Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Stephen King

IT rakes in $117 million !

it-pennywiseWhile Hollywood has suffered one of the worst summers in years, the horror genre is laughing all the way to the bank. Universal kicked the year off with massive successes, including Jordan Peele’s Get Out and M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, both topping $250 million worldwide. Even David F. Sandberg’s Annabelle: Creation could topple $300m. While we’re all celebrating these successes none are as important as Warner Bros./New Line Cinema’s IT, which has shattered September records by topping $100 million during its opening weekend.

That $117 million is just in the States, with early international reports just coming in adding $62m to the total. Early Sunday morning estimates have the worldwide gross at $179 million. A $500+ million worldwide total would be some accomplishment, at this stage that looks likely and something no one was saying before last Thursday!

IT could initiate a revival in bigger budget horror…


Bernie Wrightson R.I.P

It was just over a month ago that Liz Wrightson announced that her husband, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson was retiring. Liz confirmed on Sunday that after a long battle with cancer, Bernie has passed away. Here is the full transcript from Liz. My condolences to the Wrightson family, Rest in Peace Bernie.

A Message from Liz Wrightson.

After a long battle with brain cancer, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson has passed away.

Bernie “Berni” Wrightson (born October 27, 1948, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) was an American artist known for his horror illustrations and comic books. He received training in art from reading comics, particularly those of EC, as well as through a correspondence course from the Famous Artists School. In 1966, Wrightson began working for The Baltimore Sun newspaper as an illustrator. The following year, after meeting artist Frank Frazetta at a comic-book convention in New York City, he was inspired to produce his own stories. In 1968, he showed copies of his sequential art to DC Comics editor Dick Giordano and was given a freelance assignment. Wrightson began spelling his name “Berni” in his professional work to distinguish himself from an Olympic diver named Bernie Wrightson, but later restored the final E to his name.

His first professional comic work appeared in House of Mystery #179 in 1968. He continued to work on a variety of mystery and anthology titles for both DC and its principal rival, Marvel Comics. In 1971, with writer Len Wein, Wrightson co-created the muck creature Swamp Thing for DC. He also co-created Destiny, later to become famous in the work of Neil Gaiman. By 1974 he had left DC to work at Warren Publishing who were publishing black-and-white horror-comics magazines. There he produced a series of original work as well as adaptations of stories by H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. In 1975, Wrightson joined with fellow artists Jeff Jones, Michael Kaluta, and Barry Windsor-Smith to form “The Studio,” a shared loft in Manhattan where the group would pursue creative products outside the constraints of comic book commercialism. Though he continued to produce sequential art, Wrightson at this time began producing artwork for numerous posters, prints, calendars, and coloring books.

Wrightson spent seven years drawing approximately 50 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations to accompany an edition of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, which the artist considers among his most personal work. Wrightson drew the poster for the Stephen King-penned horror film Creepshow, as well as illustrating the comic book adaptation of the film. This led to several other collaborations with King, including illustrations for the novella “Cycle of the Werewolf,” the restored edition of King’s apocalyptic horror epic, “The Stand,” and art for the hardcover editions of “From a Buick 8” and “Dark Tower V.” Wrightson has contributed album covers for a number of bands, including Meat Loaf. The “Captain Sternn” segment of the animated film Heavy Metal is based on the character created by Wrightson for his award-winning short comic series of the same name.

Characters he worked on included Spiderman, Batman and The Punisher, and he provided painted covers for the DC comics Nevermore and Toe Tags, among many others. Recent works include Frankenstein Alive Alive, Dead She Said , the Ghoul and Doc Macabre (IDW Publishing) all co-created with esteemed horror author Steve Niles, and several print/poster/sketchbooks series produced by Nakatomi.

As a conceptual artist, Bernie worked on many movies, particularly in the horror genre: well-known films include Ghostbusters, The Faculty, Galaxy Quest, Spiderman, and George Romero’s Land of the Dead, and Frank Darabont’s Stephen King film The Mist.

Bernie lived in Austin, Texas with his wife Liz and two corgis – Mortimer and Maximillian. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, John and Jeffrey, one stepson, Thomas Adamson, and countless friends and fans. A celebration of his life is planned for later this year.


Misery – Bruce Willis on Broadway

miseryWarner Bros. Theatre Ventures confirmed last night that Bruce Willis will co-star with New York stage veteran Elizabeth Marvel (Other Desert Cities, House Of Cards) in a new stage version of Misery as the successful romance-novel author rescued and held captive by his “Number One Fan.” William Goldman’s play is an adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel and the 1990 film that the Princess Bride screenwriter co-wrote with King, starring James Caan, Oscar winner Kathy Bates and directed by Rob Reiner.

Will Frears (Omnium Gatherum) will direct the play, which was tried out in the fall of 2012 at the Bucks County Playhouse. Dates are not set and no theatre has been booked for the “strictly limited engagement,” which is being co-produced by the Warner Bros. arm with Castle Rock Entertainment and Raymond Wu.

The casting of Willis is certain to add excitement to the Broadway fall season as well as certify the trend of star-driven shows with brief, ultra-high-priced runs.


Tools – Poster Art

01-bigI love these simple designs for series titled ‘Tools’ featuring 4 classic films. Would have all of them on my wall. Check out more from the artist Javier Vera Lainez on his site HERE

the_shining-big

psycho_FINAL-big

el_exorcista-big


This Is Horror Awards

It’s that time of year again, lists, awards… The This Is Horror Awards 2014 are now open. Please send your votes to awards@thisishorror.co.uk with the subject line ‘Awards 2014 Votes’. To cast a vote simply write the category and your vote for each award. You may vote for your top two in each category. For example:

Award
1. First choice
2. Second choice

Here are the awards and nominations:

Novel of the Year
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Revival by Stephen King
The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey
The Troop by Nick Cutter

Film of the Year
Oculus
Snowpiercer
The Babadook
The Raid 2
Under The Skin

TV Series of the Year
American Horror Story: Coven
Hannibal (Season Two)
The Strain
The Walking Dead (Season Four)
True Detective

Short Story Collection of the Year
After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones
Burnt Black Suns: A Collection of Weird Tales by Simon Strantzas
Gifts for the One Who Comes After by Helen Marshall
The End in All Beginnings by John F.D. Taff
Unseaming by Mike Allen

Anthology of the Year
Burnt Tongues: An Anthology of Transgressive Short Stories (Edited by Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Thomas and Dennis Widmyer)
The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen (Edited by Ellen Datlow)
The New Black (Edited by Richard Thomas)
The Spectral Book of Horror Stories (Edited by Mark Morris)
Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Volume 1 (Edited by Laird Barron)

Magazine of the Year
Black Static
Fangoria
Morpheus Tales
Nightmare Magazine
Rue Morgue

As usual I’ll be posting my Top Films of the year soon, also as usual it will be later as we tend to get some films slightly later down here in Australia. Film of the year however is already locked in…

 


The Mist: The Novella Cut

The-Mist-The-Novella-CutKevin Karstens, a graphic illustrator, prefers the Stephen King version of the Mist and hates the movies ending.  Kevin said: “I had looked forward to a film adaption for over 20 years, and was thrilled to hear they were doing one (and by Frank Darabont, no less)…until I started hearing, ‘they changed the ending’….and I personally REALLY did NOT care for the ‘new version’…so I did something baout it, and you might find it interesting…”

What he did was recut  the movie, creating a fan film titled, The Mist, The Novella Cut. “Certain scenes have been cut, others added from the DELETED SCENES found on the DVD release, as they mirrored actual sequences from the source material. Chapter ‘headings’ have been added in areas to reflect the feel of a novella, and the ending now pays homage to the ‘Hartford/hope’ finale originally seen in King’s original text.”

Amount of time Cut/Added : CUT: Approx 10 min ADDED: Approx 5 min.

Go to Kevin’s webpage where you can access information to obtain/view a copy of the recut version HERE

I for one actually liked the ending of The Mist, it’s a brave way to end a big film. Darabont did what King has failed to do so many times in his books, actually have an ending that made sense. King is a master at creating incredible set-ups but not so great at creating endings…


The United States of Horror

The United States of Horror updated by The Art of Horror. See more HERE

United-States-of-Horror-The-Art-of-Horror-1024x1024


Every Reference in The Cabin in the Woods

Considering that The Cabin in the Woods is very much about all of the horror films that preceded it – it’s both an homage to and criticism of the entire horror genre – trying to pinpoint each of the hundreds of subtle and not-so-subtle references in The Cabin in the Woods is an undertaking worthy of applause.

For those of you who have seen the film, you’re definitely in for a treat. If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing and watch it immediately so that you can come back and partake in this wonderful video essay. Obviously, there are some spoilers ahead.


Stephen King – Revival

Stephen-King_RevivalRevival by Stephen King will be shipping in just a few weeks, and the mad-King fans over at StephenKing.com have announced that PrepareForRevival.com is now online HERE

What is PrepareForRevival.com? Here’s how they describe the site:

As Revival is perhaps Stephen’s darkest novel to date, some Constant Readers may wish to take some time to prepare for the experience of reading the story.

Prepare for Revival is intended for Stephen’s fans to explore the dark side of the human condition in anticipation of reading the novel. Prepare for Revival invites you to explore and anonymously share your innermost thoughts on the major themes contained within the story.

Users can safely and securely post their experiences and feelings about Faith, Tragedy, Disillusion, Addiction, Curiosity, Obsession, Death and The Afterlife.

Once users have read the novel, fans can also post their thoughts on Revival, its plot, characters, events and the larger-than-life climax.


Class of Killer Clowns

For some, Clowns are terrifying… for those people I’m sharing this awesome “Class of the Killer Clowns” yearbook fromFly53.com  featuring some classic clowns from your nightmares including Pennywise, Captain Spaulding and the latest addition Twitchy from American Horror Story: Freakshow.

Killer-Clowns-Infographic


Halloween Themed Ikea Commercial

Late night shopping shouldn’t be like this… Out of Singapore comes a commercial for IKEA that echoes the size of the stores, while also delivering some scares. The ad is an absolutely brilliant homage to Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, as little Danny Torrance bikes through the store, as if it were the Overlook Hotel, and eventually runs into the infamous “twins”.


The Shining

More awesome models from the geniuses at A Large Evil Corporation. Check out their site HERE

Shining_Overlook_Evil Twins_01

 


Why Do We Have A Hard-On For Horror?

Horror movies are a perennially popular genre in film… but why? What makes a movie scary, and what makes scary movies appeal to us? Where did we come from, and where are we going? What’s the future of fear? Why do we willingly sit in a dark room for two hours to deliberately get our pants scared off? Why do we take dates to horror movies?


11/22/63 – Coming to Television

11/22/63_Stephen-King_JJ-AbrahmsBad Robot have announced a new drama series through Hulu based off Stephen King’s 2011 best selling novel, “11/22/63.”  JJ Abrams is a huge fan of Stephen King’s work, and already has an order from Hulu for 9 episodes.

The book stayed on The New York Times Best Seller list for 16 weeks and won the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller, the 2012 International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel, and was nominated for the 2012 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel and the 2012 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

“11/22/63” tells the story of Jake Epping,  a divorced high school English teacher who lives in Maine.  Jake uses a time portal in a local diner to try and stop the assassination of President Kennedy.  The portal has rules, 1) no mater how long or how short your visit to the past, you only lose two minutes in the present when you return and 2) the portal ALWAYS takes you back to September 9, 1958, at precisely 11:58 a.m. This may sound like an easy fix but there are consequences to EVERYTHING you do when it comes to time travel and most of them are not so pleasant.

 


Best Horror Films of 2013 – Early 2014

Best-Horror_2013-20142013 to early 2014 (we get some movies late down here in Australia. Last year was a better than average year in the horror genre. For all the usual whining and complaints on numerous horror-themed websites, as well as here, there was some good work over the last year.
So, here’s my list of best and worst of 2013 (and a bit), from what I’ve seen…

BEST CINEMA RELEASE FILMS
Evil Dead (I know a lot of people hated it, but it’s my list and I liked it)
Maniac
Stoker

BEST DIRECT TO VIDEO / VOD FILMS
American Mary
Berberian Sound Studio
We Are What We Are

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE HORROR
Here Comes The Devil

BEST DIRECTOR
Franck Khalfoun – Maniac
Special mention to Jen & Sylvia Soska for American Mary

BEST ACTOR
Elijah Wood – Maniac

BEST ACTRESS
Katherine Isabelle – American Mary

BEST SCREENPLAY
Jen & Sylvia Soska – American Mary

BEST SCORE
Rob – Maniac

BEST MAKE-UP EFX
Roger Murray & Jane O’Kane – Evil Dead

DISAPPOINTMENT
Carrie – Good performances but just a bit lame.

WORST FILM
Frankenstein’s Army – More of that CG ‘Horror’ started by the godawful Van Helsing, ‘perfected’ by Underworld and now everywhere… and I hate it all.

It’s obvious from the list that I really liked American Mary. It was probably my favourite horror movie of the year… best story and the Soska twins would have taken out best direction if Maniac hadn’t been so incredibly well constructed by Franck Khalfoun. Feel free to comment…


Cabin Fever – Remake!

cabin_fever_poster_xlgReally, it’s come to this… Cassian Elwes and Evan Astrowsky are producing a remake of Cabin Fever. Whether original creator and director Eli Roth is involved or not, and to what degree the remake/reboot/re-imagining will follow the original is up for debate. It all just seems a bit too soon…

The original film featured a handful of college graduates who vacation at a remote cabin in the woods, where they become infected with a voracious flesh-eating virus… gore aplenty. It was a great horror debut.

This news seems to be tied in with the upcoming relase of Cabin Fever: Patient Zero on June 26th, a prequel to Roth’s original film. The plot for Patient Zero is: A group of friends enjoy a bachelor cruise in the Caribbean and stumble upon a research facility on a remote island where a deadly virus is released.

The remake of Cabin Fever seems to be aimed as a follow up to this prequel…

Eli Roth is in for an incredibly busy year with the long awaited release of The Green Inferno, another horror flick Knock, Knock, about two girls who seduce a married man and make his life hell. He is also developing a sequel to Green Inferno as well as possibly directing the Dracula flick Harker.

On the production side he helped develop a film called Clown directed by Jon Watts who made a fake trailer last year in which he attached Roth’s name. Check out the fake trailer and the genuine one below.



Staircases to Nowhere: Making Stanley Kubrick’s “The

The Elstree Project, an oral history project designed to record, preserve and share the memories of people who have worked at the studios of Elstree and Borehamwood.

A 55-minute documentary with contributions from nine crew members who worked on the film and Stanley Kubrick’s widow, Christiane. This is the most in-depth exploration into the making of “The Shining” on film, from the perspective of those who actually worked on the production. Additional content includes memories of the fire at Elstree, a more in-depth look at the Stages at Elstree and the Steadicam, the work of the Second Unit on the film and what it was like to work with Kubrick.

The interviews in this film were recorded over a period of three years, and with eight students getting the chance to gain live work experience as part of their undergraduate degree course in Film and Television in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire.


Fangoria – Cover To Cover

Fangoria_banner_headerOnce I’d discovered the magazine in our local comic book store in the early 80’s, I bought as many Fangoria back issues as I could get my hands on… I couldn’t afford the latest ones. That was okay though as I was busy going through all the 70’s and early 80’s horror in the video store at the time and Fangoria was a wishlist bible. So… I really want this…

Since 1979, Fangoria magazine has been the bible for horror fans worldwide.  Combining first-rate writing, reporting with unparalleled expertise on the fright-film genre, and eye-popping color photos, Fango has set a standard and become a name recognized by anyone who knows and loves scary cinema. One of the signature elements of the magazine has always been the eye-catching and controversial covers that have grabbed the attention of readers everywhere for the past three decades.

Fangoria_Cover-to-CoverFangoria: Cover to Cover is a lavish, oversized, and full colour hardcover book that celebrates the magazine’s long history and the genre it reports on, reproducing every one of those terrifying covers in stunning full colour and providing a history of modern horror cinema that has been thirty years in the making. This special edition volume collects a wealth of information, trivia, frightening photos, and every legendary cover of this acclaimed magazine, serving as a celebration of horror and a “coffee table” book that readers will turn to time and time again.

A Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive hardcover edition, there are no other editions planned anywhere in the world at this time!

Special Features:
* Massively oversized “coffee table” style book
* Four color printing throughout on coated stock
* Includes a full color reproduction of every Fangoria cover
* Foreword by Bruce Campbell and Afterword by Michael Gingold
* Includes trivia and frightening photos for the diehard fans
* Each edition features a unique dust jacket design to make them more collectible
* A Cemetery Dance exclusive hardcover edition with no other editions planned anywhere in the world at this time


Image

Horror ‘Like’

horror_facebook-like


Salem – Teaser

So it would appear that American Horror Story: Coven seems to have sparked a witch revival of sorts. Welcome to Salem. Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, Salem explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth hiding behind the veil of this infamous period in American history. In SALEM, witches are real, but they are not who or what they seem. The show, which centres on an epic romance wrapped around this explosive revelation, delivers a bold new vision of Salem — and an even bolder new vision of witches.


Rosemary’s Baby – NBC Mini-Series

rosemarys-baby_Mia-FarrowI posted news about his back in July, but now it appears that NBC has moved forward with the four-hour miniseries of Rosemary’s Baby,  an adaptation of the 1967 best-selling suspense novel by Ira Levin. Agnieszka Holland, who has been nominated for both an Oscar (Europa, Europa) and an Emmy (Treme), has come on board to direct the mini, written by Scott Abbott and James Wong (American Horror Story). Casting begins immediately, with filming set to begin in January in Paris.

“Ira Levin’s mesmerizing book was a ground-breaking reflection on how effective and influential a psychological thriller could be,” said Quinn Taylor, NBC’s EVP, Movies, Miniseries and International Co-Productions. Added NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, “As we move into the event movie and miniseries space, Rosemary’s Baby represents the kind of attention-getting, surprising project that will make noise for us. The story has been updated and moved to Paris, but it’s faithful to the spirit of Ira Levin’s classic novel.”

rosemarys_baby_posterRosemary’s Baby centers on a young married couple who move into a Paris apartment that has a haunted past. After getting pregnant, the wife becomes increasingly suspicious that both her husband and their neighbors will have ulterior motives when her child is born. The book has a famous feature adaptation, the 1968 film directed by Roman Polanski and starring Mia Farrow.

This is NBC’s first miniseries in a long time as the genre has been enjoying a resurgence following the success of History’s Hatfields & McCoys. The network’s last miniseries until now was the 2009 The Storm, which aired during the summer. NBC has several other miniseries in the works, including an adaptation of Stephen King’s Tommyknockers, along with several limited series, including The Bible sequel AD: After the Bible. 


The Blood List

The-Blood-List_2013Nice to see that the Blood List is working. Fox Searchlight has picked up Zak Olkewicz’s Elimination, a horror pitch to be produced by Shawn Levy through his 21 Laps banner. This marks the second studio sale this year for Olkewicz, who made a Dimension deal last spring on Ink And Bone, a script which topped the 2013 Blood List which ranks genre scripts. This pitch is described as a high concept horror film involving a cerebral game of cat and mouse. They are keeping the logline under wraps as high concepts are easy to rip off. DanTram Nguyen will oversee for Searchlight and Dan Cohen for 21 Laps, the label which produced The Spectacular Now and Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Bad Day at Disney. Levy as director wrapped This Is Where I Leave You for Warner Bros, and he is prepping (gulp!) Night at the Museum 3 at Fox.

For those of you interested, in a similar vein the The Black List, The Blood List was created in 2009 to bring attention to unproduced horror screenplays in Hollywood. A calendar year for a script to be considered for the list is from October 31st to October 31st, and the list comes out every Halloween. Voting is done by over 100 executives. The top 13 horror scripts of the year make the cut.


Image

Overlook Elementary

1379270_746589398688824_820905456_n


Image

Christine – Poster Art

stephen-king-christine_gary-pullin