It’s that time of year again! 2015 is underway and that means it’s time for the 2014 40oz. Of Horror Awards. Just like last year, the decision is in your hands. You can vote once per day, so vote as many times as you’d like. We will announce the winners on an upcoming episode of the 40oz. Of Horror Podcast.
Long time listeners know that the last year or so has been a bit of a challenge for the 40oz. Of Horror crew. Friend and cofounder James followed his dreams and moved to Pittsburgh so he could attend the prestigious Tom Savini Special Effects Make-up Program. Although Chad and Jake held down the 40oz. fort during this time — Skyping James in each episode — the shows were fewer and farther between, a little bit of in person chemistry was lost and we didn’t get out to hang at as many horror conventions with our extended 40oz. family. What a weird ride!
But that’s all about to change.
In the next couple weeks, James will be to graduating and moving back to the area where he has plans to open up shop (more official news on that later) and reclaim his seat in the 40oz. Of Horror studios! What this means for you is that we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programing with all new segments and more!
We’re proud to say that in 2015, 40oz. Of Horror is back… and this time it’s personal.
We’re kicking of the year (a little late to give James some time to get home) with our annual 40oz. Of Horror Awards Show. This show will cover our 2014 favorites and includes your input! Check out a sneak peek of the categories and finalists below — VOTING IS OPEN NOW. VOTE HERE. As always… DRINK UP!
Since the early days of the Universal Monsters and Hammer Horror to the present day Slasher and Torture-Porn, what is it exactly that endures about the horror genre? There is no doubt a psychological charge when viewing a horror movie or reading a scary story. Indeed, in reality, a person’s sympathetic nervous system would kick in when experiencing a dangerous or terrifying situation. However, movies are movies and fans willingly subject themselves to this rush. The answer could be as simple as being a retreat from the reality around us and knowingly walk out feeling safe and secure. Comic books and Science-Fiction fantasy all share similar details but convey a variety of nerve-wrecking experiences that are unique to their stories.
Over the last twenty years, the idea of a convention has grown to universal proportions. The biggest being the annual San Diego Comic Con and, for a time, the ever popular Fangoria Weekend of Horrors, which satiated the blood-thirsty needs of the horror fan to meet their favorite horror icons. Today, one would be hard pressed to find any comic event that is completely void of any horror incorporation. October 4th, in Hamilton, Ontario, was the fifth annual Hamilton Comicon where from the ever-gorgeous Catwoman herself Julie Newmar, to the massive popularity of the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (show regulars Austin St. John, Walter E. Jones, Steve Cardenas and Robert Axelrod) sat Horror Alley: a small corner spot on the floor that seemed insignificant to some, but a golden horseshoe to the rest.
On hand for the event was Chris Alexander, Editor of Fangoria Magazine, who was happy to share his thoughts, “If you look around you and any of the iconography of anything we are looking at, horror has always been a part of comic books. When I was a kid, [reading] was one of my gateways into the genre. Reading Tomb of Dracula and reprints of EC Comics, even Spider-Man had elements of horror in it – I mean the death of Gwen Stacy – when I was a little boy reading that and how devastating that was! The Green Goblin himself was a monster. Monsters, Horror, its DNA is smashed into every element of everything we see around here.”
“The reason horror is here is because it’s a significant element of entertainment.”
Genre veteran R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Hatchet II) had a similar opinion in that “the reason horror is here is because it’s a significant element of entertainment. Comicon covers everything cultural as far as creative goes. There is an organization based in Los Angeles called The Academy of Science-Fiction, Fantasy AND Horror. Comics encompass all of that fantasy. Its hand-and-glove allied arts. Generally, if you’re a fan of Science-Fiction, you’re a fan of fantasy and horror.”
“I think there’s always going to be a cross-section. I mean horror and Sci-Fi in general, I can find a strong relation between sci-fi and comic books.” exclaims Alex Vincent (known to horror fans a little Andy Barclay from Child’s Play 1, 2 and more recently, a fantastic return in Curse of Chucky), “There’s that cross-over because of the nature of the fans and the fact that horror films and sci-fi have such a following and they continue to because they evoke visceral reactions from people’s fear.”
Chris continues, “as [horror] being a pure entity onto its own, to me, horror is just like the punk rock, nerd sub-genre sort of thing. It’s all part of the same universe. Horror fans are kind of clandestine, almost like a brotherhood, so you’re always going to find its going to be smaller because it has always been a little bit underground and that’s why we love it. It’s like a secret handshake. It’s here. It’s always going to be here, and we like the fact that it’s a smaller component. We’ll intermingle with the 40-year-old man dressed as Aquaman, that’s cool, but we have our own little language we speak of.”
“Let’s face it Halloween is now the second biggest holiday after Christmas. I think it’s a 5 Billion dollar industry.”
The nature of the horror community continues to grow with each generation and while other genres capture imaginations and emotions, the guilty pleasure of immersing yourself into horror creates a bond that cannot be topped, maintaining longevity in this type of cultural aesthetic. “Comedy, Drama, and all that, everybody loves that as well but it doesn’t attract the same type of people. You talk about comedies or dramas and if a movie made you laugh your ass off as a kid, then yes 20 years later, there’s absolutely longevity in it. Just because there aren’t conventions for that doesn’t mean those fans don’t have that to hold onto.” explains Alex, “but I think sci-fi and horror fans are such a community amongst themselves that the longevity we have – for me to be able to do a convention 27 years after the film I was in and people still be interested in meeting me – I think I’m incredibly lucky and fortunate to have been in a horror film.”
Horror has become more mainstream than ever, and yet somehow only in these recent years, does it seem to have broken out of the mold and become a staple to this and future generations. Having seen the progression of the genre, R.A. adds, “I think it’s just been a constant flow you know. I haven’t noticed an increase per se, it just seems it has always been steady. Let’s face it Halloween is now the second biggest holiday after Christmas. I think it’s a 5 Billion dollar industry.”
Whatever the odds that horror fans will be dying for more conventions, it is safe to say that 2014 holds the most conventions so far that integrate Comics, Sci-Fi and Horror. On that note, Chris caps off with, “Dying is the keyword! I think as long as we keep dying and dying violently, there will always be an attraction to horror.”
Not only the cross-over of appeal, but also the safety provided by going to the movies for that 90 minutes of escapism only to return to the normal world is exactly why the genre thrives. Critics can blame horror for encouraging violent acts or corrupting the imaginations of individuals but it often is the exact opposite which keeps fans clamoring for more. In a world that continues to thrive on the true horrors of humanity, it is a blessing that filmmakers, writers, artists, actors and fans can submerge into these fictional worlds and share those experiences all in one place. That is the power of Comicon. R.A. summarizes it best: “Horror is, and always will be, part of popular entertainment.”
Special Thanks to R.A. Mihailoff, Chris Alexander, Alex Vincent, Matthew Miller, Hamilton Comicon, Shaun Wolfe Sandal and Robert Deak Photography.
For more information on Fangoria: www.fangoria.com
For more information on Hamilton Comicon: www.hamiltoncomiccon.com
For more photos of the event, and information on Robert Deak Photography: http://rdeakphoto.smugmug.com
Sad news this morning folks. Dave Brockie, who fronted the satirical thrash metal band GWAR as Oderus Urnugus, was found dead this morning in his Virginia home. He was just 50 years old.
I don’t have to tell you what a huge blow this is to the heavy metal and horror community. We here at 40oz. Of Horror are less about reporting and more about being fans, so here it is: This news fucking sucks, plain and simple.
Details on the cause of death are unreliable at this point.
I was lucky enough to catch a brief word with Dave in character as Oderus last year. I didn’t know him, but everything I’ve ever read talks about what a genuine, funny and unique man his is — after the interview, these sentiments were confirmed.
I had asked Dave for the interview and at the last minute, I became a fanboy, took a risk and asked him if he’d mind doing the audio in character. He laughed, said that would be great, flipped a switch and there he was… Oderus Urungus. It was awesome.
It’s that time of year again! 2013 has come to a close and that means it’s time for the 2013 40oz. Of Horror Awards. We were able to come up with plenty of nominees, but deciding who should win this year’s 40 proved to be too difficult… so this year we’re leaving it up to you! Vote for one nominee in each of the categories below. You can vote once per day, so vote as many times as you’d like. We will announce the winners on an upcoming episode of the 40oz. Of Horror Podcast.
Horror movies continue to make a dent in the cinema world primarily because of films that center on zombie attacks and the supernatural. These topics have been hot ones for the past few years and that remains true in 2013. Now that we’re getting close to the year’s end, we wanted to take a look at which films have made the most bank this past year. Some of them might surprise you, especially when it comes to the money they have made, while others might have slipped by your radar. The following revenue amounts are for the U.S. market only and they’re according to website The Numbers.
1. World War Z
Based on the Max Brooks novel of the same name, World War Z stars Brad Pitt as a former UN investigator who’s tasked with putting an end to a zombie outbreak. He treks across the globe from Philadelphia (where the film starts) to Jerusalem to Nova Scotia in his quest. Speaking of his quest, we expect to see it continued on in future films in this series.
Release date: June 21
2. The Conjuring
It’s no surprise to see The Conjuring here given its universal praise from critics and viewers alike. With good reason, because the film is realistically creepy. The direction makes you feel like you’re in the house back in the 1970s with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as their characters investigate the haunting of a Rhode Island home in the 1970s.
Release date: July 19
3. Insidious: Chapter 2
In the follow-up to 2011’s Insidious, Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne again play couple Josh and Renai Lambert. And they’re still trying to figure out how and why they have become linked to the spirit world, which brings the viewer from the past to the present with plenty of creepy scenes in between. If you’re looking for a film to mess with your head, well, this would be it.
Release date: Sept. 13
If anyone has an eye for equally trippy and creepy horror films, it’s Guillermo del Toro. He’s the executive producer of Mama, which centers on two young girls aided by a chilling creature/presence (named Mama) that kills their murderous father. Throughout the movie, you learn the backstory of Mama amid a chilling, sometimes-confusing narrative that can get grisly at times.
Release date: Jan. 18
5. Evil Dead
The 2013 version of Evil Dead serves as a reboot for the cult favorite and it centers on much of the story associated with the original films. You have people getting possessed, terrorized, and killed off by demons in the middle of the woods. There are plenty of differences, though, including the origin story and the reason for the protagonists going to the cabin. It turns out that they’re trying to end a friend’s heroin addiction, which provides an interesting spin on the plot.
Release date: April 5
6. Texas Chainsaw 3D
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series traveled to the realm of 3D films earlier this year. The latest movie featuring the chainsaw-wielding madman known as Leatherface takes place after the original. It follows the story of protagonist Heather, who travels to Newt, Texas with friends to collect her inheritance. As you can probably guess, that’s when things immediately go south for the crew.
Release date: Jan. 4
Part of the reason for the success for these films, especially World War Z, is the incredible popularity of television series The Walking Dead. The show is so popular, in fact, that it’s been made into a slot machine by Australian company Aristocrat. Likewise, other chilling/horror-tinged films like Blade and Ghost Rider have been further immortalized as games at online casino Betfair. There’s even a Halloween-themed game, which makes sense considering we’re but a few days away from the best holiday of the year.
What do you think of the financial success of these films? Do you think it’s warranted or did too many folks shell out money for the wrong movies? Let us know in the comments section.
Cool news out of author Brian Keene’s camp. A movie adaptation of Keene’s dark and hyper-violent book The Cage, finds director, cast, and F/X squad. Now they’re looking for the money necessary to bring the story of THE CAGE to fruition.
To be directed by Jon D. Wagner (D: Anniversary At Shallow Creek, P: All Cheerleader’s Die, Cheap Thrills), and produced by Brian James Fitzpatrick (Spring Breakers, London Fields), from a script written by Ted Rypel, and based on a story of the same name written by Bram Stoker Award-winning author, Brian Keene, The Cage has begun to assemble it’s cast: Zach Galligan, (Gremlins, Hatchet 3); Damian Maffei, (Joe R. Lansdale’s Christmas With The Dead); Hannah Fierman, (V/H/S); Megan Duffy, (Maniac); Samantha Hahn, (Blood Night: The Legend Of Mary Hatchet); and Sam Ingraffia, (The Falcon And The Snowman). Adding their talents to The Cage with imaginative special F/X are Emmy nominated (Boardwalk Empire) Jeremy Selenfriend, and Monster in My Closet F/X (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Chernobyl Diaries, NBC’s The Blacklist).
Zach Galligan? From Gremlins? I’m definitely on board. This sounds awesome!
The Cage team has opened a Kickstarter page to raise the $85,000 they need to mount the production. Contributions to the project will be rewarded with various perks ranging from an adorable $1 package, to posters, t-shirts, DVDs, Blu-rays, autographed Keene books, featured parts (victim and non-victims!) and some other very, very fun stuff.
Anyone familiar with Keene’s work is no doubt excited about this news, and so is the author himself. “I’m thrilled with the screenplay and excited by the team that’s been assembled.” says Keene, “It’s always a daunting prospect when your work is adapted by others for another medium, but I have absolute confidence and belief in this project and the people involved. I can’t wait to see it!”
And director Jon D. Wagner is definitely speaking the horror movie community’s language. “Myself and everyone involved feel a great responsibility to do this intense, mind bender of a film “right”, adds Wagner. “Not just for ourselves, but for all the different groups of fans out there who expect us to do good by them. There’s no stunt casting, no gimmicks. Just good, talented folks who are thrilled to be doing this movie.”
Check out The Cage’s official website (www.survivethecage.com).
What do you think about seeing a movie adaptation of The Cage?