Movies

Gilligan’s Island Put Potential Skipper Actors Through A ‘Merciless’ Test Scene

Gilligan’s Island creator Sherwood Schwartz wrote a special scene to ensure whoever played the Skipper was both imposing yet cuddly.

Did An Obscure ’80s Film Influence The Biggest Stunt In Furious 7?

Did Furious 7 unintentionally rip off an obscure 1986 action film written by John Carpenter called Black Moon Rising?

Kurt Russell’s Dark Blue Character Deviated From The Actor’s Typical Forte

Kurt Russell knew his character in Ron Shelton’s semi-forgotten 2003 thriller Dark Blue was unlike any character he’d ever played before.

Captain America: Brave New World Teaser Could Confirm Longtime X-Men Rumors

The Captain America: Brave New World teaser may reveal how the film will introduce Adamantium for the X-Men in the MCU.

Kevin Smith’s Next Jay And Silent Bob Outing Could Be A Horror Movie

Is Kevin Smith’s latest Jay and Silent Bob adventure a horror movie? Let’s investigate.

Painting Faces: The ‘X’ Trilogy and Its Reverence for Makeup

The X trilogy is ever a love letter to cinema. Though the first installment is built around a cluster of young people making pornography, it still highlights its love to the craft of filmmaking by having characters directly refer to the art and also by being set in the late-70s and dressed up in that era’s horror aesthetic. While various crafts are highlighted, the series makes a lot of room for the art of painting faces for a collection of effects. With MaXXXine, the third installment in the Ti West and Mia Goth franchise, now gracing the silver screen, the love for classic eras of cinema is ever palpable. Within that is the love for all things cinema makeup, beauty and FX.

X was perhaps unassuming when it snuck up on 2022 audiences with its distinct 70s look. It didn’t at all lack period appropriate hairstyles and eyewear. Though Bobby-Lynn (Brittany Snow) is built as the standout bombshell, it’s Maxine (Mia Goth) who steals the styled spotlight, us first seeing her under the lights of a vanity mirror. The denim clad farm girl is almost never without her signature powder blue eyelids, even as she takes a solo dip in a dangerous pond. And where the beauty makeup stops, Maxine’s freckles begin, meant to be real though applied meticulously to Goth before the actress stepped in front of the camera.

Speaking to Bloody Disgusting in 2022, trilogy hair and makeup department head, Sarah Rubano discussed the process of creating the looks with the detail-oriented director. “Maxine and her freckles and her eyeshadow […] I just worked with Ti back and forth. He said, ‘Listen, I want to make them beautifully colorful. I want you to lean into the aesthetic here.’”

It’s the beauty makeup that distinguishes the double-triple-quadruple franchise roles of chameleon, Goth. But then there’s the aged Pearl hiding in plain sight. At the time of the first film in the series, there’s almost no reason to suspect that the creepy old lady at the farmhouse is anyone but an actress with thinning hair. But it’s Goth in yet another costume. Setting up what would end up being Goth led follow ups, the film used makeup to keep her in plain sight and lay the foundation of connection that would hold the series together. Where X could have started and stopped at 70s hair and gore FX, it leaned further into its reverence for the art of filmmaking by allowing different types of makeup to shine. Framed by the velvety lyrics of “Landslide,” Pearl is seen touching her own aged skin surrounded by vintage makeup packaging. Shortly thereafter, a youthful Lorraine (Jenna Ortega) is seen getting painted up for her turn in front of the camera.

Returning quickly as a younger Pearl, Goth comes back into frame in the second feature with a completely different look. With makeup (and perhaps color grading), Goth’s skin is warmer and deeper, the freckles washed away, and her face dressed in darkened lashes and a hot lip. Pearl is fresh faced with pops of color, and one of her big moments has her stained with running mascara. (Though it has ancient origins, the products that propelled Maybelline and Rimmel in the 1910s were early versions of mascara made from petroleum jelly and charcoal. They were messy).

Pearl is a completely different sort of movie, shedding the aesthetic of a 70s slasher for a sparkly classic Hollywood look with plot elements evocative of The Wizard of Oz. Pearl is in technicolor, dropping the muted blues and cool-toned freckles for pinky cheeks and opaque lip color. Goth’s reappearance is buoyed not just by her acting ability, but by Rubano and company’s artful work to give her a completely different look, thereby distinguishing the characters.

Wrapping the trilogy comes MaXXXine which brings back Goth in her original role as Maxine, this time as an 80s broad looking to paint over the version of herself she left at the bloody farmhouse. As Hollywood Maxine, she is arguably someone completely new, having committed more fully to her ruthless nature and being adorned with bleached hair that she lets set into natural waves. The signature blue shadow is gone, her face now painted with a less hastily applied gun metal eye. But her looks don’t start and stop here. Where all three installments in the franchise are about a love for film, leaning on meta-elements, MaXXXine further highlights the spectacle by having Maxine prepare for a studio picture that echoes her reality with a fundamentalist reaction to satanism. Goth, who prepared for X by sitting for a life cast to be made into Pearl, is seen as Maxine sitting for a life cast to prepare for her movie role in The Puritan II. And it pays off, not just in-world but for more meta gags. “Real” heads roll, and a “fake” head is in the center of the feature’s closing shot, Maxine having gazed upon it in awe.

When we’re first introduced to her in X, Maxine is sitting at a makeup mirror. In MaXXXine, she’s seen applying her makeup similarly before her adult film shoot, and later with an airbrush to splash on a beauty look that ends up functioning as war paint. Makeup is treated with a reverence beyond just creating signature looks, but also by reveling in the technique to create character, beauty, and horror, all which hold the real movie and the in-world one together.

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Bloody Disgusting’s ‘Gags the Clown’ and ‘Hagazussa’ Now Streaming on SCREAMBOX!

Two previously released Bloody Disgusting titles have made their way to our SCREAMBOX streaming platform, one is a creepy found footage horror for those with a fear of clowns, and the other is an absolutely stunning A24-esque chiller reminiscent of The Witch.

Drawing comparisons to The Witch comes German gothic folk tale Hagazussa, which The Hollywood Reporter hailed as “a spellbinding audiovisual symphony” and earned a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes upon release.

Hagazussa, which has a stunning atmosphere mixed with brooding terror from start to finish, takes place in the Austrian Alps in the 15th century when people feared witches and ancient magic.

In the 15th Century in the remote Austrian Alps, the orphan Albrun (Celina Peter) grows up to be a simple goatherd living in solitude…and a marked woman. As a scapegoat of ancient myths and monstrous misogyny, Albrun (portrayed by Aleksandra Cwen as an adult) finds herself tormented by the local townsfolk, driving her to unleash the inner darkness that swells within her. A self-styled witch, Albrun soon exercises her other-worldly birthright and conjures a plague that makes the surrounding human cruelty look pathetic and small by comparison.

Stream right now on SCREAMBOX.


GAGS THE CLOWN

Pennywise and Art the Clown are going to make a new friend in Gags the Clown, now streaming on SCREAMBOX.

The film takes place eight days after the clown arrives in Green Bay, WI. Now, throughout one night, four different groups of people cross paths with the clown everyone calls “Gags” and his true intentions are finally revealed.

Our very own Patrick Bromley reviewed the film, celebrating “the streak of incredibly dark humor that runs through it,” while also promising quite the payoff.

The feature film debut for director Adam Krause was inspired by the viral media frenzy and worldwide phenomenon of ‘clown roaming’ sparked by his sixteen-minute short film “Gags” in 2016.

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‘Godzilla Minus One’ Black & White Version Comes to Netflix in August

Just a couple days after we learned that Godzilla Minus One is headed to 4K & Blu-ray here in the United States, Netflix has announced that the black & white version is streaming soon.

Godzilla Minus One / Minus Color will be available on Netflix beginning August 1!

The full-color version of Godzilla Minus One is also currently streaming on Netflix.

Watch the trailer for the monochrome version of Godzilla Minus One below, which evokes the classic black & white spirit of Toho’s original Godzilla movie from back in 1954.

Toho’s Godzilla Minus One, written and directed by Takashi Yamazaki, sees an already devastated post-World War II Japan facing a new threat in the form of Godzilla.

Yamazaki previews the black & white version of the film, “Rather than just making it monochrome, it is a cut by cut. I had them make adjustments while making full use of various mattes, as if they were creating a new movie. What I was aiming for was a style that looked like it was taken by masters of monochrome photography. We were able to unearth the texture of the skin and the details of the scenery that were hidden in the photographed data. Then, a frightening Godzilla, just like the one in the documentary, appeared. By eliminating color, a new sense of reality emerges. Please live and resist further fear at the theater.”

The film stars Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, Yuki Yamada, Munetaka Aoki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Sakura Ando, and Kuranosuke Sasaki, with music by Naoki Sato.

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‘The Man in the White Van’ – Sean Astin and Ali Larter Star in Based-on-True-Events Thriller

Relativity Media has acquired Warren Skeels’ thriller The Man in the White Van for a wide theatrical release on October 11 from Garrison Film and the fan-owned entertainment company Legion M, Bloody Disgusting has learned this week. In addition, we’ve been provided with a first-look image from the upcoming film. Read on for everything you need to know.

Starring Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Stranger Things), Ali Larter (ABC’s The Rookie, Final Destination), Madison Wolfe (The Conjuring 2), Brec Bassinger (CW’s Stargirl), Gavin Warren (Night Swim) and Skai Jackson (Jessie), The Man in the White Van delves into the harrowing experiences of Annie Williams (Wolfe), a spirited family girl, whose carefree existence is turned upside down as she finds herself stalked by an ominous man in a white van.

Prone to exaggeration, her parent’s disbelief in her tales of being followed leads to a terrifying Halloween nightmare.

The Man in the White Van is a “gripping exploration of terror, paranoia and the fragility of security in a place where darkness lurks beneath the surface. Based on a series of true crimes that shook the nation in the 1970s, the film captures a bone-chilling story of a young girl’s unimaginable horrors, and every parent’s worst nightmare.”

The Man in the White Van is a flat-out frightening story with an incredible ensemble cast, and the teams behind it have produced a film that’s both visceral and topical,” said Michael Arrieta, Chief Operating Officer at Relativity Media. “Watching this in a crowded theater is truly the best way for viewers to experience this tension-packed thrill ride as realized by Warren and his talented crew.”

“I’m thrilled to partner with Relativity Media to bring this important story to the screen,” said writer / director Warren Skeels. “I love this cast and crew. Together we have taken great care to ensure that this narrative is told with respect for those who experienced these horrific events firsthand. Our aim is to shine a light on a dark time in the 1970s and the extraordinary story of one girl’s unimaginable ordeal with a serial killer.”

“We are beyond excited to team up with Relativity to bring this film to theaters nationwide, where every suspense-filled moment and heart-pounding scare is magnified by the collective experience,” said Legion M co-founder and CEO, Paul Scanlan. “Our Legion M community craves theatrical experiences and this film delivers on all fronts.”

“Relativity’s ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional cinematic experiences aligns perfectly with our vision for this chilling thriller,” said executive producer Gary Kompothecras, founder of Garrison Film. “I can’t wait for audiences to experience this film on the big screen.”

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‘Kidan: Piece of Darkness’ – This Collaborative J-Horror Anthology Includes ‘Noroi: The Curse’ Director

Horror anthologies are alive and well in Japan. From books and manga to television and film, the Japanese clearly enjoy their scares in segments. Especially during summer, a season where spirits are said to return to the mortal realm. And many times the literary side of kaidan (ghost stories) entail collections called kaidan-shū, a style of book born from the Edo-period game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai (the gathering of 100 supernatural tales). Perhaps the most famous of these kinds of books, on account of its 1964 film adaptation, is Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (1904) by Yakumo Koizumi/Lafcadio Hearn. Meanwhile, more modern authors have dabbled in or embraced the kaidan-shū format. 

Fuyumi Ono, who is known for writing the light novel series Jūni Kokuki, found herself amassing other people’s kaidan over the years. In time, these same accounts — including ones submitted to the magazine — and several others were published as part of a book called Kidan Hyakkei (100 Ghost Stories). Only a tenth of all these tales would then be brought to life on screen in Kidan: Piece of Darkness. Few as they may be, those stories singled out for the 2016 film amount to an eerie, not to mention entertaining anthology.

Kidan: Piece of Darkness works under the guise of truth, seeing as the film’s narrator starts off by saying: “I sometimes receive mysterious letters, on which these stories are based.” That same disembodied voice — one belonging to Yūko Takeuchi instead of Ono herself — is heard every step of the way. Or rather, every chapter. Nevertheless, the author’s unidentified proxy is never too intrusive; she clarifies and provides additional details on occasion, and her contributions often serve as bookends for each tale. Unlike the storyteller in a round of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai, though, the narrator here is more than a messenger of the weird and macabre. Her presence is intended to give Kidan a sense of credibility even when the segments are anything but credible.

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Image: In the “The Overtaking” segment of Kidan: Piece of Darkness, a female ghost appears in the characters’ side-view mirror.

Up until recent times, horror anthology (or portmanteau) films were frequently helmed by a lone director, whereas today’s offerings tend to be more of a collaborative effort. Kidan is similar, although not because the film is stitched together from preexisting material (otherwise known as a “frankenthology”). Multiple filmmakers of varying backgrounds take part here; Mari Asato, Hiroki Iwasawa, Eisuke Naitō, Yoshihiro Nakamura, Hajime Ohata, and Kōji Shiraishi all direct as well as write. That many hands on deck indeed leads to an inconsistent presentation, however, it is never to the point of distraction. One might even say the variety helps keep viewers on their toes. Kidan is also not as obviously low in budget as a number of other Japanese anthologies from previous years. The better than usual and sometimes even cinematic production values make the film’s one-night-only theatrical screening more valid.

With ten tales to tell, Kidan does not have a second to spare during its 100-minute runtime. Hence the lack of a proper framing story. Yoshihiro Nakamura, writer of Dark Water (2002) and narrator of the ongoing Honto ni Atta! Noroi no Video franchise, kicks things off with the fleeting yet amusing cold-opener “The Overtaking.” This mood-setter suggests a creepy-fun vibe that comes and goes throughout the film’s remainder. The four thrillseekers in this prelude are the only characters in search of the uncanny; their nocturnal encounter with a roadside specter was the undesirable outcome of an agnostic ghost hunt. Everyone else from here on out is taken by total surprise in their run-ins with the strange and unexplained.

After a curtain-raiser worthy of a chuckle more than a chill, Kidan goes straight into its most frightening segments: “Shadow Man” by Mari Asato (Fatal Frame). The first of Asato’s consecutive contributions is a dramatic shift in tone for the film; this story of a grandmother’s otherworldly intruder is agonizing at parts. Diegetic silence crescendos into a sinister commentative score as the eponymous character intermittently bangs on the outside of a window. So simple yet effective. And whether it was her intention or not, Asato captured that unique feeling innate to sleep paralysis. Then in “Tailing,” the director uses universal horror grammar to communicate the psychological impact of disturbing, real-life imagery. It echoes ghostly sad films like Lake Mungo.

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Image: The injured children gather in “Let’s Carry On” from Kidan: Piece of Darkness.

In “Looking Out Together,” Hajime Ohata (ABCs of Death 2: “O is for Ochlocracy”) employs the same inciting incident as the last story, however, the central character’s involvement in said event is direct rather than inadvertent. To one’s surprise and maybe also pleasure, this and Ohata’s ensuing segment “The Woman in Red” each pack a wily sense of humor. They both border on absurdity. The popular tropes of “J-Horror”-style films — namely school students paying dearly for sharing a local urban legend — are squeezed into this second half of Ohata’s involvement, and the ending is a playful stab at the virality within films like Ringu and The Grudge.

The rule of thumb for anthologies is the quality varies from story to story. Kidan is not an exception, but at least its lesser parts are contained to one area of the film. Hiroki Iwasawa, a recurring director in the previously mentioned Noroi no Video franchise, leaves audiences wanting more with “Empty Channel” and “Whose Kid.” The former has the most promise of the two, seeing as a teenage boy listens in on a private conversation broadcast on a vacant radio channel. The spot of grotesque body horror aside, this disappointing tale lacks in payoff. Iwasawa’s second entry, a routine school haunting, leaves no lasting impression.

Eisuke Naitō (Liverleaf) delivers the last of these back-to-back stories, with each one in this block concerning children. “Let’s Carry On” turned out to be the real odd duck in this whole ensemble; one by one, the kiddos clowning around in a cemetery succumb to little but bloody injuries. The requisite supernatural angle is, from the look of things, an entity compelling the tykes to play. To escape this cemetery requires getting hurt. Folks still reeling over the infamous British public information film Apaches will no doubt feel a sudden tinge of déjà vu here as they witness gruesome booboos contracted in real time as well as in plain sight. Despite the deliberate use of repetitiveness, Naitō keeps his audience engaged. “Thief,” on the other hand, is a touch more intriguing, if not irritatingly vague. This penultimate segment about a woman’s disappearing pregnancy raises questions that, like everything else here, remain unanswered.

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Image: Students encounter the namesake of “The Woman in Red” from Kidan: Piece of Darkness.

Kōji Shiraishi leaves everyone with a story that is akin to Sadako vs. Kayako in tone and appearance more than anything from his found-footage output. The filmmaker’s fans expecting something along the lines of Noroi: The Curse or other explorations of the occult should fret not because this master of the creeping crawl can still conduct a straightforward scare better than most. The ultimately diverting “Sealed” begins like a “ghost in the home” yarn before veering toward a satisfying “good for her” finish. It is a tidy conclusion elevated by simple but impressive practical effects.

When it seems like Kidan: Piece of Darkness is dipping in quality — in particular the middle portion — it picks up again and ends on a good note. It can even be said that the final stretch of segments is better than the entirety of other newer anthologies. Admittedly the best stories could have been saved for last, yet viewers always need an incentive to continue watching. Overall this is a solid collection of self-contained horrors that well exemplifies one of Japan’s most enduring pastimes.

Watch Kidan: Piece of Darkness on Vudu now.


Horrors Elsewhere is a recurring column that spotlights a variety of movies from all around the globe, particularly those not from the United States. Fears may not be universal, but one thing is for sure — a scream is understood, always and everywhere.

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Image: The Japanese poster for Kidan: Piece of Darkness.

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