May 12, 2013 | 7:53 a.m.
Taking his chair after the intense, haunting ending and solemn credits of “The Mist,” its star, Thomas Jane, seemed newly rattled by it. “I just slipped in and caught the last 10 minutes or so because I got here a little early,” the actor, a surprise guest at the Hero Complex Film Festival, told the crowd Saturday afternoon. “I kind of wish that I hadn’t. … That was really hard. That’s powerful, man.” “You know this movie came out on Thanksgiving weekend?” he asked, to audience laughter. “Nothing says the holidays like flesh-eating tentacles,” added the film’s writer-director, Frank Darabont. The 2007 horror film follows a group of people trapped in a shopping market after a mist envelopes their town. As they learn of the presence of deadly, unearthly creatures outside, debate over what to do splinters the survivors, with […]
May 11, 2013 | 1:14 p.m.
The Hero Complex Film Festival kicked off Friday evening with a 25th anniversary screening of “They Live,” a 35th anniversary screening of “Halloween” and an onstage conversation with the filmmaker behind both movies, John Carpenter. Carpenter discussed his motivation in making “They Live,” a campy but subversive sci-fi flick that starred professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as the film’s blue-collar hero Nada, who discovers an alien conspiracy to mind-control the people of Earth using invisible messages. Carpenter called “They Live” his most political film and said it was his response to consumerism and class disparity in the 1980s. “By the end of the ’70s there was a backlash against everything in the ’60s, and that’s what the ’80s were, and Ronald Reagan became president, and Reagonomics came in,” Carpenter told the sold-out theater at the Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. […]
April 16, 2013 | 2:51 p.m.
“The Lords of Salem,” the latest feature from writer-director Rob Zombie, just might surprise fans of the musician-filmmaker’s grittier, gorier outings, “House of 1000 Corpses” and “The Devil’s Rejects,” his two “Halloween” movies. For his fifth live-action film, Zombie adopted a strange, subtle approach to horror, replacing the extreme bloodletting of his earlier projects with a nightmarish weirdness that’s hard to shake off. Opening Friday, “The Lords of Salem” tells the story of a radio DJ (his wife, Sheri Moon Zombie) who finds herself the victim of an ancient curse, unleashed after she plays a screeching, droning song by a mysterious band known as the Lords on her show. Soon she begins to experience headaches and night-terrors that bleed into the daylight hours. Her increasingly erratic behavior causes her friends to worry that the recovering addict might have succumbed once more […]
April 14, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
With his new book, “Peter Cushing: A Life in Film,” out on Tuesdsay, author David Miller charts in detail the rich and varied career of the distinguished English actor, who perhaps remains best known to American movie fans for his roles opposite Christopher Lee in the many horror movies produced by Hammer Films in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, and of course, for his turn as Grand Moff Tarkin in “Star Wars.” Miller’s account not only spends considerable time on the Hammer productions, but also chronicles Cushing’s early years in Hollywood, his work on BBC teleplays, including an adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984,” and other memorable performances — he played the famous Time Lord in “Doctor Who and the Daleks” and “Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.,” not to mention Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic investigator, Sherlock Holmes. Hero Complex recently caught […]
April 12, 2013 | 1:21 p.m.
Walking by the gated façade of the Los Angeles Theatre downtown, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the glamor of the historic movie palace, which hosted the premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 film “City Lights,” had been lost to the past. But behind the wrought iron bars that seal off the entrance is a French Baroque-inspired marvel, with a six-story lobby wrought in gold and red, decorated with dazzling chandeliers and winged cherubs. When musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie was searching for a location for the climactic scene in “The Lords of Salem,” his new movie about a cursed radio DJ that opens in theaters April 19, he found the theater’s threadbare grandeur perfectly in keeping with the movie’s visual aesthetic — part Argento, part Kubrick, a grindhouse tale funneled through an art-house lens. “You could have made a quickie […]
April 06, 2013 | 10:00 a.m.
In “Evil Dead,” Fede Alvarez’s remake of Sam Raimi’s cult classic, Jane Levy plays heroin addict Mia, whose friends (Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Elizabeth Blackmore) sequester themselves with her in a cabin to help her kick the habit. As in Raimi’s original, they discover and read from an ancient book bound in human skin — the Necronomicon — and unintentionally awaken a demonic force. As Mia begins to experience the consequences, her friends assume she’s going through heroin withdrawal. Levy, 23, has been making a name for herself in comedy, starring as sharp-witted Tessa Altman in the ABC television series “Suburgatory” as well as taking on film roles in “Fun Size” and “Nobody Walks” last year. But “Evil Dead” is Levy’s first foray into the world of horror, and the actress said nothing could have prepared […]
April 05, 2013 | 11:10 a.m.
“Evil Dead” isn’t the only high-profile horror remake in the spotlight this weekend. A new trailer for “Carrie,” Kimberly Peirce’s remake of Brian De Palma’s 1976 Stephen King adaptation, has debuted, and the clip seems designed to detail the saga of the telekinetic teen who suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her deranged mother for viewers who might only have a passing familiarity with the original tale. We see Carrie White, here played by Chloe Grace Moretz, in high school, an outsider the subject of a great deal of torment, and we see her at home, where her overbearing mother (Oscar-nominated actress Julianne Moore) sometimes locks her in a closet to pray for forgiveness for her sins. And of course, there’s the reveal of the narrative’s central story line — the plot by a group of popular kids […]
April 04, 2013 | 6:15 a.m.
Fede Alvarez still remembers the first time he watched “The Evil Dead.” Inside a darkened Santa Monica editing bay where he was putting the finishing touches on his remake of the 1981 horror film, the Uruguay native recalled when he was 12, and he and a friend had ventured into a video store two blocks from his home in Montevideo, urging the clerk to recommend something really scary. “We were done with all the ‘Nightmares on Elm Street’ and ‘Friday the 13th,’” said Alvarez, whose “Evil Dead” opens in theaters Friday. “We asked the guy, ‘We’ve seen it all, give us something real.’ I remember him looking around, and he was like, ‘Here, take this, kid, and run.’” More than 30 years after its initial release, there remains something delightfully transgressive about “The Evil Dead,” the ultra-low-budget horror flick that […]
April 03, 2013 | 6:02 p.m.
In 1952, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren founded the New England Society for Psychic Research. Ed was a demonologist, Lorraine, a trance medium, and together, they worked on a number of cases, including the legendary Amityville haunting. But it’s a different supernatural situation that’s explored in the new film from director James Wan, “The Conjuring,” set for release July 19. The real Lorraine Warren appeared alongside Wan on stage at WonderCon in Anaheim this past weekend, where she praised the accuracy of the new movie, based on the investigation of a haunting at a Rhode Island farmhouse occupied by the Perron family. (Ed Warren died in 2006.) The Perron case was made public in the 2011 memoir “House of Darkness, House of Light: The True Story” written by Andrea Perron, one of the young girls whose family occupied the […]
March 25, 2013 | 7:30 a.m.
Departing show runner Glen Mazzara has long contended that in the world of “The Walking Dead,” no one is safe. And it’s true that so far in the life of the AMC zombie series, a host of characters have met untimely deaths — at the hands of walkers and other dangers. (A strong warning to anyone who might have missed Sunday’s episode, “This Sorrowful Life,” stop reading right now unless you want to know which major character met his end last night.) In a shocking turn of events, David Morrissey’s ruthless Governor shot and killed Merle, leaving fans of the Dixon brothers heartbroken — even as they might have breathed a sigh of relief that Daryl’s life was spared — for now. (If there’s anyone the writers can’t kill, it’s Norman Reedus’ fan favorite; Mazzara conceded to Hero Complex that […]