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Fantastic Fest 2018: ‘Tumbbad’ is a Feast of Mythology, Greed and Effective Horror

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Tumbbad is a film that grabs hold and pulls you in from the get go. An elegantly-terrifying gem at this year’s Fantastic Fest, this film was a complete surprise and is a straight up transportive and triumphant experience.

Tumbbad tells a sweeping epic story across generations. It explores rites of passage, inescapable destiny and the depths of greed.

Without giving too much away, the story focuses on Vinayak, who we first get to know as a youth assisting in care for his great grandmother, a cursed, mad wretch who is only controlled through timely feedings, and a warning of a greedy god named Hastar. Both things seem to keep the old woman from straight-up eating her whole family.

When Vinayak inherits ancestral mansion, he returns to Tumbbad as an adult, with greed and a plan to satisfy said greed. Not fully realizing the complexities and dangers that he has unwittingly become part of, by entering the Goddesses womb.

Tumbbad is deeply rooted in India’s folklore. In particular, it focuses on The Goddess of Plenty, who gave birth to millions of gods during the creations of the universe. Despite the fact that she had so many children she loved Hastar the most, since he was her first-born.

In the case of most spoiled brats, Hastar became a little too greedy, leading to his near death at the hands of the other gods and his eventual saving grace given to him by his mother who took him and placed him back in her womb. Part, protection, part exile, Hastar remained in the Womb of the Goddess.

The film is broken into three parts, each soaked with atmospheric terror and filled with quiet menace. Tumbbad explores the nature of greed in both its portrayal of Hastar and Vinayak, and goes even further by holding the mirror up to the greed of India’s colonialism at the time by way of the British Raj.

The cinematography, is gorgeous and is an experience that should be seen on the big screen to get the full effect. It’s rare that something comes together as well as the trifecta of score, direction and scope does, but Tumbbad manages to create something really special, while making sure to keep things nice and horrifying along the way.

The VFX in this one are outstanding as well, crafting memorable creations in the forms of the great grandmother, in the evil Hastar and the textural inevitability of the womb. The final act of the film brilliantly combines CG with the practical to produce one of the most jaw dropping finales I have seen recently.

The story heavily relies on it’s lead actor, Soham Shan, who does a fantastic job of exuding enough charisma into the role that we are never not on his side, despite some of his greed based choices. Shan, is an actor that has the range to cover the spectrum and he does in his role as Vinayak.

Much like Hereditary, Tummbad explores ancestry and atmosphere and turns the two into something real horror show. The film is epic in every way, mixing folklore, mythology and religion into a complex and sharp brew, that is ultimately masterful, compelling and terrifying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaBvusK6dSY&feature=youtu.be

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‘Tales from the Crypt’ Publisher, EC Comics is Being Brought Back to Life at Oni Comics

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Tales From

After seventy years of being shut down, the iconic EC Comics is coming back by way of Oni Comics. Originally founded as an educational comics brand, it would later become a publisher known for its horror comics and tales to keep you up late at night. William Gaines lead the way and during his time we were gifted with a run of comics such as Tales From the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror, and of course Weird Science among others. Founded in 1944 and running to 1956 it was eventually shut down due to claims that comic books were affecting the minds of our adolescents. After reaching Congress the issue was large enough to take down the small comics publisher.

Crypt
Original Cover art for EC Comics Tales From the Crypt.

Of course, later on, HBO would take Tales From the Crypt and reboot it for television with a whole new generation. However, for comic collectors, it was up to either visiting select digital archives online or purchasing old issues by way of auction. It is exciting to hear that Oni Comics is going to bring EC Comics back to life.

“EC Comics is one of the most artistically important and culturally significant publishers of all time. In ways both artful and shocking, EC confronted the darkness lurking behind the thin facade of American society — a throughline of radically confrontational storytelling that we intend to both uphold and escalate with the first new EC tales in decades. We’re challenging ourselves to evolve EC’s relentless energy and fearless sensibilities in ways never before attempted. These are intense comics for our intense times.“ Oni Comics Publisher, Hunter Gorinson said.

Tales
Cover art from EC Comics Tales From the Crypt.

The first two comics under the new partnership are two new anthology titles that both lend themselves to the flair of their classics. First up Epitaphs from the Abyss followed by Cruel Universe. You can check out the cover for Cruel Universe at the bottom of the page.

Although the partnership is said to not be about nostalgia, we are still hoping that following some of these new titles we do get a special revisit for Tales from the Crypt or one of the other classics.

Epitaphs From the Abyss is due out in stores beginning this July. Cruel Universe is set to arrive in August.

What do you think about the Oni Comics bringing back EC Comics? Let us know in the comments section.

EC
Cover for EC Comics upcoming title.

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Images and a Poster Have Arrived For Eli Roth’s ‘Borderlands’

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Borderlands

Eli Roth’s Borderlands is well on its way to a theater near you. The Gearbox Software game adaptation looks to take its characters, costumes, and the world of Pandora right from the game. So, that is a good sign. However, we are still on the fence with this one. We will have a better idea of what to expect when a trailer drops tomorrow. Today we have our first look at some images from the film along with a hyper-neon fun poster.

Borderlands
Photo: Cate Blanchett as Lilith in Borderlands. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lionsgate.

The synopsis for Borderlands goes like this:

Lilith (Blanchett), an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas (Ramirez). Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team – Roland (Hart), a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption; Tiny Tina (Greenblatt), a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg (Munteanu), Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis (Curtis), the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap (Black), a persistently wiseass robot. These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other.

Borderlands stars Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Edgar Ramirez, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ariana Greenblatt, Florian Munteanu, Haley Bennett, Olivier Richters, Gina Gershon, Cheyenne Jackson, Charles Babalola, Benjamin Byron Davis, Steven Boyer, Bobby Lee, Ryann Redmond, Penn Jillette, and Janina Gavankar, and Jack Black.

Borderlands

Borderlands arrives in theaters beginning August 9. Are you excited about this one? Let us know in the comments section.

Borderlands

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Micheal Keaton Says ‘Beetlejuice Beetlejuice’ Feels Like Original Including Practical Effects

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Beetlejuice

It feels like a ‘Beetlejuice’ sequel has been in the works for over 100 years. However, the timeline for an official production is much shorter and not as cluttered with faux fan posters. We’ve gotten spoilery glimpses of outdoor sets thanks to paparazzi and even seen some characters in costume. Everything so far boasts a handcrafted look. Additionally, it’s a bonus that Michael Keaton himself has said the sequel feels like the original and that it will be practical. Color us intrigued, Michael!

“It’s the most fun I’ve had on set in a long time…On one hand, you’d go, ‘Well, of course it’s the most fun. It looks like fun.’ As you know, it doesn’t always work like that.” Keaton told People.

Beetlejuice

It is a well-known factoid that Keaton had more fun on the first Beetlejuice than any other film that he had made. It still stands up as one of his all-time favorites.

“The one thing that (director Tim Burton) and I decided on early, early, early on from the beginning, if we ever did it again, I was totally not interested in doing something where there was too much technology…It had to feel handmade…What made it fun was watching somebody in the corner actually holding something up for you, to watch everybody in the shrunken head room and say, ‘Those are people under there, operating these things, trying to get it right.’”

That sounds like a whole lot of practical magic to us. Plus, I’m sure that Burton himself has become a bit tired of turning to computer-rendered graphics for his films. They have become more and more filled to the brim with nothing but computer-designed worlds.

One of the most incredible achievements I’ve seen lately in terms of returning to practical effects has to be Netflix’s return to The Dark Crystal. If you watch the making of that film, it is incredible to see that even the backdrops were meticulously handpainted. Everything right down to the toenails was crafted. You should certainly give that a watch if you haven’t already. It is incredible and somehow was released at a time in which nobody watched it.

Well, we are pretty excited about what Keaton said concerning Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. Let’s just hope that it is not hype. What do you think about his statement? Let us know in the comments.

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