I hope you’re ready to watch Amanda Ripley die another horrible death, because that’s exactly what we’re about to do. You know, of the paltry selection of weapons Ripley has to defend herself, I assumed the flamethrower would be useful in keeping away all those pesky androids and alien. I figured with that in hand, she’d have a chance at making it.
Unfortunately, it looks like many of the enemies in Alien: Isolation don’t only possess an impressive resilience to fire, but I think I heard the xenomorph laugh when Ripley makes a futile attempt at stopping it in its tracks with her flamethrower.
Alien: Isolation arrives on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 7.
In honor of Texas Chainsaw Massacre celebrating its 40th birthday (yesterday), I wanted to share my thoughts on the lovely, dearly departed, Marilyn Burns who is criminally overlooked when it comes to “Final Girls”. Sally Hardesty and her friends set forth on that trip in Texas a full 5 years before Ripley survived Xenomorphs and before Laurie Strode escaped Michael Myers.
If there’s anything we know it’s that the making of Texas Chainsaw Massacre was virtually hell on Earth. Temperatures over 90 degrees, the putrid stench of actual rotting meat and often a very volatile set was anything but a glamours life for these actors. Literal blood and sweat created the perfect environment for Burns to craft herself into the perfect “Final Girl”.
Sally Hardesty and her friends are a rare exception in the “kids go on a trip to the boonies and get killed” trope. They are all pretty likable and well meaning kids. They aren’t just walking stereotypes waiting to be killed off in a gruesome fashion. Aside from Franklin being the most annoying character in cinematic history, we really connect with this group and Sally is the most commendable. If it were me I would have left Franklin’s ass high and dry five minutes into the movie but she does her best to help Franklin along the way.
But it isn’t a sweet smile and caring disposition that makes a bad as final girl. Burns was under a lot of stress during the making of this film and it shines through in her performance. You really feel her clamoring for her life against Leatherface and his deranged family, she doesn’t falter for even a second. Hell, she jumps through TWO windows to escape and one of them is on the second floor! I’ve actually turned “Marilyn Burns” into a verb.
For example: “Laurie better start Marilyn Burnsing that shit if she wants to get out of that house!”
And lastly, there is no denying Burns’ ability to knock any scream queen out of the park at the end of TCM. Here scream coupled with her crazy eyes is almost as disturbing as the family itself. All of her anguish and pain comes through in those final moments and if she gave this kind of performance in a Steven Spielberg historical drama she would be a shoe in for at least a nomination. Criminally overlooked, Sally Hardesty easily takes the crown for Queen of the Final Girls. We all miss her dearly but she gets to live on in one of the most shocking and disturbing horror films of all time.
Shout! Factory is known for giving new life to lost treasures in the genre with beautiful transfers and awesome special features. For that I am forever a loyal customer and I’m willing to give their independent movies a chance. I received The Squad in the mail and it sounded like a sort of Dog Soldiers and The Keep hybrid which sounded pretty badass to me. (Warning: Review could contain minor spoilers and major ones are noted within)
The Squad (aka El Paramo) centers around a military group of 9 guys sent to check out a base where another group is supposed to be located. Communication has been lost and the men are sent to find out what happened to them. Upon arrival the men discover everyone has seemingly disappeared except for one gnarled looking woman who has been walled up inside the camp. Surrounding her are numerous symbols to ward off evil including a chicken’s foot and a cross of salt on the ground. When the men pull her out they find she is bound by the hands. The unknown woman screeches when she sees the symbols around the room and the men quickly get rid of them. One of the men, Indio, is convinced the woman is a witch while the others think she is part of the enemy and this begins the whole rest of the plot.
When I said this movie sounded like Dog Soldiers and The Keep I wasn’t lying, it really sounded like a cool concept. After all we don’t see a lot of genuinely good witch movies anymore. But the thing that separates The Squad from a movie like Dog Soldiers is that it never pays off in the monster area. The rest of the movie shows the soldiers slowly (excruciatingly so) going mad and turning on each other but the movie goes out of its way to make it seem like it isn’t a witch at all and that it’s just paranoia.
So my question is this? Why get a truly creepy witch to be in the movie for all of 5 minutes and put so much emphasis on the symbolism only to completely disregard it later? And if it is a story just about paranoia then why (MAJOR SPOILER!!) show us the supposed witch again at the end if you already explained all the creepy happenings sans witchcraft?
It feels like this is two different movies and after a little research on IMDB I understand why. The Squad had 2 writers AND a script consultant. Unfortunately, this is just the result of too many ideas never coming to fruition. Ultimately, we get a really good looking movie visually that never goes anywhere or does anything new. Which is the real tragedy here because, as I said, a really good witch movie is something pretty rare these days. A movie about soldiers being paranoid and turning on each other? Not so much.
As for the Blu-ray itself, Shout! Factory always does a good job visually but for whatever reason I noticed a severe sync issue within the 5.1 sound option. I didn’t notice it for a while because the movie is in subtitles but there is a scene in which one of the soldiers throws open the door and causes a loud bang but the bang doesn’t come for a good 10 seconds or so. However, I found that in the audio settings you can change it to 2.1 and that completely fixes the sync issue. It could just be my copy but fair warning to those who seek this out.
The Squad does have potential and being director Jaime Osorio Marquez’s first feature I am willing to view this as a learning curve. Perhaps next time he should work with one writer and a better editor because I can see hope for him in the future. The movie has out since 2011 but this is, as far as I know, the first time it’s been on BD/DVD. Anyone else see it?
Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with horror-infused thrash metal band Rigor Mortis to bring you the exclusive album stream of Slaves To The Grave, the band’s fourth and final album, which you can pre-order here. We’ve also got a whole lot more, including an interview and song descriptions, direct from the band.
The group is comprised of vocalist Bruce Corbitt (Warbeast), bassist/vocalist Casey Orr (GWAR), drummer Harden Harrison (Speedealer), and guitarist Mike Scaccia (Ministry), who passed away late December 2012.
The band, under the Wizards Of Gore moniker, will be playing at the Housecore Horror Film Festival on October 24th in Austin, TX. They will also be performing at the Double Wide in Dallas, TX on Halloween night!
On the next page we have an exclusive interview with bassist Casey Orr and the third page features the full album stream along with song descriptions of each track! Venture forth into the darkness that is Slaves To The Grave!
By now most of you should own the the complete Halloween collection, a miracle of a Blu-ray release from Anchor Bay and Scream Factory.
Included in the box set, which I binge-watched here, are two very different versions of Joe Chappelle’s 1995 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. The theatrical release, as well as the much-bootlegged Producer’s Cut that boasts an extremely different ending.
During the month of October, we’ll be taking a look back at the franchise spawned by John Carpenter in 1978, and sharing some odds and ends you may have missed along the way.
Here’s something we’re actually pretty excited to post – some rare hi-resolution images from The Curse of Michael Myers that you may or may not have seen.
All of these are perfect for your computer background for the rest of the month…
Directed by John R. Leonetti
There’s no doubt about it; the Annabelle doll was one of the creepiest parts of James Wan’s The Conjuring. The doll is just unsettling in appearance, and the true back story documented by Ed and Lorraine Warren is the stuff of nightmares. It’s just too bad we didn’t get to see that particular tale. Instead we get a film detailing the origins of the Annabelle doll, and unfortunately it’s as perfectly mediocre as they come.
Annabelle starts off much like The Conjuring did with the only difference being that you don’t see the Warrens. This is a prequel to the prequel story introduced at the beginning of James Wan’s film. After those same characters from The Conjuring are introduced, we go further back in time and meet the single most vanilla couple in history, Mia and John, played by Annabelle Wallis and Ward Horton, respectively. They’re your traditional married couple getting ready to usher a new baby into the world. Mia is a collector of dolls, and as a surprise gift John buys her the last in a line of figures she’s been collecting. I don’t think I have to tell you what doll that ends up being.
Without giving away any spoilers, let’s just say that something horrific happens to their next-door neighbors, and as a result something equally as horrific happens to them, which leads to an evil spirit inhabiting the new doll’s body. From there it’s a series of sometimes entertaining events, leading up to the moment in which Annabelle goes up for sale and is bought by the mother of one of the women being interviewed at the start of both The Conjuring and Annabelle.
The film has lots of problems stemming from the leads themselves, who have next to no chemistry and just aren’t that likable. This is only exacerbated by the fact that Annabelle is home to some giant-sized pacing issues. I kept waiting for the film to get going, but it was locked solidly in neutral. Anytime you look at your watch during a movie… well, that’s just not a good sign.
Too many things and characters are introduced that go nowhere with absolutely no payoff. From noisy neighbors to random children to pointless research surrounding demonology/satanism, nothing is ever explained. Actually, each of those aforementioned things ends up being as meaningless as could be. Why even bother? It all feels like padding to get to the 90-minute mark.
As for Annabelle herself (itself?), honestly, she really doesn’t do anything. The worst thing she does is somehow being responsible for turning the stove on. It feels like the doll is playing second fiddle in a movie with her own name as the title. Don’t get me wrong; no one wants to see her running around like Chucky, but other than sitting there looking creepy, she’s just a glorified plot device who was far more menacing in The Conjuring with a tenth of the screen time.
There are a few bits throughout that are interesting and at times cool, but sadly, the best moment is ruined in the trailer and TV spots. To make matters even worse, the ending of the film is needlessly preachy. Yes, we’re dealing with something demonic, but you should show and not tell. If the movie makes you want to go to church (i.e., The Exorcist), then it has done its job. If it’s straight-up telling you to go to church, then it hasn’t.
Annabelle is a true letdown for fans of The Conjuring and serves as a stamped out of the mold prequel to the prequel story that we should have gotten in the first place. If not for the success of The Conjuring, this could easily have been a direct-to-video sequel. Both Wan’s film and the actual doll and its story deserve better. At the end of the day Annabelle is not a bad movie… it’s just not a very good one.
The most interesting thing about the new found-footage creeper Paranormal Diaries: Clophill is that it’s centered around an actual allegedly haunted site – the ruins of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Clophill, England, a place with a sordid history of grave desecration and black masses. The second most interesting thing is that I didn’t want to tear my eyeballs out entirely while watching the film, only during the last half. Directors Michael Bartlett and Kevin Gates’ follow-up to their similarly titled The Zombie Diaries parts I and II is a wholly underwhelming thriller that managed to keep my attention by structuring itself like a cable ghost-hunting show. It’s an approach that hasn’t utterly worn itself out yet.
That being said, Paranormal Diaries suffers from the same flaws those ghost hunting shows have – namely, long periods where nothing happens and then sensationalizing these blank moments with gasps, replays, and shrill music. I was genuinely enjoying the first 20 minutes or so, when a group of documentary filmmakers are discussing their interest in Clophill. There’s a bunch of talking head interviews with folklorists, historians, occultists, etc. that add a lot of flavor to the information coming at us. The film works really well here.
The talking heads are non-actors and plenty of real stock footage is used to help ground the story in reality. It’s difficult to tell between the actors and real people, which is a pleasant change from the typical shit acting in found footage. The church’s backstory is pretty damn creepy too (there’s even creepier parts of it if you do some quick internet research) and hearing real people and locals talk about it adds a great deal of weight to the proceedings. One guy even wears a pentagram necklace so you know he’s not fucking around.
Where it starts to go downhill is when the gang arrives at Clophill. Enter the night vision cameras, the handheld shaky-cam, and a whole lotta nothing. They attempt to use EVP meters and Ouija boards to contact the spirits of Clophill, but they get zilch. Like I mentioned, nothing happens for long periods of time, so it’s a slow-burn. They try to spice things up a bit like they do in the ghost hunting shows by replaying footage in slow motion and being like “Did you see that?” (no, I didn’t see a goddamn thing). Other times they find some animal bones or something that may resemble a human tooth (it doesn’t) and everyone loses their cool over it.
The investigation remains tedious until the climax, where the film simply fizzles out. It’s like Michael Bartlett and Kevin Gates had a cool premise to wrap a horror film in, with the actual Clophill ruins and all, but going the found footage route didn’t seem to inspire any creativity in them. There’s nothing new here. After an interesting set-up and the historically rich backstory presented in the beginning, the rest of the film is a massive disappointment.
Paranormal Diaries: Clophill is now available on DVD from Image Entertainment.
An exclusive one-sheet is here from Seth Grossman’s horror flick Inner Demons (review), and this one is just begging to be needled!
Look for the film in theatres and on VOD on October 3rd. Lara Vosburgh, Morgan McClellan, Kate Whitney, and Brian Flaherty star.
INNER DEMONS follows an ‘Intervention’-style reality show crew that films an episode about a sixteen-year old girl, a former A-student, who is fighting addiction but may in fact be suffering from something even more destructive: demonic possession. The movie is an inquiry into the truth about her – with symptoms that straddle the disturbing and scary intersection between insanity, addiction and true possession.
During October we’ll be bringing you lots of goodies, including exclusive content and giveaways, and kicking off today is a month-long contest to win one of ten eBook copies of Toula Mavridou-Messer’s Mortal End: A Simmering Pit of Jiggery Pokery.
Mortal End: A Simmering Pit of Jiggery Pokery is a fantasy whodunit described as an “old fashioned fairy tale of intrigue, murder, cannibalism, and incest.” It’s filled with mystery and humor, a tantalizing sense of suspense, and absurd darkness. It promises to capture your imagination in a way no other murder mystery ever has.
This debut novel from Mavridou-Messer was written in the space of three weeks after she experienced two car crashes in just one hour. The crashes came during her return journey from a residential crime writing course given by best-selling author Val McDermid. She had been battling a major problem faced by so many would-be authors – that of actually finishing a project and then doing something with it. Fortunately she saw the funny – and disturbing – side of her adventures, and hopefully so will you when you read Mortal End: A Simmering Pit of Jiggery Pokery.
Toula has set up a special page for entries, which you can access by visiting 100PercentPublishing.com. Ten (10) digital downloads are being made available which are compatible with all digital e-readers (PC, Mac, Kindle, Nook, and more) (e-reader not included). The contest will end at 12 midnight PT on October 31, 2014. Winners will be selected at random from all entries received and will be notified by email.
In addition, the book has a Thunderclap campaign under way, which will automatically share a message of support for it on your behalf on Halloween (October 31st). (Note that if their goal of 100 supporters is not reached, no message will be shared.)
“It was me,” said a voice from the other side of the cottage door.
“It was me. I killed her. I should have done it years ago.”
A lightning storm sparks a fire deep in Phooka Wood. The following morning Mortal End’s self-righteous rector Ænus P. Wordsworth, his sidekick Savant Poe, and a motley crew of villagers venture into the wood to see what damage has been done. To their amazed befuddlement, right in the center of the seared earth, is a giant mound of molten toffee and, within it, a selection of human remains.
Ænus P. Wordsworth takes it upon himself to find out whom these bones belong to and how they came to be there. In doing so, he uncovers an horrific tale of murder, incest, and cannibalism that spreads throughout the neighboring villages that surround Phooka Wood. Their investigation takes them to all corners of their roundabout world, from Mortal End to the oozing Hamlet of Stifle and Little Napoo. Along their colorful journey we are introduced to a larger than life cast including Doc Sheare, the barber surgeon; Verrye Brutall, the handsome woodsman; Beliala Bigswoln, the publican’s daughter; Baron Rubigo Bluebeard; and Umbra the Bogyman.
Everyone seems to have a secret they are trying to hide that could give clues to the horror of Phooka Wood. Even Ænus P. Wordsworth has something to hide!
The post Win an eBook Copy of Toula Mavridou-Messer’s Mortal End: A Simmering Pit of Jiggery Pokery appeared first on Dread Central.
We’ve been following the slow but steady progress of the Stephen King/John Mellencamp/T Bone Burnett collaboration Ghost Brothers of Darkland County for quite some time now, and finally it’s about to hit the road!
Read on for the touring cast announcement, which includes a couple of very familiar, somewhat surprising, names.
From the Press Release
The full cast for the Southern Gothic, supernatural musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County has been announced with actor/writer/producer Billy Burke (The Twilight Saga) and actress/writer/singer Gina Gershon (Killer Joe, House of Versace, Boeing, Boeing) playing the lead roles of Joe McCandless and Monique McCandless, respectively.
Touring across North America this fall, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County was written by best-selling author Stephen King with music by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp and musical direction by Grammy Award-winning T Bone Burnett. The tour kicks off right outside Bangor, ME, at the Collins Center For The Arts in Orono, ME, on November 8 before traveling through cities such as Toronto, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Due to overwhelming demand, a second show has been added in San Francisco on December 6th, which is now the final date of the tour.
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County is a collaboration 16 years in the making and is a blend of unique musical and staging styles. Throughout the production, the eerie blues ‘n roots music reveals the inner workings of the characters as opposed to just propelling the play’s narrative with only a few songs directly advancing the plot.
The haunting tale of fraternal love, lust, jealousy, and revenge begins with Joe McCandless reflecting on a past tragedy involving his two older brothers battling over a girl which ended in the unfortunate deaths of all three. Now, with Joe as an adult with two boys of his own, he’s watching an all too familiar scenario play out before his eyes. With his sons at each other’s throats, Joe’s story will either save or destroy the McCandless family.
Jake La Botz
Featured Background Vocalist: Carlene Carter
Sat – Nov-08 Orono, ME Collins Center for the Arts 8:00pm
Sun – Nov-09 Orono, ME Collins Center for the Arts 2:00pm
Tue – Nov-11 Toronto, ON Massey Hall 7:30pm
Thu – Nov-13 Philadelphia, PA Merriam Theatre 8:00pm
Fri – Nov-14 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center 8:00pm
Sat – Nov-15 Washington, DC Warner Theatre 8:00pm
Sun – Nov-16 Baltimore, MD The Modell Performing Arts Center at the LYRIC 7:30pm
Tue – Nov-18 Red Bank, NJ Count Basie Theatre 8:00pm
Thu – Nov-20 Portland, ME Merrill Auditorium 7:30pm
Fri – Nov-21 Boston, MA Emerson Colonial Theatre 8:00pm
Sat – Nov-22 Providence, RI The VETS 8:00pm
Mon – Nov-24 New York, NY Beacon Theatre 7:30pm
Wed – Nov-26 Detroit, MI Fisher Theatre 7:30pm
Fri – Nov-28 Chicago, IL Broadway in Chicago’s Oriental Theatre 8:00pm
Sat – Nov-29 St Louis, MO Peabody Opera House 8:00pm
Mon – Dec-01 Denver, CO Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre 7:30pm
Wed – Dec-03 Phoenix, AZ Orpheum Theatre 7:30pm
Thu – Dec-04 Los Angeles, CA Saban Theatre 8:00pm
Fri – Dec-05 San Francisco,CA SHN Curran Theatre 8:00pm
Fri – Dec-06 San Francisco,CA SHN Curran Theatre 8:00pm
For more info, including ticket ordering, visit: GhostBrothersofDarklandCounty.com.
The post Touring Cast and Schedule Announced for Ghost Brothers of Darkland County appeared first on Dread Central.
“Nailbiter” #6 slows down, shifting its focus to Alice and to a lesser extent Sheriff Crane. If you were looking for a continuation of last month’s huge developments then you’ll be let down, but only slightly. This is Williamson we’re talking about here, so the quality is still through the roof. It feels very much like a one off, not introducing anything we didn’t already have an idea of. Instead it gives Nailbiter a much deserved breather after that roller coaster of a first arc.
WRITTEN BY: Joshua Williamson
ART BY: Mike Henderson
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: October 1, 2014
Reviewed By: Torin Chambers
Alice is the star of the show this month, becoming our narrator and the lens with which we see Buckaroo Oregon. She briefly summarizes the events of Nailbiter so far, making this an ok jumping on point for new readers. I say ‘ok’ because there’s nowhere you should start Nailbiter other than the beginning, but moving on.
Next we’re introduced to the central conflict of issue #6, Mallory. She’s an about to burst pregnant woman who’s come to Buckaroo to give birth so that her son will become a serial killer which will then in turn make her famous for having birthed him. Definitely NOT the kind of person you want raising a child, or even near one. She tells all of this to Alice before she starts having contractions. Naturally Alice rushes her to the hospital where all kinds of shenanigans begin. There’s a particularly gruesome scene here that had our very own Editor Zac Thompson gagging, so that’s something to look forward to.
Although the hospital gore is awesome, the conclusion to Mallory’s story is a huge missed opportunity and a bit of a bummer. [Spoiler Alert] Mallory does give birth near the end of the issue and it’s incredibly lack luster. She has a couple contractions they get her on the ground and the next page the babies out. No fuss, no nothing. I’m assuming there’s a time gap between the pages but it still feels rushed.
The whole sequence screams of being cut short and would have greatly benefitted from at least a couple more pages. I understand there’s only so much one can do in an issue but I felt this could have been an oversized issue and really give the story it’s trying to tell more breathing room. On top of that it’s also uncharacteristically tame for Nailbiter. I was buckled in for something absolutely horrific to occur during the birth but nothing.
This one off doesn’t satisfy as deeply as Nailbiter normally does but it’s still wholly enjoyable in its own right. Mallory’s tale is an interesting one, even if the payoff is weak. Once again, Nailbiter proves that even when it stumbles its still leagues ahead of other comics.
Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter @TorinsChambers
The ABCs of Death 2 is making its VOD premiere via Magnet Releasing TODAY, October 2nd, with a theatrical run set for October 31st; and right now we have an exclusive still for you cats from “P is for P-P-P-P SCARY.” Dig it!
To celebrate the VOD release, producers Tim League and Ant Timpson and the international filmmakers behind the highly anticipated horror anthology sequel will be holding a Live Twitter #DeathParty starting at 10:00 PM ET (7:00 PM PT) later today (10/2). Join in the conversation and watch 26 new ways to die along with the creators using the hashtag #DeathParty.
THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 is produced by Ant Timpson and Tim League in conjunction with associate producers Todd Brown, Marc Walkow, Mitch Davis, and Ted Geoghegan.
THE ABCs OF DEATH 2’s directors are an eclectic, acclaimed group, consisting of Julian Barratt of The Mighty Boosh; Israel’s Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (BIG BAD WOLVES, RABIES); Japan’s arthouse provocateur Sion Sono (COLD FISH, SUICIDE CLUB); Academy Award-nominated animator Bill Plympton; ROOM 277 mastermind Rodney Ascher; Filipino icon – and Director’s Fortnight inductee – Erik Matti (ON THE JOB, MAGIC TEMPLE); Lithuania’s Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper (VANISHING WAVES); SPLICE and CUBE‘s Vincenzo Natali; indie horror icon Larry Fessenden (THE LAST WINTER, HABIT); THE STATION’s Marvin Kren; Todd Rohal (THE CATECHISM CATACLYSM); Canada’s king of lo-fi, Steven Kostanski (MANBORG); Cuba’s Alejandro Brugués (JUAN OF THE DEAD); indie director Robert Boocheck; acclaimed UK commercial director Jim Hosking; Japanese monster-maker Hajime Ohata (HENGE); Canadian short film wizard Chris Nash (SKINFECTIONS); France’s Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (INSIDE, LIVID); E.L. Katz (director of the SXSW breakout hit CHEAP THRILLS); twin auteurs Jen and Sylvia Soska (AMERICAN MARY, DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK); A LONELY PLACE TO DIE’s Julian Gilbey; Brazil’s most controversial filmmaker Dennison Ramalho (NINJAS, LOVE FOR MOTHER ONLY); the founder of Nigerian “Nollywood” cinema Lancelot Imasuen; THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM and STAGE FRIGHT’s Jerome Sable; and animator Robert Morgan – creator of the BAFTA Award nominated short BOBBY YEAH.
Originally slated for release on January 9, Sony is shifting Kitchen Sink all the way to September 4, 2015.
Robbie Pickering directs based on a Black List script by Oren Uziel.
“The action takes place in Dilford, a place where vampires were at the top of the social order, zombies were at the bottom, and the humans were in the middle. This all goes awry and it’s a battle, and it’s up to three reps of those groups to restore harmony.”
Vanessa Hudgens, Mackenzie Davis, Nicholas Braun, Chris Zylka, Patton Oswalt (pictured), Bob Odenkirk, Ian Roberts, and Josh Fadem star.
Now this is something I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. As it’s the only good thing that came from the disappointingly frustrating “Original Sin.” Sure Thor’s whole hammer thing happened, but it didn’t really have anything to do with the actual story, or at least doesn’t seem to. While Winter Soldiers new position as the man on the wall is close to the heart of what “Original Sin” was all about.
WRITTEN BY: Ales Kot
ART BY: Marco Rudy
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: October 1, 2014
Reviewed By: Torin Chambers
All you need to know is that Bucky Barnes AKA Winter Soldier is now Earths secret first line of defense from whatever unimaginable horrors wish to see us all dead and our planet gone. In layman’s terms Bucky is now a space adventurer.
Written by rising star Ales Kot (who also writes the exceptional Secret Avengers) and illustrated by the magical Marco Rudy (responsible for the breath-taking New Avengers Annual #1), Bucky is in amazingly capable hands. Wasting no time we open with Bucky already in the middle of a mission, one that doesn’t seem to be going so great. He’s been taken prisoner and awaits a very unique form of execution by the King of Syro in front of his people.
This is all part of the plan though and his newest comrade swiftly saves him: Daisy Johnson AKA Quake. The one-time director of S.H.I.E.L.D., who’s also on the run. To be honest I know very little about her so I can’t say if this “on the run” is something that has already happened or something we’ll learn more of in the future.
Marco Rudy’s art, where do I even begin? It’s drop dead gorgeous; lets get that straight right away. Each page of this book could be hung in a museum and I’m sure people would eat it up. It’s pure and utter eye candy from start to finish, but it’s not perfect.
There were multiple times that I had to re-read pages many times to have any idea of what was actually happening. Rudy’s layouts are sometimes so abstract that they begin to teeter into madness. Some incredibly abrupt scene changes are jarring to say the least, especially one involving Namor.
I had a hard time telling who was who in most scenes. The pages are so beautiful but so hard to follow, I’m ridiculously torn on this issue. I wouldn’t change the art for a second but I also want to be able to understand what is going on. It’s a tough call and I’m sure there will be many more people who aren’t as forgiving as I am.
In the end if I’d have to choose between Rudy’s spectacular art or being able to clearly appreciate the story I’m going to have to go with Rudy, it’s just too beautiful. “Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier” #1 is a phenomenal, but confusing read.
Torin Chambers is a rad dude from the nineties who does film stuff or something. Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite transformer. Find him on Twitter @TorinsChambers
Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment brand, announces the release of “Twilight Zone”: The 5th Dimension Limited Edition Box Set.
For the first time ever, Rod Serling’s groundbreaking Original Series (1959-1964) and the classic 1980s Series (1985-1989) are together in one limited edition box set.
With only 7,500 sets created, this limited edition 41-DVD box set is available on November 11, 2014.
In addition to the two beloved series (225 episodes combined), and more than 20 hours of bonus features listed below, The Twilight Zone: The 5th Dimension Limited Edition Box Set contains one of four possible collectible 1960s Twilight Zone comic books. Limited Edition packaging features 3D black and white lenticulars and a serialized number on each of the box sets.
Over 20 hours of bonus features include:
· New featurettes with never-before-seen interviews
· The “American Masters” documentary Rod Serling: Submitted For Your Approval
· Dozens of audio commentaries previously available only on blu-ray
· Rod Serling interviews, lectures and appearances
· Interviews with cast and crew
· Original sponsor billboards
· Isolated music scores
Next week author Dave Zeltserman is heading to the New York Comic Con with The Overlook Press in support of his soon-to-be-released The Boy Who Killed Demons, but before he faces the masses in the Big Apple, he spent a few minutes chatting with Dread Central about the book.
Dread Central: The Boy Who Killed Demons has a teenage protagonist. Would you say, then, that the book is geared toward teens or more so the adult crowd? Or a bit of both?
Dave Zeltserman: I’d say both. Demons is a heroic and straightforward story of a 15-year-old boy who must find a way to stop demons from destroying the world and should appeal to all readers. It’s not as graphic and violent as some of my adult novels, but otherwise I didn’t make any other concessions to write this as a YA novel, and I think adult readers will enjoy this one every bit as much as my previous novels, if not more. My protagonist, Henry, is a smart, resourceful, and I believe honestly written character whom both teen and adult readers will identify with and root for.
DC: How are the adults treated in the tale? Are they involved in Henry’s world or more on the sidelines? Does he have anyone mentoring his demon hunting?
DZ: Henry is all alone in his fight against the demons, and he needs to keep this fight hidden from his parents and everyone else, including a neighbor down the street who’s one of the demons.
DC: The book’s synopsis mentions Henry’s alienation from his parents, friends, teachers, etc. That seems to be a fairly common occurrence among teens, but no doubt in Henry’s case it’s even more extreme than usual. Can you talk about how you incorporated this theme into the book?
DZ: Henry knows that if his parents find out he sees demons, they’ll have him loaded up on psychiatric drugs, and there will be no one left to stop the demons. There’s a lot of stress between him and his parents as they can’t understand how their well-adjusted, outgoing son has become a sullen loner. Henry also knows that if the demons ever discover he can see them, he’ll be dead soon afterwards. His having to fight them in secrecy takes a toll, and he has to sacrifice so much of not only a normal teen existence, but his life, including a budding romance, to save the world.
DC: As for the ancient texts that Henry studies in the course of his research on the supernatural, did you use actual, existing writings, or did you create your own for the book?
DZ: I created my own. There were really two texts—an eighteenth century German text that Henry has to translate (for a good part of the text he thinks the author was a quack) and a rumored seventeenth century text, L’Occulto Illuminato, which only a handful of people know about. Henry has to go to great lengths to get a copy of L’Occulto Illuminato, including betraying a close friend.
DC: Without spoiling too much, what can you tell us about the “demons” of the title? Is there a variety of them, or are they mostly similar? How detailed are the descriptions of them in the book?
DZ: A description of the demons is given on the first page of the novel so I’m not giving anything away. The demons are described in explicit detail, and they’re similar and with a singular purpose. Outside of Henry, and perhaps a handful of other people, everyone else is fooled into thinking these demons are normal, everyday people. The gift Henry has is sort of like the gift Roddy Piper has in They Live, except Henry doesn’t need special glasses to see the demons for what they are.
DC: The Boy Who Killed Demons was written in diary form. What motivated you to select that format for this particular tale, and did it create any particular challenges for you, or did it perhaps make things easier since you could write more in the “train of thought” format?
DZ: The journal form seemed the most natural way to write this book, and it allowed me to mix standard first-person narrative with Henry’s musings and rants while being able to be more playful with it. It also allowed a more natural way to parcel out Henry’s journey. I don’t know if I’ll ever write another book in journal form, but the form worked nicely with Demons.
DC: You’ve written noir, mystery, and horror novels. Do you have a preference, and is there a difference in how you approach each genre?
DZ: When I started out writing, I thought of myself as a noir writer, but the simple fact is most of the great classic noir writers, like Jim Thompson, Gil Brewer, Dan Marlowe, died broke. While I love reading the dark journeys that noir novels can take you on, most readers want someone somewhat likable to root for and don’t want to follow a vicious, borderline-sociopathic character on a one-way ticket to hell. And most publishers will not publish true noir. I feel very fortunate that the London publisher Serpent’s Tail published my first four noir novels, but after that it was time to move on and find other types of books that I wanted to write. Whether it’s noir, horror, or something else, I approach all my books the same way—getting into the heads of my characters and living the book in my mind as I write it.
DC: What are your horror influences? Favorite authors, films, etc.?
DZ: When I was a kid, I was heavily into Lovecraft, and read everything of his I could find, and there’s some Lovecraft influence in Demons, although the writing style is very different. My favorite horror novel is I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. An absolutely brilliant novel. Shelley’s Frankenstein is another favorite. It can be a tough go through the first half, but once you get to the monster’s story, it’s spellbinding. After I wrote Monster, I went on a kick of reading other Frankenstein retellings, and I thought Peter Ackroyd’s The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein was superb and found it fascinating the directions he took it.
My favorite horror films are two from John Carpenter: They Live and The Thing. Also George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead—it may be low budget, but it’s still one of the creepiest movies out there. Others are Psycho, The Birds, The Howling, Fright Night (original), The Exorcist, Child’s Play, 13 Tzameti, and the recent The Cabin in the Woods. Also, as a kid I could not get enough of “The Twilight Zone” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”; quite a few of those episodes have stayed with me over the years.
DC: Lastly, now that The Boy Who Killed Demons is being released, what’s next for you? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
DZ: I’m in the process of putting together a Julius Katz Collection that I’ll be publishing as a paperback and ebook. This will be made up of the first six Julius Katz mystery stories that were originally published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine plus a new and previously unpublished long novella. These stories are the polar opposite of my noir novels—very lighthearted and charming—and have so far won a Shamus, Derringer, and two Ellery Queen Readers Choice Awards. I’ve also just finished a noirish PI in hell novel that I’m very fond of and will be looking to get that published. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one of my film deals goes into production next year.
Look for Dave Zeltserman’s The Boy Who Killed Demons on October 16th from The Overlook Press. The 2014 New York Comic Con runs October 9th-12th. You can visit Dave in Booth #128 on Friday, October 10th, from 1:00-4:00 pm ET.
Our thanks to Dave for his time and to Kait Heacock at Overlook for setting up the interview.
“My name’s Henry Dudlow. I’m fifteen and a half. And I’m cursed. Or damned. Take your pick. The reason? I see demons.”
The setting is quiet Newton, Massachussetts, where nothing ever happens. Nothing, that is, until two months after Henry Dudlow’s 13th birthday, when his neighbor, Mr. Hanley, suddenly starts to look… different. While everyone else sees a balding man with a beer belly, Henry suddenly sees a nasty, bilious, rage-filled demon.
Once Henry catches on to the real Mr. Hanley, he starts to see demons all around him, and his boring, adolescent life is transformed. There’s no more time for friends or sports or the lovely Sally Freeman; instead Henry must work his way through ancient texts and hunt down the demons before they steal any more innocent children. And if hunting demons is hard at any age, it’s borderline impossible when your parents are on your case, your grades are getting worse, and you can’t tell anyone about your chosen mission.
The post Exclusive: Author Dave Zeltserman Talks The Boy Who Killed Demons appeared first on Dread Central.
Word of a new Dark Horse comic heading our way next year landed in our inbox, and since it combines two of our favorites, Mike Mignola and Frankenstein’s Monster, we couldn’t wait to share the news!
From the Press Release
In 2015 Dark Horse Comics will publish Frankenstein Underground, a new five-issue miniseries written by best-selling comic book creator Mike Mignola with covers by Mignola and interior art by acclaimed artist Ben Stenbeck (Baltimore).
The miniseries follows the Frankenstein monster, who is alone, abandoned, and wandering underground, where he discovers both other monsters and the dark secrets to the universe. The miniseries will be the second appearance of the Frankenstein monster within the mythology and continuity of Hellboy, B.P.R.D., and the other Mignolaverse titles; the character first appeared in the graphic novel House of the Living Dead by Mignola and Richard Corben.
“It’s intimidating as hell to take on an icon like the Frankenstein monster,” said Mignola. “I’m trying to do something that’s true to the origin Mary Shelley created for the creature but also captures a bit of the feel that Boris Karloff brought to the role in the classic Universal films. At the same time I’m throwing the monster into an entirely new environment so I think the result will be something new. It’s an odd one but ultimately will add an important new wrinkle to the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. world.”
Mignola is no stranger to Frankenstein’s monster. He’s long been fascinated by Shelley’s novel and the iconic Universal Studios films that it spawned. In 1991 he drew scenes from classic Universal Studios horror films for Topps trading cards and recently drew a Bride of Frankenstein Mondo print.
“This version of the Frankenstein monster has the same thirst for knowledge readers will remember from Mary Shelley’s novel,” said Scott Allie, Dark Horse Comics’ editor-in-chief. “The monster takes the reader through some of the biggest mysteries of the Mignolaverse, shedding new light on important stuff we’ve only touched on before.”
The post Mike Mignola’s 5-Issue Frankenstein Underground Coming in 2015 appeared first on Dread Central.
The latest poster for The Vicious Brothers’ upcoming sci-fi thriller Extraterrestrial (read our review), arriving in the States on VOD October 17th and in theaters November 21st, was just abducted.
“Still reeling from her parents divorce, April (Brittany Allen) is dragged back to the vacation cabin she spent fond summers at as a child accompanied by a group of friends. Her trip down memory lane takes a dramatic and terrifying turn when a fireball descends from the sky and explodes in the nearby woods. Lead by her boyfriend (Freddie Stroma), the group venture out toward the crash site and discover the remnants of a ship from another planet along with footprints that suggest its alien occupants are still alive. The college friends soon find themselves caught in the middle of something bigger and more terrifying than they ever thought possible.“
Extraterrestrial also stars Gil Bellows (The Shawshank Redemption, House at the end of the Street), Jesse Moss (Final Destination 3, The Uninvited), Melanie Papalia (The Den, Smiley), Michael Ironside (Terminator Salvation, Starship Troopers), Emily Perkins (Ginger Snaps Trillogy), Sean Rogerson (Grave Encounters, 12 Rounds Reloaded) and Anja Savcic (I Love You Beth Cooper, Repeaters).
In honor of next week’s release of Alien: Isolation, we’re running features and giveaways that take looks at the upcoming visceral experience from Sega as well as gaming itself. Read on for Alien Week Day 4: Win a Copy of Alien: Isolation.
That’s right, kids! Right now we have your chance to score a copy of one of the most anticipated horror games of the year, Alien: Isolation. To enter for your chance to win, just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org including your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS and SYSTEM OF CHOICE – Xbox One or PlayStation 4. We’ll take care of the rest.
This contest will end at 12:01 AM PT on October 9, 2014.
That’s it! Good luck, and we’ll see you in space… where no one can hear you scream, that is!
Just over a week ago (and about a week late) I made a Steam Curator page partly just to experiment with the new feature, but mostly because I know how challenging it can be to find a quality horror game on a platform that’s gradually become inundated by titles of wildly inconsistent qualities. The point of our Curator page is to gather some of the best horror games on Steam so all you have to do is find the game(s) you think may be interesting.
To make up for lost time, I said we’d celebrate reaching a thousand followers with a special giveaway. I assumed it would take a few weeks, maybe longer, for the page to gain steam (sorry). Instead, it took a week.
Because my word is my bond, or whatever, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
The fine folks at Funko have gifted me with some awesome Pop! Vinyl figures of Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger to give away to six of you.
TO ENTER: Put I’m Funky for Funko in the subject line and include YOUR FULL NAME and ADDRESS in the message which I’ll ask you to send to email@example.com. Winners will be chosen at random on Friday, October 10. No PO Boxes. All are eligible.
And don’t forget to follow our Curator page!