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#28 October 2011 www.fright-club.co.uk
Z I NE
How to Spend Your Halloween DISCOUNT OFFERS INSIDE! King of the Dead George A. Romero Feature
E V I S U L C X E COVER: INTERVIEW WITH THE HOLDING FILMMAKERS
Content only suitable for those 18 years or older
A. Dream Queens B. Scream Queens C. Extreme Queens
on to www.fright-club. log is do to ed ne u yo l Al wing question: co.uk and answer the follo actresses the chance to win Which US TV show allowed ? roles in Saw 6 and SAW 3D
COLLECTION WIN THE SAW 1-7 BLU-RAYAP HD! IN S R T E H T F O L AL E SE
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THE LONDON DUNGEON PR
HELLOWEEN 2011 – STINGY JACK IS BACK!
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hear your thoughts on Raimi on our Facebook page.
Claire Richardson, Editor Happy Halloween 2011 everyone!
On the DVD and Blu-ray front we’re taking a look at the work of the godfather of the Zombie genre, George A. Romero, as he steps in front of the camera to present two new horror anthologies, the Deadtime Stories – Volume 1 available now and Volume 2 coming in February 2012.
With this being the season of all things creepy and macabre, we Welcome to the latest issue of Fright also take a look at the histories Club magazine and, my my, we have and legends of Vampires and of some terrifying treats for you to Witchcraft in film to get us all into savour in the lead up to Halloween. the Halloween mood. There may be no new Saw movie this year :-( but that doesn’t mean So, enjoy, visit us on Facebook and that Fright Club fans will be lacking don’t forget that budding writers in horror fodder this year, oh no-no- can get in touch and have their no. We wouldn’t do that to you. articles/stories included in the magazine – just e-mail frightclub@ In this issue we’re taking a look at lionsgatefilms.co.uk one of the icons of not just horror, but of film-dom in general: Sam Until next time fright fans... Raimi. Whilst we wait with baited breath for his upcoming offering to Claire the genre we all love, we take a look at some of his best work, we’d love to
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C o ntributors
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Sam Raimi: “A dark spirit has come upon you” Page 4 ________________________________________________________ by Russ Gomm
George A. Romero: King of the Dead Page 14 ________________________________________________________ by Jake Mackintosh Holding Their Own Page 20 ________________________________________________________ by Diane Bartholomew A Question of Faith Page 25 ________________________________________________________ by P M Buchan The Legend of Vampires Page 29 ________________________________________________________ by Kevin Richardson
Diane Bartholomew P M Buchan
Design & creative production by www.globaltatproductions.com Layout by Steven Smith email@example.com We want your horror stories! To not represent or endorse such contribute reviews, stories, images advertisements, views, opinions, or anything else please contact or statements. firstname.lastname@example.org Lions Gate UK Limited Fright Club Magazine contains 60 Charlotte Street advertisements, views, opinions, London, W1T 2NU and statements of the individuals participating herein. Lions Gate © 2011 Lions Gate Home UK Limited and its affiliates do Entertainment UK Ltd.
How to Spend your Halloween ________________________________________________________ By Diane Bartholomew Page 34 Horror Franchises: Probable Sequels and Inevitable Crossovers ________________________________________________________ By Mark Bowsher Page 38 Page Top 10 Buffy Monsters ________________________________________________________ By Jake Mackintosh Page 43 Vampires Don’t Suck ________________________________________________________ By Claire RichardsonEastbourne – the New Home of Hor- Page 49 ror? 34 Master and Victim set report. By Mark Bowsher Top 10 Most Cringe-Worthy Saw Traps
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“A d a r k s p i r i t h a s come upon you p e r h a p s s o m e o ne h a s cursed you” By Russ Gomm
Sam Raimi is a true master of horror, and one whose career many have followed from the early gore filled days of ‘The Evil Dead’ to his genre return with ‘Drag Me To Hell’. With constant debate about what projects he will tackle next there is always a huge wealth of love for him and the films he creates (producing as well as directing). Curses have been a recurring theme in films he has been involved with and so to tie in with this month’s issue I thought it would be good to go back and find out a little more about the man and the movies.
horror films. The poster for ‘Drag Me To Hell’ is also plastered with the words “The scariest movie of the decade”, which although a very fitting critical review, would have looked a lot better alongside “from Sam Raimi the director of The Evil Dead” surely? Small points aside, ‘Drag Me To Hell’ certainly is one of the most entertaining and shocking horror films of recent years and has a firm grasp on how to deal horrific ideas of curses at tormented viewers. Tormented is a word that will come up often when thinking about the director who has a child-like glee when I always found it strange that the dealing out punishment to both poster for Drag Me To Hell came his actors and audiences. with the selling point “from Sam Raimi the director of SpiderMan”. To some, Mr. Raimi is known best for his work on the Spider-Man trilogy, but for most (and no doubt everyone reading this) he is a director of mad, macabre and darkly amusing
he is a director of mad, macabre and darkly amusing
“Lights! Camera! Scream!” Sam Raimi on the set of Drag Me to Hell
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‘Drag Me To Hell’ is just one of several films that I am going to look at with regard to curses, but before we get into that I would like to take a look back and find out a little more about the man himself. Sam Raimi was born in Royal Oak, Michigan just before Halloween, on 23rd October 1959. Growing up on a steady diet of comedy and westerns, it didn’t take long for the young Raimi to get the filmmaking bug. One of his biggest loves, and indeed influences, was ‘The Three
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Stooges’ which contained a vast amount of slapstick comedy and visual gags that Raimi continues to employ himself even today. It was Scott Spiegel (director of From Dusk Till Dawn 2:Texas Blood Money and Hostel: Part III) who introduced Sam to the world of horror films. Scott was the horror film fan but also a keen follower of the crazy escapades of ‘The Three Stooges’ and a filmmaker himself so the pair had plenty in common. Along with fellow friend Bruce Campbell, the group began to grow into a filmmaking team with
Scott Spiegel ’s From Dusk ‘Til Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money
the addition of Robert G. Tapert, Josh Becker, John Cameron and In 1979, soon after ‘Clockwork’, two of the Raimi brothers – Ted the group shot their first all out and Ivan. horror film Within The Woods. The production consisted of Raimi as By the late 1970s, this group director, Tapert as producer and of intrepid super 8 filmmakers Campbell as actor. The film cost had come a long way. Between $1,600 and took six days to shoot them they had written, produced, and was designed as a calling card directed and starred in close to to investors for their upcoming fifty short films and started their planned feature film. The three journey on the path that would partners in Renaissance Pictures lead them all to feature film (Raimi, Tapert and Campbell) making. At the end of the 70s bought briefcases and suits to two short films paved the way meet with potential investors and for what would come next. ‘It’s screen their thirty-minute mini Murder’ (1978) and ‘Clockwork’ horror epic. They soon raised a (1979) were the films that made budget of $85,000 and headed to them realise that it was time to the woods of Tennessee to make step up the game and that making movie history with The Evil Dead. something bigger might actually be possible. It is interesting to note at this point that during the late 70s both Scott Spiegel and Josh Becker made super 8 short films that would be re-made as their first feature films. Spiegel with ‘The Night Crew’ (1979), which he later made into the feature ‘Intruder’ (1989) and Becker with ‘Stryker’s War’ (1980), which became the feature ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill…Except’ (1985). Raimi appeared in quite substantial acting roles in all four films.
To the woods of Tennessee to make movie history
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“I know now that my wife has become host to a Kandarian demon. I fear that the only way to stop those possessed by the spirits of the book is through the act of... bodily dismemberment.”
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in Gruelling Horror’ is certainly well deserved. Especially for a film that still stands up strong today, thirty years later.
The film was both a curse and blessing to the filmmakers ‘The Evil Dead’ (1981) became themselves. Whilst it threw Sam Raimi’s first feature film and them into the limelight and the first of many to contain the started several fantastic careers horrific element of curses. it was also a production that was The self-promoted title of demanding and painful for all ‘the Ultimate Experience involved. The The tripods have come a long way since Evil Dead
film went wildly over budget and schedule and when you read stories about the making of the film you realise how much these young individuals invested of themselves to bring the film to completion. The story itself deals with a group of youngsters staying in a cabin in the woods who stumble across the ‘Book of the Dead’ and a tape recording which recites words in an ancient language. These cursed words unleash demons that proceed to possess the living and cause havoc (in many of the films excessively gory but
beautifully constructed scenes). This ancient curse unleashed a new kind of terror onto both the characters
and the audiences watching. The graphic nature of the film pushed it to becoming one of the first films to be labelled as a ‘Video Nasty’ in the UK and led to an outright ban. When the film finally surfaced on VHS it was heavily cut. Raimi was even flown over to this country to testify in court regarding the contents of the film! Interestingly, the cursed words on the tape can actually be easily translated to meaning ‘Sam and Rob are the hitch-hikers on the road’ – a sly in joke which highlights the cameo from the pair in the opening scenes of the film.
When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage, a curse is born. After ‘The Evil Dead’ it took a long time for Raimi to return to directing a true horror picture (That’s not counting ‘Evil Dead II’ due to such a humorous tone)
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with ‘Drag Me To Hell’ in 2009. 28 years is a long time to be away. However, whilst Raimi was off directing big Hollywood projects such as ‘Spider-Man’ (2002) he was still keeping a hand in the horror. Ghost House Pictures was formed (with Rob Tapert) as a production company for independent horror films. They created many good titles, but it was when they teamed up with Columbia Pictures that the curses began to surface again…
Raimi uses his trademark mix of humour and horror “When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage... a curse is born. The curse gathers in that place of death. Those who encounter it will be consumed by its fury.” In 2004 ‘The Grudge’ was unleashed upon a mostly unsuspecting audience (some of us had been witness to the original Japanese film Ju-On) with Sam
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Raimi on board as Producer. The project stemmed from a love by Raimi for the original film. On the commentary track for ‘Ju-On’ Raimi and Spiegel share their love of the film but it is an interesting comment from Raimi that tells all. “When I saw this movie I thought “Oh my god, I’m being schooled now on horror.” It’s been a long time since someone really had a good lesson to teach me about horror films and that’s exactly what this director Takashi Shimizu had to teach me! I’ve got to go back to school and learn the basics of suspense and scares and creep because this guy’s got it.” The whole cycle of films began in 2000 with ‘Ju-On: The Curse’, a direct-to-video Japanese film. This was followed by a TV sequel and then the two original Japanese films ‘Ju-On: The Grudge (2002) and ‘Ju-On: The Grudge 2’ (2003). It wasn’t long before Raimi brought the original director Shimizu to America to work on his own remake. The film deals with a disturbingly evil and horrifying curse that resides in a house where a murder took place. Anyone who enters the house soon becomes a victim of
Face for Radio: Raimi’s Return to Horror with Drag me to Hell the seemingly unstoppable curse. The films are all deeply unsettling and all out scary in their dealings with how a curse originates and then becomes devastating and all consuming. Before filming began on The Grudge the cast and crew of the production all took part in a ceremony where they were blessed so nothing bad could happen to them during the filming. This was probably a good idea when creating a film with such a disturbing and evil nature. Curses
have sometimes been known to befall crews creating such films. The film had such a surprise success at the U.S. Box Office (taking more than $39 million in the opening weekend) that the sequel was green lit on the Monday. ‘The Grudge 2’ once again resurrected the cursed and vengeful spirits from the previous films. Shimizu and Raimi returned, creating another disturbing and horrific vision of an evil curse unleashed on anyone who becomes involved with the ‘haunted house’. These
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two American films are among some of the most well known and extremely popular horror films dealing with the subject of curses. ‘The Grudge 3’ directed by Toby Wilkins (‘Splinter’) became the final entry in the series (so far) but was lacking in the names and production talents of Raimi and Tapert and didn’t stand up to the other two films. At this time Raimi was busy putting together his return to true horror… “ You’d be surprised what you’ll be willing to do, when the Lamia comes for you.” Drag Me To Hell was the film we had all been waiting for. Any fan of the work of Raimi would watch all of his films from any genre, but we all secretly hoped and prayed for his return to the genre which we started out in. In 2009 we were all rewarded. As soon as word began to spread that Raimi was returning to horror everyone become interested. It was no surprise that his latest film would deal once again with the terrors of a curse.
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humour and horror here to great effect. At times the film recaptures the magic and absurdity of The Evil Dead II while remaining dark and scary. In the film Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) refuses a loan to a gypsy woman - Mrs Ganush - so that she can get ahead in her job. Christine soon realises that she has fallen victim to a curse that will send her to hell after three days of escalating torment. Raimi here uses elements of the curse to give us big laughs and big scares, but also to torment us, just as the main character is tormented.
dust off the old morality tale and turn it into a feature screenplay
Sam and his brother Ivan originally wrote Drag Me To Hell as a short story many years before in 1989. It was in more recent years that the brothers decided to dust off the old morality tale and turn it into a Raimi uses his trademark mix of feature length screenplay and film.
The film itself went into production soon after, under the title ‘The Curse’. The film became wildly popular after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and gaining much critical acclaim. Success was gained after the film made over $90 million in theatres worldwide and once again brought Sam Raimi’s visions of curses to huge mainstream audiences. With regard to the success of the picture, Sam has stated that “What I want is for the audience to laugh, jump, scream, grab their girlfriend and feel they really had a great time at the end of that hour and a half. That’s how I’d measure the success of this film.” “She’s a God damn witch! She’s putting spells on every-damn-body in town!” Now a typical curse is an appeal for a supernatural power to cause great harm, but people often use the term to describe an element that has a great effect. This idea is used in many other Raimi films. In Darkman (1990) scientist Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson) has created a synthetic skin but it only remains stable for ninety-nine minutes in the light. After being horribly burnt and blown up the scientist re-invents
himself as Darkman, using his own creation of the skin to gain revenge on those who ‘killed’ him. Peyton has been cursed to live in the dark, away from his loved ones and the life he once had in this energetic but sad tale. It is a similar situation with Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in Spider-Man (2002) – the bite of a spider changes his life and he is cursed to live out a different life while not being able to tell anyone who he really is. The last lines of this amazing superhero movie explain this idea further in a typical Sam Raimi final voice-over – “With great power comes great responsibility. This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-man.” On the subject of gifts and curses, if we look at the horror/ drama that Raimi created with The Gift (2000) we can see another cursed character. Annie Wilson (Cate Blanchett) is a clairvoyant who is asked to help the police in a missing person case. Her ‘gift’ of psychic powers soon becomes her curse as her visions become stronger and more horrific. As a producer, Raimi has given us Boogeyman 2005). Tim (Barry Watson) is a man trying to deal with the terror that has affected his life since childhood. The evil that haunted him when he was younger has relentlessly cursed his
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Nightwatch (and the 1994 life, Danish original), helms the film causing him a great with Raimi producing. Currently fear of the dark. in post-production and set for a theatrical release in January 2012, Although these films don’t directly the film once again deals with an evil deal with verbal curses, they are still curse – only this time it’s based on a dealing with human characters who true story! have all been affected and ‘cursed’ in some terrifying way. But, dear horror The film will tell the story of a fans, it doesn’t end there. Ever heard young girl who buys an antique box, of the Dibbuk box? unaware that it contains a malicious ancient spirit. Her family must then “We have definitely seen a tidal wave find a way to stop the curse that has of bad luck.” been put on their child. Not much more is known about the film at The Possession (previously titled this point, however the basis of this ‘Dibbuk Box’– and not to be confused story is set in reality and deals with with Haxan Films upcoming horror the purchase of the ‘Dibbuk box’ movie ‘Lovely Molly’ previously on eBay. The screenplay is based titled ‘The Possession’) is the next film on the L.A. Times article by Leslie from Sam Raimi and Ghost House Gornstein entitled ‘Jinx In The Box’ Pictures. Ole Bornedal, director of and tells the story of the haunted the 1997 Ewan McGregor thriller box after the first eBay auction.
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Hopefully the film will once again According to research, the box was return Raimi to true horror. purchased in Spain by a Polish Holocaust survivor and when she “It’s useless! Useless! In time it will come died at 103 the box was sold at for him and then it will come for you!” auction. Her granddaughter told that the box was never opened as With a long list of genre titles in it housed an evil spirit from Jewish production, from producing Fede folklore called a Dybbuk. The Alvarez’s remake of The Evil Dead new buyer chose to open the box and our own Neil Marshall’s Burst however, and inside found two 1920s 3D to directing Oz: The Great pennies, two locks of hair, a small And Powerful with the looming statue with Hebrew engravings, one possibility that he will still give us dried rosebud, one golden wine cup The Evil Dead 4, it seems that Sam and one black cast iron candlestick Raimi still has one foot strongly in holder. The box has been sold again the genre that he helped to define several times and numerous owners all those years ago. Like I said at have reported strange phenomena the beginning, Sam is a man who from their purchase. Every owner likes to torment his characters and of the box has reported the smell of audiences so I am sure it won’t be ammonia and nightmares involving long before he delights and punishes an old hag. us with another great horror film. After all, the man does stand by his This intriguing tale would make an words – “I like it when the audience interesting article on its own and will screams… when they jump, it’s a surely make for a dark and disturbing surface reaction – a cheap thrill – film, especially in the hands of Mr. but I like the fact that they jump… I Raimi. For those with a keen interest like to know a secret that they don’t in the supernatural it might be worth know. They don’t know it’s coming, a visit to www.dibbukbox.com to but I do.” find out more about this strange curse and to see pictures of the box Possession will be hitting UK itself. The full details of the story and cinemas in 2012 the events surrounding the box are certainly very creepy and disturbing.
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Ge orge A . rome ro:
ki ng of th e dead
By Jake Mackintosh Ever since Russell Streiner crept between the headstones taunting “They’re coming to get you Barbara” in 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero has been firmly cemented as the unquestionable godfather of zombies. To celebrate the release of Romero’s ‘Deadtime Stories’ we’ve decided to take a look back at the zombie in film and Romero’s astounding contribution to the most gruesome, poignant and affecting of horror sub-genres. Romero is to zombies what Scorsese is to the gangster genre or Michael Bay is to... erm… movies about alien robots. To mention one, is to suggest the other. The zombie movie simply would not be what it is today without him. Romero’s six Dead series offerings spanning forty two years, from Night of the Living Dead through to Survival of the Dead have inspired and influenced generations of filmmakers and spawned a slew of imitators (mostly slightly unconventional pornography) that range from the cult hit Dawn-inspired RomZomCom Shaun of the Dead, Peter Jackson’s splatterfest Braindead, fast zombie behemoth 28 Days Later right through to Tokyo Zombie, a (dare
I use the term) asiansploitation pastiche that follows two martial arts wannabes who try to survive the zombie apocalypse by using jujitsu. George A. Romero has used his body of work to shine a light back on American society and satirise its foibles. Night of the Living Dead used a black protagonist, Ben (Duane Jones) a common occurrence in Romero films (whether intentional or not) who bucks the horror trend of dying early to become the lone survivor only to be killed by a lynch mob who mistake him for one of the undead.Dawn of the Dead (1978), Romero’s zombie masterpiece highlights a growing consumerist
Not a real King and not Dead, but damn Scary!!
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culture in America. These ideas track right through to some of the more recent films such as Land of the Dead which puts these sub-textual ideas onto a grander scale and examine issues of class structure and the rich-poor divide. Finally, after decades scratching around making his films to tighter budgets this visionary has in the last five years been given the budgets he deserves to continue exploring more and more adventurous movies surrounding the zombie apocalypse and extend his Dead series from one to six. He began, years ago, making commercials and public information films and has aged into one of the most influential horror figures in history… And he was pioneer of the slow zombie.
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I might be a biased überfan but I have to agree with the Fresh Pegg.The most harrowing element of the zombie as a horror monster is death – the end. For all the howling werewolves and cloaked vampires sparkling in the Pacific northwest, when all our memories fade all that is left is our ultimate fear. Death. They are so effective because they are reflections of us. They represent death, quite literally re-animated, and call me a cynic but as illnesses go death is pretty exhausting. Simon Pegg (debating Dead Set): “The best phantasmagoria uses reality to render the inconceivable conceivable. The speedy zombie seems implausible to me, even within the fantastic realm it inhabits. A biological agent, I’ll buy. Some sort of super-virus? Sure, why not. But death? Death is a disability, not a superpower. It’s hard to run with a cold, let alone the most debilitating malady of them all.”
This is something I must address. For every self-respecting zombie fan this is a no contest. Slow zombies trump fast zombies every time. In reality (or the pseudo reality of the zombie apocalypse) slow zombies are the only The vague sci-fi logic attached to option. zombification states that an animated corpse maintains basic motor function, Simon Pegg (debating Dead Set): just enough to shuffle about a mall, “I know it is absurd to debate the rules of a farmhouse or other convenient film reality that does not exist, but this genuinely setting and pose a realistic threat in large irks me. You cannot kill a vampire with numbers. They don’t have the brain an MDF stake; werewolves can’t fly; power to meander, amble, saunter or zombies do not run. It’s a misconception, even skip - let alone run. Lecture over. a bastardisation that diminishes a classic There are pros to the cavalcade of fast movie monster.” zombies littering the cinema screens. The acerbic Charlie Brooker’s Dead
Set was a simple and yet intelligent piece of television that uses the framing device of the reality game show Big Brother as a basis for the outbreak.The resounding success of 28 Day’s Later tends to paper over my shaky fan-boy logic. They heighten the pace and tension of these offerings. They induce an immediate sense of action that has become vital in modern horror. Yet it’s not always the answer and actually runs opposed to the logic of the zombie. Romero films use them as a satirical thematic tool pines for the shuffling undead. They are soulless creatures, to be feared for being dead more than being animalistic flesh-eaters and pitied for their lack of humanity.These ghosts of former human beings are mere shells missing that which gives us intelligence, personality and some semblance of the soul. They are the perfect reflection for a vapid society. In fact Brooker’s Dead Set’s finest moment is in the ending. When the set is overrun and all of the characters are dead our now zombie heroine is trapped in the house staring down the lens of a CCTV camera being watched by another zombie on the television screen.This moment comes in the most serene of scenes devoid of any running zombies, a real nod to the Romero model of zombies.A true fan will always prefer slow over fast but innovation is part and parcel of the craft, without it
Romero would not have become the icon he is and I think no one could say it better than the legend himself, in conversation with Simon Pegg during a transatlantic call following Romero watching the referential Shaun of the Dead for the first time. Simon Pegg: “George, I gotta say I’m sorry about the whole speedy re-animation thing. I know in Dawn it takes Roger at least thirty minutes before he comes back, but for narrative purposes in Shaun we had to have Philip re-animate almost immediately, so that bit was a little different.” I can’t help imagining Pegg sweating down the phone from a North London flat and the calm voice sounding from somewhere in a screening room in Florida as the trademark thick blackrimmed glasses are pushed up his nose.
dead George A. Romero: “You know what, Simon… I didn’t mind.”
George A. Romero Presents Deadtime Stories Volume 1 is available on DVD now and George A. Romero Presents Deadtime Stories Volume 2 is available on DVD in February 2012
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he inspiration for The Holding comes from writer James Dormer’s experiences working on a farm in Nottinghamshire, England. He was intrigued by the way of life and the people that dedicate their lives to the running of a livestock farm. He also had an interest in what the darker side of this could be like too. A modern day thriller from the start, the
script was inspired by Westerns and went through various drafts. It reached its final form after James started collaborating with Susan Jacobson who he met at The BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum, where The Holding was work-shopped.
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James explains that “New Writers get to submit 10 pages from your script and then those pages are given to a director and a group of actors for a rehearsed reading.
“We did the cow birth scene, which comes early in the story. With Susan and the actors the story came to life in a way I could not have imagined. After that Susan and I talked, there was a mutual admiration and we agreed that we wanted to work together on something bigger. So we started to develop the script into what it is now: The Holding.” Susan gave her take on the script: “James writes so beautifully. The script was a seamless read and he meticulously builds his story and his characters. I was totally sucked
into this dark, broody world. It is a gripping, complex story that twists and turns. And I was so delighted to find a script with a strong female lead. ” The Holding is produced by Pistachio Pictures, Notorious Films & Gateway Films. It is Susan’s feature debut. Susan and her producing partner in Pistachio Pictures, Alex Boden knew it would be the perfect film for a first feature. As Alex said: “We all love good thrillers. So when we saw James Dormer’s early draft for the film, it didn’t take us long to decide that this was going to be the right film for Susan to direct.”
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What inspired you to create The SJ: We began with a Mood Book which set the tone and visual Holding? style of the film, and from there Susan Jacobson: The script came we worked on building a strong to me through the BAFTA cast. I had many discussions with Rocliffe New Writing Forum – an my Director of Photography, Nic organization that promotes new Lawson and together we studied writing and which I am heavily a lot of pastoral and landscape involved with. I immediately art. Also with the writer, James connected with it on so many Dormer we watched as many levels. Firstly the main characters thrillers as we could and we which are strong and yet flawed ‘borrowed’ so much from the great women, the genre of which I am a classic Thrillers and Horrors – the huge fan, the setting was so visual opening sequence for example and integral to the story… and the is a total homage to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. story itself. What was the creative process What challenges did you face in that you went through in order to creating this? produce/direct this film?
By Diane Batholomew Pistachio Pictures, created by Director Susan Jacobson and Producer Alex Boden, has achieved over 100 festival selections since it’s launch in 1999. It’s latest release ‘The Holding’ is no exception to the pair’s elegant and diverse style. Fright Club caught up with both of them.
“Who used all the hot water? Night Shoots in the Peak District”
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shoot working through the night which was incredibly draining. But we got through it, and it was tremendously rewarding and satisfying to do Shooting the film was tough, The cast gel together fantastically. we were doing the two big ‘no’s’: how did you go about bringing 1. Don’t work with Children. 2. them all together? Don’t work with Animals. On top of that most of the film was SJ: First on board was Kierston shot in the rain, in particular the Wareing (Fish Tank, It’s a Free final act which is in the driving World). She was so passionate rain with rain machines, and about the film from early on and most of the film was shot at night was my first choice to play Cassie. so we spend the majority of the Once we had her, Vincent Regan Way after bed time, shoots went through the night.
SJ: Everything is a challenge! Number one was raising the finance, which is always the biggest hurdle. Once we had the money on board casting was easy.
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“we spend the majority of the shoot working through the night” (300, Troy) came on board. He was very definite about how he wanted to play Aden and he really took the character to another level. Then along with our Casting Director, Matt Western, we built the cast from our two leads. David Bradley had just come of the back of Harry Potter and was keen to do something different so jumped at this role. And finally we auditioned from the roles of Cassie’s daughters and that was very much working with Kierston and building a family with the right girls. Skye Lourie was immediate, she was just perfect as Hannah, and we found Maisie Lloyd to play Amy soon after Did you always plan for The Holding to be set in the Peak District?
shooting we toyed with the idea of setting it closer to London as we would save on having to pay for accommodation for the crew. But it became evident very quickly that nothing could beat the majestic landscape of the Peaks. And given that the landscape and the setting is so integral to the story, we went back to the Peaks and soon found the perfect location for the film What was the most rewarding aspect of creating this film?
Alex Boden: Working with such a great, talented crew, including our regulars who have been with us since day one; seeing the finished film on the huge screen at Empire 1 at Leicester Square; showcasing all this great British talent at the USA premieres in Austin and SJ: James Dormer, the writer, grew Chicago… and winning 3 Awards at up in Sheffield and worked on a the British Horror Film Awards! Dairy Farm in the Peak District so the film was written to be set “Some secrets can’t be buried...” – tell us there. When it came closer to one of your secrets?
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AB: We’re looking at not one but two of them! new projects that are set on a farm! I guess that’s no longer a secret, then? So, what are you up to next?
You launched Pistachio Pictures in AB: We’re working on a major 1999 – what was the catalyst for this? international production with top talent filming in Scotland and AB: I met Susan when we were Germany, which will be out in 2012. freelancing at Pinewood Studios We also have an edgy thriller set in 1996. We immediately started in Asia, a thriller in Canada plus a planning our own productions and Western on the Slate...as well as those needed a company to ensure that 2 films set on a farm… the films had a life after they were released. The 11 years have flown by If you were not “making movies”, what and Pistachio has produced for pretty would your other dream job/s be? much every format so far and grows SJ: There is no other dream job – this each year, which is fabulous! is my dream job...anything else would Any advice for budding film makers just be a job out there? AB: Ditto that! AB: Don’t give up! Even if it takes much longer than you expect! That includes waiting for the budget to be raised. When we were raising finance The Holding for The Holding, I met (Director) John Landis on set when he was filming ON DVD NOW Burke and Hare and he endorsed that! Your relationships with talent are worth their weight in gold – take care
“this is my dream job...anything else would just be a job”
A question of
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I love horror u n r e s e r v e d l y, undead from slashers hunting promiscuous teenagers in the woods through to Bela Lugosi and his children of the night. After watching a lifetime of increasingly intricate death-scenes and spectacular CGI monsters my biggest problem is that few films still have the power to scare me. That’s where witchcraft comes into play. Within the confines of horror it is inevitable that any mentions of paganism or preChristian religions would revolve around witchcraft and magic as malevolent forces. Films in this vein are sometimes referred to as Folk Horror, relying on notions of folklore and tradition to create worlds in which sinister forces undermine and attack prevailing values.
The first wave of Folk Horror movies were defined by the
by P M Buchan
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“a crusade against the
brilliant 1973 film ‘The Wicker Man’. The plot of ‘Wicker Man’ is deceptively simple, police sergeant Neil Howie visits the isolated Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl but faces signs of a conspiracy upheld by the island’s pagan inhabitants. Tensions stem from Howie’s devout Catholic beliefs because his serious, Wicker Man is a horror ideas of chastity and restraint put film and as such Howie’s fears him at odds with the preaching of about paganism are inevitably Lord Summerisle, spiritual leader validated as the islanders descend to the villagers. As he uncovers into barbarism in the story’s bleak attitudes of overt sexuality and culmination. The genius of ‘Wicker worship of the natural world Man’is that although I can’t identify Howie can only interpret Lord with Howie’s Catholicism we can Summerisle’s teachings as wicked all empathise with the concept of and sinful. The atmosphere of being an outsider surrounded by dread that builds in the film stems unfamiliar customs. Any religion partly from the conspiracy against has the potential to terrify when Howie but more from his failure to it is used as a system to punish moderate his behaviour to take into transgressions for what you had account his status as an outsider on assumed to be perfectly reasonable the island. Like some unwelcome behaviour! However wicked the missionary Howie condemns the deeds in ‘The Wicker Man’ may actions of all around him, until his be nothing happens onscreen quest becomes less about finding a that could not happen in real life missing child than it is a crusade and the supernatural beliefs of against the blasphemy of a society the characters are grounded in that would allow their churches to circumstances that could just as crumble and their people to revert easily be attributed to chance as to pre-Christian doctrines. they could witchcraft. When the film ends the viewer is left with Before I risk sounding too
fright-club.co.uk | 29 the notion that Howie’s fate could interpreted eit he r as the hysteria easily be their own, and that ’s a of a group of stu dents that should thought that keeps me awake at know better or a harrowing insight night. into their victimisation by a longdead witch. When I watch ed ‘Blair Folk Horror need not be Witch’ at the cinema I felt cheated restricted to isolated com munities because the re st of the audience nor do modern tec hnologies laughed aloud at an actress who necessarily render such stories cried with a runn y nose, yet when impotent. In 1999 The Bl air Witch I watched it alo ne I felt terrified. Project proved that relative ly recent This is the price th at American history could the directors provide pay for creating a ho rror based so the fuel for stories of fo lklore as heavily on atm osphere, that when terrifying now as they ha ve been the gamble pa ys off the film can for hundreds of years. Ba sed on the terrify, but wh en undermined the story of a witch that wa s burned audience has no reason to be afraid. alive in the 18th cent ury but Watching Ed uardo Sanchez’ later subsequently returned to influence film Seventh M oon in a crowd was a the murder of pairs of children, similar experie nce; they all laughed Blair Witch focussed on th e fictional at the naked ghosts chasing the story of a group of docu mentary- protagonists, where until that makers investigating th is local point I had be en cringing in fear. myth and their subsequent demise. Blurring the line between fact and One way to by pass a reliance on fiction Blair Witch echo es Wicker atmosphere alo ne to provide scares Man by featuring the un welcome is by drenchin g your film in enough transgressions of a gr oup of blood to satis fy any hardened outsiders into a closed co mmunity. gorehound, as ev idenced by Black By failing to respect the fo lklore of Death in 2010 . Set in a plaguethis community the film -makers ridden mediev al England the plot seal their fate. The expe rience of follows a grou p of soldiers charged viewing ‘The Blair Witch Project ’ is by the chur ch to investigate an entirely subjective becaus e nothing isolated villag e that has somehow happens onscreen that could not resisted succ umbing to the Black happen in real life, so even ts can be Death. Questi ons of religion are at
blasphemy of a society”
30 | fright-club.co.uk the spectacularly violent scenes of the forefront here as a young monk swordplay and torture, capturing at odds with his monastery leads the best of all worlds. the bloodthirsty group of soldiers into the heart of a community that However you choose to define have turned their back on god and these disparate films they all scare somehow flourished. The conflict me for the same reason, that they between religion and witchcraft contain communities of people drives events towards a devastating with sinister beliefs that will conclusion and the impact on the punish you if you fail to conform. viewer is heightened by the fact This is a gross simplification of that even the most sinister and Folk Horror but I can’t be the only ostensibly supernatural moments horror fan that identifies more of the film are ground in reality. The closely with the outsider than with characters might rail against God the mob. Whether these ungodly and attribute their achievements communities choose to sacrifice to blasphemy, but as viewers we’re you for the greater good, frighten given enough leeway to interpret you into blurring the line between events however we see fit. Black your fears and reality or persuade Death holds a special place in you to abandon your faith and join my heart because it uses concepts them, the bottom line is always the of faith and morality to create same, a gristly death regardless of an oppressive and foreboding your faith. Watch enough horror atmosphere that adds gravity to films and you’ll agree with me, monsters aren’t scary, people are.
regardles of your faith
The Wicker Man is available on DVD now and The Blair Witch Project is available on DVD and Blu-ray disc.
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T h e L egen d of Va mpires Photographs and words By Kevin Richardson Vampires have wreaked fear among mortals for hundreds of years with their desire for human blood. Tales of the most horrifying deaths imaginable have been told to adults and children alike and even the toughest and bravest tremble in fear at the mention of the word. An even more fearsome ending for the human life is the thought of becoming a vampire after being bitten by one. Immortality and supernatural powers do not make up for the fact that death is the only barrier. But where do these myths come from and is there any truth to the legends?
The Vampire myth dates back long before the 18th century however with many versions of their creation, one being of a Jewish demon called Lilith who was known as ‘the mother of all vampires’ and is said to have been created by God at the same time as he created Adam. (Isaiah 34:14)
Lilith was thought to be created before Eve and made from the same dust as Adam. Because of this she wanted to be equal, which caused her to be rebellious and she refused to be dominated by Adam. When Adam refused her the The tales of the vampire go back equality she desired she became hundreds of years with blood so angry that she spoke the holy curdling stories dominating name of God and vanished. the histories of many cultures, particularly in many Eastern European countries such as Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland and Austria. Vampires were part of the literature of many of these countries around the early 1700’s.
forced by nature to live on blood
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Lilith ran off to the Red Sea where three Angels were sent by God to bring her back. She made a deal with the Angels who let her stay in that place as a Witch and it is here that she is said to have become the mother of all demons. Cain, who was the first son of Adam and Eve, was banished after he killed his younger brother, Abel. He was cursed by God to wander the land, unable to bear the sun and forced by nature to live on blood, unable to eat fruit and vegetables. Eventually he came to the Red Sea where he was taken in by Lilith and taught the true power of the blood along with the supernatural powers that could be gained from it. He was also shown how to create others like him. At first he refused to force his misfortune on the mortal world but eventually became lonely and turned three others to be like him, these in turn created more “vampires”. The next generation of his creations became the modern interpretation of ‘vampire’, stories of which have been passed down through the years.
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coming from many different cultures which refer to Lilith or variations of the name, but they all refer to her being the first woman and that she refused to be submissive and that she was cast out of Eden to become a most dangerous creature of some form. Throughout modern history, cultures the world over have
stories of creatures that feed on the blood of the living, whether it be human or animal. The 18th century in particular was rife with tales of blood sucking demons and the panic which followed some of the stories was enough to start people hunting and staking alleged vampires. Fear of Vampires was so great that even government officials There are many ancient texts were brought into the hunt.
The case of Arnaud Paole was one of the most publicised. Paole was a farmer who died after he fell from his hay wagon and broke his neck. Shortly after his death there was talk among the villagers where he lived of him visiting them at night. Some of these people died after his visits and the villagers remembered that
Paole used to talk about being bitten by a vampire whilst he was in the military serving in Southern Serbia. He spoke of destroying the vampire and eating the Earth from the vampire’s grave and of covering himself with the vampire’s blood so that he would not become a vampire. The villagers decided that Paole’s methods of preventing
blood sucking demons and the panic which followed vampirism had failed so they exhumed his body and found the corpse to be in a fresh condition with blood seeping from the eyes, nose and mouth and all his clothes covered in blood. This was the proof needed so a stake was driven through his heart and the body cremated. The same was done to the dead villagers Paole was said to have visited. Five years later an old woman named Miliza died after a long illness and shortly afterwards, sixteen other people died in mysterious circumstances. A young woman who’s name was Stanoicka, told of being woken at night and being strangled by a boy, Milloe, who had died weeks before. Stanoicka then died after a short illness as did many of the sixteen villagers. The villagers had determined that a vampire plague had occurred as it was said that the old woman, Miliza had eaten some
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mutton years before that Paole had preyed upon. Three medical officers had been called to the village to investigate the reports and on the same day that they arrived, the bodies of Miliza and the sixteen villagers and had been exhumed. Miliza, Milloe and Stanoicka along with some of the remaining bodies were found to be in the condition of the vampire, only five were found to be decomposed. The bodies were dissected and the internal organs were found to be fresh and contained fresh blood. These bodies were then decapitated and cremated and the ashes thrown in the river. So if the ancient texts and reports from government officials are to be believed then the world is plagued by true vampires and there would appear to be little hope for humanity to survive as the dominant group. Our only chance for survival would be in the fact that vampires are not as powerful and immortal as they are made out to be. We could carry Garlic around
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Demons of the night beware, Garlic
with us at all times and certainly the smell alone would ensure that everybody keeps well away, not just the vampires. Our weapon of choice would be a wooden stake with a nice sharp point as it would appear that there are two ways to destroy a vampire, one is to drive a stake through its heart and the other is decapitation. Of course we would only go out during the day as it has been noted in some folklore that vampires cannot step into sunlight without being incinerated. It may be however that the only place of refuge for us would be the local church as it is said that the holy symbols found there such as holy water and the crucifix repel vampires. A warning then, if you hear any blood curdling screams in the dead of night beware because it could be your local vampire looking to eat out! The following websites were used during the research for this article: http://www.trueghosttales.com/who-was-lilith.php http://vampires.monstrous.com/arnaud_paole.htm http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Vampire http://www.squidoo.com/real-history-of-vampires
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How to s p en d y o u r h all o w een By Diane Bartholomew
So you’ve read the creepy articles, watched the scary movies, slept with one eye open... you might be asking yourself...what next this Halloween? Oh, a night out of course, Halloween Style! “London assumes the mantle of one of the world’s great cities with ease”, says a quick peek into The Lonely Planet Guide. However, nowhere buried deep within those crisp white pages (whoops, I mean buried within the Kindle screen) is there any mention of its deep dark history (this is the part where your The London Dungeon is one of the world’s most infamous attractions, eyes widen). where London’s darkest history has been brought back to life with a The London grisly mixture of live actors, special Dungeon effects and three hair-raising rides. Take a trip on the dark side this There are also Dungeons in York, October, to The London Dungeon, Edinburgh, Warwick, Hamburg Amsterdam featuring and step back in time to a city and frighteningly fun attractions where so creepy and vile, that you’ll be Europe’s darkest history is brought shaking in your boots. vividly back to life.
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Check out the 14 actor led shows and three scary rides, which make the London Dungeon attraction an educationally chilling experience and a great day out for a group of fearless mates (or family, of course). This Halloween good ol’ Stingy Jack is back (the penny pinching swine is here from 15th-31st Oct!). Listen to his spooky story and watch out for him lurking by the eerily carved turnips and in dark cobwebby corners. The evil mythical character from Irish folklore was believed to be damned by the devil and made to walk in darkness for eternity carrying only a turnip lantern (that’s so 1810) to light his way. This year, he will star in his own mini scare show enacted by The London Dungeon’s horribly gruesome actors. Be prepared to feel your blood freeze! Visitors who survive Jack may wish they hadn’t, when the door to Vengeance, the UK’s first 5D laser ride opens. Taking scares to a whole new level, this technologically groundbreaking 5D ride is a full scale assault on the senses. Set in Victorian times at London’s most haunted address, 50 Berkeley
Square, Vengeance takes guests on the ultimate ghost hunt. As a séance spirals out of control, riders will shoot it out against twisted, vengeful spirits whilst completely disorientated in the dark and spinning at high speeds. Scary!! You’re clearly going to need to cool down. Follow this up with Traitor - the Boat Ride to Hell – a chilling water ride (not quite the calming cruise you were imagining). If you’re still feeling brave and heroic, you could buckle-up for the Drop Ride to Doom - an adrenaline-charged “last drop” in the dark. For more info, check out: www.thedungeons.com for full details or see their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ londondungeonofficial This Halloween your friends at The Fright Club magazine have 2 pairs of family tickets to giveaway (valid for 2 adults and 2 children up to 15 years) – check page 1 for details.
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Or if competitions aren’t your fang take advantage of a special Fright Club 2 for 1 offer. Just print this page and take it along to the London Dungeon. Yes that’s right – you and a mate can attend for just the price of one person!
Robert Ripley’s freaky collection of exhibits from across the globe - guaranteed to shock even the bravest trick or treater. If you are looking for an extra thrill, why not visit Ripley’s in the dark?
2 for 1 Voucher
2 for 1 T&Cs:
Please Note: Lions Gate UK LTD take no responsibility for The London Dungeon in any way including the availability, the right to entry or the contents of this attraction.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London is open seven days a week, 365 days a year from 10am until midnight. Ultimate Explorer tickets to this world of wonders, situated in the heart of London’s West End, start from £25.95 per adult and £19.95 per child, including entry to the Mirror Maze. Ultimate Explorer family tickets are available for £81.95, based on two adults and two children. Purchase your tickets in advance and save 20 percent at www.ripleyslondon.com.
With more than 700 amazing artefacts on display over five floors, the attraction celebrates the weird, wonderful and bizarre in all its forms. With everything you can imagine (and plenty more you can’t), Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London is a day out that’s definitely out of the ordinary.
FYI: Some young children may find the Dungeon Zone disturbing. All children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fancy something different this Halloween... For a spine chilling night head to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! London and have a spooky adventure.
Vengeance at The London Dungeon
This voucher entitles one free admission when accompanied by a person paying the full adult day rate at the London Dungeon. This offer is valid until 31/12/2011, excluding 29/10/11 to 31/10/11 and 25/12/11. This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other offer, promotion or voucher. This voucher has no cash value. This voucher is non-refundable and nonexchangeable. Photocopies are not accepted. Only one voucher per transaction permitted. The Dungeons reserve the right to alter, close or remove details/exhibits without prior notice for technical, operational or other reasons, and that no refunds can be given in these circumstances. The Dungeon is not suitable for people of a nervous disposition or very young children (entry is at the discretion of the parent/guardian). Children must be accompanied by an adult. The Dungeons reserve the right to refuse entry without explanation. Not valid for use with priority entrance, online tickets or with pre-paid tickets. REF: LIONSGATE
Ripleys Spooks in the City with Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum
Entry prices have been ghoulishly cut with £5 off Ultimate Explorer tickets for all visitors who get into the Halloween spirit by dressing up on the 31 October 2011 between 6pm and midnight. (Discount available on the door only, contact directly for more information) Brave the horrors of the Dungeon Zone to see real torture equipment such as ‘the head crusher’, ‘the leg clamp’, the electric chair and the terrifying ‘Mongolian starvation crate’. Visitors can come face-to-face with
For additional information call +44 (0)20 3238 0022 or visit www.ripleyslondon.com
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by Mark r Bowshe Horror Franc hise and Inevitasb: Probable Sequels le Crossover For decades s ho rr or movie fr on th
anchises e cinema series has ditic calendar and just whhave been a permanent fi Halloween or ed a death, a sequel/r en you thought one part xture anything more Saw crops up and prov emake/reboot to Friday icular 13th, out the floo out of the bottom of th es that if you can’t The Final Fr r around it. And don’t e barrel, you can alwaysscrape too) fool yoiday or The Final Destin let names like Freddy’s check up with this u. Some franchises just ation (yeah, they’d lost Dead, one grey Sundlist of probable sequel won’t die. And if I ca count n come writers with ay afternoon, imagine s and inevitable crossove what a room million-doll rs on full of ar carr are dreaming ots being dangled in fr Hollywood ont of them up right now. ... Please note, this is all just for fun and in no wa y REAL!
‘Probable Se quels’
Saw 8: In Sp ace As is inevit able with an y horror fran bit, sooner chise that go or es on a group of sexy later one of them will be set in sp young guys an ace. A discover them d gi rl s aw ak selves on so me kind of de e from stasis to full of nast y torture de ep space sate vice ll pull your no b off or some s that slit your eyes op ite en thing like th Kramer will of course ma at. John “Jig or ke an appea died half a saw” rance. He ma franchise ag y have o but he’ll about somewh surely be kn ere; either in flashback ocking Robot Jigsaw or as a resu . The latter rrected would of cour of-cancer-so se remove hi -must-encour s dyingage-people-t trying-to-ki o-live-their ll-them motiva -lives-by tion but I do ubt anyone re that far back members anyway. School of th e Dead Although his original Dead trilogy had at between each installment, le practically ol’ George A. ast seven years churning them the hell can out in recent Romero has been he do next? years. But wh Flight of th at e Living Dead seemed
et pretty damn obvious but unfortunately the intern 2007. in it made y alread d b***** some tells me that also Hmmm... But of course! People who love horror olds! love hot, young 20-somethings playing 17 year world It seems inevitable when you think about it: a strict of thumb the under teens young of rebellious a school masters in some secluded part of rural Americ the is the perfect place for a zombie outbreak. All teachers become zombies and the kids have to use hockey their sticks, javelins, shot-puts and stuff to knock ’s heads off. They’ll probably be a few dashes of Romero socio-political commentary (kids growing up too fast that kind of thing) but mainly it’ll be girls in school uniforms covered in blood. People like that. The Villas Have Eyes
of There was a little hint of another mutant at the end whole 2007’s The Hills Have Eyes 2. Could there be a lot other family there? Yeah, probably. And maybe this They have decided the desert really isn’t their bag. g head to the coast and stow away aboard a ship headin ed for the Med and find themselves a quiet, seclud After little holiday resort by a beach in Mallorca. n a number of embarrassing incidents involving drunke pas faux y -worth cringe rather some iating Brits annunc does in front of the deformed family (“Oi, mum! Why get that man look all mouldy?”), the mutants decide to stuck into the old rape and murder their predecessors is so enjoyed in the prequels. The holiday resort d abandoned by all but an unlucky few who are dragge back to the mutants’ villa for some true New Mexico but style hospitality. Bit like Holiday on the Buses less horrific.
‘Inevitable Crossovers’ Freddy vs. Leprechaun
hot, When a resident of Elm Street (probably some coins young teenage bint again) inherits some gold fella she finds herself stalked by a little green The who is most insistent he gets his gold back. of aforementioned bint ends up a bit dead, the people and Elm Street believe Freddy Krueger is responsible fear of the old b*****d increases. Freddy grows strong y again but finds there’s someone on his patch alread busy murdering his potential victims. Freddy taunts two Leprechaun about falling asleep and eventually the a es involv which world dream the in battle of them do some lot of crazy dream stuff (no doubt there’ll be . kind of rap contest between the two at some point) who They’ll be the usual selection of thick teens l haven’t discovered coffee yet but this time they’l upied probably just fall asleep, see Freddy’s preocc about with Leprechaun and just drift off into a dream bunnies or something.
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Bates After years of hard work and murder, Norman cking backpa going by all it from away get to s decide d. in Europe to ‘find himself’. Mother is not invite er Unfortunately he ends up at a hostel in whatev g struggling Eastern European country Eli Roth is pickin some of victim a s become Norman old Poor year. this on of rather horrific torture inflicted on him by a load disillusioned motel owners who blame him for giving But them all a bad rap over the last 50 or so years. turns and free breaks ally eventu r’ ‘mothe , course of very the tables on the motel owners and it all gets nasty indeed. And to make this a triple-cross-over, where the director’s cut DVD will include a scene for a me (“Ask ps kneeca ’s Norman off cuts Fawlty Basil r!”) -f**** mother now, Salad f Waldor Titanic II: This Time with Zombies! Titanic may not have been a horror movie (technically g for that is) but the ship itself is a great settin well a zombie flick and the aforementioned film is Dyke Van Shane thing that t (forge sequel a e overdu wreck the to s return Rose ). happen made, that didn’t first of Titanic (she didn’t pop her clogs in the e) film, she was just asleep and dreaming, our mistak deep. the from it raise to choose they day the on are Unfortunately it’s now populated by zombies. They have lead by a resurrected robot Jack (yes, we can Rose: robots in it too, why not) who’s after revenge on s kidnap ack Robo-J ” b***h! go, let to not you told “I hes unleas and York New into c Titani the Rose and steers a big the zombies on the city. The finale will be ng as battle between Rose (who’s been secretly traini g joinin her with end will but ack Robo-J and ninja) a a into off Dreams of Ship the g sailin the undead and post-apocalyptic sequel. end.
BUFFY TOP 1 0
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B UFFY MONSTERS
In giddy anticipation of the collaboration between writer/geeky sci-fi horror guru Joss Whedon and Cloverfield writer-now-director Drew Goddard on The Cabin in the Woods we’ve decided to run an eye over some of Joss Whedon’s impressive pedigree in creating iconic monsters. During seven years on Buffy the Vampire Slayer which saw seven seasons, one hundred and forty-five episodes and most of the originally ‘teen’ cast edging the wrong side of thirty Buffy had one of the most lavish make-up budgets in the history of television. Along with producers, writers and directors Marti Noxon, David Fury et al Whedon created some of the most original, referential, witty, funny and genuinely horrifying monsters seen on screens in recent years. Here is our top 10. By Jake Mackintosh There are a few notable absences from the list that were either too comedic or underused in the series to warrant the top 10 but are definitely worth mentioning.
perfect counterpoint to Glory’s airhead persona. His servile ineptitude playing off the brutal and violent goddess Glorificus providing some much needed comedy relief in a mire of Dawnheavy nonsense.
Jinx (Troy Blendell) was the pockmarked simpering minion of Glory, the demon deity in a cheerleader’s body in season five - one of the more glib storylines made more annoying by the presence of Dawn, Buffy’s sister, the most whiny, self-obsessed character in TV. Jinx was the
Everyone’s favourite demon next door. Spike’s demon friendturned-babysitter plays an increasingly important role in later series. A demon with a soul, not in the brooding Angel way, more just an ordinary guy who
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enjoys soap operas and game shows but happens to look like a melting albino pig with a penchant for eating kittens. A fantastic example of Whedon transcending both horror and comedy with his characters.
-10Turok-Han The Turok-Han or Ubervamps are a race of pre-historic demons - basically vampires concentrated, no artificial additives, colours or preservatives - which are infinitely stronger, faster and deadlier killing machines. They are the pure form of the watereddown human hybrid we’ve come to know over the previous six seasons. Fantastically realised, harrowing caricatures of F.W. Murnau and Max Schrecks’ original Nosferatu, the TurokHan are somehow recognisable, a subconscious link to the history of vampires in cinema, even if you haven’t seen the silent film and yet at the same time they are visceral, primal, terrifying beasts a world away from the cold, brooding cloaked vamps we know and love. They are not the
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charming Dracula from Hammer flicks; they have no agenda apart from death, which has the effect of making every character seem powerless against them.
-9The Lamprey Monster Another concept episode monster. This makes it onto the list as one of my absolute Buffy favourites, the season six episode ‘Doublemeat Palace’. The storylines leading up to it take on a predictably morbid tone following the death of Buffy’s mother. Doublemeat Palace sees Buffy in desperate need of money as she takes a job at a fast food restaurant. In a hugely referential episode inspired by old science fiction by way of The Twilight Zone, a tongue-incheek whodunnit in which Buffy suspects the gormless manager of killing his employees in order to grind them into the secret ingredient. As it turns out, the old lady did it, or rather the nameless Lamprey-like monster wearing a granny suit. It is an odd monster to include but an outstanding example of the diversity in the show. I’m afraid I have to mention but it’s also the most
obviously phallic creature in the not ‘Once More, With Feeling’ is top 10. There... I said it. Honestly, top of the heap. Although a great episode I was at first reluctant to someone had to. Let’s move on. include it in this list. Sweet is the -8zoot suit sporting tap-dancing demon who curses the whole Richard Wilkins town of Sunnydale into singing. III: The Mayor of Yes, it’s the obligatory musical Sunnydale episode. Sweet is played by Tony Award winner and Broadway The Mayor of Sunnydale is a musical star Hinton Battle who typical baby-kissing politician, as brings an element of gravitas to American as Apple Pie and as evil proceedings. Joss Whedon had as they come. A recurring character, always wanted to write a musical even after his death, Richard episode for the show but faced Wilkins is hell-bent on ascending with the monumental task of to become a giant demon and composing an entire score he was unleash the Hellmouth upon the put off by the sheer volume of world. His calm, collected branch work until season six. Buoyed by of malevolence has been repeated some singing talent in the ranks in the series but never quite of the cast, Whedon created an matched. It is all about the threat engaging story in keeping with the of violence, which is often more tone of the show and an original effective than violence itself. His concept episode with compelling reserved manner while plotting his musical performances, a fine evil schemes and all-consuming example of the eccentricity and bureaucratic power make him one faith in Whedon’s imagination. of the most fantastically complex, empathetic Buffy baddies. -6-
Let’s forget the melodrama for a second, push aside David Whenever a fan is asked about their Boreanaz’s atrocious Irish accent, favourite episode, more often than Angel is a good character more
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than worthy of his own spin off and Angelus, his villainous alter ego is a great character. Sometimes his crass quips and tempestuous relationship with Spike might seem laboured but Angelus is a cunning monster filled with the threat of centuries of knowledge. He is a clever, instinctual creature that not only seeks out victims but revels in their despair bored of simply hunting he seeks new and horrifying ways to torture his victims, a handy way to drag out a storyline and an engaging character trait. Well done, Joss, well done.
-5Der Kindestod Der Kindestod is… quite simply… terrifying. Imagine the Wicked Witch of the West with a devilish facelift and one hell of an underbite. Der Kindestod or ‘The Child’s Death’ in German is a soul-sucking demon that preys on the sick and weak in Sunnydale General Hospital.
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I-it must be, uh, h-horrifying for the victim.” Giles In the episode ‘Killed By Death’ Buffy is admitted to hospital with a fever where she relives the death of her cousin as a child at the hands of the monster. It picks off its victims one by one, leaving no trace, as if they died from the illness. One of the more cerebral nightmarish episodes, even after Buffy breaks its neck, this one stays with you for some time.
-4Spike William the Bloody had to make an appearance in the top 10. Spike has possibly the most transformative journey of any character in the series, from blood-lusting vampire to (very briefly) Giles’ sitcom roommate back and forth from good to evil, he suffers heartbreak, even falls in love with Buffy. Eventually Spike mimics Angel and finds himself a pesky soul, while being neutered in the process. He has so many ups and downs and provides so much of the horror, comedy, melodrama and suspense that the
NGEL “Uh, the, um, the Kindestod gorges by sitting atop his prey, pinning it down, uh, helplessly. Then he slowly draws out the life.
show pulled off so well. James -2Marsters was chosen for the role, Gnarl in part because he suited the iconic vampire prosthetic perfectly when Whedon was always most screen-testing and went on to be effective when creating monsters its best character. that crept in shadows, silent killers that go bump in the night. The -3Gnarl (or Gollum’s ugly cousin) Caleb is a parasitic demon that paralyses its prey with poisonous fingernails Caleb is the demonic southern before slowly skinning them alive priest that ties the First Evil to and finally drinking their blood. this mortal coil. Portrayed by In ‘Same Time, Same Place’ Whedon favourite Nathan Fillion Willow’s anxiety at returning to (Captain Mal from Firefly for the group after dabbling with the less (or more) geeky), Fillion dark magic causes her to wish originally auditioned for the role herself invisible. This allows the of Angel before the part went to Gnarl to trap her alone before David Boreanaz. He impressed the Scooby Gang can uncover the enough that six years later and in truth and save her. Aside from the the seventh and final season he fantastic design and eerie poetic was given the part of Caleb, right rhyming and taunting of its prey hand man to the ultimate evil. He from the shadows, the Gnarl kills possesses visceral superhuman in one of the most gruesome and strength beyond even that of unimaginably terrifying ways. the Slayer with a penchant for Camden Toy, monster character punishing dirty little girls. Caleb actor extraordinaire who plays the is on a quest to rid the world of sin, creature features thrice on this list. he has just chosen the opposition. He played not only the TurokHe is one of the most human Han and Gnarl but also featured antagonists in the series but also as the number one Buffy Monster. the most bone-chilling.
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The number one spot has to go to The Gentlemen and their silent Footmen. I’m not a child, but if I was I would still have nightmares about The Gentlemen. I still have nightmares about them. The Gentlemen are a group of muted suited monsters who strike the entire town of Sunnydale dumb. ‘Hush’ is one of the most inventive episodes and my personal favourite of the show. To write an
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episode almost entirely without dialogue and make it into one of the most successful in seven seasons is impressive. It is a true nod to great visual storytelling and is capped off by the supremely violent Gentlemen. They glide above ground surrounded by their mummified pet monkey demons soundlessly into the rooms of their victims in order to harvest their hearts. No one can scream. Their odd anthropomorphic gentlemanliness and silent skeletal figures are some of the most terrifying scenes in the last ten years of horror.
V A MPIR E S DO N ’ t By Claire Richardson We all know that Vampires are cool. In some cases they are badass and in others they are the romantic leads that make teenage hearts melt. Everyone has their favourites but some of them are more ingrained into public awareness purely by merit of basically just being seen everywhere. And I thought vampires were supposed to be stealthy creatures of the night?
world’s population has become Vampires and without humans to feed on, the world is literally starving to death. Sam Neill plays Charles Bromley, the head of an evil corporation that is funding research into a blood substitute that will render humans obsolete and will mean that the Vampire population can thrive without any humans at all (aside from the belief that “there will always be Fright Club decided to take a look those willing to pay extra for the at some of the fanged-ones that just real thing”). don’t seem to get enough love in popular culture even though they His motives may seem altruistic are just as brilliant as some of their at first; trying to save the world better known contemporaries. from starvation seems like an honourable goal, however his true Let us know on our Facebook beliefs and evilness shine through page if there are any that we’ve when one of his scientists, Edward missed or any that you particularly disagree about. Here there be spoilers. In Daybreakers, most of the
a blood substitute that will render humans obsolete
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Dalton, offers the world the chance to become human again, Charles decides to sweep the whole solution under the bloodsoaked rug. However, arguably the most evil thing he does is capture his still human daughter and force her to become a vampire. If that’s not enough, to top it all off he decides to have her executed in the sun when she refuses to drink human blood. Horrible stuff.
“Vampire Scientists - working all through the night!”
When The Hamiltons move into a new neighbourhood after the loss of their parents, the young-adult siblings have to learn to adapt to their new roles within the household. Eldest brother, David, has to quickly move into the role of the family patriarch and keep his younger siblings in line… and also handle some of the more unpleasant jobs he has to do, such as killing girls in the basement. It’s not made clear at first why he and the rest of the family do this; they just refer to aiding ‘Lenny’. Whilst all this is going on, younger sibling Francis also seems to be going through more growing pains than the average teenager, and doesn’t seem to be very comfortable with the role he has to play in the family’s survival.
His true nature is revealed when he tries to rescue one of the captive girls and instead ends up killing her when he can’t fight his vampire nature anymore. See what happens next when the siblings return in the sequel; The Thompsons. Near Dark tells the story of Caleb, a young man who falls instantly in love with an enigmatic young woman named Mae. This all sounds like familiar teen romance territory but the difference here is that Mae is a Vampire (though the ‘v’ word is never uttered in this film), however what sets this apart from other teen vamp romance fodder, is the people that surround Caleb and Mae. One that will likely stand out on any viewing is Severen, played by Bill Paxton. Unlike many other Vampires who lament their immortality and the fact that they have to drink blood to survive, Severen revels in it, finding amusement in hunting and toying with his potential victims (see bar slaughter scene for proof of this)… which makes him a thoroughly unpleasant person, but memorable when compared to other Vampires in the movies. In The Lost Boys, Kiefer Sutherland
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may play the bad boy and Jason Patric the romantic hero, but it’s Max, played by Ed Herman who’s pulling the strings.Throughout the film the audience is led to believe that Max is just a guy trying to get a date with a lady. He passes the Vampire tests; apparently he likes garlic and actually has a reflection, all because he was invited into someone’s home. It’s not until the finale of the movie, when we think the battle is over and we’re led to believe that the half Vampires will return to normal that Max reveals his true colours. It shows how badass he is that it takes a log that is propelled by a vehicle that’s been driven through the side of a house to actually stake him.
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townsfolk of the Alaskan town, which has been plunged into a month-long spell of darkness. The fact that he’s a vampire for less than a day and then defeats the head-vampire goes to show that the most badass vamps aren’t always the bad-guys.
Okay, so we all know that certain Vampires in films and TV shows have made it cool to be all brooding, mysterious and have a penchant for dark clothing, though not all vamps of this ilk behave that way all of the time. Some may argue that the Vampires in the Twilight series of films aren’t ‘real’ vampires; well they drink blood and live forever so they fit enough criteria for this list. I The vampires in 30 Days of Night would argue also that one or two are basically feral creatures that of them are actually quite badass breeze into a town and leave – take Jasper, for example. Turned nothing but devastation in their wake. So, you might wonder how mere humans can fight back against these nightmarish creatures – Sheriff Eban Oleson, played by Josh Hartnett, decides to put his faith in the old idiom, ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’... and then he actually beats them. He willingly changes himself into a vampire to save the remaining
..apparently he likes garlic and actually has a reflection
“He hasn’t got much time” . . . “But he’s dead ” . . . into a vampire one lonely night, he is then made to control and ‘take care of ’ newborn vampires, which happen to be stronger and more blood-thirsty than older ones. He’s clearly quite a toughcookie because it’s later revealed that he is covered in bite scars from his dealings with others of his kind which lends credence to the phrase, ‘if you think this looks bad, you should see the other guy’ as he clearly walked away from all of those encounters.
So, these are just a few of my personal favourite blood-suckers (I haven’t even started on the TV vamps in the likes of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer or Being Human) as they would take up an entire list all on their own. I’ve clearly missed a whole bunch so why not tell us a few of your own favourites on our Facebook page. Daybreakers and The Hamiltons are on DVD now and The Thompsons will be coming in 2012
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Look out for the next issue of Fright Club Magazine, out March 2012. In the mean time check out www.fright-club.co.uk for the latest Lionsgate horror news, reviews and competitions.
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