Big news about what is coming up in April on Shudder. We have all the highlights you need for what should be a busy next month.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
SHUDDER TURNS APRIL INTO ‘HALFWAY TO HALLOWEEN MONTH’ WITH ITS BIGGEST SLATE OF PROGRAMMING EVER
Featuring a New Season of Hit Series Creepshow, the Return of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs and a New Exclusive Movie Every Week; Film Slate Includes Yeon Sang-ho’s Highly Anticipated Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula and The Power from BAFTA-Nominated Director Corrina Faith; Live ‘Halfway to Halloween Hotline’ Will Provide Members with Personalized Horror Movie Recommendations
NEW YORK – March 4, 2021 – April showers bring a packed lineup of new horror films and series to Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, for its annual ‘Halfway to Halloween Month.’ With April marking the halfway point to Halloween, the streamer will celebrate its biggest month of programming yet with a loaded slate of Shudder original films and series, an exclusive documentary, a library of cult classic favorites and the return of ‘Halfway to Halloween Hotline.’
“Some do Christmas in July but at Shudder we celebrate Halloween in April to mark the halfway point to the greatest holiday of the year,” said Craig Engler, general manager of Shudder. “‘Halfway to Halloween Month’ is going to be the biggest month of programming in Shudder history with new movies, series, a killer documentary and more.”
This year’s ‘Halfway to Halloween’ lineup includes two Shudder Original series, five new Shudder Original and Shudder Exclusive premieres, an exclusive documentary, the 2021 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards and more.
As for some of the highlights for April, you have the following:
The season premiere of the Shudder Original series Creepshow and the return of the Shudder Original series The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs.
The highly anticipated follow up to Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan and Seoul Station, Peninsula.
The Power starring Rose Williams (Sanditon) and written and directed by BAFTA nominated British filmmaker Corrina Faith, which appeared on 2018’s Brit List of best unproduced scripts.
Christopher Smith’s The Banishing starring Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) and Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible franchise).
Boys from County Hell, which /Film called “legendary in its own right” upon its North American premiere at the 2020 Nightstream virtual film festival.
Making its US premiere after appearing as a 2020 CANNESERIES Horror Short Form contender, Australian anthology series Deadhouse Dark.
An exclusive documentary, In Search of Darkness: Part II, which continues to explore the impact of beloved ‘80s horror films.
The 2021 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards, hosted by actor and writer David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man and the Wasp).
The Val Lewton Collection: seven classic titles from the 1940s, including Cat People, I Walked With A Zombie, The Leopard Man, The Seventh Victim, Curse of the Cat People, The Body Snatcher and Isle of the Dead.
An Alex de la Iglesia double feature: the mid ‘90s cult classics, Day of the Beast and Dance with the Devil.
‘Halfway to Halloween Hotline’ in which Shudder’s director of programming, Samuel Zimmerman, provides callers with real-time movie recommendations.
As you can see, there is a lot on the way on Shudder. Let’s learn more about the Originals and Exclusives.
New Shudder Originals and Exclusives
Creepshow, Season 2 – Premieres April 1, New Episodes Every Thursday **Shudder Original Series
(Also available on Shudder CA, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
Based on the 1982 horror comedy classic, the anthology Creepshow returns for a second season and is still the most fun you’ll ever have being scared! A comic book comes to life in a series of vignettes, exploring terrors ranging from murder, creatures, monsters, and delusions to the supernatural and unexplainable. You never know what will be on the next page. Executive produced by showrunner Greg Nicotero, Creepshow’s second season will feature guest stars Kevin Dillon, Iman Benson, Josh McDermitt, Keith David, Molly Ringwald, Barbara Crampton, Justin Long, and D’Arcy Carden, among others.
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula – Premieres April 1**Shudder Exclusive Film
(Also available on Shudder CA)
Four years after South Korea’s total decimation in Train to Busan, the zombie thriller that captivated audiences worldwide, acclaimed director Yeon Sang-ho brings us Peninsula, the next nail-biting chapter in his post-apocalyptic world. Jung-seok, a soldier who previously escaped the diseased wasteland, relives the horror when assigned to a covert operation with two simple objectives: retrieve and survive. When his team unexpectedly stumbles upon survivors, their lives will depend on whether the best—or worst—of human nature prevails in the direst of circumstances. Upon Peninsula’s premiere, Shudder will be the only service in which viewers can watch Yeon Sang-ho’s complete trilogy, including Train to Busan and Seoul Station, on a single platform.
The Power– Premieres April 8 **Shudder Exclusive Film
(Also available on Shudder CA, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
London, 1974. As Britain prepares for electrical blackouts to sweep across the country, trainee nurse Val (Rose Williams) arrives for her first day at the crumbling East London Royal Infirmary. With most of the patients and staff evacuated to another hospital, Val is forced to work the night shift, finding herself in a dark, near empty building. Within these walls lies a deadly secret, forcing Val to face both her own traumatic past and deepest fears in order to confront the malevolent force that’s intent on destroying everything around her.
The Banishing – Premieres April 15 **Shudder Original Film
(Also available on Shudder CA, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
From acclaimed director Chris Smith (Creep, Severance, Triangle) comes The Banishing, which tells the true story of the most haunted house in England. A young reverend and his wife and daughter move into a manor with a horrifying secret. When a vengeful spirit haunts the little girl and threatens to tear the family apart, the reverend and his wife are forced to confront their beliefs. They must turn to black magic by seeking the help of a famous Occultist…or risk losing their daughter.
The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs – Premieres April 16, New Episodes Every Friday **Shudder Original Series
The hit original 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 show’s hashtag, #TheLastDriveIn, has trended in the top 10 on Twitter in the US during the premiere of every episode and special, often reaching No. 1.
2021 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards – Premieres April 18 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT **Shudder TV Exclusive Event
(Also available on Shudder CA, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
In April 2021, Shudder partners with FANGORIA to bring the Chainsaw Awards, hosted by actor and writer David Dastmalchian, to fans across the globe. This year’s nominated films include The Invisible Man, Freaky, Relic, Color Out of Space and Possessor as well as actors Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton and Elisabeth Moss. Since 1992, the Chainsaw Awards have honored top achievements in horror film and television, with past recipients including Jonathan Demme, Sam Raimi, Robert Eggers, Toni Collette and George Romero.
Boys from County Hell – Premieres April 22 **Shudder Exclusive Film
(Also available on Shudder CA)
Welcome to Six Mile Hill, a sleepy Irish backwater whose only claim to fame is the somewhat dubious local legend that Bram Stoker once spent a night in the local pub. It’s home to Eugene Moffat, a young man who fills most of his days drinking pints with his friends and pranking tourists who come to visit the gravesite of Abhartach, a legendary Irish vampire some believe to have inspired ‘Dracula.’ When a personal tragedy forces Eugene to go and work for his gruff, no-nonsense father, he finds himself on the site of a controversial new road development that threatens to destroy the town’s livelihood. But strange events unfold when Eugene and the crew tear down a famous cairn believed to be the final resting place of Abhartach, and they soon come under attack from a sinister force that has infected one of their workmates. As the night closes in, The Boys must fight for survival while discovering the true horror of a myth that hits much closer to home than any of them realize.
In Search of Darkness: Part II – Premieres April 26 **Shudder Exclusive Documentary
Building on the hit 2019 superdoc that Forbes called “a scary good magnum opus,” In Search of Darkness: Part II dives deeper into the fabled practical-effects decade of iconic and eclectic ‘80s horror movies that changed the course of film history. Packed with over four hours of brand-new interviews, including such legendary horror icons as Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Nancy Allen (Dressed to Kill), Linnea Quigley (The Return of the Living Dead), and special-effects wizard Tom Savini (Friday the 13th), Part II features 15 new faces alongside 40-plus returning members of the original In Search of Darkness cast to delve into more fan-favorite titles of ‘80s horror, year-by-year, expanding its scope to cover more international releases and spotlighting horror-career retrospectives.
Deadhouse Dark – Premieres April 29 **Shudder Original Series
(Also available on Shudder CA, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ)
An anthology of six interconnected horror short films, Deadhouse Dark is anchored by a woman who receives a ‘mystery box’ from the dark web, each item within it gradually unveiling a dark and troubling truth. A boxful of dark and chilling tales of terror inspired by frighteningly familiar modern trends including dark web mystery boxes, dash cam footage and Insta-fame hungry vloggers. Deadhouse Dark is a giant mystery box of chocolates – while there is something in there to suit a variety of different tastes, in the end chocolate is still chocolate. And who doesn’t love chocolate?
Halfway to Halloween Hotline
Shudder is also bringing back the hotline. This feature rolls out around Halloween where members can call and get recommendations from the Shudder library from Samuel Zimmerman, the streaming service’s director of programming. For all the details, read on.
Every Friday in April from 3pm-4pm ET, members are invited to call Samuel Zimmerman, Shudder’s director of programming, to discuss all things horror: from their favorite genre films of all time to the most highly anticipated horror releases of the year. From those conversations, Sam will then use his horror expertise to offer customized viewing recommendations from Shudder’s expansive film collection.
A new hotline phone number will be announced each Friday on Shudder’s social media platforms.
**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 Additions to the Movie Library
Shudder also features a ton of new additions across all regions for April. We’ll list them here, and check back with us in April for the regional list and highlights.
Night of the Lepus (1972): Coming to Shudder just in time for Easter, in this cult classic, an Arizona rancher dealing with massive rabbit overpopulation calls on a local college president, Elgin Clark, to help him. In order to humanely resolve the matter, Elgin brings in researchers who inject the rabbits with chemicals. However, they fail to anticipate the consequences of their actions.
The Haunting of Julia (1977): After her daughter’s death, wealthy American homemaker Julia Lofting moves to London to restart her life. All seems well until she is haunted by the ghosts of other children while mourning for her own.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986): (Also available on Shudder CA) Chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface is up to his cannibalistic ways once again, along with the rest of his twisted clan. This time, the masked killer has set his sights on a pretty disc jockey, who teams up with a Texas lawman to battle the psychopath and his family deep within their lair, a macabre abandoned amusement park.
The Val Lewton Collection: Seven classic films from the influential writer and producer behind a series of atmospheric, psychologically rich horror classics: Cat People (1942), I Walked With A Zombie (1943), The Leopard Man (1943), The Seventh Victim (1943), Curse of the Cat People (1944), The Body Snatcher (1945) and Isle of the Dead (1945)
Don’t Panic (1988): (Also available on Shudder CA) Best known as Mexico’s homage to A Nightmare on Elm Street, in this film, Michael is gifted a Ouija board from his best friend, Tony, on his seventeenth birthday. Tony unwittingly unlocks the evil forces of the board, unleashing a wave of violent killings, and the chief suspect appears to be Michael.
Zombie for Sale (2019): (Also available on Shudder CA and Shudder UK) When the illegal human experiments of a Korean pharmaceutical company go wrong, one of its undead test subjects escapes and ends up in a gas station owned by the Park family. When the Park family uncovers the undead visitor, they hatch a plan to exploit this unexpected fountain of youth.
The McPherson Tape (1989): (Also available on Shudder CA, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ) Known for being a pioneer in the found footage genre, this film centers on a typical fall evening in 1983 when a young man videotapes his niece’s 5th birthday party. As the night’s strange occurrences take place, he keeps his video camera running, recording the entire event.
Alex de la Iglesia Double Feature: (Also available on Shudder CA) Two cult favorites from the acclaimed Spanish master of horror who most recently directed and co-wrote HBO Max’s 30 Coins: The Day of the Beast (1995), in which a priest, TV psychic and Death Metal record store clerk team up to beat Satan and prevent the Apocalypse, and Dance with the Devil (a.k.a. Perdita Durango, 1997) starring Rosie Perez and Javier Bardem as a sadistic couple involved with human sacrifices, kidnapping, murder and fetus trafficking.
The Stepfather (1987): (Also available on Shudder CA) Jerry Blake is a family man, but he happens to have a series of families, with each one on the receiving end of his murderous ways. When Jerry sets his sights on a lovely widow named Susan and her headstrong daughter, Stephanie, it appears that his brutal pattern of killings will continue. However, Stephanie begins to suspect that there’s something wrong with the seemingly well-adjusted Jerry, and a violent confrontation is inevitable.
Thale (2012): Leo and Elvis are cleaning up a particularly messy crime scene when Elvis accidentally finds a secret passage that leads to a subterranean living space. He encounters Thale, a beautiful young woman who sings but does not speak. The two are ill-prepared when others tracking Thale finally catch up to her.
The Conspiracy (2012): (Also available on Shudder CA) A documentary about conspiracy theories takes a horrific turn after the filmmakers uncover an ancient and dangerous secret society.
Housebound (2014): (Also available on Shudder CA) A young woman is forced to return to her childhood home after being placed under house arrest, where she suspects that something evil may be lurking.
The Similiars (2015): (Also available on Shudder CA) Eight people experience a strange phenomenon while waiting for a bus at a remote station on a rainy October night.
The Diabolical (2015): A single mother and her children are awoken nightly by an intense presence. She asks her scientist boyfriend to destroy the violent spirit that paranormal experts are too frightened to take on.
Attack of the Demons (2019): (Also available on Shudder CA) For centuries, a demonic cult has been plotting the destruction of mankind. When a small Colorado town is overrun by a legion of mutating demons, three non-demon hunter friends must use every skill their minds can fathom to stave off the demon apocalypse.
Horror Express (1972): (Also available on Shudder CA, Shudder UK and Shudder ANZ) While travelling on the Trans-Siberian Express, an anthropologist and his rival must contain the threat posed by the former’s cargo: a prehistoric ape which is the host for a lifeform that is absorbing the minds of the passengers and crew.
Excited for April on Shudder? Why not share with us what you are most excited about in the comments.
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.
Crashin’ in Roswell NM: Road Trippin’ with Jennifer Weigel
So on my recent road trip to Miami AZ USA for my menstruation art installation, we decided to detour to Roswell NM en route home. To be honest, this was one of the best decisions of my life, up there with road trippin’ from Arizona to San Francisco along CA-Highway 1, and I will go into the details of why here soon.
Roswell NM USA has totally embraced its alien history of the UFO crash in the late 1940s and subsequent government cover up. The whole town is alien-happy with beautiful hand carved wood totems, murals and statues everywhere celebrating otherworldly denizens of all types, though predominantly the gray aliens of the crash (and their green counterparts). Even the city logo features a flying saucer as the center of the letter “R”. It really is kind of incredible.
One of the biggest draws is the International UFO Museum and Research Center, housed in the wonderful old theater building. This museum details the crash history as well as celebrating aliens in movies and media and examining newer alien sightings and abductions. It is very thorough and includes maquettes, statues, written accounts and an extensive research library, as well as an interesting art collection of various items.
And there are TONS of fun alien themed curiosity shops. I will give a shout out to the newer Invasion Station north on Main Street where there had once been an old car dealership. I love the quirky nature of this particular store as well as their strong desire to promote local artists. Most of their wares are hand-painted in NM and feature designs by prominent local artists including one of the lead muralists in town (I bought a magnet of his). They also feature really alternative kitsch like KISS and Ace Frehley alien bobbleheads, marijuana and anal references, and such. All in all, our own Haunted MTL’s kinda folks…
And the city is a huge tourist draw internationally, so you can meet some amazing and interesting folks from all walks of life who have caught the alien bug or at least want to check out all the hype. As a result of the tourism, the residents seem really laid back and accommodating (kind of like Hawaii but not quite as much) and there is a thriving art scene. And it’s totally my kind of art – weird and a little creepy. Anyway, I feel like I’ve finally found my peeps and am eager to return someday.
If you’re feeling a bit extraterrestrial, I invite you to also check out some of my alien-themed stories here on Haunted MTL: LTD UFOs among us; my Drive-By short story; and LTD Abducted.
American Horror Story Season 12, Delicate
Killer Queens, I wasn’t expecting to be back so soon with American Horror Story info. But yesterday we were blessed with a teaser for the intro of Season 12, which we believe will be titled Delicate.
We are looking at a Summer release for season twelve, but won’t know for sure until June, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Here’s what we know right now.
First, yes Kim Kardashian is starring alongside Emma Roberts in a role that was written specifically for her.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that AHS favorites will also be involved. According to IMBD, Charlie Carver, Rebecca Dayan, Cody Fern, Leslie Grossman, Billie Lourd, and Denis O’Hare will be included this season.
AHS Delicate is different from other seasons in many other ways. It’s the first season to ever be written by just one writer, Halley Feiffer. This isn’t a writer most of us as horror fans will be familiar with. She’s written episodes of shows like Kidding, SMILF, and American Crime Story. The last one can at least be seen as a sister show to AHS.
As far as I have found, Feiffer has never written horror content. She is now the sole writer for an entire season of the most popular horror show in America. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It’s just not what I would have expected. Most AHS writers are staff writers, actors from the show, or at least people I’ve heard of. So as we don’t have any former work to look at, we can only wait to see how she does.
We also know what the source material is for this season. It’s a book called Delicate Condition, by Danielle Valentine. This book will be released in August of this year. Which also seemed strange to me. Normally a book would be, you know, published before it inspires additional work.
Even so, Delicate Condition seems like a fascinating story. According to Goodreads, it’s the story of a woman named Anna. Anna is trying to get pregnant but starts to believe that something dark is working against her. Her doctors don’t believe her. Her husband doesn’t believe her. Is she losing her mind?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t deeply interested in this book. And I have to assume that Feiffer and Murphy already have hands on it, to jump to this sort of decision.
By the way, Valentine at least is not an untested writer. Her first novel, How To Survive Your Murder, also made it right on my TBR pile. With a rating of 3.7 out of 4 on Goodreads, I think we can assume Valentine knows what she’s doing with the written word.
This is all that we know about American Horror Story Delicate so far. What follows are my thoughts and opinions only.
My first thought is that this season is going to be dealing heavily with women’s reproductive rights. This is a topic a lot of us are concerned about right now, as it feels like every day women lose more and more rights to our bodies.
(By the way, if you want to help fight the good fight for body autonomy and get some spooky stories, we have an anthology for that. I have a story in it, as does the horrifyingly talented Jennifer Weigel. All proceeds go to support organizations that help women make their own health decisions.)
American Horror Story has handled important political issues before. Last season, AHS NYC discussed the AIDs epidemic that went largely ignored in the 80s and killed hundreds of young gay men. They did this in the best way possible, in what this critic believes to be the only way fiction should handle heavy topics. They rooted the issue in a good story. A story that was pure fiction, but also true.
However, this season has a lot of red flags. Never before have I seen the guest star be the main focus so early. Never have I seen any franchise bank so much faith in an all but untested writer, basing work on a book that isn’t even published. And frankly, I’ve never been much of a fan of Kim K, or anyone else who’s famous seemingly just for being famous.
I’m not rooting for this season to fail just because I don’t like the guest star. If Kardashian is good at this, I’ll be thrilled. I’ll be the first one singing her praises. But when everything we know so far is added up, I’m a lot more concerned about AHS Delicate than I am excited.