SUSPIRIA on Digital 1/15 and Blu-ray 1/29

suspiriaSuspiria, the reimagining of the horror cult-classic arrives on Digital January 15 and on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital) January 29 from Lionsgate.

Experience Luca Gudagnino’s outrageously twisted re-imagining of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror cult classic that has been called agrim and glorious work of madness” (IndieWire, David Ehrlich) when Suspiria arrives on Digital January 15 and on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital) January 29 from Lionsgate. Starring Dakota Johnson, Oscar® winner and Golden Globe® nominee* Tilda Swinton (2007, Michael Clayton, *Best Supporting Actress; 2012, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama), Mia Goth, and Chloë Grace Moretz and featuring a mesmerizing haunting score by Thom Yorke, Guadagnino’s directorial follow-up to the Oscar®-winning Call Me by Your Name (Best Adapted Screenplay, 2017), written for the screen by David Kajganich, has received incredible critical praise with Variety’s Owen Gleiberman calling it a “lavishly cerebral high-end horror film” and a “divinely demonic spectacle of womanly power.” The Suspiria Blu-ray (plus digital) will be available for the suggested retail price of $24.99.

 

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

Young American dancer Susie Bannion arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Company, stunning the troupe’s famed choreographer, Madame Blanc, with her raw talent. When she vaults to the role of lead dancer, Olga, the previous lead, breaks down and accuses the company’s female directors of being witches. As rehearsals intensify for the final performance of the company’s signature piece, Susie and Madame Blanc grow strangely close, suggesting that Susie’s purpose in the company goes beyond merely dancing. Meanwhile, an inquisitive psychotherapist trying to uncover the company’s dark secrets enlists the help of another dancer, who probes the depths of the studio’s hidden underground chambers, where horrific discoveries await.

 

BLU-RAY/DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “The Making of Suspiria” Featurette
  • “The Secret Language of Dance” Featurette
  • “The Transformations of Suspiria” Featurette

 

CAST

Dakota Johnson                      Fifty Shades of Grey, The Social Network

Tilda Swinton                          Michael Clayton, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Deep End

Mia Goth                                 A Cure for Wellness, Everest, The Survivalist

and Chloë Grace Moretz        The Equalizer, Carrie, Let Me In

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The Anti-Claus is Coming to Town! A Brief History of Krampus

This story originally published on FEARnet.com back in the day, but I’m reposting it here, along with a few updates, to mark Dread Central Presents’ release of SpookyDan Walker’s Slay Belles, which features one of the meanest on-screen Krampuses in movie history!

We horror lovers pretty much celebrate the holidays like any of those “ordinary” people out there — each according to family traditions, personal beliefs, childhood nostalgia, or just a few days’ freedom from the office. But by now, most of you probably know there is a mythical holiday figure practically tailor-made for fans of the macabre. Still, there might be a few of you out there curious about the long and colorful history of this creepy character, who’s been enjoying a pop-culture resurgence in recent years…especially in genre cinema.

The legendary figure of Krampus – a literally devilish fellow often complete with horns, forked tail, and cloven hooves – is apparently best buds with St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, who of course evolved into jolly old Santa Claus. According to tradition, St. Nick rewarded good little boys and girls with presents and sweets. But when it came to the naughty kids, instead of the standard lump of coal, he left the dirty work to his demonic counterpart…who would literally drag the little buggers to Hell.

Popular throughout most of Europe for ages, Krampus in his various forms has now solidified his position in North American holiday festivities – especially among the horror community. Even the name “Krampus” seems ideal for the world of horror since it’s derived from the old German word “Krampen,” meaning “Claw.” Just the idea that kids hoping for a present from St. Nick might also be cowering under their beds in fear of “The Claw” is beyond creepy, and I can’t believe most horror fans weren’t down with this dude a long, long time ago.

The origins of Krampus not only predate the Catholic feast of St. Nicholas but may actually have originated before Christianity even reached Europe. In many cultures he was first portrayed as a primal beast-man – maybe even the European equivalent of the Bigfoot or Yeti legends. Once those regions began converting to Christianity, the character evolved into a fairytale used to scare children into behaving, so they’d get presents from “good cop” St. Nick and avoid a beating – or worse – from his “bad cop” partner.

If that seems like a shitty parenting technique, remember that most of the fairy tales compiled by the Brothers Grimm were extremely gruesome in their original form, and were often meant to keep children out of real-life danger, and I dare you to look up the German children’s fable of “Struwwelpeter” for some legit scream-yourself-awake nightmares.

The best-known depictions of Krampus originated in the Germanic countries, and soon spread throughout most of Eastern Europe and even parts of Italy. Of course, with each different country and culture, the creature would take on different names, looks, and habits…such as the Dutch legend “Belsnickel,” a hideous, troll-like creature who was also known as Kris Kringle – which today, of course, is just another common name for Santa Claus.

I’m kinda skeeved out thinking how I once looked forward to this monstrosity breaking into my house during the wee hours of the night…if I’d known about this tradition when I was six years old, I’d have installed some major Home Alone-style booby traps all over the place. I mean, seriously…this is the guy who “sees you when you’re sleeping?”

But assuming you escaped his wrath with your childhood (and limbs) intact, let’s slide up to the present day: In Europe, December 5th is the traditional Krampusnacht (Krampus Night), which in some communities becomes the December equivalent of a massive Halloween party – but with a very specific theme: lots of devil stuff. Hordes of elaborately-costumed revelers (many of whom look like a cross between Chewbacca and Tim Curry in Legend) take to the streets with torches, pitchforks, scythes and other nasty-looking implements, rattling chains, ringing bells and setting off fireworks, all to commemorate the arrival of a mythical monster who steals children in the night.

By now, Krampus festivities have migrated to many large cities in North America, often coinciding with the night before Christmas instead of St. Nicholas’ Eve…or just the entire month of December, which is cool. Along with horror fans who have taken the opportunity to create some amazing Krampus costumes, masks and artwork, many members of the fetish and S&M culture have also embraced the more adult-oriented aspects of the character – who has often been depicted on German postcards as having a fondness for spanking young ladies (a tradition called “birching”), and comes ready with his own supply of whips and chains. Yes, we’re talking waaay kinkier concepts than the usual “Santa’s Naughty Helper” cosplay.

Now that you’ve indulged my little history lesson, I’m hoping you might join me in planning your own crazy Krampus holiday traditions (imagine the decorating possibilities) and beat those post-Halloween blues. You can get plenty of ideas by visiting the website Krampus.com, a.k.a. “Home of the Xmas Devil.” Even though it’s been a while since it was last updated, you can find tons of images, videos, and e-cards based on early 20th-century designs.

This vintage artwork adorns thousands of DIY decorations and party favors (Etsy is crawling with them now), and social sites are overflowing with fanart in just about every medium possible. Just think, another golden opportunity to scare the living crap out of your neighbors again!

Image Credit: Vincent Guastini

As you know by now, Krampus makes many awesome appearances in Slay Belles, thanks to the brilliant work of FX guru Vincent Guastini and his talented team (check out the full-size monster above!). Many fans are already declaring this version the most impressive cinematic portrayal of Santa’s evil counterpart, and he gets lots of screen-time!

You can bring Krampus home – along with the grumpiest backwoods Santa Claus since Bad Santa and three vloggers-turned-superheroines who kick his hairy ass back to Hell – by picking up a copy of Slay Belles and making it a part of your annual Krampus festivities! Slay Belles is available through all major VOD platforms, as well as DVD and Special Edition Blu-ray. Hit this link to get yours…and beware this Krampusnacht, you naughty boys and girls!

The post The Anti-Claus is Coming to Town! A Brief History of Krampus appeared first on Dread Central.

Vernon Wells and Christopher Atkins in supernatural thriller throwback “City of Gold”

city-of-gold

THE CITY OF GOLD available on VOD December 4

400 Years Ago Sir Walter Raleigh Searched For El Dorado … Today It Was Found.

In the tradition of Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider, comes a thrilling adventure in search of… the city of gold.

Vernon Wells (The Road Warrior, Commando, InnerSpace), Christopher Atkins (The Blue Lagoon, The Pirate Movie) and Branscombe Richmond (“Chicago Med”, The Scorpion King) star in The City of Gold, on VOD December 4 and DVD January 1, 2019.

An anguished media magnate, Jonathan Davenport, accompanies his estranged lover to the Peruvian Amazon in pursuit of a reclusive artist living in rebel occupation. Despite their philanthropic intentions, the mission proves to be the harbinger of something dark and ominous rooted deep within Jonathan.
John Charles Meyer (Avenged), Adrienne Whitney Papp (“The Resident”), Riley Dandy (Double Play), Robbie Allen (Hellblazer) and Jennifer Rikert Wolski (Escape Artist) star in a film directed by Harry Locke IV and written by Ronald A.Blum.

From High Octane Pictures, The City of Gold on VOD December 4 and DVD January 1, 2019.

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HELL FEST arrives to digital December 21st

Hell-fest

Experience a terrifying celebration of the horror genre when Hell Fest arrives on Digital December 21 and on 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand January 8 from Lionsgate. From Gale Anne Hurd, an executive producer of TV’s “The Walking Dead,” executive producer Tucker Tooley (LimitlessDen of Thieves), and directed by Gregory Plotkin (editor of Get OutHappy Death Day, and director of  Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension), Hell Fest is one truly terrifying ride. The scary slasher film stars Amy Forsyth (TV’s “The Path,” “Rise,” “Defiance”), Reign Edwards (TV’s “Snowfall,” “MacGyver,” “The Bold and the Beautiful”), Bex Taylor-Klaus (TV’s “Scream: The TV Series,” “Arrow,” The Last Witch Hunter), and the legendary Tony Todd (CandymanNight of the Living DeadThe Crow). Story by William Penick & Christopher Sey and Stephen Susco, Screenplay by Seth M. Sherwood and Blair Butler and Akela Cooper.

A group of friends are bound for a horror-themed Halloween event at a local amusement park — a sprawling labyrinth of rides, games, and mazes that travels the country and happens to be in town. But for one visitor, the ghoulish carnival of nightmares is not the attraction — it is a hunting ground. On the night the friends attend, a masked serial killer turns the amusement park into his own playground, terrorizing attendees while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show. As the body count and frenzied excitement of the crowd continues to rise, who will fight to survive the night?

Take home Hell Fest and go behind the scenes with an exclusive, never-before-seen featurette, “Thrills and Kills: Making Hell Fest.” Experience four times the resolution of Full HD with the 4K Ultra HD combo pack, which includes Dolby Vision™ HDR, bringing entertainment to life through ultravivid picture quality. When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker.The Hell Fest 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.95, respectively.

4K UHD / BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “Thrills and Kills: Making Hell Fest” Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

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“THE CABIN” spooks audiences December 4

the-cabin-indie-horror-banner

Swedish chiller The Cabin, the debut feature for Johan Bodell, is set for a North American premiere this December.

Young American couple, Rose (Caitlin Crommett) and Harry (Christopher Lee Page) are on their way to visit Harrys family cabin. Both as a nostalgic vacation and as a way to rekindle their relationship. But they’re not the only one that decided to visit the cabin this weekend… The vacation is quickly turned into a living nightmare for Rose and Harry as they meet a vicious sociopath, who invites them into a involuntary cat and mouse game.

The Cabin, scripted by Erik Kammerland and produced by Alec Trachtenberg of Coast ART Productions and KW Studios, takes you to the rural backwater of the Swedish summer, and on a ride you will never forget.

Available on VOD/DVD December 4 from High Octane Pictures.

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What if “Venom” was a rom-com?!?!

I personally enjoyed the hell outta Venom, despite being largely hated by critics. Apparently fans ate up Hardy’s portrayal of the anti-hero to the tune of several hundred millions of dollars.

The digital release hits platforms on December 11th and the good folks at Sony have reimagined the trailer as a rom-com to celebrate. Read the release below and enjoy!

One of the most original comic book movies of the last decade.” ~ Mark S. Allen, ABC TV

 

VENOM

 

The Blockbuster Comic Book Hit

Starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed

Comes Home for the Holidays

 

Includes Over an Hour of Special Features including “Venom Mode,” Deleted Scenes, Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes, Symbiote Secrets, and more!

 

Available on Digital December 11

On 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack

and DVD on December 18

venom-4kOne of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex, and badass characters comes home in VENOM, which will make its debut on Digital December 11, and on 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, and DVD on December 18! This must-own comic book blockbuster, which has grossed more than $822 million in theaters worldwide to date, is directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and features an all-star cast including Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road), Michelle Williams (The Greatest Showman), Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, TV’s “The Night Of”), Jenny Slate (Zootopia) and Woody Harrelson (Zombieland, The Hunger Games franchise).

 

The perfect holiday gift, VENOM arrives filled with engaging bonus materials that will give fans even more of the action that they loved in theaters with over an hour of new content. The special features include an exciting Venom Mode, where fans will be able to engage with informative pop-ups throughout the film to reveal hidden references to the comics, deleted and extended scenes, a mini documentary called From Symbiote to Screen that covers the history of Venom in comics and his journey to the big screen. Also a behind-the-scenes peek at some of the stunts, a look at Ruben Fleischer’s journey behind the lens, a featurette about what it took to create Venom on screen called Designing Venom. Symbiote Secrets reveals Easter Eggs and hidden references in the film Other bonus materiales include multiple pre-visualizaton versions of some of your favorite scenes, Eminem’s incredible video for his hit song “Venom,” “Sunflower” from Post Malone and Swae-Lee (from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), and an early sneak peek at Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

 

VENOM tells the evolution story of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex and badass character Venom! Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a broken man after he loses everything including his job and fiancee. Just when his life is at its lowest, he becomes host to an alien symbiote which results in extraordinary superpowers – transforming him into Venom. Will these powers be enough for this new lethal protector to defeat great evil forces, especially against the far stronger and more weaponized symbiote rival, Riot?

 

VENOM is directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Jeff Pinkner & Scott Rosenberg and Kelly Marcel. The film is produced by Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal.

 

 

Bonus Materials Include:

  • Venom Mode: When selecting this mode the film will engage informative pop-ups throughout the film to provide insight on the movie’s relationship to the comics, and to reveal hidden references that even a seasoned Venom-fan may have missed!
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes: These deleted and extended scenes will give fans even more of the Venom action they loved in theaters!
    • Ride to Hospital – Eddie and Venom take a ride to the hospital.
    • Car Alarm – Let’s just say that Venom is not fond of car alarms.
    • San Quentin – Extended post-credits scene at San Quentin.
  • From Symbiote to Screen: A mini documentary about the history of Venom in comics and his journey to the big screen. Interviews with Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, Ruben Fleischer, Oliver Scholl, and Director and Comic Fanboy Kevin Smith.
  • The Lethal Protector in Action: Go behind the scenes with the production crew and learn the secrets behind the awesome Motorcycle stunts, wire stunts, and drones.
  • Venom Vision: A look at how Ruben Fleischer came to the project, gathered his team, and made Venom a reality. Utilizes interviews from cast, crew, and producers as well as Fleischer himself.
  • Designing Venom: Designing and creating Venom meant a huge challenge for VFX artists; follow the amazing journey.
  • Symbiote Secrets: Blink and you may have missed it! Enjoy the hidden references throughout the film.
  • 8 Select Scenes Pre-Vis sequences: See the progression of the visual effects, storyboards and fight chorography compared to the finished film.
  • “Venom” by Eminem – Music Video
  • “Sunflower” by Post Malone, Swae Lee (From Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Sneak Peek: Meanwhile in another universe…

 

4K Ultra HD™ Includes:

  • Feature film presented with Dolby Vision high dynamic range and Dolby Atmos sound
  • Also includes the film and special features on the included high-def Blu-ray

 

VENOM has a run time of approximately 112 minutes and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language.

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Santa’s Got an Ax to Grind in ‘CHRISTMAS BLOOD’

Just in Time for the Horror Holidays: Reinert Kiil’s Nordic Slasher Christmas Blood to be Released December 11th

The dark, bloody account of a hatchet-wielding killer dressed as Santa will come out on DVD & VOD

 christmas-blood

Horror’s Santa-slasher tales mixes with Scandinavian Noir in Norwegian filmmaker Reinert Kiil’s (The House, Whore) grisly Christmas Blood (Juleblod). 

Christmas is a time of peace, love and family. But not for one Norwegian town as a psychopath dressed in a Santa Claus suit has been terrorizing them for the past 13 years. For as soon as the caroling starts, this demented Kris Kringle dispenses bloody ax blows regardless of whether you’ve been bad or good. As the holiday approaches on one snow-covered town filled with revelers, a pair of detectives work against time to find and arrest this bearded serial killer. Will they manage to stop this demented St. Nick before he kills again? Director Reinert Kiil (The House, Whore) delivers a dark, disturbing and bloody holiday thriller.

Christmas Blood will be available December 11th on DVD and several VOD platforms including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube/Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNOW and DISH

Christmas Blood – Trailer from artsploitation on Vimeo.

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Trailer – LEPRECHAUN RETURNS

LEPRECHAUN RETURNS arrives to Digital and Video on Demand on December 11th.

You’re in for a Bloody Good Time on Digital and On Demand on December 11 from Lionsgate

 

LeprechaunReturns_Final

Be careful what you wish for when Leprechaun Returns arrives on Digital and On Demand December 11 from Lionsgate. The devious and deadly wisecracking Leprechaun that we all know (and love to hate) returns to reclaim his pot of gold from a sorority house property…all while gleefully going on a Leprechaun-style killing spree. Leprechaun Returns stars Linden Porco (TV’s “Channel Zero,” Cult of Chucky) as The Leprechaun with his signature hat and shiny shoes, Taylor Spreitler (Amityville: The Awakening, TV’s “Kevin Can Wait,” TV’s “Casual”), and Mark Holton (Leprechaun, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, A League of Their Own), who returns to the series for the first time since the original 1993 film.

The deadly, wisecracking Leprechaun is back in all his gory glory. When the sorority sisters of the Alpha Upsilon house decide to go green and use an old well as their water source, they unwittingly awaken a pint-sized, green-clad monster. The Leprechaun wants a pot of gold buried near the sorority house, but first he must recover his powers with a killing spree—and only the girls of AU can stop him.

Take home Leprechaun and go behind the scenes of this next installment of the long-running franchise with two never-before-seen special features and an exclusive still gallery. The Leprechaun digital release will be available for the suggested retail price of $5.99 for SD and $7.99 for HD.

DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES

  • “Going Green – An Interview with Director Steven Kostanski” Featurette
  • BTS Footage Compilation

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Artsploitation Goes (Brothers) Grimm This December with Snowflake

Inventive and Archaic Adult Fairy Tale Will be Available on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD December 4th

A dizzying, hilarious film that combines post-Tarantino action/crime drama and Charlie Kaufman’s metafictional surrealism with exhilarating results” — Daily Grindhouse 

An ass-kicking, blood-spurting, whip-cracking, adrenaline-pumping ride” — Pop Horror    

 

adult-horror-fairytale-snowflake

Following an acclaimed run on the international film festival circuit, Artsploitation has announced the U.S. release of Adolfo Kolmerer’s Snowflake.  Snowflake world premiered at the Lund International Fantastic Film Festival, where Kolmerer took home the Méliès d’Argent Award for Best Film. The film continued to screen around the globe, picking up Best Director and Best Film awards at Negative Fest and Horrible Imaginings, as well as Best Achievement in Directing and an Audience Award at Cinepocalypse.  Cryptic Rock hailed Kolmerer’s debut feature as “an extraordinary genre mix”, comparing the surreal crime action film to Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

Snowflake will be available  December 4th on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Vudu and more.

Hunting down the murderer of their families in an anarchic near-future Berlin, two outlaws find themselves trapped in the wicked fairy tale of a mysterious screenplay that entangles them in a vicious circle of revenge – apparently all written by a clueless dentist.  In their quest for vengeance, they must contend with a myriad of wicked fairy tale assassins, madmen, a blood-covered angel, and an electric-powered superhero.

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Artsploitation Summons Satanic Horror film “Luciferina”

luciferina

“Gorgeous…slick and polished. The final act alone is batshit and bananas enough to fill any horror fan’s desire.”  — The Hollywood News

“Gonzalo Calzada’s vividly atmospheric film…stands out as one of the most daring religiously-themed horror films of recent years. — EyeForEye

Artsploitation has called upon the cinematic dark forces to release Argentinian genre maven Gonzalo Calzada’s latest scripture-based gore fest, Luciferina.  Calzada (Resurrection, The Clairvoyant’s Prayer) directs a visually explosive film where religion, innocence, repressed sexuality and evil build to a boil and spectacularly collide.  He has screened the film at festivals around the world, including FrightFest London, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival, Fantaspoa and Cinepolcalypse, where Luciferina took home the award for Best Sexorcism Scene.Luciferina will be available 

November 20th on Blu-ray and DVD in North America.  On December 4th, the film will launch on Digital HD, including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Vudu and more.

Synopsis: Natalia is a 19-year-old novice who reluctantly returns home to say goodbye to her dying father. But when she meets up with her sister and her friends, she decides instead to travel the jungle in search of a mystical plant. Instead of pleasure, they find a world of Black Masses, strange pregnancies, bloody deaths and perhaps, a sexually violent clash with the Devil himself. 

Luciferina – Trailer from artsploitation on Vimeo.

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