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inmate profile: Jenna Stone

As Committed continues to spotlight the creative talent behind the upcoming Asylum-classic A Haunting in Salem, we find the beam pausing now on one Jenna Stone, the talented young actress who inhabits to role of "Ali," the afflicted family's eldest child and only daughter.

According to IMDB, Miss Stone was born in lovely Grosse Pointe, Michigan; you know, where John Cusack made that movie. And that's all they got, biographical-wise.

Professionally, Miss Stone has been on the scene a few years now, starting her screen career in the serial-killer-thriller Cherry Mapping in 2009, followed by a TV movie with Jack ("Heroes") Coleman and Helen (Supergirl, The Legend of Billy Jean, not-related-to-Christian) Slater, Rock the House, seventeen episodes of the television program "Miss Behave," and now A Haunting in Salem.

Now, I've made a promise to myself not to give anything away about the film, but I will say that Miss Stone is definitely one to watch, as the trailer probably clued you into by now. As "Ali" she gives one of the film's most vulnerable and visceral performances. Seriously, though, keep your eyes on her...if you dare...(insert guttural crazy-laugh here, if you like)

A Haunting in Salem - directed by Shane Van Dyke from a script by H. Perry Horton (me) - hits DVD soooooooo soon: October 4th, 2011. Queue it up!

Zombie Apocalypse Poster!!!

The fine folks over at The Asylum have released the poster for their upcoming SyFy Original Movie Zombie Apocalypse, starring Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Eddie Steeples and Gerlad Webb, among others. Dig this:

Kinda has a fiery Fright Night feel to it, only radder with the decaying skyline beneath. And note the addition of "2012" above the title...another brilliant ploy to get the film listed further up on Netflix/Qwikster lists, no doubt.

Directed by Nick Lyon from a script by Craig Engler and Brooks Peck, (2012) Zombie Apocalypse will premiere on SyFy Saturday, October 29th, before its DVD release two months later on December 27th. 

inmate profile: Nicholas Harsin

Continuing to shine the Committed spotlight on the creative talent behind The Asylum's upcoming horror-spectacular A Haunting in Salem - (ahem) - we turn today to the youngest member of the cast, one Nicholas Harsin, a promising young actor making his feature debut here as "Kyle," youngest child of the unfortunate family afflicted by the titular malady.

And, well, that's all there really is on young Mr. Harsin. Salem is his first feature, though he has also appeared recently in a short entitled Fairies and Faun, described as: A playful chase by a modern faun to a fairy in the magical setting of the Yosemite National Park, surrounded by wild buffaloes and horses. Sounds pretty trippy, and pretty good, apparently, as it won the Best Shorts Competition at the Milano Film Festival back in May of this year.

Other than that, Harsin's IMDB page says he plays both the French Horn and the trumpet - pretty rad - and he also studied photography at the Glasgow School of Art; sounds like we got a real Renaissance guy on our hands here. High hopes, then, for his performance in A Haunting in Salem. All indications are of Harsin as a young man with a wisdom and breadth of emotion greater than his years would belie, which makes him the perfect casting for "Kyle." See for yourself this coming Tuesday, October 4th when A Haunting in Salem conquers the world on DVD and Blu Ray.

inmate profile: Shane Van Dyke

You had to figure I'd be hyping the crap out of A Haunting in Salem during the week leading up to its DVD release next Tuesday, October 4th; it is, after all, my first produced script. But a story's one thing. Turning that story into a full-fledged, quite-literally-3D reality is a whole different thing altogether. And so, to start off Committed's coverage of all things A Haunting in Salem, we take a look at the film's captain, triple-threat Shane Van Dyke.

I say triple-threat because not only is Mr. Van Dyke the director behind a few of your favorite Asylum films - Paranormal Entity, 6 Guns and Titanic II - he's also the writer of a couple more - P.E., T2, Transmorphers: Fall of Man, The Day the Earth Stopped and Street Racer - as well as an accomplished actor: after a 17-episode stint on "Diagnosis: Murder" alongside his father, Barry Van Dyke (6 Guns), brother Carey Van Dyke (Mega Python vs. Gatoroid) and grandfather Dick Van Dyke (I don't have to tell you what Dick Van Dyke's from, you know damn well who he is), Shane graduated to the film world, picking up a few roles here and there, most notably in the rad two-part miniseries Shark Swarm, before running into the fine folks at The Asylum. Apparently it was love at first sight, because over the last three years they've worked side-by-side on some of the studio's biggest projects.

Outside The Asylum, Van Dyke has a role coming up in another shark film, Super Shark, alongside John Schneider and Asylum-Hall-of-Famer Sarah Lieving (Beast of Bray Road, Monster, 9/11 Commission Report, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, King of the Lost World etc etc etc). Super Shark, interestingly enough, is directed by the famed Fred Olen Ray, whose son, Christopher, directed Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, Almighty Thor and 2 Headed Shark Attack, due in January. I wrote that one too, off a story by Ed DeRuiter. But I digress...

Also on the horizon for Van Dyke, the release of The Sacred, a film he and brother Carey wrote that stars Jeff Fahey, Jenny O'Hara and the legendary Sid Haig.

So, as you can see, Shane Van Dyke is a hyper-motivated, multi-talented kinda dude. For my money, 6 Guns was one of the best of the year, and Titanic II was much, much smarter than I expected. I'm not alone on that last one, because Committed readers voted Shane Van Dyke Best Script for Titanic II in last year's first annual Looney Awards for Excellence in Asylum Films, presented by yours truly.

What does this mean for A Haunting in Salem? It means the film is in excellent, capable hands. Honestly, the first time they told me he was directing, the first word that popped into my head was, "jackpot" (after "holy shit," of course). If you haven't seen his other efforts, check them out now, especially Paranormal Entity; it'll give you a viscerally-excellent idea of just how scared he can get you.

Asylum Producer Gives Australian Interview

Pretty rad interview here with Asylum Producer David Michael Latt for Australia's Universal Channel. Seems the Aussies are airing something awesomely entitled Mockbuster Mayhem, in which they'll be airing a handful of Asylum titles, and they wisely thought an interview with one of the head honchos would be the perfect icing on the cake.

Check it out for yourself, but the most interesting part, to me at least, is the revelation of two new titles soon to enter production: Celebrity Sex Tape and Air Disaster. Now, Celebrity Sex Tape speaks for itself, but Air Disaster I'm curious about. Of course, there's the obvious title similarity to Airline Disaster, and presumably a similar premise, but who knows? It could also be a thriller concerning threatened oxygen or a live-broadcast catastrophe. Stay tuned for details as they emerge...

First Details on Grimm's Snow White!!!

It was only yesterday that word broke The Asylum was going to be entering production on a new flick Grimm's Snow White, and now today, we have cast and crew info!

First things first, the premise:

When the King is killed by ferocious reptile beasts, his Queen takes control of the kingdom. She tries to kill her beautiful stepdaughter SNOW, but she escapes into the enchanted forest...

Honestly, they had me at "ferocious reptile beasts." Score.

Now for the cast: it's uncertain who's playing who, but The Asylum has enlisted Jane March - best known for 1992's The Lover and most recently of Clash of the Titans, in which she played Hestia - Eliza Bennett - of Inkheart, Nanny McPhee and most recently the SyFy original Roadkill - and Jamie Thomas King, of "The Tudors" and the upcoming John Le Carre adaptation Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Conventional wisdom would tell us that March will be the Wicked Stepmother, Bennett Snow and King some version of the Huntsman. But again folks, this is The Asylum: who knows what kind of fable-bending tricks they have up their sleeves?

What gets me most excited for this one, however, is who's behind the scenes. The script is from the uber-talented Naomi Selfman (#1 Cheerleader Camp, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, Mega Python vs Gatoroid) and will be directed by Rachel Goldenberg, another inmate with talent to spare (Sherlock Holmes, Princess and the Pony). Both of these women are among my favorite contributors to The Asylum; if I had Selfman's filmography I'd make it into a t-shirt and Goldenberg has perhaps the most innovative, interesting and unique eye of all Asylum directors. With these two working together, we are guaranteed an intelligent, mesmerizing, action-packed and gorgeous film. 

Prepare your loved one now, because this bad boy drops Valentine's Day (2/14) of next year.

Dragon Crusaders Out Today! PLUS: One Week Until A Haunting in Salem

Ah, glorious Tuesday, the day movies are born into our lives. This Tuesday marks the beginning of a string of awesome Tuesdays for Asylum fans; not only are there FIVE Asylum movies coming to DVD in the next six weeks - Dragon Crusaders (9/27), A Haunting in Salem (see below), 3 Musketeers (10/25), 11/11/11 (11/1) and Born Bad UNCUT (11/8), there's also the SyFy premiere of Zombie Apocalypse October 27th.

Think about it like this: if there was a holiday season specifically designed for Asylum fans, this would be it. Six flicks, three months, and it all starts today with the release of writer/director Mark Atkins' Dragon Crusaders, a sweeping and thrilling fantasy epic in the tradition of Clash of the Titans and Reign of Fire. I've already weighed in on this flick, so scroll down a couple posts if you care to share my thoughts. Either way, rush to your local video store, kiosk or streaming site and get your hands on this bad boy toot suite.

But be sure to save some room, because one week from today, on Tuesday, October 4th, the Asylum's next release, and the very first film produced off a script I wrote, A Haunting in Salem will be released worldwide on DVD and Blu-Ray, and even in 3D if'n you got one a them fancified 3D TV players. Speaking from a strictly biased perspective, this is quite simply the greatest film in the history of light and sound. Okay, possibly I'm stretching, but at the least it is a superbly crafted, expertly executed, chilling, haunting and spectacular spook-fest, the perfect way to start of this Halloween season. 

So that's how it goes: Dragon Crusaders today, A Haunting in Salem next Tuesday. Both from The Asylum, both a guaranteed good time. Let's get through this next week and then I'll start the hyping for 3 Musketeers, a balls-out action bonanza from the mind of Edward DeRuiter and the eye of Cole McKay.

Another Asylum Film in Production!

As my regular readers might recall, a few weeks ago I made mention that The Asylum had sent out word over their social networking profiles that they were looking for crew help in Austria; at the time, there was no word as to what that production was, but now, upon another mention from The Asylum calling out for crew, we have the name of the film:

Grimm's Snow White

Awesome awesome awesome. An Asylum take on the dark origins of one of the most homogenized fairy tales ever? Brilliant, ingenious, and saliva-inducing. There are already two other, major-studio versions of the story filming now - Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristin Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, and an untitled project from Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) starring Lily Collins, Armie Hammer and Julia Roberts - so there's bound to be a lot of mistaken identity surrounding this one, making it the perfect tie-in!

Add this to 2 Headed Shark Attack, Amittyville Haunting and Nazis at the Center of the Earth, and 2012 is shaping up to be a pretty rad year for The Asylum, it's 15th. 

No word on cast, crew, release or storyline slant, but rest assured, when I know you'll know.

2 Headed Shark Attack Gets a Poster!

It's being reported by the venerable folks over at the JoBlo Movie Network that the most anticipated film of 2012, 2 Headed Shark Attack starring Carmen Electra, Brooke Hogan and Charlie O'Connell, has received its poster, and man, is it a doozy:

Pretty awesome, right? It's like a Jaws 2 variant.

There are still many months before 2 Headed Shark Attack is released on DVD on January 17th, 2012, but with the production stills and now this poster to whet our appetites, we should be able to hold out until the trailer drops, most likely sometime in December.

2 Headed Shark Attack is directed by Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray (Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, Almighty Thor) from a script by yours truly, H. Perry Horton (A Haunting in Salem) off a story by Edward DeRuiter (3 Musketeers).

observation notes: Dragon Crusaders

The Asylum's latest offering - the fantasy epic Dragon Crusaders - hits DVD this Tuesday and comes to us from writer/director/cinematographer extraordinaire Mark Atkins, who also delivered this year's highly-respectable Battle of Los Angeles, a film considered by many to surpass the film it ties into.

Now, I feel I should mention I'm not the biggest fantasy fan - dragons, knights, Medieval times; these things have never really done it for me - but I am a HUGE fan of excellent storytelling, and for my money, at least, Mark Atkins is one of the greatest auteurs The Asylum's ever had, so I went into this one with high expectations. And they were met.

The story revolves around a group of Knights Templar, their order now dissolved, fleeing like fugitives through the countryside. When they come across a village being ransacked by pirates, their nobility trumps their practicality and they decide to enter the fray for the sake of the defenseless villagers. Their heroism is rewarded with a curse that transforms them into hideous winged gargoyles. The only way to cure themselves - and save the world, as it turns out - is to confront and destroy a powerful Dragon King. Heavy shit here.

You know I don't like to spoil things, so all I'll say of the story from here is that it's a well-paced, suspenseful and thrilling script rife with action galore: storming and pillaging, sword play, riding sequences, mano-e-mano altercations and, of course, spectacular dragon-fights.

This leads me into a bold declaration: the VFX in this are INCREDIBLE, quite possibly the greatest to date for the studio. I seem to be saying that every couple of months this year, but that doesn't make it hyperbole. The team lead by Joseph Lawson has been consistently upping their game project after project, and Dragon Crusaders continues that streak. The creatures are fluid, frightening, well-articulated and alive.

As for performances, Dylan Jones as Knight John conveys all the purest qualities of a soldier: stoicism, compassion, self-sacrifice and honor. He's a fiercely cool head when all Hell is popping off around him, a soulful warrior. Simon Lloyd-Roberts as Maldwyn, another of the Knights, gives a sound performance himself, his character a hotter head than Jones', all the above-mentioned qualities with an added dash of youthful bravado and impassioned emotionality.

But it isn't just the fellas turning in the awesomeness in this one: the two leading ladies - Cecily Fay as Aerona, sword-slinging badass, and Sinead Byrne as Neem, a witchy surviving villager - are both luminous and captivating. Fay is downright impressive in the fight sequences, a one-woman spectacle as deadly as she is beautiful. She plays the role with confidence and coolness, the mark of any hero. Byrne, in contrast, plays Neem as one well aware of the real dangers they face, and thus appropriately worrisome, frantic and terrified.

So then let's take stock here: tight script, rad visual effects, solid performances across the board. Add sweeping, elegant direction by Atkins and a pulse-pounding, riveting score by Chris Ridenhour, and what you get is a truly epic fantasy film that's intriguing and entertaining, sure to please.

But as usual, don't take my word for it; see for yourself this Tuesday when the DVD hits Qwikster queues everywhere.

COMMITTED EXCLUSIVE: An Interview w/ Dragon Crusaders' Simon Lloyd-Roberts!

With Mark Atkins' Dragon Crusaders bowing on DVD for The Asylum this coming Tuesday, here at Committed I've been taking a closer look at some of the creative personnel behind this fantasy epic. Today, an exclusive interview with actor Simon Lloyd-Roberts, who plays the character "Maldwyn" in the film. Dragon Crusaders marks Mr. Lloyd-Roberts' third feature film, all three of which have been for The Asylum: Merlin and the War of Dragons (also a Mark Atkins' film), Sherlock Holmes and now Dragon Crusaders. Today also happens to be his birthday. Best wishes!

COMMITTED: Tell us a bit about where you’re from, and how you got into acting.

Simon Lloyd-Roberts: I'm born and raised in North Wales all of my [almost] 27 years now. If I had to describe where I live in the simplest terms, I would simply say there's lots of mountains, lots of green fields, and lots of castles. But that's why North Wales appeals so much as a location for making films, especially the kind of sword and sorcery epics Mark Atkins has made over here.

As for how I got into acting...the honest truth is I believe I simply turned round one day when I was about 10 years old and suddenly had this idea that I'd quite like to be an actor, and unlike most ideas I get into my head I actually stuck with this one. I took up training opportunities wherever I could find them, and just kept at it as the years went on. I'm glad to say I've finally started getting somewhere with it in the last few years.

C: Who were some of the actors you looked up to as an aspiring thespian?

SLR:  As a fellow Welshman, I would have to say Anthony Hopkins. I've always felt he brings a brilliant subtlety to all his work, and that he always blends it with just the right amount, and style, of charisma depending on the type of character he plays. I just think it's a bit of a shame that his success is almost always (in my opinion) based solely on the Hannibal Lecter films, because he's been in the business a long time, and he has done so much more stuff just as great as Silence Of The Lambs.

C:  You’ve made three films, all with The Asylum. How did you come to work with the studio?

SLR: It's really as a result of them coming over to North Wales to shoot some of their movies. Back in 2008 Mark Atkins came over to shoot Merlin And The War Of The Dragons, and he was already in contact at that time with Dylan Jones (my Merlin and Dragon Crusaders co-star), because he's an accomplished stunt horse rider as well as being an actor, and he wanted to get his stunt team involved in the film, and then with our agent Helen Pritchard, who was given the responsibility of helping to cast the film. I was just lucky enough to turn out to be exactly what he was looking for when auditioning the role of Merlin. It was undoubtedly my first really big break.

And since then I've also worked with Rachel Goldenberg very briefly on Sherlock Holmes nearly two years ago, and more recently I'm glad to say Mark Atkins was obviously happy enough to work with me again, because I was lucky enough to get one of the principal roles in Dragon Crusaders.

C:What’s it like working with Mark Atkins?

SLR: It's cool, really. Without doubt I owe him a lot because, like I said, he gave me my first big film break with Merlin three years ago, and at a time of my life when I'd begun to suffer a lot of self-doubt to the point where I was briefly considering packing in the acting dream, that gave me the lift I needed, and a new belief in myself.

I've always believed he has a lot of love for the stuff he films; the whole fantasy, myth and ancient legends thing. I think he has expressed an affection for North Wales as a film location ever since he was first there three years ago - I was always expecting him to eventually come back here to shoot another movie at some point. And he always manages to get the job done, often well and truly against the odds, so that's impressive enough in itself. It's even better when it's him and Scott Wheeler working together, as has been the case both times he's come to North Wales. They're a good partnership!

C: Those two Atkins’ films are also both fantasy films. Is that an area you feel particularly drawn to? What other sorts of genres or types of roles are you interested in?

SLR: Definitely! If it's something that combines fantasy with plenty of action and sword fighting then it gets my interest. I would be a happy man if I could spend the rest of my life working in films like that.

But one of my big interests, besides acting, is history. In the last few years I've also been lucky enough to land major parts in a National Geographic documentary series called Mystery Files, in which I've played a Russian prince involved in the killing of Rasputin, a Roman senator, and more recently got to portray Adolf Hitler during his German Army days in World War 1. They were all great, and challenging, projects to work on, and definitely the sort of film work I enjoy most - anything historical or period.

C: Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about Dragon Crusaders, or your character, “Maldwyn?”

SLR: Honestly, the synopsis of the film on the Asylum website really tells you most of what you need to know. It's about a band of fugitive Knights Templar - all of them good men - who accidentally fall under a magical curse that dooms them to turn into evil monsters unless they can destroy the source of the curse. It's a fairly simple plot point that sets in motion all of the action that takes place in the film, and there is a lot of action to be had in this one. It has this element of "The evil that men are capable of" that I like a lot.

My character, Maldwyn, is the young member of this group of Templars. Despite his youth, he has a hardness and an edge to him, and has no hesitation rushing into danger and putting his life on the line to defend the innocent, and displays an athletic ability in battle to defeat his enemies - at least I THINK this was something like the character synopsis I was given for the audition, and it's what I've tried to go for in playing the role. How much of that I've actually managed to pull off, and how well, is another question (especially the whole "athletic" bit). I can only hope and pray!

C: Any projects on the horizon you’d like to mention?

SLR: Right now I'm waiting to hear word on a project I worked on back in March which, I believe, is nearing completion, and I'm very excited about, although I can't really give away very much about it. Also, there's a short film I worked on a couple of years ago, written by Helen Pritchard, which hasn't really seen the light of day until just recently, but has turned out really well and is now being planned as a pilot for a potential series of six short films.
Other than that, I'm just eagerly awaiting the release of Dragon Crusaders at the end of September. It will be good to see the whole cast and crew's hard work on display, hopefully for a lot of people's entertainment. Fingers crossed!

More Festival News for The Asylum

It was already announced that Dragon Crusaders would be premiering this weekend at the B Movie Celebration in Franklin, Indiana, and yesterday there came word that another Asylum film, the apocalyptic thriller 11/11/11 will premiere September 30th at the 2011 Big Bear Horro-Fi Film Festival 

The trailer for this one is on the A Haunting in Salem DVD, out October 4th, and it looks AWESOME. See for yourself when 11/11/11 drops on DVD 11/1/11/...

Zombie Apocalypse Teaser is Out!

Check out this link for your first look at The Asylum's Zombie Apocalypse starring Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Gerald Webb and many more. The film, directed by Nick Lyon, hits SyFy the Saturday night before Halloween and DVD in December. Enjoy!

inmate profile: Tony Sams

So much to cover this month: naturally, I'm all attuned to the release of A Haunting in Salem on October 4th - seeing as I wrote it -  but that doesn't mean I'm going to neglect my inmate-duty to faithfully promote the studio's next actual release, writer/director Mark Atkins' Dragon Crusaders, available September 27th. So then, let's turn the Committed spotlight on another member of this fantasy epic's cast, one Tony Sams, who plays the role of "Sigmund."

His bio on IMDB pretty much says it all: "Born in Lincoln in the UK, his parents moved to Southampton where he grew up playing in bands across the South Coast. He made the move into acting after being cast in a short in 2005. Since then, he has appeared in both leading and supporting roles. As a special skills performer, he has also worked with horses on films, such as Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, Clash of The Titans II, and BBC's Merlin, among others."

As an actor, this appears to be Mr. Sams' first feature credit. From the looks of those horse credits, it would seem Mr. Sams has a professional connection to Dylan Jones, profiled earlier. And yes, that picture above is of Mr. Sams in Dragon Crusaders, so there's a little glimpse of just how epic this epic's gonna be. Find out for sure September 27th!

B Movie Celebration This Weekend!

Franklin, Indiana is in for a wild weekend, because it is once again time for the annual B Movie Celebration in just five short days, and this year The Asylum has a couple of reasons to be popping bottles and joining in.

First up, actor Gerald Webb (Titanic II, 2012 Ice Age, Born Bad, A Haunting in Salem, upcoming 2 Headed Shark Attack) is being honored as a part of the Golden Cobb Awards - and awards ballot solely aimed at B Movies - in the "Best Rising B Actor" award for his stellar work in the film Battle of Los Angeles as "Lt. Jeffrey Newman."

And secondly, The Asylum's next release - Dragon Crusaders, on DVD a week from tomorrow - is getting its world premiere at the celebration. The film - written and directed by Mark Atkins, the man also responsible for Battle of Los Angeles - is the latest fantasy epic from our favorite studio and it sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Head over to the celebration's website for more info on the goings-on, including the lineup of other films premiering over the weekend...some interesting stuff... 

A Hearty Committed-congratulations to Mr. Webb, a fine actor with a quite promising future! Salud!

inmate profile: Dylan Jones

Continuing to shine the Committed spotlight on the creative talent behind The Asylum's upcoming Dragon Crusaders (on DVD September 27th), this time it falls upon actor Dylan Jones, who plays "John" in the movie.

From North Wales, Mr. Jones is something of a phenomena in my book: here's a guy with two passions in life - acting and horses - and the dude figured out how to successfully combine them. In 1997, he got a job as a rider in the Sam Neill miniseries "Merlin" (Merlin #1), and from there it was a go. As an actor, Mr. Jones has appeared in five films, four of them with The Asylum: Merlin and the War of Dragons (Merlin#2), Sherlock Holmes, The 7 Adventures of Sinbad and now Dragon Crusaders. In the first two and last of that filmography, Mr. Jones also served as the films' Horse Master, something he did as well for ten episodes of the BBC's "Merlin" (Merlin #3; hat trick!). 

Furthermore - oh yeah, there's more - Mr. Jones has also served as a Horse Supplier to some pretty big-name productions: Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, Steven Spielberg's upcoming War Horse and the currently-in-production films Clash of the Titans 2 and Snow White and the Huntsman, the K-Stewart/Thor one. He's also appeared in each of those films as a Horse Rider. 

So as you can see, Dylan Jones is quite the go-getter, a man with a distinct vision of what he wants and the drive to obtain it. Well done, sir! Check he and his steeds out Tuesday, September 27th, when Dragon Crusaders roars onto DVD.

inmate profile: Cecily Fay

In honor of the next Asylum release, Dragon Crusaders, out on DVD at the end of this month, it's time to turn the Committed spotlight on the creative forces behind this fantasy epic. First up: actress Cecily Fay.

A Brit by birth, Ms. Fay began her entertaining career as a dancer with the English National Ballet Company, which sounds pretty damn prestigious. It was the lithe nimbleness she learned as a dancer, I suspect, that would come in handy later when Ms. Fay evolved into not only an actress, but a stuntwoman and martial artist as well.

Okay, okay, one thing at a time here. As an actress, Ms Fay has performed in nine feature films, notable among them The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which she was a creature performer, Warrioress, out soon, which she also wrote, produced and composed the score for, and, of course, Dragon Crusaders

As a stunt performer, Ms. Fay has worked as a double and a choreographer. Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory featured her stunt work.

As a martial artist - and this part's really cool - Ms. Fay is considered "the foremost Silat seni performer in the world." What's Silat seni, you ask? Well, I'm not too sure. Googling this only confused me, because it seems like there might be a couple variations and I don't want to get anything wrong, but basically, as far as I can tell, it's a form of self-defense, a combative art, possibly Malaysian in origin, that puts a lot of emphasis on fluidity of movement and may possibly involve a sword. Check this website for more specifics. 

Regardless, as you can tell from her work in the trailer, there's definitely a sword involved in Dragon Crusaders, and Ms. Fay looks right at ease with it. Check out her slaying skills when Dragon Crusaders hits DVD September 27th.

A Writer's Verbal Freakout Upon Watching His First Produced Script

That's right, this one's as self-indulgent as they get: since I wouldn't dain to do observation notes on A Haunting in Salem - no spoilers from this camp - but as I have now seen it (!!!), I did want to do a post about the experience of sitting down to watch the very first movie made because I wrote something down.

In a nutshell, it was pretty fucking awesome. 

Truthfully, it was a little weird at first, I felt kinda like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News: "I say it here, it comes out there. Huh." When lines I remember writing and tweaking and ditching then resurrecting and tweaking some more came mellifluously spilling from the talented lips of the cast, my stomach flipped a little bit. Certain scenes, certain silent moments, they gave me chills that had nothing to do with the (incredibly frightening) ambiance. 

I've been writing a very long time, since I was 11, and until now, any characters I've created have existed solely in my imagination. To have some of them walking around on my TV was surreal to say the least, and my wife was required to punch me gently on the arm every quarter hour to ensure it was real; she became less gentle as the film went on, as she's not one for being scared. 

The actors - Bill Oberst Jr., Courtney Abbiati, Nicholas Harsin, Jenna Stone, Carey Van Dyke, Gerald Webb, Sonny King - did things with the roles I never could have written, things that transformed ideas into people and brought dimension to what had been a scary story, now just plain scary.

Composer Chris Ridenhour's score was spot-on - chilling, ferocious, chaotic, mind-bending. It augmented every scene, heightened every scare, and became very much an alive thing, another menacing character all its own. 

I could go on and on; for me, an admittedly biased viewer, everything about the film - the camera work, the lighting, the make-up, the casting, the HOUSE - was brilliant. But that's how I'm supposed to see it, right? That's how it's supposed to feel, how you imagine it feels when you daydream about it: you're write a script, some incredibly talented people take it and turn it into something amazing you can be proud to be a part of. 

And I am proud. I really really really am. Director Shane Van Dyke has made a great movie, a horror film with classical sensibilities and modern, innovative scare tactics. It's intimate and quiet one moment, cacophonous and violating the next, a terrifying whirlwind of cinema. I'm honored to have contributed.

And as for The Asylum itself...I'm just very grateful for the opportunity - ridiculously, massively grateful - and hope everyone is as happy with the film as I am, though I'm pretty damn happy, so that's a high bar.

Sure, I'm gushing a little bit, or a lot, but I wrote a movie because of all these wonderful people, and to me, that's a dream come true, so I've earned being eternally grateful and (perhaps childishly) emotive. I realize that I'm probably more lucky than I am talented - though I am quite talented; ask my wife, my mother, my 8th grade English teacher Mrs. Bradford or my bartenders, Glenn & Chots - and I know that my contribution is but a cog in the machine of this film, I just wanted a chance to say how happy I am to have been along for some of the ride.

So, to wrap it up, there's a really awesome horror film soon to be on DVD - Shane Van Dyke directed it, Alex Yellen shot it, Shannon Benna made it all 3D, Christopher Ray & Randy Carter assisted direction, Bill Oberst Jr, Courtney Abbiati, Nicholas Harsin, Jenna Stone, Gerald Webb, Carey Van Dyke & Sonny King gave it life, Chris Ridenhour made it scream, James Condelik cut it up, Alexa Roland, Spencer Brennan, Amber Hamzeh & Valerie K. Garcia made the fear tangible, Devin Ward managed the crap out of unit production, so many other fine folks sweated for it and I got to write it, all under the eyes and wings of B-movie royalty, the fine folks at The Asylum, specifically Mr.'s Rimawi, Latt & Bales and Ms. Brown - A Haunting in Salem, October 4th on DVD and Blu Ray, in 3D if you got the equipment.

Highest recommendation. Naturally.

outside the walls: September DVD Releases

I recognize that not all great films are made exclusively by The Asylum and that, in fact, there's a whole world of film outside these walls, some of which might actually interest Asylum fans - when they're not watching or re-watching Asylum films, of course. And, being as I'm only looking out for your viewing well-being, here's a peek at some other DVD releases this month which might satiate you between Asylum releases. But remember, as always, Sweet n' Low ain't sugar.

Sept. 6

A Horrible Way to Die


X-Men: First Class

Sept. 13

The Shunning

starring Bill Oberst Jr
of Princess & The Pony and A Haunting in Salem

Beyond the Dunwich Horror/Pretty Dead Things

The Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver

Supernatural Season 6


Sept. 20

Area 51

George A. Romero Presents Deadtime Stories vol. 2


Terror Trap

Sept. 27

Dead Cert


written and directed by Mark Atkins

The Lost Future

Sept. 30

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

More Names From 2 Headed Shark Attack Revealed

With the arrival of the first production stills from 2 Headed Shark Attack has also come a bit more information about just who comprises the cast of this future classic. As I've mentioned, it's a large cast, so this news is going to come trickling in, but as of now not only do we have a look at two new cast members and the name of a third, we've also got the first images of two others.

First up is Shannon Stewart in the role of "Lyndsey." There are quite a few Shannon Stewarts on IMDB so I didn't want to speculate as to which one she is, if even she has a profile there as of yet - there are a lot of newcomers in this one, which I think is great, fresh meat ;) - but I was able to find her Vimeo profile, which provides her performance reel from last year.

Next we have Miss Lauren Perez, who will be bringing to life the character of "Jamie," yet another endangered coed. Again, lots of Lauren Perez's out there, so perhaps here we have another fortunate rookie making her big screen (depending on how large your TV is) debut in 2 Headed Shark Attack. Lots of people cutting their teeth on this one (I can't make the puns stop, I've tried, but it's like they're controlling me, sorry...).

And then there's two cast members we've already discussed, David Gallegos (above) and Mercedes Young (right). We already knew Gallegos was playing the role of "Paul," but now we know that Ms. Young will be playing "Liza," as well as getting a look at the two in character.

Now, I can't tell you anything more about these characters for the sake of everyone's hard work and your sense of enjoyment upon the film's release, but I can tell you that as the dude who wrote the script based on the story of another dude (Ed DeRuiter), so far I've been really excited by how this cast is coming together.

Aside from info revealed by the stills, there are a couple more names we've learned are associated with the project, these coming from The Asylum's own page: actress Corinne Nobili and cinematographer Stuart Brereton. Nobili appears to be another newcomer, but has a few projects listed on her IMDB page, while Brereton has served as a camera operator on Torchwood and the latest incarnation of Doctor Who

See for yourself the culmination of these talents when director Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray's masterpiece 2 Headed Shark Attack hits DVD on January 17th, 2012.

First Stills From 2 Headed Shark Attack!!!!!!!

The Asylum came through today with the best birthday gift possible (it's my birthday) in the form of the first stills from 2 Headed Shark Attack, a film I totally wrote based on a story by Ed DeRuiter. And in a single word, exaggeratedly drawn out for the sake of over-emphasis, these pics are awwwwwwwwesommmmmmmmmme!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The film stars Carmen Electra and Charlie O'Connell as a married couple running a Semester at Sea program with a fresh crop of students, including Brooke Hogan. This film's got everything: fun, sun, buff and beautiful coeds in bikinis, a rad-looking shark model and a ton of carnage. It's gonna be an all-out slaughter-fest, believe me, and from this first glimpse, director Christopher Ray has brought the pain!

Get your ass over to the flickr site and peruse these lovely images. They should tide you over until we get the poster, then the trailer, then the film itself on DVD January 17th, 2012.

R.I.P. Gemi, the 2 Headed Shark Model

Courtesy of the twitter feed of Devin Ward - line producer of 11/11/11, unit production manager of Born Bad, A Haunting in Salem and Zombie Apocalypse, and 2nd assistant director of 2012: Ice Age (and presumably one of those things on 2 Headed Shark Attack) - comes this shot confirming the death of the mighty"Gemi," two-headed scourge of the Florida Keys. According to the post, twas seawater that did the model in. A beautiful irony, that. 

So a salute then, a toast to the greatest, mightiest, most handsome two-headed fish to ever bloody the seven seas. Though gone, Gemi shall never be forgotten, memorialized in digital cellulose for all time as she is, to be enjoyed, reviled and feared by generations to come. Empty your glasses, men, a warrior has fallen.

Revel in Gemi's exploits January 17th, 2012, when 2 Headed Shark Attack is released on DVD.

2 More Names Mentioned for 2 Headed Shark Attack!

I've spoken a few times now about how expansive the 2 Headed Shark Attack cast is, so it stands to reason this information would start to trickle in now that the IMDB page and the Wikipedia page are up. As such, I've learned of two more cast members, so of course I've come online to share the news.

First up is Ashley Bissing, who isn't mentioned - yet - on either page but who responded to my tweet about the IMDB page going live. Seems Miss Bissing will be playing "Kristen" in the film, a delightful firecracker of a character if I do say so myself. Miss Bissing seems to be a relative newcomer to the screen acting biz, as her only IMDB credit to date is as a set production assistant on the Jim Carrey-Ewan MacGregor romance I Love You, Phillip Morris. After 2 Headed Shark Attack, however, it's doubtful she'll be able to walk the streets in blessed anonymity any longer.

Also joining the cast, as verified by the Wikipedia page, is Miss Mercedes Young, another relative newcomer who's only on-camera credit seems to be a cameo in Beyonce's video for "Best Thing I Never Had." Ummm...that's worth like ten movies, at least. Cameo in a Beyonce video?! That's on a bucket list I got around here somewhere, and technically it reads, "ride and/or wrestle an alligator in background of a Beyonce video." I have admittedly strange goals.

Anywho, these two lovely and no-doubt immensely talented young ladies are the newest members of the ensemble that is 2 Headed Shark Attack, lead of course by the formidable Carmen Electra, the endearing Charlie O'Connell and the alluring Brooke Hogan. There are still a dozen or so names to be revealed, and I'm gonna let you know about every damn one of them, because I am (perhaps foolishly) convinced that everyone in the world is as ravenous as I am for any and all info on what is destined to be the greatest shark movie of the 21st Century.

Yo Austria! Wanna Be In An Asylum Movie?

So, I don't know too much about this other than what I've gleaned from some Asylum tweets today, but it seems our favorite studio is gearing up some production or another - no word or really any idea what it could be - among the lovely hills of Austria. As such, they're looking for extras or something of the sort, and have put out the call online. Allow me to echo that call by passing on their tweets:



"Email: if you are local in Austria. You could be part of our latest production!"

So there you have it. I know I have readers in Austria, so you two should totally grab some buddies and jump on this. And when you find out what the production is, clue me in, I'm dying to know!

Bill Oberst Posts on Salem's 3D Expert Shannon Benna

In my continuing effort to promote the crap out of the upcoming Asylum classic A Haunting in Salem - which I wrote - here's a little tidbit published by actor Bill Oberst Jr., who plays the film's "hero," on 3D Stereographer Shannon Benna, the first female in the history of cinema to hold that position on a feature film. Check out the article, and do yourself a favor and follow Bill's blog; dude is getting A LOT of creepy-looking work, so there's a lot of news coming out of his camp. Show your support for a talented actor and a genuinely nice guy, especially by buying or renting A Haunting in Salem when it's released on October 4th, less than one month from now.

2 Headed Shark Attack Gets an IMDB Page

The most highly-anticipated shark movie of the 21st Century (in my house, at least), 2 Headed Shark Attack, just got it's official IMDB page. At present the only actors listed are those billed over at The Asylum's page, and to them we already know we can add the names David Gallegos and Gerald Webb, but with a pretty large cast, expect this one to fill up quick with a host of actors and actresses soon to become the stuff of legends. As soon as these future B-icons are revealed, I'll be Googling into their professional lives to give you the lowdown.

2 Headed Shark Attack goes on a feeding frenzy of your mind January 17th, 2012. Believe it.

outside the walls: Asylum Regulars' Other Work

A couple of neat news tidbits here on some Asylum inmates past and present, beginning with even more good news for Born Bad writer/director and five-time Asylum actor Jared Cohn: last week I told you about the long-awaited DVD release for his first film behind the camera, The Carpenter Part One: And So They Die...; now there comes word that his next script, Traced aka Hard Brake, has won the 27th Writing Contest, an accolade accompanied by a little scrilla, a trip to LA, some industry-type meetings and all the trappings. Check out the results here, and join me in keeping an eye out for news that this one's been greenlit. 

In other news, Nick Everhart, writer/director of Asylum classics 666: The Beast and 2012 Doomsday as well as the line producer for five others, has a cool, scary short over on one of my fav sites, Arrow in the Head, a part of the venerable and respected JoBlo Movie Network. The deal is, AITH has created a new column called YourHorrorVids in which they "...give exposure to... well...YOUR HORROR VIDS! I'm talking about cool horror shorts, music videos, cool reels, parodies created by YOU or someone else. The idea is that we want to give amateur filmmakers further exposure, so if you know of any slick HORROR VIDS that deserve our props, chime the f*ck in by emailing us at: 

Pretty cool stuff from some pretty cool people; but what else do you expect from creative talent that cut their teeth at The Asylum's bit?

T-Minus One Month Until The DVD/Blu Ray Release of A HAUNTING IN SALEM!!!

That's right, exactly one month from today, on October 4th, 2011, A Haunting in Salem - my first produced script, directed by Shane Van Dyke and starring Bill Oberst Jr., Courtney Abbiati, Jenna Stone, Nicholas Harsin, Gerald Webb, Carey Van Dyke et al - will be released by the venerable peeps at The Asylum on DVD and Blu-Ray, in 3D if you have one of those fancy 3D TVs. For those fine folks looking to purchase the film, you can pre-order it from Amazon here, or if you're on the Netflix, add this shizzle to your queue now to ensure you're near the top of the list.

Today also marks a month chock-full of blatant plugging and hyping of the film by yours truly, including profiles of the creative personnel behind the film, links to press and advance reviews, an in-depth and exclusive interview with actor Bill Oberst Jr., possibly a surprise or two, and, of course, up-to-the-minute accounts of my general freaking out over what is easily the biggest deal in my life (until January 17th, that is.). Should be, at least, entertaining.

But fantasy fans don't fret, I'm well-aware that the next actual release from The Asylum is Mark Atkins' Dragon Crusaders, and rest-assured I'll be giving that film it's full due as well, including more profiles, an exclusive interview with actor Simon Lloyd-Roberts and my patented blend of objectivity and fanaticism in the form of Observation Notes. 

It's gonna be a pretty rad and hectic month here at Committed; drop by often...