Murder and Melody in America: “The Devil’s Carnival” Composers Debut Trailer for a Dark New Opus


Icons of cult cinema, Terrance Zdunich (Repo! The Genetic Opera) and Saar Hendelman (The Devil’s Carnival franchise) pull the trigger on a new, twisted musical world, American Murder Song. Combining stop motion animation and moving daguerreotype portraits, American Murder Song features a rogues gallery of original murder ballads set in early nineteenth century America. The genre-defying duo invite you to Follow The Mark, if’n you’re brave. For tunes and updates: http:///

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Film Review “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival”

Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Starring: Paul Sorvino, Terrance Zdunich, Emilie Autumn, Adam Pascal, Marc Senter, Dayton Callie, David Hasselhoff, Tech N9ne, Briana Evigan, Bill Moseley, Nivek Ogre
Production companies: Execution Style Entertainment/Limb from Limb Pictures
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 98 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Fa la la! It’s off to Hell we go…again! The carnival is back with a feature length sequel to 2012’s “The Devil’s Carnival”. I was a huge fan of the first film and the sequel is a great improvement on the first film. I mean who doesn’t love a horror musical?! There is definitely not enough of these available for us horror fans. Darren Lynn Bousman, who also directed the cult film “Repo! The Genetic Opera”, is back in the director chair for this sequel. “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival” is definitely bigger and more fun than the first film. The songs are so well written and very catchy, kudos to Terrance Zdunich. You can tell that this film is a real labor of love to the fans and that everyone involved gave their all. A devilishly fun ride! A must for any genre fan!

At the end of the first film, which took place in Hell made it seem like in the second film we were going to be heading up to Heaven, as it does. We get to learn a little bit more about God (Paul Sorvino) and how he runs things up there and let’s just say that he makes the devil looks like a nice guy. Back in hell, Lucifer (Terrance Zdunich) reveals his plans to take the fight to the big guy and we get a great origin story to the character The Painted Doll, which means that the amazing Emilie Autumn takes front and center in this sequel. She is outstanding on the screen and deserves the spotlight.

Spotlight newcomers to the series include Adam Pascal, know for his role of Roger Davis in the original cast of the Broadway musical “Rent”. He is an amazing addition to the cast of this sequel. His voice is so powerful and he has such a presence in the film. Along we him, we have Kansas City born rapper, Tech N9ne, who plays the role of the The Librarian and reprises it from the sequel’s teaser back in 2013. The guy is not only a talented musician but also a great actor as well. I hope he plans to do more acting.

This horror musical also recruits a few legends including David Hasselhoff. Honestly, his character doesn’t add a lot to the film but just having The Hoff in the film is just fun. Plus I love when this guy sings! Barry Bostwick, aka Brad Majors from cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” gets to have some fun also along with some great makeup effects that almost make him unrecognizable. Ted Neeley also pops in, who is known for playing Jesus Christ in the 1973 film “Jesus Christ Superstar”. His song, “All Aboard (Everybody’s Doing the Ark)”, was my least favorite of the bunch and runs a bit too long for me. Lastly there are a bunch of original cast including Dayton Callie, Marc Senter, Briana Evigan, Bill Moseley, J. Larose, Nivek Ogre, who pop in as well to the sequel.

The film kicks off with the very intense song “Shovel and Bone” lead by Terrance Zdunich and featuring Briana Evigan. Great track but I felt like it runs a bit long as the film’s opening scene. Terrance makes up for it with his second song “After the Fall”, which is mesmerizing. “Only by Design” shows off the vocal talent of David Hasselhoff, which brought me back to seeing him on Broadway in “Jekyll & Hyde”. Even though his character could have been fleshed out a bit more, he is still classy as hell and commands that stage during this performance. Haters gonna hate, but I gotta tell you that The Hoff rules!

My favorite track is easily “Down at the Midnight Rectory” by Adam Pascal. The track has so much energy and is a blast to listen to. I love the jazzy feel to it. I was also really excited that Barry Bostwick got to show off his singing skills again with his song “The Watchword’s Hour”. Tech N9ne really scored with the track “Hitting on All Sevens”, my second favorite track in the film. Lastly I almost thought we weren’t going to get a track from Emilie Autumn but she delivers the epic “Hoof and Lap” before we close out. Each production is much bigger and these new songs easily top the first film’s music without question.

Overall, “Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival” is well paced and works well as a feature as opposed to the original short film. I was expecting a little more from the ending but I do like the way it sets up plans for more and leaves your mouths watering. But if horror fans want to ensure that the carnival goes on then I would recommend you to check out the current road tour for this film and make sure to attend at a city near you. Click here for dates and tickets. Film’s like this can not be made without the fans support. I will be at the show in Orlando, FL, so come on down and let’s have some fun! The road tour is sure to be a blast with special guests and surprises.


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Win an iTunes Gift card to Support the VOD Release of “The Devil’s Hand” [ENDED]

To celebrate the VOD release of “The Devil’s Hand”, available now on iTunes, VOD and in select theaters, we are happy to be giving away a $15 iTunes gift card. The film stars Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Rufus Sewell (Dark City), and Adelaide Kane (The CW’s Reign). If you want to win this, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite horror film focusing on the Mr. Lucifer himself. This giveaway will remain open until November 7th at Noon, Eastern Time.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) iTunes via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

When six girls are born on the sixth day of the sixth month to different mothers in the small, devout village of New Bethlehem an ancient prophecy is set in motion – on their 18th birthday one of the girls will become the Devil’s Hand. As the day approaches and one by one the young women begin to disappear, terror overtakes the quiet community and those remaining girls band together to uncover who or what is behind these treacherous acts.

Film Review “At The Devil’s Door”

Starring: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ashley Rickards, Naya Rivera
Directed by: Nicholas McCarthy
Distributed by: IFC Films
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 91 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Recently, when I see any horror film being released it is either a remake/prequel/sequel or a found footage movie…or both of those combined. It is rare to actually find something new and original. Well leave it to Nicholas McCarthy to deliver a solid horror film that is neither of the mention above. The film has some fantastic scares that are set up very well. I immediately related this film to “Insidious”, which is one of my all-time favorite horror flicks. The end is a little vague but overall this is a well-crafted little horror flick. If you are looking for something fresh, this is definitely worth checking out.

Official Premise: When ambitious young real estate agent Leigh is asked to sell a house with a checkered past, she crosses paths with a disturbed girl whom she learns is the runaway daughter of the couple selling the property. When Leigh tries to intervene and help her, she becomes entangled with a supernatural force that soon pulls Leigh’s artist sister Vera into its web – and has sinister plans for both of them.

The score in this film is also quite amazing, which really aids the scares in the film to actually be scary. Go figure right? A horror film that is actually scary. I could see this film generating some nightmares for me and personally if that is the case, then you know that the horror film did it job right. I mentioned “Insidious”, which was released in 2011 and I am still having nightmares about it daily. I am looking forward to see what director Nicholas McCarthy has planned next cause this guy has got some great potential.

Jason Baldwin talks about being one of the The West Memphis Three and film “The Devil’s Knot”

At the age of sixteen Charles Jason Baldwin was arrested, put on trial, and convicted for the killing of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. The killings were viewed as ritualistic and Satanic. The only evidence against Jason Baldwin was his long hair, black heavy-metal t-shirts, and his friendship with Damien Echols. In 1994, he pled innocent, yet was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. In August of 2011, after eighteen years and seventy-eight days of incarceration, in what is known as the Alford Plea, Jason pled guilty to the crime: and was released from prison. Jason Baldwin is one of The West Memphis Three.

B.C. Allen: It’s been two-and-a-half years since you were released from prison; do you feel fully acclimated to current-day society at this point?
Jason Baldwin: I don’t know if anyone ever gets fully acclimated to current-day society or not. With that being said, I am putting my life together, with a wonderful woman of my dreams. I recently married the love of my life, Holly. We’re building a life together. We have two kittens and a bunny, who act as our babies. I mean, life… life is wonderful. Everywhere we go people are just so gracious and caring, and warm and helpful. It’s been a wonderful experience.

BCA: When were you two married?
JB: We were married in December. I proposed to her in Toronto at AIDWYC, which is the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted. AIDWYC is an organization Rubin “Hurricane” Carter – who just passed – started twenty years ago. Anyway, I had been carrying this ring in my backpack for maybe eight or nine months… like I’m carrying a baby. [laughs] I wanted to get her dad’s permission before I asked her. Long story short, she said “Yes”, and we are having an amazing life now.

BCA: In an alternate world, had you not entered the Alford Plea, where do you think you’d be with the case at this point?
JB: Well, you hope the courts would do what they are supposed to do… and follow the evidence and follow the procedures as they’re set down. The procedures are in place to free innocent people. The evidence was there to free us, but… since I’ve been free I’ve had some college and I had a logic professor who’s also a computer programmer, and he told me “Law is like computer programming. Law is for people and society like computer programming is for computers. But where the difference is, is that the computer has to follow that programming, and it’s going to do whatever the programming says. Whereas people are different; they don’t always do as the law has prescribed. Even though I had every hope and the law was supposed to be on my side to help me be free… I don’t know if they’d have succeeded in murdering Damien or not. And even then, the State didn’t give us the opportunity to save our names, like they should have, and thrown the case out, and opened it up. No matter how long it takes to find whoever really committed the crime. It was a hard position… a horrible position… to be put in, but ultimately, I couldn’t make the decision for Damien. He’s facing death for something he didn’t do. I couldn’t make the decision to stay for him. No one knows what it would be. But the good thing is now there’s still hope, because they didn’t execute Damien. He’s free now, Jessie’s free, I’m free. Even though we still have this Alford Plea hanging over us, there’s still hope. Even though the State officially says the case isn’t open, there’s no statute of limitations on murder. So when we do find who committed this crime – and we will – it’s a matter of time, because we’re not giving up. I believe, I hope, they’ll overturn everything now. I believe they will. And in the meantime I’ll just live my life like I have always lived it. Just do the best I can, and enjoy it. And try and carry myself with a little bit of grace and dignity, and treat everybody the same, and just love this short, precious time we all have here.

BCA: Obviously, to Arkansas the case is closed, officially. But I presume there is still an investigation going on?
JB: My attorney is still working diligently. Doing everything he can as an attorney with private investigators and stuff like that. But he’s not a State’s attorney, he doesn’t have subpoena power and things like that; so there are things he can’t do. We’re doing what we can. The State can do more and they should do more. I like to think that everybody would respect people, or a position, who would admit a mistake and try to correct that mistake and move forward, rather than just to say that there has been no mistake, and just try and hide. The big thing to do is admit that a mistake was made in convicting Damien, Jessie, and myself; and go ahead and move forward and try to find who really did this. That’s the only way that society or any of us are going to be able to heal completely.

BCA: There is almost a weird irony to me, that during your 1994 trial you only spoke three words, you said, “Because I’m innocent.” And now twenty years later you seem to be one of the most vocal of the three of you. Can you say anything about that?
JB: I could have been vocal then too, but everyone, you know… you’re in court and the Judge tells you that you can’t say anything, you can’t have an emotional outburst. No matter what you hear. No matter what type of lies are being said, or you won’t even be able to be permitted to be there at your own trial. So you sit there and you hear all these things, and you try to put the bravest face on that you can, and you hear all of these horrible things. Then you tell your attorneys and everyone who would listen where you were, the people you came into contact with, in full faith. In full faith, that your mom, my uncle, my brothers, my next door neighbor Ms. Littleton, my high school art teacher, the lady who ran the county jail; all these people who could testify for me are going to be given that opportunity, as well as myself. And then, to do everything I am told to do, and come to the trial’s conclusion and never be given those opportunities and to only be able to say, “Because I’m innocent,” it was hard. Never had a chance. Never had a chance. But no one was able to see that aspect.

BCA: I went back and read “Devil’s Knot” again recently – after having viewed the film – and I always catch something new when I read it. I noticed this time through that Dan Stidham, Jessie Misskelley Jr.’s lawyer, was only twenty seven when he took on this case. I mean, that’s what, ten years younger than you are now. Could you imagine taking that on at such a young age; or even now, knowing what you know about the law?
JB: I couldn’t.
BCA: Do you feel that your defense attorney Paul Ford did a decent job, when looking back on it all these years later?
JB: There are so many factors that played against him. I wish he would have let me testify; I wish he would have let all of my alibi witnesses testify, but even if I would have, or everybody would have, we wouldn’t have been able to combat the jury foreman who was convinced he was going to convince the rest of the jurors that we were guilty no matter what was offered, or not offered, in court. So we were up against things like that. Literally, we never had a chance. Never had a chance. From the minute the fingers were pointed at us, we never stood a chance. And that’s the saddest part of it. And that’s because, I think, it was an honest mistake that they lost the evidence from Bojangles, that was collected that night. From that point on we lost evidence… I don’t know that it would have led anywhere, but to me, a guy coming out of the very bayou that the boys would be found in the next day… Come out of there during the time that they are missing… that’s very suspicious. If that person didn’t have anything to do with it, they possibly were a witness. That evidence was very crucial and important, and it’s lost.

BCA: You believe that it was an honest mistake? That wasn’t something deceptive on Bryn Ridge’s or someone else’s part?
JB: Yea.
BCA: That’s your personal belief?
JB: Yea. I always try and give people what was supposed to have been given to me at my trial, and that’s the benefit of a doubt. I just think it was an honest mistake.

BCA: From your interviews, and the hours of footage in the documentaries, you get the gist that you are a relatively positive person – which I have always admired about you – and you’ve always had a positive outlook on everything. That’s interesting to know that you think it was a legitimate mistake.
JB: Thank you.
BCA: With this narrative version of “Devil’s Knot”, this dramatized version of the story, what do you think it will bring to light that Berlinger & Sinofsky “Paradise Lost” Trilogy of films, or Amy Berg’s “West of Memphis” didn’t show? What do you think the appeal is going to be?
JB: I think we’re making a mistake if we try to pit them against each other, or compare them, in that sense. What we should do is look at it like this; there are a lot more people out there who watch movies and don’t view documentaries or read true-crime novels. So this is going to reach a broad base, and hopefully the people who hear of the case for the first time through the film will go back and watch the documentaries, as well, “Paradise Lost” one through three, and “West of Memphis”; read Mara’s book, “Devil’s Knot”, and Damien’s memoirs, do everything. Ultimately, it’s saying this, it’s saying, to whoever did this, if they’re still alive out there – wherever they are hiding – if they’re out there, they’re paying attention. It’s saying to them that even though the State of Arkansas says the case is closed, it says to them, we are not giving up. There is no statute of limitation on murder: the people are not giving up. We all know that Damien, Jessie and I are innocent, we all know someone did this, and we are all looking. No matter how long it’s going to take. And ultimately, the best part… for Pam Hicks, it shows her that no one is giving up; her son is not going to be forgotten. I know the hardest part for her was that Alford Plea, because the State was kind of saying to her, $60 million for wrongful imprisonment money is more important than your son; more important than knowing what happened to your son. And that’s wrong. For us, making this film was sort of a way to give that hope back to her. I witnessed that on set. Meeting all the actors and everybody that worked on set. Everyone I came across there would say that when you get a script and you get a job, you do your best at it, because that’s just what you do. But they said there was something different about this script and this story, because everybody just cared about it; and cared about the people they were representing and the people touched by the case. And to see Reese Witherspoon, who everybody loves, aside from the serious nature of this case; but to see her take Pam in her arms, and hug her and tell her everything is going to be all right. To see that love, all that healing love, that right there made the film being made worth it, just that alone.

BCA: After your release it seemed like you moved immediately to the Pacific Northwest, what is it about that area that attracted you?
JB: I had no idea where I was going when I first got out. When you grow up listening to rock n’ roll, and one of the last cassette tapes you had – before you got locked up – was Pearl Jam’s Ten… He (Eddie Vedder) looks a lot different than he did as a sixteen year old, I mean as you know, we’re both the same age. But when you’re looking at this rock star – who’s not only a rock star, but has given so much of himself when he didn’t have to, and cared about you enough to put his name out there to get you some justice and get you free, and he’s like “Hey, we’re hopping on a plane and going to my house”, you don’t say, “Oh, well I have other plans.” You get on the plane and go to Washington and try to figure things out. I didn’t know where I was going to go, or what I was going to do; because I wasn’t expecting the Alford Plea, I wasn’t expecting to get out right then. I’m looking forward to the December hearing and how long the trial is going to take; I’m just trying to face that, and then I can figure out what I am going to do when I get out. Then all of a sudden I’m out, and at a rock star’s house. In hindsight, Holly and I talked about this a lot… right then I probably could have been flown to the Sahara desert, and after what I had experienced I would have been jumping up and down “Oh, sand! Let’s stay here, I love it!” But it was very fortuitous that we landed in Seattle, because now two-and-a-half, almost going on three years now, after freedom, I’ve had a chance to travel the country, and see a couple of places in the world. And I’ve been amazed, I love every place. But honestly now, after experiencing many places, Holly and I agree, we both choose Seattle. So it’s really awesome that Seattle was the first place we went.

BCA: Do you still have family in Arkansas? Have you traveled back there since your release?
JB: Yea. Holly and I have been back several times. Her dad lives in Arkansas, and my dad lives in Arkansas; we see both of them. My mom goes back and forth between Missouri and Mississippi, and her family lives in Mississippi; so we’ve been to see them as well. She (Holly) grew up in Little Rock, went to high school there, and college; so she’s got a million-and-one friends, so every time we go back it’s always amazing. I meet people who have supported the cause… it’s just always good.

BCA: This past fall you did a Kickstarter campaign – which I gladly pledged to – how is the book coming?
JB: Thank you.
BCA: Is there a release date for that?
JB: I am hoping to have it wrapped up by the end of the year. I’ve got quite a bit written and got a lot more to write. I’m working on a chapter right now, I’m calling it “Jessie’s Girl”.
BCA: Nice.
JB: You know, like the song… [sings] “Jesse’s Girl.” Anyway, working on that chapter right now. I don’t have any chapters finished, because I’m kind of writing them all simultaneously, and just going back and forth. I’m really in the writing phase, just getting it out of me.

BCA: Just getting out the main gist?
JB: Yea, yea. Just putting it all down; then I’ll go back and get an editor and put it together in a book format, ya know, so we can get it to you, since you funded the Kickstarter. Thank you so much for the Kickstarter, because that’s what is paying the bills right now, so I can write it. I’ve never written a book before, it’s hard work. I usually get up around four in the morning, after I feed the cats and everything, then I usually get started on it around six, and work on it throughout the day.

BCA: Is the founding of Proclaim Justice going to be a part of the book?
JB: Definitely yea. I haven’t written any of that yet, I’m still experiencing it, and I’m not limiting it.

BCA: What can you tell me about Proclaim Justice?
JB: My friend John Hardin out of Texas, and I, we started this foundation called Proclaim Justice, and we’re trying to get it off the ground to help innocent people who fall through the cracks for institutions like The Innocence Project, who don’t take their case because they specialize in DNA cases. It’s for innocent people who don’t have DNA in their case; we’re trying to bring those people hope.

The author of “Devil’s Knot”, Mara Leveritt, and Jason Baldwin, worked together on a book entitled “Dark Spell: Surviving the Sentence”, which is set to be released in June. “Dark Spell” is the second part in Leveritt’s “Justice Knot” Trilogy; with a third book, “Justice Knot”, currently in the works.

“DEVIL’S KNOT” will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 10, 2014.

Film Review “Devil’s Knot”

Starring: Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth
Directed by: Atom Egoyan
Not Rated
Running time: 1 hour 54 mins
RLJ/Image Entertainment

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

The easiest way to describe my view of “Devil’s Knot” is that it’s like going to see a cover band of The Cure play for two hours, instead of going to see The Cure play for nine hours; even though they are across the street from each other and are the same ticket price.

“Devil’s Knot” is based on the triple murder of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, on May 5th, 1993; and the subsequent arrests, trials, and convictions of three teen-age boys.

The film focuses primarily on two people: Pam Hobbs (Witherspoon), the mother of one of the murdered boys; and Ron Lax (Firth), a private detective who has offered his time and resources to the defense team. What ensues is a hodge-podge of images, characters, lines from court-room transcripts and footage from previous documentaries about the same case. If this film could be rated based just on its ability to approximate the time period or on the actors offering extremely convincing impersonations of their real-life counterparts, then this film would be given an “A” for effort. However, none of the performances were strong enough to merit mentioning. Which is disappointing considering the film does boast two Academy Award winning actors. In fact, throughout most of the film, I felt as if I were watching a dress rehearsal. If anything, the performances are hindered due to the wealth of footage that has been seen in no less than four documentaries featuring the real people. The same can be said for the writing. When I heard dialogue taken from the transcripts – or previous documentaries – most often the lines were not entirely correct – but perhaps slightly paraphrased.

As excited as I was for this movie, I still wondered what the purpose of it could be. Based on Mara Leveritt’s book of the same name from 2002, I didn’t find this to be that accurate of an adaptation. Granted, it’s a non-fiction work and not a novel; but the book only covers 1993 to 2001. The time period of the film spans from the time of the murders in May of 1993 to the sentencing of the accused men during the Summer of 1994; yet it references evidence and accusations that came to light in 2007 and later. I would have rather seen a film called “The West Memphis Three” than “Devil’s Knot”; that way it would allow for information that spans the twenty-year history of this case. That being said, I will concede that “Devil’s Knot” is a much more enticing title.

When one reads the book of “Devil’s Knot” you walk away almost convinced that a particular person is guilty of the murders; since that was the main focus of the defense and the followers of the case at the time of its writing. However, in this dramatized film that person is given little screen time, and barely factors into the story at all. Which would be fine if the film were a general look at the case and not based on this specific source material.

I don’t see how anyone not familiar with this case would be interested in this movie. Even with its ensemble cast of notable actors, it’s not a strong vehicle for any of them. It is an interesting watch for followers of the West Memphis Three case, but I highly doubt even I will watch it as often as I do Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofky’s Paradise Lost Trilogy, or Amy Berg’s West of Memphis.

If this movie accomplishes anything, in my opinion, it will be that it keeps the conversation going about this case. As the film points out, before fading to black, there are too many unanswered questions. “Devil’s Knot” will also serve as a way to honor the memory of Ron Lax, whom sadly passed away in October of 2013. He was a firm believer in the innocence of the three accused men from day one, and worked extremely hard to get them out of jail and exonerated. The latter of which has yet to happen.

Blu-ray Review “Devil’s Due”

Starring: Zach Gilford, Allison Miller, Sam Anderson, Griff Furst
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: April 29, 2014
Run Time: 89 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Devil Due” is the latest low budget handheld shot horror film taking advantage of the slow January month in theaters. I have to admit these films are starting to all blend together for me. The problem with “Devil’s Due” is that there is no pay off. The only half way decent scenes are what is shown in the trailer and the rest is just fluff, as I like to call it. There are a few decent scares lined up but not enough to rectify worth watching. I just wish that they would put a little more into a film like this to make it really worth checking out. I really can’t recommend this to anyone unless you are a 13-year old girl and would scream at this failed attempt at horror.

Official Premise: A young couple’s blessed event turns into their worst nightmare in one of the most terrifying horror films ever conceived! After a mysterious night on their honeymoon, Zach and Samantha McCall find themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy. While recording everything on video for posterity, Zach notices odd behavior in his wife, which they initially attribute to nerves, although it soon becomes evident that the disturbing changes to Samantha’s body and mind have a much more sinister origin. All will suffer…but who will survive?

20th Century Fox is releasing the film as a combo pack with Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy. There is nothing special here in the A/V department. I would say it looks and sounds standard. It’s shot on handheld so nothing special. There is some decent special features to counter this film. Starting off there is an audio commentary with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillet, Chad Villella, and Justin Martinez. The best extra is easily the featurette “Radio Silence: A Hell of a Team” which goes behind-the-scenes. A few other featurettes include “Director’s Photo Album”, “Music Index”, “Ashes to Ashes” and “The Lost Time”. There are two prank clips for “Roommate Alien Prank Goes Bad” and “Mountain Devil Prank Fails Horribly”. Lastly there are some deleted scenes and theatrical trailer included.

Renny Harlin talks about directing “Devil’s Pass” and Hercules 3D”

Renny Harlin holds the distinction of being the most successful filmmaker to ever come out of Finland. Surprisingly (not because they weren’t famous but because I didn’t know they were from Finland), right behind him in popularity are two actors: 50’s horror film hostess and star of “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” Vampira and George Gaynes, probably best known as Commandant Lassard from the “Police Academy” films and the adoptive guardian of TV’s “Punky Brewster.”

Harlin rocketed to fame when he went behind the camera on “A Nightmare on Elmstreet 4: The Dream Master.” Impressed by the word of mouth on the picture, producer Joel Silver hired him to direct “Die Hard 2.” He followed these films up with such popular films as “The Adventures of Ford Fairlaine,” “Cutthroat Island,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” Cliffhanger” and “Deep Blue Sea.”

In preparation for the release of his latest project, “Devil’s Pass,” which follows the journey of five filmmakers investigating the real life mysterious deaths of nine skiers in the late 1950s, Harlin took time out to talk about his new film, his upcoming “Hercules” project and the incredible fact that Andrew Dice Clay could be an Oscar nominee this year!

Mike Smith: Before we begin I have to tell you that I think “Ford Fairlaine” is one of the most underrated comedies ever made.
Renny Harlin: Awesome! When I go to a bar in New York, or even in the middle of the country, if people somehow find out I directed “Ford Fairlaine” it’s always free drinks for the whole night.

MS: Nice. Now they’re talking about “Dice” Clay being an Oscar nominee for “Blue Jasmine.”
RH: That would be the most awesome thing ever!

MS: How did you come to direct and produce “Devil’s Pass?”
RH: It was an incident that I had been interested in for many years. I had read about it and had seen a couple of documentaries about it. And I thought to myself, “wow…what a weird mystery to occur in our lifetime.” Because still today nobody knows what really happened. With all of the evidence…I’ve been through the archives and have seen the photographs. With everything they have nobody still knows what happened. I always thought that it would make an interesting movie. And I found that by doing it as a “found footage” film I could find an angle where the movie takes place in today’s world while referencing what really happened.

MS: How much research were you able to do on the actual incident?
RS: I went through the archives. I spoke to people that had either been part of the rescue team or had had a connection to the people that disappeared. Everything I could find to read and watch I did. I feel like I was able to learn a lot and put a lot of that research into the film.

MS: What was it like to return two decades later to the same mountains where you had filmed “Cliffhanger?”
RH: It was like going home. I really love the challenge of filming in a natural environment. It’s great to shoot on a soundstage. It’s very controlled. But there’s nothing like putting the cast and crew in an extreme situation. And in this case it was in the darkest and deepest part of Russia in a tiny town called Kirov. There claim to fame is in the mining industry and that they have the northern-most prison in Russia. The people that live there are either miners or relatives of prisoners. So you know it’s not exactly the most uplifting place! (laughs) Then you figure in that it’s above the Arctic Circle…that’s it’s dark most of the year…that nine months of the year there is snow on the ground. When we were there it was constant sub-zero temperatures and 20 feet of snow. Many of the locations were only accessible by snow mobiles. It adds to the authenticity of the film and it adds to the experience of the crew and cast. Just like the characters in the story, every day is about survival. And I love that. I love being in those conditions and making a movie.

MS: Being, as you were, at the mercy of Mother Nature, how difficult was it to film the avalanche scene?
RH: That was one of the hardest sequences. We were filming in an area that was really “avalanche prone.” We were told by our mountain guides that every year several people perish in avalanches. We were told to be careful. Everything filmed on the mountains was filmed at night and it took a while to get the filming done. The mountain was the star as we only had a couple of hours to film each day. But we did it together.

MS: Was that the biggest challenge of filming?
RH: I would say that, in terms of preparation, that was certainly the biggest. There were certainly many other challenges. And if someone complained I’d say to them, “Hey…when was the last time you were able to hang around in a place like this?” People would pay a lot of money to be able to see what we see. This is something really unique.

MS: Finally, can you give a quick update on “Hercules 3D?”
RH: I’d be very happy to give an update! I’m sitting right now in the editing bay. We finished shooting about a month ago and I’m about six weeks away from delivering my director’s cut. It’s looking fantastic. This is really my dream project come true…it’s like a childhood dream. When I was growing up I would watch movies like “Ben Hur” and “Spartacus.” I grew up with an amazing love and knowledge of Greek mythology. To be able to do an epic movie like this…Hercules is really the father of the comic book movie. It’s really my return to those kind of movies.

“Devil’s Pass” is in select theaters on August 23rd and same day also available on Cable VOD, digital platforms (including SundanceNow and iTunes).

Blu-ray Review “The Devil’s Carnival: Ringmaster Edition”

Starring: Terrance Zdunich, Paul Sorvino, Jessica Lowndes, Sean Patrick Flanery, Briana Evigan, Bill Moseley, Emilie Autumn, Shawn Crahan, Dayton Callie and Alexa Vega.
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Release Date: October 23, 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 55 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

Click here to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a Numbered Copy of “The Devil’s Carnival” Ringmaster Edition
Click here for our interview series for “The Devil’s Carnival”

If you are a fan of “Repo!: The Genetic Opera”, then you surely know about Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich latest creation “The Devil’s Carnival”. This is the way that films should be made. It was done completely independent of any studio and ends up all the better for it. The film just got finished touring the country during its 40-city road tour and its 26-city encore tour and is now available on this Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on this “Ringmaster Edition”, which is limited edition of 6660 units.  This is sure to become a very sought upon collector’s item. There is also “The Sinner Edition”, which is available only at Hot Topic stores and even includes different behind-the-scenes and commentary tracks, the film on DVD and an extended audio soundtrack as well.

This film has a tremendous cast including Sean Patrick Flanery (“The Boondock Saints”), Briana Evigan (“Step Up 2: The Streets”), Jessica Lowndes (“90210”), Dayton Callie (“Deadwood”), Paul Sorvino (“Goodfellas”), Terrance Zdunich (“Repo!: The Genetic Opera”), Alexa Vega (“Spy Kids”), J. LaRose (“Saw III”), Bill Moseley (“The Devil’s Rejects”), Emilie Autumn (Singer/Songwriter), Nivek Ogre (Lead Singer of Skinny Puppy”), Shawn Crahan (Clown from the band Slipknot), Marc Senter (“The Lost”), and Ivan Moody (Lead Singer of Five Finger Death Punch). Can you believe this freaking cast? If you are fan of “Repo!” then you will notice a few familiar faces here.  But let me tell you this film is so much different from “Repo!” but trust me that is not a bad thing.

The music in this film actually supersedes that of “Repo!: The Genetic Opera”. (Hope you take that as a compliment Terrance). I have been listening to this soundtrack on loop since it was released this past April.  I never seem to get tired of the songs…well maybe “The Devil’s Carnival” just a little. Five Finger Death Punch’s Ivan Moody really owns “A Penny For A Tale”. Emilie Autumn completely mesmerizes you with “Prick! Goes The Scorpion’s Tale”. Dayton Callie scores with a fun track “666” with the help of the Carnies. Even Sean Patrick Flanery delivers on his track “Grief”. Terrance Zdunich seals the deal with the track “Grace For Sale”, which wraps the film on a high note.  Also be sure to stay through the credits for my favorite song “In All My Dreams I Drown” with the amazing Jennifer Lowndes and Terrance Zdunich.

Official Premise: “An Obsessed Father (Sean Patrick Flanery), a kleptomaniac (Briana Evigan), and a gullible teenager (Jennifer Lowndes) are cast from Heaven by God (Paul Sorvino). They find themselves wandering the frightening, unsympathetic midway of “The Devil’s Carnival”. Unbeknownst to these condemned attendees, their lives – and the sins that paved their paths to Hell – have become tethered to specific fables in a book read by Lucifer (Terrance Zdunich)”. “The Devil’s Carnival” puts a unique spin on Aesop’s Fables. If you watch the special features you will hear Zdunich talking about how there is over 600+ different fables (That’s a lot of SEQUELS!).  This chapter includes “The Devil and His Due”, “The Dog and Her Reflection”, and “The Scorpion and the Frog”.  There is literally so many different ways that it can continue going down the line.

The special features are made for the fans with a lot of love.  I review a lot of Blu-ray/DVDs each week and it is sad to see the extras that some films come with.  This amazing release has not one but three commentary tracks, each one unique.  The first is with director Darren Lynn Bousman and writer/actor Terrance Zdunich. Out of the 55 minutes, there is not a millisecond of dead air.  The duo gives a lot of great information about the film and this labor of love for them.  The next is completely different with the cast including Emilie Autumn, Briana, Sean Patrick Flanery and Marc Senter.  This one focuses more on stories and rants from the cast and less on detailed production but is still fun as hell.  Lastly there is an amazing “A Repo Reunion” commentaries track with Darren Lynn Bousman, Bill Moseley, Ogre, Paul Sorvino, Alexa Vega and Terrance Zdunich.  This is my favorite of the three and is just a riot.  Sorvino and Vega definitely steal the show and help deliver a really entertaining commentary.

There are three featurettes included with each one outdoing the next.  The first is called “The Devil Made Me Do It: The Making of The Devil’s Carnival” and nearly runs an hour, fans are going to flip for this.  This includes interviews with pretty much all the cast and gives some amazing insight into the short seven-day production and road to the screen. The next one is a makeup featurette called “The Devil’s in the Details: The Special Makeup & Prosthetic Effects of The Devil’s Carnival”.  There is a lot of amazing details that went into this film that might be overlooked and this featurette puts all that into the spotlight.  The last featurette is called “A Devil of a Time: The Devil’s Carnival Road Tour”.  Like I said earlier in the review, this film toured 40 cities and then another 26 encore cities.  This featurettes is a look into the fans that supported this film and made it the success it is.  Wrapping up these great features is the theatrical trailer & web teasers for the film.

The Ringmaster Edition also includes a collectible booklet with song lyrics.  Remember that when DVD’s used to actually come with inserts?  The only thing that I have to comment on is that the film is a Blu-ray/DVD combo but comes in a standard DVD case.  Since this is a limited edition release, I would have preferred something a little more special or at least a Blu-ray jewel case. And don’t worry, if you are a fan of this film stay tuned because Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich are hard at work with the second and third chapter of “The Devil’s Carnival”. Please support independent film because without the fans, this film and others like it will never see the light of day. See you at the road tour for “The Devil’s Carnival: Part 2”.

Blu-ray Review “Devil’s Advocate: Unrated Director’s Cut”

Directed by: Taylor Hackford
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Connie Nielson
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Running Time: 144 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Vanity, definitely my favorite sin”. One of my favorite lines any film. Al Pacino gives one of his best roles to date. He is just so fucking evil in this film and yet you still are routing for him to rule. Keanu Reeves also does a great job prior to all his “The Matrix” slow-motion fighting. This film include the Unrated Director’s Cut of the film, though I never really noticed a major difference between the cuts. The film is a ripe 2 hours and 15 mins but it really owns every single minute. I remember sneaking into this film in theaters and running out of the theaters completely in love with it. Well 15 years have passed and I only love this film more. I highly recommend this Blu-ray release, completely worth the upgrade.

The 1080p transfer on the Blu-ray just looks amazing. Warner did up this film right and doesn’t disappoint at all. The audio includes an DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, which works perfectly with the film’s sharp dialogue and of course the amazing score, courtesy of James Newton Howard. Th special features are ports from the 1998 DVD but are still decent. There is a commentary by director Taylor Hackford, decent overall. There are twelve deleted scenes with optional commentary from Hackford (unlike the DVD where it was not optional). Overall, I enjoyed these quite a bit. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included. I wish they would have done a little more to celebrate the film’s 15th anniversary but overall still a nice release.

Kevin Lomax (Reeves), an ambitious, talented young district attorney, joins a powerful New York law firm headed by the mysterious and charismatic John Milton (Pacino). as Lomax faces the intense seduction of success and money, he is increasingly tempted.

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Miss Hannah Minx’s evil twin chats about working on “The Devil’s Carnival”

Miss Hannah Minx is an American vlogger known for her Kawaii anime look.  She is well-known on YouTube for her extensive cosplay in Japan, her informational videos about Japanese culture, and her JWOW (teaching a Japanese Word of the Week)/JPOW (Japanese Phrase of the Week). You can check out her YouTube page here.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with “Miss Hannah Jinx,” who is Miss Hannah Minx’s evil twin, who starred in The Devil’s Carnival to discuss her role in the film and her twin’s YouTube popularity.

MG: How did you get involved with the film “The Devil’s Carnival”?
HJ: It was a match made in HELL! \m/

MG: Tell us about your role and your work on the film?
HJ: I played a “Woe Maiden.” There are three, including me, in total. The other two WoeMaiden’s, Captain Maggots and Contessa Create, are the Bloody Crumpets in Emilie Autumn’s band. Emilie Autumn is the “Painted Doll.” Together, we torment others in hell. I am psyched to work with them again in another upcoming installation of The Devil’sCarnival.

MG: What do you enjoy most about being considered a YouTube sensation?
HJ: Ooooouuuhhh, a sensation…that word says it all.

MG: What do you enjoy most about teaching Japanese through Jinxy JWOW (teaching a Japanese Word of the Week) & Jinxy JPOW (Japanese Phrase of the Week)?
HJ: They’re a lot of fun because I always teach BRUTAL words like the word for “Devil!” \m/

MG: Your nice twin sister was featured in an iPhone app, “Dress Minxy”, can you tell us what you think of that?
HJ: Gota love your twin–I’m so proud of her—it’s super Minxy. It’s an app where you get to dress up Miss Hannah Minx in all of her outfits! Check it out in the app store!

MG: How does it feel to have a manga based on your nice twin sister Miss Hannah Minx, being released at Comic-Con this Summer?
HJ: It’s gonna be awesome!! I can’t wait to go to Comic-Con this year!

MG: Miss Hannah Minx recently did cosplay with Elvira, please tell us what you think of Elvira’s response.
HJ: I LOVE Elvira!! Elvira’s video was totally hilarious! Check it out:

MG: Do you have any plans to cosplay any celebrities?
HJ: Miss Hannah Minx did a cosplay of SNL’s Gilly. Check it out:

As far as myself, I would love to cosplay some Anime characters soon!

MG: Do you have any plans for more film work?
HJ: Yes, there are several more movies in the works, but you’ll have to keep checking back on the youtube channels or on my website ( for updates on roles.

MG: What is your all-time favorite anime character?
HJ: Gaara!! \m/>_<\m/

Emilie Autumn talks about film “The Devil’s Carnival” and new album “Fight Like a Girl”

Emilie Autumn is a musician and world-class violinist. But there is so much more that makes up Emilie including her dark lyrics, metal-shredding violin solos, and industrial-strength voice. Emilie also co-stars in Darren Lynn Bousman’s new film “The Devil’s Carnival” as the Painted Doll. Emilie took out some time from working on her new album entitled ‘Fight Like A Girl and extensive touring to chat with MTedia Mikes about the film and her new album.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you initially get involved with working on this film?
Emilie Autumn: It was completely by absolute chance. I was on tour a couple of years ago and my tour manager at the time got an email from Darren explaining that he was making a movie, it’s going to be a crazy thing and he really thought I should play a part in it. We get those kinds of emails all the time and I usually don’t pay attention to them because usually they’re not real or I’d rather focus on my own musical world and aren’t interested in being in a bunch of people’s movies. But he was very, very persistent. And what I didn’t know until later, when we got together at a meet and greet and somebody asked him how he started working with me, was that the story is much more elaborate. He said he basically became a stalker (laughs). I didn’t know any of that. I thought he had just sent me that one email. But it turned out he had been trying to get in touch with me for ages through all sorts of different means. And because I was touring at the time I wasn’t on line a lot and I wasn’t getting his messages. So in the end he just got so obsessed with me playing this character. Which is funny since I had to endure four hours of makeup and prosthetics every day which pretty much made ME invisible. I have to admit that when they first contacted me I had no idea who Darren was, mainly because I hadn’t been exposed to “Repo” or anything else but it’s weird because I actually have (2) songs on soundtracks from films that Darren directed! I really enjoy good thrillers but I’m not very big on films with long, gratuitous torture scenes. There’s enough crazy shit in my head already! I hadn’t seen those. But lucky enough Darren understood why I hadn’t seen them. Amazingly we’re still friends, even after I said “I don’t know who you are and I haven’t seen any of your work” (laughs). I sent him a note saying, “I have no idea what this is…I need some more information.” And he sent me a reply back saying, “please go watch THIS.” I thought it was going to be a link to one of his films but it was actually a link to a compilation site of what the fans – the “REPO” army – were doing. Dressing up and watching a movie that had been completely panned and having gotten the worse reviews ever. And that was good. He wanted me to see the actual audience response to something that was completely underground yet became such a huge community that was really about being creative. And that is exactly what I, with my own career, am doing. That was pretty much the exact right thing he could have sent. When I told him that he said to go on my next off day and watch “REPO.” So all of my band girls and I got into one hotel bed, Netflixed it and watched it. We didn’t know ANYTHING about it. And then all of a sudden the opening credits come up and it’s Sarah Fucking Brightman! And I was like, “what the F??? Are you fucking with me?” I sent him an email back saying, “you got Sarah Brightman. Who am I to say “no” to you?” I mean, if it’s good enough for her I’ll do it. So that’s how it all began. And you have to realize, this could be a movie that nobody gets. It’s a project about people using their own money and their own connections and their own skills to make something happen. And that’s the only way I have personally ever done anything. So to me it was a beautiful thing. To work with people who are doing things the exact same way I do. We made it in six days. We recorded the soundtrack in one day. It’s really amazing and I love talking about it. With nobody else’s money they do what I do…they go on tour. They rent out theatres as they go across the country living in a van. I’m actually getting ready to join them for the rest of the tour. I’ll do some of the premiers and some more meet and greets and Q & A things. And it’s great because half of them who come to the show are wearing Emilie Autumn T-shirts! So for me this is a great crossover audience. A few weeks into this tour it looks like a mad fucking success. And I’m so proud to be a part of it. I’m so proud of so many things. I’m not embarrassed by my performance. I adore all of my songs. But I’m proud most of Darren. I mean I was reading about “Rocky Horror” a while ago and I noticed that, just like “REPO,” it was given horrible reviews. Nobody gave a fuck about it. Then it suddenly exploded into a cult thing that hasn’t died yet. And I think “REPO” can become something like that along those lines. That being said, I’ve yet to see a fan review of “Devil’s Carnival!” Maybe you will write one after you see it.

MG: This was your first film. What did you enjoy most about the process of making a film?
EA: I still get smiley and giddy when I think about it because I did not expect to have that much fun. I did not expect it to be so easy and yet so challenging at the same time. It was like Christmas every day. Especially because it was freezing every day. We shot in a town called Riverside, California, which is kind of like the carnival wasteland. It’s where old circus’ and carnivals go to die. It’s like two football fields of old ferris wheels and tents and carnival attractions and rides and wagons and games. And from it we actually built a theme park. I wish you could have seen it before it was put together. We were doing night shoots but in mid-May it’s still deathly cold. And I’m wearing very little. Of course Lucifer gets to run around in a cape and a giant bathrobe so he was fine. So the cold was really the only thing that was remotely unpleasant about the whole experience.

MG: I just saw a 12 minute teaser trailer for the film. What can you tell us about that?
EA: It’s funny on a couple of different levels. What I didn’t know, what I found out at one of the Q & A sessions, was that I was the very first person they asked to be in the film that had signed on to the project. Which makes sense why I’m the main one in the teaser because I had signed on before anyone else. But what we didn’t know at that time was the direction they were going to take with the Painted Doll character. So we just pulled the crew together, set up the cameras and made that 12 minute teaser, which was basically compiled from 35 minutes of me walking around doing nothing! Plus I don’t really look anything like my character, I look like Emilie Autumn. So it was me and all of this old stuff. Darren would tell me to walk around a corner and pick up an apple. NOW SPIT IT OUT! Now pick up that weird giant doll-thing. Now dance around with it. And of course what I don’t notice when I’m doing it, but what I see later, is that the camera is mostly zooming in and focusing on my ass. I mean, I totally approved. That’s not a problem for me. But I was like, ok, I know what’s going on. But it’s funny. When it came out it was pretty much the first thing anybody had seen on “Devil’s Carnival” on the web site. What’s funny is that I can’t read articles or interviews about myself. It just weirds me out. I can’t deal with that much information about ME. But I set up Google Alert for “Devil’s Carnival” because THAT I can read about all day long. So I was getting all of these little bits about what people thought about the 12 minute film. Half of them were like, “wow, that’s real cool and tantalizing. I can’t wait to see what this is.” And then some other people were like, “well, that’s 12 minutes of my life I’m never going to get back!” And the thing is they were both right. They were both absolutely right. Because NOTHING is going on. And when we shot it and Darren called me out there I asked him what he wanted me to do and he said “NOTHING!” And I asked him what the point was we were making and he said “NOTHING!” He really wanted something where you would watch this girl walk around for 12 minutes picking up stuff. You would be waiting for someone to say something or somebody to get killed or somebody to come in…some punch line or something at the end. But he just wanted you to watch and wait and then think “FUCK!” at the end! And he got what he wanted.

MG: How do you feel the songs in the film differ from your own original songs, if they do?
EA: Not a lot. My own music has always been dramatic and the songs on my last album have even gotten into musical theater territory. In fact some of the songs on my new record are part of a Broadway show that is being written right now. So it is all verymagically coincidental in that way. That I would be asked to be part of a musical theater project and to sing a song in a very dramatic way. To run around a tent and sing…”yes, this is Hell.” That is what I’m supposed to be doing. And of course, three days after we shot that scene I’m out on tour doing my own thing. And I should say the story starts out bad but it gets better. But I did the film the week before the tour and didn’t rehearse. I didn’t rehearse for my own tour. But the good thing is that I had two of my Bloody Crumpets – my girls who sing with me on stage – also with me on the film. And so at least we could sit in our dressing rooms and talk about the tour. We didn’t rehearse but we talked about what we were going to do for our shows.

MG: Since you brought up your new album, tell us how you chose the new direction your music is taking?
EA: Well the song “Fight Like A Girl” is not only the title track but, to be honest, it is deceptively “poppy.” And that was intentional. To say these really forceful things and basically go to battle but with a really catchy beat. To be scary and beautiful and fun all at the same time. And then the second track, “Time for Tea,” that one really starts the story. Both in our live show and on the record. I mean we have a big clock and when it’s four o’clock it goes off and we say, “four o’clock, it’s mother fucking time for tea, and it’s time to eradicate the enemy.” Then we just run down the stairs with medical tools and we start slaughtering. And the rest of the album just gets more epic and symphonic. So what makes it different from the others is how everything is together and complete in a story.

Nivek Ogre talks about Skinny Puppy and “The Devil’s Carnival”

Nivek Orgre is the lead singer in the band Skinny Puppy.  He is also known for working with Darren Lynn Bousman in his film, “Repo! The Genetic Opera” and “The Devil’s Carnival”.  Ogre took out sometime to chat with Media Mikes to chat about “The Devil’s Carnival” and also touring with Skinny Puppy.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you start working with Darren Bousman?
Nivek Ogre: I first met Darren through Joe Bishara. Joe was the musical producer for both “Repo! The Genetic Opera” and “The Devils Carnival”. He has been a friend of mine and fellow musician since back in the day. He went on to make a much better choice than I did by moving from playing in bands to doing sound tracks. After our last tour in 2007 we were talking and he asked me what I was going to do. At that time I pondered some of my fantasies. I was thinking about doing everything from being a pastry chef to being put into prosthetics. Being put into prosthetics has been one of my favorite dreams ever since I was a little kid reading Famous Monsters magazine. He told me about the work he was doing on “Repo! The Genetic Opera” and there was a character that is a face stealing rapist. I thought it was delicious. They had originally wanted someone else as Darren wanted Actors who could sing not Singer who could act. It was sort of an uphill battle for me but Terrance Zdunich and the whole crew were pulling for me. Terrance had heard of Skinny Puppy and I got to know Darren more over the course of production as I was wearing his wife’s face. One of the masks they had cast for me was of his wife Laura’s face. Whenever I had to ask him a question with that mask on he would look at me and run away. (Laughs) It was a bit of an odd friendship at first. I didn’t know what he really thought of me and was sort of out in left field. I was told to be very polite and not to pull any diva moves by the producers. I’m not sure what they thought I was. They were all very nice to work with. Over the time since Repo Darren had tried to get me in to some of his other projects however things never seemed to work out. We always kept in touch and on the side we started to realize we both had an interest in paranormal and other extremesort of perceptive qualities. We went back and forth over email and Darren told me he had this character called “The Twin”. They plugged me into that role and that’s how things all sort of happened.

MG: What can you tell us about your role as “The Twin”?
NO: The Twin is sort of an interesting character to me as I think he could have been played a lot of different ways. I myself tend to have too much empathy so I wanted to make him very sympathetic. I kind of saw him as one of the original shells that were shucked down to hell. He probably made a bargain with the man below and is now living in fear trying to escape his fate by taking on the appearance of another. However while doing this he tends to see the best parts of him which gave him a slight bit of humanity. He also would see their nastiest thoughts which ultimately would do them in. It is both an empathetic and vicious character. I see myself as the bait for Lucifer.

MG: What do you enjoy most about working in the horror genre?
NO: Everything I have worked on has been somewhat of an ensemble cast. The best part for me is I am playing a supporting role for a whole group of people. Sometimes it’s even for the main character. In the case of Repo I was supporting Paul Sorvino. We each had our own things but we all were Paul’s kids. It’s a huge kick because it allows me to dig into a character. I get to really be in the moment and react to everything around me. With Skinny Puppy I make it. I conceptualize the stage show, I perform it and I am there every night by myself. I have musicians on the stage but everything else is imaginary. It is a huge amount of fun to play up against people. I really enjoy the process and I love makeup effects. I am one of those guys who likes to be immersed in character. I don’t have to have my face showing as I love trying to push myself through a mask.

MG: How do you think your music on the soundtracks differ from your work with Skinny Puppy?
NO: It’s incredible. If you ever have any trepidation or fear about changing your style or jumping into something new do it whole heartedly. I tell people this all the time. For 26 years I have stayed in the character of Ogre and never stepped too far out from that. I didn’t want to piss fans off or have them think that I wasn’t bloody or weird enough. When I actually stepped out and pushed myself it gave me a whole new presence and character within my voice. It was a great thing.

MG: Can you give us some background on the upcoming Skinny Puppy live album?
NO: In May of last year I released an Ogre record and I have continued to tour that as my solo project. Skinny Puppy is recording a new studio album as we speak that is going to be titled “Weapon”. The live album I believe is coming out in July. That album kind of follows our ill-fated European tour. It was a great tour performance wise but we were pirated out of a large sum of money. The tour just went upside down on us. Everything that could go wrong did. I did get to take my girlfriend to Europe for the first time as she had never been so I guess there are two sides to the coin.

MG: Are there any other upcoming projects in the works?
NO: I am doing a movie at the end of April in Philadelphia that is going to be a throwback to the 80’s slasher films. The movie is titled “Scream Park” and we are filming it in an amusement park in Northern Pennsylvania. I am pretty excited about my role in that film.


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Jessica Lowndes talks about “The Devil’s Carnival” and “90210”

Jessica Lowndes is known for her role of Adriana on The WB’s “90210”. She also appear in Darren Lynn Bousman’s “The Devil’s Carnival”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jessica and talk about working on “90210” and also her role in the film “The Devil’s Carnival”.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you give us some background on how you got involved with working on “The Devil’s Carnival”
Jessica Lowndes: Darren is a friend of my manager. I actually met him the day I chopped off all of my hair for “90210”. I was obviously a huge fan of his other work already. When I got the script I connected with it right away. I play Tamara who is a girl that wakes up in hell. Everyone there is doomed to relive their faults. I put faith in people too easily and that’s what I have to relive.

MG: Can you tell us about the song you perform in the film?
JL: That song is sort of a sailor song. It kind of reminds me of “Pirates of the Caribbean”. There is something very eerie about it and it gets stuck in your head. Basically my character becomes hypnotized and I start falling for the devil. It’s pretty intense.

MG: What was experience of shooting on such a tight schedule?
JL: It was definitely a lot. I was still shooting season 4 of “90210”. I was doing 12/14 hr. days on “90210” andthen driving to Riverside for night shoots on “Devil’s Carnival”. It was a lot. I did 3 nights and everything was crammedinto those nights. It was freezing cold but everyone there had such a passion for the project. The energy was contagious. We shot at the coolest carnival ever. It was just unreal. Some of the pieces there were so awesome that I wanted them in my home. Everything from the costumes to the prosthetics were great. There was an “Alice in Wonderland” type vibe.

MG: What do you enjoy most about changing into the horror genre?
JL: I like switching it up. “90210” takes up 9 months of my year. This film was something that worked with my schedule. I got to sing and be in front of a whole different demographic. Darren’s fan base is completely different from the people who watch “90210”. I really connected with the role. I think the finished project came out awesome.

MG: Can you reflect on the closing episodes of “90210” this season?
JL: It’s been great! I just finished shooting about two months ago. Adrianna is trying to pursue her music career while trying to keep her relationship with Dixon alive. This gets hard because they are doing music together and Dixon has started going behind her back and doing music without her. She is going to find out about that and its going to be kind of dramatic.

MG: What did you enjoy most about recording your EP and do you have a full length album in the works?
JL: I definitely have a full length album in the works. I have written tons of music. In the past year or two I have worked with a bunch of different producers. I haven’t signed a deal yet so I have been funding everything independently. It’s been great as I wanted to get a good sense of my sound. I can’t wait to show people more. Also I had a new song called “The Other Girl” released timed with the finale of “90210″.

Briana Evigan talks about “The Devil’s Carnival” and “Stash House”

Briana Evigan is known best for her role in “Step Up 2: The Streets”.  She has also worked with Darren Lynn Bousman on recent films, “Mother’s Day” and “The Devil’s Carnival”.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Briana about working with Darren and also her new film “Stash House”.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you get involved with working with Darren Lynn Bousman?
Briana Evigan: I think for “Devil’s Carnival” he had already had someone else hired. I don’t know if there were some complications that came up or whatever but he called me last minute and luckily everything worked. This has been probably one of my most favorite jobs so far. I hadn’t read the script or heard any of the songs so I just figured it out as we went along.

MG: How did you first meet Darren?
BE: He had given me an offer for a show titled “Fear Itself”. We met doing that in Edmonton and a couple years passed and a role in “Mothers Day” came up so he gave me that and then “Devil’s Carnival” popped up. We have a great relationship and I think we enjoy working with each other. It’s kind of easy and fun.

MG: Can you tell us about the Ms. Merrywood role?
BE: I am a klepto and I have a problem with stealing. I am a jewel thief that wakes up in hell. I guess it is explained as a sort of shoot out that happens but you don’t see that in the movie. I wake in hell and have to deal with the consequences. I have seen the film once and I thought it was a little bit confusing but I can’t wait to see it again. It’s a journey of everyone trying to get out of hell and into heaven.

MG: Can you tell us about the song you perform in the film?
BE: I have always been a musician. To keep that going I have tried to have songs onsoundtracks and make a little extra cash which is fun. This was really cool because I got to perform a song in the actual movie. Yes you are lip syncing but you still are doing it live. I love the song and I am very lucky.

MG: Can you tell us about your work on “Mother’s Day”?
BE: “Mother’s Day” was very different. To be honest I don’t know if I would want to do another film like that. It was a very dark psychological film. Excuse my language but it was a little too fucked up for me. I really enjoyed it and I actually met my boyfriend on that job. When I watched it back was when I thought that I would try and stay away from movies like this one. It’s a very well done film.

MG: Were you aware of the earlier version of the film?
BE: I was but I hadn’t watched it. I was always told not to watch the originals when working on a remake. It was the same with “Sorority Row”. You can unintentionally start copying people.

MG: Can you tell us about your upcoming film “Stash House”?
BE: I am really excited for this film. Sean Farris and I play a married couple that may have gotten married a little bit too early. Sean’s character ends up buying me a house. What he didn’t know was the house is full of heroin which Dolph Lundgren is clearly in charge of. It was great and super cool to work with Dolph.

MG: Can you tell us a little bit about the training you had to do for your role in “Step Up”?
BE: There was a lot of work that went into that. I originally started off as a dancer/musician so I had a backgroundin that. They threw me in with 20 of the best dancers in the world and it looked like I never danced before. I had a month of training. It was really more of learning the routines. The idea was to have everything down so that when it came time to shoot things would be less stressful. There were a lot of hours put in during that month. I remember having to put ice in my bath tub after some of those trainings. It was one of the best experiences in my life.

MG: Do you have any other projects you wanted to talk about?
BE: I have a really awesome project in the works but unfortunately I can’t talk about it just yet as everything isn’t closed up. I am also waiting on a few other things that I really want. Everything looks like it’s going to work out time wise so I will be really excited if everything works out.


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