Tuesday, 29 July 2014

FILM NEWS (UK): Film4 FrightFest 2014 announces guest line-up


This year’s Film4 FrightFest guest list brings together the great, the grand and the gifted as over 100 filmmakers, performers, writers and producers from all over the world make their way to the Vue West End for the 15th Film4 FrightFest event which runs from Thurs 21st – 25th August.

He lit up the 1980s and 90s genre landscape with one of the classic horror performances of all time as Freddy Krueger in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Cue rounds of ecstatic applause for the one and only Robert Englund who will be attending the festival to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of that Wes Craven classic (screening on Sunday Aug 24) and to launch the latest production in which he stars, THE LAST SHOWING, which screens on Friday Aug 22.

Festival co-director Alan Jones commented today “Englund is one of the genre’s originals and we are thrilled to host such an icon of fright”.

In support of the opening film THE GUEST, today’s hottest Scream Queen, Maika Monroe, will be present to celebrate the UK premiere of her tension-laden shocker. Monro is also the star of horror sensation IT FOLLOWS and is rapidly becoming the go-to-girl for genre glamour.

In a major coup for his legion of fans, Alan Moore will be introducing and talking about his short film trilogy SHOW PIECES with director Mitch Jenkins. Dubbed the best graphic novel writer in history, this is rare public appearance from a National Treasure.

Then there’s director John McNaughton who changed the horror movie forever with his once-seen-never-forgotten masterpiece HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. McNaughton is here to promote his unusual thriller THE HARVEST.

Essie Davis is currently winning a plethora of Best Actress awards for her emotionally complex and stunning role as the stressed out mother Amelia in the Australian phenomenon THE BABADOOK. We are thrilled to have her with us as the Total Film Magazine sponsored guest of honour.

Other key directors include Nacho Vigalondo, who has three films on show – the epic crowd-pleaser OPEN WINDOWS, his sci-fi comedy EXTRATERRESTRIAL and V/H/S: VIRAL, Belgian filmmaker Fabrice Du Welz, for his extraordinary thriller ALLELUIA, Till Kleinert, director of post-modern slasher THE SAMURAI, STARRY EYES directors Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer and the ever-popular Adam Green with his unusual offering, DIGGING UP THE MARROW. From South America come Argentine director Adrian Garcia Bogliano with his werewolf winner LATE PHASES and Venezuelan director Alejandro Hidalgo with THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME.

Additional directors travelling to the Vue West End to introduce their work are Milan Todorovic (NYMPH), Luke Hymans (XMOOR), Jay Weisman (SHOCKWAVE DARKSIDE 3D), Ivan Kavanagh (THE CANAL) Phil Hawkins (THE LAST SHOWING) Ben Wagner (DEAD WITHIN), David Campbell (LEMON TREE PASSAGE), Ate De Jong (DEADLY VIRTUES), David Gregory (LOST SOULS), John Shackleton (THE SLEEPING ROOM), Jeremy Wooding (BLOOD MOON), Jessica Cameron (TRUTH OR DARE), Alexandre O Philippe  (DOC OF THE DEAD, Ollie Frampton (THE FORGOTTEN), Ed Boase (THE MIRROR),  Adam Spinks (THE EXPEDITION), Simeon Haligan (WHITE SETTLERS), Jorg Buttgereit (NEKROMANTIK), Matthew A. Brown (JULIA) and Federico Zampaglone (REMEMBER).

The stars of the films are out in force (with more to be confirmed) Pit Bukowski and Michel Diercks (THE SAMURAI), Rupert Evans and Steve Oram (THE CANAL), THE LAST SHOWING stars Emily Berrington, Finn Jones and Malachi Kirby, XMOOR stars Nick Blood & Sofie Harkness, DEADLY VIRTUES actor Edward Akrout, Shaun Dooley (BLOOD MOON), Leila Mimmock & Joseph Beatty (THE SLEEPING ROOM), Ashley C. Williams (JULIA), Joshua Dickinson & Nate Fallows (THE MIRROR) and Emily Booth (SELKIE)

Key producers also attending include Jan Harlan (THE SHINING), Alex Baranska (THE LAST SHOWING) Christian Arnold-Beutel (SHOCKWAVE DARKSIDE 3D) Gallien Chanalet-Quercy (I SURVIVED A ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST), Michael Vine (BLOOD MOON) and Gareth

Tickets for Individual films are now on sale.

Bookings: www.myvue.com/Frightfest  
08712 240 240 (24 hour booking line)

Screens 5, 6 & 7 will house the main event while the Discovery strands will play in Screens 3 & 8.

For full programme details go to: www.frightfest.co.uk

Monday, 14 July 2014

Interview with Tom Sullivan by David Kempf

When I was a young teen, I saw the first EVIL DEAD movie and it scared the hell out of me. I equally enjoyed the sequels EVIL DEAD 2 and ARMY OF DARKNESS.

Tom Sullivan worked as a effects artist in makeup and stop motion animation in both EVIL DEAD sequels.
Tom is a lifelong fan of horror and fantasy movies and is very popular with art collectors seeking to purchase EVIL DEAD related art. It was fun to interview Tom about his past accomplishments and future plans in the horror field.


By David Kempf

Tell us why you became so interested in the world of horror.

Because the world of horror became interested in me. Before Evil Dead I was a good, shy, Eagle Scout who never got into trouble, abhorred violence and the horror films I'd seen scared the crap out of me.
I wanted to make movies like Ray Harryhausen and with their sensibilities. Gore and horror was a self forbidden genre for me.   I didn't even want to see James Bond films until I was in High School because of the violence I thought  they might contain.  I eventually saw Thunderball and got it.

It wasn't until I met Bill Baetz and David Hurd who were putting together there H.P. Lovecraft inspired film called The Cry of Cthulhu that I actually started to read horror fiction.   For my first read, I thought Lovecraft was wild and a lot of fun.  The film, from my point of view was Lovecraft meets Harryhausen.  It was to be a live action/stop motion horror/adventure film using every practical and optical effects available. It would have been epic.

Evil Dead was a whole other animal.   I had to jump in and see all the horror films I could to figure out what the hell I was going to do.  Fortunately Sam Raimi insisted us Book of the Deaders' saw films at Drive Ins and learned all we could about what works and what doesn't .  Sam said and I believe him that you can learn more from a bad film than what you can steal from a good film.

The good stuff you steal (and Sam sure did) is recognizable by hardcore film fans. While the improvements you make on a failed idea have a germ of originality to it.

But horror films still scare the crap out of me.

Do you prefer watching horror films or reading horror novels? 

I'd rather watch them.  I'm a film maker at heart.  I do love horror comics, especially EC, Creepy and EERIE from the good ol' days.

Tell us about your earliest inspirations.

In art it was Steve Ditko and Frank Frazetta in that order.  I loved Spider-Man and discovered those comics first.

Ditko's figures were supremely animated and anatomically and proportionally correct for the most part.  An artist friend turned me onto Frazetta in High School and I've never been the same since.
Nowadays I love all artists over all times.

In film making, Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen are my giants.  I saw King Kong when I was 5 and The 7Th Voyage of Sinbad when I was in the third grade.   I had to do this stuff.  I have a Mom who let me stay up late, even on school nights so I could see these on TV.    These films were miracles to me.

How did you become involved with THE EVIL DEAD?

My wife, Penny went to Michigan State University and we lived on campus.  One day I read about the MSU Creative Film Making Society having a screening so I went.  I met Sam and Ivan Raimi and Rob Tapert, the roommate of Ivan Raimi.  From there we hit it off and I showed my special effects reels and artwork to them.   Sam, being the resourceful film maker he is, kept a lookout for other's talents to broaden his palette.
  And he put me to good use.  I did sound effects for his Super 8mm, full length feature, It's Murder as well as a flyer with a drawing I did.

Then came Within the Woods, Sam's horror film designed to impress investors to make a feature horror film.

And it worked.

I was called in to make a prop dagger and other items found in the grave of an Indian Medicine Man. I also designed and did the make up and gore effects.  It's a hard core horror film with supernatural elements.  A very good sketch for Evil Dead.

Who do you think THE EVIL DEAD series remains so popular with the fans?

Because of the kinetic action, comedy and gore Sam put in them.  He made us all look good.  I've found these days that fans are discovering the Evil Dead series backwards.  Army of Darkness has been the most shown because it's the least violent. A snip of the "F" bomb that Ash drops is gone and it's almost family friendly.  Most people are seeing Army of Darkness, telling there more worldly friends about it and then they seek out Evil Dead 1 and 2.  There is also the fact that the tones of each film is different than the others so everyone has their favorite.  I would guess it's usually the episode they saw first.

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as an artist so far?

I would have to split that between my work on Evil Dead and my illustrations for Chaosium Inc.  I painted covers and did pen and ink illustrations for there role playing game books for their H.P. Lovecraft inspired, THE CALL OF CTHULHU.   I kept my originals and copyrights and am selling prints of them as well as prints of my Book of the Dead from Evil Dead and the Lost Pages from Evil Dead 2.

Name some of your favorite horror books.

With the exception of The Shining about the only horror fiction I've read is Lovecraft.  I was drawn to The Shining because I'd heard Kubrick was making his film adaptation.    I was chomping at the bit at how he was going to do the moving animal shaped shrubs.  Spoiler alert.  He passed on that.

Name some of your favorite horror films.

Robert Wise's The Haunting is the Citizen Kane of horror films.   It spells out the format for great horror. It sure influenced Sam Raimi.  I would recommend any horror director study that film as it does not have a drop of blood. No ghosts are seen but the audience is convinced they are there.  It's the classic demonstration of what writing, photography, art direction, sound, editing can do without the shock of gore or a reliance on special effects.  I guess I just dismissed my film career in special effects.

Why do you think horror movies and books remain popular?

Spectacle of a dark side.  I think horror films are the most morality focused entertainments out there.  Films about vampires, ghost, exorcisms, monsters, serial killers etc. all reach out to the audience who fill in there own morality. They either identify with the victims or the monster.  The filmmakers usually plot that out but we know who is good and evil.   And being entertaining events, sometimes evil can be fun to watch.  Me, I like good stories and love it when my disbelief is suspended for a good movie or book.  And that is a huge challenge for the creators.

Do you think the growing trend of self-publishing is a good or bad thing?

Since I want to self-publish a couple of Coffee Table Art Books of my stuff, I'm going to go with good thing.
I should be finding out more about self publishing.   I figure if I put my pages from the Book of the Dead in there I'll sell a bunch of them.

What are your latest projects?

I have put some of my talented friends to work producing replicas of my props from the Evil Dead films. Official Bookbinder of the Dead and Evil Dead Historian, Patrick Reese handstitches the Book of the Dead replicas.  His work is amazing and to make my sloppily designed book binding work, Pat has worked out an elaborate and difficult technique that makes his bindings durable and artistic.   Moldmaker of the Dead, the talented Steve Diruggiero casts the covers for the Books as well as the high quality resin Kandarian Daggers of the Dead.  He also makes Mini Books of the Dead from a sculpture I did of the Book of the Dead, 1/4 scale for one of Pat's Evil Dead 2 model figures.

Film maker and friend, Ryan Meade has made a DVD documentary about my life and career called INVALUABLE.  We had amazing help from my Evil Dead friends and the reviews are glowing.   It is available at:

Any Advice?

Watch movies, think for yourself. Try thinking for yourself while you're watching a movie and eating popcorn at the same time.

Please in your own words write a paragraph about yourself and you work.

At the age of five years old Tom saw the original King Kong and his genetic structure was changed forever. After verifying with his Mother that Kong was made in the United States he announced his intention to be a film maker.

Art and film have occupied his time ever since and in 1979 Tom began work on Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead.  To everybody’s surprise the film eventually became a cult classic    and Tom worked on Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn and the Army of Darkness. Tom Also was a sculpturer on Chris Walas’s The Fly Part 2.

After The Fly experience Tom returned to his home in Marshall, Michigan and returned to his career in Illustration. He created paintings and drawings for role playing game books based on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft for Chaosium Inc.

Anchor Bay,  the DVD distributors contacted Tom to design Book of the Dead packages based on his Book of the Dead created for the Evil Dead films.  Suddenly Tom was back in show biz.

Since then Tom has been acting in films and The Dread reunited him with his Evil Dead comrade Ellen Sandweiss.  Tom also helped out with the effects rigging the death scene for Ellen’s character.

Tom and Official Bookbinder of the Dead and Evil Dead Historian, Patrick Reese, tour around American horror film conventions with the Tom Sullivan Art Print and Replica Gallery. Featuring archival quality prints of Tom's Evil Dead, H.P. Lovecraft and other Horror and Fantasy art.


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Film News (UK): HorrorShow.TV acquires UK rights for Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN.

Horror-themed VOD platform TheHorrorShow.TV is set to make a bold venture into physical distribution with its first 'all UK rights' acquisition, THE WOMAN. The film, starring Pollyanna McIntosh (Filth, White Settlers) will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and limited edition steelbook editions on August 18, with a brand new audio commentary by director Lucky McKee, who's latest film All Cheerleaders Die receives its UK premiere at FrightFest in August.

Commenting on the VOD platform's new venture, TheHorrorShow.TV's David Hughes said, "Having celebrated our site's first birthday by uploading our 200th horror film, we are hugely excited about this new acquisition, which heralds our entry into the physical market with a lavish all-formats edition of Lucky McKee's brilliant 2011 horror film, The Woman. Of course, TheHorrorShow.TV is primarily a digital platform, but the physical side of film distribution shows no signs of slowing down, and we want to give horror fans as much choice as possible about how they consume their favourite genre."

The film's director, Lucky McKee, commented: "I am delighted THE WOMAN has found a new home in the UK with The Horror Show.TV. With this new edition, fans will get a chance to watch the film along with me, as I have recorded a brand new commentary track within the home that inspired the story."

Andrew van den Houten, who produced the film through his Modernciné company, added: "Modernciné is thrilled to be bringing The Woman back to audiences in the UK with our new partnership with TheHorrorShow.TV"

TheHorrorShow.TV will offer the film as a digital exclusive, and plans to include the film in its forthcoming subscription service, which will make many of the existing 200+ films available at TheHorrorShow.TV – including many digital exclusives – available to subscribers for £4.99 per month.

TheHorrorShow.TV is the first UK-based video-on-demand streaming service specialising in horror and fantasy films.  Run by David Hughes and filmmaker and entrepreneur Jack Bowyer, the pay-as-you platform offers top-flight features, popular classics, cult favourites and edgy underground titles to stream or download via computers/ laptops and Android and iOS-based smartphones and
tablets Fans can also select short films from the 99p “Short Stack” feature