CON: Jack Brooks / Laid to Rest

As this is my first year at the CON, this also happened to be the first of many panels I'll be attending--Anchor Bay's JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER. As a HUGE fan of monster movies, especially fun monster movies, I knew I'd be a fan of this badboy as soon as the first initial poster showed up back in January. A plummer battling monsters, featuring the great Robert Englund? I'm so there!

So with great pleasure and anticipation I strolled into the auditorium ... and was surprised to find it not even halfway full. Not even a quarter full, really? I was early, and it actually worked in my favor as I sat near the front of the action. But still, I was a little concerned with the lack of interest from the crowd.

STYD's very own Ryan Rotten mediated the panel, featuring writer/director Jon Knautz, stars Trevor Matthews, Robert Englund, co-writer Patrick White, and composer Ryan Shore. Kicking off the panel was the trailer (which you can see below), and two exclusive CON clips that went a little something like this:

Robert Englund digging up a skeleton in a crate in his office, only to find a beating heart in its chest cavity. The beating heart mesmerisms him and makes him take a bite out of it. The heart then attacks his face--and crawls down his throat.

Think the whole idea behind JASON GOES TO HELL, with the eating heart gag. That's what this was. Then the next clip kicked off...

Jack Brooks (Trevor Matthews) is beating the crap out of an ugly looking monster. He slams the monster on the ground and beats his head in until with a fire extinguisher until the head EXPLODES! Jack then duct tapes an open wound and goes out to find more monsters to kill.

My favorite of the two clips, mostly because it featured lots of blood and violence... yet done in such a way that's light and campy. Nice! This flick is one to look out for after being shown these two badboys...

Robert Englund: bored.

The panel continued, mostly talking about how hard it was getting a movie like this made as it was all their first (the filmmakers) "real" stab at making a movie. Englund had a great presence about him, but looked extremely bored sitting there in front of a mostly empty auditorium and an unenthusiastic crowd. But hey--at least he was there, right??? Here's a quick summary of things that were said:

The film's total budget was $2.2M, in which they went way beyond. No CGI effects were in the movie as they wanted to keep it all practical. They designed seven unique monsters for this film from the ground up.

Just one of the monsters they designed for JACK BROOKS.

Englund agreed to star after seeing Knautz's short film STILL LIFE--a film Englund refers to as "perfect." The musical score was recorded live--hence, no synthesizers were used. The makeup wasn't nearly as difficult to wear for Englund as THE MANGLER or playing Freddy Krueger. JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER is having a screening in an old cemetery in L.A. on August 12th. The flick hits limited theaters August 15th, and DVD in October.

At the end of the panel we find that it's Matthews birthday--so Rotten gets the whole crowd to sing "Happy Birthday." This is cool cause Matthews actually seems like a pretty down to earth guy, plus this is the first time anyone seemed awake in the auditorium, and definitely ended the panel on a high note. Even Englund seemed to step out of his boredom for that number.

He really is that scary in person.

In the end, from the clips, the trailer, and the sheer enthusiasm from the filmmakers (not the crowd), I actually can't wait to slay JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER on DVD October 7th--would rather hit it up in theaters, but alas... I don't live in L.A. It's rockin' that fun EVIL DEAD vibe (Jack Brooks the new Ash? Maybe...), and seems to be the kind of monster-slayin' fun we haven't seen in a while.

The sweet trailer for JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER.


On the tail-end of the JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER panel (check that shite out HERE, we were shown an exclusive first-look trailer for LAID TO REST, a new slasher flick from F/X guru Robert Hall. First off, here's a brief synopsis of the flick:

A terrifying story of a young girl who wakes up in a casket with a traumatic head injury and no memory of her identity. She quickly realizes she was abducted by a Deranged Serial Murderer and in an isolated rural town she must survive the night and outsmart the technologically inclined killer who is hellbent on finishing what he started.

Starring Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, and Bobbi Sue Luther, LAID TO REST looks like a no-holds-barred slasher flick, taking one big (and scary lookin') mofo with a metallic skull mask, who chases down innocent and terrified Luther. Some of the scenes included creepy hillbillies, a few dark mortuary interior shots, and yes... there was even a splatter of blood here and there... actually, there was a lot of blood! Throats slices and mega-sprays from off-screen. And this is just the trailer!

LAID TO REST director Robert Hall.

Considering slashers are my favorite sub-genre of the horror genre, I had a blast with this beast! I hadn't really heard much of it before today, but trust when I tell you that today won't be the last! Slasher flicks are a dime-a-dozen these days, but NOT hardcore bloody slasher flicks like this! It's obvious LAID TO REST is going for that ever glorious R rating... Nice! Plus, did I mention Headey is in this? And yes... she's looking as smokin' hot as ever.


Source: JoBlo



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