The Week In Horror: ‘American Horror Project Vol. 2,’ ‘Child’s Play,’ ‘The Last Drive-In,’ ‘Swamp Thing’

Over the last week, it’s been heartwarming seeing all the tributes to Larry Cohen, John Carl Buechler, and Joe Pilato being published and people posting their movie marathons. This morning, I double featured Cohen’s Q; The Winged Serpent and Buechler’s entry into the Friday the 13th series, Part VII; The New Blood. I’m planning to get to Day of the Dead today as well. For more Joe Pilato, I can’t recommend Eibon Comics’ Bottomfeeder enough. It was originally conceived as a film starring Joe. When the funding wasn’t there, the screenplay was adapted into a gory, shocking, completely entertaining three-issue comic series.

Mark Hamill was part of Orion’s panel at WonderCon this weekend and confirmed that he is the voice of the new Chucky in this year’s remake of Child’s Play. The classic killer doll film is also in development with series creator, Don Mancini, as a TV series, keeping the original timeline going. There was a lot of doubt among fans about this new film, especially considering that the original Child’s Play is still going with more than enough life left in it. Hamill lending his voice is the sort of out-of-the-park news MGM/Orion needed to generate excitement. If you’re going to have the balls to replace Brad Dourif, getting the voice of The Joker is a pretty damn good idea.

Joe Bob Briggs returned to Shudder with the first episode of the new Last Drive-In series with a killer double feature of C.H.U.D. and Castle Freak. Barbara Crampton came on for Castle Freak and Briggs made me re-evaluate everything I’ve ever believed about C.H.U.D. being a great film. Can’t wait for the next episode, because these Shudder/Briggs specials have been fantastic.

Arrow Video has, at long last, announced Volume 2 of their incredible American Horror Project. I covered Volume 1 for Popshifter and found the first three gems all really amazing, especially in light of the films that have been rescued from the dustbin of history in the last couple of decades. The Witch That Came From The Sea, Carnival of Blood, and The Premonition are criminally underseen. I can’t recommend Volume 1 enough. So what’s in Volume 2? All offerings from the 1970s, the new set will include Dark August, Dream No Evil, and The Child, the latter being the only one that I’ve even heard of. Stephen Thrower (author of Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents) will once again provide the book notes for the set, along with Stephen R. Bissette, Travis Crawford, and Amanda Reyes.

We’re only two months away from the premiere of DC’s Swamp Thing on their new streaming service. If we can rely on Titans and Doom Patrol as an indication of quality, then Swamp Thing, should be fucking amazing. Produced by James Wan, and promised to be scary and R-rated violent, the series stars Derek Mears, Crystal Reed, Adrienne Barbeau, and Virginia Madsen.

“Swamp Thing” centers on CDC researcher Abby Arcane (Reed). When she returns to her childhood home of Houma, Louisiana, in order to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus, she develops a surprising bond with scientist Alec Holland — only to have him tragically taken from her. But as powerful forces descend on Houma, intent on exploiting the swamp’s mysterious properties for their own purposes, Abby will discover that the swamp holds mystical secrets, both horrifying and wondrous — and the potential love of her life may not be dead after all.

 

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