Derek Lee and Cliff Prowse Talk AFFLICTED, Reinvigorating Tired Subgenres, Their Creative Partnership, and More

by     Posted 12 days ago

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Arriving in theaters and on VOD this week is Afflicted.  The film stars Derek Lee and Cliff Prowse, real life best friends who also co-wrote and co-directed, as semi-fictional versions of themselves.  The pair sets out to document a year spent traveling around the world, but their dream vacation takes a dark turn when Derek wakes up with a mysterious ailment and the pair must discover the origin of the disease before it consumes him.

At a recent Los Angeles press day I sat down for an exclusive interview with Lee and Prowse.  They talked about their creative partnership, why they wanted to do a documentary style film, reinvigorating tired subgenres, shooting on location in Europe, utilizing all the formats found footage has to offer, and more.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.  Please be aware there are some spoilers.

Ethan Embry and Pat Healy Talk CHEAP THRILLS, How the Film Defies Genre Labels, The Attraction to Playing Dark Characters, and More

by     Posted 26 days ago

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There’s nothing better than a film that grabs you by the throat and knocks you square on your ass.  Cheap Thrills, out now on VOD and in select theaters, is one of those all too rare films.  Director E.L. Katz takes a simple premise – a pair of old friends who’ve fallen on hard times participate in a series of escalating dares for fast cash – and turns it into a brutal, funny, surprisingly emotional, and occasionally deranged exploration of just how low we’ll go when fueled by desperation.  Cheap Thrills stars David Koechner, Pat Healy, Ethan Embry and Sara Paxton.

At a recent LA press day I had the opportunity to sit down for an exclusive interview with actors Pat Healy and Ethan Embry.  They talked about how the film defies genre labels, what attracted them to their roles, how the watching experience holds up across different media, making a film their proud of, and more.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

E.L. Katz Talks CHEAP THRILLS, The Excellent Cast, How the Script Evolved, Transitioning from Screenwriter to Director, and More

by     Posted 27 days ago

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There’s nothing better than a film that grabs you by the throat and knocks you square on your ass.  Cheap Thrills, out now on VOD and arriving in select theaters this weekend, is one of those all too rare films.  Director E.L.  Katz takes a simple premise – a pair of old friends who’ve fallen on hard times participate in a series of escalating dares for fast cash – and turns it into a brutal, funny, surprisingly emotional, and occasionally deranged exploration of just how low we’ll go when fueled by desperation.  Cheap Thrills stars David Koechner, Pat Healy, Ethan Embry and Sara Paxton.

I recently had the opportunity to jump on the phone for an exclusive interview with director E.L.  Katz.  He talked about his transition from screenwriter to director, what surprised him about being a first time director, landing the excellent ensemble cast, how the script evolved through re-writes, setting the film in LA, what’s up next, and more.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say. 

Elijah Wood Talks GRAND PIANO, COOTIES, THE BOY, CURSE THE DARKNESS and More

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Now available on VOD and coming to theaters this weekend is Eugenio Mira‘s ambitious, highly stylized thriller Grand Piano.  The films centers on Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood), a brilliant pianist making his highly publicized return to the stage after flubbing a major concert years prior.  He learns the true meaning of stage fright when he discovers a note from a calculating sniper (John Cusack) scrawled in his sheet music – “Play one wrong note and you die.” Captive in a packed theater with nowhere to run, Selznick must either figure out how to beat the sniper at his own game or die trying.

Earlier this week I spoke with Wood in an exclusive phone interview.  He talked about why he was attracted to Grand Piano and the technical challenges of shooting the film.  He also talked about his production company SpectreVision, premiering Cooties and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night at Sundance this year, the fantastic poster Jay Shaw designed for Cooties, his hopes for the serial killer trilogy The Boy, developing the zombie film Curse the Darkness with director Jorge Michel Grau, and more.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Director Jeremy Lovering Talks IN FEAR, His Experimental Approach, the Challenge of Shooting Inside a Car, Directing a SHERLOCK Episode, and More

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Arriving in select theaters this weekend, and available on Blu-Ray & VOD next week, is In Fear.  The film stars Iain de Caestecker (Agents of S.H.I.EL.D.) and Alice Englert (Ginger & Rosa) as a hopeful new couple who find themselves faced with an evening of confusion and, well, fear on their way to a musical festival.  Director Jeremy Lovering practiced a unique method while shooting the film, providing the actors with only a bare bones script, leaving them in a state of suspense, and attempting to capture that ambiance on film.

I recently had the opportunity to jump on the phone for an exclusive interview with Lovering.  During our extended conversation he talked about this experimental method of film making, the aesthetic of the film, the challenges of shooting a film inside a car, balancing horror with relationship drama, and why the actors were right for the parts.  He also talked about his experience shooting Sherlock, the fan reaction, and what it was like to shoot Sherlock and Watson’s highly anticipated reunion scene.  Check out what he had to say after the jump and take a look at the In Fear Facebook page to see where you can watch the film in cinemas.

Radio Silence Talks DEVIL’S DUE, Screens Footage at Filmmaker’s Presentation and Q&A Hosted by Eli Roth

by     Posted 98 days ago

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Arriving in theaters on the 17th is Devil’s Due, a story of satanic impregnation through the lens of  a newlywed’s video diary.  The recently betrothed Samantha (Allison Miller) and Zach (Zach Gilford) come home from their honeymoon unable to remember one of the nights of their trip.  When Samantha turns out to be unexpectedly pregnant the couple’s life rapidly descends into a new, dark and sinister direction.  The film marks the first feature effort from the creative team Radio Silence, who’s segment “10/31/98” stood out as a fan favorite in the 2012 horror anthology V/H/S. 

Last month Collider was invited to the 20th Century Fox lot to get a first look at what Devil’s Due has to offer.  Filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez and Chad Villella were joined by Fox’s Executive Vice President of Production Steve Asbell to introduce select clips from the film and to answer questions in a Q&A moderated by Eli Roth.  They talked about the influence of Rosemary’s Baby, their thoughts on the found footage format, making their first studio film and their advice to aspiring filmmakers.  Check out my thoughts on the footage and highlights from the Q&A after the jump.

Visual Effects Supervisor Peter Muyzers Talks ELYSIUM, His Creative Partnership with Neill Blomkamp, CHAPPIE and More at CAVE 2013

by     Posted 121 days ago

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Out on Blu-ray December 17th is ElysiumNeill Blomkamp’s sophomore film about class disparity in a bleak futuristic vision of Earth. While the film boasts an impressive cast including Matt DamonJodie FosterDiego LunaWilliam Fitchner and Alice Braga it’s the tremendous special effects that ended up stealing the show.  Elysium was recently named by The Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences alongside films like Pacific Rim and Gravity as one of the ten pictures set to vie for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.

At the recent Autodesk CAVE conference in Las Vegas I had the opportunity to attend a class about Elysium’s impressive effects work and interview the film’s Overall Effects Supervisor Peter Muyzers. As someone who’s always been impressed and intrigued by effects artists it was an exciting opportunity to get an inside look at the intricate process of their work.  During the interview he talked about what made Elysium significantly more challenging than District 9, collaborating with Blomkamp, his favorite shot of the film, creating convincing effects on a budget, Blomkamp’s next picture Chappie, and more. Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Ashley Greene Talks about the Horror Comedy BURYING THE EX, Working with Joe Dante, Subverting Zombie Tropes, Life after TWILIGHT and More

by     Posted 124 days ago

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit the set of Joe Dante‘s new film Burying the Ex, a horror comedy about Max (Anton Yelchin), a nice guy who moves in with his girlfriend Evelyn (Ashley Greene) only to find she’s a controlling nightmare.  He’s saved the burden of a nasty breakup when she dies in a freak accident, and soon after meets the girl of his dreams (Alexandra Daddario).  Everything seems hunkydory until Evelyn returns from the grave, crazy as ever and now with added undead super strength!  As a huge fan of Dante’s I was excited to get an early look at what the film has to offer and speak with some of the folks involved.  Though the film is already in production Dante and co have mounted a crowdfunding campaign through FundAnything to help with post-production and distribution.  There are some damn cool rewards on the table including exclusive footage, screening invites, and even lunch with Mr. Dante himself.  You can check out the official page here.

While on set I sat down for an exclusive interview with Greene. She talked about what attracted her to the project, playing an emotionally unbalanced zombie, working with the effects makeup, and director Joe Dante. She also talked about how the film references and subverts genre tropes, shooting in Los Angeles, crowdfunding, life after Twilight and a lot more. Check out what she had to say after the jump. 

Anton Yelchin Talks BURYING THE EX, Working with Joe Dante, and the Tone of the Film; Plus His Thoughts on Getting a New Director for STAR TREK 3

by     Posted 125 days ago

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit the set of Joe Dante‘s new film Burying the Ex, a horror comedy about Max (Anton Yelchin), a nice guy who moves in with his girlfriend Evelyn (Ashley Greene) only to find she’s a controlling nightmare.  He’s saved the burden of a nasty breakup when she dies in a freak accident, and soon after meets the girl of his dreams (Alexandra Daddario).  Everything seems hunkydory until Evelyn returns from the grave, crazy as ever and now with added undead super strength!  As a huge fan of Dante’s I was excited to get an early look at what the film has to offer and speak with some of the folks involved.  Though the film is already in production Dante and co have mounted a crowdfunding campaign through FundAnything to help with post-production and distribution.  There are some damn cool rewards on the table including exclusive footage, screening invites, and even lunch with Mr. Dante himself.  You can check out the official page here.

While on set I sat down for an interview with Yelchin.  He talked about what attracted him to the script, working with Joe Dante, learning about the horror genre, and what audiences can expect from Burying the Ex.  He also briefly touched on his feelings about getting a new director for Star Trek 3.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

JFK 50 Year Commemorative Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 133 days ago

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As we witnessed last week, the 50th anniversary of John F.  Kennedy’s death, America has never fully recovered from the loss of the beloved young president.  His public and violent assassination left an indelible imprint on the American psyche, shattering an age of optimism and halting his promise of progress.  Having never received a satisfactory answer for the whos, whats and whys of the crime conspiracy theorists have argued their versions of the truth for decades.  With JFK, Oliver Stone’s most controversial and arguably best film, Stone presents a massive catalogue of those theories with a masterful hand.  In honor of the 50th anniversary of the president’s death, Stone and Warner Brothers put together an impressive commemorative edition of the film.  Hit the jump to find out how JFK holds up and what the new edition has to offer fans of the film.

Director Eric England Talks CONTRACTED, Body Horror, Casting Simon Barrett, Makeup Effects on a Limited Budget, Life after Film School, and More

by     Posted 142 days ago

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Now in select theaters and available on VOD is Eric England’s Contracted.  The viral body-horror film follows a young woman, Samantha (Najarra Townsend), after she wakes up from a drunken night of unprotected sex infected with the STD from hell.  Contracted also stars Caroline Williams, Matt Mercer, Katie Stegeman, and Simon Barrett.  At a recent LA press day for the film I sat down for an exclusive interview with England.  He talked about his favorite body horror films, casting Simon Barrett, creating convincing makeup effects on a limited budget, how he’s achieved so much as a filmmaker in so little time and more.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say. 

Najarra Townsend Talks CONTRACTED, What Attracted Her to the Film, Working with Director Eric England, Effects Makeup, and Her Upcoming Projects

by     Posted 145 days ago

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Now in select theaters and available on VOD is Eric England’s Contracted.  The viral body-horror film follows a young woman, Samantha (Najarra Townsend), after she wakes up from a drunken night of unprotected sex infected with the STD from hell.  Contracted also stars Caroline Williams, Matt Mercer, Katie Stegeman, and Simon Barrett.  At a recent LA press day for the film I sat down for an exclusive interview with Townsend.  She talked about what attracted her to the film, working with effects makeup, the scenes she was most nervous to tackle, shooting a film in fifteen days, her next film The Toy Soldiers and a lot more.  Check out what she had to say after the jump. 

What You’re Missing When You Only Watch Hollywood Horror

by     Posted 159 days ago

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October is a brilliant time of year to be a horror fan.  Suddenly your friends want to watch all your favorite movies, TV fills up with a regular schedule of bloodshed, haunted houses pop up all over the place…lots of good things are happening.  One of those things this year is FEARnet’s “Expedition: FEAR” a Friday night block at 10PM ET of foreign horror that brings focus to lesser known festival hits and international films.  And that’s fantastic, because some of the best horror out there is waiting just outside American borders.  After all, there’s a reason Hollywood is constantly mining foreign territories for the next remake.  It’s because, generally speaking, foreign horror kicks ass.  Unfortunately, a lot of people still aren’t on board with foreign cinema.  So if you count yourself among that number hit the jump to find out why international horror is so amazing and why you’re selling yourself short when you don’t give it a chance.

Michael Doughtery Talks TRICK ‘R TREAT, The Upcoming Fan Screening, His Fascination with Halloween and More

by     Posted 171 days ago

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LA-based fans of the cult hit Trick ‘r Treat have an exciting opportunity to catch a one night only screening of the film on Monday, the 28th, as the final feature in this year’s BeyondFest. Director Michael Dougherty and actors Brian Cox, Dylan Baker, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, and Quinn Lord, who played the film’s iconic character Sam, will be on hand to answer fan questions in a panel moderated by Seth Green. Best of all, the screening comes just in time to kick off Halloween week. However, if you’re a fan of the film and not a Los Angeles local, don’t despair! Legendary is bringing the fun to you with a national live stream of both the film’s screening and the subsequent Q&A via their Facebook page.  If you’re not familiar with the film I can’t encourage you enough to tune in, give it a watch, and get into the Halloween spirit.

In celebration of the screening I recently hopped on the phone for an exclusive interview with Dougherty. He talked about the satisfaction of seeing the film grow into a cult phenomenon, having an opportunity to watch it with an audience, the possibility of a sequel, what he loves about Halloween, his lifelong fascination with the holiday, structuring an anthology, how he pitches the film to new viewers, and a lot more. Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Oliver Stone Talks THE UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, the New JFK Blu-Ray, Why he Develops his own Material, and More

by     Posted 176 days ago

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Out on Blu-ray this week is Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States.  The twelve-part documentary series, co-created with American University professor Peter Kuznick, offers an alternative historical narrative by drawing focus to the scarcely remembered moments, forces, and figures that shaped the course of post-World War II America.  In celebration of the release, I recently participated in a small group interview with Stone.  Over the course of sixty minutes, he talked about the documentary series, the upcoming re-release of JFK, his past projects, and a whole lot more.

In this final segment Stone talks about the positive press Untold History has received, evolving his editing technique through the years, how socio-political critique has overshadowed his filmmaking, why he’s always developed his own scripts, what to expect from the JFK Blu-ray, the two unaired chapters of Untold History, and more.  Be sure to read the first and second segment with Stone here, and check out what he had to say in this latest installment after the jump.

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