Shudder dazzled us in September and October with a ton of movies and two brand new specials for the flagship series The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs and Creepshow, respectively. You’d think they’d wind down for the year… you’d think wrong.
Check out what is in store on Shudder for December of 2020.
NEW SHUDDER SPECIALS
JOE BOB SAVES CHRISTMAS — December 11 at 9pm ET
The Christmas spirit takes over The Last Drive-In as Joe Bob and Darcy close out the year with a double feature of holiday horrors. Premieres live on the ShudderTV feed Friday, December 11, and will be made available on demand on Sunday, December 13. (Also available on Shudder Canada)
A CREEPSHOW HOLIDAY SPECIAL — December 18
In the holiday themed, hour-long episode, “Shapeshifters Anonymous,” fearing he is a murderer, an anxious man searches for answers for his “unique condition” from an unusual support group. Starring Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect) and Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), the special is written and directed by Creepshow showrunner Greg Nicotero, based on a short story by J.A. Konrath (Last Call). (Also available on Shudder Canada, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
NEW SHUDDER ORIGINAL/EXCLUSIVE MOVIES
ANYTHING FOR JACKSON — December 3
After losing their only grandson in a car accident, grief-stricken Audrey and Henry, a doctor, kidnap his pregnant patient with the intentions of performing a “Reverse Exorcism”, putting Jackson inside her unborn child. It doesn’t take long to figure out Jackson isn’t the only ghost the grandparents invited into their home. Now it’s a race against time for the couple, as well as the pregnant woman to figure a way out of the haunting they’ve set upon themselves.
Consider this wintery anti-Nativity tale Shudder’s Christmas counterprogramming, from a writer (Keith Cooper) and director (Justin G. Dyck) who together have made a bevy of traditional holiday movies. Believe me, this ain’t Baby in a Manger or Christmas with a Prince.
Starring Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos, Josh Cruddas and Yannick Bisson, directed by Justin G. Dyck. A SHUDDER ORIGINAL. (Also available on Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
THE PALE DOOR — December 17
The Dalton gang find shelter in a seemingly uninhabited ghost town after a train robbery goes south. Seeking help for their wounded leader, they are surprised to stumble upon a welcoming brothel in the town’s square. But the beautiful women who greet them are actually a coven of witches with very sinister plans for the unsuspecting outlaws – and the battle between good and evil is just beginning. Starring Devin Druid, Zachary Knighton, Bill Sage, Pat Healy, Natasha Bassett, Stan Shaw, Melora Walters, directed by Aaron B. Koontz (Scare Package). A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE. (Also available on Shudder Canada, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
NEW SERIES FOR DECEMBER
ELI ROTH’S HISTORY OF HORROR Season 2 — December 10 (all episodes)
Award-winning director, writer and producer Eli Roth brings together the masters of horror for a chilling exploration of how horror has evolved and its impact on society. Season two episodes explore “Houses of Hell,” “Monsters,” “Body Horror,” “Witches,” “Chilling Children,” and “Nine Nightmares.” Season 2 of the companion podcast, History of Horror: Uncut, currently debuting new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms, will also be available on Shudder on December 10. Featuring Stephen King, Quentin Tarantino, Jordan Peele, Ari Aster, Bill Hader, Megan Fox, Greg Nicotero and many more. (Also available on Shudder Canada)
NEW COLLECTIONS FOR DECEMBER
UNHAPPY HOLIDAYS — November 30
Home invasion by a supernatural man in a blood-red suit? Holiday getaways that turn homicidal? These Christmas films prove that yuletide is the perfect season for terror. Featuring Blood Beat, Body, Rare Exports and Sheitan (all newly coming to Shudder on November 30) along with Bob Clark’s proto-slasher Black Christmas, the Shudder Exclusives All the Creatures Were Stirring, Better Watch Out and Christmas Presence, Christmas Evil, A Christmas Horror Story, Deadly Games, Jack Frost, Red Christmas and Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, among others. (Collection also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK; titles vary by region)
HOLLY GIALLI CHRISTMAS — December 2
Slip on your black gloves and deck the halls with bloody murder, Italian style, as Shudder debuts its biggest-ever collection of Giallo cinema, both classic and modern, with films by Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Lamberto Bava, Michele Soavi, Sergio Martino and many, many more. Featuring A Blade in the Dark, Death Laid an Egg, Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Case of the Bloody Iris, The Corruption of Chris Miller, The Editor, The Fifth Cord, New York Ripper, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, Short Night of Glass Dolls, Stagefright, Torso, Trauma, Your Vice is a Locked Room and What Have You Done to Solange (all newly coming to Shudder on December 2), along with current Shudder films All the Colors of the Dark, The Cat O’Nine Tales, Deep Red, Don’t Torture a Duckling, Knife + Heart, Phenomena, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh and Tenebrae. (Collection also available on Shudder Canada, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ; titles vary by region)
ALL NEW TITLES FOR DECEMBER
November 30 – new Unhappy Holidays collection additions
BLOOD BEAT (Director: Fabrice A Zaphiratos)
A young woman travels to rural Wisconsin to meet her boyfriend’s family and a samurai warrior’s spirit possesses her body to go on a bloody killing spree. Starring Helen Benton, Terry Brown, Dana Day (Also available on Shudder Canada)
BODY (Directors: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen)
A darkly funny and twisted journey taking place entirely on one unforgettable Christmas Eve, Body revolves around a trio of college co-eds whose dalliance with breaking-and-entering goes horribly awry. Following a freak accident, the girls find themselves entangled in a Hitchcockian nightmare steeped in tension, suspicion, double-crossing, and murder, where no one is to be trusted and a new twist lies around every corner. From the team behind last year’s Villains. Starring Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, Lauren Molina, Larry Fessenden (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK)
RARE EXPORTS (Director: Jalmari Helander)
In this darkly comic gem, it’s Christmas Eve in northern Finland, and an archeological dig has just unearthed Santa Claus. But this Santa isn’t one you want coming to town. When local children begin disappearing, Pietari and his father capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the corporation sponsoring the dig. Starring Onni Tommila, Jorma Tommila, Tommi Korpela (Also available on Shudder Canada)
SHEITAN (Director: Kim Chapiron)
On Christmas Eve, a group of guys meet two gorgeous girls who invite them to spend the weekend in the country, where they meet Joseph, a creepy unkempt man whose pregnant wife is hidden in the house. That evening, their innocent Christmas dinner turns into disturbing conversations about sex, satanic possession and incest. Joseph’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic and the young friends realize all hell is about to break loose. Starring Vincent Cassel, Olivier Barthelemy, Roxane Mesquida (Also available on Shudder Canada)
BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (Director: Francis Ford Coppola)
From Francis Ford Coppola comes the remake of the classic and chilling tale about the devastatingly seductive Transylvanian prince who travels from Eastern Europe to 19th century London in search of human love. Starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Tom Waits
THE LOST BOYS (Director: Joel Schumacher)
When a single mother and her two sons move to the sleepy seaside California town of Santa Clara, they discover much more than they anticipated in this visually stunning blend of hip humor, horror and rock ‘n’ roll about the most compelling group of contemporary vampires ever to put fang to vein. Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest
December 2 – new Holly Gialli Christmas collection additions
A Blade in the Dark (Also available on Shudder Canada)
Black Belly of the Tarantula (Also available on Shudder Canada)
The Case of the Bloody Iris (Also available on Shudder Canada)
The Corruption of Chris Miller (Also available on Shudder Canada, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
Death Laid an Egg (Also available on Shudder Canada)
The Fifth Cord (Also available on Shudder Canada)
New York Ripper (Also available on Shudder Canada)
The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK)
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (Also available on Shudder Canada)
Short Night of Glass Dolls (Also available on Shudder Canada)
Stagefright (Also available on Shudder Canada)
Torso (Also available on Shudder Canada)
Trauma (Also available on Shudder Canada, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
Your Vice is a Locked Room (Also available on Shudder Canada)
What Have You Done to Solange (Also available on Shudder Canada and Shudder UK)
ANYTHING FOR JACKSON (see above for details)
CASTLE FREAK (Director: Tate Steinsiek)
After inheriting a castle from her long-lost-mother, a recently blinded girl learns that her family harbored dark secrets with deadly implications. Starring Clair Catherine, Jake Horowitz, Chris Galust, Emily Sweet (Also available on Shudder Canada)
Note: Castle Freak and VFW were acquired prior to May 2020. Shudder is no longer working with the producer, Cinestate, on any further titles.
LET THE CORPSES TAN (Directors: Helene Cattet, Bruno Forzani)
A hypnotically stylish, fever dream thriller from the team behind Amer and The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears. During a beautiful Mediterranean summer, Rhino and his gang steal a cache of gold. They believe they’ve found the perfect hideout until surprise guests and two cops compromise their plan. Starring Elina Lowensohn, Stephane Ferrara, Bernie Bonvoisin, Hervé Sogne (Also available on Shudder Canada)
VFW (Director: Joe Begos)
A typical night for a group of war veterans at the local VFW turns into an all-out battle for survival when a teenage girl runs into the bar with a bag of stolen drugs. AStarring Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Martin Kove, David Patrick Kelly, Sierra McCormick, Tom Williamson, Travis Hammer, Dora Madison, George Wendt, Fred Williamson (Also available on Shudder Canada)
Note: Castle Freak and VFW were acquired prior to May 2020. Shudder is no longer working with the producer, Cinestate, on any further titles.
ZOMBI CHILD (Director: Bertrand Bonello)
Acclaimed French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello brings the zombie film back to its Haitian roots. In 1962, a man is brought back from the dead to work on a sugar cane plantation; many years later, a teen tells her friends her family secret, not suspecting that it will push one of them to commit the irreparable. Starring Louise Labeque, Wislanda Louimat, Katiana Milfort (Also available on Shudder Canada)
ELI ROTH’S HISTORY OF HORROR Season 2 (see above for details)
December 11 at 9pm ET/6pm PT
JOE BOB SAVES CHRISTMAS (see above for details)
A GOOD WOMAN IS HARD TO FIND (Director: Abner Pastoll)
A recently widowed young mother will go to great lengths to protect her children as she seeks the truth behind her husband’s murder. Starring Sarah Bolger, Edward Hogg, Andrew Simpson (Also available on Shudder Canada)
LET US PREY (Director: Brian O’Malley)
A man brought to a police station possesses everyone’s darkest secrets. As the cops try to figure out who or what he is, they soon realize deadly retribution awaits anyone who stands in his way. This violent chiller is definitely not for the easily disturbed. Starring Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Bryan Larkin (Also available on Shudder Canada)
THE PALE DOOR (see above for details)
A CREEPSHOW HOLIDAY SPECIAL (see above for details)
LUZ: THE FLOWER OF EVIL (Director: Juan Diego Escobar Alzate)
El Señor, the leader of a small cult in the mountains, returns one day to his village with a child who is purported to be the new messiah. But when only pain and destruction befall the community, El Señor finds himself under attack from his own followers, including his three daughters, whose burgeoning femininity has already caused them to question their faith. Equally mystical and terrifying, LUZ: THE FLOWER OF EVIL is a fantasy folk horror film where tranquility belies a simmering evil. Starring Yuri Vargas, Conrado Osorio, Andrea Esquivel, Sharon Guzman, Jim Munoz (Also available on Shudder Canada, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
THE SOUL COLLECTOR (Director: Harold Holscher)
In an attempt to start a new life with his young, fragmented family, bankrupt William Ziel returns to the farm he inherited from his estranged father. Lazarus, the farmhand who took care of William’s father in his lonely final hours, reappears soon after William, Sarah, and adopted daughter Mary arrive. A supposed chance meeting between Mary and Lazarus develops into a bond between two kindred spirits. But Lazarus carries a dark secret: a demon child with an insatiable appetite for human souls … and now the Ziels’ newfound domesticity is placed at unfathomable risk. Starring Tshamano Sebe, Inge Beckmann, Keita Luna (Also available on Shudder Canada)
Exited about the end of the year offerings from Shudder? Let us know what you are most looking forward to watching in the comments.
We’ll be sharing the regional highlights closer to December.
#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.