Talk about a slow week in horror related news. Not that we here at The October Country consider ourselves your premiere source of news related material mind you (we cherry pick the stories that have us most excited). Its just that....well, we're procrastinating really. We've got this epic laundry list of items that need worked on for the site sat before us right now and truth be told dear readers, we're just too distracted by other, personal obligations in life to get to them. Thus, a brief news bulletin is in order to keep us distracted for those real world duties as well.
---Circle The Wagons - Regardless of whether people loved, or hated Srdjan Spasojevic’s A Serbian Film, all across the blogospehere this week, supporters of freedom of expression have been sticking their necks out and lending their voices to the battle cry over the ridiculous mess that Sitges Film Festival and its director Angel Sala have found themselves in over last year's screening of the film. There hasn't been any breaking news on the matter since we brought it to your attention a couple of days ago, however we feel it is pertinent to remind you (in case you missed our update) that you too can and should open your mouth and throw down with these mislead tyrants waging a war of censorship against not only the genre, but a genuine work of art and a relatively blameless man caught in the middle. Today, Shawn over at The Bloodsprayer is the latest to speak up about this unjust turn of events. You can read all about it here.
Lastly, all this controversy and hoopla is made all the more interesting this week (of all weeks), as it has been reported today that A Serbian Film's American premiere release dates have finally been set. Picked up for US distribution by the admittedly brave Invincible Pictures, it's been reported that Film will play select theaters across North America May 13—albeit in an edited version. The unrated Serbian Film will be released exclusively via digital media distribution outfit FlixFling the same day. Sadly, there was no news of an impending DVD or BluRay release. FlixFling's CEO Tom Ashley did have this say “This is an excellent opportunity for FlixFling to offer something totally exclusive to our growing community. It was always our intention to release this film uncut, but given the recent charges against Sitges director Angel Sala, we have decided to release an edited version. We believe this film deserves to be seen as the filmmakers originally intended and hope to be able to release A Serbian Film uncut in the future.” Though we personally believe that screening A Serbian Film cut in any way, completely misses the entire point of the film, it is heartening to know that North American audiences will have the opportunity to see this instantly classic shocker in a format other than the screener bootleg copies that have been circulating our shores for the better part of a year. Also, as its name inevitably gains wider recognition in the US's mainstream media, time will tell if A Serbian Film will meet a similar, controversial fate in the States.
---Silent No More - You may be hard pressed to find a bigger Silent Hill fan than I dear readers. Long gone are hours of my life that I will never get back because I was too damn busy attempting to gather every medipack scattered about those fog enshrouded streets, or exploring every conceivable nook and cranny of that terrifyingly haunted town (not to speak of the time spent on Silent Hill message boards, reading hours upon hours of fan theories dissecting the franchise's plethora of obscure meanings and myriad mysteries). However having said that, I'll admit that as of late, the series has lost some of it's gleam for me. Silent Hill: Origins was a cornucopia of missed opportunities (go ahead and ask me how I would do that theater bound level, really, go ahead) and badly ported graphics. Homecoming, as every fan knows, was too reliant on combat and suffered from a bizarre issue where the franchise's world (oft-favored for exploratory nosing around), was shrunk down to a meager few streets. Shattered Memories (attention to character aside), was a blasphemous, limp re-imagining of the game's history with next to no replay value. It's a commonly held belief that ever since the original four entries' "Team Silent" (the series' creators) departed the franchise, the bloom has definitely been off the rose (missed more than anything by yours truly, is their unique ability to insert completely nonsensical, surreal visual Easter eggs into nearly every environment). Then came Christophe Gan's major studio film adaptation, which despite all my excitement and built-in fanboy love for it, arrived only to disappointment and frankly, suck. It was gorgeous eye candy yes. It was crazy atmospheric too. However, in the end, it was a colossal letdown that effectively killed any enthusiasm on my part for a sequel. Now, after 5 years of stops and starts and behind the scenes legal troubles for the original's scripter Roger Avary, Tri Star Pictures is finally lensing the long gestating followup. With news that the sequel, Silent Hill: Revelations (at this point the overused "revelations" should officially be retired from being a film's secondary title ever again) currently filming in Toronto, I was a bit shocked that not even a hint of geeky passion was ignited within me. That was, until I read about Miss Awesomesauce's vivacious anticipation for the second installment over at her Final Girl website. For a brief moment, I hesitated, suspecting that she may in fact be a plant by Samael himself, but quickly discounted this notion. She's excited and now I am excited, and if you visit her here, you may be excited too.
---Say It Ain't So - I truly try not to think too much about Leisure Books retiring their genre printing arm last year and going completely digital. It still hurts to much. Either the authors frequently published through them are going to have to jump ship to another imprint, or I guess I'm not going to be reading any of their future output anymore. I flippin' refuse to buy a Kendle. Actually, pretending that I have a choice in the matter is just pretense. I couldn't afford to buy one if I wanted to. Which is part of my problem with them. Literature (especially in this day and age) shouldn't be bound up in a super expensive piece of technology that only a handful of affluent citizens can afford. Literature, the greatest source of all of mankind's ideas and imagination, should remain relatively affordable and available to all. Which just makes the discontinuation of horror fiction's only major publishing outfit, in print form, all the more harder to grapple with. Today one of my favorite websites, Retro Slashers, lamented this sad state of affairs and what it could possibly mean for the future of the genre's written word. Recommended.
---Speaking Of Books - Spurned by the relative success of the CW's The Vampire Diaries, Kevin Williamson (Scream) is again turning to the supernatural works of author L.J. Smith and adapting her teen-witches-in-modern-day-Salem trilogy The Secret Circle, into a hoped for hit for the aforementioned network. It took me a second to put two and two together and effectively jog my memory that I had read these young adult novels when I was in the 5th grade. I vaguely remember being altogether addicted to them in the spring of that year, shucking homework in favor of sitting on the porch swing in the front of house and pouring through them one after the other. However, I'm not so certain how I feel about the television effort. Admittedly, the CW isn't exactly what I would think of as a network that produces anything that would be of interest to me. Additionally, though I am a fan of Williamson's big screen work, he has yet to produce a single frame for anything in the realm of TV that doesn't make me puke a little in my mouth (Dawson's Creek was...gag...I just can't continue that sentence). If there was anything about this project that was to pique my interest, it would be that future genre vet Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, All About Evil and Kaboom to name but a few) has been cast as a member of the witches' circle. Yes, he off the smoldering eyes and lusciously mackable face. Due to Dekker's involvement and depending on what advance footage looks like, I suppose I'll consider giving this project a go. If for nothing else, to study Dekker's...er, uh....performance. I mean seriously, does this boy set off anybody elses gaydar?
---First There Was Jaws, Now There Is Claws...Again - I secretly kind of want Scott Weinberg's job over at Twitch Films. What a lucky man, amirite dear readers? One reason of many would be that he recently reviewed the legendary workprint of Grizzly 2. Yes, Grizzly 2, the seldom seen film which has often be cited as nothing more than an urban legend (surely there is a horror movie itself somewhere in that story).
The first Grizzly has a special place in your host's heart. After catching an afternoon showing of it on TBS when I couldn't have been any older than 7 (astoundingly rated G, and full to the brim with flying severed limbs, devoured children and flesh wounds aplenty, bless it) it became the very first horror film I ever bought when inexplicably the next day, I discovered a copy of it on VHS in the department store I was shopping at with my then stepmother Cindy (herself a closet horror nut). Curious as to what Grizzly 2 had in store for Mr. Weinberg? Well then hop on over to Twitch and read his review here.
---Speaking Of Urban Legends - Brittney Colangelo who runs the excellent Day of the Woman, has posted an illuminating piece about the web's very own urban legend, The Slender Man. I'd acquaint you with him, but truth be told, he creeps me out to damn much (fabricated or not, I get chills whenever I stumble upon one of his photos). However, his very existence, and the collective building up of it on internet forums, is cool beyond the telling of it. So what are you waiting for? Dig in.
---Failing To Support These Films Robs You Of Your Right To Bitch About Hollywood Ever Again - I'm not the biggest fan of Bloody-Disgusting even though at times I find it to be an invaluable source of up-to-the-minute, breaking genre news. Too often have I stumbled upon glaring journalistic errors that no matter how many times the site is alerted to them, they remain uncorrected. The comments sections are a hotbed of pimply, immature brats that like to say "faggot"...a lot. There are other issues, but I'll shut up and get on to the matter at hand, which is this; Despite my misgivings about certain aspects surrounding Bloody-Disgusting, I am certainly going to show up and support their latest business venture 100%. It was just announced yesterday that Bloody-Disgusting is officially entering into the film distribution arena and they are doing so with an array of challenging, unique lineup of films. First up? Sion Sono's critically acclaimed Cold Fish which will be hitting theaters screens in 32 US markets (word has it that in addition to Rammbock and Yellowbrickroad, the unannounced titles are very good too). This a very ballsy, very risky undertaking and I think it's safe to say that after all our online bitching about what does and doesn't garner theatrical distribution in this country (hell, I was just bitching about it yesterday) we owe it to the genre, not to mention ourselves, to put our money where our mouth is and show up in support of this release.
Launch Film Series:
BLOODY DISGUSTING SELECTS
LOS ANGELES — March 10, 2010 — The Collective, a full-service entertainment management and content company, along with AMC Theatres (AMC), a leading theatrical and exhibition company, and popular horror website BloodyDisgusting.com, announce today a film distribution partnership dedicated to acquiring and marketing the best horror and thriller titles from the festival and international markets.
The Collective has acquired the rights to several films out of horror- and genre-heavy festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, Slamdance, Sitges Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, and plans on releasing the films across multiple platforms.
AMC will show a new title in the series each month, at least twice a week, across 32 key markets, including a special Friday midnight show, beginning in May. After their theatrical exhibition at AMC, films from the series will be available to fans of the genre in DVD, Video on Demand (VOD), online and television. Released though The Collective’s home-video partnership with Vivendi Universal, DVDs for titles in the Bloody Disgusting series will feature unrated content, bonus features and special packaging for each title.
The AMC showings will introduce audiences to top horror and thriller films they would not otherwise see, as well as feature short films, contests and premiere content from the genre’s heavy hitters, offering a new platform for how films can be experienced.
"There’s a huge market for niche horror films — both independent and foreign — that isn’t being met in the current environment," said Gary Binkow, a partner at the Collective. "We’re extremely excited to be working with AMC, a company that is forward-thinking in their approach to distribution and community outreach, and willing to work with us to bring the fans into theatres to experience quality horror films in high definition video and audio. Together, we will build up a series around what those fans really want. And it only makes sense to have the trusted tastemakers of the genre from the world’s number one entertainment source for horror, Bloody Disgusting, pick the titles that they think deserve to be seen by a wider audience."
"In many of AMC’s major-market theatres, horror films are very popular, but we have lacked a steady supply of quality titles," said Nikkole Denson-Randolph, vice president of alternative and specialty content at AMC. "We are pleased to offer our guests this innovative film series, one that will entice them to return month after month for programming selected especially for them."
"We see a lot of horror films that never make it to the consumer here in the States," said Brad Miska, Bloody Disgusting co-head. "We hope to change that by releasing only films we personally love and think the horror community will embrace. Horror movies are a social experience. The success of Bloody Disgusting and other horror communities proves that concept. Bloody Disgusting represents a society of hardcore fans and we plan to activate them through these screenings, bringing the conversation off of the blogs and into the theater itself, while creating a unique experience for each filmgoer that motivates them to come back every month for the experience itself, not just the films."
The first films to be released under this venture are:
• Cold Fish — From Sion Sono, the director of LOVE EXPOSURE and SUICIDE CLUB and based on a true story, it came as no surprise that Sono’s brutal serial killer film COLD FISH received international acclaim on the festival circuit, playing Toronto, Venice, Pusan, Fantastic Fest, and others. When Shamoto’s teenage daughter was caught stealing, a generous middle-aged man helps to resolve the situation. The man and his wife offer to have Shamoto’s daughter work at their fish store. Shamoto soon discovers the horrific truth of the seemingly perfect couple…who force him to get his hands dirty in their brutal business. Inspired by a true events, COLD FISH is a bloodcurdling suspense drama that unveils the underlying insanity of an ordinary man.
• Rammbock — Produced by Melanie Berke and Sigrid Hoerner, written by Benjamin Hessler and directed by Marvin Kren, the Fantastic Fest favorite marks the first German foray into the zombie genre. Kren’s short but action packed feature follows a group of strangers attempting to fight off a horde of infected zombies in a Berlin apartment complex.
• Yellowbrickroad — Produced by Eric Hungerford and directed and written by Andy Mitton and Jesse Holland and starring Cassidy Freeman (SMALLVILLE), Anessa Ramsey (THE SIGNAL), and Lee Wilkof (BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOUʼRE DEAD) In the Fall of 1940, the entire population of Friar, NH abandoned their homes and walked up an ancient trail, never to be seen alive again. Their fates have remained a mystery for over 70 years, until a team of researchers discover the trailhead and attempt to track the path the doomed citizens of Friar took.
For more information, please visit: www.bloodydisgustingselects.com (coming soon)
About The Collective: The Collective is a full-service Management and Production Company. Formed in 2005, The Collective’s vision was to create a single company with a 360-degree solution for maximizing their clients’ careers, endeavors and opportunities across a multitude of media platforms. Based in Beverly Hills, The Collective employs a staff of more than forty-five employees and sixteen top industry executives who support the company‘s five distinct, yet unified, divisions.
About AMC Entertainment Inc. AMC Entertainment Inc. delivers distinctive and affordable movie-going experiences in 361 theatres with 5,203 screens across the United States and Canada. The company operates 24 of the 50 highest grossing theatres in the country, including the top three. AMC has propelled industry innovation and continues today by delivering premium sight and sound, enhanced food and beverage and diverse content. www.AMCTheatres.com.
About BloodyDisgusting.com: With over 2 million unique visitors and 25 million page views per month, BloodyDisgusting.com is the world's number one entertainment source for horror. Bloody Disgusting also boasts a robust fan community across both the Bloody Disgusting and Myspace Horror platforms, with a combined community of over 800,000 members. From video games to comics, music and movie reviews to podcasts, BloodyDisgusting.com is the most trafficked horror website in the world.
Bing Communications Group
O: (310) 310 – 3561
C: (323) 839 – 7284
---So There Is This Little Film Making Some (Sort Of) Big Noise - A film, which up until last month, I had heard next to nothing about. The movie in question would be Gregg Holtgrewe's Dawning (in addition to many of the film's other related aspects, I love that title, so simple yet so evocative). Though truthfully, for a film that has played as many festivals as it has and has made quite a few respectable 2010 Top Ten lists, news in relation to its existence have remained frustratingly elusive. We do know this from the film's official synopsis; Dawning takes place at a Northern Minnesota lake cabin where a brother and sister visit their father and step-mom. As the first night unfolds with uncomfortable small-talk and tension, tragedy strikes as the beloved family dog is found mortally wounded. Almost immediately a stranger, potentially under the spell of some un-seen “presence”, appears in the cabin and tells the family that he has come to save them…but from what? The man’s arrival upsets what at best was only a tentative balance and the pretense at civility begins to crumble. Soon, their lack of trust in each other and their inability to cope with any new pressure exposes their weaknesses and what the stranger has started, whatever is waiting in the dark may finish.
It was announced recently that Dawning has finally found a distributor in Breaking Glass Pictures, who plan on releasing the film sometime this June. Color me intrigued as hopefully you are as well dear readers. If not, then feast your eyes upon these absolutely stunning posters for the film, which I'll admit are not only the most beautiful works of advertisement I have seen in ages, but are also what initially got me to sit up and pay attention in the first place. As far as successful marketing tools are concerned, you knocked this one outta the park guys, bravo.
To learn more about Dawning, you may visit the film's official site here.
This has been a K & B Radio news bulletin. We now return to our regularly scheduled broadcast.