Not a lot has happened over the past week or so in our hallowed genre, but that can be expected this time of year. The fact that 2012 has had a stunningly few amount of wide release theatrical horror has only seemed to compound the issue. Seriously, I think my scrotum has produced more widespread tales of terror than Hollywood has this year (be it studio-produced or a distributed indie effort). 2013’s schedule seems a lot brighter, thankfully. I think more horror is scheduled to go nationwide in the first three months than in all of 2012. So cheer up, my frightful readers! And now onto the guts of today’s fear-filled frolic…
Do you want the good news first or the bad? The bad? Okay then. Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood, Machete Maidens Unleashed) has had a change in plans regarding his next project. He was originally supposed to shoot his Cannon Films doc this year. That did not happen and filming on it (or at least the majority of it) has been pushed to next year. Awww. Tear-filled cries to the heavens aside, this is a good thing. For one, it is allowing him to schedule more interviews with behind-the-scenes folk. It has also allowed him to do his remake of the Aussie horror classic Patrick first. Filming has actually already begun down in Oz and the film (starring Sharni Vinson, Rachel Griffiths, and Charles motherfuckin’ Dance) is slated to hit sometime next year. Another fantastic doc AND a horror film from Hartley being made virtually back-t0-back? Yes please!
The Last Exorcism: Part II has been given a March 1st, 2013 release. CBS Films will be taking over distribution on the sequel. The original was released by Lionsgate. Ashley Bell and a few others have returned, with the follow-up centering on Nell starting a new life and being tracked down by the demon (and, I’m assuming, the cult). No word on whether or not Patrick Fabian’s Reverend Cotton returns in any capacity, but at the moment it seems he will be absent from the proceedings. Bummer.
The Eli Roth-produced Clown has finally begun filming. The story centers on a father who dressed up as a clown for his kid’s birthday after the hired entertainment doesn’t show. Unfortunately for Daddy, the outfit is cursed and his loving personality begins to transform toward a more homicidal one. Hopefully one involving bad clown puns. I’m kidding. Well, at least half kidding. Peter Stormare is on board and hopefully playing the titular character. More as it develops.
The Big G has had a new flick in the works at Legendary Pictures for years now. Some people thought it might have hit this past summer. Others had Summer 2013 pegged for Godzilla’s next silver screen stompfest. Morons. The King of the Monsters burst into theaters in 1954. Did any of you honestly think that the new Hollywood/Toho reboot had a Gigan’s chance in hell of arriving in theaters any year other than the one that marks Captain Curbstomp’s 60th anniversary? Regardless, I was right. You are wrong. Hah-ha-hah-ha-hah-ah. Ahem. What was I saying? Oh yeah, Godzilla will officially begin production this March and is targeting a May 2014 release. No wonder Captain America moved to April. Even the Star-Spangled Avenger is no match for Godzooky’s mob enforcer.
Apparently World War Z is STILL SHOOTING. If this isn’t further proof that Marc Forster was a one-hit wonder, I don’t know what is. Go back to machine gun preaching, Marc, and leave the genre properties (and my beloved franchises!) the fuck alone.
McG wants to adapt School of Fear. Honestly, the fact that he is interested in directing it makes me not want to even read up to find out what the fuck it is for two reasons. Numero Uno: McG wants to direct it, so it’s probably shit. Numero Dos: McG wants to direct it, so even if the source material is worthwhile, it will still probably be shit. This is the man who was given an espionage romcom starring Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, Til Schweiger, and Reese Witherspoon and managed to make a film so boring that I almost didn’t finish watching it. For a bit of perspective, I had no problem finishing Highlander: The Source and it is one of the worst films I have ever seen. I actually like Terminator Salvation. I’ll be fucking damned if I ever watch This Means War again or look upon anything he has on the way with anything other than disdain.
David R. Ellis (Final Destination 2, Snakes On A Plane) has signed up to do a horror thriller for Blumhouse Productions entitled Sprawl. No plot details at this time, but expect Ellis to be a lot less fucked with than he was on The Final Destination (::snicker::). Blum & Co. modus operandi seems to be “keep to the budget and you can do what the fuck you want!”, which has seemingly worked out well overall on projects like Insidious, The Bay, Sinister, and Lords of Salem. Production is slated to begin early next year and Universal is eyeing the distribution rights.
A-B-C-D-E-F…screw it, just watch the damn trailer:
FX has gone ahead and renewed their (coffin) baby, American Horror Story, for a third season. The current season, Asylum, is about halfway finished and will wrap up in January. No word yet on what the third go ’round might entail, but expect it to be yet another entirely different scenario with a few casting holdovers in new roles. Summer camp massacre, please!
Are you a fan of 666 Park Avenue? Well too fucking bad. Both it and the non-horror (but equally pushed on the masses) Last Resort are looking highly unlikely to snag second season pick-ups. Why? I could say it had to do with the ratings. Or maybe the productions budgets are too high. Maybe both. Maybe neither. Personally, I think it’s because I recorded the pilots, but never watched them. You see, I seem to have developed magical powers this year. I set quite a few pilots for new shows to record on the ole DVR this fall. And I watched most of them. Every single one that I watched got picked up for a full season and have been/likely will be picked up for a second season. Revolution? That was me. Vegas? Yep, me again. Arrow? This guy! The aforementioned AHS: Asylum? Yours truly. So if you want someone to blame for either of these shows not making it, blame me. I did it. And no, I’m not sorry. Argofuckyourself.
Welp, Scream Factory has gone and done it again! Was it a solo job this week? A pairing? A threesome? None of the above. The Shout! Factory subsidiary decided to close out this year’s final announcement with an orgy of title announcements. A whopping six films have been added to their upcoming DVD/Blu-ray slate for 2013 and they are all genre greats: The Burning, Day of the Dead, The Fog, The Howling, Lifeforce, and Night of the Comet. Given the popularity of these titles among genre fans, expect each release to be well stocked with both ported features and brand-new ones. Only Day has previously been released on Blu, via Anchor Bay, and one has to wonder if its inclusion is a sign that the company has struck a deal with AB. Could we be seeing some Argento titles in the future? A little Soavi? Perhaps a Phantasm boxed set, if we are lucky? Only time will tell. As I said before, this is their final announcement this year before they go on holiday. Expecting them to resume their weekly boastings next year, likely around the time that their January titles street.
Code Red is also getting in on the Blu-ray fun in 2013 with a trio of releases. The Electric Chair (1976), Nail Gun Massacre (1985), and Jeff Lieberman’s classic Just Before Dawn will all make their debuts in the format. No word on exact dates at this time, but I will keep you posted.
Andrzej Zulawski’s whackjob masterpiece Possession will be hitting Blu-ray next year courtesy of Mondo Vision in the US and Second Sight in the UK. Both releases will boast the director’s newly-approved restoration of the film. This one will be well worth the addition to any horror fanatic’s collection, no matter what the eventual price may be. As always, more as it develops.
Universal Home Entertainment is chucking Nick Murphy’s period ghost story, The Awakening, onto Blu-ray/DVD this January 29th. The Rebecca Hall/Dominic West-starrer received a limited release earlier this year and has an overall positive reputation. I’m rather looking forward to seeing it myself when the opportunity arises.
One a final home video note, The Warner Archive Collection is going Blu next year. Their manufactured-on-demand disc program will be making the jump to high-definition on a wide variety of catalog titles starting this month. All will use high-quality 1080p masters, so no worries on the transfer front. While there are no genre efforts among those initially announced (but hey…Fearless, Hudsucker Proxy, and Deathtrap!), you can be sure that many will crop up over the next year.
To close things out, I would like to take this time to appeal to Kevin Williamson’s wallet. Do you want your serial killer-centric show The Following (starring Kevin Bacon & James Purefoy) to succeed when it airs in January? I mean, I know you’ve got that The Vampire Diaries (blech!) money rolling in, but obviously that wasn’t enough for you. And The Secret Circle just didn’t pan out, did it? The pilot will be, what? An hour? Hour and a half long? Time is money, Mr. Williamson. I have the time to watch your pilot, thereby securing it for at least two season on the air. Are you willing to cough up the dough to entice me to do so? If not, expect your latest project to be 86’d ala Park Avenue. Call me. We’ll work something out.