed, and different players’ style of play.

    Overall Impressions
    The beautiful artwork in this game evokes a certain lingering terror. The mechanics of the game lighten the mood by keeping it quick and contentious. This is a fast (about 30 minutes) game of quick decision making and narrow escapes. They may never have caught the most infamous murderer of the gaslight era, but you definitely can if you play your cards right!


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