Uncategorized

Laurie Strode Is Getting Her VERY OWN Action Figure by NECA!!!!

Happy Halloween indeed!

Fans of Halloween (2018) and those looking forward to the 7” Michael Myers Ultimate Edition figure, things just got exciting.

For the first time ever Laurie Strode (in Jamie Lee Curtis’ likeness) is going to get her very own action figure, produced by NECA.

Like the Michael Myers figure coming later this year, Laurie Strode will be sculpted from how she appears in the 2018 film. No word yet from NECA of when we can expect the figure or if it will be in the Ultimate Edition line (fingers crossed it will be) or if the figure is going to be a Con exclusive – here is hoping for the former as this figure would be a nice edition to any horror enthusiasts collection.

Tune back in to The Crimson Screen Collectibles for more details as they’re made available. And if and when Laurie’s figure goes up for pre-order, look to us so you’ll be sure to snag one for your horror collection.

Living Dead Dolls Presents: Michael Myers from Halloween

You can’t kill the boogeyman!

Straight out of the 1978 John Carpenter film ‘Halloween’, The Living Dead Dolls present Michael Myers. “The Shape”, as he’s referenced in the film, has become one of the most recognizable icons of modern horror.

Nothing but darkness pierces through the all-new face sculpt of Michael’s expressionless white mask. Featuring rooted hair and presented in his film-accurate blue coveralls, the terror of Haddonfield comes equipped with his signature kitchen knife accessory.

The Living Dead Dolls Presents Michael Myers stands 10” tall and features 5 points of articulation.

He is packaged in a die-cut window box, perfect for display and containing the pure evil within.

Order yours here: https://shop.thecrimsonscreencollectibles.com/collections/mezco-figures/products/michael-myers-living-dead-dolls

Coming soon from MEZCO TOYZ: Mega Scale Exorcist with Sound Feature

 

Mezco unleashes the Mega Scale Exorcist with Sound Feature figure and it’s sure to make your head spin.

Standing at a menacing 15 inches tall, Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist is presented in a real cloth nightgown from the film. The possessed youth says 6 iconic and hair-raising phrases including “It burns!” and “Keep away! The sow is mine!”. The devil is in the details and each of them have been captured here; from Regan’s untamed real hair to her crazed, piercing eyes and maniacal grin. This Mega Scale Exorcist figure features 11 points of articulation for dynamic nightmarish poses. 

Breaking onto the cinematic scene in 1973, The Exorcist became the first horror film to be nominated for an Academy Award. The film tells the spine-tingling story of the demonic possession of a young girl, and a mother’s fight to save her daughter through an exorcism. 

The Mega Scale Exorcist figure comes packaged in a collector-friendly window box, perfect for display. 

PRE-OREDER yours TODAY: https://shop.thecrimsonscreencollectibles.com/collections/mezco-figures/products/mega-scale-exorcist-with-sound-feature

Hellraiser: Judgment (Reveiw)

By
Frank Ford

To Hellraiser fans around the world nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing their beloved Cenobites fall victim to endless bad sequels that do nothing to expand the Hellraiser mythos, but rather fall back on old horror movie tropes and clichés while rehashing the same stories over and over.

Most fans will agree that the first two Hellraiser films are horror classics; both fresh and innovative at the time, changing the cinematic landscape of horror and give us some of the best kills, blood, and gore of the 80s, and launching Pinhead and the Cenobites into household names. Not only that, but the films pair well together. One can view those films individually or watch them back to back. Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 are connected within the same universe, with similar tone and feel – mostly thanks to Clive Barker and crew returning from the first movie to shoot the second.

Hellraiser 3: Hell on Earth took a different approach. The tone was vastly different, and instead of telling a tale of tortured souls, it quickly turned into a body count movie once the box was opened – to some, this was the last good Hellraiser movie.

After Dimension Films bought of the franchise rights (and has had them since) they produced their first Hellraiser film – Hellraiser: Bloodline. Most fans will agree Hellraiser took a turn for the worse starting with Hellraiser: Bloodline in 1996 (Bloodline is also the last Hellraiser film to play in theaters).

After the failure of Hellraiser: Bloodline at the box office in the Spring of 1996, the following six films were released onto Dimensions direct to video market, starting with Hellraiser: Inferno, (directed by a then unknown Scott Derrickson, Dr. Strange, Sinister, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose). Not only was Inferno the first Hellraiser film released on video, it was also the start of Dimension trying to save money by not writing new script for the Hellraiser films, but rather, reworking an existing script and tailoring the Hellraiser universe into the films – a trend that would continue up until Hellraiser: Hellworld.

But the biggest blow to the series would come when Doug Bradley left the role of Pinhead, after feeling the script for Hellraiser: Revelations wasn’t finished, and that his pay for the film was small. In 2011 Dimension Films realized they were about to lose the rights to the Hellraiser films, they quickly rushed Hellraiser: Revelations into production with just $350,000 budget; prepping for the film was three weeks (including casting a new Pinhead, Stephan Smith Collins) and shooting took place in eleven days – though this time they were working from a script that was written to be a Hellraiser film.

By now, most know the real horror that is Hellraiser: Revelations, so there is no need to go into it here.

That brings us to the newest film: Hellraiser: Judgement.

And most want to know: is Hellraiser: Judgement even worth the time to watch?

Simply put: Yes.

The film follows the Auditor (Tunnicliffe) as he tells head Cenobite Pinhead (now played by Paul T. Taylor) that the Lament Configuration (the box) is outdated, and if they want to collect new souls, they need to find another way – which The Auditor soon sets out to do by finding murderers, rapists & pedophiles and other individuals who have sinned. These people are then interviewed by The Auditor, where they are questioned about their sins and logged on paper by a typewriter that uses the victims own blood as ink. After a trial process, first going to The Assessor (John Gulager, Feast, Piranha 3DD) and then to the jury for final verdict. Once found guilty, the victims are sent to be cleaned and then to the Surgeon.

At the same time this is going on, Detective brothers Sean and David Carter are hunting down a serial killer that is leaving victims around the city, leaving a religious quote from the Bible at the murder scenes. While at the latest crime scene, they are informed by Detective Christine Egerton that she has been assigned to help them solve the case, and may or may not be there to spy on them. Soon the killer they are hunting, and the world of the Cenobites, begin to cross paths that will lead the three of them into Hell’s open arms.

Hellraiser: Judgement is quite different than the previous films, almost rebooting the series without really going that far – it still fits in the Hellraiser universe and as a sequel, but the film is its own thing. At the same time Judgement is trying to expand the Hellraiser mythos, something that hasn’t been done since Hellbound.


Directed by make-up effects artist, Gary J. Tunnicliffe, who also plays The Auditor, set out to make a gruesome, world-expanding, Hellraiser film, and for the most part succeeds with what he was given to work with – just $350,000. The script, also by Tunnicliffe, is decent and builds upon the world already established in Hellraiser, while at the same time adding things not seen before, like The Auditor and The Assessor, and even a gateway where Angels and Demons interact.

The film looks dark, dirty and nasty, like it was soaked in piss, with a nasty yellowish/brown lighting pallet that leaves one feeling like one needs a bath after watching it. The tone of the film is just as nasty as it’s lighting, with depraved characters, topless faceless women, nude female “cleaners”, the dirty, fat Butcher, and the leather-clad Surgeon that looks like something straight out of a bondage film. Gore, depravity, and nudity are abound in this instalment.

The Cenobites are twisted mutilated bodies, souls that have been bound and tortured in Hell and are now doing the Hell Priest’s (Pinhead) bidding – look for another famous Cenobite to make his return in the film as well.

The acting in the film is decent. The leads do their jobs to the best of their ability and fully commit to the film. The stand out performance might be Tunnicliffe himself as the Auditor. The scenes where he’s interviewing characters are fascinating to watch as the dialog unfolds and you begin to discover what he’s up to.


Paul T. Taylor as Pinhead was also well cast in the film. He looks similar to Doug Bradley in size and facial features, pulling off Pinhead’s prowess – you can quickly forget that you’re not watching Doug Bradley, but another actor play the Hell Priest as they feel they are one in the same at times. Not only does he have a similar look to Doug Bradley, he played Pinhead very similar to the way Bradley played Pinhead – stoic, unflinching, menacing, with a speech pattern that was almost identical to Bradley’s performance. If another Hellraiser is made, and Paul T. Taylor returns, he could possibly be the new face of the series going forward.

There are times where the low budget does show, especially when there should be a room filled with cops but only the three main leads are in the room – though they do explain most of this away but it still shows. Tunnicliffe uses a lot of close-ups to hide the fact that there isn’t high production behind the camera, but makes it work none-the-less to tell the story, which is mostly inside dimly lit rooms.

The effects in the film are done very well, with plenty of blood, body parts, and Cenobites to fill up the 81 min run time, and Tunnicliffe, handles these parts easily and knows how to shoot them since his background is in F/X. Now, after seeing the film, this was where most of the budget probably went.

Tunnicliffe’s direction on the film is decent and he handles the subject matter affably, while at the same time steering the ship of the Hellraiser franchise in the right direction. If Tunnicliffe returns to direct another Hellraiser movie, and Paul T. Taylor is back as Pinhead, it will be interesting to see where they take the series.

Also make sure to watch the post credit sequence.

7/10 Stars

Remembering George A. Romero

By
Westley Smith

As years go on, we begin to realize just how sacred it is to get a new film from a director we grew up with and love. Sadly when that director passes away, we are hit with the reality that we’ll never see another movie from the filmmaker. It’s a bittersweet moment that makes you feel both heartbroken and thankful; for at least a small moment in time, we were graced to have that filmmaker on this earth to enthrall us with their movies.

Sadly, on July 16 2017, we lost the great George A. Romero to lung cancer.

For most, Romero will always be remembered as the godfather of the modern zombie films with his creation of the 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, which he directed, co-wrote (along with John Russo) edited, and produced on a shoe-string budget of just of $100,000.

Night not only defined the modern zombie movie (and spawned countless rip-offs, spinoffs, sequels, TV shows, books and comics) it also paved the way for independent filmmaking while at the same time taking on social issues and breaking down race barriers with the casting of Duane Jones (a black man) as the lead in the film.

Though Romero will always be remember for his Dead trilogy (Night, Dawn, and Day – Day of the Dead was Romero’s personal favorite of the series) he had a long history in the film business, and sadly, to some, a lot of his other credits are very seldom talked about or remembered.

Let’s take a look back now at Romero’s life and history in film:

George A. Romero was born on February 4th 1940 in The Bronx, New York. He grew up in New York until he moved to Pittsburg, Pa to attend the renowned Carnegie-Mellon University. Though he would become very influential in film, and to fan’s around the world, Romero never set out to become a filmmaker.

In the 1960s he and his pals created “Image Ten Productions” where they would shoot short films and commercials. In 1968 he would direct Night of The Living Dead, which would go on to be one of the most influential films of the 1960s and be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress of the United States in 1999.

For the next several years, Romero would continue to work steadily releasing several films: 1971’s There’s Always Vanilla. 1972’s The Season of The Witch. 1973’s The Crazy’s. 1978’s Martin. Though, at the time, these films were not as critically or commercially as successful as Night of the Living Dead, but all had Romero’s signature horror flair with a healthy dose of social commentary, and were shot in Pittsburg.

In 1973, on the set of Season of the Witch, he met his second wife Christine Forrest, they share two children together. The couple would later divorce.

In 1978 Romero would returned to zombies with Dawn of The Dead. Persuaded to make a sequel to Night by none other than fellow horror director Dario Argento, Romero would surpass Night with Dawn and take zombies to a whole other level with the help of make-up artist Tom Savini. Produced on a 1.5 million dollar budget, Dawn would take in a healthy 40 million dollars worldwide.

After Dawn, Romero would take a break from horror to shoot Knightriders, starring a then unknown Ed Harris. Knightriders is about a group of medieval reenactors who find their family-like group is falling apart due to fame, the police, and a leader who is becoming unbalanced and delusional. It was a vastly forgotten film in Romero’s filmography, but has since gained a huge cult following that many fans are now praising for its genius.

Next would come Romero’s first paring with horror author Stephen King. That movie would be Creepshow (1982). They would again team up for Creepshow 2, but Romero would pass off directing duties to Michael Gornick. Romero would venture back into the world of Stephen King in 1993 when he directed and wrote the screenplay for The Dark Half starring Timothy Hutton – it would prove to be the last film Romero would direct in the 1990s.

In 1985 he would returned to his zombie roots yet again for Day of the Dead. Day was nowhere near as influential as Night nor successful as Dawn, and was quickly panned by critics and fans alike and would be, at the time, considered the worst in the trilogy – it has now earned more praise from fans. It would take Romero another 20 years to work on another zombie film – though he would write and produce the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead, directed by Tom Savini.

Following Day of the Dead, Romero would shoot Monkey Shines in 1988 and then Two Evil Eyes in 1990.

For most of the 1990s Romero was absent from the film world; he would return in 2000 with Bruiser and find that his film would be dumped on the direct-to-video market and very few people had found out that the director had put out a new movie. It was an eye opening experience for the director that he loathed and talks about on the Dawn of the Dead Commentary track.

During this time, Romero had relocated to Canada, (where Bruiser was filmed) and where he would live out the reminder of his life. In September of 2011 George would marry his third wife, Suzanne Desrocher, and would be with her until his death.

By 2005, times had changed in the film industry. Romero, always wanting to stay independent from studio influence, had to change with the times as well if he wanted to get another project off the ground.

That film would be Land of the Dead.

After 20 years away from zombies (though Romero was set to direct the movie adaptation of the Resident Evil video game; he actually shot a few commercials for RE2 – here is the link to them) Romero would come back to where it all began. If life imitates art, one can fully see that in this film with its social commentary message as a direct result of the Bush administration and the 9/11 attacks. Though Land would hit #1 in its weekend opening, audiences and critics were split on the final outcome of the film. Land would come out after the remake of Dawn of the Dead, and in the wake of 28 Days Later – zombie films had changed, evolved to modern audience’s tastes; Land seemed to be a step backwards.

In 2008 Romero would direct Diary of the Dead on a budget of just 2 million. Diary returns to the night of the zombie outbreak, following a group of college students capturing the first hours of the outbreak on video camera. The film was released limited (just 42 theaters across the United States) and on VOD, but pulled in a hefty profit of roughly 11 million dollars on just its worldwide theatrical run, enough to greenlight the first-ever direct sequel to one of Romero’s Dead films. But like Land, Diary came out too late; it was no longer innovative or original, since found footage had, at that point, been done to death and so had the zombie crazy. But there was another film in 2007, that really captured audience’s attention from Italy, and used the found footage angle extremely well featuring zombies (or infected) REC. While REC will go down in history as one of the best zombie and found footage movies in cinema history, sadly Diary will be largely forgotten.

Romero would direct his final feature in 2009 with Survival of the Dead, a direct sequel to Diary of the Dead. Most fans agree that this is Romero’s worst dead film, and by this point it seemed the well had run dry.

Recently it was announced that Romero was gearing up from Road of the Dead a Mad Max/Zombie film. He was set to produce and had co-written the script. Only time will tell, now with the director’s passing, if this film will actually be made as it was still in the process of securing financing.

As sad as this day is in horror history, be thankful that we had a man like George Romero to entertain us, to open our eyes with social commentary in his films to things we may have overlooked otherwise.

Were all his films great? No, of course not. No one, I don’t care who you are, will have the perfect track record of films – including Hitchcock or Spielberg. I have heard people complain about Romero’s last few films, saying awful things about him and the films, and I just shake my head. We are all on this earth for such a short amount of time, why spend it bashing a film, especially when it was created by someone you say you admire. Enjoy what they have created for you; it is, after all, their vision they are bringing to the screen for you.

Relax and enjoy your favorite director’s films (good or bad) and don’t turn your back on them just because they did not live up to your expectations. Do you have to like all their films? No. But you don’t have to bash them or the director either. Appreciate them while they are on this earth, because when they are gone, there will never be another to replace them.

Thank you George Romero – RIP.

Remember if you like our blog, help keep us going by donating so we can continue to bring you awesome reviews, articles, and movie news.

War for The Planet of The Apes: Movie Review

By
Westley Smith

War for the Planet of the Apes is the third movie in the modern Planet of the Apes films, which started with Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and continued with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

War  picks up shortly after the events of Dawn. The Apes, led by Cesar (Andy Sirkis) are being ruthlessly hunted down by soldiers in hope to eradicate them from existence and reclaim earth as the top species.

A large regiment of soldiers has located the apes near their home in the woods, thanks to Ape traders (who are called Donkey’s by the humans) that pledged loyalty to Koba in the last film; they have sided with the humans in hopes of staying alive. This particular group is being led by a mysterious man known only as The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) who himself has a secret agenda – don’t worry, I will not spoil anything in this review. After a few of The Colonel’s men are captured, they are brought before Cesar. He spares their lives, showing mercy, in hopes that The Colonel will do the same and leave the apes in piece. But after The Colonel and a few of his men secretly enter the camp, inflicting a great amount loss to the apes, Cesar sets out on a quest to avenge his fallen brethren – a quest that will put him face-to-face with The Colonel and his morals.

Out of all three films, this is by far the darkest entry in the series. Cesar is pushed to his limit of what he will do to keep his kind safe from the humans. Unlike the last two films, were Cesar was more a pacifist, unwilling to fight unless he absolutely has too, Cesar goes on the war path to find the Colonel. Everything Cesar is, everything he has becoming in the last two films, has been stripped away from him this time; he is broken and hurting, in a dark place where delivering death to death is his only option – in a way, he has become just like Koba.

On his quest to kill The Colonel, Cesar is joined by Maurice, and two other apes that offer to help him. Along the way they discover a mysteriously mute child (Amial Miller) and another Ape, named Bad Ape (played loveably by Steve Zahn – That Thing You Do, Saving Silverman).

Over the last two films we got to see both sides: the human perspective and the ape perspective.

For the humans: Rise is filled with questions of should human kind being messing with nature, and when they do, look what happens. Dawn is how they deal with what they created, how do they go on, how they survive their own creation. And War is how they deal with it – when talking fails, you go to war.

 

For the Apes: Rise brings into question what it would be like for one ape to suddenly become smart (or smarter) than a human, to rise up against an aggressive species. Dawn is about betrayal and one ideal going up against another to fit the purpose of war and eradication of another species – that ape isn’t much different from man. War is how they deal with it – when talking fails, you go to war.

In the end, both species end in the same dark place.

But unlike Rise and Dawn, where we saw the good of man, and a bit of the bad, in War we get to see the darkest part of man. The Colonel (and his men) are deranged sociopaths, who will stop at nothing, including torturing, murdering, and enslaving the apes to get what they need out of them. It is in these scenes where the violence is really amped up, with apes being whipped, executed, and crucified when they step out of line.

There were times in the film where I forgot I was watching a sci-fi movie about smart apes that can talk, and thinking more about real life; how events in the history of mankind (our darkest hours as a species) played out just like some of the images on the screen. There is a heavy moral ambiguity to the film from both sides on who drew blood first – Cesar or The Colonel. And though there is no real ‘war’ in the film (there are two big battles scenes) the ‘war’ is really between ideals of who should be the supreme species – man or ape.

The performances in the movie are outstanding, especially Andy Sirkis, who could easily be nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Cesar. Yes, he is hidden under CGI, but at this point, that shouldn’t be an issue. He brings Cesar to life, much like he did Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. He does so much with just his eyes or a twitch of the face that he expels the soul within the ape to the audience that you feel everything Cesar is feeling.

Woody Harrelson as The Colonel was also very good – though there were times where I felt he was pulling a little bit of Brando’s performance as Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now. He does an excellent job of making you both hate him and understand his reasoning for wanting to decimate Cesar and his ape clan.

Steve Zahn is also very good in the film as Bad Ape. Bad Ape is kind of a bumbling, stumbling, out of place ape that wants nothing to do with humans or the war between apes and humans; he just wants to live out his life in piece, alone. When I saw this character in the trailer, I feared he was going to be nothing but comedy relief for the film, and not in the good way – like Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: Ep 1.  I couldn’t have been more wrong. Bad Ape was essential to the plot and would prove to be pivotal in the epic climax of the film. There were times when he was funny, and his character did help lighten the mood of the film when a laugh was needed, especially after some of the torture and brutality scenes inflicted by The Colonel or his men.

That brings me to the CGI in the film. This is some of the BEST CGI I have ever seen in my life. There are times when I was unsure if I was looking at a CGI ape or if they actually used a real ape – which most likely they did not. Yes, the CGI is that good, and this is coming from someone who LOVES practical effects.  Just look at the pic below and tell me that looks like a CGI ape…

 

Director Matt Reeves (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Cloverfield & and hopefully 2019’s The Batman) handles the script and characters with a tremendous amount of care and respect, allowing the film to unfold naturally instead of feeling forced just to get to the next big action sequence. And when the action scenes do come, they are shot very well and not over cut to the point where you cannot see what is going on.

I was really surprised how this film ended. And I can admit going in, I did not see the ending coming. I’m not sure you will either…

I will end with this: in the original Planet of the Apes movies there was a big plot hole in the series of films – why humans could no longer talk. If these new Ape movies do indeed exist in the same universe as their predecessors, they answer this question fully in War, closing the plot hole forever.

10 out of 10 Stars.

Three Beloved John Carpenter Films Getting the Steel Book Treatment.

By
Westley Smith

It was announced a few days ago by Shout! Factory that they are releasing three of director John Carpenter’s most beloved films in Limited Edition Steel Book Covers.

What are those films you may be wondering? Fear not, for I’m about to tell you and disclose the full spec details.

First up: John Carpenter’s They Live

They Live is probably Carpenter’s most discussed film – highly original, very insightful, with thought provoking social commentary about capitalism. They Live may mean more now, nearly thirty years later, than it did when it was originally released back in 1988. It’s a true classic in both Carpenter’s filmography and for action/sci-fi films.

PLOT:

They Live stars Roddy Piper as Nada, a drifter looking for work. After finding work with a local contracting company and befriending Frank (Keith David), Nada stumbles onto a plot involving aliens that are using subliminal messages to control mankind, which he sees for himself once he puts on a pair of sunglasses.

The Bonus Features for They Live are:
o Audio Commentary With Writer/Director John Carpenter And Actor Roddy Piper
o “Independent Thoughts” – An Interview With Writer/Director John Carpenter
o “Man Vs. Aliens” – An Interview With Actor Keith David
o “Woman Of Mystery” – An Interview With Actress Meg Foster
o “Watch, Look, Listen: The Sights & Sounds Of They Live” – A look At The Visual Style, Stunts And Music With Director Of Photography Gary B. Kibbe, Stunt Coordinator Jeff Imada, And Co-Composer Alan Howarth
o Original EPK: The Making Of They Live
o Never-Before-Seen Footage From Commercials Created For The Film
o Original Theatrical Trailer
o TV Spots
o Still Gallery

The second steel book releasing is: John Carpenter’s The Fog

Following the success of Halloween, John Carpenter set out to tell and old fashioned ghost story with The Fog. Though it was not the massive success that Halloween was, most will conclude today that The Fog is one of Carpenter’s best films – eerily spooky, atmosphic, and a creepy ghost pirates in a glowing green fog, what’s not to love?

PLOT:

On the hundredth anniversary of Antonio Bay, pirates return from their graves to seek revenge on the relatives of the conspirators who murdered them.

Bonus Features for The Fog are:
o 1080p High-Definition Transfer Supervised By Cinematographer Dean Cundey
o Audio Commentary With Writer/Director John Carpenter And Writer/Producer Debra Hill
o Audio Commentary With Actors Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins And Production Designer Tommy Lee Wallace
o Interview With Jamie Lee Curtis
o “Tales From The Mist: Inside The Fog” Featurette
o “Fear On Film: Inside The Fog” Featurette
o “The Fog: Storyboard To Film” Featurette
o Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – A Look At The Film’s Locations
o Outtakes
o Theatrical Trailers
o TV Spots
o Photo Gallery

The third release to steel book is: John Carpenter’s Escape From New York

After The Fog, Carpenter would score a huge hit with the action/suspense film Escape From New York. Not only was the film a hit, but it would usher in a wave of dystopian-type movies, much like Halloween did with slasher films.

PLOT:

When President’s (Donald Pleasence) plane is sabotaged and crashes on the island of Manhattan, now a walled-off prison, Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is forced into rescuing him. But Snake only has 24 hours to save the President – and his own life – or the bomb in his neck will detonate.

Bonus Features for Escape From New York are:
o — DISC ONE —
o NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive, Struck From The Original Negative
o NEW Audio Commentary With Actress Adrienne Barbeau And Director Of Photography Dean Cundey
o Audio Commentary With Director John Carpenter And Actor Kurt Russell
o Audio Commentary With Producer Debra Hill And Production Designer Joe Alves
o — DISC TWO —
o NEW Big Challenges In Little Manhattan: The Visual Effects Of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
o NEW Scoring The Escape: A Discussion With Composer Alan Howarth
o NEW On Set With John Carpenter: The Images Of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK With Photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker
o NEW I Am Taylor: An Interview With Actor Joe Unger
o NEW My Night On The Set: An Interview With Filmmaker David DeCoteau
o Deleted Scene: The Original Opening Bank Robbery Sequence
o Return To Escape From New York Featurette
o Theatrical Trailers
o Photo Galleries – Behind-The-Scenes, Posters And Lobby Cards

If you are a steel book collector, we highly suggest picking these up. It’s already been confirmed that there are only going to be 10,000 copies made – that’s a small amount when you think about how many people love one, or all, of these John Carpenter films.

Right now, The Crimson Screen Collectibles is running a great deal on the three films. $23.99 each! If you’d like to order one, or all three, drop over to our store and place your order. But like we said, do it fast as quantities are limited.

All three films release August 1, 2017.

Order your copies here: www.thecrimsonscreencollectibles.com

 

Stephen King’s fogotten gem: The Night Flier (Review)

By

Frank Ford

With the “IT” trailer dropping this week (looking scary as hell, by the way) it got us here at The Crimson Screen thinking about another Stephen King adaptation that most people have forgotten since its releasing.

Over the years there have been a lot of King’s novels and short stories adapted into movies. Some are great; Shawshank Redemption, The Mist, Carrie, The Shining. Some are good; Pet Semetary, The Dead Zone, and Misery. Some are okay; Needful Things, Graveyard Shift, and Firestarter. And some are just downright dreadful– we’re looking at you The Lagoliers and The Mangler.

But the film I’m discussing today isn’t as well-known as most on the list above, and sadly it has somewhat fallen into obscurity since its releasing twenty years ago.

That film?

1997s “The Night Flier”.

Originally airing on HBO in 1997, before being released into theaters a few months later, The Night Flier revolves around Richard Dees; (the late Miguel Ferrer) a down on his luck, tightly-wound reporter who hasn’t had a successful front-page article in months for the sleazy tabloid magazine “Inside View”.

But Dees’ luck is about to change when his boss, Merton Morrison (Dan Monahan; Pee-Wee from the Porky’s films) offers him a new assignment. It seems someone has been flying around to small airports in a Black Sesna Sky Master killing victims and draining them of their blood. This person calls himself Dwight Renfield – the name is an anagram, Dwight is a reference to Dwight Frye the actor who played Renfield in the 1931 version of Dracula.

Could Renfield really be a…vampire?

Morrison seems to think this assignment is what Dees needs to get him back on the front page, and because Dees has his pilot’s license and his own plane, he can track Renfield’s path to get the bloody details about the murders.

Miguel Ferrer is perfectly cast as the unlikable Dees. The role fits him to a T and he makes you both truly despise and like him at the same time; not an easy feet for any actor but he pulls it off effortlessly. He really carries the movie as Dees; the hard-as-nails reporter who has seen too much depravity in his life and copes with the stress by drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes – which Miguel Ferrer makes look really cool, if I can be politically incorrect here.

Dees doesn’t agree and passes on the story; allowing Merton to give it to the newest member of the “Inside View”, Katherine Blair (Julie Entwisle; wife of the film’s director, Mark Pavia) who has taken over for a former reporter, Dottie Walsh, who died under mysterious circumstances…

Blair (who Dees refers to as Jimmy, as in Jimmy Olsen) wants to get to know Dees better so she follows him to a bar. While there, Blair asks for Dees’ take on “Inside View”. It is here we see just how despicable Dees is, and tells her that she reminds him of Dottie Walsh, the reporter she replaced. Dottie killed herself because the weight of the stories she was covering was too much for her to handle. Dees found Dottie, took a picture of her body, and wrote the story of her suicide – which in Dees’ words with a chuckle, “Made for a good headline, though”.

Again, Ferrer’s performance in this scene is great and he plays it with such a sinister, spiteful vibe, that you can’t help but admire the guy in this role. He owns it. Like this role was written just for him. I can’t think of anyone that could have played Dees better than Ferrer did.

Dees does give Blair one piece of advice in this scene that will set up the final act of the movie beautifully when he says “Don’t publish what you believe. Don’t believe what you publish.”

The next day, Dees is once again called into Morrison’s office where he’s told that Renfield has murdered two victims in Maryland, bringing his total to four murders – one in Maine and another one in New York (which the movie opens with, brutally). Morrison, at this point, rubs it in Dees’ face that Blair found the nights prior victims through clever ingenuity.

Dees, not one to be shown-up, takes the story but only after Morrison, sleazily, persuades him. Morrison kicks Blair off the case which she protests, considering the story hers.

But Morris has made up his mind and gives the story to Dees.

Dan Monahan plays Morrison like a conniving weasel; he makes you want to reach into the screen and strangle the guy for how he’s playing both sides to get what he wants. Though Morison’s not as outright nasty as Dees, and keeps his true self well hidden, he’s still an unlikeable character.

Dees then flies to Maine where the first murder occurred and interviews Ezra Hannon.

 

There is a really good exchange between Dees and Hannon here. Hannon, who speaks with a New England accent, asks Dees which paper he writes for and Dees tells him “Inside View”. Hannon laughs and tells Dees that his wife reads that paper, but after she’s done with it he uses it “to line the cat litter box. Soaks up that cat piss real nice.” This small touch of social commentary really says a lot about tabloid publications and how people view them.

Hannon then proceeds to tell him about the night Renfield landed and that he was wearing a cloak that “was a red as a fireengine on the inside and as black as a woodchucks asshole on the outside” – that is such a Stephen King written line, and if you have ever read any of his books or short stories you already know his work is littered with zingers just like that that make you chuckle with delight.

He describes how the first murder victim, Clair Bowie, was acting strange and found him washing Renfields plane, as if in a trance. Later that night, Clair was found dead.

KNB did the effects on the film and there are plenty of moments where you get to see their work shine – none more than when Clair’s body is shown; it’s bloody great!

Hannon then says there was something else that was peculiar to him; he found dirt under Renfield’s plane and that it looked like something dead had come from it.

Later that night, Dees goes to Clair’s grave, and in a dick move to help his story and “Inside View” sell more papers, he kicks the gravestone askew to give his photo a creepier vibe. But Dees still isn’t satisfied and decides to cut himself and smear blood on the gravestone – which seems to link him and Renfield by blood.

This is another little tidbit that I like about this movie and how the media (whether it be mainstream or other) will do anything to enrich a story’s appeal to help ratings or sell papers.

Later, after having a nightmare about Renfield, Dees awakes and finds the words STAY AWAY written in blood on the window of his motel room – Renfield knows he’s on his tail.

Dees then flies to New York and gets the nasty pictures of the second victim, Buck Kendell, in the morgue. Reporting back to Morrison, Dees tells Morrison that he’s calling him “The Night Flier”. Morrison, now overly excited about the news says, “the fatties in the supermarket are going to go nuts. God, I hope he kills more people!” Morrison wants to rush the story to print.

Yet Dees knows this story is just getting started and it’s going to get bigger, stranger, and he isn’t in a rush to get it back to Morrison until he has more.
Morrison, upset that he’s not getting his way, then returns to Blair and puts her back on the story in hopes of getting a story out sooner.

Dees continuing his investigation goes to Maryland where he finds out that Renfield was staying with his last victims and that they were acting strange prior to their deaths, much like Clair Bowie had been, even after being notified by the FAA about Renfield.

Going to the victims home, Dees finds it in total disarray and covered in blood. But when he returns outside, he is greeted by a dog that tries to kill him – one can only assume that this is Renfield; it’s never fully explained in the movie and left up to interpretation.

Dees and Blair finally cross paths at a motel and decide to work together to track down where Renfield is going to be flying into next. After figuring out where he’s going to be landing, Dees locks Blair in a closet, so he can get the full story on The Night Flyer himself.

Tracking Renfield to the next airport, Dees finds the black Sesna plane; the inside is covered in blood and the back is lined with soil. Once inside the airport, Dees finds it littered with dead bodies; blood is everywhere and Renfield is near.

After finding one of the victims with a crucifix stuffed into his mouth, Dees has a meltdown and runs away only to slip in a pool of blood; he heads to the bathroom to puke.

While standing at the sink washing his hands, Dees hears footsteps behind him, but he cannot see anyone in the mirror’s reflection

It is here that the movie’s suspense is ramped up exponentially and with a cleaver use of the camera and special effects we get one of the creepiest scenes in the movie.

Renfield is behind Dees and beings to piss blood into the urinal – but the cool thing is that we don’t yet see Renfield, only the stream of bloody piss against the white porcelain of the urinal. It is a very cool scene that is well executed.

Then, as the camera moves, we start to see the mirrors being smashed – there is no reflection of Renfield in them. And before Dees realizes it, Renfield is standing directly behind him, silhouetted in the shadows, his face hidden. e demands Dees to give him his camera and film and forget about the story, or he’ll kill him.

Dees, with little options left, does as Renfield asks.

As Renfield is leaving, Dees demands to see his face and is sorry he asked when Renfield obliges to his request.

He is a hideous creature. KNB’s Effects are topnotch here and the first time you see Renfield’s face you’re truly as shocked as Dees is in the film.

Renfield’s victims then “return” to life as vampires and Dees begins to fight them off with an ax, chopping them up into bits.

The police enter the airport and find Dees covered in blood holding the ax. Now all of Renfield’s victims on the floor again, dead. Thinking Dees committed the murders they shoot him, just as Blair enters to see the aftermath.

She then takes over the story – writing the Dees was The Night Flier all along. But Blair knows the truth, that Dwight Renfield (a vampire) really killed all those people, but she takes Dees’ advice from the beginning: Don’t publish what you believe. Don’t believe what you publish.

The movie was made on an estimated budget of 1,000,000.00. Mark Pavia had just 31 days to shoot the movie and had it finished in 30 days. Every penny was put on screen and used to the fullest to put this movie together and you can see that in the final product.

Not only is this one of the most faithful King short story adaptations to date, it is also littered with references to some of King’s other works throughout the film – you’ll have to look for them, I won’t spoil that part for you. To find some of them you’ll have to both listen carefully and pay close attention to details in the background. I’m telling you it is a treasure-trove of Easter eggs litter throughout the film to the larger King mythos.

Mark Pavia wanted Stephen King to do a cameo in the film, but because of a book tour he was unable to play the part of the coroner. This is a shame, since The Night Flier is one of the best adaptations to his work, it would have really been nice to see him in this movie.

The atmosphere is heavy and claustrophobic at times, making you hold your breath and grow tense in the right scenes, especially the ending when Renfield is behind Dees.
But what the movie does best, even better than the horror aspect, is that it works as a great mystery. As you go along for this ride, you want to know more about The Night Flier/Renfield. You want to know why he’s killing people, how he’s doing it, and how is Dees going to solve the mystery, even though he’s an unlikeable character you’ll find yourself rooting for him.

As I’ve said above, KNBs effects are great in the movie; thought they are used sparingly, but when they are on screen there work is proudly displayed.

If there is one place where the film lacks, it’s in the budget. There are a few more things in the story that could have been fleshed out better. Like the dog that chases after Dees or why Renfield was caring dirt in his plane. Pavia was shooting with limited funds within a tight timeframe. He had to do set-ups quickly and efficiently to get the movie done. The small imperfections and plot holes are minor and the viewer can make their own conclusion about the dog and the dirt, if they want to.

Though The Night Flier has no connection to Salem’s Lot, (though King himself said that Renfield is the same vampire in his story Popsy) it feels very akin to that story – especially in the third act of the film, when Renfield’s victims come back to life as vampires. They even look similar to the vampires in Toby Hooper’s Salem’s Lot. It’s really cool and I can’t help but wonder if that was done on purpose since they had tied other King works in with this movie?

But Renfield isn’t the only character in The Night Flier that makes an appearance in one of Kings other stories, Richard Dees does as well in The Dead Zone.

If you haven’t seen this forgotten gem I highly recommend seeking it out. As of this writing it has not been released on Blu-Ray and the DVDs are long out of print – hopefully someone like Scream Factory or Arrow can pick this movie up and give it a rightful restoration collector’s edition and save if from obscurity.

The Night Flier deserves to fly again…

9 out of 10 stars.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do6BqbQRIv8&w=560&h=315]

 

 

The Witch (Review)

By

Westley Smith

The Witch (2015)

Director: Robert Eggers

‘The Witch’ directed by first-timer, Robert Eggers, is not for the normal horror crowd going out on a Friday night looking to have a good time with some laughs and scares while eating their popcorn and clutching onto the person sitting next to them – though the latter is absolutely going to happen, but only if you like psychological horror movies.

Scary and extremely tense at the same time, The Witch falls back onto old-school story driven horror without all the flashy cuts, cheap jump scares, and big name actors to draw you in.  Much like last year’s It Follows and The Babadook, The Witch delivers on the creepiness without showing you much and relying on strong storytelling, mood, and atmosphere to suck its audience in and scare the hell out of them.

the-witch-700

The story revolves around a devout Christian family banished from their settlement and sent off into the wilderness to survive on their own.  After finding a piece of the earth to harvest, they build their home and begin to settle in.  But all is not what it seems and soon their youngest child goes missing, literally vanishing right before Thomasin’s (Ann Taylor-Joy) eyes as she is playing a game of peek-a-boo with the child.  It soon becomes apparent that there is more going on in the forest that surrounds their homestead, and that there is something in the woods casting its evil upon the unsuspecting family.

The-Witch

The creepiness of the movie comes mostly from the slow-burn tone of the film, the unsettling performances from the cast – especially the younger ones (Ann Taylor-Joy & Harvey Scrimshaw)  and the creepy twins (Ellie Grainger & Lucas Dawson) who talk to a horned black goat they refer to as “Black Phillip” – and their fanatical religious beliefs of the supernatural that starts to pit the family against one another, that’s fueled by the parents William & Katherine (Ralph Ineson & Katie Dickie).

the-witch2

Note: there is not one single jump scare in the movie.  I repeat: not one single jump scare in the movie.

Rather than frighten us with jump scares, director Eggers uses a slow unnerving pace, hallucinatory images, characters unraveling amidst a horrifying supernatural crisis, and the dark to bring out the things that go bump in the night, and in our minds.

Since the story takes place in 1630 (sixty years before the Salem Witch Trials) witchcraft was a huge concern to families all across New England at the time.  And once the fingers begin being pointed, mostly at young Thomasin, the family begins to unravel both mentally and physically in fear that there is a witch among them.

the-witch-trailer1

What is essential to know going into this movie is that the dialog is spoken in Old-English – taken from real letters, journals, and text from the 1600s – making it feel all-the-more tangible for the characters to be speaking in such a tongue. At the same time, using this dialog makes it somewhat hard to follow and may upset some viewers who find themselves wondering what the characters are talking about.

If you’re looking for a horror movie that is fast and gory, The Witch isn’t the movie for you.  At times the pace is very slow, almost crawling along, with long moments of the characters praying or talking about religion or damnation for their sins as humans.

20160216__thewitch1

But if you’re looking for a slow-burn psychological horror story with a satanic flair that gets under your skin and scrapes the bone, give The Witch a try.  Yet understand what kind of movie you’re getting into before entering the theater, as this is not a traditional horror movie that everyone is going to like.

8 out of 10.

http://www.thecrimsonscreen.com

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzMM0VGhQks&w=560&h=314]