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    Doctor Terror's Blog of Horrors and the “Hacktivision” crew – the team who brought you some incredible dream mockups of retro horror games for the NES console we'd all love to play for real – have outdone themselves today with the ultimate 8-bit tribute to the Friday the 13th franchise.
    Doc Terror, artist Frank Browning, and musician Sean O'Connor have joined forces again for this ambitious multimedia project entitled Friday the 13th Lives! The Ultimate Chapter.
    This dream game obviously blows the real-life NES version right off the map by paying digital tribute to each and every iteration of the Friday the 13th brand... even the TV series is represented!
    The mockup includes a massive rule booklet – the most elaborate the team has designed so far – loaded with artwork, maps, characters and references to every aspect of the franchise, from the campers portrayed in the films to the many incarnations of Jason Voorhees.
    As always, the only downside to their ambitious endeavor is the sad fact that we can't play this game for real... but maybe someday they'll find a way to make that happen too.
    Of course, they've also created a slick trailer for the faux game, accompanied by O’Connor's amazing 8-bit musical wizardry... check it out!
    Want to watch more scares on TV?  We do too, so we’re asking for some help. What are you waiting for? It’s the 13th of the month and it’s time to tweet. Want more Thriller, Horror and Suspense 24/7? Tweet your cable provider now! Spread the word and come back next month to request FEARnet. Your ticket to horror is here:


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    Under the Dome Episode 113
    Written By: Brian K. Vaughn and Scott Gold
    Directed By: Jack Bender
    Original Airdate: 16 September 2013

    In This Episode...

    The monarch butterfly in the mini dome hatches. It flutters around, leaving black splotches on the mini dome until the entire thing turns opaque black. Then the same thing happens to the big dome, sealing Chester’s Mill into moonless night. (Don’t worry - the production team still lights the scenes as if in moonlight.) Linda gets all pushy and insists no one but her is allowed to touch it. She does, and she gets zapped. The kids bundle up the mini dome and leave with it. 

    Julia is adamant about saving Barbie, so she and Angie bust him out of jail, then meet up with Joe, Norrie and Junior in Joe and Angie’s childhood hiding spot. Red handprints glow on the black mini dome, so the kids join in. The mini dome glows white then explodes into a pile of dirt. The butterfly is revived by a gentle touch from Norrie, and the egg glows and causes an earthquake. The kids think they are in trouble, but Julia is drawn to the egg and cradles it. The shaking and glowing stops. She is the monarch - not Barbie. Junior believes the egg should go to Jim, and he brandishes his gun in order to force the situation. Julia pretends to hand it over to Junior, but instead tosses it to Angie and directs the kids to run. Barbie fights Junior while everyone - Julia included - escape. They head into the forest to figure out their next move. Finally, Norrie just asks it what it wants. Alice shows up - but it’s not Alice. “We are just learning how to speak to you,” Alice explains, “so we chose a familiar appearance to breach the divide.” According to “Alice,” the dome is not a punishment, but was sent to protect them. They must earn the light back by protecting the egg. If they fail, then it is all over.

    Meanwhile, the town has gathered at the church, believing that the end is nigh. Jim tries to allay the town’s fears, but even he doesn’t believe it anymore. Junior had gotten the upper hand in his fight with Barbie, and brings him back to the jail. Jim decides that people need to be scared into compliance, so he asks Phil to enlist in the help of several townspeople - to build a gallows. It goes up in town square in record time, just a couple of hours. Jim offers a deal to Julia: turn over the egg in exchange for a “reduced sentence” for Barbie. She has one hour to make up her mind. So if she turns over the egg, Barbie gets to live but the dome will probably kill them; if she keeps it safe, Barbie dies but the town survives (for now). As she is trying to decide, Jim drags Barbie out to face the crowd - and his death.

    Julia knows what she must do. She takes the egg out to the middle of the lake and drops it in, saying goodbye to Barbie in a way. Barbie has a noose placed over his head. But after the egg goes into the lake, a bright, hot pink light leaps out and projects itself up onto the black dome. Visible from everywhere in the dome, hot pink “stars” are falling. In lines. Jim tries to use this as god’s way of telling him that he approves of Barbie’s murder. Junior is starting to have second thoughts. The stars converge into an explosion of light, and the black seeps away. The dome is now engulfed in white - but opaque - light.

    And that’s it.

    Dig It or Bury It?

    Well that was shit-tastic. There were no fucking answers! Now they are stuck in an opaque white dome instead of an opaque black dome? What is in the egg? Why is Julia suddenly in charge of it? Who are these aliens (or whatever) that placed the dome? What is Chester’s Mill being protected from? What’s the deal with the pink stars? I don’t even care about whether or not Barbie was hanged.

    I know that Under the Dome was picked up for a second season so presumably, some of these questions will be answered next season. But this was originally intended to be a 13 episode miniseries. Did they reshoot the last episode so there was more of a cliffhanger? See, in order to get audiences back for the next season, you have to ANSWER some of those questions, then pose new questions that the audience wants to learn more about.

    I may have to wash my hands of this show. 

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    Sleepy Hollow Episode 101
    Written By: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, & Phillip Iscove
    Directed By: Len Wiseman
    Original Airdate: 16 September 2013

    In This Episode...

    Hudson Valley, New York. The year is 1781 and the Revolutionary War is raging. Ichabod Crane, fighting for the Colonies, shoots a huge masked mercenary off his horse. This doesn’t slow him down, so Ichabod cuts off his head. When we next see Ichabod, he is digging his way out of a cave and stumbles onto a paved road. Welcome to modern day Sleepy Hollow.

    Lieutenant Abby Mills of the Sleepy Hollow Police Department is having a snack with the sheriff when they are called out to a local farm, where the horses are spooked. Abby goes looking for the homeowner and finds him dead. The sheriff checks on the horses in the barn, and he is attacked by the Headless Horseman. Abby arrives just in time to see the Horseman riding away. Another cop, Andy, is headed to the crime scene when he sees Ichabod dodging traffic and arrests him.

    Ichabod is brought in for questioning and a polygraph. He tells his tale: he was a professor at Oxford when he was drafted into the Army and sent to the Colonies to fight. He quickly switched sides and fought for the Colonies under the direction of General George Washington. After his bout with the Horseman, he was sent to triage, where his wife Katrina (a civilian nurse) tends to him. His next memory is digging his way out of the cave. There are lots of “what is this magical world” nonsense, the kind of stuff you get in any lazy time travel piece, and it is decided that Ichabod needs to be transferred to a psychiatric hospital. Ichabod’s tale jives with what Abby saw (and still has difficulty believing). The captain won’t let her interrogate Ichabod alone, but he agrees to let her transport him to the psych ward, giving her a good 20 minutes or so to ask him what she wants.

    Before they go to the asylum, Abby insists Ichabod show her the cave he woke in. On the way, he sees the town reverend. They both recognize each other - he was ministering to the soldiers during the war. In the cave, Ichabod finds a bible with a passage from Revelations marked, talking about the four horsemen of the apocalypse. He remembers Washington telling him that this war would determine the outcome of all of humanity, and Ichabod realizes that his and the Horseman’s fates are intertwined. As they are leaving, Abby responds to another crime scene. The reverend had been killed - beheaded - when he recognized the Horseman. While Abby consults with her captain, Ichabod follows a bird into the graveyard, where it lands on his wife’s grave. Katrina was burned as a witch.

    Abby delivers Ichabod to the asylum where she reveals her own backstory. Abby and her sister Jennifer were walking home from school through the woods. Seemingly out of nowhere, four white trees appear, all in a row. They heard a low, grumbling voice and saw a blurry shape, but couldn’t make out what it was. Then they blacked out and were found at the side of the road. Everyone they told their story to thought they were crazy, and Jennifer started to believe it. She has been in and out of institutions ever since. After dropping off Ichabod, Abby goes to the sheriff’s office and snoops around. A hidden key leads her to a hidden file cabinet, loaded with X-Files-type documents relating to the strange history of Sleepy Hollow, witchcraft and unsolved crimes. He seemed inclined to believe Abby’s childhood story, and even think it is linked to a similar story from 1882 in which the trees represent the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

    Back at the hospital, Ichabod is having a realization of his own. He wakes in a dream and finds himself transported through the mirror into ye olde woods. Led there by the same bird, he meets Katrina who explains that the bird was the only way she knew to reach him. She confirms that she is/was a witch and her body is not buried in her grave. Instead, it is the Headless Horseman’s head. When Ichabod wounded the Horseman, their bloodlines were merged. The only way to stop the Horseman was for Katrina to place a spell binding them together. The Horsemen was entombed in the ocean, but someone must have found him and woke him anyway. If the Horseman gets his head back, he will become whole, and the other three horsemen will arrive, bringing about the apocalypse. Oh, and the answers (to what questions, I do not know) are in George Washington’s bible. Strangely enough, Nicolas Cage doesn’t show up at this point. Ichabod wakes and finds the doctor trying to sedate him. Abby enters just in time and whisks him away.

    On the way to the graveyard, Abby calls Andy and asks him to call for backup (she is in enough trouble as it is). He just got home, but agrees. First he stops into his apartment - and discovers someone has broken in. The Horseman is there, and has some of Andy’s guns. “I know where it is,” Andy insists. The Horseman sheathes his weapon.

    Abby and Ichabod have just unearthed Katrina’s grave and found the Horseman’s pickled head in a jar when the Horseman himself shows up. Fighting ensues and Abby runs to Andy when he pulls up. But now that he is in league with the Horseman, he knocks her out and tries to lock her in the backseat of his car. She bites him, cuffs him to the car, and takes his gun. More cops show up, but dawn is breaking. The Horseman makes a last-ditch effort to kill, fires off all the bullets he can, and rides off into the sunrise.

    The captain isn’t quite ready to believe Abby’s ridiculous stories, but there is enough evidence to force him to keep an open mind, and agrees that she and Ichabod can work together. At the graveyard, Andy had mentioned that a “war was coming,” so Abby and Ichabod pay him a visit in the jail. but they are too late. Moments before they arrive, a blurry horned demon enters Andy’s cell, mad that he failed. Andy begs for another chance, and the demon snaps his neck. Abby and Ichabod arrive as Andy slumps over, dead. The only trace of the demon is in the mirror as he fades into ye olde woods

    Dig It or Bury It?

    I didn’t dislike the pilot as much as I did the first time I saw it. The acting was good and Len Wiseman did a great job creating the world of Sleepy Hollow. I still think the story is ridiculous, and there is just no good way to describe it to people. This will go one of two ways: it will be canned after three episodes, or it will pick up towards the end of the season and go on to Grimm levels of charming lunacy.

    Douchey Time Traveler Thing to Say

    After Ichabod answers the cop’s questions, he has one of his own: “Where am I?” “The question isn’t where - it’s when. Welcome to the 21st century.”


    I hope the show continues down this creepy path and doesn’t get too wrapped up in the treasure hunt and stupid time travel cliches. 

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    This is it. We've finally come to the very end. This Sunday, September 22nd, Showtime will air the series finale to their hit show 'Dexter.' And although you'll have to tune in to see how it all ends, for the time being we've got some clips from that final episode titled "Remember The Monsters?" Want to get emotional? Check out this first clip with Quinn (Desmond Harrington) and Deb (Jennifer Carpenter). In the second clip, Elway (Sean Patrick Flanery) threatens Dexter (Michael C. Hall). And as a bonus, you can watch the preview for the finale as well as a special "96 episodes" video. Read Alyse's TV recap of last week's episode "Monkey In A Box."

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    Designer Thom Browne is no stranger to weird, gothic fashion collections. Fall 2013 used oversized, structural shapes that looked like they could have stepped out of a Tim Burton movie. Fall 2012 Menswear featured spiked tweed gimp masks that could have come off Cenobites. So it should come as no surprise that, for Spring 2014, Browne took inspiration from insanity. Set in his own "asylum" and taking inspiration from American Horror Story: Asylum, Elizabethan costumes, and Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight, Browne's models strutted in voluminous shapes cut with rubber and latex. What starts out prim and proper quickly devolves into deeper levels of madness.

    View the full collection at


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    When Ohio-based metalcore unit The Devil Wears Prada tackled the undead apocalypse in their 2010 Zombie EP, that release turned out to be one of the best horror-themed music projects of that year, even from a band not otherwise known for tackling horror themes. While those zombies have been (at least temporarily) vanquished, the band's creative energy was still coming from a similarly dark place when they dropped the full-length album Dead Throne the following year, accompanied by the music video “Vengeance” which made its world premiere on FEARnet (you can still watch it here). This year finds them very much in that same ominous groove with their album 8:18, which drops today from Roadrunner Records. There's not a zombie in sight this time around (although some more horror references do surface), but many tracks summon a dark and haunting mood, with the band often opting for a more suspenseful build than bursts of outright violence.
    8:18 is also not a huge sonic departure from the previous two studio releases (or the band's first concert album Dead & Alive, which debuted last year), but this didn't really present a problem, since I felt they had clicked into their niche with the darker, deeper tones and themes established in Zombie and Dead Throne. While this is the first TDWP record without James Barney's distinctive cinematic keyboards (he left the band last year), Jonathan Gering slips into the role ably enough to smooth over the transition, with his best work coming through in tracks like “Gloom” and “Rumors.” The other musical elements are still firmly in place, with Mike Hranica and rhythm guitarist Jeremy DePoyster sharing vocal duties (harsh and clean, respectively), beefy dropped riffs by DePoyster & lead axe Chris Rubey, and bassist Andy Trick & drummer Daniel Williams laying down the rhythms. But while it may musically pick up where Dead Throne left off, there are also more complex and evocative moments to be found on this record that suggest a deliberate shift in tone, and hint at some possible new stylistic directions.
    The mood of 8:18 is ominous from the outset, with eerie, pulsing synths enveloping the opening cut "Gloom” before Hranica cuts loose with his flesh-rending heavy vocals (which unlike many harsh vocalists of the genre, sounds less monstrous and more psychotic), but it's with "First Sight" that we encounter a more complex progression of intensity, balancing passages of pensive, delicate guitar work with bouts of crushing heaviness, including a particularly potent vocal delivery. The symphonic, sweeping track "War," the wailing, agonized guitars and piano of "Transgress" and the ghostly melancholy of "Care More" – the latter featuring exclusively clean, pop-style vocals from DePoyster instead of the traditional good cop/bad cop style exemplified in “Rumors” – present a much wider musical spectrum and allowing the sound to evolve over the course of a single song beyond the standard verse-chorus-breakdown model that dominates less memorable cuts like "Sailor's Prayer."
    The title track is based on a mellower, more down-tempo groove, which is a brief but cool departure from the model as well, but the most potent offerings on the album go for a more jarring, varied and unpredictable approach; this comes across most powerfully in the frantic industrial-strength metal of "Black and Blue," which repeatedly and unexpectedly slams on the brakes and changes direction, interjecting jarring noise effects; a similar intensity drives "Martyrs" (which may not have been inspired by the French extreme-horror film of the same name, but captures the same mix of horror and despair) and the excellent "Home for Grave."
    While overall 8:18 reasserts motifs that have remained basically unchanged across the past few TDWP releases, there are some key moments of experimentation and variety offered here that bode well for the band's future. They continue to embrace most of the standards of melodic post-hardcore, but break out more frequently from that mold than I've heard on the past two releases, offering more varied textures, disturbing rhythmic changes and slow-burning crescendos that bring a brooding, haunting overtone to the album as a whole. But rest assured, they can still bring the power, as demonstrated in the lyric video for “Martyrs” below.

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    Daniel Radcliffe says while it's a bit too early in the project to figure out what sort of read he's going to give Igor opposite James McAvoy's Victor Frankenstein in 20th Century Fox's Frankenstein, he already has his eye on the possibilities the role presents.
    "We haven't even started rehearsals yet, but in terms of Igor, I think we're going to see a character who is given a lot more depth than we've seen him allowed in any other incarnations of the story," Radcliffe recently said in a phone call with FEARnet from the Toronto International Film Festival.
    While the former Harry Potter star can't share any intricate details of Chronicle scribe Max Landis's screenplay just yet, he implied that it's going to be a Frankenstein tale like none other. 
    "It's a wild script. It constantly surprises you and it's great, great fun as well," Radcliffe enthused. "The relationship between Igor and Victor is one of two young men at the absolute forefront of the technology of their day. Plus it's a story about them pushing each other further, eventually having to make decisions about their relationship and their morality. I'm really excited about it and very excited to be working with James McAvoy as well."
    Until he digs into Frankenstein, Radcliffe says given his choice of imitating Bela Lugosi from Son of Frankenstein (as Ygor) or Marty Feldman from Young Frankenstein in the iconic lab assistant role, the actor thinks he'd have better luck with the latter.
    "I don't know, I think I can channel a little bit of Marty," said with a laugh.
    Directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin, BBC's Sherlock), Frankenstein will also star Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown Findlay in an unspecified role, Variety reports.
    Before Radcliffe sets the (operating) table for Frankenstein, you can catch him the October true-life crime drama Kill Your Darlings, where plays a young version of famed beat poet Allen Ginsberg. After that the British actor, 24, has the horror thriller Horns, based on the novel by Joe Hill, where he stars as a man who mysteriously starts sprouting devilish horns from his head. That film is expected be picked up for distribution and released sometime next year following its TIFF screening.
    Fox's Frankenstein is slated to open in theaters Oct. 17, 2014.

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    It’s been just about 30 years since Cassandra Peterson first titillated the horror world as Elvira, a character that has been a pop culture staple since her debut in the 1980s. Spawning two of her very own movies and playing host to countless others, the Mistress of the Dark is without question one of the most iconic and beloved characters in horror history, her ample bosom and beehive hairdo as integral a part of the Halloween season as Count Chocula, caramel apples and black cats.
    Three decades later, Peterson looks as beautiful today as she ever has, and the character is still being kept alive both by Cassandra and her legions of fans, who simply can’t get enough of the fun, snarky and ultra-sexy appeal that she brings to the world of blood and guts. Elvira’s the kind of character that all her female fans want to be and her male fans want to be with, which is actually quite the understatement because many of her male fans want to be her too. As someone who’s come face to face with many a stubble-chinned Elvira impersonator, you can trust me on that. I’m not sure that’s the greatest segue into the particular fan I’m here to talk about today, but I’m hoping he’ll forgive me.
    A super fan of Elvira his whole life, Chad Colebank runs the company Tweeterhead, and he saw in the character all the inspiration he needed for his company’s very first licensed maquette. With input from Peterson herself, whom he says helped out immensely when it came to the little details that really captured her likeness, Colebank and sculptor Trevor Grove brought one of his favorite characters to life in cold cast porcelain, whipping up a 1/6th scale maquette that measures 14.5” tall. Countless different Elvira action figures, busts and statues have been made over the years, but Colebank’s team (including painter David Fisher) managed to capture her look and personality better than anyone ever has before, from her eyes down to her… wait, what was I talking about?
    Intent on bringing not just her but also her iconic wardrobe to life in a more impressive and special way than we’ve ever seen, each maquette was fitted with seven pieces of Swarovski Elements, gems that make the sultry hostess’ ring and dagger sparkle and stand out. Above and beyond the call of duty, I think they call that.
    This officially licensed Elvira: Mistress of the Dark maquette will be available through both Sideshow Collectibles and Tweeterhead, Sideshow selling the regular edition in their online store and a run of 350 special edition versions being sold directly through the Tweeterhead website. Colebank told me that the regular edition will be selling for somewhere in the department of $225, and that the special editions will be the same maquette, but with added bells and whistles that Elvira fans are really going to dig. You can expect full release details and information to be revealed very soon, and for pre-orders to begin next month. Be sure to keep your eyes on Tweeterhead’s website and sign up for their newsletter, so you’re among the first to know when Elvira’s ready for you to take her home!
    I’ve been told that the maquettes will also be up for grabs at Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo this year, which will be running November 1st-3rd at the Los Angeles Convention Center. If you’re attending, be sure to stop by Tweeterhead’s booth and pick one up, because it will come with a convention exclusive plaque that you can get signed by Elvira at the show!
    Up next from Tweeterhead, it’s all about The Munsters, pieces that will be unveiled at Comikaze. That’s the prototype for their Herman statue above, and Colebank plans on giving the full porcelain treatment to the rest of the immediate family as well as other more obscure characters like Uncle Gilbert and Zombo. The Munster Koach will even be stopping by the booth, so you’re not going to want to miss that.
    Lots to be excited about from the company, that’s for sure!

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    Space horror is always a delicious treat for me: metallic hallways festooned with cables and hoses, doors cycling open with an apprehensive hiss, and the grim isolation that only the vacuum of space can offer.  This has translated beautifully to gaming, with titles like DOOM 3, System Shock, and Dead Space twisting the DNA of Cameron’s Aliens into spacefaring slices of intergalactic interactivity.  Dead Effect looks to join their ranks by bringing zombies (there’s a shock) into orbit as an iOS-based first person shooter, but does it rock or does it rot?

    The game’s plot is eerily similar to the aforementioned System Shock, with your character awakening from hypersleep on the ESS Meridian to discover that something is strangely amiss: the ship is overrun with zombies, and you need to find out what happened and survive the undead onslaught.  This leads to plenty of FPS action, with a handful of weapons and plenty of zombies to splatter all over the ship’s titanium interior.  The action can get very hairy at times, an ugly combination of large enemy mobs combined with the always-floaty touchscreen controls that make most FPS titles in the iDevices an exercise in frustration.  Death can come at any time, but it never feels like a fair fight; your struggles with the game’s controls bring death as you try to resolve just which putrid pate to pulverize. 

    The other issue comes with just how stunningly generic the game is.  It’s a zombie shooter, a genre which is quickly becoming as stale as month-old Count Chocula, and the space horror elements are liberally cribbed from other, better games.  The game’s floaty HUD elements that holographically label ammo and credits feel like a dumbed-down Dead Space, and the zombie-infested corridors of the Meridian bear more than a passing resemblance to DOOM 3.  Of course, a lot of these similarities could be attributed to the shared roots that all of these games have, but it feels more than a little plagiaristic.  Even the game’s time-slowing abilities don’t exactly feel fresh, as they’ve been done before, and better, in non-horror titles like Max Payne.  It is worth mentioning that the game balances beauty and speed perfectly in terms of graphics, with the game experiencing minimal slowdown even with its complex environments and larger mobs of enemies.

    Dead Effect is a hard game to give a full recommendation to.  It runs buttery smooth, looks great, and offers a decently cathartic amount of ghoul-splattering gore.  However, the floaty touchscreen controls and generic feeling that borders on blandness certainly detract from the experience.  Its bargain basement price ($3.99) makes it a more appealing impulse purchase, especially given its impressive length and additional play modes.  It’s far from perfect, but it certainly scratches an itch.  

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    Last month we showed you some disturbing but strangely beautiful photos by Adam Voorhes, who was commissioned by Scientific American to photograph a preserved specimen of a healthy human brain at the Texas State Mental Hospital. What he found there was a collection of over 100 diseased and deformed brains, which then became the subject of a macabre photography collection. But we recently found out there's more to the story: the most bizarre find in that collection also has an aura of mystery surrounding its former owner, as revealed in an article for New Scientist.
    The smooth, blob-like mass in Voorhes's photo above is indeed a malformed human brain, but that's only the beginning of this case: a rare condition called agyria or lissencephaly results in a lack of the brain's familiar wrinkled formations (called “sulci”), and people with even milder forms of the disease seldom live past age 10. That's why scientists are still puzzled over how this particular sufferer, whose entire brain appears to have been afflicted, managed to survive to adulthood.
    According to the article, all that's known about the patient in question is that he or she resided at Texas State Mental Hospital, and died in 1970. After a year of searching, no other records have been found, but Voorhes is still set on solving the mystery...

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    Super Bowl fever seems to be catching in the horror world. Just yesterday, we found out the gross-out gurus of Troma Entertainment are competing for a TV ad during next February's Super Bowl broadcast, and now it looks like the murderous metal mutants of GWAR are aiming for even more exposure (so to speak) in the following NFL season.
    Dave Brockie, best known as GWAR vocal-thing Oderus Urungus, is an avowed football fan, and writes the NFL column “Necessary Roughness” for the website MetalSucks. But when Brockie kicked off this season with his views on the selection of Bruno Mars as halftime performer for next February's Super Bowl (his comment was basically the word “Barf”), a fan decided it was time to rally the troops and get Dave/Oderus and GWAR onto the SB halftime stage for 2015.
    To that end, GWAR fan Jeff Cantrell launched an online petition at to appeal to Greg Aiello, Senior Vice President of Communications for the NFL, and make every gore & metal-loving football fan's dream come true... and as of this writing, it's doing amazingly well. The target is 25,000 signatures, and they've already crossed the 18,000 mark. 
    Not that reaching the goal will lead to any satisfactory result; if you remember the insane media uproar surrounding that whole “wardrobe malfunction” thing in 2004, then consider that Oderus himself is pretty much a walking wardrobe malfunction (not to mention all the dismembered presidents and decapitated pop stars that feature in the average GWAR show), the odds seem pretty slim. But it's the thought that counts, right?
    The petition is still open, so if you want your voice heard... go here and join the multitudes.

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    Have you ever seen a movie about a group of high school (or perhaps college age) kids who go to a party, only to come up against something outrageously violent or dangerous or horrific? Of course you have. You're older than ten years old and you're reading film reviews on FEARnet. It's only pertinent because the new sci-fi / horror / feature-length Twilight Zone-ish movie called Plus One (or simply +1) is well aware of all those movies, and it knows you are too. 

    With that in mind, it's cool to note that Plus One is not about stalkers or monsters or alien invaders. As the title plainly indicates, it's a thriller about "plus ones." In other words, everyone at this rowdy house party seems to have spawned a double! Or a clone! Or something like that. Most of the partiers are way too distracted to notice the bizarre new arrivals, but we do have a quartet of colorful heroes in Nice Guy, Angry Girlfriend, Comic Relief, and Unexpectedly Intelligent Hottie. (Those aren't the character's actual names, but it sums them up fairly well, and it's not a knock on the performances, which are all quite good.)
    Director Dennis Iliadis (last seen helming the surprisingly solid remake of The Last House on the Left) wants to keep a lot of plates spinning here. At certain points Plus One feels like a John Hughes homage, an affectionate send-up of 1950s sci-fi thrillers, and a pointed piece of satire about the dangers of conformity, especially among people who are young, naive, and very, very drunk. If Plus One doesn't keep all those plates aloft for a full 90-some minutes -- there are some clunky moments of exposition and a few sequences that simply run way too long -- we can give the filmmakers credit for trying a new approach. We can only take so many slasher attacks, after all, and it's not like they lend themselves well to any sort of amusing social commentary.
    Aside from a rocky start and a handful of moments that feel simply redundant (perhaps by design), Plus One has just enough multi-genre appeal to keep viewers interested. Each of the four semi-heroes find their own way to deal with this unexpected "attack of the clones," so if the romance between Nice Guy (Rhys Wakefield) and Angry Girlfriend (Ashley Hinshaw) doesn't work for you, you can choose to focus on the Comic Relief (Logan Miller) or the Unexpectedly Intelligent Hottie (Natalie Hall). Also rather good are twin actresses Suzanne and Colleen Dengel as the shy but very sharp Lonely Girl. Even when the pacing of Plus One winds down a bit (like in Act II), the leads are quite appealing and their material (by screenwriter Bill Gullo) is a touch more intelligent than one normally sees in indie-style multi-genre concoctions.
    The comparison to Rod Serling's classic anthology series The Twilight Zone is a double-edged sword, as it turns out. As novel and clever as Plus One manages to be at its best moments, it sometimes feels like a 50-minute film that's been stretched out to meet a traditional feature length. Nothing egregious enough to make the film wear out its welcome too much, but let's just say the flick sags (almost noticeably) in Act II before finding its feet for a legitimately fascinating and energetic finale. Mark it down as a decent, uneven, well-made spin on a very standard horror story -- and let's hope it's not another four years before Dennis Iliadis directs another genre movie. This guy seems to know his sci-fi and horror.

    Read FEARnet's partner reviews of 'Plus One'


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    All photos © Todd Sharp []
    Old saloons collect ghost stories like they collect stale beer smell – when enough people drink enough rye, eventually, someone’s going to see something strange – but at West Hollywood’s historic Barney’s Beanery, the ghosts don’t just come from the bottom of bottles. They’re everywhere.
    Like any establishment that sticks around long enough, Barney’s has come into a sort of rough-around-the-edges gentility now, but there was a time when the place was known for fistfights, bikers and slumming Hollywood elite – the perfect setting for an L.A. ghost story. 
    When word got around the place that FEARnet was looking into the stories of Barney’s ghosts, the bar’s employees lined up to tell their stories. The busboys see phantasmos in the kitchen. The waitresses see specters by the bar. The managers see strange shadows late at night. At Barney’s, everyone sees dead people.
    “People feel like someone is watching over them,” Barney’s waitress Roxanne Folsom said. “You feel weird chills. So many people have told me about it.”
    Employees reporting hauntings is one thing, but we wanted to see the ghosts firsthand, so we talked Barney’s management into locking us in the place overnight to conduct a paranormal investigation. With this many ghosts, it was perhaps tall order for novice investigators, but with the courage of the foolhardy, we said goodbye to the manager at 3 AM (the "Soul’s Midnight") and began our hunt.
    As the door locked behind us, a strange calm came over the rowdy bar. The chatter of the patrons and barmaids was replaced with the forlorn buzzing of neon beer signs, and the memorabilia on the walls begins to seem somehow sinister. Spooky pictures of long-ago Halloween parties, yellowing newspapers from the 1940s, hundreds of old license plates, and ancient graffiti give the place an unnerving ambience at 3 AM.
    Along with the marks of nearly a century’s worth of uncouth rummies, there’s evidence of the restaurants more famous former patrons too. Pictures of Marilyn Monroe, who used to go slumming here in the 1950s, a plaque on the bar commemorating the time Doors lead singer Jim Morrison whipped it out and relieved himself right on the bar, and even a table with “Janis” scratched in it – a “gift” from Janis Joplin, a frequent guest who spent some of her last day on earth at Barney’s. 
    And there’s the glass eye over the billiards table. 
    Legend has it, a drunken pool game got out of hands sometimes in the 1970s, and the stakes got very high indeed.
    “They were betting cash, and the guy who lost didn’t have any,” Explained long-time Barney’s waitress and manager Dominique Kadison. “The winner said, ‘If you can’t pay up, I’ll take your eye,’ and he gave it up. There it is, right up there.”
    Does the spirit of a one-eyed billiards player haunt the place, searching for his missing ocular prosthetic? It could be him, or could be any of the other countless drunks and cads who passed through this place. At least three murders have taken place at Barney’s, so perhaps the dead return to avenge some long-forgotten barroom slight.
    After our initial sweep of the eerie dining room and bar, we descended a narrow set of stairs into Barney’s refrigerated basement – the location of many employee-reported ghost encounters. 
    “Most of the sighting takes place down in the cooler,” explained Kadison, “It was dug in 1995, and there was nothing below the surface, so who knows what is down below ground?”
    The gray, industrial rooms of Barney’s cooler carry such strong negative energy, many employees are afraid to set foot in there at all.
    “There was a time, for weeks, where I just would not go down there by myself,” waitress Roxanne Folsom said. “I always felt like I was going to see something, and I didn’t want to."
    Ashway Lawver, another Barney’s waitress, did see something in the basement. She reports a sighting of an off-white, amoeba-like blob... a blob that that wanted to look up her skirt. “I went down to the basement to grab some pickles, and I was wearing a little jean miniskirt,” Lawver said. “I leaned over to get some pickles from the bucket, and just felt like, woosh across the back of my skirt. I thought someone was behind me, lifting my skirt, but I turned around and no one was there.”
    Employees have reported a tall man, dressed in 1800s evening clothes, complete with top hat, skulking through the walk-in refrigerator before disappearing into a solid wall, as well as floating orbs, and ghostly children.
    “We have two cooks who won’t come back to the store,” Dominique said. “At closing one night, they saw two little boys with really long teeth, long fingernails, and long hair. The little boys looked at the cooking knives on the wall and the knives started to spin. They both saw it, ran out of there, and never came back.”
    Upon entering the freezer, we felt instantly chilled (possibly because it was a cooler, but possibly because of ghosts!), but we started our investigation. Our many photos of the freezer showed no evidence of orbs or other anomalies, and our experiments with EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) proved inconclusive. I asked many questions of the open air, and upon playing back the tape, was only able to discern the hum of a freezer as a response. My electromagnetic field device registered nothing but normal background magnetism in the basement, and the knives on the wall refused to spin. I guess Barney’s basement apparitions didn’t feel like playing this night.
    While we didn’t see any top-hatted specters or long-toothed feral children, both Todd and I felt an unnerving sense of foreboding and dread among the canned food, kegs and industrial refrigeration equipment. Before long, we felt a strong urge return to the surface.
    Stepping out of the claustrophobic basement, I mused as to whether some of the reported translucent orbs could be a result of eyeglasses fogging over from condensation. Perhaps. Or perhaps there’s a darker explanation. 
    Next, we swept the upstairs office and roof, where managers had reported seeing spectral shapes that sometimes set off the motion detectors. Again, no ghosts, no EMF activity and no EVP activity on my tape recorder.
    Our final stop was a return to the main room and the bar. After a negative EMF sweep, we sat down at the table where Janis Joplin had carved her name. We broke out the Ouija board, and I convinced my somewhat skeptical photographer to lightly put his fingers on the board with me.
    “Spirits! I call upon you to reveal yourself!” I said to no one, feeling increasingly silly as my experiments continued to fail. We concentrated on the Ouija board’s planchette, tuned to any movement of the needle... but there was not even a nudge. 
    I started to grow impatient. “Come on, guys. It’s late, we’re tired. What else do you have to do tonight?” I whined. But no matter what questions I asked, the spirit world remained resolutely silent. 
    It looked as if the entire investigation would result in no paranormal activity at all; a disappointing result for our first investigation. We started to pack up our gear to await the morning crew coming to let us out. Out of sheer boredom, Todd took a few more photographs of the booths. Including this one:
    Neither of us saw the handprints in the background at the time. It wasn’t until later, when we processed the photo, that we noticed it. It could be a smudge on the glass... or it could be something else? Perhaps the mark of the ghostly children spotted in the basement?
    Moments after this shot was taken, at around 4:30 AM, the EMF detector suddenly began shrilly beeping, indicating a sudden rise in the ambient electromagnetic fields in the room. The needle went crazy. It wasn’t just the meter, though; my internal ghost meter was off the charts too – the hair on the back of my neck stood up, and, for the first time all night, I felt real fear. Something was in that darkened bar with us. I could feel its presence, appraising us, coolly watching.
    The shrill beeping got louder as the reading got higher, and I followed it around the building, mapping out a rough area in the middle of the dining room where the EMF was strongest.
    Then, as suddenly as it had started, the gauge went silent. My hackles fell. It was like a candle blowing out: there and gone. As if whatever haunts Barney’s wanted to make sure we knew it was there, but wouldn’t respect our amateurish attempts at contact with anything more than a greeting… or a warning.
    When the morning crew let us out of the building, dawn was breaking in West Hollywood, and the city was slowly coming back to life. The decorations seemed less eerie and dark shadows faded, as the workers prepared Barney’s for another day of serving chili and beer. Tourists and drinkers would soon fill the booths and barstools here, unaware of the ghostly presences that may walk among them, until someone spots a strange shadow from the corner of their eye or sees a form in the mirror behind the bar... waiting.

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    Dexter may be coming to a close, but you can carry the spirit of the show with you always with this awesome Bay Harbor Butchers hockey jersey. It is handmade, and you can get your name and number on the back. So grab a team and form what could be the most formidable team on the ice. Or just be the most formidable couch potato in your living room. We won't judge.

    Hurry - they are only available until September 30th.

    $95 at

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    Definitely one of the most chilling abandoned sites we've seen lately, the Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey has drawn many urban explorers, including photographer J. Phillip O'Brien.
    O'Brien's photos, which he compiled in this Flickr gallery, are also being featured at the blog Gothamist.
    Founded in 1931, the Marlboro Hospital has a dark and disturbing history, which includes an unexplained illness that struck 131 patients, four of whom died as a result.
    Before the facility was finally shut down in 1998, many patients had died within the grounds... and some disappeared without a trace.
    The crumbling gothic structure itself is tucked away in a dense forest, which now seems to be devouring it.
    As if that weren't spooky enough, apparently the aura of death that surrounds the main building has attracted families of vultures, who have taken up residence in the upper rooms.
    Tales of hauntings are also common to the area, as well as the legend of a homicidal farmer who lives in a slaughterhouse on the grounds. A group of wanted criminals even used it as a hideout earlier this year (they were finally caught).
    You can browse the entire photo gallery here... and also be sure to check out this clip from another explorer who visited the grounds recently.

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    While doing research in the Caribbean, marine biologist Roger Hanlon was pursuing a very large and fast-moving octopus (octopus vulgaris, to be exact) when it suddenly vanished behind a rock... and what the creature did next literally made him scream.
    The clip below, courtesy of Science Friday, shows exactly what happened:
    That's not special effects... that's nature, folks.
    Later in the clip, you'll see that Hanlon's research specializes in the elaborate forms of camouflage used by octopus, squid and other cephalopods... but obviously none of that experience had quite prepared him for this little surprise.

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    In a chilling mashup of art, history and true crime, photographer and historian  Marc Hermann took photographs of modern-day New York City locations and combined them with photos from the New York Daily News Archives– images which depict murders, suicides and fatal accidents in the exact same locations many decades earlier.
    The vintage shots depict many scenes of tragedy – including crimes of passion, bloody gangland executions (some dating back to the late '20s), and the collision of two airliners in December 1960.
    The project was inspired by Hermann's lifelong fascination with the dynamic history of the Big Apple: “New York is constantly changing and transforming, and tragedies that affected individuals’ lives are forgotten,” he explains. “We may stand on what was once the site of a horrific murder and not even know it, simply because life goes on.”
    Check out more of his collection at Gizmodo and FStoppers.

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    If you wanted to describe the excellent new horror film from Ireland called Dark Touch as "Carrie Junior," you wouldn't be all that much off the mark, at least not on a surface level. But there's a lot more to the film than just one angry young girl and a bunch of flying furniture. Despite a handful of familiar components and a whole lot of telekinetic mayhem, Dark Touch is not so much a Carrie acolyte as it is one seriously frank and powerful horror film about the disastrous and irrevocable effects of child abuse.

    Written and directed by Marina de Van (In My Skin, Don't Look Back), Dark Touch opens in an oddly disconcerting fashion -- a strange little girl wanders into a neighbor's house with all sorts of bizarre injuries -- slowly settles into a fairly conventional tale of well-meaning foster parents and their insidious new charge. But just when the film starts to feel just a bit too predictable, the Ms. de Van makes a dark and sharp left turn that could only work in the realm of horror cinema.
    While Dark Touch certainly works well enough as a simple story about a dangerous little girl, the film is infinitely more interesting on a metaphorical level. The filmmakers clearly want to make a bleak but poignant statement about the ways in which child abuse can lead to an endless cycle of misery, and unfortunately nobody is safe from the after-effects. The film starts to feel like a battle for young Neve's soul (little Missy Keating is powerfully good in a difficult role), and the result is a main character who is a victim, a potential hero, and a reluctant villain all at the same time.
    Beautifully shot, quietly chilling, and bolstered by great performances across the board (Marcella Plunkett is a particular standout as the sweet-natured foster mom), Dark Touch may be the best of the recent rash of Irish horror films, and in a crowd that includes Outcast, Citadel, Grabbers, and Wake Wood, that's some pretty high praise indeed. Dark Touch may be on the year's best horror imports, truth be told, for the crafty ways in which it combines conventional but satisfying horror trappings with some themes and ideas that are legitimately terrifying.


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    After eight bloody seasons, Dexter takes a bow this Sunday night. FEARnet was lucky enough to say goodbye to some of the cast and crew that we have grown to love over the last few years. Stars Michael C. Hall, James Remar, Desmond Harrington, Yvonne Strahovski, and Geoff Pierson, and producers Sara Colleton and Scott Buck tell us about what they will miss most about Dexter and Dexter's legacy in the world of pop culture.

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    Matthew Garrett is a director who hit the ground running with his first short film Ellie (2006), an unsettling movie that gathered much praise when it made the film festival rounds. His second film, the suspenseful and enigmatic Beating Hearts (2010), won Best Short Film at the Boston Underground Film Festival before it found a home here at FEARnet (click here to watch it).
    Garrett's first feature film is an anthology called Morris County, slated for release later this year. Garrett kindly took some time to discuss with FEARnet his past, present, and future as a film director.
    FEARnet: What inspired the story of your first film, Ellie?
    GARRETT: It's difficult to discuss the news story that inspired the film without giving away part of the ending, but I will say that the themes of self-destruction, sexual abuse, and the inherent hypocrisy of organized religion were definitely on my mind. 
    What events led to the production of Ellie? How did it all come together?
    Ellie was my first attempt at a serious film post-film school, which I graduated from in 2002. In 2004, the idea for Ellie came to me around the same time I met [lead actress] Darcy Miller. As I was writing the script and developing the character with her, I also came to know a few local guys just graduating film school and they helped me form a bare-bones crew. We had no budget for casting or locations so it was very much a DIY effort. We shot the film over 3 or 4 weekends in the summer of '05.
    Ellie contains some disturbing moments. How did you and Darcy Miller prepare for and execute the more intense and unsettling scenes?
    What was unique about Ellie was that Darcy and I were able to hone the character to fit her strengths over the course of about nine months prior to shooting. We did so much research and rehearsal that when it came time to do it, we were very prepared, and the crew was so small that there was a bit less pressure than there would have been had we had a full crew. The most Darcy ever needed was a few moments alone to get ready, and we were able to give her that time. 
    What inspired the story of Beating Hearts?
    After having done Morris County, I wanted to try something a bit more grounded in the horror genre, and at the same time subvert expectations when it comes to the structure, style and overall tone. The notion of a killer child film came to me, with the goal being to make the back story more horrifying than anything we see onscreen.
    What were the biggest differences between the shooting of Beating Hearts and the production of Ellie?
    Well, first of all, Ellie was made for practically no money, with a tiny crew just out of film school and a standard definition mini-DV camera, while Beating Hearts had a professional crew and actors, and was shot in HD. I had also grown as a filmmaker, and was much more confident behind the camera and in my screenwriting by that point. That said, Ellie was overall a much more laid-back shoot. Despite the onscreen scenes of uncomfortable sex and a few very long shooting days, there was a certain freedom to shooting Ellie that simply would have been impossible for Beating Hearts, or the other segments of Morris County for that matter. Beating Hearts had a very tight budget, and we had to shoot in three straight days, one of which was on a boat. On top of that, we constantly had to dance around what the film was actually about, due to the age of the lead actress. Her parents were aware and very supportive of the film, but it was still a challenge during certain scenes. I was so stressed on that one, I barely slept prior to and during the shoot. By the end, I was practically delirious. On Ellie our schedule was spread out, and much easier to manage, with a crew of only four or five people most of the time.
    Describe the casting process for Beating Hearts.
    Judy Bowman handled our casting, just as she had with the latter two segments of Morris County, and worked really hard with us to cast those two roles, and took most of the brunt in warning parents about the nature of the script. Going in, we assumed the Grandfather would be easy to cast and the Girl part would be an uphill battle, but the exact opposite happened. First of all, there are only so many older actors on the East coast and many of them weren’t comfortable with the subject matter. We were very lucky to find Peter Coriaty to fill the role, and he did a fantastic job. As for the Girl, we saw around twenty young actresses, and I believe Gianna [Bruzzese] was one of the last ones we saw. As for the role of the Mother, it was Gianna’s agent who suggested we audition Gianna’s mother, Georgeanne, which was a lot of fun for both of them and made that scene easier for me to direct. 
    What movies inspired you to become a director? What are some of your favorite horror films?
    The first thing that made an impression on me was the behind-the-scenes video for Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Watching Rick Baker and his team work is what turned me on to horror at a young age. I didn’t start thinking about filmmaking seriously until I was in high school, and my mom started showing me films like A Clockwork Orange, The Tin Drum, and any number of current independent and foreign films that were coming out during the big indie boom of the ‘90s.
    As for my horror favorites, the shortlist would have to include The Brood, Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, Society, Dead Alive, Hellraiser, Phantasm, The Thing, Brain Damage, Funny Games, Carrie, Schramm, Dawn Of The Dead, Audition, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Wicker Man, Creepshow, Nightmare On Elm Street, An American Werewolf In London, The Mist... I could go on forever!
    Ellie became the first segment in Morris County. What inspired you to build an anthology on this short film? Were the other segments of Morris County individual short films before being stitched together to form the anthology, or did you shoot the other stories with the intention of creating the feature-length Morris County?
    Ellie was my first attempt at a dramatic piece, and I knew I wanted to explore a few more ideas in this vein without the pressure of tackling a full feature. At 30 minutes, Ellie seemed like the perfect length to build an anthology off of. 
    As I was finishing Ellie, I already had the ideas for Family Rubin and Elmer & Iris ready to go, and thought the three together would make an interesting life-cycle piece of sorts. Doing it this way also meant that I could make the segments as long as I wanted without having to worry about them being a bit long for most festivals. At 30 minutes, very few festivals would play Ellie, and I knew I’d have a similar problem with the length of the other two. I didn’t yet know it would be called Morris County, but I knew the chronology of the stories, and that the themes and overall tone would unify the three segments as a whole. 
    What inspired the other stories that make up Morris County?
    The Family Rubin was very much a response to growing up in suburban New Jersey, and is in some ways the most personal of the three stories. I had always wanted to make a film about the impact of divorce and the confusion of being forced into religious practice at a young age, both things that are difficult to comprehend in adolescence. 
    Elmer & Iris is the easiest one to openly discuss without spoiling much. Over the years, I had heard a few stories of people living with the deceased bodies of loved ones, and thought that could be a great launching pad for a very disgusting melodrama. I was also interested in exploring how we as a society dispose of the elderly, which is odd in and of itself considering most of us hope to live as long as possible.
    The special effects in the Elmer And Iris segment of Morris County are especially disgusting, quite real-looking, and serve an important purpose in terms of narrative and character development. If the effects were unconvincing, the story would fall apart. Special effects artist Brian Spears (I Sell the Dead, Stake Land, The Innkeepers, V/H/S) provided the gruesome imagery. Describe your working relationship with him.
    Brian, and his partner Pete Gerner, were fantastic to work with and went above and beyond the call of duty to provide top-notch effects. Producer Thomas Rondinella and I came to Brian with a very small budget and a fairly limited amount of time. He walked us through what we could afford and offered some ideas of his own on how to handle some of the ickier moments. In the end, we made very few compromises and ended up with a couple of set pieces that send people running for the door at some screenings!
    While your films are intense and horrific, they don't neatly fit into the category of "horror." Do you intend to make a more straightforward "horror movie" in the future? Are there other genres you'd like to work in?
    I’d love to do a straight-up horror film one day, but it would probably have to come from someone else’s idea or screenplay. I’ve tried over the years to write one and kept finding myself falling into the trappings of convention. The great thing about the horror genre is that there are so many ways to approach it and plenty of subgenres to tap into, so I’m sure I’ll get to do one before too long. I have a dark comedy in mind for a future script, as well as a few more dramas. No matter what I do, I assume it will be dark, and for an adult audience.
    Are you currently working on anything that may be your follow-up to Morris County?
    I’m currently co-writing a very macabre love story with my friend Heather Buckley that’s looking like it will be my next feature. It’s similar in tone to Beating Hearts and Morris County, but is a bit more sexually overt. It’s an idea I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and so far it’s coming together very well. Although it’s primarily a drama, it has a hook that will no doubt appeal to horror fans. I can’t wait to be able to tell you more!

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