Shudder’s Slasher: Flesh & Blood Teases Its Family Horror Saga at SDCC 2021

Shudder’s Slasher: Flesh & Blood Teases Its Family Horror Saga at SDCC 2021
Florence (Sabrina Grdevich) and a very spooky sculpture-thing in Slasher: Flesh & Blood. (Image: Cole Burston/Shudder)

Shudder’s already hosted one panel about a horror anthology — found-footage feature V/H/S/94 — at 2021’s San Diego Comic-Con @ Home. Before the con is over, it’ll share details on the third season of horror anthology series Creepshow. And it also has two new horror anthology series on the way with their own panels: Horror Noire, based on the excellent documentary about Black horror, and the one we’re here to talk about, titled Slasher: Flesh & Blood.

Slasher is actually the broader name for a Canadian series that’s been going for three seasons: 2016’s Slasher: The Executioner, 2017’s Slasher: Guilty Party, and 2019’s Slasher: Solstice. It’s apparently been so popular that horror streamer Shudder took an interest, just in time to bring Flesh & Blood to its subscribers. Here’s the description of the series, which sounds like a bit like a slasher-movie spin on Agatha Christie: “Slasher: Flesh & Blood follows a wealthy, but dysfunctional family that gathers for a reunion on a secluded island only to learn they’ll be pitted against one another in a cruel game of life and death, all while being stalked by a mysterious masked killer. Nothing is what it seems, and no one is safe as the tension — and body count — ratchets up.”

The San Diego Comic-Con panel featured showrunner Ian Carpenter, creator Aaron Martin, and actors David Cronenberg and Rachael Crawford, who are both new to the series, as well as returning cast member Paula Brancati. There was also a first-look trailer, which you can watch about 30 seconds into the panel below, or check it out at the end of this post.

So yes, family drama galore — but also full-on horror mayhem too. “There are some kills this season I had to look away from. They’re just revolting, in a great way.” Martin said. Of the characters, he added, “Like any family, they love each other, they hate each other, but in this case, they get to kill each other.”

Cronenberg’s character in particular, who gets a good introduction in that trailer, is the patriarch of a rich family who makes them work for their inheritance. “I approached it as kind of a Shakespeare’s King Lear, with a great tragic central character played by me. First time I’ve ever been offered a role like that, actually; I tend to play dispassionate scientists, doctors, and so on,” he said. “In Viggo Mortensen’s film [Falling] I was a proctologist — I guess that was the height, or maybe the depth of my acting career. But this was quite exciting for me because this character is not dispassionate. He’s very passionate. He’s very intense, he’s very emotional, and it required me to do some things as an actor … that I had never actually had to do before. So it was a wonderful challenge.”

Later, Cronenberg spoke about what it’s like being part of a horror TV show rather than a horror movie, something he knows a thing or two about. “There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t make any more movies, but then … the whole streaming thing — even before the pandemic — was really quite a revelation, you know? The idea that you could have an eight-hour movie, for example, or a 10-hour movie, really changes everything. In a way, a normal movie under two hours is really like a short story or, at best, a novella. But with eight hours, 10 hours, that is a novel — you can really get into complexities and shadings and everything else, and I think that’s exactly what this show demonstrates, compared with, say, a slasher movie of the traditional type.”

Slasher: Flesh & Blood debuts the first of eight episodes on Shudder on August 12. Will you be tuning in?

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