Welcome back, gore mavens. It’s been another up-and-down week for horror, with the red band trailer for Cheap Thrills raising some folks’ blood pressure, while news of an I Saw the Devil remake made some people want to raise a gun to their heads. Bang! That wasn’t a gun; it was The Fear Monger waiting to come inside.

It would be impolite to pay a long visit without a couple of short bits, and we’ve got two. First, Eli Roth’s next flick, the cannibal horror The Green Inferno, has chewed its way to a September 14, 2014. Second, there is word that director Chad Ferrin (Someone’s Knocking at the Door) will be adapting the 2008 Alterna Comics’ prison horror The Chair from Peter Simeti and Kevin Christensen, and the film’s screenplay will be written by the comic’s editor Erin Kohut. Now let us in.

M IS FOR MASTICATE from Robert Boocheck on Vimeo.

Contest-Winning M is for Masticate Will be in The ABCs of Death 2
Earlier this year, Drafthouse Films began a contest allowing amateur filmmakers to enter their shorts as the "M" entry in the sequel to their twisted anthology flick The ABCs of Death. The recently announced winner, Robert Boocheck, is an accomplished commercial and music video director obviously inspired by a recent news rash that spread like wildfire. I assume you’ve watched the short already. If not, watch it above or check it out on his Vimeo page.

Set to the song "A Pearl is not a Diamond" by the group White Fence, the short is an almost hypnotic trip down a city street with a shirtless man intent on letting nothing stand in his way. Though his intent is mysterious at first, it’s soon revealed he just wanted to bite someone’s neck out because he was fucked up on bath salts. Killer twist ending. Killer editing when he gets shot. Everything’s a win. I can’t wait for the second film, which will probably be just as wildly uneven as the first, but will feature films from the likes of The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt, E.L. Catz (Cheap Thrills), Bill Plympton (The Tune), Vincenzo Natali (Cube) and Sion Sono (Suicide Club), just to name a few.
The Still Incomplete The Wicker Man: Final Cut Coming To U.S.
Forty years on, Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man is still one of the most unsettling films ever made, regardless of how its performances have woodened over the years. Admittedly, part of the strange feelings the film inspires is because of the numerous plot strands that seemingly appear and vanish with ill abandon. The reason for this is something of a legend in itself: there once existed (and possibly still does) a full 120+ minute cut of the film that tied up all the loose ends, but the plethora of different cuts that audiences see are usually around the 90-95 minute mark. Case in point: this Final Cut Blu-ray that Lionsgate Home Entertainment is putting out is not a full cut, and clocks in at around 92 minutes, but it is indeed Hardy’s preferred version of the film.

I’d complain, but I really do like the movie as it was the first time I saw it, and my libido came close to breaking out of my skin. Even with certain doom on the line…

Anyway, the Blu-ray set will get its release on January 7, 2014, and will also hit VOD for anyone who doesn’t like special features, such as a "restoration comparison" extra, along with some featurettes and an interview. No commentary? I have qualms with this, but I’m not about to let them be known, lest I get invited to a certain ceremony. I wonder how the trilogy-ending Wrath of Gods is doing.

wicker man blu-ray
These First Three Minutes of Big Ass Spider Are Epic
Let’s face it. It’s statistically impossible for the following 77 minutes of Mike Mendez’s sci-fi comedy Big Ass Spider to top the first three minutes of the movie. (Yes, it’s only 80 minutes!) Having seen the film, I can say that for a fact. But that’s not a rip on the jovial film itself, which is the best kind of B-movie there is: one that fully embraces the material with all its might and actually transcends into an A- movie.

Thanks to Dread Central for pointing out that Epic Pictures Group recently released the first three minutes for the non-arachnophobes of the world to see. In it, Alex Mathis (Greg Grunberg) awakens in the middle of a city gone crazy over the arrival of the Big Ass Spider of legend and the title, which he eventually tries to take down with the help of an unlikely partner (Lombardo Boyar). We see the beginning of all this madness but don’t hear it. Instead, we are lucky enough to get a solid rendition of The Pixies’ "Where is My Mind?" by musician Storm Large. It’s a truly exciting three minutes of movie, and you should go and check the film out on VOD, where it’s been for the last two months, or ensnare it in your web on DVD and Blu-ray on January 7.

Non-Haunted Ship The Queen Mary Getting Haunted For Its Own Movie
As Variety reports, Ubiquity Studios is going from a sound stage studio to a full-on production company with their first film, which is to take place on the legendary ocean liner The Queen Mary, which earned the military nickname of "the Grey Ghost." But where that was a metaphor, they’re going for a much more literal version of ghost.

With a screenplay written by Gary Dauberman (Swamp Devil), the film will exploit the reportedly haunting side of the ship’s history. "We’re calling it The Shining on a ship," said Ubiquity’s CEO Chris Carmichael, who hopefully executive produces films with the same kind of blindingly insane bravado that he labels his films with. Maybe next they’ll take on "Jaws in a furniture outlet," or "Rosemary’s Baby under a net." Ubiquity is also producing a thriller based on the famed Winchester Mystery House with its dozens of rooms and secret passageways.
The Dukes of Hazzard’s John Schneider Kills Off Horror Icons In Bloody Comedy Smothered
I tell you what. It takes a lot to write a headline like that without deleting it and then hypnotizing myself to forget I wrote it just to do it again as if it were the first time. It didn’t seem likely that we’d take a step down from Big Ass Spider, did it? For his second feature, Schneider gathered the likes of Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhies in several Friday the 13th films), R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre III), Don Shanks (Halloween 5’s Michael Meyers), Malcom Danare (Christine) and Bill Moseley (House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects) to play themselves in a send-up of classic slashers.

While no one expects a great time out of a pay-for-hire promotional gig out in the country, they definitely don’t expect to be the victim of a sexy young woman (Brea Grant). Get it? Big burly men are the victims of a big-boobed lady. It’s liberation or something. I don’t expect this film to be a rollicking good time, but if it isn’t better than the terrible voiceover, all is lost in the world. I’m already going into this with an open mind, given it takes them nine whole seconds of the trailer to show a dog eating a piece of pizza. If you can’t admire that kind of restraint, then you deserve to get disemboweled by DeeDee. Smothered is trying to land a release date before the end of the year, but if not, look for it in early 2014.

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