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Nightmare Cinema Premieres at Fantasia

July 13th, 2018

An enthusiastic crowd gathered well in advance of Nightmare Cinema’s premiere. By 9:00 last night, the line already stretched around the block, assuring a full house for a project that producer-director Mick Garris began dreaming up over a decade ago.

Shortly before 10:00, Festival Programmer Tony Timpone took the stage to introduce directors Mick Garris, Alejandro Brugues, Ryuhei Kitamura, and Joe Dante. (David Slade is in the UK working on the upcoming season of Black Mirror.)

Before the film, Joe Dante was honored with the Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a presentation that included a montage of scenes from Joe’s five decades of filmmaking.

After Joe’s acceptance, the lights dimmed, and the 800 seat auditorium filled with animal sounds – mostly mewing – as it the audience members had suddenly transformed into cats. The mewing is a Festival tradition, and I must admit it’s pretty cool.

Then came Nightmare Cinema, the result of a collaborative effort of many producers, directors, writers, actors, and technicians (that’s 13 of us on the red carpet on the left).

I won’t review the film here. I’m too heavily invested in the project to be objective.

Instead, I encourage you to take a look at some of the reviews that have followed in the wake of last night’s premiere.

Here are some highlights:

  • “How Nightmare Cinema comes together is proof of exceptional teamwork and extraordinary planning. Each director brought their experience to the table to create something epic. As with any nightmare, this movie will have you thinking about it right after you watch it.” Read the entire review at Dread Central.
  • “This Way to Egress was truly nightmarish and weird, and of a completely different kind of horror than anything up to this point. This one leaves you unsettled….” Read the entire review at Nerdist.
  • This Way to Egress is perhaps the film’s most psychologically disturbing. It follows a mother of two who is hallucinating — or is she? — that the people she meets are transforming into monsters.” Read the entire review at Entertainment Weekly.

That’s just a sampling. Check them out if you like, and while you do, I’ll be putting together some reflections on how the Nightmare Cinema segment “This Way to Egress compares to the original story “Traumatic Descent.”

Stop back here tomorrow for more updates from the Festival. We’ll save you a place.

Images:

The standing ovation for Joe Dante’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo by Joe Dante.

Alejandro Brugues, Mick Garris, Ryuhei Kitamura, and Joe Dante outside the Auditorium des Diplomes de la SGWU. Photo by the 21st-Century Scop. 

Thirteen members of the Nightmare Cinema team on the red carpet following the premiere. Fantasia Film Festival.

Lunch before the premiere (clockwise from lower left) Alejandro Brugues, Kyle Newmaster, Ryuhei Kitamura, Lawrence Connolly, Stephanie Caleb, Mick Garris, Sandra Becerril, Joe Russo, Joe Dante, and G. Brandon Hill. Photo by Sergio Becerril.

Nightmare Cinema Premieres at Fantasia

July 13th, 2018

An enthusiastic crowd gathered well in advance of Nightmare Cinema’s premiere. By 9:00 last night, the line already stretched around the block, assuring a full house for a project that producer-director Mick Garris began dreaming up over a decade ago.

Shortly before 10:00, Festival Programmer Tony Timpone took the stage to introduce directors Mick Garris, Alejandro Brugues, Ryuhei Kitamura, and Joe Dante … [read more at The 21st Century Scop].

Welcome to My Nightmares:
A Video Essay on Cinematic Monsters

July 2nd, 2018

You’ve heard of man-made monsters. Today, let’s consider a video essay about a monster-made man … or at least a monster-made writer. Namely: the 21st-Century Scop.

Here’s the backstory: Last year I was invited to take part in a speaker series sponsored by the Uniontown Library. Helmed in part by author Heidi Ruby Miller (who also organized the successful Pennsylvania Literary Festival), the program included a series of promotional videos in which authors spoke about influences on their writing.

Thus, they had writers such as Michael A. Arnzen sharing Three Great Things about Horror, John Edward Lawson on Three Great Things about Poetry, and Matt Betts on Three Great Things about Godzilla.

Unfortunately, I was neck-deep in other commitments when Heidi contacted me a to take part in the series. Nevertheless, if they could wait, I was sure I could put together a video in time for an August 2018 visit to the library. An August appearance would follow the premiere of Nightmare Cinema, and I figured the topic Three Great Things about Scary Movies would make for a timely tie-in to the film. Alas, the speaker series concluded in May. Time waits for no one.

Nevertheless, Heidi’s Three-Great-Things premise got me thinking. It turned out I had a few things to say about scary movies. So I decided to shoot my own video, a slice of memoir explaining how monsters influenced (corrupted?) my childhood. Press play. I’ll tell you all about it.

It’s Official:
Voices now in eBook from Fantasist Ent.

June 26th, 2018

I’m back home, settling in after KGB and SHU. I wrote my posts on those events more quickly than usual, but they seem to be lucid (to me at least).

Both book-related appearances offered an opportunity to get the word out about Fantasist Enterprises’ new edition of Voices: Tales of Horror, and I’m pleased to report that the digital edition is now available as an eBook bundle (Mobi, ePub, and PDF) direct from the Fantasist website, and as a Kindle edition from Amazon.

The same edition will be available in print later this summer.

Including the complete text of the book’s first printing, the upgraded Voices also features a new foreword by Mick Garris (producer of our forthcoming Nightmare Cinema), a bonus story (complete with new art by World Fantasy Award nominee Jason Zerrillo), and some very cool Easter eggs – all for the price of a pumpkin spice latte (and it’ll last a lot longer).

The eBook bundle, available direct from Fantasist, gives the biggest bang for your buck, and while you’re visiting the site, you might want to check out FE’s other titles, all of which are illustrated and packaged with an eye for graphic design that makes their books unique among genre publishing.

Looking for a recommendation? Check out the urban fantasy anthology Modern Magic, edited by W. H. Horner and featuring stories by Christe M. Callabro, Donna Munro, and Rhonda Mason — all of whom were in attendance at In Your Write Mind. In addition to mind-bending fiction, the book features terrific illustrations by David Seidman — one of my favorite fantasy illustrators. And if that wasn’t enough, the last I checked, FE was offering the book at a 50% discount. A steal!

This post has been my third in as many days. (Whew!) I have no intention of keeping that pace, but I do intend to be back very soon with some previews of the big Nightmare Cinema premiere at next month’s Fantasia Film Festival.

Can’t wait!

Images

The 21st-Century Scop and W. H. Horner at In Your Write Mind. Photo by Christe M. Calabro.

The second-edition of Voices: Tales of Horror. Cover art by Jason Zerrillo. Cover design by W. H. Horner of Fantasist Enterprises.

Modern Magic. Cover art by David Seidman. Cover design by W. H. Horner of Fantasist Enterprises.