--- Day Of The Woman - All across the horror blogosphere right now, everybody is celebrating February as Women In Horror Month, and rightfully so. About time the gals that contribute to our beloved genre get some recognition for the unique voice they lend to this dark art of storytelling. From films, to acting, to fiction, to music and so on, the ladies are as invaluable to horror as anything that's lurked under a bed or came crawling out of those dark as pitch woods. For starters, imagine a genre where Scream Queens aren't willing to bare all, run themselves ragged as they attempt to evade some lunatic with a machete or scream their throats raw for their art and well, what a world! We here at The October Country are going to do our best to honor these lasses for the remainder of the month (I'm listening to Wendy Carlos' stellar score contribution to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining as I type this) but don't let that keep you from exploring what many others are contributing to the revelry. For our money, checking out Final Girl (hands off her Friday the 13th stick figure coffee mugs, they're miiiiiiiiiiine) and Totally Jinxed, two amazing sites ran by two amazing ladies, would be a great place to start.
--- Day Of The Woman Part 2: Electric Boogaloo - The cut off date for submissions for this years Viscera Film Festival, LA's female driven horror movie festival, is coming to a close, February 28, 2011 (to coincide with Women in Horror Recognition Month). Females across the globe are encouraged to pick up a camera and show the world that you can scare us as much as the big boys. From Viscera's press release:
The Viscera Film Festival honors women filmmakers within the horror genre. Each selected filmmaker receives a hand crafted Viscera Statue, a walk on the Festivals’ bloody carpet, and distribution. In addition, all-female productions have the opportunity to receive the Viscera Award, a monetary award intended to recognize that women can be particularly horrific when they join forces. For filmmakers who choose distribution, Viscera will send your film to its supporters, who are an ever growing community of journalists, magazines, websites, promoters, and film festivals worldwide.
A bloody carpet event will be thrown in Los Angeles at the Silent Movie Theater on July 17th, 2011. Celebrity guests and Filmmakers will walk the carpet, coming together with a live audience to watch the selected films. An Award Ceremony, Special Guest Speakers, and an After Party is included.
Visit http://viscerafilmfestival.com for submission rules and more information.
--- Day Of The Woman Part 3: Judgment Day - How about that Natalie Portman eh'? Deservedly nominated for Best Actress in this years 83rd Annual Academy Awards, it remains irrelevant to this fan if she wins(though I am rooting for her). Portman has already won by delivering an instantly classic horror movie performance in my book, one that will certainly be remembered for decades to come. Certainly Black Swan is a film to be celebrated this month of all months, a movie that truly belongs to the ladies. Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder and Barbara Hershey all bring their A game, commanding the screen from beginning to end. So it is with great excitement for me to add this little treat. From the very beginning Black Swan has been compared by many to Dario Argento's 1977 masterpiece Suspiria. It's a comparison that is tenuous at best as far as I am concerned, seeing as they only really have the ballet and a heightened sense of style in common and honestly, very little else. But I just threw all that out the window as director Darren Aronofsky (and sorta-ginger man meat, call me) recently acknowledged and tipped his hat at this connective tissue by releasing a Suspiria inspired TV spot for his nominated film. Complete with Goblin score and everything. Any horror film fan who has ever heard that iconic music knows that there is really nothing left to do but swoon.
If you are one of the many who have yet to see Black Swan, I urge you to do so. Without a doubt one of the year's proudest moments of horror.
--- From The Ashes, A New Horror Is Born - Looks like Dutch director Richard Raaphorst is finally getting his shot. The director of the famous, stunning Worst Case Scenario sales reels that saw zombified Nazis returning from the grave to seek bloodthirsty revenge (I know I know, we've all seen that one before, but trust me not like this, you'll be salivating), though sadly never materialized into a feature film (surely one of the greatest movies that never was). Now, thanks to Dark Sky Films (bless 'em) Raaphorst is moving forward with another Nazi themed horror project, Frankenstein's Army. From the press release:
Using shocking vintage newsreel footage as his jumping-off point, Richard Raaphorst has hit on a unique and bold premise. Toward the end of World War II, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany stumble across a secret Nazi lab, one that has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The scientists have used the legendary's Frankenstein's work to assemble an army of supersoldiers stitched together from the body parts of their fallen comrades - a desperate Hitler's last ghastly ploy to escape defeat.
Can't wait! Now, will someone just finance Timo Vuorensola's Iron Sky already?
--- O, Lord! O, Jesus Christ! - Gather yourselves dear readers. It is coming; The Wicker Tree (aka Cowboys For Christ), the long awaited sequel to 1973's definitive horror classic The Wicker Man. The best news? It's not a sequel to Neil LaBute's misbegotten re-make, but rather the original, genuine article. That and the director of the first film, Robin Hardy (and author of the book with which Tree is adapted from), has returned to helm the second visit to that dark world of religious dogma, hobby horses, maypoles and martyrs. Oh, and screen legend Christopher Lee is back on board too. So much good news all at once, my head is liable to explode. I ask you dear readers, are there many other images throughout horror movie history that instantly fills you with a sense of dread nearly as much as that of the wicker man itself? Stomach churning stuff. Though I imagine I wouldn't have much to worry about (I'm an atheist) if I ever found myself vacationing amongst the pagan locals of Summerisle, I still can't help but get goosebumps when I reflect back on that iconic image, nor can I help getting goosebumps from the viewing The Wicker Tree's sales trailer that hit the web recently. Which you too can view by visiting the film's official site here.
--- I Just Came In My Pants - Now, there are dream team pairings in my overactive fan-boy imagination (Sigourney Weaver starring in a David Lynch vehicle, Jaume Balaguero adapting Ramsey Campbell for the big screen, again) and then there are dream team pairings, such as this one that was just announced. Writer Simon Barrett (Red Sands, Dead Birds) and director Adam Wingard (Pop Skull, Home Sick) are re-teaming to tackle the slasher genre with You're Next! Even better news, one of The October Country's favorite directors, Ti West (like the aforementioned Aronofsky, a delicious specimen of grade A man fixins, call me) has signed onto participate...in front of the camera. Yes, the director of The House of the Devil, The Roost and The Innkeepers will be starring in Barrett and Wingard's production. Whether it's 90 minutes of the delectable West on screen (one hopes), or what will surely be top quality horror film making from Barrett and Wingard, one thing is for certain, a box of *ahem* tissues will most definitely be required alongside the popcorn.
--- I Just Came In My Pants Part 2: Battle For The Planet Of The Apes - I'm going to need a serious change of whitey-tighties after all of this. In what seems like it's been forever, we here at The October Country have been waiting for something, anything to be announced by Spanish director Nacho Cerda, one of our other favorite directors (and the third director in a row to distract your host's...uh...neither regions during the writing of this article, geesh). Well, all that changed today. He's back. Not heard from since the release of 2006's The Abandoned (co-written with Subconscious Cruelty's Karim Hussain) which frankly, stunned us, Cerda's return to the screen is nothing if not a welcome, overdue reason to hop up and down and hoot and holler and carry on like a lunatic. Which I assure you dear readers, I did just that. The kicker, another dream team. This time Cerda will be directing a script written by Richard mother fucking Stanley, director of Hardware! Too much I tell you. Too much for one guy all in one day. The project? I Am Legion (no relation to the Will Smith CGI-atrocity or the Richard Matheson novel, I Am Legend, on which it was based), an English-language vampire movie set during WWII. Altogether now; fanboy sqeeeeeeeeeaul!
--- The Finger Nail Chewing Continues - Over the fate of J.J. Abram's sci-fi / horror masterpiece Fringe. At first successfully moving to it's new night and time on Fridays not a month ago with steady ratings, it appeared to be saved and in lock for a 4th season renewal. Well, in the past 2 weeks it's ratings have slipped again and it's right back to where it was; hanging in limbo with an uncertain fate. Surely the cancellation axe is being sharpened as I type this. But it's not too late boys and girls. Tune in Fridays at 9pm on Fox and help save one of television's (and the genre's) most acclaimed, smartly written, horrifying shows.
---In Personal News - Don't, I repeat don't throw a party if you are a collector of valuable horror movie memorable. That or make sure you have respectful, responsible friends, which apparently we don't. I have on my bookshelf a headless Tom Savini / Dawn of the Dead imported action figure to reinforce the folly of just such a recent ill advised decision. Poor Savini.
This has been a K & B Radio news bulletin. We now return to our regularly scheduled broadcast.