Universal Studios launches Halloween Horror Nights competition

Universal Studios Hollywood invites aspiring filmmakers to compete in its annual “Halloween Horror Nights” short film competition, offering budding directors an opportunity to have their most disturbing horror short films judged by a panel of industry insiders, including horror film auteur Eli Roth, Daily Variety senior writer, Marc Graser and “Halloween Horror Nights” Creative Director John Murdy. The winning film will be awarded a premiere showing on Chiller, a posting on, a cash prize of $1,000, and a trip for two to “Halloween Horror Nights'” opening night “Eyegore Awards” at Universal Studios Hollywood. Contest entries will be accepted from June 27 through August 1, 2011. Prospective filmmakers can submit short films from 90 seconds to three minutes in length on DVD (two copies of each film must be submitted). Films will be judged based on storytelling skill, originality and scare factor. The top 10 horror shorts, as determined by the panel, will be posted online at from August 22 to September 9, 2011 for public voting. The winning film will be announced on September 12, 2011. Eyegore Award recipient and horror filmmaker, Eli Roth said: “As a producer I’m always looking for new talent, and happy to help a first time director get their big break. New blood, so to speak, is vital for the continuation and growth of our beloved genre, and programs like this one can help deserving people get noticed. I am excited to see the competing films, and whoever makes me lose the most sleep will win.” Returning film contest judge, Marc Graser, Daily Variety, said: “As a studio known for bringing the horror film genre to life, it’s a thrill to help Universal Studios identify the next generation of filmmakers that will scare audiences. I can’t wait to see who steps forward with their creepy visions this year.” John Murdy, Creative Director, Universal Studios Hollywood, said: “Just as ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ interprets horror filmmakers’ visions into living horror movies for the most ardent fans, our film competition provides a platform for future horror film directors to showcase their work to an audience of influential entertainment industry professionals.” Entries must be sent to: “Halloween Horror Nights” Short Film Competition, 100 Universal City Plaza, Building 5511-5, Universal City, CA 91608. Additional information on the contest, including a complete list of rules and regulations, is available online at the Halloween Horror Nights website.

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Jon Keeyes to direct second season of Throwing Stones

Throwing Stones horror series

Popular Indie Horror director Jon Keeyes (Suburban Nightmare, American Nightmare) has signed on to direct the second season of the award winning teen horror web series THROWING STONES which stars Chad Cox (Powder, The Good Guys), Cherami Leigh (Fast Food Nation, HBO’s Temple Grandin), Rebekah Kennedy (Creature, Season of the Witch), Lindsay Seidel (The Final), Bryan Massey (Mad Money, Boggy Creek), Kayla Carlyle (From the Dark), Lynn Andrews (MTV’s: High School Stories), and other up-and-comers. The teen series about students sent to Saturday School to learn a lesson has become one of the most watched series on KoldCast TV ever since the cliff hanger episode aired two months ago. Recently MTV producers fell in love with series and began posting episodes on their Facebook pages. The Stones cast were able to stay in touch with the fans of the show by doing live interactive broadcasts on Mingle Media TV where they answered questions about the series. Whereas the first season was about getting to know the students at Blair High while focusing more on the psychological elements, the second season moves into full Slasher-Mode. After finally coming together to overcome their differences, the students of Blair High are violently separated and forced to follow Mr. Beckett’s new set of rules. One by one he challenges each student’s will to live as he pushes his Broken Window Theory to the test. Their objective is to survive.

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Universal Sets Date for R.I.P.D.

Deadline reports that Universal has picked a June 28, 2013 release date for R.I.P.D., starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges. Based on the Dark Horse comic book of the same name which focuses on the “Rest In Peace Department” where a murdered cop comes back from the dead to find his killer.

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Scott Wilson and Lauren Cohan join Walking Dead

Scott Wilson has been cast as Herschel in The Walking Dead season two. Herschel is the owner of a farm that Rick and his company discover in their travels. Lauren Cohan also joins the cast playing”Maggie,” Herschel’s daughter.

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Doll Boy interview with Billy Pon

Doll Boy horror movie

When a brutal daylight massacre leaves them bound and gagged in a remote, abandoned warehouse, eight young West Texans soon realize their minutes are numbered.

We caught up with writer/director Billy “Bloody Bill” Pon to talk about Doll Boy.

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New poster for Strippers vs. Werewolves

STRIPPERS VS. WEREWOLVES recently wrapped production over in London, and the folks at Black & Blue Films have released a new quad poster. The movie is directed by Jonathan Glendenning and written by Pat Higgins. It stars Robert Englund, Barbara Nedeljakova, Sarah Douglas, Adele Silva, Lucy Pinder, Ali Bastian, Steven Berkoff, Nick Nevern, Danica Thrall, Simon Phillips, Alan Ford, Billy Murray and Joe Egan. STRIPPERS VS. WEREWOLVES is described as: When werewolf chief Jack Ferris is accidentally killed in a strip club, the girls who work there have until the next full moon before his bloodthirsty wolfpack seek murderous retribution.

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Emma Stone offered lead role in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Emma Stone has been offered the lead role in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Horror fans will remember Stone from 2009’s Zombieland.

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CBS Films acquires Flight 75

CBS Films has acquired Flight 75 by The Grudge director, Takashi Shimizu. The movie is described as: Passengers encounter what seems to be a supernatural force while on a flight. Taka Ichise (The Grudge, Shutter), Roy Lee (The Ring, The Departed) and Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity, Insidious) are producing and John Middleton is executive producing.

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Locke & Key pilot to be shown at Comic Con

The Locke & Key pilot which was highly anticipated by fans and thought to be a definite addition to FOX’s fall schedule will be shown to Comic-Con audiences. Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, writer-producer Josh Friedman and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will step on stage afterward for a Q&A. The pilot, directed by Mark Romanek, stars Miranda Otto, Sarah Bolger and Nick Stahl. In the proposed series a trio of children become the caretakers of Keyhouse, a mansion in New England that is full of secrets and magic. There, the kids discover doors that take them to different places, give them powers and even alter gender and skin color. Behind one door is a dangerously violent creature.

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Pruitt Taylor Vince joins The Walking Dead

Pruitt Taylor Vince is the first new cast member to join The Walking Dead season two. TV Line reports the actor will play “Otis.” Otis is one of the many characters Rick Grimes and the other survivors find at a farm owned by a man named Herschell.

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