Here is Shudder’s press release for this upcoming ‘Halfway to Halloween’ 2022:
SHUDDER’S “HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN HOTLINE” OF HORROR FILM RECOMMENDATIONS RETURNS THIS APRIL ALONG WITH A KILLER LINEUP OF NEW ORIGINAL FILMS AND SERIES
April Lineup Includes New Seasons of Original Series Cursed Films and The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs; Original Films Night’s End, The Cellar and Virus 32; and New Additions to Shudder’s Library, Including The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, 1992’s Candyman, The Devils and More
NEW YORK – March 16, 2022 – Shudder’s popular “Halfway to Halloween Hotline” of personalized horror movie recommendations returns this April as part of the streamer’s annual “Halfway to Halloween” celebration, which also features a killer lineup of new original series and films and genre-defining additions to Shudder’s unbeatable movie library of timeless horror classics. The premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural will debut new seasons of Original Series Cursed Films and The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, Original Films Night’s End (on March 31), The Cellar, starring Elisha Cuthbert, and Gustavo Hernández’s Virus 32, and Exclusive Film See for Me, along with library titles The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, 1992’s Candyman and The Devils, among others.
Said Craig Engler, Shudder’s General Manager: “We’re curating a slate of the best in horror all year round, but April and October give us a unique opportunity to connect with and hear from our members directly about the movies they’re craving and what they love most about the genre. And we’re pairing that with an impressive lineup of new, fan-favorite titles, as we continue to go deep on the genre like only Shudder can.”
“HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN HOTLINE”
Every Friday in April from 3 pm – 4 pm ET, members are invited to call Samuel Zimmerman, Shudder’s VP of programming, for customized horror viewing recommendations from Shudder’s expansive film collection – from his favorite genre films of all time to highly anticipated releases this year. A new hotline phone number will be announced each Friday on Shudder’s social media platforms.
Please note: While recommendations are provided for free, please note that normal phone and long-distance charges may apply. Call volume is expected to be high, so please keep trying if a busy signal is received. There are no guarantees that every call will be answered, but Sam will get through as many as he can within the hour.
NEW SHUDDER ORIGINALS & EXCLUSIVES
Night’s End – Premieres March 31
In Night’s End, an anxious shut-in unwittingly moves into a haunted apartment and hires a mysterious stranger to perform an exorcism that takes a horrific turn. Starring Geno Walker, Felonious Munk, Kate Arrington, and Michael Shannon. Written by Brett Neveu and directed by Jennifer Reeder (Knives and Skin, V/H/S/94).
Cursed Films II, – Premieres Thursday, April 7, New Episodes Every Thursday (Shudder Original Series)
Shudder’s acclaimed documentary series is back to explore the facts and myths surrounding a new batch of famous films some consider cursed. The new season will feature The Wizard of Oz, Rosemary’s Baby, Stalker, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Cannibal Holocaust. Featuring new interviews with FX expert and former Mythbusters host Adam Savage, Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins, actor Bill Pullman, and director Ruggero Deodato, among many others.
See For Me, Premiers Thursday, April 7 (Shudder Exclusive Film)
A blind young woman caught in the crossfire of a home invasion scheme must rely on an Army veteran via an app to survive in this shocking cat-and-mouse thriller. Starring Skyler Davenport, Laura Vandervoort, Kim Coates, and Jessica Parker Kennedy.
The Cellar, Premieres, Friday, April 15 (Shudder Original Film)
Filmed on location in Roscommon, Ireland, The Cellar tells the story of Keira Woods (Elisha Cuthbert), whose daughter mysteriously vanishes in the cellar of their new house in the country. Keira soon discovers there is an ancient and powerful entity controlling their home that she will have to face or risk losing her family’s souls forever. Official Selection, SXSW 2022. Also, out in theaters on April 15 from RLJ Films.
Virus 32, Premieres, Thursday, April 21 (Shudder Original Film)
A virus breaks out and a chilling massacre rages through the streets. The sick become hunters, and only calm their fever by unscrupulously killing all those not yet infected. Unaware of this, Iris and her daughter spend the day in the sports club where Iris works as a security guard. When night falls, their fight for survival beings. Their only hope of salvation arrives when they discover that after each attack, the infected seem to stop for 32 seconds of calm before attacking again.
The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs Season 4 – Premieres Friday, April 29, New Episodes Every Friday (Shudder Original Series)
The hit series returns with Briggs, the world’s foremost drive-in movie critic, presenting eclectic horror movie double features, interrupting the films to expound upon their merits, histories, and significance to genre cinema. The season premiere will feature a celebration of The Last Drive-In’s 100th movie since Joe Bob’s first Shudder marathon in 2018, with surprise special guests.
NEW ADDITIONS TO SHUDDER’S LIBRARY
Student Helen Lyle learns of the terrifying local legend of The Candyman – a hooked serial killer who appears when you say his name in a mirror, five times.
The Evil Dead
In 1979, a group of college students who, during a weekend getaway, find a Sumerian Book of the Dead in an old wilderness cabin they’ve rented. When they unwittingly unleash evil spirits and demons while reading incantations from the book, that’s when the real havoc begins.
Evil Dead II
Ashley J. Williams returns to the same cabin in the woods and again unleashes the forces of the dead in Sam Raimi’s classic sequel to/retooling of The Evil Dead. Considerably upping the ante from the raw, meaner indie that put the director on the map, Evil Dead II is spooky, splattered blast of pure cinema. Raimi’s virtuoso vision twirls his love of cinema, terror, and slapstick into simply one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
The ghosts of shipwrecked sailors return to get revenge on a seaside village on the 100-year anniversary of their deaths at the hands of the town’s founders. Since six were murdered, six residents of Antonio Bay are destined to die. Who will it be? Radio host Adrienne Barbeau? Hitchhiker Jamie Lee Curtis? Party planner Janet Leigh? Priest Hal Holbrook? Or maybe they’ll all be pulled into the fog…
Country boy Caleb Colton whittles away the quiet rural nights hunting local girls – but when he falls prey to the mysterious and beautiful Mae, Caleb unknowingly becomes the hunted. From master director Kathryn Bigelow, Near Dark is simply an essential of vampire cinema.
The Serpent and the Rainbow
Wes Craven directs this frightening excursion into the supernatural as one man goes to Haiti to retrieve a powder that has the power to bring humans back from the dead.
In this now celebrated creeper, an asbestos abatement crew wins the bid for an abandoned insane asylum. What should be a straightforward job, is complicated by the discovery of audiotapes from a former patient with multiple personalities. Slowly, the team succumbs to whatever darkness lies inside the Danvers State Mental Hospital.
From horror master Tobe Hooper, four teenagers visit a local carnival for a night of innocent amusement but instead find terror when they are trapped inside the funhouse maze with a monster that stalks them one by one
In 17th century France, hunchbacked nun Sister Jeanne (Vanessa Redgrave) lusts after the town’s priest Father Grandier (Oliver Reed), a sinful but ultimately just man. But when the priest marries, jealous Jeanne accuses Grandier of using witchcraft on her convent, and the other nuns play along, behaving as obscenely as possible. Ken Russell’s savage portrait of religious hypocrisy earned the film the top spot on the list of most controversial horror films ever made. Rarely streaming in the US, The Devils is essential viewing.
Trick ‘r Treat
On the night when demons and tortured souls are free to walk the earth alongside mortal revelers, four tales of terror–of a staid high school principal who is a Halloween serial killer, a college-age virgin seeking that special guy, a woman who hates dressing up for Halloween and whose husband is obsessed with the holiday and a group of young teens who pull a cruel prank–will make you laugh even while scaring you.
It’s the summer of 1984, the perfect time to be 15 years old and free. But when neighborhood conspiracy theorist Davey Armstrong begins to suspect his police officer neighbor might be the serial killer all over the local news, he and his three best friends begin an investigation that soon turns dangerous.
An executed rock star comes back to haunt a rock star who betrayed him, or so she thinks.
Assailed by nightmarish visions, Alex Whitaker and his fellow psychics descend on the Bodega Bay Inn. There, they discover that their compatriot Neil has apparently committed suicide. But, as the gruesome visions continue, they sense that there’s still something sinister afoot. When they find themselves hunted by a band of homicidal marionettes created by twisted puppeteer Andre Toulon, they discover they’re right.
Puppet Master 2
The malicious marionettes are back to resurrect their dead master and evict parapsychologists from the family estate.
Puppet Master 3
Gestapo agents face killer dolls when they murder puppeteer Toulon’s wife in this prequel to Puppet Master.
Michelle and Lillian are two American students who have joined their friend Mara in Romania for their studies of the ancient myths and legends of Transylvania. But Myth turns into reality when the women become the object of desire of the powerful and grotesque Radu, an evil vampire obsessed with making them his consorts.
The Pit and the Pendulum
In the quest to save souls, the Spanish Inquisition will stop at nothing and knows no boundaries for its evil. Maria must find the power to save her husband from the ultimate machine of torture: the razor-sharp pendulum poised over the pit of hell under the direction of Torquemada the Grand Inquisitor of Spain
The overnight crew of a supermarket finds themselves pursued by a mysterious maniac in this fun late-80s slasher from regular Sam Raimi mainstay Scott Spiegel, who co-wrote EVIL DEAD 2 and appeared in many of Raimi’s films.
The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula Seasons 1-3
After its biggest-ever hit fourth season and its first as a Shudder Original, past seasons of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula are coming to Shudder, making the streamer the exclusive home for all four seasons plus 2020’s Resurrection special. The beloved reality series is a competition created and hosted by The Boulet Brothers to find the world’s next Dragula Supermonster. Each season, a new group of drag artists vies for the title and crown through a series of challenges to demonstrate their mastery of the four pillars of Dragula: drag, horror, filth, and glamour.
Etheria season 5
11 episodes featuring savage serial killers, desperate robot husbands, ghostly visitors, gory body horror, demented sibling rivalry, ruinous secrets from the past, witchcraft and witches of several kinds, mermaids, campfire legends, and a hilarious cult indoctrination.
Jamie Marks is Dead (2014)
Fifteen-year-old Adam McCormick’s life hasn’t been the same since classmate Gracie Highsmith found Jamie Marks’s dead body at the edge of the river. Adam becomes fixated on Jamie’s death and gradually a deep bond develops between the living teenager and the dead boy’s ghost. But the more attached Adam becomes to Jamie’s ghost, the weaker his ties to reality become.
AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers, and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and originals is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. For a 7-day, risk-free trial, visit www.shudder.com.
Looking forward to ‘Halfway to Halloween’ 2022 on Shudder?
There is a great assembly of new and returning horror fun this April on Shudder. What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.
Find some of these horror classics on Amazon!
Can’t wait for ‘Halfway to Halloween’ 2022? Consider nabbing a classic horror film on Blu-ray through Amazon. Tell them we sent you.
#ChadGetsTheAxe Coming Out September 1st
But sometimes there comes a film that’s smartly written, full of humor and social commentary, plus great acting. Oh, and scares that actually scare the shit out of me.
Almost a year to the date, I got to watch such a film called #CHADGETSTHEAXE that I saw as a screener for FilmQuest Fest in October, 2022. And I was blown away by the talents of director/co-writer Travis Bible and co-writer/producer Kemerton Hargrove; starring Spencer Harrison Levin (Black Jesus), Michael Bonini (New Amsterdam), Taneisha Figueroa (Duck World), Cameron Vitosh (Walker), Brandon Doyle (Murder Made Me Famous), and Shun Hagins (Snitch).
Mini-Review, I swear it’s short:
And, I know, I know, I know. ‘But Brannyyyyk, isn’t livestreaming horror movies just a flash in the pan? Hasn’t it been done beforeeee?’ For one, stop saying it like that, it’s weird. For two, not like this. The care and attention that went into #CHADGETSTHEAXE is wickedly clever with such tongue-in-cheek humor of influencers, humanity, and the toxic culture of fandom. It’s the shining example of live-streaming movies because it’s so f-ing smart.
Case in point, the characters are living up to their personas. However, even when the personas are ragged and driven to the edge of life and death, we never see them as people, fully dimensional people, because we never see them break away from their devices. There’s never a shot that shows us ‘hey, this is a film, now let’s see them as the real character they are’. The actors are really carrying dual roles as the personas and the real people underneath; as they are struggling to keep up appearances in front of the millions of viewers.
Plus, don’t get me started on the characters within the livestream feed, along with running jokes and clues to the haunted house.
Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away as I’m going to be covering it on Streamin’ Demons soon. But I wanted to also tease about the fact that I’m going to be interviewing some VIPs from the movie for What’s Kraken? So, shhh, only tell your closest friends because it’s going to be incredible.
Join the Hype Train:
Adapted from an award-winning short with the same title, #ChadGetsTheAxe follows four social media influencers as they live-stream their trip to Devil’s Manor, former home to a Satanic Cult. Things don’t go well. And as the violence ramps up… so do the views.
The film premiered at FilmQuest in October 2022 and Internationally at FrightFest Glasgow in March 2023 where it was well received by critics. #ChadGetsTheAxe was produced by Travis Bible, Eric Gibson, Kemerton Hargrove, and Frances O’Hanlon, while Dream Big Group serves as executive producers.
The Horror Collective is the genre label of Entertainment Squad — a production and distribution company founded by veteran producer Shaked Berenson (TURBO KID, TALES OF HALLOWEEN). The label’s latest releases include the Daytime Emmy nominated Limited Series DOOMSDAY, the killer-pants Shudder Original SLAXX, and the critically acclaimed horror-comedy SUMMONING SYLVIA.
June Title for Arrow Streaming
Welcome to June! There’s so much on the hopper for Arrow that I just have to give you, my friends, the hot goss.
June 2nd: Paul Joyce Documentaries
June 2nd kicks off the month with ARROW’s latest curation of Paul Joyce documentaries, this time looking at legendary filmmaker John Cassavetes, straight from the mouth of his friend and collaborator co-star Peter Falk (Columbo) in Out of the Shadows: The Films of John Cassavetes.
After a six year directing hiatus, Monte Hellman sat down with Paul Joyce and just talked for an hour while Joyce filmed. The result is Plunging on Alone: Monte Hellman’s Life In a Day.
June 2nd: the wild world of Ero Guro
What is Ero Guro? Well, the Japanese sub-genre of horror and pink films Ero Guro combines the erotic (ero) and the grotesque (guro) to deviant, decadent and unforgettable effect. ARROW’s Ero Guro collection features the unholy trinity of core Ero Guro films, Teruo Ishii’s Shogun’s Joy of Torture and Horrors of Malformed Men and Yasuzo Masumura’s Blind Beast, plus plenty more exciting, explicit and enticingly depraved delights to delve into.
Titles Include: Shogun’s Joy of Torture, Blind Beast, Irezumi.
June 6th: Warriors Two (US/CA)
After making his directorial debut with the intense The Iron-Fisted Monk and firmly solidifying his worth at Golden Harvest, Sammo Hung would be given more creative control behind the camera. Now able to inject more of his own personality, Hung would bring to life the more upbeat (yet only slightly less violent) Wing Chun cult classic: Warriors Two!
Predating the Ip Man tetralogy by three decades – as well as Hung’s own The Prodigal Son (starring Yuen Biao as the younger incarnation of Leung Tsan) by a few years – Warriors Two is one of the earliest films to authentically portray the teachings of Wing Chun while also delivering the kind of kinetic and pulse-pounding fights synonymous with the name Sammo Hung!
June 16th: Eli Roth Selects (UK/IRE/US/CA)
Splatter icon Eli Roth takes a stroll through the archives with Eli Roth Selects (UK/IRE/US/CA). “I absolutely love Arrow and have been a collector of their editions for years, and Arrow Player is the most streamed channel in my house. I’ve seen a lot of Select lists, and while I agree with them, I wanted to highlight some that people might have otherwise overlooked.”
Titles Include: Basket Case, Contamination, Madhouse.
June 19th: Toru Murakawa’s Game Trilogy (UK/IRE/US/CA)
Made at the end of the 1970s, Toru Murakawa’s Game Trilogy launched actor Yûsaku Matsuda as the Toei tough guy for a new generation. Matsuda was the definitive screen icon of 1980s until his career was tragically cut short by cancer at the age of 40, following his Hollywood debut in Ridley Scott’s Black Rain.
The Most Dangerous Game (UK/IRE/US/CA): In this career-defining triptych, Matsuda is Shohei Narumi, an ice cool hitman of few words, a steely trigger finger, and a heart of stone, hired in The Most Dangerous Game by a company bidding for a lucrative government air defence contract to take out the competition.
The Killing Game (UK/IRE/US/CA): Narumi finds himself caught in the midst of violent yakuza gang warfare, while his own brutal past catches up with him in the form of two beautiful women still bearing the emotional scars of his past assignments.
The Execution Game (UK/IRE/US/CA): Narumi falls for a mysterious saloon bar chanteuse who may or may not be part of the same, shadowy underworld organization as the rival hitmen he is employed to rub out. (I’m assuming the tough-guy way and not the sexy way)
June 23rd: SHAAAARKS!!!
Yessss, Cruel Jaws is coming to Arrow!
ARROW heads to the beach for some terror with shark attacks.
Cruel Jaws (US/CA): A huge shark terrorizes a beach in Florida, and the locals try everything to kill it.
Deep Blood (US/CA): Several young men have to stop an ancient native American evil in the form of a killer shark which is attacking a small beach community.
June 23rd: Sci-fi Stunners (UK/IRE/US/CA)
For the penultimate Season, ARROW boldly goes to the stars on June 23, seeking out new life and new cinema.
Sci-fi Stunners (UK/IRE/US/CA): There are other worlds than these. Come and explore them in this collection of cybernetic, planet-probing, time-travelling, cosmos-trotting, aliens-zapping, virtual and far-too-real adventures in Sci-fi Stunners – ARROW’s home world for the coolest Cult science-fiction films in the galaxy.
Titles Include: No Escape, Donnie Darko, Crimes of the Future.
Last but not least
Cosa Nostra Collection (UK/IRE/US/CA):
The most American of directors according to celebrated critic Paolo Mereghetti, Damiano Damiani (A Bullet for the General) nevertheless surveyed his own country’s mafia history unlike anyone before him, to critical and box office success.
Full of twists and a fascinating meta-commentary on cinema, Damiani points the camera at himself and the genre as he investigates the social impact of mafia violence, a fitting end to this survey of Damiani’s Cosa Nostra.
Titles Include: Day of the Owl, The Case is Closed, Forget It, How To Kill a Judge.
From Arrow Films, a recognized world-leader in curation and creation, ARROW is a premium platform giving audiences an unparalleled viewing experience across multiple devices, so fans can explore the films and TV shows that the Arrow brand is famous for.
Specially curated by members of the ARROW team, ARROW is home to premium film and TV entertainment, exclusive new premieres, cutting edge cinema, international classics and cult favorites – such as the works of Lars Von Trier, Brian De Palma, Dario Argento, David Cronenberg and Park Chan-wook, and brand-new short films from both new and established filmmakers.
In the coming months, ARROW will be adding Oscar-winning hits, European classics, Asian cinema masterworks, rediscovered Westerns, offbeat gems and much more as part of ARROW’s international strategy to support and celebrate the medium of film.
A horror author goes to Nebula Con
The Science Fiction, Fantasy Writers Association is one of the most prestigious organizations in America for speculative fiction writers. While horror is not specifically mentioned, we all know that it’s nearly impossible to discuss fantasy and science fiction without the shadow of horror creeping in.
Each year, SFWA hosts a convention for writers called Nebula Con. I have virtually attended the convention for the past two years. And if you’ve never attended, you might want to consider it. Even if your writing, like mine, is long in the shadows and short on the elves.
First off, I do want to be clear that Nebula Con is a convention for speculative fiction writers. There are some fan panels, like the one on the works of Robin McKinley, this year’s Grandmaster. But the majority of the panels and events are for writers.
That being said, there are panels for writers at every stage of their careers.
For writers interested in crafting better stories, craft panels abound. My favorite panel was the one titled For The Love of Short Fiction. This panel started with a reading of some of the best short works from 2022. Then, each panelist dug into what made that piece work for them.
There were several other terrific panels, including one all about constructing a realistic legal system in your fictional world and writing fictional podcasts. (Like I do.)
But, you might say, these are panels for sci-fi and fantasy writers. No, these are panels for speculative fiction writers. Horror authors who want to have any kind of career would do well to master the short story. And if you don’t think there’s room for some legal horror in the market, you are wrong.
While the craft panels were wonderful, the career and marketing panels were probably the most useful and valuable of the whole convention. Are you, like many other online creatives, worried about the effects AI-generated writing is going to have on our field? There were two informative panels regarding that. Are you wondering how writers’ relationships with agents have changed now that self-publishing is so prevalent? There’s a panel for that.
A lot is going on in the publishing world. It’s confusing as hell, my friends. And one of the ways we keep each other up to date is with conventions like this. What I got out of the panel most was that having a career in writing is possible. My fellow participants and I learned from writers who are doing the thing. It’s hard, but it’s possible.
Of course, a convention is more than just panels. There’s the chance to meet with other authors. This might be where a virtual convention seems to have a deficit. And while I’ll admit that meeting online isn’t the same as meeting in person, there are certainly perks. I was able to meet, chat with and share stories with other writers in a Zoom chat room. And I came away feeling much like I did as a kid, having met new friends at summer camp. Even if I wasn’t sitting across from them, it was great to be surrounded by other people who want to make a living scaring the hell out of other people.
All of this writing joy culminates with the Nebula Awards Ceremony. If you’re interested in catching the awards but didn’t make it to the convention this year, you can watch it all on Youtube. Each year speculative fiction authors of all kinds of honored, from written work to gaming to television. This year’s toastmaster was Cheryl Platz, an author, and actress. As a critic, awards ceremonies are usually something I usually force my way through. The Nebula Awards are a rare treat in that scene. Partially because there’s a chance I’ve met the people up for the awards. But also because the people involved are, first and foremost, writers. It’s amazing how much more entertaining events are when the people being honored are, you know, talented storytellers.
If you’ve been on the fence about attending Nebula Con virtually, I suggest giving it a try. The world certainly needs more stories that go bump in the night.