Monday, 19 June 2017

New Horror Releases: May/June 2017

Here are some recent horror releases. (All product descriptions in this post are taken from Amazon.)


SACCULINA by Philip Fracassi (2017 Journalstone / 99 pp / trade paperback & eBook)


"The story is exciting, and terrifically scary." -- The New York Times

"SACCULINA is a smart, terrifying, and poignant tale of creeping menace. I devoured it in one frenzied sitting... this Fracassi guy is damn good." --Richard Chizmar, author of A Long December and co-author (with Stephen King) of Gwendy's Button Box

When Jim's big brother Jack is released from prison, the brothers--along with their broken father and Jack's menacing best friend--decide to charter an ocean fishing boat to celebrate Jack's new freedom.

Once the small crew is far out to sea, however, a mutant species rises from the deep abyssal darkness to terrorize the vessel and its occupants.

As the horror of their situation becomes clear, the small group must find a way to fend off the attack and somehow, someway, return to safety; but as the strange parasitic creatures overrun them, they must use more extreme - and deadly - measures to survive.



THE DOLL HOUSE by Edward Lee (2017 Necro Publications / 102 pp / trade paperback & eBook)


WELCOME TO THE PATTEN MANOR HOUSE.

It’s a horror house, a slaughter house, a devil house. And it’s something else, too:

A doll house.

Reginald Lympton collects doll houses, and now that he’s acquired the rare Patten Doll House, he can boast the most preeminent collection in the world. But after visions too abominable to reckon, and nightmares blacker than the most bottomless abyss, he discovers in short order that his acquisition is not a prized collector’s item at all but a diabolical thoroughfare designed to serve the darkest indulgences of the King of Terrors.

Now, Edward Lee, the master of hardcore horror, has penned this audacious homage to the master of the Victorian ghost story, M.R. James.



BLACK STATIC no. 58 (May/June 2017)

The May–June issue contains new dark stories and novelettes by Mark Morris, Helen Marshall, Tim Casson, Gwendolyn Kiste, and Joe Pitkin. The cover art is by Joachim Luetke, with interior illustrations by Joachim Luetke, Warwick Fraser-Coombe, and Vince Haig. Features: "Into the Woods" by Ralph Robert Moore; "Notes From the Borderland" by Lynda E. Rucker; "Case Notes" by Peter Tennant (book reviews and an in-depth interview with Richard Chizmar); "Blood Spectrum" by Gary Couzens (film review).





 To check out reviews in The Horror Fiction Review, please click here. There are a number of other books reviewed as well that might pique your curiosity.

Happy Reading!

















Monday, 29 May 2017

Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula

For both fans and scholars of Bram Stoker's Dracula, there is an alternate version of the story now available with a very interesting history.

In 1900, Icelandic publisher and writer Valdimar Ásmundsson began translating Bram Stoker's world-famous 1897 novel Dracula. This Icelandic edition, which was titled Makt Myrkranna (literally, "Powers of Darkness"), included an original preface written by Stoker himself. 

Makt Myrkranna was published in Iceland in 1901 but remained undiscovered outside the country until 1986 when Dracula scholarship was astonished by the discovery of Stoker's preface to the book. However, no one looked beyond the preface and deeper into Ásmundsson's story. 

In 2014, literary researcher Hans de Roos examined the full text of Makt Myrkranna, only to discover that Ásmundsson hadn't merely translated Dracula but had penned an entirely new version of the story, with all new characters and a totally re-worked plot. 

The resulting narrative is one that is "shorter, punchier, more erotic, and perhaps even more suspenseful than Stoker's Dracula." 

Powers of Darkness represents the first-ever translation into English of Stoker and Ásmundsson’s Makt Myrkranna. There are also marginal annotations by de Roos that provide readers with historical, cultural, and literary context. There is a foreword by Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew and bestselling author, as well as an afterword by Dracula scholar John Edgar Browning, (Source: Amazon: publisher's description)

This is the Amazon link:  https://www.amazon.ca/Powers-Darkness-Lost-Version-Dracula/dp/146831336

The book is available in hardcover and audio formats.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Trump Presidency: A Real-Life Horror Story

Stephen King has added his voice to those expressing concern over the presidency of Donald Trump.

What encourages me the most about this move is that King is a populist writer and may be able to reach people in ways that the media and the Hollywood elite could not.  And I also assume that King has had no problem withstanding the constant barrage of abuse that is being sent his way by Trump supporters.

In fact, I'm not worried at all about the ability of high-profile Trump critics to survive his presidency. But I am concerned about Trump's de-regulation of environmental protection; his insistence on turning a blind eye to human rights abuses; his overhaul of health care in the US that will leave so many vulnerable; his cuts to programs that benefit seniors and the poor; and his flagrant disregard for ethics while in the White House.

Ironically, many of Trump's policies will affect the various groups who supported him and thought he would make their lives better.

To read King's tweets, please click here.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Upcoming Release of Alien: Covenant

Fans of  Alien can look forward to the release of Alien: Covenant directed by Ridley Scott. This film is a sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus. (Scott directed the original Alien movie, as well as Prometheus.) In November 2015, Scott confirmed that Alien: Covenant would be the first of three additional films in the Alien prequel series, before linking up with the original movie.

In Alien: Covenant, the crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

Here's a link to the official movie trailer for a sneak preview.

Alien: Covenant is scheduled for release on May 18.

Monday, 24 April 2017

A Sad Parting: My Decision to Say Good-Bye to The Walking Dead

Like many of you, I was an avid fan of The Walking Dead. Sunday night was always something to look forward to with the latest episode. Over the past two years, however, I've become increasingly disenchanted with the series. In retrospect, the killing of Glenn was probably the death knell for me.

My decision to give a future pass to The Walking Dead, however, is based on various elements besides the death of one of its most interesting characters. The main difference between a graphic novel and a television series is that the latter has a real opportunity to flesh out characters rather than  rely on the formulaic hero versus villain theme. But in Negan, the latest villain, we see not a flesh-and-blood human being, but a caricature of evil--a bit like a leering bad-guy wrestler playing to script. How many times is it necessary to show someone beaten to death, branded with an iron or, in one case, thrown into a fire? And do we really need to see the main characters, Rick and Daryl, repeatedly emasculated? Granted they are fighting back at the end of Season 7, but for me it's like a wearisome cycle that never ends. Add to this a cast of ineffectual "supporting" characters. Am I the only one who finds Gabriel, Tara, and Rosita, to name a few examples, more annoying than effective? The Walking Dead has the dubious distinction of ending the performance of many strong actors while relying on inferior acting skills to keep the series running.

As reported by Wikipedia, "executive producer David Alpert said in 2014 that the original comics have given them enough ideas for Rick Grimes and company over the next seven years. 'I happen to love working from source material, specifically because we have a pretty good idea of what Season 10 is gonna be', Alpert said. 'We know where seasons 11 and 12 [will be].... [W]e have benchmarks and milestones for those seasons if we're lucky enough to get there.'"

There is a difference between "having material" and maintaining the freshness of that material.

In my mind, what started off as a thoughtful and exciting new series has taken an abrupt right turn.

Monday, 17 April 2017

INNER GHOSTS: Part 2


Here's some additional information on the film we showcased last week:

THE FILMMAKERS













 JOÃO ALVES (Director) is a multi-talented writer, illustrator, designer, animator, and VFX artist. After four years working professionally in animation, he wrote, directed, and pretty much everything else, the short horror/western BATS IN THE BELFRY (2010). The animated short did a worldwide festival run that lasted four years, and won several awards (MOTELx, Fantasporto and others) and was sold to Fearnet.com before getting a theatrical release in 2013. INNER GHOSTS is João
Alves' first feature. However, the director has more upcoming projects.












PAULO LEITE (Writer/Producer) is an EAVE graduate with over 15 years of professional experience. He has worked in Production roles in Film, TV, Commercials and Fashion. Paulo also has experience in Development, having helped many international producers with their projects, either as a writer, consultant, mentor or simply as a friend. Paulo regularly attends all the main film festivals and markets devoted to genre films in Europe, North and Latin America. Paulo has several other horror projects in development, including THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD that was selected to the Frontières Co-Production Market.


MIGUEL SALES LOPES, A.I.P. (Director of Photography/Editor) is one of Portugal's leading cinematographers with almost 40 film and TV projects in the last 15 years. He has worked in some of the most successful Portuguese films in recent memory and is well-known for the quality of his work. For INNER GHOSTS, Miguel went to the extreme of building himself the light equipment demanded by the film’s complex final scene.



 GABRIEL AUGUSTO (Producer) was born in Macao. He is an IPAM graduate with over 10 years of experience in Digital Marketing, Social Media and Branding, having worked with some of the biggest Portuguese companies today. He is one of the leading names in the business and a constant presence in markets and events. He has worked twice with the Portuguese sponsors of Cannes Lions. Gabriel won't miss a horror film. His personal taste goes for Asian horror as he is a connoisseur of
virtually everything ever produced.


 THE CAST


CELIA WILLIAMS is a British actress born and brought up in England. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama before spending two years living in Brazil, since when she has been living and working in Lisbon. She performs in English and Portuguese, and also, once, in French. Her work has taken her very often to the UK, to London and to Edinburgh, to places all over Portugal from Bragança in the north, to the Algarve in the south, to Madeira in the Atlantic, and also to India. She has performed in a variety of genres including tragedy, drama, mystery, comedy, musicals, opera, radio, television series and feature films. Among many major roles on stage are Jean Cocteau's THE HUMAN VOICE in London's West End, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, DON'T WALK ABOUT WITH NOTHING ON, and BE MY BABY, also in London; Paulina in DEATH & THE MAIDEN, Elizabeth I in MARY STUART, Nora in A DOLL'S HOUSE, Stephanie in DUET FOR ONE, Gertrude in HAMLET and Judith Bliss in HAY FEVER IN LISBON. Celia's work in Portuguese includes various roles in TV soaps and series, for example EQUADOR and UMA FAMÍLIA AÇOREANA, O ÚLTIMO DOS MARIALVAS, APANHADOS NO DIVÃ and AUTO DA BARCA DO INFERNO for the stage, and the films PASSAGEM POR LISBOA and A MORTE DE CARLOS GARDEL. Her first venture into horror was ten years ago when she played the protagonist in MRS. DEVENPORT'S THROAT, a short film, part of a series written and produced by horror icon David McGillivray. She is now excited, and a little afraid, to take on the role of Helen in INNER GHOSTS.


ELIZABETH BOCHMANN was born in Lisbon in 1989 to British parents and was brought up in Portugal. As a result, she is fluent in both English and Portuguese. She has a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London, as well as short courses on Technical Voice Production and the Method. She has worked mostly in theatre, performing in Portugal, England and at the Edinburgh Fringe. Since completing her degree, she has played major roles in PYGMALION, HAY FEVER, THE MOUSETRAP, RELATIVELY SPEAKING, THE PROVOKED WIFE, THE THREE SISTERS and ROMEO AND JULIET. She has appeared on TV in Portuguese soap operas, most recently JARDINS PROIBIDOS for TVI and in short films, including THE HUNCHBACK, written and directed by award-winning director Gabriel Abrantes and Ben Rivers. INNER GHOSTS is her first experience working on a feature film, ironically in a genre that she finds terrifying to watch. Her passion is, and always has been, acting. The feeling of being able to bring another character to life is an extraordinary sensation, and the challenge is to embody that person with as much truth and honesty as possible. Elsa is a tough woman with a complicated life. She has seen ghosts and demons for most of her life - so much that she turned that curse into a profession, designing demonic visuals for games and horror films. One of the demons she sees has become too violent as it demands something from her - something she will be forced to deliver.


IRIS CAYATTE was born in Lisbon in 1986 from a Portuguese/French father and a Finnish mother. She spent her childhood and teenage years moving from place to place (from the vast Finnish forest, to the desert of Alentejo, to Luxembourg and back to Lisbon where she completed the International Bachaleaureat at an international school. She is bilingual and works in Portuguese, English and is fluent in French. At the age of 17 she moved to London where she graduated from The Central School of Speech and Drama in 2008. Since then she has been busy working in major theatre productions. Currently she is preparing two different plays to be presented at the National Theatre in Lisbon. She has performed in major roles in plays by Arthur Miller, Brecht, Shakespeare, Sarah Kane, George Orwell, Paú Miró, Simon Stephens, Dostoyevsky, amongst others. On Film she has worked with directors such as Roberto Faenza in SOSTIENE PEREIRA, the infamous Fanny Ardant in CADENCES OBSTINÉE, Rob Marshal in NINE, Francisco Lobo in ELA and Paulo Furtado (aka The Legendary Tiger Man) in OBLIVION, amongst others. She also participates in television productions such as series and tv movies. On INNER GHOSTS, she plays Rachel, a woman with a keen connection with the other side.


WHO IS OUR AUDIENCE?

We feel INNER GHOSTS is a film for the audience who crave fresher horror concepts and is looking for films that try to give them a fuller emotional experience. With this in mind, we feelINNE R GHOSTS will be closer to the audience who loved THE ORPHANAGE and THE OTHERS (two stories of mothers whose love propels them to do the unthinkable) than the audience who is looking for the average zombie virus flick. Here are some of the films with whom we share creative elements: THE ORPHANAGE, THE OTHERS, POLTERGEIST.


HOW HAVE WE CONNECTED WITH OUR AUDIENCE?

We started tweeting about the film in 2015 as the film got financed and we started writing the script. We told very little about the film (nothing was spoiled) because we did not want to spoil the great twists that take place towards the end of the story. However, we wanted everybody to know that INNER GHOSTS is actually a horror film about love and the crazy things some people can do for it and because of it. So we started tweeting about the film’s theme, about the horror genre in general, about passion for it and some small creative tips we felt were relevant to those who wish to develop their horror stories. We managed to maintain an engaging relationship with our audience and as of March 2017 we reached some 25K organic followers on Twitter. We tweet to them every day. Find us here: https://twitter.com/InnerGhosts


CENTRAL CREATIVE ELEMENT

INNER GHOSTS explores themes and creative elements we are further developing into more horror films. We love writing horror stories and we will not stop.


For more information on INNER GHOSTS, please click here.

BEST OF LUCK TO ALL OF YOU IN YOUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN. THIS LOOKS LIKE A VERY INTERESTING FILM.

Monday, 10 April 2017

INNER GHOSTS

Behind the Walls of Nightmare is pleased to announce the Kickstarter campaign for the film INNER GHOSTS, which was selected to the Work in Progress section of the 2016 Frontieres Co-Production Market at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada.

Here's the synopsis, production details, and information on why a Kickstarter campaign was chosen.


SHORT SYNOPSIS

HELEN is a brain researcher trying to develop a revolutionary
therapy to treat degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. To
prove her theories, she needs to run cognitive tests on ghosts:
beings who apparently can act and remember without the need of
a physical brain suggesting that unresponsive patients whose
brains are too damaged to function can be accessed, somehow,
through their living souls. After the death of her mentor, Helen
finds an apartment inhabited by benign ghosts who agree to be
tested. The problem is Helen renounced her gift 15 years ago after
the loss of her daughter when she made a vow never to contact
the other side again. Things change when an artist called ELSA
begs Helen for some spiritual training hoping to get rid of a demon
who has been haunting her for many years. Helen reluctantly
accepts it unaware of the demon's true goal: finding her. Helen’s
tests with the ghosts are a success. The entities offer her the
design of a device that can communicate with the dead (and
possibly living patients), triggering a set of events that will bring
Helen face to face with the demon she has known all along. After
so many years, two enemies are about to meet for the last time,
showing us that revenge is a dish that’s still boiling hot.

Oh, but there’s so much more happening!


PRODUCTION DETAILS

Title: INNER GHOSTS
Producing Countries: PORTUGAL / BRAZIL
Genre: SUPERNATURAL HORROR / DRAMA
Length: 90 MINUTES
Language: ENGLISH
Locations: LISBON / CASCAIS
Cast: CELIA WILLIAMS, ELIZABETH BOCHMANN
IRIS CAYATTE, NORMAN MACCALLUM, AMANDA BOOTH
ANA SOFIA LEITE, PATRÍCIA GODINHO, JOÃO BLÜMEL
Director of Photography: MIGUEL SALES LOPES A.I.P.
Digital VFX: ANIBRAIN (INDIA)
Written by PAULO LEITE
Produced by PAULO LEITE and GABRIEL AUGUSTO
Directed by JOÃO ALVES

PICTURE SPECS
Shot with: RED DRAGON 5K RAW
Lenses: ARRI / ZEISS
ULTRA PRIME
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

© 2017 BAD BEHAVIOR ONE LDA



WHY A KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN?

We wrote, developed and produced INNER GHOSTS because we love horror and we love the people who love horror films. Film is an expensive medium. It is much less expensive than it was 20 years ago, but still quite expensive if you really want to do it right. We are now in sound post and from the development until now, we were able to make every euro count. We took the project as far as we could go with what we had. Now we are thrilled to bring the project to the best community in the world: horror fans! You are the reason why we are doing all this, and Kickstarter has some of the best horror fans in the world! That’s why we are asking for your support. That’s why we are opening our film and ourselves to you.

Sound matters! The film turned out too good. We need a sound post that will do it justice. We will need real music. Real ADR. Real foley. Real sound mix. Real deliverables. So you will get not just the best horror story, you will experience the best film. We want you to experience INNER GHOSTS as true horror fans should!

Our Kickstarter campaign starts in April. Please check out the amazing rewards you can receive by supporting us. http://innerghosts.launchrock.com/.



In next week's post, Behind the Walls of Nightmare will look at the production crew, cast, and intended audience of INNER GHOSTS.