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If your dad was Mario Bava, master of light and originator of the giallo film as we know it, you’d have a hard time following in his footsteps too; yet that is precisely what Lamberto Bava chose to do. He made some good ones right out of the gate: Macabre (1980) and A Blade in the Dark (’83) have their fans, but it was the fantastic Demons (’85) that brought him international attention. One lackluster sequel later and he was more or less relegated to the sidelines, where he found solace in Italian TV; he signed a four picture deal for a series of films under the umbrella High Tension, and the first one out of the gate was The Prince of Terror (’88), which was deemed too gruesome and shelved until 1999. I can understand why, because it does contain several gory set pieces, implied rape, and strong language. Oh, and it’s also insane and entertainingly weird.

AKA Alta tensione – Il maestro del terrore, The Prince of Terror is probably never mentioned because it hasn’t had any proper VHS, DVD, or Blu-ray release; quite a shame, because any fans of bizarre Italian cinema will definitely lap it up.

The story? Oh boy, let’s start at the start, shall we? A woman (Marina Viro – Chewingum) hops out of an RV stuck in a swamp to find her boyfriend. When she finds him in a pool of water, he soon begins to inflate (yes, inflate) into a milky eyed demon and gives chase. As we soon discover, we are actually on the set of the latest horror film directed by Vincent Omen (Tomas Arana – The Church), and he’s none too fond of the script by his longtime writer, Paul Hilary (David Brandon – StageFright), so has him fired on the spot by the producer (Pascal Druant – Leviathan). Next Vincent is off to the golf course, where he is interviewed by a reporter (Virginia Bryant – Demons 2) about his status as filmdom’s The Prince of Terror, which he does not downplay; in fact he embraces the rumors that he must be at least 50 years old even though he claims to be 37, and all his golf balls are marked with a 666.

Greeted at home by his wife Betty (Carole Andre – Yor), daughter Susan (Joyce Pitti – A Second Childhood), and their little dog Demon, he prepares for a dinner party with his producer and leading lady, but things don’t go as planned; first the power is cut, and then golf balls crash through the dining room window. There’s also the mysterious phone calls, proclaiming, “O-men, No-man” (which is a pretty big stretch for an ominous pun, but I’ll allow it). After the guests leave, the evening starts to escalate – gate security can’t be reached, Demon comes to an unusual (and hilariously grotesque) end, and the family is besieged by a bald, wild eyed lunatic (Ulisse Miniverni – The Card Player) carrying a big knife and an even bigger grudge…

But that’s just the first half of The Prince of Terror, and the really crazy stuff isn’t unloaded until the second; here there be robots, bear traps, head vices, a wall entombment a la Poe, and somehow golf ends up playing a big part in all of it. The idea behind the story makes sense, but the execution is burning down a secondary road with nary a chance of getting back to the highway. What was Bava getting at with this piece if anything?

Perhaps we should ask writer Dardano Sachetti (Demons), whose successful relationship with Lucio Fulci (including Zombie, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond) had long since grown acrimonious by this point; perhaps the hoops he has Omen jump through here are purely tongue in cheek, but if they’re not, he has some strong feelings towards Fulci, one might say.

Aside from that then, what we’re left with is a home invasion thriller that has some unique twists and a possibly supernatural bent, depending on how much credence one puts in Italian filmmakers’ perception of reality. Bava actually plays fair, until he doesn’t have to; and while the final denouement will have you questioning every decision that came before, sometimes carpet pulling is fun and appropriate.

Lamberto Bava is well known for energetic and wild set pieces, and while there is nothing on the scale of Demons (this is TV after all), he gets plenty of realistic enough work out of legendary special effects artist Sergio Stivaletti (Phenomena, Demons, Opera) to appease the grue gang. He also gets some pretty good performances, at least ones that seem more relatable due to American (Arana and Bryant) and Irish (Brandon) actors; Arana is quite laid back, which suits the role, whereas Brandon chews up everything in sight, and rightly so. The MVP though may be Miniverni as crazy Eddie the intruder; there’s a look in his eyes that’s appropriately deranged.

The Prince of Terror may not be Bava’s best film, but for TV it’s more than enjoyable and strange enough to please fans of Italian horror looking for something two or three steps removed from normal. Oh, and golf. Lots of golf.

The post Class of 88: It Came From The Tube: THE PRINCE OF TERROR (1988) appeared first on Daily Dead.

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"On Purge Night, America lives up to its promise." After four feature films, The Purge franchise is heading to the small screen in a new TV series, and to give horror fans a better idea of what to expect, the official trailer was unveiled at Comic-Con (where an immersive "Purge City" store was also featured) and online ahead of its September 4th premiere on the USA Network:

"Based on the hit movie franchise from Blumhouse Productions, THE PURGE revolves around a 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, is legal. Set in an altered America ruled by a totalitarian political party, the series follows several seemingly unrelated characters living in a small city. As the clock winds down, each character is forced to reckon with their past as they discover how far they will go to survive the night.

THE PURGE is written and executive produced by the film franchise creator James DeMonaco and led by Jason Blum. Additionally, the entire team behind the blockbuster franchise ‎are on board to executive produce: Michael Bay with Brad Fuller and Andrew Form under the Platinum Dunes banner and Sebastien K. Lemercier. Thomas Kelly serves as executive producer/showrunner of the series. Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winner Anthony Hemingway will direct and executive produce the premiere episode.

THE PURGE will premiere Tuesday, September 4 at 10/9c on USA Network with the premiere and finale episodes simulcast on SYFY."

The Purge (TV Series) | Official Trailer | The Purge on USA Network - YouTube

The post Comic-Con 2018: Watch the Official Trailer for THE PURGE TV Series appeared first on Daily Dead.

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While there is an abundance of films out there that feature halflings forced into a fight against an all-consuming evil, about 95% of them were directed by Peter Jackson. But today, I want to pay homage to a film directed by Richie Cunningham (aka Ron Howard), produced by George Lucas, and predating The Lord of the Rings movies by over a decade. Call it sacrilege if you must, but Ron Howard’s Willow holds a place nearer and dearer to my heart than anything set in Middle-earth. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some hobbits, but I was introduced to the Nelwyn clan at five years old. And at that age, when you fall for a movie, you fall hard.

For those who aren’t familiar, Willow centers on farmer/would-be sorcerer Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis). When he happens upon Elora Danan, an infant of the Daikini clan (aka tall people), he takes his first steps on a quest that will pair him with unlikely hero Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) and a couple of tiny Brownies (think fairies but annoying) named Franjean (Rick Overton) and Rool (Kevin Pollak). Together, they must find the powerful sorceress Fin Raziel (Patricia Hayes) and protect Elora from the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean March).

It’s not hard to recognize why five-year-old Bryan would connect with a movie about a little guy who goes on an epic adventure and ultimately saves the day. But what I realized recently is that for a PG, family-friendly fantasy film, Willow is stuffed to the gills with horrific elements sure to catch the attention of a budding horror fan. And before you say anything, yes, I’m quite aware that Lord of the Rings has quite a few creepy elements to it as well. You go write your own damn feature about it. Today, I serve the Nelwyn.

One of the most prevalent horror tropes in Willow is the creature feature, particularly the trolls that play an important role in Willow’s journey. In his limited circle of experience at the start of the film, trolls represent the ultimate danger in the outside world, a fear that transferred right into me. Plus, those things are quite ugly—covered in fur, yet somehow suffering from male pattern baldness on their wrinkled, leathery faces. Honest to God, I’d rather deal with the two-headed dragon Willow accidentally summons rather than have to look at a troll.

As scary as trolls are, they’re merely an appetizer for the array of horrors unleashed by Bavmorda, starting with the hounds that tear apart a poor midwife before making their way to Nelwyn in search of Elora Danan. Described as a cross between boars and dogs, the look of the trolls was pulled off by a creature design team supervised by Nick Dudman, who pulled off the appearance by fitting Rottweilers with prosthetics for wide shots and using animatronic heads for close-ups. You always run the risk of sliding into silliness whenever your effects require slapping appliances on a dog (see A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 or The Killer Shrews as exhibits A and B) but then again, this is Industrial Light & Magic we’re talking about here. Plus, the sound design team created a howl for these hounds that almost sounds like a trumpet heralding impending doom.

Now, for those who prefer slashers to creature features, Willow has you covered in the form of General Kael (Pat Roach). He’s Bavmorda’s right-hand man and the owner of perhaps the most metal helmet of all time. This guy is that kind of unstoppable force that you associate with a Jason Voorhees or a Michael Myers. Between that freaky skull mask and a giant sword with serrated teeth, Kael would be just as at home stalking teenagers at a camp as he would storming castles. And that facial hair is something that must be seen to be believed. In most horror movies, the reveal of Kael’s face would be a showstopper in the movie’s climax, but in Willow, this dude cavalierly takes his helmet off all the time as if that wild beard and bushy eyebrows aren’t terrifying everyone in the room.

Then, of course, we have Bavmorda herself, who comes with a variety of horror tropes all her own. First and foremost, she is a witch whose primary goal in this movie is to kidnap all of the infants and murder the adorable ginger baby prophesied to destroy her. As the movie progresses, you can see her evil obsessions take their toll as she grows more and more decrepit, but this hint of body horror is nothing compared to the extended sequence where Bavmorda turns an entire army into pigs, with some practical effects that rival most classic werewolf transformations.

Sure, the endgame is some rather adorable looking pigs, but the road getting there is paved with painful contortions, as faces grow snouts and hands fold into hooves. Most of the more detailed shots involve Madmartigan, with Nick Dudman explaining in the making-of featurette that wide shots were achieved with simpler masks and suits, as it would have been impossible to pull off intricate transformation sequences on 200 actors at once. But the decision to focus on Madmartigan also works from a story standpoint, as it marks the first time in the movie where Willow is truly on his own. Madmartigan has had his back for most of the movie, so to watch him get taken out of the picture in such a grueling manner serves as an extra punch in the gut.

One of the things I appreciate about Willow is that while Bavmorda is about as evil as can be, Fin Raziel portrays the benevolent side of witchcraft that you don’t get in most films. Granted, we need to wait for most of the film for her to be transformed back into a human from a possum (and a crow... and a goat... and a tiger... and an ostrich), but once she’s back to form, she’s ready to take on Bavmorda while Willow (and, by extension, us) can sit back and breathe.

Or, at least we could if not for an errant spell blast that brings a particularly evil-looking altar to life, which then promptly chases Willow around the room. Five-year-old Bryan won’t soon forget the sight of a sentient chamber pot with a lid pushed open by human bones attacking poor Willow. I’m not actually sure what trope this would be. Maybe it’s the same subgenre as Death Bed: The Bed That Eats?

Of course, Willow’s hero journey wouldn’t be complete if he wasn’t forced to face off against Bavmorda, and the best part about his stand-off is that he doesn’t use some big, powerful, deus ex machina of a spell. He’s just able to distract Bavmorda with an Elora-assisted version of his “disappearing pig” trick long enough for Bavmorda to fall victim to the evil queen equivalent of tripping over a banana peel. In this case, the banana peel is a bowl of blood that, once spilled, apparently triggers the “utter annihilation” spell that Bavmorda had in mind for Elora Danan. There’s a lot of lightning, groaning, and all manner of stuff to scare the bejeezus out of me. I mean me as a child. A small child.

Now, I’ll admit that Willow is not going to make anyone’s hardcore horror lists anytime soon. But ultimately, Willow continues to capture my attention after 30 years, because when I watch it, I go right back to being the little kid just finding out that he likes to be scared. It’s a safe place to test the horror waters. You know that ultimately the good guys will win and the bad guys will be defeated, especially those damn trolls.

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Check here all month long for more special features celebrating the Class of 1988!

Willow Official Trailer #2 - Val Kilmer, Warwick Davis Movie (1988) HD - YouTube

The post Class of 88: “I Hate Trolls” – The Not-So-Hidden Horror in WILLOW appeared first on Daily Dead.

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During their massive Hall H panel in San Diego, Warner Bros. took attendees to the underwater realm of Atlantis with the unveiling of their official trailer for James Wan's Aquaman, and now the trailer has been released online, giving viewers around the world a look at the upcoming superhero film starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, and Willem Dafoe:

"From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.

The film also stars Amber Heard (“Justice League,” “Magic Mike XXL”) as Mera, a fierce warrior and Aquaman’s ally throughout his journey; Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“Platoon,” “Spider-Man 2”) as Vulko, council to the Atlantean throne; Patrick Wilson (“The Conjuring” films, “Watchmen”) as Orm/Ocean Master, the present King of Atlantis; Dolph Lundgren (“The Expendables” films) as Nereus, King of the Atlantean tribe Xebel; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Netflix’s “The Get Down”) as the vengeful Black Manta; and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (“The Hours,” “Lion”) as Arthur’s mom, Atlanna; as well as Ludi Lin (“Power Rangers”) as Captain Murk, Atlantean Commando; and Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Green Lantern”) as Arthur’s dad, Tom Curry.

Wan directs from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (“The Conjuring 2”) and Will Beall (“Gangster Squad,” TV’s “Training Day”), story by Geoff Johns & James Wan and Will Beall, based on characters from DC, Aquaman created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger. The film is produced by Peter Safran and Rob Cowan, with Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada serving as executive producers.

Wan’s team behind the scenes includes such frequent collaborators as Oscar-nominated director of photography Don Burgess (“The Conjuring 2,” “Forrest Gump”), his five-time editor Kirk Morri (“The Conjuring” films, “Furious 7,” the “Insidious” films), and production designer Bill Brzeski (“Furious 7”). They are joined by costume designer Kym Barrett (“The Matrix” trilogy, “The Amazing Spider-Man”) and composer Rupert Gregson-Williams (“Wonder Woman”).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents a Safran Company Production, a James Wan Film, “Aquaman.” The film is set to hit theaters on December 21, 2018, in 3D and 2D and IMAX, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

www.aquamanmovie.com"

Aquaman - Official Trailer 1 - YouTube

The post Comic-Con 2018: Watch the Official Trailer for James Wan’s AQUAMAN appeared first on Daily Dead.

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From bloodthirsty vampires to deadly puppets, the residents of Willard's Mill have a lot to look out for in season 3 of Stan Against Evil, and with the show's cast and crew attending San Diego Comic-Con to discuss the upcoming episodes (including some highly anticipated parodies), IFC released a new trailer for the third season ahead of its Halloween premiere:

Press Release: A new season of Evil returns this Halloween! In an all-new Season 3 sneak peek of IFC’s horror-comedy Stan Against Evil, unveiled today at Comic-Con International: San Diego, catch a first look at the unusual new demons, moody teen vampires, zombie corpses and possessed puppets inhabiting the cursed New England town of Willard’s Mill.

IFC’s original horror-comedy series Stan Against Evil stars John C. McGinley as Stan Miller, the curmudgeonly retired police sheriff of Willard’s Mill, and Janet Varney as Evie Barrett, the current sheriff determined to wipe out the demons that plague their town of Willard’s Mill. Deborah Baker Jr. and Nate Mooney return to co-star as Denise Miller, Stan’s absent-minded, do-good daughter, and Deputy Leon Drinkwater, Evie’s right-hand man, respectively. Season 3 premieres Wednesday, October 31 at 10PM on IFC with eight all-new episodes.

The new season picks up immediately after the events of the Season 2 finale, with Stan and Evie back in Willard’s Mill dealing with the consequences of Stan traveling through time to save his dead wife Claire. In doing so, he inadvertently opened a portal between the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead…allowing evil forces to truly take over the town and even some of its inhabitants. Although always the skeptic at first, Stan must work with Evie to once more save the town – even if it means making a literal deal with the devil. New and returning guest stars this season include Scott Adsit, Maria Bamford, David Koechner, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Eddie Pepitone.

Stan Against Evil is created, written and executive produced by Dana Gould, with Tom Lassally also serving as executive producer. RadicalMedia produces the series with Frank Scherma and Justin Wilkes executive producing. Star John C. McGinley also serves as a producer. Stan Against Evil Seasons 1 and 2 are available to watch on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and Xbox.

Season 1 is available to stream on Hulu and will be joined by Season 2 on August 17.

For continued updates on Stan Against Evil, please check out:

Online: http://www.ifc.com/tag/stan-against-evil

Twitter: @IFC #StanAgainstEvil

Instagram: @StanAgainstEvil

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IFCStanAgainstEvil/

Stan Against Evil | Season 3 Teaser | IFC - YouTube

The post Comic-Con 2018: Vampires, Demons, and Deadly Puppets Attack Willard’s Mill in IFC’s STAN AGAINST EVIL Season 3 Teaser Trailer appeared first on Daily Dead.

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Ever since it was announced that Legendary was making their own Godzilla movies, I was hoping that we'd get more of the monsters we love from the classic Toho films. After teasing a new MonsterVerse for years, we now have the first trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in which Godzilla faces off against Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah:

"The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance."

Directed by Michael Dougherty (Krampus, Trick 'r Treat), the movie stars Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds and Zhang Ziyi. Godzilla: King of the Monsters will be released to theaters on May 31st, 2019.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters - Official Trailer 1 - YouTube

The post Comic-Con 2018: Watch the First Trailer for GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS appeared first on Daily Dead.

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On Wednesday, July 18th, New Line Cinema brought a few of the upcoming horror films on their slate to the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con for the Second Annual ScareDiego celebration, giving attendees some insights to a trio of terror-filled cinematic treats, including Andy Muschietti’s IT: Chapter 2, Corin Hardy’s The Nun, and The Curse of La Llorona from first-time feature filmmaker Michael Chaves. We also had the opportunity to hear from many of the creatives involved with The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona, both in front of, and behind, the camera.

Hosted by Rotten Tomatoes’ always entertaining Grae Drake, the night kicked off with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the happenings on the set of IT: Chapter 2, where Muschietti promised us that he’s ready to scare the hell out of us with his sequel, and also showed us a few sketches of potential creature designs for the film. We were also shown some footage from the epic IT: Chapter 2 table read, featuring the younger cast members we all know and love, as well as the new additions to the IT universe, including Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, James Ransone, Jay Ryan, Isaiah Mustafa, and Andy Bean. Bill Skarsgard makes a few appearances as Pennywise, but most of his footage are just extreme close-ups on his face (and it’s hard to tell because of the way the footage was shot, but some of the design elements to his makeup seemed bolder in color, and a bit more exaggerated too. Considering that it’s still very early on in the production process for IT: Chapter 2, it was great that both New Line and Muschietti wanted to still give fans a taste of what’s to come.

Next up was the presentation for The Curse of La Llorona, which featured appearances from director Chaves, and a few folks who co-star in the film together: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, and Patricia Valesquez. They dove into the real-life inspiration behind La Llorona, the Mexican folklore about a vengeful spirit who wants to steal children away, due to the loss she suffered back when she was still mortal, and set up the first of several clips – this one featuring two young boys who are being chased by La Llorona. We also saw an entire sequence featuring Cardellini and her onscreen brood who end up being terrorized by the fearsome spectre, and then a sizzle real. Chaves has set The Curse of La Llorona in the 1970s, and I love the way he shot and composited various set pieces felt wholly entrenched in the aesthetic from four decades ago.

It also looked like, by the clips edited together in the final montage, that La Llorona just might also belong to The Conjuring universe as well. Time will only tell there, but it seems like one shot in particular might give us some clues (and Wan is a producer on the film, too). In either case, we’ll know for sure once the film hits theaters next year.

Closing out ScareDiego 2018 was another Wan produced effort, The Nun, which gives us more of the memorably horrifying demon Valak, who was first introduced in The Conjuring 2. To give us a deep-dive into the film, Drake brought out Hardy, as well as cast members Taissa Farmiga and Ingrid Bisu (who happens to hail from Romania, the shooting location for The Nun). It seems that, based on what we saw at the event, Hardy is tapping into a Gothic horror aesthetic, and it works beautifully in favor of the tone of the material. The cinematography is gorgeous, bringing a sense of grandiosity to the movie’s visual style, and you could almost feel the sense of dread hanging over each and every shot. Hardy is a director who impressed me greatly with his efforts on The Hollow, and I love how The Nun has this confident and polished gleam to everything we’ve seen so far, which makes it feel like it is ready to effortlessly join the ranks of the other impressive films that comprise The Conjuring universe.

There were also a few gnarly sequences that we got to see, including one character being whipped mercilessly by an unseen assailant, and I must admit, I was already excited for The Nun, but now my enthusiasm has reached peak heights. I loved how it looked perfectly at home in this cinematic universe, all while looking like nothing we have seen from these films thus far. Plus, there was a stunning scene set in a foggy moor that felt like it was crafted precisely for me (foggy locales are my cinematic catnip). It might be weird to say this, but The Nun feels poised to be this New Wave Hammer Horror endeavor, and I am all about that. Oh, and New Line filled the theater with dozens of faceless nuns, so yeah, The Nun feels like it’s going to be a lot of fun for fans.

Keep it tuned here for more coverage from The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona over the next few days as well, as we’ve got several great interviews coming your way, right here on Daily Dead.

The post Comic-Con 2018: Second Annual ScareDiego Brings Thrills and Chills with Footage of IT CHAPTER TWO, THE NUN, and THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA appeared first on Daily Dead.

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Like most folk, I’m a sucker for alien invasion films; I’m also down with conspiracy flicks, and I love seeing beautiful photography in foreign lands. If only there was a horror film that combines these somewhat disparate elements into a cohesive, satisfying whole. I honestly can’t think of one; but there is Alien Predators (1985), a pretty damn fun and nonsensical trip through Spain.

Filmed in ’84 and released on video in the U.K. in August of ’85, Alien Predators (AKA Alien Predator, AKA The Falling, it’s original title) saw a very brief theatrical U.S. run in February of ’87 before being dumped onto video shelves for curious horror fans…like myself; as that’s when I first saw it, and I remember digging its pleasant nature and sparse but effective effects. A recent revisit however disclosed its greatest asset: a make-it-up-as-we-go willingness on the part of writer/director Deran Sarafian (Terminal Velocity) that results in a freewheeling travelogue with NASA espionage, dune buggy chases, demented store clerks and waitresses, chest burstings and quite quippy dialogue. Alien Predators is a strange brew that works despite itself.

We open with a space scroll about Skylab being sent up in 1973 and crashing down to earth in ’79, where it is recovered by NASA in Duarte, Spain. Cut to five years later, and a diseased cow roams the Spanish countryside; it collapses and dies in the middle of a darkened highway, splits wide open, and stray dogs feast on its splayed innards - except for the one poor pooch who gets sucked in to its stomach, of course. Along come a trio of American tourists, Damon (Dennis Christopher – Fade to Black), Sam (Lynn-Holly Johnson – For Your Eyes Only), and Michael (Martin Hewitt – Endless Love) travelling in a rented RV and pulling a dune buggy. The slaughtered heifer provides an inconvenient speed bump for our travelers so they head to the nearest town for repairs, where they are greeted with shuttered doors and flying beer bottles.

Meanwhile in the same sleepy town, Captain Wells (J.O. Bosso) shows Dr. Tracer (Luis Mendes – Devil’s Exorcist) of NASA a hotel room corpse with a mutated face which Tracer promptly cuts open, causing blood to spray on Wells’ chest and ruining a perfectly good $3 shirt from the actor’s own closet. As Tracer is quick to explain, NASA set up shop in an abandoned Spanish castle to study Skylab’s experiments after the crash and found it brought back an alien virus that turns people into raving lunatics, as well as causing acute alien indigestion within 48 hours. Our unlucky threesome teams up with the good doctor to put an end to the virus, or at the very least make it out of Spain alive.

Alien Predators is as laid back as a summer drive with no destination in mind; it’s really about the stops along the way, and this one has some pretty interesting detours, including a crazed shop owner wearing what looks like a porcelain Leatherface mask, a waitress who ran directly from auditions for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and a dusty dump truck that tries to run over our heroes and anyone else that gets in its way. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the creepy Talky Tina doll, the sentient tricycle, or the entirely offensive “tribute” to Peter Sellers’ Bakshi character, fellow tourist Mr. Bodi. (Harmless in intent, I’m sure, but that stuff just doesn’t play anymore.)

What other shards of bizarre does the film possess? Well, I think NASA holing up in a castle in the middle of an open field to do secret studies may have been a necessity of budget on Sarafian’s part; the film is very low budget, and was made with leftover film stock. The inner NASA compounds are the only sets, and everything else is location, location, location, adding a sense of scope to Alien Predators well above its pay grade.

There are some downsides though, including a lot of forced humor that just doesn’t work, and while Christopher and Johnson are engaging, Hewitt comes across as rather bland, and Mendes is shall we say…relaxed in his performance. Bosso’s one and only film appearance is voice dubbed by Sarafian’s dad Richard, who should have made a career out of it except he was too busy directing films such as The Bear (’84) and Eye of the Tiger (’86).

As for his son, Deran would go on to helm vampire flick To Die For (’88), JCVD’s Death Warrant (1990), and more before moving on to a continuing lucrative TV career, including helming episodes of Buffy, The Twilight Zone, House, CSI, The Exorcist, and beyond. He clearly knows his way around a camera, as the film is expertly shot and paced well enough that before you can question what that was about, the next question is right around the cobbled village street corner.

Alien Predators is messy in intent, sure; it wants to be part An American Werewolf in London, a dash of Race with the Devil, a sprinkle of every cold war conspiracy movie from the ‘70s, and a sometimes splattery take (or takeoff) on Alien and The Thing. If that sounds like an ungodly mélange, you’d be right; but I’ll always support a first timer who puts up what he wants to see on the screen, and while it’s not a completely smooth ride, it is so amiable that you can’t help but roll down the window and enjoy its warm breeze.

Alien Predators (1987) Trailer. - YouTube

The post Drive-In Dust Offs: ALIEN PREDATORS (1985) appeared first on Daily Dead.

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I don’t think I’m making any kind of grand revelation here by declaring that Sam Elliott rules. For anyone who has grown up on a steady stream of badassery from the grizzled actor, he’s proved himself time and time again to be one of the greatest and most enigmatic performers to ever grace the silver screen, and The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot is the perfect showcase for Elliott’s immeasurable talents. And while you might be expecting something a little more bombastic based on the immediately unforgettable title of Robert D. Krzykowski’s stunning debut feature, his story is more interested in taking the introspective route, resulting in an endlessly engaging adventure that manages to pull a few heartstrings along the way.

Ultimately, how Krzykowski frames his narrative is reflected directly in the character of Calvin Barr (Elliott), who, as you can imagine, has had his share of incredible experiences over the years, just based on what the film’s title reveals about his two major achievements. But it seems like Krzykowski has realized a truth about filmmaking that some directors can go through their entire career and never pick up on, and it’s that some of the best stories ever told are the ones that sneak up on you quietly. The restraint shown here by both Krzykowski and Elliott works in tandem so beautifully with this tale of the most extraordinary ordinary man who ever lived. Make no doubt about it, The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot is something very special.

Normally, for a review, I’d do my usual digging into all the plot particulars to set the scene of what viewers can expect, but considering that this film’s two biggest moments are pretty much laid out for you as advertised – and they’re both fantastic set pieces that I found equally enthralling – it feels like of The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot is more interested in all those mundane occurrences that happen around any kind of life-defining moments, which in reality, perfectly reflects the actuality of all of our existences. We all like to think our lives are built upon the foundation of these huge ticks of time when something big happens, but really, it’s all those in-between moments that ultimately define who we are, and become, in this world.

To Calvin, he doesn’t see himself as this amazing warrior, or this bastion of bravery – he’s just a man who asked to do the extraordinary, but in order to do these things, he has had to give up the ordinary pleasures that have been afforded to the rest of us. And in his eyes, it’s just as simple as that. In the scene when two government agents (played by Ron Livingston and Rizwan Manji) show up at Calvin’s house to ask him to carry out the mission to exterminate The Bigfoot (and there’s a very plausible reason why he, of all people, is being asked to do such a thing), there’s a line from Elliott (in reference to him being the guy who actually killed Adolf Hitler) that really stuck with me – “I always did exactly what they said.  It’s not the comic book you want it to be.” – and I think if you were to try and summarize The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot in one sentence, it would be that. Calvin doesn’t romanticize his achievements – everyone else does.

There’s no doubt that Elliott and his distinctively rugged screen presence is a huge reason as to why The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot works as well as it does (Krzykowski’s script, and the gorgeous cinematography by DP Alex Vendler are two other hugely important factors that contribute to the film’s overall success), and I love that not only does it give Elliott the opportunity to do what he does best as an actor, but in some ways, the film also parallels Elliott’s career as well. He’s someone who carved out a niche over the last four-plus decades with his penchant for no-nonsense characters, and his turn as Calvin in The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot makes for yet another compelling addition to the pantheon of great Elliott performances.

Also, bonus points to Krzykowski for not only casting Larry Miller in a non-villainous role (what a refreshing change of pace for the always entertaining character actor), but for also opening the movie with Billy Squier’s Lonely is the Night (a song that played a big part in my early childhood years, as my mom was obsessed with the man who introduced all of us to The Stroke in the early 1980s).

Movie Score: 4.5/5

The post FANTASIA 2018 Review: Sam Elliott’s Quiet Brilliance Shines Through in THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT appeared first on Daily Dead.

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With the third season of Preacher spending some quality time at Gran'ma's house, we've seen some of the show's most twisted adventures yet, but Jesse and the gang are just getting started, as AMC's new trailer for the series offers a look at the chaos and carnage to come in the second half of season 3.

From the Press Release: "Preacher," is a dramatic thrill ride that follows West Texas preacher Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), his badass ex-girlfriend Tulip (Academy Award® nominee Ruth Negga) and an Irish vampire named Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) as they embark on a road trip to find God and are thrust into a twisted battle spanning Heaven, Hell and everywhere in between.

In Season 3, Jesse Custer’s quest for God takes him back to the place he’s been avoiding his whole life: home. Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy return to Angelville, the Louisiana Plantation where Jesse was raised, and find old grudges and deadly obligations await them. With the help of his friends -- and a few enemies -- Jesse will need to escape his past… because the future of the world depends on it.

“Preacher” stars Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Ian Coletti, Graham McTavish, Pip Torrens, Julie Ann Emery, Malcolm Barrett and new series regulars Betty Buckley (“Supergirl,” “Split”) and Colin Cunningham (“Blood Drive,” “Falling Skies”). Jeremy Childs (“The Last Castle,” “Nashville”), Liz McGreever (“Star, Nashville”), Jonny Coyne (“Turn,” “Alcatraz”), Adam Croasdell (“Reign”) and Prema Cruz (“Mozart in the Jungle”) are recurring guest stars.

The Sony Pictures Television and AMC Studios co-production was developed for television by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (“Sausage Party,” “This is the End,” “Superbad”) and showrunner Sam Catlin (“Breaking Bad”). The series is executive produced by Catlin, as well as Rogen, Goldberg and James Weaver for Point Grey Pictures, Neal H. Moritz and Ori Marmur for Original Film and Vivian Cannon, Jason Netter, Michael Slovis, Mark McNair and Ken F. Levin."

Preacher Season 3: Official Comic-Con Trailer - YouTube

Alternate International Embed:

PREACHER Season 3b - Official Comic-Con 2018 Trailer - Vimeo

The post Comic-Con 2018: Watch the Trailer for PREACHER Season 3’s Second Half appeared first on Daily Dead.

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