Shudder’s first original scripted short-form series Deadwax premieres on the streaming platform November 15, 2018, The series comes only a few weeks after the release of a similar “Analog Horror” podcast Video Palace. While Video Palace follows a set of rare VHS tapes that contain unspeakable horror, Deadwax concerns records and the ghouls buried in the grooves. The series follows a record hunter in her search for a rare vinyl that has killed anyone brave foolish enough to listen.
Vinyl has made a big bad comeback in the last few years, especially in the horror community. The 1980’s was chock-full of subliminal satanism and evil vinyl, but it has been far too long since we were last treated to some true terror on the turntable. Perfect for hi-fi enthusiasts and supernatural fans alike, Deadwax (created and directed by Graham Reznick) is an indie series that touches on collector culture and a curiosity that is interested in killing more than just your cat.
“Deadwax is an fun indie mystery that wastes no time building a body count.”
Etta is an audiophile and record dealer who isn’t above breaking in to a person’s house if it means getting her hands on the only copy of a rare piece of vinyl. When I client mentions a truly one-of-a-kind record, Etta seems the perfect person to hunt it down. Infamous among collectors, the record is said to contain the sounds of dying. As legend goes, the engineer cutting the record suffered a fatal heart attack and his very death is said to be contained within the grooves of the record. Of course, no one quite knows what the record sounds like because all who dare listen are either killed or driven completely mad.
As any rational person would be, Etta is skeptical of the record’s murderability and immediately sets out to collect the LP. Regardless of the small fortune that awaits her, Etta figures anything that good deserves to be heard. With a little help from Ian, the man that taught her everything (played by genre favourite Ted Raimi), Etta soon find herself in a wake of devastation created by the killer vinyl.
Maybe a little too similar to Shudder’s Video Palace podcast,Deadwax is a clever move on horror’s re-discovered obsession with analog technology. Admittedly, I’ve only previewed the first four episodes of Deadwax and I’ve just scratched the surface of Michael Monello & Nick Braccia’s podcast, but the stories do feel like they follow similar trajectories. That said, the series really couldn’t have come at a better time. Five years ago it might not have found it’s audience, and in another five years from now, it would have missed it’s mark. The two series’ have helped announce Shudder as not only a expertly curated streaming service, but a content creator that lives and breathes the genre.
Deadwax is an fun indie mystery that wastes no time building a body count. As Etta learns, even a single note of the record is enough to make a person completely insane, but could you really resist the allure? If a unmarked, mysterious record showed up on your doorstep with a note warning you never to listen to it, wouldn’t you immediately drop a needle on that sucker? Coming in at a very welcome 30 minute runtime per episode, Deadwax is a supernatural tale tailor made for the 2018 horror fan. If you spend your weekends thumbing through crates at flea markets and thrift stores, this series is a track worth spinning.
“Deadwax is a supernatural tale tailor made for the 2018 horror fan.”
Deadwaxstars Hannah Gross, (Mindhunter) and Evan Gamble, (Hap & Leonard) with Chester Rushing (Stranger Things), Dohn Norwood (Hell on Wheels), Ted Raimi (Ash vs. Evil Dead), Yuki Sakamoto and Tracy Perez (East Los High) rounding out the cast. The series is executive produced by Peter Phok (The House of the Devil, Stake Land) and series creator/director Graham Reznick (I Can See You, Playstation’s Until Dawn). The series held it’s world premiere at the 2018 Fantastic Fest and will be available to stream on Shudder Thursday November 15, 2018.
Are you planning to binge Deadwax this weekend? Are you a record collector? Let us know what you thought of the series and tell us all about the strangest record in your collection on Twitter, Reddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook.