Award Winning Horror

It’s awards season and, as Horror Addicts, that isn’t much to get excited about.

Film critics usually rank horror somewhere below stale theater popcorn, if they mention it at all. The only horror film to ever win the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture was The Silence of the Lambs (over 25 years ago) and only four horror films made the cut for the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Films (Jaws, Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, and The Sixth Sense). But the genre pulled in upwards of $983 million last year and was responsible 10% of the market share. Clearly, horror resonates with the public psyche and the lack of credit isn’t from lack of interest.

Perhaps horror gets a bad name from pulp monster flicks created to sell children’s toys or from movies that capitalize on sex at the expense of actual fear. Of course, exploitative movies aren’t exclusive to horror, but it seems that whenever a frightening film is acclaimed, critics are quick to characterize it as a different genre—thriller or science fiction, most often.

Are times changing?

Eliciting true terror is just as difficult as drawing tears and there is great insight achieved through examining cultural roots of fear. Get Out was a box office smash this year, indicating that audiences are ready to use horror to look at the world from a new angle. With the public seeking more than slashers that trade shock for substance, film studios—particularly indie producers—seem poised to push the boundaries of the genre further than ever before. Directors are creating defiant films that plumb the depths of human nature. If you haven’t already, go watch Raw, The Bad Batch, or The Shape of Water for a glimpse at the new frontiers producers are exploring.

Guillermo del Toro just won a Golden Globe for his directing in The Shape of Water. Get Out was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Picture (as a Comedy, but still… Horror wasn’t a category). Maybe it’s a sign of things to come. We could be looking forward to some nomination nods when the Oscars come around.

Blood and gore movies filled with jump scares will never really go away, (then again, neither will the Transformers franchise). That isn’t bad—those things have their place. But a new generation of movies is emerging, ones that may earn a place among industry greats as the best films of all time.

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David’s Haunted Library: Lucy Furr

The city of Mable Town is ruled over by Valkos Enterprises government, they force their rule over all of their citizens and they demand conformity. Not all people are unhappy with the system though. Mary, Joseph, and their cat, Lucy Furr, love their mundane existence and other people seem happier around them. Unfortunately, there is a  gang of teenagers who are jealous of them and have decided to make them pay.

The group captures the feline and takes it on a ride which jump starts a horrifying chain of events. One evil act leads to another and no one’s life will ever be the same. In this strange society that has very different rules than our own, revenge is still the way that some people right wrongs.  Lucy Furr by Russell Holbrook is a bizzaro gruesome thrill ride that you will never forget.

This is a hard book to describe, it’s very different and unlike most horror stories that I’ve read. When I heard the book promoted as an odd Dystopian fairy tale they weren’t kidding. Anything goes in this book, sometimes it felt like I was watching a slasher movie, but a very creative slasher movie. It also felt like the author was trying to make some points about what society would be like if everything was run by a corporation. The corporation is looked at as a god and at certain times you have to say the pledge of allegiance and if you don’t do what you’re supposed to you get shocked.

One thing I thought was interesting in this society was that they even have paid alcoholics. Lucy Furr is one strange trip and even though I didn’t fully understand the point of it, it held my interest. Remember, though, if you decide to get this book you need to have a strong stomach because this book is not for the squeamish. Even the good guys suffer in this one.

 

Press Release: CHIMERA

Filmmaker Maurice Haeems

Explores Immortality

in Debut Sci-Fi Thriller Chimera

(Los Angeles, CA) – December 5th, 2017.  Praxis Media Ventures is proud to announce the completion of the science-fiction thriller Chimeracreated by first-time writer-director Maurice Haeems, produced by Jay Sitaram and Eric B. Fleischman, and starring Emmy-nominee Henry Ian Cusick (Lost), Oscar-nominee Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13), and LGBT-rights advocate Erika Ervin a.k.a. Amazon Eve (American Horror Story).

Chimera is the story of Dr. Quint, a brilliant but disturbed scientist who must freeze his children alive in order to arrest the progression of their deadly genetic disease, while he races against time to cure them by unlocking the secrets of immortality encoded within the DNA of the Turritopsis jellyfish.

“While our story pushes the central character down some very dark paths, we still wanted the audience to see that despite his many flaws, Quint is always driven by a utopian vision and noble intentions,” says director Maurice Haeems.

“This film asks difficult philosophical questions like ‘How far would you go to save the ones you love?’ and ‘Without your family, would you still want to live forever?’,” says producer Jay Sitaram.

Chimera’s intimate yet high-profile cast includes Henry Ian Cusick (Quint), Kathleen Quinlan (Masterson), Karishma Ahluwalia (Jessie), Jenna Harrison(Charlie), and Erika Ervin (Gruze). The children at the center of the plot were very close to the project, as Raviv Haeems (Miles) is the director’s son and Kaavya Jayaram (Flora) is the producer’s daughter.

 

Chimera is a Praxis Media Ventures production. Written and directed by Maurice Haeems; Producers Jay Sitaram and Eric B. Fleischman; Consulting Producers Eric M. Klein and Franco Sama; Line Producer Ken Golden; Casting Director Mark Tillman; Cinematographer David Kruta; Editors Brian Scofield and Fritz Feick; Composer Aled Roberts; Production Designer Lawrence Sampson.

Inspired by cutting-edge research in stem cells, regenerative medicine, organ harvesting and genetics, Chimera is, at its core, a tale of love and loss, regret and redemption. Chimera is slated to start its film festival tour in the Spring of 2018 and will be released later in the year.

About the Director:

Over the last two decades, Mumbai-born and Los Angeles-based Maurice Haeemshas enjoyed successful careers in mechanical/fluid engineering, investment banking, and software entrepreneurship. In 2014, Maurice decided to pursue his fourth career (and first love) – storytelling and filmmaking. He returned to school to study screenwriting and directing, and wrote his first screenplay, Chimera. He collaborated with former investors and business partners to raise the capital for the project. Chimera was shot in Fitchburg, MA and will be released in 2018.

Maurice continues to be enthralled by advancements in biotechnology, the extension of human lifespans, and the science/fiction of immortality and transhumanism. He has completed the screenplay and begun development on his second feature (The Archetype) which further explores these themes and their impact on the human experience.

For more information about Chimera, please visit the following links:

FILM’S WEBSITE: www.ChimeraTheMovie.com

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/ChimeraTheMovie

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/Chimera2018

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/ChimeraTheMovie

HASHTAGS: #ChimeraTheMovie

Press Release: Junk’s New Album Release Double Soundtrack

Press Release: Junk’s New Album Release Double Soundtrack

 

Dallas, Texas rock trio JUNK, fronted by actor Billy Blair, has unleashed the full details from their upcoming debut release. Their new EP, entitled ‘Double Soundtrack’, was released on Friday, January 5th, 2018. Junk recently inked a worldwide deal with Zombie Shark Records, the new record label from Noah “Shark” Robertson (Motograter, The Browning).

JUNK is fronted by guitarist and vocalist, Billy Blair (Surgeon General, Mother Truckin Skull Diggers, Earshot, Love Stricken Demise) who is also a prolific actor and has appeared in such films as Machete, Machete Kills, The Last Stand, Jonah Hex, and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.
Blair landed a role in Alita: Battle Angel, an upcoming American science fiction action film based on Yukito Kishiro’s Battle Angel Alita manga, set to be released on July 20, 2018.

The three-piece is rounded out by bassist and vocalist, Benjamin K. Bachman (Never Mind The Darkness, Zativah Kid), who has also produced various solo albums and material for the film, and drummer Brian “Boog Nasty” (July Alley, Shadow Reichenstein).

Blair states, “We are beyond pleased to be a part of a label that believes in its bands and has our backs.. and that label is Zombie Shark Records! Horror movies and rock n roll in a gift bag!”

The band takes influence from a wide range of artists such as Billy Idol, SOUNDGARDEN, Danzig, INXS, Doobie Brothers, and Alice In Chains and has shared the stage with bands such as Skid Row, Dokken, Faster Pussycat, and Steel Panther.

Artwork for ‘Double Soundtrack’ provided by Ashley Box.

Watch the band’s latest official music video for “Pop Rock Genocide” here:

Order ‘Double Soundtrack’ at www.zombieshark.net
www.zombiesharkrecords.com | www.facebook.com/Junktx

 

 

FRIGHTENING FLIX BY KBATZ: Recent Horror Ladies

Recent Lady Horrors

By Kristin Battestella

 

These contemporary pictures provide a little bit of everything for our would be ladies in peril – be it camp, scares, ghosts, or morose thrills.

 

The Love Witch – Artist, witch, and murderess Samantha Robinson’s (Doomsday Device) romantic spells go awry in this 2016 comedy written and directed by costumer/producer/Jill of all trades Anna Biller (Viva). Rear projection drives and teal eye shadow establish the tongue in cheek aesthetics while cigarette smoke, colorful lighting schemes, purple capes, and nude rituals accent flashbacks and sardonic narrations. Magic has cured our dame Elaine’s nervous breakdown after her husband’s death, and she’s starting fresh in a quirky tarot themed apartment inside a sweet California Victorian complete with a bemusing chemistry set for making potions with used tampons. Kaleidoscopes, rainbow liners inside dark retro clothing, blurred lenses, and spinning cameras reflect the “vodka and hallucinogenic herbs” as magic bottles, local apothecaries, and pentagram rugs set off the pink hat and tea room pastiche. Our ladies are so cordial when not plotting to steal the other’s husband! Her dad was cruel, her husband had an attitude, and her magic guru is in it for the sex, but she’s spent her life doing everything to please men in a quest for her own fairy tale love. When is Elaine going to get what she wants? She’s tired of letting the childlike men think they are in control, but she puts on the fantasy each man wants nonetheless, impressing a literary professor with her libertine references as the to the camera elocution and intentionally over the top Valley acting mirrors the courting facade. Psychedelic stripteases tantalize the boys onscreen, but the actresses are not exploited, winking at the customary for male titillation while instead providing the viewer with a sinister, if witty nature and classic horror visuals. Different female roles as defined by their patriarchal connections are addressed as ugly old eager dudes tell matching blonde twins that stripping or a rapacious sex ritual will be empowering – because a woman can’t be content in herself or embrace sexuality on her own terms unless there is a man to ogle her – while our man eater must break a guy down to the emotional baby he really is for her gain. It isn’t Elaine’s fault if men can’t handle her love! A man not in love can be objective while one wanting sex will excuse anything, and the shrew wife or female black subordinate are put out to pasture for an alluring white woman – layering the women in the workplace and racial commentaries as similar looking ladies must switch roles to keep their man. Tense evidence creates somber moments amid police inquiries, toxicology reports, and occult research – so long as the casework doesn’t interfere with their lunch order, that is. Is this woman really a witch or just a bewitching killer in both senses of the word? Is it batting her eyelashes lightheartedness or is she really an abused, delusional girl masking her trauma as a blessed be? The serious topics with deceptive undercurrents and feminist statements will be preachy and heavy handed for most male audiences with uneven pacing and confusing intercuts. However the fake blood in the bathtub, renaissance faire ruses, and melodramatic humor combine for a modern Buffy trippy satire dressed as a retro gothic That Girl homage that takes more than one viewing to fully appreciate.

 

My Cousin Rachel – Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener), Holliday Grainger (The Borgias), Ian Glen (Game of Thrones), and Simon Russell Beale (The Hollow Crown) begin this 2017 Daphne du Maurier mystery with happy strolls on the beach and fun bachelor times be it lovely greenery, carriages in the snow, or reading by the fire. The epistle narration gives a hear tell on the titular marriage via secret letters recounting illness and a wife forbidding correspondence before final, unfortunate news leaves the estates to heir Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) on his next birthday – not the unseen widow said to be so strong and passionate. She’s a suspicious enigma for the first twenty minutes before a cross cut conversation introduces the charismatic storyteller, where the audience isn’t sure who is more uncomfortable or telling the truth despite the captivation. Divine mourning gowns, black satin, and lace veils add to the half-Italian allure amid more period accessories, libraries, old fashioned farming, candles, and top hats. Between would be scandalous horseback rides, church whispers, and awkward tea times, our once vengeful youth is smitten by Rachel’s progressive charm. Interesting conversations on femininity break Victorian taboos, for childbirth is the only thing a man knows about a woman and if she has a foreign remedy she must be a witch. Is Rachel wrapping her wealthy cousin around her finger? Can she when he is forbidding her work giving Italian lessons? Rachel is dependent on his allowance, and at times they both seem to be recreating the late benefactor and husband between them – the awkward new master wearing the dead man’s clothes and she the woman he didn’t think he needed. Such romance and heirloom Christmas gifts could be healing for them both, but viewers except the other gothic shoe to drop amid holiday generosity, seasonal feasts, and group songs. Overdrafts at the bank, raised allowances, a history of previous lovers and duels – Rachel puts on her finest grieving widow pity with a child lost and an unsigned will that would leave her everything. Is she orchestrating a careful seduction or is he a foolishly infatuated puppy despite clauses about remarriage or who predeceases whom? The ominous nib etching on the parchment leads to cliffside shocks, birthday saucy, blundered engagements, drunken visions, and poisonous plants. The suspicions turn with new illnesses and financial dependence, as Rachel goes out on the town and says what she does is nobody’s business. After all, why can’t she have a life of her own if the estate is now hers? Why should her independence be defined by a man’s piece of paper? We relate to Rachel, but she can only cry wolf and fall back on her sob story so many times… While this isn’t as creepy as it could be – audiences expecting horror will find the pace slow – the drama and mood are well done amid the wrong conclusions and written revelations. Were the suspicions warranted? The finale may not be satisfactory to some, but the unanswered questions and ultimate doubt remain fitting. 

 

What say you, Addicts?

A Dark Song – Psalm warnings, beautiful skyscapes, and an old house with no heating paid for up front set this 2016 Irish tale amid the train station arrivals and others backing out on this specific plan with west facing rooms, twenty-two week diets, and purified participants having no alcohol or sex. More fasting, dusk to dawn timetables, serious interviews on why, and reluctant rules of the procedure build the cryptic atmosphere as the price for this dangerous ritual rises – speaking to a dead child isn’t some silly astral projection, angel psychobabble bollocks, basic Kabbalah, or easy Gnosticism you can find on the internet. The isolated manor with salt circles and invocations feels seventies cult horror throwback, however the metaphysical talk and extreme meditation bring modern realism as tense arguing, religious doubts, and questions on right or wrong match the bitterness toward the outside world. Hallucinations, sleep deprivation, and vomiting increase while physical cleansings and elemental phases require more candles and blood sacrifices. Some of the slow establishing and ritual minutia could have been trimmed in favor of more on the spooky half truths, suspect motives, need to be pure, and distorted state of mind. Black birds hitting the windows and missing mementos don’t seem to get the waiting for angels and forgiveness rituals very far for the amount of time that has passed, and heavy handed music warns us when something is going on even as more should be happening. A third character also seeking something he cannot find may have added another dynamic rather than two extremists getting nowhere, and short attention span audiences won’t wait for something to appear in those first uneven forty minutes. After all, with these symbols painted on the body and awkward sex rituals, wouldn’t one suspect this is just some kind of scam? Untold information, vengeance, backwards baptisms, near death extremes, and knife injuries meander on the consuming guilt and mystical visions before demons in disguise make for an obvious finale treading tires when the true angels, spirits, and goodness revelations were there all along. Maybe more seasoned hands were needed at the helm or a second eye to fix the pacing and genre flaws, for the quality pieces suffer amid the bleakness. This really shouldn’t be labeled as a horror movie, but it doesn’t capitalize on its potential as a psychological examination and surreal stages of grief metaphor either.

 

Skip It!

Shut In – Widowed Maine psychologist Naomi Watts (The Ring) is trapped in a storm while being haunted by little Jacob Tremblay (Room) in this 2016 international but already problematic PG-13 paint-by-numbers crammed with the isolated blonde, ghosts, kids horrors, weather perils, and one spooky basement. Accidents and home movies on the cell phone also laden the start before the lakeside locales, snowy blankets, and paraplegic burdens. The grief and inability to care for an invalid teen is understandable, and our step-mom considers sending him to a facility. However, the frazzled woman increasingly replacing her sick son with a younger therapy patient and the creepy temptations on holding the invalid under the bath water become hollow thanks to the obligatory it was just a dream jump cuts. Unnecessary technology and time wasting glances at watches and clocks are also intrusive – the camera focuses on dialing 911 with the finger poised over the send button and intercutting person to person like a traditional phone call flows much better than up close Skype screens. Weatherman warnings and news reports as the research montage lead to flashlights outside, icy footprints, and car alarms, but again the tension falls back on textbook raccoon scares with round and round scenes outside in the snow or inside on the phone doing little. Maybe one doesn’t think straight in the panic, but most of those frosty searches include shouting for a deaf mute boy who can’t hear you nor answer back. The psychology is also common fluff, i.e. teens have difficulty with divorce, you don’t say – Skyping Oliver Platt (Chicago Med) provides better therapy, so we know what’s going to happen to his character! Besides, all the shadows in the hallway, hidden wall panels, unexplained scratches, locked doors opening by themselves, and ghostly little hands in the bedroom yet the women still end up talking about a man. Fading in and out transitions mirror the sleeping pills and drinking, but such shifts break the world immersion before the storm even hits. When the doctor says her bloodwork indicates she’s being drugged, mom doesn’t even care – because the twist is for the audience not the main character. Lanterns, black out attacks, and video evidence right before the power failure could be good, but random people arrive despite blocked roads and the oedipal sociopath jealously provides a dumb chase finale as the stalker conveniently sing songs “Hush Little Baby” so we know where he is when he’s coming for you. Good thing that foreboding blizzard talked about the entire movie stops in time for the lakeside happy ending that apparently has no legal, medical, or parental consequences.

David’s Haunted Library: Low

Life wasn’t going well for police officer Mark Adams, his marriage was on the rocks and he was fed up with the limitations of his job. He was tired of busting criminals just to see them return to the streets to wreak havoc. Officer Adams respects the law and has high moral standards but there are some people who deal with the law that have lower standards.

Chad Bigleby is a lawyer who would be considered a shade of grey when it comes to morals. He is married and has a couple of mistresses, he has a son out of wedlock and he would do anything for him. This includes blackmailing someone so he can get a big pay day.  What Chad doesn’t know is he is about to be held accountable for all his sins because something evil has arrived in town and its going to put Chad and Mark on the path to a dark destiny that will change their worlds.

Low by  Mike Duke is half philosophical horror and half police drama. Off the bat I have to give this book credit for being original, I loved how it makes you think. People that normally don’t read horror novels look at them and think they’re for dumb people with sick minds. This opinion probably comes from the fact that there are so many bad horror movies out there. Horror literature on the other hand is totally different from horror movies and Low shows what kind of messages can come through in a good horror novel.

This book is all about morality and the consequences that come when you make the wrong choices. In Low we see some bad people being punished for their sins but we also meet characters who are shades of grey and what they go through when they cross the line. The bad guys in this book have their good side as well but they still have to suffer for their choices.

If you’re more into crime stories than horror you get that from Low. Even if I didn’t read Mike Duke’s biography before reading this book I would have figured out that he worked as a police officer. There is a lot of detail in the story on police procedure and the kind of things police officers see on a day to day basis. For me that’s where the book dragged a little, I felt some of the police scenes could have been cut out but at the same time it added a little depth to the story.

My favorite parts of Low was watching how the characters dealt with temptation, we see what Mark Adams does when faced with the opportunity to cheat on his wife. Even more interesting to me though was seeing how chad’s wife Sam acted when she realizes what her husband is really like. Though she isn’t a huge part of the book I loved Sam’s character. At first she is presented as someone who can’t handle the world she lives in but when faced with a crisis we see her as a strong person. She also has my favorite scene in the book when she gives her views on what Zombies represent in horror movies.  The best part of Low for me wasn’t the story or the characters, it was the messages that it was trying to get across.

CometTV.Com January Viewing Guide

Check out the new Horror/SciFi network! CometTV.com is a digi-network which people can watch via antenna and/or streaming live via the web. It’s the home for the best in classic horror and sci-fi films showing some of the most unique and rare genre content including films rarely seen from the MGM library.

AIRING ON COMET in January

YOU DON’T NEED A SUBSCRIPTION TO WATCH THESE GREAT
MOVIES…
THEY’RE AIRING FOR FREE ON COMET!

Edgar Allan Poe DOUBLE FEATURES
Need to warm up on the cold Winter Wednesdays? Look no further than
COMET’s brand new 2-hour block of Edgar Allan Poe programming. Each
Wednesday evening at 6P/5C, catch the Tomahawk Man’s most beloved
creations, including The Raven and Tales of Terror.
Airing Wednesday Nights at 6P/5C throughout January, check schedule at
CometTV.com
Premature Burial (1962)
Wednesday, January 10 at 6P/5C
Tales of Terror (1962)
Wednesday, January 10 at 8P/7C
The Raven (1963)
Wednesday, January 17 at 6P/5C
The Haunted Place (1963)
Wednesday, January 17 at 8P/7C
Masque of the Red Death (1964)
Wednesday, January 24 at 6P/5C
The Tomb of Ligeia (1965)
Wednesday, January 24 at 8P/7C
The Oblong Box (1969)
Wednesday, January 31 at 6P/5C
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
Wednesday, January 31 at 8P/7C

The Craft (1996)
Teen movies might want you to believe that high school was all about keggers
and beautiful cheerleaders, but we prefer The Craft’s version of events. Featuring
a quartet of angsty teens who turn to witchcraft in the face of personal high
school horrors, The Craft casts a spell that leaves you wishing you had an occult
stor on your local main street.
Friday, January 12 at 8P/7C
Saturday, January 13 at 8P/7C
Sunday, January 21 at 6P/5C
Monday, January 22 at 8P/7C

FILMS ON COMET IN JANUARY
Labyrinth (1986)
January will mark the second anniversary of the day we lost pop culture legend
David Bowie, so this month’s COMET is honoring his memory in the best way we
coul think of …. by screening one of the most iconic roles of his career. Back in
1986, Bowie stole the show as the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, from
the music to the costumes, this was Bowie at his best.
Friday, January 19 at 8P/7C
Saturday, January 20 at 8P/7C
Saturday, January 27 at 5:30P/6:30C
Tuesday, January 30 at 6P/7C

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
Could there be a better way to shake off the post-holiday blues than with the
adventures of Elvis in all his hip shaking and breaking glory? Of course not,
which is exactly why you should be tuning in to watch Bubba Ho-Tep on COMET
this January.
Friday, January 26 at 8P/7C
Saturday, January 27 at 8P/7C
Sunday, January 28 at 2P/1C

January Theme Weeks
Airing weekdays at 4P/3C throughout January, check schedule at
CometTV.com
Killer Creature Movies (1/1 – 1/5)
Outer Space Movies (1/8 – 1/12)
Rubber-Suit Monster Movies (1/15 – 1/19)
Dystopian Movies (1/22 – 1/26)

January Friday Night Movies
Friday Primetime Movie 8P/7C
Saturday Encore Presentation 8P/7C
The Dark Half (1993)
Friday, January 5 at 8P/7C
The Craft (1996)
Friday, January 12 at 8P/7C
Labyrinth (1986)
Friday, January 19 at 8P/7C
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
Friday, January 26 at 8P/7C

SERIES ON COMET IN January 2018

Andromeda
Classic Space Opera is coming to COMET! Based on materials from sci-fi legend
Gene Roddenberry, Andromeda stars all action hero Kevin Sorbo as the Captain
of the Andromeda Ascendant, a highly advanced ship whose crew is charged
with restoring power and stability to the Systems Commonwealth. But, to
succeed the Andromeda crew must battle one of sci-fi’s weirdest looking bad
guys….the sinister Magog!
Weekdays at 2P/1C and 10P/9C

Stargate: Atlantis
If you thought gate-hopping action was fun in the Milky Way, just wait until you
see what it’s like in the Pegasus Galaxy. Stargate: Atlantis sees a team of
international scientists unlocking the secrets of a legendary ancient city,
discovering a whole new stargate network in a whole new galaxy, and bringing
them face to face with the Wraith, a powerful enemy who are best summed up
with the term & Evil Space Vampires!
Weekdays at 3P/2C and 11P/10C