-- At long last, American audiences will get a chance to see John Carpenter's 'The Ward.' The maverick filmmaker's first feature since 2001 has been acquired for US distribution by ARC Entertainment and XLRator Media according to THR's Heat Vision blog. The film, which is set in the 1960s, features Amber Heard as a young woman who's admitted to a psychiatric ward. She teams up with her fellow patients in order to survive when a malevolent force starts stalking the halls. No release details have been officially announced

-- More sad news for exploitation fans: David F. Friedman has passed away. The producer, best known for working alongside H.G. Lewis on 'Blood Feast' and serving as a producer on 'Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS' died earlier today. Friedman suffered heart failure and was 87 years old. This sad news comes on the heels of last week's passing of Tura Satana – meaning 2011 is off to a pretty awful start.

-- Kevin Smith has been a hot topic for weeks now, and the guys at Rejects Radio sat down with the filmmaker to talk about the state of things in the View Askew universe. Of particular interest were Smith's thoughts on all the hubbub surrounding his first horror film, 'Red State.' The filmmaker takes the time to weigh in on the film, his announcement that he'll distribute it personally, his love affair with film critics and more. Head on over to FilmSchoolRejects to hear it for yourself.

-- Got a crippling case of nyctophobia? Variety reports that Guillermo Del Toro will offer you some encouragement when he releases 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark' theatrically on August 12th. The uber-busy filmmaker is only producing this remake of the 1973 television horror flick, but early buzz has been promising. Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce star in the updating about a young family forced to contend with an evil spirit awakened by their daughter.


-- Hardcore zombie freaks have been eagerly anticipating The Ford Brothers 'The Dead' since it first blipped onto the radar in 2009. A zombie film set in Africa, 'The Dead' looks a lot like a live action version of 'Resident Evil 5.' An American mercenary teams up with an African soldier in search of his son, and the two men must traverse the African landscape while evading flesh eating zombies. In a move that makes perfect sense, genre friendly Starz Anchor Bay has landed the distribution rights for the film and will give it a theatrical release this summer. If the company holds true to form, 'The Dead' will receive a limited theatrical run followed by a wide DVD release later in the year.

-- To say we're excited about South Korean film 'I Saw the Devil' is an understatement of epic proportions. We're literally champing at the bit to see it. This new poster for the film that appeared at IMPAwards.com has us more worked up than ever. Those lucky enough to have attended Sundance have already seen the serial killer thriller, but the rest of us will have to wait until early next month when the film goes into limited theatrical release. This cool art should tide you over until then.

-- Good news for Darren Lynn Bousman fans: the director (best known for helming 'Saw' 2-4 and 'Repo: The Genetic Opera) has unveiled the first teaser for his latest film, '11 11 11' at the European Film Market. A supernatural chiller set for release on November 11th of this year, the film's distribution rights have already been sold for several European countries as well. Check out the trailer below (courtesy of Dread Central) and swing by Bousman's site for some stills from the film.