Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Carrie (2013) Official Trailer

Posted: April 5, 2013 by Jenny Dreadful in Film, News

The first official trailer for the newest adaptation of Stephen King’s CARRIE just came out yesterday. Thoughts?

All remake angst aside, I’m not feeling so great about this one. I love love love Chloe Moretz (Let Me In, Kick-Ass), but this might be some serious miscasting. I’m also a little turned off by what I can see of the effects. However, I hope for the best. It’s encouraging to see more mainstream horror films directed by women. Maybe Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry) can give this overused source material new life with a feminine point of view. Looking at current events, there’s no doubt that the issues raised in King’s 1974 novel are relevant as ever.

The Return of Jenny: The Revenge

Posted: April 4, 2013 by Jenny Dreadful in Film, News

jennydWow, it sure has been a while since I spent my time geeking out here on ye olde horror blog. I spent most of 2012 working on a very large-scale art project, so my movie watching and writing took a back seat for months. The big silly thing is off to the printers now and I’m super proud of what I’ve accomplished, but it’s time to reconnect.

I missed my chance to chat with you about a number of interesting titles while they were new. The ABCs of Death for instance. Or Warm Bodies. Instead of trying and failing to catch up, let’s start fresh. What are you looking forward to most in 2013? I’ll go first.

JENNY’S MOST WANTED
5. The Conjuring

July 19th

conjuringThe Conjuring, the newest spooky picture from James Wan of Saw and Insidious fame, stars Vera Farmiga (Norman Bates’ mum in the Bates Motel series) and Insidious star Patrick Wilson. Looks like he’s working with a screenplay from brothers Chad and Carey Hayes (Whiteout, The Reaping) this time rather than long-time partner Leigh Whannell. They always made a killer team, managing to scare the pants off audiences with little to no budget, and I’m a little sad to see the lineup changed. Can The Conjuring deliver the same level of fear and creativity that we’ve come to expect from Wan? I’m feeling optimistic. The trailer is simple but effective, and I love the classic 70s horror vibe I’m getting from the poster and promotional stills. (Bonus: more music by the terrifying Joseph Bishara!) I love a good haunted house flick. I’m in.

Update: Oh, snap a new trailer comes out right before I post this. Sheesh! I like the more subtle video above, but I’m intrigued by the newer, flashier ad too. There are some cheap shots, but I’ve come to expect that from all horror trailers these days. So, for the sake of completion…

4. Maniac

June 21st

maniacAlthough I’m not a big fan of William Lustig’s gritty 1980 classic Maniac, I’m surprisingly excited about this slick-looking remake from Franck Khalfoun (P2) and French horror master Alexandre Aja (High Tension, Piranha, the upcoming adaptation of Joe Hill’s Horns). Elijah Wood, known for pretty blue eyes and an epic adventure in Middle Earth, may seem like an odd choice to replace original maniac Joe Spinell. Anyone who has seen his startling appearance as Kevin in Sin City, however, knows he’s got what it takes to pull this off. It looks beautiful and the buzz is good. Looking forward to checking this out very much.

3. American Mary

May 31st

americanmaryAmerican Mary, directed and written by the Soska sisters of Dead Hooker in a Trunk, stars Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) as a demoralized medical student who turns to a dark new world of easy money and power; an underground practice of illegal surgeries and bizarre body modifications. Between my appreciation of Jen and Sylvia Soska–the kind of hardcore female presence this genre sorely needs–and the sexy and disturbing experience promised by this trailer, American Mary is a Final Girl Support Group must-see.

2. You’re Next

August 23rd

yourenextAfter about 6 months of buzz and frantic anticipation, the trailer for Adam Wingward’s You’re Next hit the web last Thursday. The excitement of the horror community leading up to the release of the trailer and the response afterward is the kind of energy usually reserved for big-budget geekery (e.g., Pacific Rim, The Hobbit, The Avengers). It’s been wild to see fans all a-flutter over a genre ad.

One reason for all this enthusiasm is the cast and crew, featuring classic scream queen Barbara Crampton (Reanimator, From Beyond) and a collection of new-school filmmakers including Ti West (The Innkeepers, House of the Devil), Joe Swanberg (V/H/S), A.J. Bowen (A Horrible Way to Die, House of the Devil), and–of course–writer/director team Adam Wingward and Simon Barrett, most known for The ABCs of Death, V/H/S, and A Horrible Way to Die. You’re seeing a lot of repetition with the titles here and that’s because this is a close-knit group of actors, writers and directors who love the genre and collaborate often.

And I’ve said nearly nothing about the film itself. Home invasion isn’t my favorite sub-genre, but I can appreciate any truly great horror movie. Based on this beautifully shot trailer and festival reviews, I think You’re Next could have the atmosphere, performances and tension we’re looking for.

1. Evil Dead

April 5th

evildeadOk. This one is… kind of cheating. Because we maaaaaaaayyyy have already seen it on Tuesday. But I assure you, my excitement as I waited months to see the new Evil Dead remake was almost unhealthy. I’m surprised no one planned an intervention. The obsession was a pretty intense. I mean, look at this redband trailer. It ranks among the bloodiest, nastiest mainstream film ads ever. Maybe THE nastiest. COME. ON.

Did it live up to my ridiculously high expectations? I’m not telling. But I AM saying folks with the stomach for buckets of gore and an appreciation for practical effects should go see it this weekend. A review with more details coming soon.

Your turn. What are you looking forward to most?

Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horrorthon 2011

Posted: October 25, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in About Us, Events, Film, News, Reviews

Poster by Justin Miller

This post may exclude a number of our readers and I apologize, but the best time of the year is on its way and that means one thing here in the Philadelphia area; The Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon!

Yeah, you heard me. 24 hours. Noon Saturday to noon Sunday. Equal parts wild entertainment and grueling endurance test, the International House is definitely the place to be this weekend. It’s magic. Sweaty blood-splattered butt-numbing magic.

Now, the Horrorthon sells out fast. Faster every year. I do believe 2012 set a record at just six days and that was back in August. Why am I bothering to discuss the event if most of you can’t attend? If you’re attending for the first time or may attend in the future, I’m hoping to give  you a general idea of what to expect. Hell, if neither of those qualifiers apply, here are a bunch of micro-reviews.

 

The list of films seen last year, in the order they were shown, along with the dubious hints included in the program:

1. Psychomania

Hint: Fun 1970s British film that successfully combines two specific horror and exploitation genres.  Year: 1971

Jenny: Obnoxious biker teens become the living dead through ritualistic suicide. Horror elements are overwhelmed by unintentional silliness and that’s just fine. Lots of fun.

StayFrosty: This was a great choice to kick off the Horrorthon, because this movie is totally nuts.  And by nuts I mean hilarious.  Between asking for the secrets of the living dead while angrily eating a sandwich (where did it come from? Where????) or a graveyard makeout ending with a frog hidden in a coat pocket (you heard me), the audience was engaged and laughing pretty much throughout.

crowbait: The British films I’ve seen from this era are often so . . . bleak. Even while they are camp entertainment. The villains enjoy a reign of terror while the “heroes” are woefully ineffectual police officers, stuffy officials who are cut down by the gleeful satanists and monsters. Youth are revolutionary and evil and will not be stopped except by their own self-destruction! Yeah, sure it’s done for laughs here but with some better acting and less witchcraft, this could be A Clockwork Orange. Or not. 

 

2. Rodan

Hint: Giant monster movie classic.  Year: 1956

StayFrosty:  I’ll admit I slept through most of this.  I was trying to get my sleep in early.

crowbait: The Japanese dig too greedily and too deep and awaken the winged Godzilla-alike. The impressive destruction of model cities fills the second half of the film and makes up for the ponderous narration that weighs down the first half. Par for the course really with Toho features. I remember watching these movies as a kid, filling in the boring “talking” parts with my own dinosaur toys.

Jenny: No doubt a classic of Japanese monster flicks. I was so bored though. I’m so sorry, Japan! I want to love your giant rampaging kaiju. I just don’t have the strength.

 

3. Frightmare

Hint: Little seen supernatural shocker that marks the horror debut of a future genre icon.  Year: 1981

Jenny: The future genre icon in question here is legendery actor and reanimator, Jeffrey Combs, appearing in his first horror film role. I was thrilled to see him and the pissed-off undead horror star (in the tradition of Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi) was an amusing choice for a villain. With a plot strangely similar to Weekend at Bernie’s and a goofy gothic aethsetic, Frightmare is campy slasher fun. It’s overlong, unfortunately, and gets surprisingly dark. Dark is fine, but it’s an odd change in mood after the setup. Despite criticisms, I enjoyed it and I’m glad I had a chance to see it.

StayFrosty: This started out pretty fun, and it’s a cool idea to have a Bela Lugosi-type actor be all evil with mind powers, but it just doesn’t deliver the goods.  Too many long shots of our villain touching his head and making big eyes, not enough stuff actually happening.

crowbait: Yeah. I thought with some tighter editing, this could have been one of my faves. Unfortunately, when you have 30 minutes to wait around for the villain to even start moving you have plenty of time to notice “hey, this movie isn’t as clever as it thinks it is.”

 

4. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Hint: Just when you thought you were having fun, along comes Movie #4 to completely depress you with its stark brutality and nihilsim.   Year: 1986

StayFrosty: I’d seen Henry before – it’s an impactful, rough film.  I still felt this way watching it on the big screen, and I also realized I now know where Rob Zombie got his inspiration for every character in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects (they’re pretty much all Otis, including Sid Haig, who plays a guy named Otis).  Michael Rooker does an amazing job here of showing us a dangerous, frightening man who is still trying desperately to do the right thing with the one woman he might be able to care about.  Watching the scenes where she wants to be close to him and he is so desperately trying to stay away to avoid hurting her still carry weight on the second viewing.  In fact, I think I appreciated those types of scenes more this time around.  This isn’t an easy movie to watch, but I think it’s one that should be seen.

Jenny: They’re not kidding with that hint. This is a really severe shift in tone after the last few flicks, but it’s a classic. Horror fans willing to explore such a hopeless and violent place should see at least once. However, viewers uncomfortable with sexual violence in film should use caution or skip it entirely.

 

5. The Dead

No hint needed. Film announced in advance.   Year: 2010

StayFrosty:  Much like everything filmed in Australia, Africa is a gorgeous place to shoot a film.  This movie has beautiful landscape shots and lovely natural colors.  I was very much looking forward to this, and while I enjoyed it, I think it lost its footing in the last third of the film.  However, there’s some excellent imagery and a few very creepy moments.

crowbait: It’s always really interesting to see a zombie movie play out in a foreign environment. The zombie has always been seen as a metaphor for disease and witnessing the destruction of Africa this way, as the white people flee, is poignant. The antidote for the Resident Evil 5 video game, which started with a similar premise and quickly lost its way.

Jenny: The only new release shown and the only title projected digitally; both very unusual for an Exhumed Films event. I was very excited to see The Dead because I’d heard lots of intriguing things. That it was dangerous to film, that the locations were both beautiful and breaking new ground… it sounded amazing. After seeing it, I do appreciate the choice of setting and its relevance to social issues, but was rather disappointed by the film itself. Just another zombie movie.

 

6. Trick or Treat

Hint: Totally stupid, totally awesome Satanic silliness.  Year: 1986 

crowbait: Yes! One of my favorites! I’d seen it before of course but I’m never going to complain about having a chance to see this rock and roll nightmare. What’s really great about this film is that you can tell real fans of shock rock were behind it. It never descends to the level of parody: Embracing it’s subject matter for laughs rather than abusing it. Even though it’s about a satanist rocker using back-masking to cast spells and resurrect himself from the dead to get some revenge, there’s never any preachy nonsense about devil music, except for a hilarious cameo by Ozzy Osbourne as an anti-smut reverend.

StayFrosty:  Crow is right on all counts.  I hadn’t seen this before, so it really was a great surprise.  I loved it.  And the facial expressions on our Satanist rocker – oh man, they are excellent.

Jenny: I’d seen this before and I was so happy to see it again. The Osbourne cameo is fantastic and the villain is hilarious. Best movie ever? Well… maybe not, but a must-watch if you don’t hate fun. Possibly my favorite film screened at the Horrorthon. 

 

7. Night Warning

Hint: Underappreciated, over-the-top slasher/psychosexual thriller.  Year: 1982

Jenny: I’m so confused about this one. I’ve seen a number of post-Horrorthon reports taut Night Warning (AKA Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker) as the pick of the event. There’s definitely some dialogue here, featuring over-the-top homophobia and incestuous professions, to shock and amuse slasher fans, but I don’t get it. I got bored and left, so I can’t give it a proper review. There’s plenty of love going around for this tale of serious family dysfunction, though, so folks into exploitation may want to check it out.

 

8. Frankenhooker

Hint: Unconventional adaptation of a literary horror classic #1.  Year: 1990

StayFrosty: This was my first time seeing Frankenhooker.  Very much in the vein of Re-Animator (except our mad scientist is from Jersey), it mixes humor and horror in equal measure.  Probably more humor than horror, but a very funny and clever take on the Frankenstein story.  The stuff with the super crack wasn’t really necessary, but what can you do.

crowbait: Once the actual monster awakens and the rampage begins, the movie’s entertainment value soars. Unfortunately, it’s a long slog to get there and it doesn’t last long. There’s some tacked on commentary on the sad state of women who fill a need that has always has been a part of society and who are abused and destroyed for doing so but that’s never allowed to get in the way of gratuitous, unattractive nudity, pimp-slapping and “super crack.”

Jenny: I have tried (Basketcase) and I have tried (Bad Biology), but I’m just not a Frank Henenlotter fan. With that said, I really enjoyed this sleazy little flick. I’m sure the party atmosphere of a tired giggling crowd contributed to the positive experience, but I do think it’s worlds better than the rest of Henenlotter’s catalogue. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for laughs and trashy fun.

 

9. Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde

Hint: Unconventional adaptation of a literary horror classic #2.  Year: 1976

crowbait: I have to wonder about the underlying message here about how black people shouldn’t try to “be white” by becoming well-educated medical professionals and scientists. Eh, maybe I’m reading too deeply into what is obviously an excuse to see pimps and cops destroyed by a black man with a bullet-proof layer of white skin. (That’s a whole other can of symbolic worms.)

Jenny: It’s getting late at this point and the audience is tiring. I suspect some of the weaker less engaging selections are placed in this slot where folks inevitably start zoning out. So many of these blaxploitation twists on classic monsters start out with promise, but turn out to be slow-paced disappointments that drag on and wear out their welcome before long. Especially hard to get into after the rude guilty pleasures of Frankenhooker, I was very bored.

 

10. The Legend of the Wolf Woman

Hint: Infamous, sleezy, and bizarre Euro-horror/sexploitation movie.  Year: 1976

Jenny:  Basically an Italian rape-revenge movie with gratuitous full-frontal and delusions of lycanthropy. I’d seen Wolf Woman before; found in one of those cheap and glorious 50-packs Mill Creek churns out constantly. I sort of half-watched it then and I fear that’s the best way to do it. Once again, it’s amazing how some of these films with bad dubbing, hilarious dialogue and silly effects can get boring so quickly if the pace is slow and the scenes are repetitive. Even viewers attracted to the female form will tire of seeing this lady dance naked in a circle of torches for eternity. Adding goofy werewolf prosthetics to the naked dancing can only help for so long. It might be fun to throw it on during a party, but it doesn’t deserve your full attention. I fought sleep so hard during this film and I’m certain I lost.

 

11. Blood Diner

Hint: This is a goofy gore/sleaze-fest that will probably make your brain hurt with its sheer stupidity. It’s 5:30 in the morning, what did you expect?    Year: 1987

Jenny: I’m afraid this isn’t a review at all. This is the inevitable movie I slept through. I didn’t want to. I’m so ashamed. Every time I woke up for a minute, something tacky and horrible was happening onscreen and then I was out again. I’ve been told by more than one source that what I’m describing is the best way to enjoy Blood Diner, so I’m fighting my desire to seek it out and rewatch while awake. Dare I ruin my delirious 5:30 in the morning memories? Uh… highly recommended as a movie to sleep to.

 

12. The Burning

Hint: Star-studded” slasher semi-classic.  Year: 1981

Jenny: After a nice breakfast break, I’d recovered from my Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde and Wolf Woman woes. The Burning, definitely a classic, was a great way to start a new day of film overload.

Regarding the hint, both Holly Hunter and Seinfield‘s Jason Alexander made their film debut in this campgrounds slasher. Based on the old “Cropsey” urban legend, a summer camp caretaker is horribly burned and disfigured by a group of campers when a prank goes terribly wrong. Years later, Cropsey returns to the camp for brutal revenge. Slasher fans should check out The Burning for creepy kills (many featuring that terrifying pair of shears), successful shocks, and a rare Final Boy.

 

13. Maximum Overdrive

Hint: Usually, this is the spot where we show an “animals attack” movie. Well, there are no animals here, but people definitely get attacked in this silly sci-fi/action/horror amalgam.  Year: 1986

crowbait: Ugh. I guess it’s a good thing this was made when Stephen King was frequently face down in a bucket of cocaine because then he at least has some excuse. Nonsensical plot inconsistencies, schizo characters, ill fitting music and overlong scenes.

Jenny: I am generally a fan of King, but I couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t. The man shouldn’t direct. I left.

 

14. Meet the Feebles

Hint: For the first time ever, the Horror-thon does not end with a zombie film. In fact, it technically doesn’t even end with a horror movie. Instead, we close with this jaw-droppingly ridiculous/offensive/just-plain-wrong cult film favorite.   Year: 1989

Jenny: Meet the Feebles. Where do I begin? It’s The Muppets gone horribly horribly wrong presented by madman Peter Jackson. A relic of his wonderful and disgusting pre-Hobbit years.

This was an amazing conclusion to over 20 hours of movie madness. In a sick twist on the Henson characters we all know and love, puppets running a variety show succumb to their many vices—greed, drugs, sex, violence—and circle the drain as we cringe and follow along. It’s childhood corrupted. It’s both awful and hilarious. Peter Jackson, what have you done?

And that’s the last movie!

___________________________

Despite the occasional misses, the Horror-thon is a great time. There’s something special about not knowing what comes next and sharing the bewildered experience with an enthusiastic crowd of fellow genre nerds. With our senses and backs throughly assaulted, we are victorious, and go blinking into the sunlight. The end.

Monsters 2D Shooter

Posted: October 9, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in Games, News

Hey, gamers. Check this out.

Philly-based developers QuadraTron Games need funds to complete Monsters, a creepy retro shooter.  Check out their Kickstarter page to learn more about the game and to lend your support. There are 8 days left now and they’re oh so close to meeting the goal. Let’s make this happen, people. How can you say no to that face?

Submit to the 2013 Viscera Film Festival

Posted: October 2, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in Events, Film, News

Big news this week for women in horror! The Viscera Film Festival is now accepting submissions. Check out the official press release and the festival’s horribly beautiful poster below! -Jenny

FEMALE HORROR FILMMAKERS CALL VISCERA HOME

2013 Viscera Film Festival: Call for Submissions is Open!

Horror photographer Joshua Hoffine, known for his work depicting children’s nightmares, lent one of his frightening images for the call for submissions poster… a menacing monsteress lying on a field of rose petals in the style of American Beauty, which illustrates the horror and beauty of Viscera’s mission in gorgeous, full-blooded color.

 

LOS ANGELES, CA, October 1, 2012 – Now that Halloween is drawing near, female filmmakers working in genre cinema are stampeding to Viscera as it announces its 2013 festival call for submissions. From October 1, 2012 through February 28, 2013 (culminating in Women in Horror Month), Viscera is accepting digital submissions for its 2013 festival season. Unlike most festivals, Viscera does not charge submission fees. Filmmakers interested in submitting should head to the Submissions tab of the main website, www.viscerafilmfestival.com.

For filmmakers whose work is selected, gore-soaked masses of thrilling experiences await. On the Viscera Film Festival Bloody Carpet Event, filmmakers pose for photos and meet fans and fellow filmmakers, as well as big-name celebrity guests. Films are screened in front of enthusiastic crowds (this July, Viscera screened at the Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles). Uniquely beautiful awards are given out, and there’s always an after-party. But the Viscera World Tour is the real draw: Festival-selected films are shown around the world throughout the year. As every filmmaker knows, the more a film screens, the greater the opportunity is for furthering a career in the industry.

Although Viscera’s primary mission is to promote female filmmakers, the Organization doesn’t believe in exclusion or domination, but in equality. Many men are co-directors/co-producers of the films programmed. Even scary little monsters (filmmakers age 18 and under) can gain support in their budding careers via Viscera’s Fresh Blood category.

I believe in the Viscera Film Festival and what it has done for women filmmakers everywhere by creating one of the few venues available to showcase the work women are doing in the genre and avant-garde film world. It is a small but steadily growing community and the Viscera Film Festival, along with its ancillary endeavors, act as a support system and a bridge for these filmmakers to find one another and connect on a creative and professional level. Without the film festival, I would not have met many of the bright and talented women filmmakers, actors and producers that I now work with on a daily basis.”

Amber Benson, Director/Actress (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Drones)

As a producer of genre films, I can assure you that there is no other organization in the United States which has taken on these objectives with the degree of passion and commitment as VFF.”

Elizabeth Stanley, Producer (Dark Path Chronicles)

Thanks to their championing of females who write, direct and produce horror films, I have been given the chance to share my voice and vision with a wider audience, which has facilitated some significant opportunities in my career.”

Devi Snively, Filmmaker (Confederate Zombie Massacre)

About the Viscera Film Festival and Viscera Organization:

The Viscera Film Festival was created in 2007 by Shannon Lark to encourage and promote the work of women horror filmmakers. The fest has grown each year, morphing into a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with an ever-expanding, dynamic staff of men and women who eat, sleep, and breathe genre cinema. Beginning, as a touring festival, Viscera has become a highly anticipated genre event in Los Angeles, complete with red carpet (what we affectionately refer to as the “Bloody Carpet”), celebrity guests, and a raucous after-party. 2012 marked the third annual Bloody Carpet event in Los Angeles at the Egyptian Theatre. Viscera’s tentacles have encircled the globe and films programmed at the festival have screened all over the world.

About Viscera’s other festival and organizations:

EtheriaFilmFestival: Viscera’s brand-new sci-fi/fantasy festival recently premiered in Boston, MA on September 15, 2012 to a nearly sold-out crowd or ravenous sci-fi fans. This sister fest was created because of the enormous amount of high-quality fantasy and sci-fi films were submitted to Viscera; the Organization created a festival just for these films. http://www.etheriafilmfestival.com

WomeninHorrorMonth: Women In Horror Month remains under Viscera’s bloody umbrella, as Viscera and WIHM, founded and executed by Hannah Forman, shares the same positive mission: To educate the public about women’s roles (via the horror genre) and how equality can be attained. The WIHM Board of Directors approves WIHM-created content. Wherever you see the WIHM seal, you’ll know that it’s “WIHM Approved”.

http://womeninhorrormonth.com

Monster Mania Con 22

Posted: August 22, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in About Us, Events, Film, News, Shopping

August is here and that means the ladies and gentleman of Final Girl Support Group were summoned to Cherry Hill, NJ yet again to attend Monster Mania, a semiannual celebration of all things horror. Any nerd gathering has its drawbacks, but Dave Hagan and company run a good show. We never miss it.

“Hey… Clive. Hey, Clive. Clive. Clive.”

As you may remember, last spring was a weekend-long tribute to Robert Englund and his slasher alter ego Freddy (see FGSG and Cinedelphia for more details). Although a number of guests were unrelated to a unifying theme this summer, the con could easily have been called “Barker Con.” That’s Clive Barker of course; the infamous British author, director, and artist responsible for Hellraiser, Nightbreed, Candyman, and other explorations of terrifying nightmare worlds and inconceivable pain. An impressive gathering of cast members from both Hellraiser and Nightbreed were in attendance. The buzz of the horror community for a time, the new “Cabal Cut” of Nightbreed, was onscreen daily. Just one hitch. The star of the show was missing. No Clive.

It was a huge disappointment when Barker, scheduled as the headliner since November, had to cancel his appearance in late July for health reasons. The fans, convention organizers, and Barker himself were clearly devastated that he was too sick to attend, but I’m impressed to say that Hagan and the outspoken community of attendees handled the unfortunate situation with class. The staff worked hard to satisfy disappointed ticket-holders and many fans expressed sympathies and encouragement to Clive rather than unfair outrage (though I’m sure some trolls lost their minds). Get better soon, Clive. Meanwhile… the show must go on.

There’s a great deal going on at these events including celebrity meet ‘n’ greets, vendors hawking all kinds of horror memorabilia, costumes, panels, and screenings of films highlighting the guests of honor. What are we there for? STUFF… and friends… maybe staring at actors and intriguing panels. But we must not lie to you, our precious readers. We’re there to fulfill our nerdly needs for hard-to-find films and classics to fill out our collections. Let’s not forget the ever-present quest for feminine horror apparel. May we fly our freak flags in flattering clothes? Must we be forever be banished to XXL t-shirts? More on that later. First… MOVIES MOVIES MOVIES.

The Loot! 

I would leave these events with enough films to warrant renting a truck if I could. Sadly, I’m the starving artist type and must settle for a satisfying but reasonable armful. I left the convention with these finds:

  • The Deadly Spawn- One needs a cheesy monster movie now and then.
  • Evidence- Interesting found-footage title. Never heard of it before the con. Pleasantly surprised. More on this below.
  • F- Hoodie Horror. A British school invasion in the tradition of Ils, The Strangers and Eden Lake.
  • Hierro- All signs lead toward a flawed but visually stunning psychological horror flick.
  • Iron Sky- Nazis on the moon. Udo Kier as the Moon Fuhrer. I shouldn’t have to say more. Amazing.
  • Kill List- One of the best horror films of 2011. Worth picking up if you’re not squeamish. Proud to have mine on Blu.
  • The Life and Death of a Porno Gang- Another shocker from Serbia. Although I’ve read a few things about the film, I have a feeling we’re in for some uncomfortable surprises. Bring it on.

In addition to my sweet pile of movies, I scored some pretty lady clothes. I’ll be the belle of the ball in my hot new Texas Chainsaw Massacre dress. Thanks, KittyVamp Designs!

Let’s hear from StayFrosty.

StayFrosty:  As usual, I started at the Diabolik DVD table.  They always have high quality, hard to find stuff, and they know their shit, so it’s fun talking to them in their few seconds of free time.  This year I picked up the blu-ray of Halloween 4 & 5 (yeah I know, they’re not great, but I’m completing a collection.  Don’t judge me.), the Arrow version of Fulci’s House by the Cemetary, and the blu-ray of Livide.  I’m super excited to see Livide, the follow up film from Inside directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury.  FGSG loved Inside, so I can’t wait to see what they do next.

At every convention, if I have the money, I grab a few movies I’ve never heard of that look interesting, and it’s exciting to hope I’ll find a gem in the lottery.  This year JennyD and I chose a bunch together – some known (Iron Sky!) and some completely unknown.  And we found a little film called Evidence.  We got it for free with the purchase of other movies, or we wouldn’t have picked it up (the description didn’t make it seem very interesting, found footage is a little played out, etc).  And when we sat down to watch it, our guess seemed to be correct – we were bored within the first ten minutes.  We contemplated turning it off, but decided to give it 15 more minutes.  And am I glad we did, because once the movie got going (about the 15 minute mark), it kept the quality going right through until the end of the closing credits.  There were some genuinely creepy moments, and while the film does change gears, it never feels forced.  I don’t want to give to much away, but this is well worth a watch.

Jeannet Mendez of KittyVamp Designs

We’ve often discussed the lack of horror clothing for ladies at these conventions (let’s get this straight – youth sizes don’t mean girl shirts, and men’s smalls don’t count either), but this year we had a very pleasant surprise.  In the corner of the smaller dealers’ room we found KittyVamp Designs (www.kittyvamp.com), run by a young lady who takes giant men’s shirts and remakes them into hot female dresses and shirts.  Needless to say, we had to get some of these and if I had the money, I know I would have bought a ton of stuff.  As it is, I’m now a proud owner of Dracula and Friday the 13th dresses – can’t wait to wear them!  These dresses were well made, flattering to the body, and comfortable.  This lady knows her stuff.  And whenever I checked, her booth was absolutely packed with women.  Take this as a hint, other clothing dealers – there are lots of ladies who want to look fabulous in horror clothing, and KittyVamp Designs is doing it right.  Definitely the best non-film find of the convention.

Friends, Fiends, Costumes and Creeps

Takes all kinds to put on a horror show. Takes all kinds. Although your usual suspects (Pyramid Head, Stilt Clowns, Jasons-o-plenty) were present as always and looking good, Monster Mania 22 wasn’t the explosion of costume excitement and creativity inspired by Freddy Con in March. We do enjoy the parade of fake blood and slasher masks all the same.

Speaking of Freddy… some con-goers were pretty obnoxious this year. StayFrosty has promised us a powerful rant on creepers, the issues a woman faces at an event like this, and con etiquette in general. We look forward to it, lady.

Other than a few bad apples, however, we find the event is becoming a more female-friendly space every year. Although the environment has hardly been hostile, it’s safe to say that most genre conventions have been guilty of gender exclusion–addressing and selling solely to a male audience, mistaking women in the community for booth babes, dismissing the knowledge or integrity of female fans–and we’re seeing some significant progress. In 2012, we found slim-fit women’s tees featuring posters for The Thing, Silent Night Deadly Night, A Serbian Film, and more. We bought flattering dresses crafted from men’s horror tees. We met kick-ass women holding down booths who are knowledgeable, eager to talk cinema, and happy to share recommendations. And, in an encouraging turn, less men appear to be surprised by the concept of our blog and the assertion that the hardcore female fanbase is very real. We feel good about where this is going.

Now, a few shout-outs to some of our favorite familiar faces…

Joseph and Jesse of Diabolik DVD and Exhumed Films at Monster Mania 21.

Joseph Gervasi and Jesse Nelson of Diabolik DVD

StayFrosty: We say it a lot, but it’s worth repeating – the Diabolik boys know their shit.  And without doubt, they have the best selection at the con (probably because they know their shit).  It’s a terrific mix of all types of horror (and some that skirt the line into other genres): gory, creepy, exploitation, atmospheric, cult, wild and just plain weird, all from a variety of countries (which means you’ve got to check the region on your purchases, but they’re pretty good about letting you know when something isn’t going to play in American players).  What more could a horror-loving blog team ask for?  Aside from their awesome selection, Jesse and Joseph are cool guys that are fun to talk to – they know and love movies, and it shows.  While we don’t like to interrupt them during vendor hours (their booth is almost always packed), we do love to see them and talk to them, however briefly, about the latest in carnage and weirdness.

Jenny adds: Check Diabolik DVD often for the newest in strange cinema and keep an eye on their sister site Exhumed Films to stay informed about the best damn horror and exploitation events in the Philly area.

Dan and Scott at the PhilaMOCA Mausoleum Art Show of Horrors in June (curated by your humble narrator). Photo by Arin Sang-urai.

Dan Tabor and Scott Cole

Jenny: After burning through our con money and staying up all night for a little horrorthon on Friday, our plan for Saturday was fairly relaxed. We ended up spending the bulk of the day with these fine gentlemen. Intense movie discussion and fun were had by all.

Dan Tabor, super fan and serious movie fiend, writes for local geek guide Geekadelphia. He’s also got some adorable dogs. You’re jealous. Get news, reviews, and even chances to win screening passes and prizes from Dan over here.

Scott Cole is an author, artist, confirmed horrorphile, and occasional guest contributor here on FGSG. (See his review of Saint Nick here.) Visit 13Visions to learn more about Scott’s artwork and writing.

If you’re in the Philly area and you’re sitting down for a screening of some bizarre or obscure horror flick, don’t panic… They’re probably right behind you… Seriously, these guys can be found at most local genre events. They’re good sorts. Say hello.

Coming Soon…

That’s all for now. We didn’t catch panels or take many photos, but we had a good time.

As briefly mentioned, Clive Barker’s new Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut was screening daily and it was a huge draw for horror fans eager to see the new partially-restored version of the film. We did catch the screening Friday night, but a proper writeup requires a post of its own. Look for a review of the new cut, coming soon, here on FGSG.

New Etheria Film Festival Kicks off in 2012

Posted: June 19, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in Events, Film, News

This just in from the folks at Viscera, a new film festival highlighting women in sci-fi and fantasy is coming to you lucky readers in Massachusetts. Jealous! Press release below.

2012 Etheria Film Festival

Celebrates Women Filmmakers of Science Fiction & Fantasy  

(19 June 2012) Strap on your blasters, fire up your TARDIS, and run, Runner!  It’s not Carousel but this September will bring you the very first Etheria Film Festival. Etheria is the brainchild of film journalist and programmer, Heidi Honeycutt, as well as an imprint of the Viscera Organization, a not-for-profit that is dedicated to increasing the visibility of female genre filmmakers.  The Viscera Film Festival has been showcasing the best in emerging female horror film talent since 2007.  But why stop with horror?  There are talented women filmmakers across every genre.  The Etheria Film Festival is the only film festival in the world that screens, exclusively, the best new short science fiction and fantasy films directed by women from around the globe.

There will be a reception for the filmmakers as well as an After Party so don’t run off too soon. It’s guaranteed Reaver Free!

Date: September 15th, 2012

Start Time: 4 pm
End Time: 10:30 pm

Location: http://www.somervilletheatreonline.com/somerville-theatre/
Somerville Theatre
55 Davis Square
Somerville, MA 02144-2908
(617) 625-5700

Tickets: http://allthingshorrorpresents.ticketleap.com/etheria-film-festival/

For More Information:
Visit Our Website: www.etheriafilmfestival.com or
Contact: heidi@viscerafilmfestival.com

Etheria is Copresented by www.AllThingsHorrorOnline.net

Now that you have the nitty-gritty important details, let’s talk about the fun stuff.  Etheria’s amazing judging panel (listed below) worked harder than Atreyu in the Swamp of Sadness to find and pull together for you a lineup of films that are out of this world.  Take a look below to see what’s in store.

Film Lineup:

Fantasy Category

Seamstress  - Gracie Otto (Australia)
An ailing bird watcher becomes obsessed with a seamstress living next door when he observes her luring birds into her home. He discovers that she needs the birds to survive, and that he may hold the key to furthering the species.

Oowie Wanna  - Bridget Palardy (USA)
While doing laundry, a misfit 7-year-old girl tumbles into an alluring other-world, where she must decide the fate of her birthmark.

Prita Noire - Sofia Carrillo (Mexico)
A fantastical animated story of two sisters in a strange place, and their strange relationship.

She Wolf - Francesca Reverdito (Italy)
Little Red Riding Hood turns the table on the wolf.

The Maiden and the Princess  - Ali Scher (USA)
A fairy tale about a young girl who loves the princess instead of the prince.

The Hunter and the Swan Discuss Their Meeting - Emily Carmichael (USA)
A Brooklyn couple have dinner with a hunter and his girlfriend, a magical swan woman. It doesn’t go well.

The Stolen - Karen Lam (Canada)
A dark fairytale about an imaginative little girl who saves a bullied boy and is granted a secret wish.

The Red Hood  - Danishka Esterhazy (Canada)
A dark re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood set in the Canadian prairies during the Great Depression.

Sci Fi Category

The Provider - Brianne Nord-Stewart (Canada)
In an alternate-history 1940s small town America, after Japan retaliates over Hiroshima with biological warfare, the local doctor’s home is the safest place to seek refuge. Or is it?

Undetected - Kristen Anderson (USA)
A blown engine on a remote road forces two sisters to look for help in a ghost-town from a couple that closely resembles the living dead.

Laura Keller - Maureen Perkins (USA)
With global population at an extreme high, federal fertility lotteries now determine who can and can’t reproduce. When one woman learns that she will be permanently sterilized, her faith in the system is shaken.

Imminent Danger - Alana McNair (USA)
Whoops! After an unintentional button pressing incident alerting Earth of its impending demise, Gail must find a way to reverse this misunderstanding and save the world!

Kaboomtown - Jakqui Schuler (USA)
As the human race keeps on exploding around her, Jane struggles to fill out a stack of application forms to stay alive.

Slashed  - Rebecca Thomson (Australia)
Worlds will collide when Renata and Frieda’s erotic fantasies cross the digital frontier.

Volcano Girl - Ashley Maria (USA)
Fighting super villains is easy. Losing your superhero job, moving back home and sharing a bathroom with your little sister? Now that’s hard.

Feature Program

We Are All Cylons - Ilana Rein (USA)
We Are All Cylons investigates our very human enthusiasm for technology and myth by examining the metaphysical resonances of the television series “Battlestar Galactica.”

Special Guest Judges:

Rachel Talalay (director, Nightmare on Elm Street 6, Tank Girl)
Suzi Yoonessi (director, Dear Lemon Lima)
Stacie Ponder (artist/writer Womanthology, RPG)
Andre Dumas (journalist, TheHorrorDigest)
Chris Hallock (AllThingsHorrorOnline.net)
Mike Snoonian (AllThingsHorrorOnline.net)
Lynn Hershman Leeson (director, Teknolust)
Christopher Golden (author, The Ferryman)
Jennifer M. Kroot (director, It Came From Kuchar)
Nicole McConvery (Program Director, Boston Underground Film Festival)
Richard Griffin (director, Exhumed, Disco Exorcist, Nun of That)
Liz Coffey (Film Preserver, Harvard Film Archive)
Lisa Hammer (director, Pox, The Invisible Life of Thomas Lynch)

This stellar showcase is made possible by the generosity of Etheria’s Sponsors:

AllThingsHorrorOnline.net, PlanetFury.com, PlanetEtheria.com, TheHorrorDigest, Women In Horror Month, The Viscera Organization, Carly Lyn, Chris Hallock

Debbie Rochon Directs!

Posted: June 1, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in Film, News

As feminists in the horror community, it’s probably obvious that Final Girl Support Group LOVES Debbie Rochon. Actress, writer, advocate for women in horror… this lady rocks. Great news for us and fellow Rochon admirers! We just received word on the newest phase of Debbie’s career; a turn in the director’s chair.

HUNGRY for the KNIFE, DEBBIE ROCHON’S DIRECTORIAL DEBUT

(29 May 2012) There’s nothing more thrilling than power saws and vacuums plugging into the screen to suck, tuck, and dismember unsuspecting young women for your viewing pleasure. It’s equally intoxicating when the director herself has starred in these roles hundreds of times. 

Fangoria Magazine’s June 2012 cover model and First Lady of Fear (Issue #314), veteran genre actress Debbie Rochon (COLOUR FROM THE DARK, THEATRE BIZARRE) is crossing over the lens in her directorial debut with the self-aware horror film, “Model Hunger”.  

Written by executive producer James Morgart (WON TON BABY!) and produced by Gregory Lamberson (SLIME CITY and SLIME CITY MASSACRE) and Shannon Lark (LUDLOW), “Model Hunger” is a terrifying perspective of what can happen when the industry pushes one woman too far and the horrifying domino effect that hacks, grinds, and amputates the unlucky women crossing her path. 

“Model Hunger” is slated for production this summer with a talented cast to bring the horror straight to your voyeuristic eyes. For now, stampede over to the Facebook page and pledge your undying devotion to the blade. Model Hunger: we are just getting started.

www.facebook.com/ModelHunger

www.debbierochon.com

www.morgueartfilms.com

Home Theater Horrorshow: 3/13/2012

Posted: March 14, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in Film, News

During Oscars week, we published  The Lucky 13: The Best Horror of 2011 and The Ripleys, a tribute to the individuals who scared us, moved us, and made us laugh last year.

Well, Absentia and Melancholia are both available on DVD this week. Have we been unclear in any way?

SEE THESE MOVIES.

Absentia

Tricia’s husband has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him ‘dead in absentia.’ As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, she comes to the realization that his presumed death might be anything but ‘natural.’ Soon it becomes clear that the ghostly force at work in the tunnel might have set its sights on Callie and Tricia too.

I picked a well-designed and appropriate graphic to accompany this text, but I must warn you. The studio distributing the DVD cursed it with a hideous cover. It looks like… a ghost wearing gloves is trying to have anal sex with an angry naked lady… maybe? Please don’t let it keep you away from this excellent film.

We named low-budget supernatural chiller Absentia as one of the best horror films of 2011. They pull off incredibly effective scares through use of simple makeup, camera focus and good storytelling. I feel that telling you much more would do the film a disservice. It might be asking a lot in this era, but I recommend avoiding the trailer, turning off the lights and watching this film with an open mind.


Melancholia

Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) celebrate their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of Justine’s sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland). Despite Claire’s best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth threatening the very existence of humankind…

We named this film in our Best of 2011 article as well. We also praised it for Best Actress, Best Director and Best Cinematography. If you haven’t figured me out quite yet, yes, I’m rather obsessed with this film.

A metaphorical tale of the sister conditions, depression and anxiety, set in a visually stunning doomsday scenario. Melancholia is a deliberately paced and emotionally overwhelming art film experience. Say what you will about von Trier and his tendency to anger the film world. This man knows how to make a movie.

Home Theater Horrorshow: 2/28/2012

Posted: February 28, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in Film, News

Good morning, readers! I’m back to talk about today’s home video releases. I regret missing a good number of these posts due to real life getting in the way (how rude), but the show must go on. Not much to discuss this week, but let’s start strong.

My Recommendation:
Rabies 

AKA Kalevet

When a psychotic serial killer is on the loose, his path of rampage crosses paths with Ofer and Tali, a brother and sister combo who have run away from home. But when Tali becomes ensnared in the killer’s trap, it is up to Ofer to find help. Left alone, Tali soon becomes mixed up with an unlikely group of characters, ranging from a set of tennis players to a squad of policemen. All the while they continue to be stalked by the murderer – and when this assassin’s identity is finally revealed, it turns out to be the biggest shock of all!

Rabies (2010), the first Israeli horror film, is a low-budget spin on the slasher from first-time writer/directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado.

A necessary disclaimer to English speakers; despite the title, the disease rabies is not present in this film nor is it ever mentioned. Something lost in translation? So. No, you don’t get frothing at the mouth. However, you DO get a creative reimagining of the slasher scenario that defies genre conventions yet delivers on the laughs and carnage. Reviews are mixed, but positive overall.

More DVDs Released This Week:
Beneath the Darkness

Beneath the Darkness is a teen thriller in the style of Disturbia, with high school kids pitted against a psychotic villain in a community where adults refuse to see one of their own is a serial killer. The villain (Dennis Quaid) is a well-respected mortician in a town where he was once a legendary high school football star. But among the kids he is legendary for a more sinister reason – rumors that his house is haunted. The truth is more evil and much more dangerous – the town leader murdered his wife and her lover when he caught them having an affair, and now has secretly set up house with his wife’s embalmed corpse. The local hero is a flesh-and-blood monster who buries his victims alive, a sociopath who befriends adults and police while openly flaunting his murderous intentions to the teens. He will kill anyone who threatens to expose him or his now-perfect marriage.

Wolf Town

Kyle, a shy college student finds himself and three of his friends trapped in an old western ghost town by a pack of ferocious wolves and has to overcome his personal fears to confront the wolves and lead his friends to safety.