I don’t know what’s going on over the CW- it’s either a renaissance or they’re developing out tons of awful teen-based horror series (from “Tales From the Darkside” to “Colony”, “Dead People” and “Cheerleader Death Squad”).
Sean Cunningham, the creator and director of the 1980 Friday the 13th, attended the Monster Mania convention this weekend in New Jersey where he revealed the CW may be interested in the new “Friday the 13th” television series.
Here’s what F13franchise says:
“Sean Cunningham confirmed interest from the CW in regards to pickup for the tv show. According to him, the basic premise focuses on the REAL city of Crystal Lake, and the effect that the serialized films had on its real life counterpart. This allows them to reimagine Jason in a more grounded reality, as the films would be based off the real life killings that took place at the Camp. (ie, both the Hockey Masked Jason and a more serious backwoods inspired killer will be making appearances throughout).”
The idea that Crystal Lake is a cursed town where there are multiple murderers is a really interesting arc, although does that diminish the lore of Jason Vorhees? I think that, if he’s not the centerpiece of the series, it makes him “just another” serial killer, which is lame. But until I know exactly what they’re developing, it’s impossible to judge. Frankly, just seeing the Voorhees back on TV is enough for me.
Curious about when your favorite shows on The CW will be airing their season finales? Well, thanks to the network, we have a nifty little graphic to share that lists them all out for you.
As for what we care about the most, “The Originals” Season 2 concludes on May 11, 2015; “The Vampire Diaries” Season 6 wraps up on May 14, 2015; and “Supernatural” Season 10 winds down on May 20, 2015.
You’ll also find the finale dates for “Arrow” and “The Flash,” two shows you should be watching, along with “Reign” and “Jane the Virgin.”
The post The CW Announces Season Finale Dates for The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, and Supernatural appeared first on Dread Central.
We’re now less than a week away from the premiere of “iZombie” on The CW, and yet another trailer has arrived to whet your appetites for this show’s new flavor of zombie mayhem. Liv, our main character, may be a zombie, but she’s never been more alive!
Episode 1.01 – “Pilot” (airs 3/17/15)
A NEW SERIES FROM THE BRAINS BEHIND “VERONICA MARS” — Olivia “Liv” Moore (Rose McIver) was a disciplined, over-achieving medical resident who had her life path completely mapped out… until she is turned into a zombie. Now stuck somewhere between half-alive and undead, Liv loses her drive and ambition. She breaks off her engagement with charming soulmate Major (Robert Buckley), fearful of infecting him with her condition. Liv transfers her medical residency to the city morgue in order to access the only form of sustenance left available to her – the only thing that allows her to maintain her humanity – brains.
There are side effects to Liv’s new diet: With each brain Liv consumes, she experiences “visions” – flashes of the corpse’s memories – which often provide clues as to how they were killed. Her boss, the brilliant but eccentric Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli), encourages her to embrace this gift and to work with unproven homicide detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) to help solve these murders. In doing so, Liv finds a measure of peace and a new sense of purpose in what her “life” has now become. David Anders also stars. Rob Thomas directed the episode written by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright.
After finding the Powers pilot to be a mixed bag, “Like A Power” does very little to quell my fears thanks to uneven pacing, unrelatable characters, and a script that does little to offer much exposition.
Take for example the opening scene of the episode. We pick up exactly where we left off last, with Walker on the rooftop after being saved by Retrogirl. He’s greeted by a spirited old security guard who talks about their past together. The relationship that they hint at is interesting but never clarified. Instead it offers an awkward level of exposition that doesn’t clarify but instead confounds.
I’m feeling a little lost in the world of Powers. Full disclosure, I’m not really acquainted with the comic series in which it shares its namesake, and for what it’s worth that doesn’t really seem to matter. The show is distinctly different after the initial set up. But, after a pilot steeped in over-exposition this episode felt like a complete 180.
The basics of every character’s motivation are offered, and while I understand narratively it makes no sense for Johnny Royale’s plans to be completely revealed, they aren’t eve given any real context. But I digress.
The mystery around Calista deepens. Everyone seems to be playing around her character and in a way it offers a lens on the idea of powers like no other character could. But, even when put against the iconic Retro Girl, Calista just spouts the things we knew about her before. She’s a ball of lies, and Retro Girl is a bitchy alpha female who dismisses anything she says in an effort to get Walker involved. But even when Walker gets involved, Retro Girl then doesn’t want to hand her off.
The history of Retro Girl and Christian Walker is interesting at a glance. But, again we learn nothing new about them in this episode that would otherwise add depth to their interactions.
The one saving grace of “Like A Power” is the developments undergone by Deena Pilgrim’s character. She’s feisty and determined and even takes charge in a powers arrest. Although she doesn’t quite have the necessary powers smarts to be strong in this world yet, teaming with Walker will eventually make her into a dominant member of the powers unit.
I can’t help but feel this show was made on a shoestring budget, and it shows. It has a less than cinematic feel. With an idea like this, the cinematography should be grand and detailed. Instead every single scene feels bland and generic. There are so many concrete walls or smooth “futuristic” settings that nothing seems to stand out. The color correction is nothing to write home about, and visually the show falls flat.
That wouldn’t be such a problem if everything didn’t look so cheap. I’ve personally been on student sets that look better than these. I don’t know if it’s a product of a limited time or what, but the special effects are about one step above The Secret World of Alex Mack.
This causes a rift for me. It ruins my suspension of disbelief and causes me to second guess everything. But more than the budget I can’t shake the idea that Sharlto Copley is miscast as Christian Walker.
I love Copley. I think he’s a tremendous actor with a lot of range, but here he feels trapped in shallow motivation. His character never really moves past the initial ide of losing his powers. He’s not an overly good cop, and he’s not overly charismatic. He’s actually quite loathsome. He doesn’t have much in the way of redeeming qualities, and despite the other characters telling us all the time; we know nothing of his days as a hero. I get it; the antihero is in right now. But, the best antiheros have a shrewd of humanity or vulnerability. Walker doesn’t have either.
Powers for me is a grand experiment, that is stumbling out of the gate. It’s by no means a bad show, but it is tonally inconsistent and narratively a mess. It doesn’t have any visual appeal at all, and somehow doesn’t do anything to define itself outside of bringing gore to the superhero drama. I want this to be good, but it just isn’t there yet.
Let’s hope “Mickey Rooney Cries No More” is a little more focused and begins to address the problems I outlined.
What do you think of Powers so far?
Am I being too hard on it?
For those of you still not watching, here’s what you’re missing:
“The Vampire Diaries” returns tomorrow night with the Ian Somerhalder-directed Episode 6.16, entitled “The Downward Spiral.” Today we have a clip from the ep which asks: Can Stefan save Caroline’s humanity before it’s too late? Place your bets now!
“The Vampire Diaries” Episode 6.16 – “The Downward Spiral” (3/12/15)
After shutting off her humanity following the death of her mother, Caroline (Candice Accola) gives her friends an unexpected ultimatum. Not knowing how to handle the new Caroline, Stefan’s (Paul Wesley) attempt to intervene sets off a dangerous chain of events, leaving him and Elena (Nina Dobrev) in a race against the clock.
Meanwhile, after seeking answers from Kai (guest star Chris Wood) about the prison world, Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) world is turned upside when he learns some devastating news about his mother, Lily (guest star Annie Wersching).
Elsewhere, Enzo (Michael Malarkey) finds himself becoming increasingly intrigued by Sarah Salvatore (guest star Tristin Mays), and Bonnie (Kat Graham) begins to struggle with the effects of being back in the real world. Ian Somerhalder directed the episode written by Brian Young and Caroline Dries.
The post Get a Sneak Peek of The Downward Spiral in The Vampire Diaries Episode 6.16 appeared first on Dread Central.
I love a good console mod, and of the many I’ve seen over the years, this Xbox 360 mod may be one of the best. The only thing that could make it better is if it was a modded Xbox One that I could buy, love and cherish until the end of my days.
This beauty is from the ridiculously talented folks at CS Mods, who took the bloody essence of the Dead Space series and turned it alchemy-like into a work of art that’s as glorious as it is gruesome.
Can’t say we didn’t see this coming, but our main question is… What took so long?!?!? Danny Trejo is once again ready to put the bite on in Robert Rodriguez’s reimagining of his feature film From Dusk Till Dawn along with the newly cast Briana Evigan.
From the Press Release:
El Rey Network and Miramax announced today that Danny Trejo (Machete, Machete Kills) has joined the sophomore season of Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.” Trejo has been cast in the roll of “The Regulator,” a horrifying agent of evil who has been summoned to perform a deadly errand. Trejo appeared in the From Dusk Till Dawn film franchise as “Razor Charlie.”
Trejo has had a prolific career in the entertainment industry; yet, his road to success has been hard earned and anything but typical, spanning imprisonment to helping young people battle drug addiction to acting and producing. Trejo has starred in dozens of films including Desperado, Heat, the From Dusk Till Dawn film series, Con Air, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the Spy Kids movies, Grindhouse, Machete, Machete Kills, Dead in Tombstone, and Muppets Most Wanted. He can be heard as the voice of “Skeleton Luis” in The Book of Life. Danny’s recent television work includes his first series regular role on the FX show “Saint George” as well as an appearance on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” He has had recurring roles on “Sons of Anarchy” and “King of the Hill” and has appeared on episodes of “Franklin and Bash,” “Bones,” “Modern Family,” and “Breaking Bad.” He has also voiced characters for Cartoon Network’s “Young Justice” and “The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange.” He can currently be seen in the Super Clio Award-winning Snickers commercial where he plays blonde high school student Marcia Brady.
Briana Evigan (Step Up 2) has also joined the cast of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” as Sonja – an American expatriate working as a tattoo artist in a Mexican Mercado – who also has a sideline forging papers and passports out of her back room.
The returning cast includes: D.J. Cotrona, Zane Holtz, Jesse Garcia, Eiza González, Wilmer Valderrama, Madison Davenport, and Brandon Soo Hoo
Season One of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” centered on bank robber Seth Gecko (Cotrona) and his violent, unpredictable brother, Richard “Richie” Gecko (Holtz), who were on the run to Mexico when they encountered former pastor Jacob Fuller (Robert Patrick) and his family, who were taken hostage. Using the family RV to cross the Border, chaos ensued when the group detoured to the Titty Twister, a strip club populated by culebras, snake-like ancient creatures who survive by drinking human blood. They were forced to fight until dawn in order to get out alive.
Season Two explores a new chapter in this supernatural crime saga that travels from Mexico to the edgy, tricked-out Texas of Robert Rodriguez. It also deepens and complicates the core relationships between the characters, while adding new faces and new dynamics. Season Two begins with our characters in their separate worlds – Santanico (Gonzalez) and Richie (Holtz) are outside Houston, living like Bonnie and Clyde; Seth and Kate (Madison Davenport) are scraping by South of the Border; and Freddie Gonzalez (Jessie Garcia) is protecting his wife and young daughter in a Houston suburb. And Carlos Madrigal (Valderrama) and Scott Fuller (Brandon Soo-Hoo) emerge from the Titty Twister changed men. They will all come together once again – this time facing off against an even bigger threat.
“From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” is a Miramax production in association with Rodriguez International Pictures, FactoryMade Ventures, and Sugarcane Entertainment. Executive producers are Robert Rodriguez, Carlos Coto (also showrunner), Diego Gutierrez (also writer), and FactoryMade Ventures and El Rey Network co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa.
Miramax is distributing “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” internationally in all territories.
The post Danny Trejo and More Join From Dusk Till Dawn the Series appeared first on Dread Central.
Our friends at Nerdist.com are always up to something cool and fun, and today they have just the perfect thing to spice up any “iZombie” or “The Walking Dead” viewing parties you might be hosting over the coming days: the Easy Brains Oven!
They say that you are what you eat, and if that’s true, your little zombie must be one smart cookie. Surely there has to be an easier way to satisfy your insatiable hunger for human flesh than chasing down survivors! Now there is, thanks to the all-new Easy Brains Oven! This hot, new kitchen playset is so simple that even shambling corpses can use it. Read on for more details…
About the Easy Brains Oven:
Are your little ones feeling a little sluggish? Have they lost that just-bitten pep in their step? Are their eyes glazed over from boredom instead of the otherworldly power that brought them back to life? If your tiny undead monster has an insatiable hunger and only freshly baked brains will do, we’ve got the playset for you.
Introducing the Easy Brains Oven, a brand new kitchen set that will help you whip up delicious, piping hot, gourmet grey matter when live humans are scarce! Simply insert the Easy Brain™ human brain mix, wait 60 minutes, and voila! Fresh… braiiiins. Some adult supervision required.
Remember that bat-shit-crazy sounding flick Tokyo Tribe we told you about a while back? Well, strap in, kids, because we have some good news for you! It now has domestic distro!
From the Press Release:
XLrator Media (Jimi: All Is by My Side, The Machine) has acquired North American distribution rights to the street-gang/martial arts action/hip-hop musical epic TOYKO TRIBE, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). XLrator Media will release the film in fall 2015 on its “TURBO” action label.
TOKYO TRIBE was written and directed by Sion Sono, whose previous film Why Don’t You Play in Hell? won TIFF’s People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award. TOKYO TRIBE stars Ryohei Suzuki and Young Dais and is based on the manga by Santa Inoue. It was produced by Yoshinori Chiba, Kinya Oguchi, and Nobuhiro Iizuka.
“Audiences have never seen anything like TOKYO TRIBE and will be blown away by its originality, energy, and mind-blowing action and musical sequences that pay homage to everything from Quentin Tarantino to Scarface to West Side Story,” said XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon.
In a futuristic, alternate Tokyo made up of ghetto slums and nightclub playgrounds, territorial street gangs rule the city. The opposing factions – each with their own distinctive style — control different neighborhoods, and crossing territorial lines leads to riots and rumbles. When a megalomaniacal gang leader tries to invade the other gangs’ turf, the city explodes into an all-out war.
The deal was negotiated by XLrator Media’s Barry Gordon with XYZ Films’ Nate Bolotin for Nikkatsu Corporation.
Playing in the upcoming South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival’s Midnighters section is Mickey Keating’s hotly anticipated Pod (trailer), which will World Premiere March 16th at the fest in Austin, Texas.
We caught up with Keating to talk about his new horror film (full interview tomorrow), which details what happens after a family intervention goes horrifically awry within the snowy confines of an isolated lake house. While we’ll get into detail on Pod tomorrow, today we have details on not one, but two new projects from the up-and-coming filmmaker.
While Pod premiere this weekend, Keating is already is post-production on Darling, pictured, which was shot in November with Larry Fessenden’s Glass Eye Pix, starring Lauren Carter, Brian Morvant, and Sean Young.
“I wanted to do something on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Pod, so this one’s a black-and-white, 1960s style descent into madness,” Keating exclusively tells Bloody Disgusting. “It’s more experimental, like nightmare or a bad drug trip. A surreal nod to The Innocents, Eraserhead, Diabolique, The Haunting, Repulsion, The Tenant, Altman’s That Cold Day In The Park, and to the works of Hollis Frampton.
“Strangely though, it’s definitely my meanest, goriest film yet,” he adds.
In addition, it was announced in February that Keating is set to get behind the camera for the survival horror Carnage Park.
“It’s going to be a very vicious horror film set entirely during the day, in a cruel stretch of California desert,” explains Keating. “It’s my first period piece – set in 1978 – and it’s about a botched bank heist that quickly spirals into a horrific fight for survival. It’ll be a nod to the legendary Sam Peckinpah and his masterpiece The Getaway, the new French Extremism films of the 2000s, and The Most Dangerous Game.
“We’re locking down a pretty cool cast now and I’m very excited to make a cruel, pulpy horror film,” he excitedly adds.
Hopefully we’ll see Darling hit the festival scene later this year. Pod premieres at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas March 16th.
Here’s another shot from Darling…
Can we all just take a minute to really enjoy that headline? That’s my favorite headline. I’d go so far as to say it justifies not only the six years I’ve been writing about video games, but my entire existence. Thank you, Undead Labs. Thank you.
If you’re wondering what I mean. It’s simple. Back when State of Decay was in development, some contract artists packed it full of hidden penises. Secret penises.
The revelation of this comedic cock-up comes from the fine folks at XBLAFans, who wrung one of my favorite news stories from Undead Labs senior designer Geoffrey Card. “Some of our contractors worked a ridiculous amount of genitalia into the background,” Card explains while simultaneously making today a goddamned holiday for me.
Alas, the copious amounts of covert genitalia have since been removed.
“Undead Labs was not aware of the textures in question until they began the process of exporting textures for State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition, and they are not visible in the original edition of State of Decay,” Microsoft explained in a statement sent to Game Informer. “Undead Labs is no longer working with the contractor in question, and this material will not be present in State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition.”
They sound like they’re angry with this mystery contractor. This person’s a hero. They’re the hero Microsoft deserves, but not the one it needs right now.
In related news, the State of Dickay State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition is slated to hit Xbox One on April 28 for $29.99.
Charles Manson. For as long as there’s air to breathe, his name will rightfully live in infamy. The latest film based on Charlie’s exploits, Manson Family Vacation, is getting set to have its premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival (March 13-21, 2015, in Austin, Texas), and right now we have a look at the official artwork.
From writer/director J. Davis, The Manson Family Vacation stars Jay Duplass, Linas Phillips, Leonora Pitts, Tobin Bell, Adam Chernick, and Davie-Blue. It tells the story of two brothers: one who’s devoted to his family, the other who’s obsessed with the Manson Family.
The post SXSW 2015: Poster for the Manson Family Vacation Stares Right Through You appeared first on Dread Central.
Back in January we learned that F. Javier Gutierrez was working on a reboot of The Ring, though recent clarification suggests that perhaps “reboot” isn’t quite the proper term for this one. Is Rings actually more of a prequel? Read on for the latest!
Our good pals over at Bloody Disgusting just scored an interesting little morsel of exclusive news about the project, titled Rings, revealing that the 2002 remake’s continuity is most definitely not being thrown out the window in favor of an entirely new tale.
“Our sources tell us that the new The Ring is actually a prequel and takes place before the 2002 remake that starred Naomi Watts as a woman uncovering the mystery behind a haunted VHS tape,” writes BD’s Brad Miska. “Rings will take place years before the creation of said tape and tell the origin of Samara’s reign of terror.”
Rings will hit theaters on November 13, 2015.
Gutierrez directed from a script written by Akiva Goldsman, David Loucka, and Jacon Aaron Estes. Italian actress Matilda Lutz stars.
Based on a Japanese cult success, the first U.S. film went on to gross $249 million at the worldwide box office. That was enough to justify a sequel, which didn’t match the first one’s B.O. power but still grossed $160 million worldwide despite sucking CG deer dick.
We have some spooky new screenshots from Quadrant: Chapter One, an episodic sci-fi horror game set in the 1970′s that follows a waste disposal team who’s sent in to a NASA lab to investigate a recent… contamination. What ensues involves what appears to be giant alien spiders — the worst kind of spiders, I think we can all agree, aside from giant alien spiders wearing clown makeup.
We told you back in January that “The Walking Dead’s” Lauren Cohan (Maggie) signed on for a slight reprieve from the zombie apocalypse in the film The Boy, and now word has come that production has begun.
Cohan stars in the horror thriller from Lakeshore Entertainment and Vertigo Entertainment. William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) is directing the project, which is aiming for a January 22, 2016, release.
The script, written by Stacey Menear, centers on a nanny (Cohan) who is tasked with overseeing a lifelike doll by a bizarre couple who treat it as a real child. The couple use the doll as way to cope with the death of their young son, but the nanny becomes increasingly convinced that it is alive.
Producing are Lakeshore’s Gary Lucchesi and Tom Rosenberg, Vertigo’s Roy Lee and Adam Stone, along with Jim Wedaa.
The post Production Begins on The Boy with The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan appeared first on Dread Central.
Eli Roth is spinning a handful of plates at the moment with both directorial efforts and production ventures soon headed our way. This week he’s provided big ole updates on a couple of those projects so read on for the latest in the world of Eli!
In an interview with IGN, Roth first opened up about cannibal flick The Green Inferno, revealing that it’s pretty damn close to release, though legal issues are still being ironed out.
“Trust me when I say there are no less than four lawyers from different companies on conference calls and email chains every single day trying to work this out,” said Roth. “I was hoping to have it resolved today or by Monday so we could do something to hopefully have it out this summer. That’s what everyone’s working towards. To have it out August or September. But I was 90 days out from a release, there was a trailer and posters in theaters, and it got pulled. So please don’t hold me to anything, but trust me when I say everybody is all over it working it out.”
“We’re at the one-yard line, but I’ve also been there before so I don’t want to say anything, but I just thank everyone for their patience and understanding,” he continued. “And it really helps when people tweet ‘Please release it, please release it’ – it keeps the fire burning, but everyone is working to resolve it.”
Roth also spoke about the upcoming Cabin Fever remake in the same interview, clearing up the rumors that it was going to be a shot-for-shot affair.
“They came to me exactly a year ago and said, ‘We want to remake Cabin Fever using your original script,’” he noted. “You’ve got to realize that from an egotistical point of view, I wrote Cabin Fever when I was 22 years old. Right out of university. And for six years everyone told me, ‘This is an un-makeable piece of shit.’ So the fact that the same script would get made twice and that 20 years later, 20 years after I originally wrote it, it got sent around Hollywood and people were reading the same dialogue. I looked at it as like staging a play – as an experiment I just wanted to see how it would turn out. So I came on as one of the executive producers.”
“I saw the cut and thought that what Travis [Zariwny] did was so smart – he kept the original script, but he changed the deaths so all the kills are different. You don’t know how they’re going to come. I was watching it and he didn’t tell me that he did that and I was so happy he did – because nobody wants to see a re-do that’s the same thing that they already know. So he leads you in one direction with the audience thinking that they know what’s coming, then puts a fantastic spin on it. And it looks awesome – it’s a really fun movie. I’m happily surprised at how it’s turned out.”
This unique Cabin Fever remake is finished and presumably ready for release, though a date hasn’t been set. So for now, as with The Green Inferno, we sit back and wait.
The post Eli Roth Updates on The Green Inferno and Cabin Fever Remake appeared first on Dread Central.
It’s been awhile since we last heard from the sci-fi horror game Routine. Back in August, developer Lunar Software confirmed the game won’t be coming to Steam Early Access, because they’d like to release the game when it’s finished. I can definitely respect that, especially after fairly recent controversies, like The Stomping Land’s removal from Steam.
The developer recently took to Steam to post an update about the game, which keeps looking better every time it resurfaces from the depths of that freaky abandoned lunar outpost, or wherever it keeps going for months at a time.
We’ll have to wait a bit longer to get another video, but they did offer up some new screenshots.
It looks great, and that’s all Unreal Engine 3. Unfortunately, despite Epic Games’ recent decision to make UE4 free for all, “Routine is far too deep into development for us to switch engines but we can’t bloody wait to get our hands on it for future projects!” That’s too bad, but I get it.
El Rey Network and Miramax announced today that Danny Trejo (Machete, Machete Kills) has joined the sophomore season of Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.”
Trejo has been cast in the roll of “The Regulator,” a horrifying agent of evil who has been summoned to perform a deadly errand. Trejo appeared in the “From Dusk Till Dawn” film franchise as “Razor Charlie.”
Briana Evigan (pictured below; Burning Bright, Sorority Row, Step Up 2) has also joined the cast of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” as Sonja – an American expatriate working as a tattoo artist in a Mexican Mercado – who also has a sideline forging papers and passports out of her back room.
The returning cast includes: D.J. Cotrona (Dear John, G.I. Joe: Retaliation); Zane Holtz (Holes, The Perks of Being a Wallflower); Jesse Garcia (Quinceañera, Sons of Anarchy); Eiza González (Lola: Érase Una Vez); Wilmer Valderrama (That ’70s Show, To Whom It May Concern); Madison Davenport (Noah, Shameless); and Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder, Ender’s Game, Incredible Crew).
Season one of “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” centered on bank robber Seth Gecko (Cotrona) and his violent, unpredictable brother, Richard “Richie” Gecko (Holtz), who were on the run to Mexico when they encountered former pastor Jacob Fuller (Robert Patrick) and his family, who were taken hostage. Using the family RV to cross the border, chaos ensued when the group detoured to the Titty Twister, a strip club populated by culebras, snake-like ancient creatures who survive by drinking human blood. They were forced to fight until dawn in order to get out alive.
Season Two explores a new chapter in this supernatural crime saga that travels from Mexico to the edgy, tricked-out Texas of Robert Rodriguez. It also deepens and complicates the core relationships between the characters, while adding new faces and new dynamics. Season Two begins with our characters in their separate worlds – Santanico (Gonzalez) and Richie (Holtz) are outside Houston, living like Bonnie and Clyde; Seth and Kate (Madison Davenport) are scraping by South of the Border; and Freddie Gonzalez (Jessie Garcia) is protecting his wife and young daughter in a Houston suburb. And Carlos Madrigal (Valderrama) and Scott Fuller (Brandon Soo-Hoo) emerge from the Titty Twister, changed men. They will all come together once again – this time facing off against an even bigger threat.
Reviewed By Eric Switzer. Someone realized that “hellbreak” sounds like “Jailbreak” and developed the concept for this series from there. “Hellbreak” #1 is about Project Kerberos, a team of scientists and mercenaries that have developed the means to break into hell and rescue the souls that are trapped there. Its one of those perfect ideas that I can’t believe isn’t already a series. If you’ve ever wanted to take a rocket propelled grenade up against the horrors that lurk in your nightmares, “Hellbreak” will be a cathartic experience for you.
WRITTEN BY: Cullen Bunn
ART BY: Brian Churilla
RELEASE: March 11, 2015
I would describe “Hellbreak” as an experience more on the side of the visceral and carnal rather than theoretical or metaphysical. I make the distinction to let you know that what you are about to get into doesn’t ask a lot of hard questions or present anything especially high concept, but this isn’t my way of saying “Hellbreak” is low brow either. This is a shoot first ask question later kind of book, and its really engaging and fast paced from beginning to end. There aren’t a lot of big ideas here to sink your teeth into, but in the end, thats just fine with me. “Hellbreak” is near the top of my “enjoy it for what it is” pile.
“Hellbreak” has the structure to be an incredibly imaginative and constantly changing book. There are thousands of different hells, and Project Kerberos will have to explore tons of different scenes from demon dinner parties to post-apocalyptic wastelands to “Predator 2” style Los Angeles; you name it and its a potential battleground in this book. The members of the special forces team that infiltrates these hells is introduced “Ocean’s 11” style with a close up, a quip, and their role listed under their name. None of them are particularly memorable or unique in the first issue, but they’re all pretty good at shooting demons in the face and I can get on board with that.
“Hellbreak” #1 is definitely more action than horror, and it will be interesting to see how dark and disturbing they decide to take things as the series progresses. At this point even if its just a hell-of-the-month exploration I’m way into that. You need a balance of light and heavy in your reading stacks, but that doesn’t need you have to sacrifice quality to get your action adventure fix. In that regard, “Hellbreak” delivers
Eric Switzer is an aspiring filmmaker and screenplay writer living in Los Angeles. His work tends to focus on the lighter side of entropy, dystopic futures, and man’s innate struggle with his own mortality. He can be found on twitter @epicswitzer or reached via email at email@example.com.
From developer Rubycone comes Hektor, a first-person psychological game that visually calls to mind titles like Penumbra and Amnesia but features a quite unique little gameplay twist: as players explore the world, the world itself changes dynamically around them.
We have seen plenty of procedurally-generated games over the last few years but few-to-none which feature a system that shifts so dramatically during play, rather than during loading screens, between scenes, or after in-game deaths.
The members of Rubycone sat down for a phone interview all the way from GDC to discuss the particulars of Hektor just before its slated March 13 release.The Jigsaw System
The idea came about when Project Lead Felix Nordanåker and Programmer Michael Notarnicola met on Reddit and began working together on a game idea, which eventually hit a snag and fizzled. The collaboration was re-sparked by a message a few months later, when Nordanåker told Notarnicola about the Hektor project and asked if he could design a system that could rearrange geometry and shift rooms around the player, a prospect that intrigued Notarnicola.
What they came up with is something they call the Jigsaw System, and it is the mechanic at the heart of Hektor. Notarnicola said, “It really is the core building block to the rest of the experience. We like to think of it kind of like the AI Director from Left 4 Dead.”
The Jigsaw System keeps a constant tally on players, as they make their way through the game, and the effect is intensified as players become uncertain or lost or afraid. It actually increases the level of insanity as players come into contact with monsters or other in-game effects.
Notarnicola said, “This insanity value that we are keeping track of over the course of your playthrough is essential, really, to all of the systems that branch off of it, such as the the dynamic music system that Shaun and Felix worked on.”
Players who get lost and lean toward insanity might experience darker, more foreboding environments — basements and so forth — as opposed to more sterile, well-lighted office spaces until they find their emotional footing again. It is sort of a cyclical system: players who get lost act more irrationally, which then drives the player increasingly insane.
It seems like an interesting way to keep players on their toes without relying on scripted jump scares, which only really work once. And for those worried about encountering a Shining-style maze moment, do not fret: the game constantly assesses the player’s location and can nudge the player in the right direction to keep the experience moving forward.The Story
The story is sort of BioShock-ian in nature, since players are trapped in an abandoned, sort of dystopian underground facility in Greenland, and though the narrative came later, after the development of the in-game systems, it fits perfectly with a horror-themed game.
“Felix [Nordanåker] had the core idea of being trapped in this defunct mind control facility in Greenland,” Notarnicola said. “Once we kind of had that idea — we had done some research on it — but we knew from that point that that’s kind of a cool direction that we wanted to head in.” He later added, “At a later point, we did fit other aesthetics — a timeline, a story — that kind of melded into it somewhat naturally after we started with the core concept.”
One of the more compelling bits of pre-release footage was stock footage rendered as a documentary about the underground station where the game takes place, and Composer and SFX Designer Shaun Chasin put the game into perspective by discussing it: “Hektor is a very dystopian world, sort of the worst of the worst it could be, and so with that video, we almost thought about it as if it were a propaganda film, where the government puts it out and they’re like, ‘Look how grand everything is. Like, even the dog is helping out…but then it’s this terrible, terrible thing.’”
In addition to the creepy, ever-changing world in Hektor the game features a monster that will trail, menace, and attack you, but the developers are keeping mum about that particular aspect of the game. “When it comes to the details that haven’t been announced, we’ve kind of kept that under wraps. We don’t want to reveal too much. We want the first experience for every player to have a certain…finesse to it.”
One of those “core set[s] of things” as yet unreleased involves a monster deemed “The Predator.” Notarnicola said, “We’ve been really hesitant to release a lot of information regarding him, because we really are anticipating that first, initial reaction that players will have to seeing it.”
It is apparent, even without the revelation of what, exactly, this monster is, that combat is not in the cards for the protagonist of Hektor. And even though players can run, they are, for obvious reasons, encouraged to avoid any contact whatsoever.The Music
The music, too, is dynamic, as is explained by Composer Shaun Chasin. They used a 40 piece string orchestra to give the soundscape some depth, but they also knew they needed to be able to construct an aural experience as varied as the visual one.
“We created this score that is able to change itself based on your actions and your behavior, as well as your progress into the game and specific events, [like] your insanity level,” said Chasin.
Additionally, each element of the game, including the monsters, possesses an original leitmotif or theme that accompanies an appearance in the game. If a monster looms nearby, its theme might be introduced and blended into the current musical score, and as players proceed into or recede from an encounter, the music changes to fit that experience, too.
To compound the feeling of paranoia within the game, the sound design is also meant to toy with the player’s sense of reality. Chasin said, “We’ve edited the audio in such a way and placed [hallucinations] in the game that you’re unsure, often, if it’s coming from your own mind or if you’re actually hearing that girl crying from behind the door or if you’re just imagining it altogether.”
He added, “You might go looking for a sound, and it gets closer as you get closer to the door, but then it sort of dissipates and some of them are quiet enough that you’re like, ‘Did I hear that at all? Am I actually going crazy while playing this game, or is it just the game?’”
Horror games have traditionally preyed upon the idea of messing with the player’s sense of sanity as a game construct, but until recently, those experiences had to be scripted and choreographed in a cinematic way to create tension. With games like Hektor, the scares will hopefully prove to be more organic and driven by player experience, rather than wrought manipulation.
Hektor is produced by Meridian 4 and will be available on Windows and Mac via Steam next week. You can find the developers online at meridian4.com.