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    Sister Mary Chopper is headed your way and she’s going to send you to heaven.

    Vito Trabucco’s awesomely ridiculous bloodbath, Bloody Bloody Bible Camp is out on DVD, available On Demand and will be premiering at the LA Horror Fest during a midnight screening on October 26. Stars Tim Sullivan, Reggie Bannister, and Ron Jeremy will be there to sign autographs.

    In case you aren’t familiar with Sister Mary Chopper and her stabbing habit, here’s a synopsis of the movie,

    Bloody Bloody Bible Camp serves as "a throwback to the slasher flicks of the 80’s and finds beloved genre icon Reggie Bannister (Phantasm) as Bible Camp counselor Father Dick Cummings, who protects his young flock from stalking serial killer Sister Mary Chopper, played by writer/director Sullivan (2001 Maniacs, Chillerama), taking a turn in front of the camera. Rounding out the mix is adult film superstar Ron Jeremy (Boondock Saints) as no less than the son of God himself, Lord Jesus Christ!"

    Writer/producer/director and cult favorite Tim Sullivan is the man behind the maniacal nun Mary.

    “When Reggie called and asked me to play Sister Mary Chopper,” Sullivan said, “my first thought was that Kane Hodder had said ‘no,’ and it turned out that I was right. Having always dreamed of playing a slasher slaughtering naked teens at a summer camp, how could I turn down the offer? I just never thought I’d be doing it in a stuffed bra and nun’s habit. It’s an outrageous little throwback to the kind of slasher flicks our generation all devoured back in the proverbial day. Oh, yeah. I take a turn in front of the cameras playing transsexual killer nun Sister Mary Chopper (!) Hey, we ain’t talking The Exorcist here, we’re talking a cool little, unassuming flick made for peanuts by passionate filmmakers who are bucking the studio system and self distributing directly to fans in a drastically changing market place. It’s hands-on filmmaking of those doing it for the thrill and love of horror cinema (God knows nobody did this for the bucks! Lol! You think wearing a dress, falsies and a blinding devil mask in 100 degree heat is FUN? Lol)."

    You can see the film at these upcoming screenings:
    Oct. 20, 2012 - Flint Horror Con
    Oct. 26, 2012 - Minnesota - Gore Fest
    Oct. 26, 2012 - Los Angeles - Midnight Screening - LA Horror Fest (LA Premiere)

    Watch the new Bloody Bloody Bible Camp trailer:


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    Horror novelist Dean Koontz's series of Frankenstein novels have been optioned by TNT and is being developed into a television series.

    Koontz's modern day take on the Frankenstein tale is set in New Orleans, 200 years after Victor and his creation have an epic Arctic battle. Both survived (Victor through science and the creature because, well, he's not actually alive) and both end up in present day New Orleans - unbeknownst to one another. When their paths cross, the old rivalries are reignited and "New Orleans is caught in the middle." The Frankenstein series, consisting of five novels, was originally turned into a TV movie / backdoor pilot for USA, but nothing ever came of it.

    James V. Hart, who wrote Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula and produced Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein, will adapt the script along with his son, as well as serve as producer with Koontz.

    Source: Deadline

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    Formed in the early '90s, UK band My Dying Bride are widely considered one of the pioneering names in the doom metal genre, characterized by their massive, drop-tuned, down-tempo riffs that saturate the sound space, creating the feel of epic funeral dirges from hell, with rich and complex lead guitar harmonies on top. Since their early singles and EPs caught widespread attention in Europe, the band has undergone several lineup changes, with guitarist Andrew Craighan and vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe the only remaining original members, but their sound has remained fairly consistent over the course of the past two decades (unlike their fellow doom pioneers Paradise Lost, who have folded many other ingredients into their recipe, including synth-pop and electro beats). In addition to dozens of successful tours and fests, the band has also released ten full-length studio albums, two live records and a handful of EPs prior to this week's colossal offering A Map of All Our Failures, which to my ears represents one of the band's  career landmarks, even topping their excellent 2009 record For Lies I Sire.
    Map contains some slight variations in texture and tone from Lies, but it comes more through the removal of certain sonic aspects, in an effort to get back to the core sound the band helped to define. “We try to vary it a bit for our own sanity, and a variety for the fans,” Stainthorpe explains. "Enough to spice up a little bit, to keep it different from the things we've done in the past... but we have a recognized sound, and we're gonna stick to that, because that's what we enjoy doing.” That added spice has often included more atmospheric and symphonic elements, which the band explored on a grand scale in last year's experimental three-disc album Evinta (itself an epic entry in the gothic/neoclassical field and well worth checking out, even if doom metal's not your cup of tea). But while those touches are still in place on this record, the band has peeled back some layers to reveal a raw core of doom/death metal with lyrical themes of ultimate despair, punctuated by moments of horrific fury.
    Funeral bells announce the opening track "Kneel Till Doomsday,” a somber gothic gateway into a land of despair, as Stainthorpe's clean, often multi-tracked vocals combine with the creeping guitar harmonies to create a Black Sabbath vibe before exploding into a short but intense burst of dirty death, complete with growls, adding up to the most varied song on the album.
    After that strong beginning, the second cut "The Poorest Waltz" actually ups the game with heftier riffs, smooth vocal harmonies and some surprisingly warm guitar leads that trade off with amplified violin by Shaun MacGowan. The vocals come further forward in the dark ballad "A Tapestry Scorned,” alternating from a sorrowful spoken-word passages to double-tracked growls, underpinned by a cool bridge of thunderous drumming and eerie pipe organ, which eventually falls in unison with a low guitar line. If you're into true gothic-style doom, this track will certainly top your playlist. 
    The song title "Like a Perpetual Funeral" could easily be the band's motto (it certainly defines this album well), and the track itself is a good example of the band's ability to imprint the trademark doom sound on softer, cleaner guitars, pulling back the thick dirge beats in favor of a more free-flowing feel. The title track follows in the same low-key vibe, with Stainthorpe softly muttering the opening lyrics as if lost in thought. When the intensity picks up, the vocals slip further back into the mix, disappearing into whispers beneath the weight of the stacked guitar chords. The lyrics and tone shift to a more adventurous vibe for "Hail Odysseus,” which mimics the crash of ocean waves with grinding surges of mega-dropped guitar chugs, anthemic shouted voices and keyboard washes, with breathtaking results. Violin and lead guitar introduce "Within the Presence of Absence,” which incorporates folksier elements in the mode of an ancient minstrel's tale of doomed love. Closing the album is "Abandoned as Christ,” a tale of cosmic despair that opens with a lonely, echoing guitar solo, then builds on that simple melody with vast, wandering chords that finally restate the theme with a majestic closing harmony.
    I sometimes find myself on the fence when it comes to classic doom metal, tending to prefer a darker, more evil occult-oriented tone over the bitter melancholy that is My Dying Bride's specialty, but that's just my personal taste; musically, they are still masters of this genre, and I think that their ventures into neoclassical, folk and ambient territory have helped to enrich their style without stealing from their skills with slow beats and flowing dark harmonies. A Map of All Our Failures demonstrates how easily the band can snap back into classic form, and it stands up mightily among their twenty-year body of work. I also recommend picking up the Special Edition of this album – not only for the excellent bonus track “My Faults Are Your Reward,” but especially for the DVD containing the feature-length documentary An Evening with the Bride, which documents the band's history in interviews, studio and tour footage, and an in-depth look at the band's songwriting and recording process for the new album. Check out the clip below for a preview...

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    Sean Stone (son of Oliver) makes his feature directorial debut with Greystone Park, a found-footage flick inspired by his own experiences in an abandoned mental hospital. In this exclusive interview, Sean talks about haunted hallways, ghosts, and his famous dad.

    Greystone Park is “based on a true story.” Of course, I need to know what that true story is.

    The true story is really the one you see on-screen. You see the dinner table scene - that was the catalyst for this whole event. When my father was in New York shooting Wall Street 2, we all had dinner: my dad, Alex Wraith, me, a couple of friends. Alex was talking about Greystone, this haunted hospital. He had been exploring it for three years. He had taken his camera with him; he had been arrested a couple of times for trespassing. He was trying to document what was going on, trying to make a movie about it because he felt like it was such a rich location. He really convinced me it was worth exploring. The next night, he and I broke in. When we first went, I invited Antonella [who also appears in the movie], but she couldn’t come. As soon as we went through this first night of exploration, Alex saw a ghost, reacted to it, he appeared possessed, he kept taking us deeper inside... what happened was the groundwork for the story we wanted to tell. Then we wrote the script, but we kept going back and exploring, seeing more and more things happen: getting phone calls from demons; having things fly at us from nowhere; seeing people get possessed... the list goes on. What’s fun about the film is there is a script, but we are shooting in real locations that are actually haunted, so you’ll get things that happen, like Alex getting possessed on camera. I think that was real. That wasn’t part of the script. His behavior was beyond ordinary acting, and I think that translates.

    Did you film in the real Greystone Park?

    We couldn’t get permission to film there because the building is condemned. We ended up shooting in Letchworth Village in New York, which was a mental hospital for kids. We shot in Creedmoor in Queens, Snug Harbor on Staten Island, and Linda Vista in LA. All those are notoriously haunted locations.

    What are some of the other events in the movie that are real - that were not scripted?

    There is a sequence where Antonella and Alex are in front of me, in the basement. We are supposed to be reacting to sounds. They literally heard a scream for nowhere. I didn’t hear it, but they heard it. They started running and I caught up to them and they looked completely panicked.  They go through ahead of me through a doorway, and they both take off screaming and running. I catch up to them, and Antonella is on the floor, crying. She saw a giant shadow that crossed her vision, and that is what made her run. Alex saw the same thing. Some may say their imaginations were acting up, but those are the kind of moments we have in the film that were not scripted that makes it fun to watch.

    Is it safe to say you believe in ghosts?

    Yeah. I believe in other dimensions. 

    You mentioned that this all began because Alex was trying to document the real Greystone Park. Will that ever make it to film?

    Yeah. The problem we  are having is that this film was a very difficult film to get made, across the board. It took three years. We started the process, we lost financing multiple times, so to get distribution is already a great triumph for us. Eventually, when I can get enough money together, I would love to take the real footage we have of the actual [Greystone Park] and turn it into a documentary. But that requires a certain amount of time, and right now I am focused on developing a new feature film, which takes away from my ability to work on the documentary. But yes, eventually I want that footage out there.

    Maybe include it in the DVD extras?

    Well, on the DVD extras, we already have some pretty cool stuff. There is a commentary with Alex and Antonella and I all talking about the film, what was real, what was staged, what it was based upon. We have two little featurettes on the real ghosts and hauntings and locations. So you’ll get some really cool footage.

    What is the response you are getting from audiences? Do they believe it is real?

    I don’t think anybody thinks that it is real documentary footage. I think we are at a point now where it’s “the boy who cried wolf.” You have The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, which were fake found-footage. Now you have a slew of wannabe found-footage films. So by the time a film comes out, they say, “e are not found-footage; we are based on actual events.” Everyone goes, “yeah, sure, whatever.” At the end of the day, I can’t convince every blogger that we lived this, that this is our story, but I think the film will stand on its own. If you watch it, and you feel creeped-out by it, you end up walking out of it and jumping at your own shadow, then it has done its job. It has activated something in you that is fundamentally afraid of the paranormal.

    Why was this the right film to be your directorial feature debut?

    There is a reason for everything. I have faith that there is a reason this became my first film. It wasn’t my intention. I had two projects I was developing, one of which was a surveillance footage film - like where you use surveillance camera footage to tell a story. The two films I was developing were nothing like this. I met Alex and we broke in to the hospital, and I knew this was a story I just had to tell. The location sold me. I was fascinated. That fascination drove me to making the film. 

    Was there anything about directing that took you by surprise? Anything that was more challenging than you expected?

    That’s hard to say. Growing up with my father [Oliver Stone] who has made 14, 15 movies, and I’ve seen the hardship of it. I’ve seen him work on movies that fell apart in the process of preproduction, even just a few weeks before production was supposed to start. There is no guarantee you will get a movie made until it is done, and it has been released. The difficulties were really more financial, location, and strategical. Some of the buildings that we really liked were condemned, so we were limited by that. We spent a lot of time exploring, going from mental hospital to mental hospital to try to find the place that work for the movie. I think that was the biggest challenge.

    Going to all those institutions did you feel a little mad by the end?

    Oh, not by the end. By the beginning! But there was definitely a point where I could have cracked up. You’ll see that in the documentary. I almost lost it. It wasn’t just the film, it was the fact that we picked up energies along the way. We went to places where Satanists were worshipping for a reason. When Satanists open up a portal and practice black magic, you’ve got to know there is a dark energy there, and it’s going to follow you. Places like Letchworth where children died. There are stories of children being murdered in one of the houses we explored. That place actually ended up burning down. I can’t wait for the documentary - you can’t really fake a documentary, as much as skeptics will accuse us.

    Growing up with Oliver Stone as your father, is that pretty much the best film school one could hope for?

    Yeah, it is. The best experience was Fight Against Time [the documentary Sean shot about his father filming Alexander.] When I worked on Alexander, I was there for three or four months of filming, on location every day, just living it with my father, by his side with a camcorder, talking to him, seeing what a director goes through, the decisions he is making in the moment... that’s as good as they come.

    Greystone Park is ow available on DVD and VOD.

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    American Horror Story: Asylum Episode 201
    “Welcome to Briarcliff”
    Written By: Tim Minear
    Directed By: Bradley Buecker
    Original Airdate: 17 October 2012

    In This Episode...

    Much like season one, AHS: Asylum starts at 80mph and doesn’t let up. Set in 1964, Briarcliff Asylum started as a tuberculosis hospital. In 1962 the Catholic church bought the place and turned it into a sanitarium. Sister Jude runs the day-to-day of the asylum. She is a stern nun whose faith is unwavering and believes all her wards must adhere to a strict moral code. Above her is Monsignor Howard, a more progressive priest that is the object of Sister Jude’s unwanted fantasies. Jude’s second-in-command is Sister Eunice, a submissive nun who is easily frightened, given to tears, and believes that she should be severely punished for even the slightest transgression. 

    Also on staff at Briarcliff is Dr. Arden, who is in charge of the medical wing. He is as fervent in his belief in science as Sister Jude is in her faith in God. Similarly, he will go to extremes for his beliefs. Dr. Arden’s favorite treatment, unsurprisingly, is lobotomies, which he believes can drive the devil out of a person. Somewhere along the way, he created some kind of human-beast that dwells, unseen, in the woods surrounding the asylum. Sister Eunice sneaks out at night to leave buckets of offal for them.

    We are introduced to Kit Walker, a young man who runs a gas station. He and his wife, Alma, must keep their marriage a secret because she is black and he is white and where they live, that is still illegal. One night after work, he comes home to a home-cooked meal and a warm bed. Blazing white light floods the house in what seems like a military action. Instead, it is an alien abduction - or what Kit believes to be an alien abduction, complete with probing and the whole nine. When we next see Kit, he is doing a perp walk on his way into Briarcliff, under arrest for being Bloody Face, a local serial killer who has decapitated at least three women - including Alma - and wearing their skin as a mask. Kit, naturally, insists he is innocent. When another inmate in the common room calls him Bloody Face, a fight ensues and Kit is sent to solitary. He is “rescued” from solitary by Dr. Arden, who believes he “doesn’t belong there.” He talks a hard game about lobotomies, but instead Dr. Arden cuts open Kit’s neck to explore a lump that is “too hard to be a tumor.” He pulls out what looks like a computer chip. After a few moments it sprouts legs and scurries like a bug.

    Another important character is Lana, a journalist who is sick of doing household tips articles. She uses Briarcliff’s on-site bakery as a ruse to get inside and interview Sister Jude about it, but instead she really just wants a look at Bloody Face who was being transferred that day. She gets the sense there is a bigger, darker story there, and with the blessing of her lesbian partner Wendy, Lana returns to Briarcliff. She finds Sister Eunice out feeding whatever it is that lives in the woods and strong arms her into letting her have a few minutes in the asylum. While inside, she gets too close to one of the cells and is attacked. She wakes, strapped down line a patient. Sister Jude had gone to pay Wendy a little visit and blackmails her into having Lana committed. Despite having no legal backing to do so, Jude promises she can find a sympathetic judge who wouldn’t mind outing the two to the community, which would end Wendy’s teaching career and likely drive them out of the state.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    If you liked season one, you will love season two. It is more of the same insanity but personally I think the asylum setting is scarier than the house (and I like James Cromwell and Joseph Fiennes far better than I liked Dylan McDermott.) It is pure insanity - no pun intended - and over-the-top in an almost cartoonish fashion.

    So far, my main complaint is about the segments shot in the present day. Meant as wrap-arounds of a sort, it follows a young couple on their “haunted honeymoon:” the are visiting the 12 most haunted locations in America and having sex in each one. Classy. Anyway, they are screwing on an exam table that probably saw lots of horrible things done to sick people, when they hear a noise. Naturally, they investigate. The groom, Leo, uses his cell phone to illuminate and record a narrow passage while his wife, Teresa, blows him. He screams - something had torn off his arm. Teresa runs, trying to find a way out to get help, and she runs smack into Bloody Face. Now, I’m sure there is a point to all this at some point, but as of right now, these two are obnoxious and seem to have only one purpose: freak audiences out with their weird sex life.

    Meet the Inmates

    We meet two tonight. First is Shelly, a nymphomaniac who is a caricature of herself. She cannot go one minute without touching herself or touching someone else, and every single word out of her mouth is a single entendre. We also meet Grace, a quiet girl on kitchen duty who befriends Kit. Naturally, because she seems so nice and sweet, she has got to be royally fucked up.


    That didn’t take long: an exorcist comes to Briarcliff.

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    Supernatural Episode 803
    Written By: Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming
    Directed By: Jensen Ackles
    Original Airdate: 17 October 2012

    In This Episode...

    Dean has a new case: every six months, people are showing up with their hearts ripped out of their chests. Not surgically removed, but Kali Ma’d from the chest. The boys interview a man in Minnesota named Paul, who was jogging on the same path as the most recent victim, but he seems to have no idea what happened (of course, he was the one who did it.) The interview another man, Arthur, who was a witness in another murder in Iowa; he was crazy and talking in tongues.

    Sam and Dean realize that both witnesses were recipients of donor organs. Even more, they both received organs from the same man: a former pro football player named Brick Holmes who died in a car accident. With the help of an anthropology professor, they discover that Arthur was speaking ancient Mayan and praying to the Mayan god of maize. A quick interview with Brick’s mom, and a search of the house later that night finally revealed the truth: that Brick had been a 1,000 year old Mayan.

    The Winchesters confront Brick’s mom, Eleanor, and she admits everything. Brick was a Mayan athlete who made a deal with the god of maize that would keep him young and strong, as long as he sacrificed two human hearts per year in the name of the god. In the 1950s, when Brick was a boxer, he met Betsey. They fell madly in love and got married. When Betsey aged and Brick didn’t, he finally admitted the truth. Betsey was too in love to care. Every ten years or so they would disappear and reinvent themselves. Eventually, it just made more sense to reinvent themselves as mother and son. Eleanor is Betsey. The crash that killed Brick was no accident - he killed himself because he couldn’t stand to see his beloved grow old (or some such nonsense.) But with his organs being donated, the spirit of Brick beats on, and those who got transplants continue on the curse. Eleanor tells Sam and Dean that if they can destroy Brick’s heart, the others will be free of the curse.

    Eleanor informs them that a skanky stripper has the heart, so Sam and Dean head down to her club and break in. She is there waiting for them. An uninteresting fight takes place which leaves Dean pinned to the floor, about to have his heart ripped out. Sam had been knocked out or something, because he is unguarded and smacks the stripper over the head with a bottle. This distracts her long enough to allow Dean to stab her to death.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    I don’t know what it was about this episode, but I just couldn’t connect with it. Maybe I was distracted; maybe it was because it wasn’t very funny; maybe it was just too obvious. But I just couldn’t get into it. 

    Spooky Humor

    Sam’s fake name this week is Agent Sam Bora. Took me a minute - Sam-Bora, as in Richie Sambora.

    Flashback to the Future

    A single flashback, for Sam: Amelia and Riot surprise him with a picturesque birthday picnic. Sam is really determined to get back to that ideal life.


    Next week is a found footage episode.

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    I first came across the music of Jill Tracy when I reviewed a compilation of “Dark Cabaret” artists from renowned gothic label Projekt Records, and her song “In Between Shades” was one of the album's most memorable tracks. As fate would have it, while exploring more of her music (including an incredible live score to Nosferatu), I learned that she was closely involved in the short film The Fine Art of Poisoning, which is featured in FEARnet's ever-expanding horror shorts collection. One thing led to another, and soon we were chatting about her involvement in the film, her “musical séance” project, and her latest and most ambitious undertaking – a Musical Excavation of the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, with its intriguing collection of medical oddities.

    FEARnet: Hi Jill, thanks for taking time out to talk to us. 
    JILL: Thank you, same here!
    First off, I have to say The Fine Art of Poisoning is one of my favorite shorts in FEARnet's collection.
    Thank you so much! 
    The song itself feels like a creepy short story, and the visuals are reminiscent of early silent horror films. 
    I grew up loving Poe and Lovecraft, and the visual style of Fritz Lang and Jean Cocteau. It's that beauty found in darkness that I find so compelling. Horror fans have really embraced my work, but I don't necessarily view it as horror except in the old-fashioned sense, finding the romantic, alluring side, as opposed to the shock value. With Poisoning, we wanted to create a piece that was very dreamlike. In fact, when I wrote the song, I wanted to create the feeling of being poisoned... the piano was recorded on old two-inch tape, and we played with the tension on the tape machine so the piano induces a seasick, wow-and-flutter effect, creating this subtle feeling of becoming intoxicated as the poison takes you under. [Filmmaker] Bill Domonkos heard the song, and wanted to bring it to life, so he contacted me. What's fascinating is that I was already a fan of his work, and I'd bookmarked his website about three years before, hoping I could work with him someday! Then out of the blue, I get an email saying he wanted to make this film. It was just all very magical.
    I love it when the stars align like that.
    Yes, the Universe lets you know when the time is right. I think what gives the film the emotion that it has, is the song came first. Bill was very empathetic to it, which then inspired him to create the visuals. The animation is also timed to the song in a musical way that emotionally locks you into it.
    Right, it's like the heartbeat, the pulse of the film.
    Exactly! Everything grew outward from that heartbeat.
    You and Bill worked on a second film together, NERVOUS96... what was the genesis of that project?
    NERVOUS96 was made up mostly of old archival footage, which Bill edited and manipulated to create a completely different story. The music comes from my Musical Séance project, which I recorded with violinist Paul Mercer, and Bill wanted to utilize elements of that... I sent him close to six hours of live music from different séances, and he edited all that together to create one score! He made it work perfectly, and Paul and I were laughing at how he'd used the violin as the voice of the robots. We had no idea that it would be this kind of '50s sci-fi theme. I adore it.
    I'd love to hear more about these musical séances. How did the concept come about?
    It really began as just a part of my regular concert, because my live performances can be so emotional in the first place. I wanted to bring people into it more intimately, so Paul and I would begin channeling music with the audience... we'd all concentrate collectively on something, like a wish, and I would compose on the spot in front of them – just using what we were feeling at the time. We started thinking of how we could involve the audience even more, so we created this shared experience where audience members would bring objects with them to the show, unique treasures of significance to them like a photograph or a piece of jewelry or a toy. We create an altar with these objects and learn their stories, and the music is manifested through the energy of the objects, their history, the enviroment, and emotions behind them. These compositions are delicate and glorious living things – they materialize, they transport, and in the same second they vanish. No two shows are ever alike, we have no control, that is the rare beauty of it. You're very vulnerable when you're playing the music, because you're not in charge of it; you're just a portal that the music comes though, and you can't prepare for that. We don't even know what key we're going to start in. In the early days, Paul and I would have these little signals so that we'd know what key I was going to play in, so I would look at him and say [whispering] “A Minor!” Then as we did this more and more and really got on top of our game, one day I looked at him waiting for the key and he looked back and said, “No key," and then he just laughed! That ended up being one of the most amazing pieces we ever played! So from then on, we don't even converse about it. It's pure and exhilarating, and you don't know what's coming next.
    Since you've recorded these séances, are you planning on releasing an album of them?
    Yes, Paul and I are assembling them right now for an album to release next year. It's been amazing revisiting this stuff, because I don't even remember playing it! I'm listening to it now as more of an audience member, and we're completely blown away by it. We're also hoping to go on tour, holding musical séances in unusual locales.
    [For more info, visit]
    Speaking of unusual locales, that brings us to the 
    Mütter Museum project. You've mentioned before how 
    you like to draw energy from your surroundings when you're creating music...
    Yes, I call it “spontaneous musical combustion” – immersing myself in these strange environments and composing music on the spot, just reacting to my presence in the place, and they're usually places with a mysterious history. I wanted to conjure music inside the wondrous Mütter Museum, because when I first went there, I was overwhelmed. You just sort of hear a buzz...all of these specimens, skeletons, skulls, fragments from long-lost souls from various decades and walks of life. They’re all together. They have stories to tell... you can almost hear them whispering to you. I needed to know their stories, and I’m so honored to have received a grant from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia to compose a full work while inside the museum, based on pieces in the collection. I needed to be in presence of these long lost souls, to have them with me so they become an actual part of the work and not merely the subject matter. It's been a dream come true. I'm making history as the first musician to do this.
    How did you go about digging into the history behind the exhibits?
    Well, usually when you read a case study about someone with an unusual affliction, you mainly hear about the disease. You don't hear about the person, how they endured, what their life was like. There’s a brave, strange beauty within these patients. I wanted to give an emotional context to something so clinical. The Mütter has been kind enough to let me go though all the old libraries, case files, doctor's reports, old photographs, everything. When the museum closed at night, I asked them if they could turn off all the lights except for the exhibit cases, and I moved a little piano in there and sat in the dark with my notebook and a pen. Some of the wording within the doctors’ reports was so absolutely poetic, I lifted some phrases directly for the lyrics. That was thrilling for me.
    It must have felt like another world entirely...
    I know, it's like something out of Lovecraft!
    Can you share some examples of the exhibits you wrote about?
    One of the most fascinating is “The Ossified Man,” a vibrant, handsome young man named Harry Eastlack who had a rare condition that caused his body to turn to bone, essentially growing and encasing himself within a second skeleton. He's on display there – the only full skeleton in the nation of someone with this disease – and I wanted to be with him while I wrote. This is my gift to him, honoring his life, a piece called “Bone by Bone.” There's also an entire wing devoted to Teratology, where they have babies in jars, which are horrific, but at the same time fascinating, because due to advancements in medical science we don't usually see these kinds of deformities anymore. In fact, I will say that the impetus for this entire Mütter project came from a particular mermaid baby (a syndrome called Sirenomelia). That little baby became my mascot. I wanted to do a series of lullabies, because they've never heard music! As strange as that sounds, it was touching for me each night to come down there and just say aloud, “Okay, I'm going to play some music for you.” I just wanted to give them something, because they certainly were inspiring me. There's the Hertyl skull collection; on each side in cursive writing, it lists the name of the person, the date, how they died...a tightrope walker who broke her neck, a criminal who was hanged, suicide due to a broken heart, a murderer, a shoemaker... you're with all of these people, it’s intense. One of my favorite pieces, which was difficult for me to work on, was about Chang and Eng, the original Siamese twins, whose autopsy was performed at the Mütter, and their death cast, and still-conjoined liver is in the museum. I had certainly heard the legend about them, but I had never known how they died. That tale was just unfathomable to me. This is about that terrifying three-hour period on a cold fateful January night. I won’t give the rest away. But I sat beside their death cast and liver and wrote this piece, called “My First and Last Time Alone.”
    Just the research itself sounds emotionally overwhelming. Have you begun the recording process?
    I've recorded some sketches in the Mütter, and some of them I'd like to release as-is, because people would love hearing this old piano within the ambiance of the museum. But the rest of the songs themselves, I'll need to finish and record. Some will be solo piano, but I'm thinking of arranging some to be played with fuller orchestration. That wasn't my original intention, but... I'm so proud of them that I feel like some of them need to be lavish and big. What do you think?
    I think that your music has a kind of cinematic quality, with all the dynamics that you would experience in a film, so that would include those big moments of grandeur. You've done it before in your score to the original Nosferatu, which is one of my favorite musical interpretations.
    Thank you so much! I do want to release a DVD with our score – the version on the album Into the Land of Phantoms won't sync up to the film if you just start both of them at the same time. The main reason is because during the live performance, there were several intentional moments of silence. As a composer, I use silence as an instrument; often times silence can be the loudest thing imaginable, especially during a moment when everything suddenly stops – a shadow approaches, or a hand reaches through a doorway and you hear nothing... it can be terrifying, but doesn't translate to an audio CD very well.
    You also just performed alongside Steven Severin’s new score to Vampyr...
    Yes that was an amazing night. I got an email from Steven, the legendary co-founder of Siouxsie and the Banshees, saying he's doing a new score to Carl Dreyer's 1932 classic Vampyr, and he asked me if I'd like to open his screenings in San Francisco with some of my elegant otherworldly piano music. He’s been a supporter of my work and it was a thrill to share the stage, conjure the mood to intro the film, which is one of my favorites. It's such a validating feeling to reach a point where your work is being admired by people whom you've admired yourself growing up.
    It's like what you said about crossing paths with Bill... timing like that may not be accidental, you know?
    That's right, and it's been a thread in my life. It even happened the same way with violinist Paul Mercer, who's now my musical partner in crime... I heard him play online, was thinking I'd love to work with him, and don't you know, just a few days later I got an email from him saying how much he was a fan of mine... and to top that off, about a week later we realized we were going to be playing the same festival together in Portland! I really believe the Universe will rise up and give you what you need, but you have to be open, observant and allow the magic. 
    Be sure to visit Jill's blog entry “An Excavation of Musical Spirits” for more stories from the Mütter Museum, and check out her official site, where you can find all of her released music and her fascinating writings. We'll also be bringing you more Jill Tracy news soon, so stay tuned!

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    Does this photo look familiar to you? It ended up in my inbox with almost no explanation.

    One of the girls is obviously Alex from Paranormal Activity 4, but who is the other girl? The image is from the @JacobDegloshi twitter handle where he writes, “Sarah and one of her friends when they were younger.”  He also links to a video entitled “Surprise for Sarah,” from the feed.

    Hmmm... Really, no idea. The photo is a polaroid, so that’s something. Jacob also has a Facebook page. He went to the University of Nevada, lives in Henderson, is divorced and Sarah appears to be his daughter. Subscribe to it for more information or follow the Twitter feed for details on Jacob and Sarah.

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    Best not make mama mad.

    The spanish version trailer for Guillermo Del Toro’s Mama looks a lot like the first trailer, with a few minor changes including more images of Mama herself and the destruction she causes. She's a harsh disciplinarian.

    If the trailer tells us anything, it's to think twice before adopting children who have been living alone in the woods for five years, but if you’re going to, don’t let them write on the walls.

    Watch it, it’s chilling. Mama is in theaters January 2013.

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    American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy has confirmed that Dylan McDermott will return for the show's second season.

    In the premiere season of the FX show, McDermott played Ben Harmon, the unfaithful and increasingly scummy patriarch who moved his family across the country to get away from his mistakes. Murphy, who tweeted the news, offered no details as to what character he would play, or how many episodes he would appear in (surprise, surprise.) This marks another season one actor who has returned for season two (other returners include Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Zachary Quinto, and Sarah Paulson.) Connie Britton, who played McDermott's wife, Vivien, in season one, has said that she would love to return this season, schedule permitting. She is currently starring on the ABC primetime soap Nashville.

    American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesday nights on FX.

    Source: Hollywood Reporter

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    VHS is coming back. Not the format but the nostalgia, with found-footage film V/H/S and Mondo releasing a special edition VHS copy of Sledgehammer. Now, the Poster collective has revealed a new, limited-edition poster honoring this lost art.

    The Dude Designs (aka illustrator and art director Tom Hodge) created this Video Nasty poster to honor the delectably dirty VHS box art of the 1980s.

    The poster will be available for sale on October 19th at 10am ET at The poster is limited to 150 prints and will cost $45 each. Plus, $1 from every sale will be donated to Keep a Breast, a breast cancer non-profit.

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    Every time I feel beaten down by a rash of mediocre new "found footage" horror flicks, I have to remind myself that HEY, I actually do like this gimmick. (Yes, still!) If I have to struggle through Area 407 and Crowsnest and Hollow to find buried treasures like [REC], Paranormal Activity, and Grave Encounters, then that's just fine with me. But just as this "DIY" approach to storytelling lends itself exceedingly well to lazy first-timers with no ideas and no money, it can also evolve into something quite novel and creepy when handled by smart, clever, and/or experienced filmmakers. Thankfully that's what has happened in the case of The Bay, a simple enough horror flick that could have easily become just another chintzy eyesore were it not for some clever writing, crafty editing, excellent special effects, and (best of all) a seasoned filmmaker who may by new to the horror game, but is obviously still a gifted storyteller.

    Fans of Jaws will enjoy the simple-yet-effective premise of The Bay: it's July 4th, and the lovely seaside town of Claridge, Maryland is enjoying a typically beautiful season. Oh, except for the disgusting biological horror that's about to punch the entire population right in the gut. Much like in the great monster movies of the 1970s -- I'm thinking mainly of John Frankenheimer's Prophecy -- it seems that basic human ignorance, greed, and stupidity are directly responsible for a mutated "isopod" that has infected the local fish, which in turn have poisoned the water, and ... well, humans come into contact with water all the time. Things get really ugly.
    Already The Bay sounds like a fun piece of "throwback" bio-horror with a firm and pointed ecological message, which is all fine and dandy, but there are a few more curveballs: yes, the entire movie is presented "found footage" style, and the director is ... Barry Levinson? The guy who made Diner and Good Morning Vietnam and Rain Man is now dabbling in low-budget, faux-documentary horror? Yep, and it ends up being good news for horror fans because, let's face it, it's cool to have a veteran director working on a style of horror that's generally been dismissed as pure gimmickry. True, this is a gimmick, but it's one that can still pack a punch once in a while.
    The narrative, as it were, is cobbled together from a wide variety of sources: handheld cameras, traffic light cams, security footage, previously-suppressed "governmental" archives -- and the best part is that Levinson and editor Aaron Yanes are able to present a handful of actual characters, subplots, and quick divergences that actually make sense, story-wise. The plot coasts forward like a comfortably simple monster movie, and the filmmakers have a great time stretching out the tension (with frequent doses of nasty bio-carnage just to keep us creeped out.) By the time The Bay winds to a close, it feels like a small but important victory for horror geeks: call it "found footage" or "mockumentary," but there's still some gas left in this gimmick's tank.
    Punctuated by a dark sense of humor, a handful of strong performances from actors who have a tough job (all things considered), and an obvious but clearly angry message about the ways in which we're poisoning our own planet, The Bay is "modern" in presentation, old-school in attitude, and rather well-crafted throughout. It's a '50s premise, a '70s theme, and a new-fangled presentation. Fun stuff. Also it gets really gross and disturbing, which I mean as a compliment.

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    Director Uwe Boll’s latest project is the video-game-turned-film, Zombie Massacre. Boll is producing the adaptation which is based on a 1998 first-person shooter game for the Amiga computer. It’s directed by Luca Boni and Marco Ristori who made Eaters. Here’s the story:

    A bacteriological weapon – developed by the US Government to create a super soldier – spreads an epidemic in a quiet little town in the middle od Eastern Europe. All citiziens have been turned into infected zombies. The plan is: to bring an atomic bomb into the nuclear plant of the city to pretend a terrible accident. No one has to know the truth. A commando of mercenaries is hired to do the mission. The battle is on. Hordes of monsters against a bunch of men. Who will survive?

    The airport setting is faintly reminiscent of Quarantine 2: Terminal and maybe just a little of Nightmare City, but nowhere near as batshit crazy. There does, however, seem to be a fair amount of killing with Samurai swords and throwing stars, and some very angry zombie rats. Check it out:

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    Found-footage anthology feature V/H/S returns audiences to the good ol’ days of VHS tapes. Before DVD, before iTunes, there were VHS tapes and video rental stores. While it is unlikely that anyone misses the technology, what most people are nostalgic for is the culture that sprung up around VHS. So we asked some of the brains behind V/H/S about their fondest VHS memories.

    Director Joe Swanberg, “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger” - When I was first getting into films, I remember going to the video store and, if there was a director you liked, you had to turn over all the boxes and look for that director’s name. Everything was a sense of discovery back then. Now it’s easy to find whatever you are looking for in like five seconds. So I kind of miss that feeling of wandering through a video store and discovering things.

    Actress Helen Rogers, “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger” - I liked the staff picks section.

    Director David Bruckner, “Amateur Night” - I had Terminator on VHS, and a handful of other James Cameron movies. I only really had what my dad had recorded off the television, and I must have watched those a thousand times, until the tape was really worn down. My first movies were edited on VHS, between two VCRs, pressing “play” and “record.” So you would have those static speckles between edits. I made a whole end of the world story on Mario Paint, that early Nintendo game. Because you could do like three second animations and record them straight to VHS.

    Writer Simon Barrett, “Tape 56” - One of the things that actually brought me and Adam [Wingard] together was our love of 1980s Hong Kong action films. I grew up in a small town in Missouri, and there was this one Chinese grocery, and they had all these video tapes, all labelled in Chinese. I actually taught myself a little bit of Cantonese so I could see films like A Better Tomorrow and The Killer. Sometimes I’d rent the wrong movie and end up watching some weird drama, but that is how I found some of my favorite films, like The Tigers. Sometimes watching 12th generation bootlegs, your mind would have to do some of the work for you. Like when I first saw Meet the Feebles, it was maybe a 12th generation VHS. Then I saw it on film, in a theater, and had no idea how low budget that film was.

    Director Adam Wingard, “Tape 56” - That’s the funny thing about how Simon and I got together in the beginning. When we first met, we both had this infatuation with weird Hong Kong cinema specifically, or just trashy foreign cinema in general. A lot of those, the only way you could get them was through crappy VHS tapes. That whole thing is kind of lost now. You can rip off something and you don’t suffer the generational losses. Now you feel nostalgic for it! 

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    Sinister scored big last weekend at the box office, and for good reason: it's seriously scary, in all the right ways. (If you haven't had a chance to see it, be sure to catch it this weekend, and beware of mild spoilers below.) When I first saw the film at Fantastic Fest, I was haunted by the amazing score by Christopher Young (Hellraiser) and the unsettling sound design by Dane Davis... and although I didn't know it at the time, an assortment of original music by many experimental bands and dark ambient music artists. Director Scott Derrickson has revealed to us that impressive lineup, and how he discovered them.
    FEARnet: How did you arrive at your decision to use existing tracks from experimental bands for certain scenes?
    SCOTT: I decided very early on that I wanted the Super 8 films to play full screen with music. I spent several long days, a little less than a week, I think, searching online for scary, atmospheric tracks that could set the tone for the films. I found the most help in chatrooms about black metal, scary music, dark atmospheric music, etc. The first real find was the band Ulver; it's their track that opens the movie with the “Family Hanging Out” film, and it's a different part of the same track (which is 25 minutes long) that plays during the “BBQ” film. Then I found Andrea Nebel's band Aghast Manor, which has several tracks in the film.
    Were you previously a fan of any of the other artists?
    The only band I was already a big fan of was Sunn O))). I'd been listening to them for years. All of the other tracks were new discoveries for me.
    Christopher Young's score fits well alongside the source cues you collected. Did he get to listen to those tracks before he wrote his own music?
    Yes, he wrote the score to work around those other songs. I never played him any temp track for the score.
    Even seeing the film twice, it was hard for me to tell where the music ends and the sound design begins. Were any of the music cues altered or treated during the sound mix?
    Chris Young and our sound designer Dane Davis worked closely together to integrate the sound design and the score. Because of this, there was never any competition between the score and the sound design in the mix room.
    Scott graciously provided us with a detailed list of the tracks he used, even pointing out the exact scenes where they can be heard, and we've added links to those artists where available, as well as a couple of audio samples that I guarantee will seriously creep you out. 
    Last warning: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD...
    “Family Hanging Out”: Ulver – “Silence Teaches You How to Sing” from the album Teachings in Silence. Also used during the “BBQ” film.
    “Pool Party”: Judgehydrogen – “A Body of Water” from the album Atheistic God.
    “Sleepy Time”: Aghast – “Sacrifice” from the album Hexerei im Zwielicht der Finsternnis.
    “Lawn Work”: Accurst – “Fragment 9” from the album Fragments of a Nightmare. (Very little info out there on this band, but Fragments is still available for sale.)
    “House Painting”: Sunn O))) & Boris: “Blood Swamp” from the album Altar.
    Packing up and End Credits: Boards of Canada – “Gyroscope” from the album Giogatti.
    Appearance of the ghost kids: Accurst – “Fragment 1” from the album Fragments of a Nightmare.
    Ellison (Ethan Hawke) in the back yard: Aghast – “Enter the Hall of Ice” from the album Hexerei im Zwielicht der Finsternnis.
    Ellison goes up the ladder: Aghast Manor – “Waking Cthulhu” from the album Gaslights.
    Christopher Young's creepy atmospheric score will be available on physical CD October 30th, but you can buy the digital download now at most of the major vendors, including iTunes and Amazon.

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    FEARnet—the cable industry’s premier TV movie network, VOD channel and online portal featuring horror, suspense and thriller content—will join forces with Todd Masters’ MASTERSFX to present “Son of a BASH,” an exclusive star-studded costume party celebrating the 25th anniversary of MASTERSFX.

    “Son of a BASH” is the 15th MASTERSFX BASH, and the first BASH since 2007. This industry event will be a feast for the senses, featuring live entertainment, masterful makeup and a disturbing DJ set by the legendary CryptKeeper, himself, from “Tales from the Crypt.” The red carpet will begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 27 at the Marriott Burbank Hotel & Convention Center in Burbank, CA. “Son of a BASH” is being organized in conjunction with the Son of Monsterpalooza convention, starting Friday, October 26.

    As part of the event’s charity component, 25 special VIP tickets will be sold for $250, with all proceeds going to benefit the Southern California Hospice Foundation. People who purchase these tickets will not only receive a monster grab bag, but will be able to enter the party in full-on monster makeup, created for them by Todd Masters’ own team of Hollywood makeup artists. There will also be opportunities for fans to win exclusive tickets online via the event’s Facebook and twitter accounts—fans can follow along at event #sonofaBASH—as well as other social media outlets. And celebrated genre filmmakers Jen and Sylvia Soska,  a.k.a. the Twisted Twins (“American Mary”), will also be giving away tickets, as will the various vendors who will be attending Son of Monsterpalooza this year.

    Todd Masters is an Emmy Award-winning makeup and character effects artist whose impressive recent credits include work on a variety of hit TV shows and movies such as “True Blood,” “Falling Skies,” “Arrow,” “Fringe,” “Sinister” and the upcoming feature, “Vamps.” He began throwing these Monster-Makers Bashes in the early ‘90s at MASTERSFX headquarters in the San Fernando Valley, as a way for some of the industry’s top professional monster makers to come together and show off their skills to other professional monster makers. Initially the party was invite-only and exclusive, but word eventually got out and the event’s notoriety and popularity grew.

    The yearly BASH has always been non-profit, and, in the time following 9/11, the BASH raised thousands of dollars for the Families of Freedom organization, which benefits those who lost loved ones on 9/11. This year, proceeds will go toward the Southern California Hospice Foundation.
    "We threw these Pro Monster Maker Events for over a decade, and it nearly took over our lives—a monster in itself! Years later, we still look back at the amazing costumes and makeup that professional artists would conjure up exclusively for this event, turning the venue into the ‘Star Wars’ Cantina Bar… from Hell! Now, working with Son of Monsterpalooza and FEARnet, both of which carry on the spirit of what these events were all about, we're excited to bring it back," said Masters.

    MASTERSFX clientele includes some of the biggest names in the business, and each year the BASH guest list reflects this. Past BASH events have featured established genre icons such as Kurt Russell (“The THING”), Tobe Hooper (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), Angus Scrimm (“Phantasm”) and John Kassir (“Tales from the Crypt”), as well as Seth Green (“Robot Chicken”), Nicolas Cage (“Drive Angry”), Traci Lords (“Blade”), Billy Zane (“Demon Knight”), Judd Nelson (“Dark Asylum”) and Paul Reubens (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”).

    “One of our marketing priorities at FEARnet is to sponsor and promote local film festivals and fan conventions,” said Faye Walker, FEARnet’s vice president of marketing. “Grass-root efforts are a cornerstone of our marketing campaigns—we’re a network of fans, and we like sharing our programming and our love for the genre with other fans. Being involved in MASTERSFX’s ‘Son of a BASH’ is a great way to do this, while supporting an extraordinary company and a great cause; and we’re especially excited to support them in making their party the industry event of the year! As a special treat, the Cryptkeeper will be making an appearance at the event.”

    With October, its most popular month, well underway, FEARnet has added special Halloween programming treats to its lineup. Highlights include the annual fan-favorite 24-hour marathon of the cult classic “Trick R’ Treat” on October 31, as well as airing episodes of the Emmy Award-winning anthology horror series “Tales from the Crypt” every Friday night from 7 to 9 p.m.  Upcoming “Tales from the Crypt” episodes for October 26 are “The Sacrifice,” starring Michael Ironside (“Scanners”), about a murderous man being blackmailed for his deeds, and “Four-Sided Triangle,” directed by Tom Holland (“Fright Night”) and starring Patricia Arquette (“Medium”) as a troubled woman in love with a scarecrow.

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    Directors Jennifer and Sylvia Soska, Halloween star PJ Soles, The Crazies’ Lynn Lowry, Brea Grant from Halloween II, and Christine Elise of Child’s Play 2 fame will discuss women’s roles and their evolution in the genre as part of the Women in Horror and Science Fiction panel at the second annual Aliens to Zombies Convention on Tuesday October 30.

    The convention runs for two days, October 29 and October 30, at The W Hotel in Hollywood and includes a film festival featuring The Hidden Hand, which explores “the possibility of an ET presence here on Earth.” It’s an annual event that features panels, film screenings and exhibitors examining everything from A to Z in the world of science fiction, horror, and the post-apocalyptic world in pop culture.

    SyFy’s Monster Man cast will also be at the Aliens to Zombies Convention to judge the costume party and sign autographs. Visit the website for a full rundown of events.

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    Heads will roll, again.

    Machete Kills, the second installment in Robert Rodriguez’s planned trilogy, has been picked up for distribution by Open Road Films, and will be released in 2013.

    The cast in this sequel is pretty bonkers. Danny Trejo and Michelle Rodriguez are back of course, with Sofia Vergara, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alexa Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr, William Sadler, Marko Zaror, and Mel Gibson rounding out the cast.  Let’s just think about this: Mel Gibson, Lady Gaga, and Cuba Gooding Jr.  Gibson is reported to be playing the villain, while Charlie Sheen will be the President of the United States.

    It’s tough to image how Rodriquez will up the kills from Machete, which included several decapitations, a disembowelment, someone having their face shined off, a shoe to the eyeball, and circular saw to the head, but he will undoubtedly find a way.

    Here’s the official plot:

    Danny Trejo returns as ex-Federale agent Machete, who is recruited by the President of the United States for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man - he must take down a madman revolutionary and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has hatched a plan to spread war and anarchy across the planet.

    This is the first image from the film, with Amber Heard and Danny Trejo snuggling on the couch. Hopefully we’ll be seeing a trailer soon.

    via Deadline


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    This awesome infographic shows Michael Myers' body count throughout the Halloween franchise, from Halloween to Halloween: Resurrection, with easy-to-follow icons.

    Remember Big Al from Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers? I believe he took a knife to the stomach and was pushed off a truck? He’s on there. What about poor Nurse Karen who got it in the whirlpool in Halloween II?  On there too.

    For the full-size and embeddable version of this infographic visit Notchordamnatchoz on

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    It's a match made in the most beautiful hell: Christopher Lee reads Tim Burton's original The Nightmare Before Christmas poem. So sit back, grab a spiked hot cocoa and curl up with Scary Teddy, and enjoy this frightful tale of holiday fear.



    via i09

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