Dawn of the Dead - Cover

Scream Factory: Dawn Of The Dead Collector’s Edition

When talking about 1978’s Dawn of the Dead it’s fair to call it a masterpiece. The late and great George A. Romero really delivered a triumph in horror. The social commentary elements that he had touched upon in 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. Were absolutely embraced and proudly flaunted in the sequel. It is in fact considered by most to be the best zombie film ever made. Period. Which is why in 2003 when I first heard that someone was going to attempt to remake Dawn of the Dead…I didn’t take it well.

I don’t think I was the only one that was kind of flipping their wig at the news. Furthermore I can recall being at work, sitting in the back office when I read the news. All joking aside my reaction was actually quite a bit like that GIF from The Office. Then I started doing a little research. I hadn’t ever heard of Zack Snyder although I do believe this was his directorial debut.
Dawn of the Dead - Zak Snyder

But James Gunn…now that is a name I knew thanks to 2000’s The Specials and 2002’s Scooby-Doo.
Dawn of the Dead - James Gunn

Which wasn’t exactly a strong selling point for most fans of the 1978 version. Not even the fact that Gunn had written 1996’s Tromeo and Juliet as well as a pass on 2000’s Thir13en Ghosts calmed concerns. He’s gone on record that he literally received death threats over his involvement with the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Which is a pretty sad thing to have to share of course.
Dawn of the Dead - 2004 - Poster

I certainly try my very best to keep an open mind about all movies. Leaving judgement as it were until I have at the very least been able to see the trailer. Having said that – this was a remake of Dawn of the Dead so I can be excused for being a little biased. The afternoon that it debuted online…it was with great hesitation that I hit play on the media player.

[Via] Scream Factory TV

After it was over I found myself kind of slowing nodding my head. Not all of my fears had been settled. It looked like the zombies were running instead of shambling. It seemed like they had taken the tight group of survivors from the 1978 version and greatly expanded it. On the other hand, their casting choices made me sit up and take notice. The feeling…or fear… of being sieged by the Dead also seemed to have been ramped up. As well as scenes of what definitely looked like normal life breaking down at the beginning of an zombie apocalypse.
Dawn of the Dead - Apocalypse

Was I won over completely? No. But I certainly found myself more curious about seeing the finished product than I had been. So when it debuted on March 19th, 2004 – I had my seat at the second matinee. And when the end credits had rolled and the house lights were raised I walked out of the theater and bought a ticket for the next showing. I can honestly say I was blown away by how much I liked the film. Was it perfect? No. But it was INCREDIBLY entertaining to say the least. It was mean, had tons of dark comedy, and overall wanted to scare its audience.

To be fair, the film isn’t really that much of a remake of 1978’s Dawn of the Dead. There are shared elements from both films of course. They are mostly cosmetic though on the whole. The mall being the central spot to which the survivors head to and fortify is there. And there are some cameos from the original film’s cast members. The 2004 remake really stands on its own if I am being totally honest.

So what is the basic plot of the remake? Ana, played by the powerhouse actress Sarah Polley, is rescued by a Police Officer named Kenneth (Ving Rhames). They shortly come across a trio of survivors. Michael, who is hands down my favorite character and played by Jake Weber. As well as Andre (Mekhi Phifer) and Luda (Inna Korobkina), a young couple with a baby on the way. The group takes refugee in the Cross Roads Mall but not before having a confrontation with the mall’s security force. You have racist CJ (Michael Kelly), his lackey Bart (Michael Barry) and the younger and more reasonable Terry (Kevin Zegers).
Dawn of the Dead - Survivors

As it seems that no help is coming, the group end up settling in for a long haul. Soon the group’s number grows with new survivors. Nicole (Lindy Booth), Tucker (Boyd Banks), Glen (R.D. Reid), Monica (Kim Poirier), and Norma (Jayne Eastwood). Oh, there is also the absolutely delightfully sarcastic and scene stealing Steve Marcus, played by Ty Burrell.
Dawn of the Dead - Ty Burrell

Zak Snyder’s direction is on point. Sharp and literally in your face in some scenes. The film doesn’t pull any punches in it’s depiction of the zombie apocalypse either. When everything starts to break down as you know it will. You will care about the characters and their fates.
Dawn of the Dead - Mall Roof

Just like they did with George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead, Scream Factory is unleashing a Collector’s Edition of 2004’s Dawn of the Dead. A 2-Disc Blu-Ray set offering both the theatrical as well as unrated cut of the film. Including of course a ton of extra features.

Disc One:

  • Theatrical Version HD Master Derived From The Digital Intermediate Archival Negative
  • Take A Chance On Me – An Interview With Actor Ty Burrell
  • Gunn For Hire – An Interview With Writer James Gunn
  • Punk, Rock, & Zombie – An Interview With Actor Jake Weber
  • Killing Time At The Mall: The Special Effects Of Dawn Of The Dead – An Interview With Special
  • Makeup Effects Artists David Anderson And Heather Langenkamp Anderson (Yes, Nightmare on Elm Street’s Langenkamp!)
  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Director Zach Snyder And Producer Eric Newman
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Disc Two:

  • Unrated Version HD Master Derived From The Digital Intermediate Archival Negative With HD Inserts
  • Audio Commentary With Director Zach Snyder And Producer Eric Newman
  • Splitting Headaches: Anatomy Of Exploding Heads
  • Attack Of The Living Dead
  • Raising The Dead
  • Andy’s Lost Tape
  • Special Report: Zombie Invasion
  • Undead And Loving It: A Mockumentary
  • Drawing The Dead Featurette
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • Hidden Easter Egg

You can pre-order your copy of the Dawn of the Dead Collector’s Edition by visiting Scream Factory. Or instead you can pick it up on Halloween before you head out to engage in spooky festivities!

Remember while watching Dawn of the Dead on Halloween to make sure it is actually trick-or-treaters outside your door!

Travis Falligant’s Halloween Costume Starter Kits!

With only ten days away until Halloween – it’s a good time to start looking at costume kits. Now you can certainly head to your local mall and pick up a zombie mask or some such. Likewise you could really stand out this year and take a look at Travis Falligant’s Halloween Costume Starter Kits!

They are NOT coming soon anymore - they are here!

They are NOT coming soon anymore – they are here!

Don’t you share a lot of Falligant’s artwork?


Yes, I most certainly do. Whether it be “lost” Scooby-Doo episodes or a mash-up between The Breakfast Club and The NeverEnding Story. Travis Falligant is a very talented artist and in addition he is one heck of a nice guy. In fact if you visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page you will see how much art he has graciously shared.
Images courtesy of Travis Falligant.

Okay. Question answered. What about these Halloween Costume Starter Kits?


I was getting to that. Travis also has a wonderful taste in movies. Cult movies that is to say. Given that the three Costume Starter Kits he is offering for example have been inspired by the likes of Blacula, Frankenhooker, and the Howling II!

I will start off with my favorite – the “Blood Sucka”!


All images courtesy of Travis Falligant.

All images courtesy of Travis Falligant.

Each of the three Costume Starter Kits cost a mere $18 and come with:
1 High quality mask printed and pressed on E-Flute Cardboard and matte laminated. Ready to wear!
1 T-Shirt Transfer Kit complete with tee design, iron-on instructions, and transfer paper.
2 Laminate stickers featuring the artwork of the character you have chosen.
Candy Starter kit to get your Trick or Treat game begun!

Dead Dame!


dead-dame-travis-falligant-halloween-costume-starter-kits

The She-Wolf!


she-wolf-travis-falligant-halloween-costume-starter-kits

You can order the Halloween Costume Starter Kits right this second over at Travis’Etsy Store. Furthermore you can order all three so you can truly fit in with any creature of the night!

Did you go as TV’s FANGFACE for Halloween?

In 1978, you could have gone trick or treating in this Collegeville Halloween costume as the title character from the Ruby-Spears Productions cartoon, FANGFACE.

fangface_box_top_bottom

FANGFACE premiered in the ABC network’s 1978 Fall Saturday morning lineup. Fangface is the moon-induced alter-ego of Sherman “Fangs” Fangsworth, a tall, lean, awkward teen who reluctantly helps solve crimes with his friends Biff, the handsome leader, Kim, the smart and attractive girl and Puggsy, a short and stocky tough guy. They drive around in the Wolf-Buggy, their open-top dune buggy.

The plastic, vacuformed mask to this costume is a really good rendition of the cartoon character with some attention paid to the black line work.

This plastic, vacuformed mask is a really good rendition of the cartoon character with some attention paid to the black line work.

Unlike the typical lycanthrope who is affected only by the light of the full moon, Sherman transforms into a werewolf by simply seeing a picture of a moon. The crime-solving gang use his easy trigger to their advantage in order to replace the cowardly Sherman with the more aggressive Fangface. The flip side though is that Fangface can just as easily change back into the bumbling Fangsworth by seeing any kind of representation of the sun.

Here’s the show’s opening to acquaint yourself…

[source: youtube.com/user/cronocari }

The vinyl costume, usually worn over top your regular clothes as you headed out to score candy, has a sleeveless top with yellow pants which end just above the knees. As with most boxed costumes depicting licensed characters, the costume itself helped identify exactly who or what you were supposed to be dressed up as. This one is definitely no exception what with a full body image of the goofy werewolf and the title FANGFACE emblazoned across the top of your chest.

fangface_costume_topThe FANGFACE title deserves a closer look. There is some really nice illustration work going on in it, much more than seen in your average dimestore Halloween costume.

fangface_costume_title

The original series ran for 16 half-hour episodes for the ’78 season. It was retooled for the 1979 Fall season by adding Fangsworth’s baby cousin, Fangpuss.

Wonder if Collegeville bothered to follow-up with a Fangpuss costume as well?

Other Retroist post about FANGFACE:

There Was A Fangface Novelization?!

Spruce Up Your Attire With This Spooky Shape Of Haddonfield Pin!

Thanks to the talented Travis Falligant we fans of Scooby-Doo and horror films have been able to enjoy quite a few imaginative meetings between those meddling kids and some beloved fright icons.

Images courtesy of Travis Falligant.

Images courtesy of Travis Falligant.


Starting on July 6th at 12pm Eastern Time you can hop on over to the Official IBTrav Store to purchase the first in the “Lost Mysteries” series of lapel pins and while this version features The Spooky Shape of Haddonfield…it also GLOWS IN THE DARK!
The Spooky Shape of Haddonfield - Travis Falligant - Lost Mysteries Pin
There are only 100 of these so you be ready to jump on over to Falligant’s store on the 6th to secure yours and as a bonus you will also get a free Lost Mysteries sticker when you buy a pin! Now while we wait for that date to roll around it gives us ample time to start guessing on what the second pin might be…I’m hoping we get a certain madman from Valentine’s Bluff myself!
'My Bloody Valentine' Images courtesy of Travis Falligant.

‘My Bloody Valentine’
Images courtesy of Travis Falligant.

Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy

Blu-Ray Review: Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy

Recently, the fine fiends over at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment sent me a lil’ package via currier bat containing their latest entry in the venerable series of direct to home video Scooby-Doo movies; FRANKENCREEPY. So does this frightful flick deliver the ghoulish goods? Well, read on dear creeps!

As with most of these standalone Scooby-Doo releases, this creepy caper begins with a bit of revisionist history; the gang has not encountered any actual monsters in their past adventures (as in past direct-to-video releases), so when Velma and the gang head to Transylvania (albeit not the one in Europe…this one is located in Pennsylvania) to claim a cursed castle that she has inherited from her uncle, Dr. Von Dinkenstein, her entire world view is challenged as she discovers what may be actual monsters within the castle walls (weather that is the case or not I will not spoil here).

Now this movie has a ton of great things going for it such as a lush color palette and a true reverence for many of the tropes of the classic Universal Monster series aesthetic. The creature design is inspired, the voice cast (comprised of series vets Frank Welker and Grey DeLisle, as well as mainstays Mindy Cohn and Matthew Lillard) is fantastic, the dialog is well written and there are some call backs to the original show that will send older viewers right to those soothing waters of warm, sweet nostalgia. There are also tons of genuinely hilarious quick-cut style gags, and a running sub-plot that illustrates Fred’s truly disturbing (and really funny) obsession with the Mystery Machine.

But, all is not perfect, and one particular plot point may ruin the viewing experience for some; namely Daphne gets cursed and seemingly becomes what she most fears…overweight (they call her a size 8, but they draw her way, waaaayyyy bigger than that). While I understand that she is vain and shallow, and is presented as such, and the film does present the fact that her longtime (possible) love interest Fred didn’t notice any change and continued to find her beautiful, some viewers may take some umbrage with this portion of the story.

Before I wrap this review up, a special call-out needs to be made to the ultra-stylized opening credits; I would absolutely go crazy for an entire Scoob adventure rendered in this style!

So to sum it up, this is an extremely well-done new adventure for Scooby and the gang that is well worth your time if you are a lover of all things Scooby (as long as the misguided weight issue doesn’t completely turn you off).

You can pick-up a copy of SCOOBY-DOO! FRANKENCREEPY right here!